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Adventure Tours

India: Real Food Adventure

From €3004pp including flights
Depart From
Fly from Dublin, Tour starts from Delhi, India
Departure Date
29 Oct 2019 - 12 Nov 2019
Alternative dates available on request
Duration
15 Days
Destination
India
Price
From €3004pp including flights
Enquire Now

Visit India and take a food tour from Delhi to Goa via Rajasthan and Mumbai.

Spend two fabulous weeks discovering the sights, sounds and flavours of India. From Delhi to Goa and via the ethereal beauty of Rajasthan, experience the best street food in Delhi, the beautiful sight of the Taj Mahal in Agra, the delightful taste of Rajasthan’s traditional cuisine in Jaipur and Udaipur, the colours of India’s markets and bazaars and how to cook up delicious regional Indian dishes in a number of inspiring cooking classes.

Relax on Goa’s beaches, see Jaipur’s breathtaking Palace of the Wind, explore the vibrant food scene of Mumbai and spend time in rural Rajasthan living it up in a 17th-century fort. This unforgettable journey into the cultural and gastronomic heart of India will satisfy every appetite.

Why you'll love this trip:

  • Get a real taste of some of India's most famous culinary traditions – Mughal, Rajasthani, and the Portuguese-tinged flavours of Goa – while feasting with locals in family-run restaurants, rural homes, or in temples
  • Get in touch with an amazing array of street food on eye-opening and adventurous cuisine crawls

India is a big country and there are some long travel days on this departure. Use these as an opportunity to relax, witness everyday life from the window of your vehicle and to get to know your fellow travellers.

This trip travels by overnight train from Udaipur to Mumbai. While the overnight train can seem a little daunting, it is a very efficient way to travel long distances and maximising time in each place. Note that long distance and overnight trains can often be delayed and occasionally cancelled due to heavy fog between December and February.

This trip stays in a mix of accommodation to experience a variety of Indian life. Standards can vary though – there will be hot water in most but not all hotels.

The climate in India can vary in the different states – be prepared for hot sticky days and cooler evenings. Layered clothing is the best way to tackle this disparity in weather.

Old Delhi can be very busy and crowded. While it’s an exciting place to see local life moving around you, be aware that on the walking tour you’ll need to navigate through people, tight spaces and walkways.

This trip aims to give you an exciting, diverse and well-rounded experience of India's cuisine. India is a great place to travel for vegetarians and vegans - offering lots of choice and great quality fare. If you have dietary requirements, simply contact your agent at the time of booking for further information on how this may impact on your ability to take part in included activities and meals. Come with an open mind and open mouth, and you won’t be disappointed!

Day 1 Delhi

Namaste! Welcome to India. Delhi is an excitingly chaotic capital city – filled with historical sites from different eras, museums and galleries, shops and endless bazaars, there’s plenty to see, do, and eat. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm.

Please ask reception to confirm the time and place of your meeting. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have these for your leader. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. After the welcome meeting it’s time to celebrate the beginning of a wonderful culinary adventure. Jump on the metro to the iconic Connaught Place, the hub of Delhi's financial district. Enjoy your first introduction to northern Indian cuisine with a traditional thali. After dinner, take a night stroll to take in the buzz of the city, before catching the metro back to your hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Real Food Adventure Welcome Dinner

Day 2 Delhi

This morning venture out to Old Delhi, the historic city also known as Shahjanabad, where some of Delhi's best-known local food joints are found. Here you’ll wander through narrow alleyways and enjoy an authentic Delhi street food-style breakfast. Keep your eye out for the local chaiwala (tea maker), well known for his delicious milky tea.

Next, jump on the city's modern metro system and head to Jama Masjid, Delhi's oldest mosque and one of its most impressive buildings. While Hinduism is the dominant religion in Delhi, there is also a significant Sikh population – so continue the religious theme with an insight into the food traditions of Delhi’s Sikh residents over a vegetarian lunch at a local Sikh temple.

After lunch, tour Chandni Chowk, one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi. Visit the spice warehouses in the back alleys of Khari Baoli, Asia's largest wholesale spice market. See the spice selling process from truck to table, and meet a spice seller to hear him talk about how he mixes the spices for retailing.

Next visit the Gali Paranthe Wali (lane of parathas), which has been in operation since the 1870s. Parathas are one of the most popular unleavened flat breads in Punjabi North Indian cuisine. Taste a number of delicious variations stuffed with fillings including potatoes, cauliflower, radish and cottage cheese.

This evening, perhaps take the unique opportunity to visit a local family for a home-cooked meal – get an insight into the day-to-day life of Delhites and enjoy a delicious dinner. Jot down some secret home recipes, get involved in the preparations, or simply enjoy a chat around the kitchen table with warm and welcoming hosts.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking tour
  • Delhi - Street Food Breakfast
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Lunch at a Sikh Temple

Optional Activities:

  • Delhi - Dinner with local family - INR3000

Meals Included: Breakfast | Lunch

Day 3 Agra

Get your first experience of Indian rail travel with an air-conditioned express train to the Mughal city of Agra (approximately 3 hours). Famed for the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal, Agra is a city with a fascinating history, rich in Mughal heritage, lush gardens and exquisite buildings and temples. Here you’ll visit the spectacular and iconic Taj Mahal.

Best known as a monument to love and loss, the 17th century white marble Taj is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture, surrounded by trimmed English gardens. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz, it lives up to all expectations. Agra is also home to one of the finest looking forts in India. Enter the dark red sandstone stronghold of Agra Fort – part fortress, part palace and part prison – and search through throne rooms and tiny but incredibly decorated mosques.

For dinner, jump on a chaat crawl in the city thought to serve up the country’s best. Chaat are savoury snacks (like friend potatoes or samosa broken into pieces with chutney) typically served roadside from stalls or carts in India and Bangladesh – the Indian equivalent to fast food. With its origins in Uttar Pradesh, chaat have become immensely popular in the rest of India and the Indian sub-continent.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Mughlai Cooking Demonstration

Meals Included: Breakfast | Lunch

Day 4 Karauli

Before leaving Agra, there’s a chance to enjoy a memorable sunrise over the Taj Mahal. Then you’ll drive to eastern Rajasthan to Karauli (approximately 5 - 5 1/2 hours), said to be founded by descendants of the Hindu deity Lord Krishna. A small town by India's standards, Karauli is not often visited by travellers and so retains a lovely rural feel alongside its impressive palaces and heritage buildings. Take a walk around the Old Quarter, interact with the friendly locals and learn about rural Indian life off the tourist trail.

Explore the marketplace with its stalls selling everything from lacquered bangles and silver, to wooden utensils and other locally manufactured kitchen items. Along the way, be sure to taste some of the local sweets made of ingredients including pumpkin (petha), jaggery, peanuts (peanut brittle) and sesame seeds (gazak), to name but a few.

These sweets are seasonal and their consumption is often linked with Hindu festivals. Tonight you'll stay in an atmospheric palace built as a royal residence for the ruler of Karauli in 1938. The palace also has a huge farm house and an adjoining dairy, producing much of its own vegetable and grains.

Enter the kitchens and learn how to prepare the famous masala chai (spiced tea) along with other local specialities, all using ingredients sourced from the farm. The cuisine of Rajasthan is intrinsically linked with its desert landscape.

Due to the scarcity of water, milk, buttermilk and curd are often used to add moisture, and leafy greens are replaced with a focus on lentils, indigenous beans and other cereals. Dominant spices include turmeric, fenugreek, mustard seeds and coriander.

Accommodation: Heritage Property (1 night)

Optional Activities:

  • Jaipur - Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir Cinema - INR400

Meals Included: Breakfast | Lunch

Day 5 Jaipur

Today drive to the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur (approximately 5 hours). Jaipur was designed by royalty and has delighted visitors for centuries with its pink-hued buildings, wonderful bazaars, and rainbow of bright colours dancing along hectic streets.

Jaipur, like Delhi, has both old and new parts, although you’ll concentrate on the old. The streets are busy with camels and bullock-carts, monkeys climb overhead, and you’ll pass traditionally dressed Rajput men wearing colourful turbans and sporting magnificent moustaches. Stop at India's most photographed building after the Taj Mahal, the Hawa Mahal or 'Palace of the Winds’; here royal maidens once watched the streets below through the fabulous jali (lattice screens) which hid them from prying male eyes.

Today snake charmers and fortune-tellers ply their trade below the same hideaway. Along the way, check out some of the city's best markets and bazaars. Visit the oldest chaiwala in the city, a favourite of the Maharaja, cool down with a delicious kulfi (ice cream dessert) and marvel at the sheer breadth of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, pickles, tea and spices on display.

In the evening, you may wish to check out a the extravagance of a Bollywood blockbuster, with all the Hollywood-style elements of action, romance, drama and music (sometimes all rolled into one), at the spectacular Raj Mandir Cinema. Otherwise, your leader will have plenty of dinner suggestions.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Jaipur - traditional Kachori lunch
  • Jaipur - Rajasthani Cooking Class and Dinner

Meals Included: Breakfast | Dinner

Day 6 Jaipur

Travel out to the old capital of Amber and explore the hilltop fort complex known as the Amber Fort. Set in stunning surroundings on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake, the opulent palace is the legacy of a fallen empire and a superb example of Rajput architecture packed with elaborate rooms of lavish murals, frescoed arches and delicate jali work. One of its most spectacular buildings is the Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors). With its walls completely covered with tiny mirrors, the hall becomes a dazzling fantasy with the light of a single match.

For lunch try a local favourite, Kachori. Kachoris are deep fried bread stuffed with vegetables and lentils and are one of the most sought after snacks in north India. If sweets are your thing, try the Mawa Kachori, a dried fruit and mawa (milk solids) stuffed kachori, deep-fried and coated in sugar syrup. In the late afternoon you will learn the secrets of Rajasthani cuisine in a cooking class, then sit down to enjoy for dinner the feast you prepared.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Meals Included: Breakfast | Lunch

Day 7 Heritage Stay

Today you’ll leave the city behind and visit a small village for a true insight into rural Rajasthani life. You’ll drive approzimately 6 hours to a Heritage Stay located in the Vindhyanchal Hills, stopping en route to enjoy lunch with a local family. When you arrive in Bijaipur you will stay in the 16th-century Castle Bijaipur, now a heritage hotel with attractive dome, arched windows and doorways, all within the original fortified walls.

Enjoy the palace’s blend of colonial and Mughal architecture as you relax by the pool or in the gardens, pampered by the Mewar hospitality of the hotel’s owners. Spend the rest of the day relaxing in your magnificent surrounds. Perhaps take a dip in the pool or take a walk around the grounds.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Bijaipur- Village tour
  • Castle Bijaipur - Rajasthani Desert Cooking Demonstration and Dinner

Meals Included: Breakfast | Dinner

Special Information:

Please note that due to availability on the below departures, tonight’s accommodation will be spent in the 18th century heritage property of Rawla Jojawar as an alternative to Castle Bijaipur.

  • 21 February 2017
  • 28 February 2017

Day 8 Udaipur

Travel to Udaipur (approximately 4 hours drive). Udaipur is known for its Hindu temples and Palaces but there are also some small yet renowned Jain temples in the city. Jainism is a minority religion in India and is considered among the most rigorous spiritually-motivated diets on the Indian subcontinent.

Upon arrival enjoy a street food snack tasting and lunch in the Old City. 

Tonight you have a free evening for dinner. Udaipur has numerous rooftop restaurants so climb some stairs, choose a restaurant and settle in to watch the sun set over a shimmering lake.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Meals Included: Breakfast | Lunch

Day 9 Udaipur

Udaipur, also known as the 'City of Lakes', is built around the shores of Lake Pichola and full of fascinating temples, ornate palaces and impressive 'havelis' (merchant homes). Take some time to discover its winding streets and shops full of traditional Rajasthani wares. Visit the City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India, and check out the unbelievable treasures within, from vivid murals to antiques and royal utensils.The rest of the day is free for your own exploration.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities: 

  • Udaipur - City Palace

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 10: Overnight Train

Begin today at the local market to collect ingredients for a cooking class, where you will learn how to prepare a traditional north Indian thali meal. A thali comprises of numerous dishes, which vary depending on which region the thali is prepared in. As you’re in Udaipur, you will make a vegetarian thali. Typical dishes include rice, dahl, vegetables, roti, papad (deep-fried flat bread), curd (yoghurt), small amounts of chutney or pickle, and a sweet dish to top it off. After all that cooking, enjoy your handmade thali for lunch. Tonight you’ll board an overnight train, bound for India's capital – captivating Mumbai (approximately 16 hours). The train will depart late evening and arrive after midday the following day.

Accommodation: Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Udaipur - Thali Cooking Class

Meals Included: Breakfast | Lunch

Special Information:

Notes: Your sleeper train is clean and air-conditioned, and is a great way to travel long distances and still get maximum time in each place. Beds are padded berths with sheets, pillow and blanket provided but some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. Please note you may be sharing with locals in a same gender/mixed gender situation. Most trains have a dining carriage where food/snacks/meals are available.

Day 11: Mumbai

Arrive in Mumbai after your overnight train, reaching your hotel by mid afternoon. Known as Bombay until its recent name change, Mumbai is India's commercial capital. Some would say that Mumbai is also the food capital of India. This is the heart of Marathi cuisine, however you will also find huge culinary diversity that celebrates regional cuisines from across the country. In the late afternoon, wander down Marine Drive to Chowpatty Beach. Enjoy the sunset and snack on bhel puri and pav bhaji and other iconic Mumbai street foods.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities: 

  • Mumbai - Heritage Quarter walk
  • Mumbai - Chowpatti Beach Street Food Crawl 

Day 12: Mumbai

Time for sightseeing and soaking up the atmosphere of this incredible metropolis. This city of contrasts can be hard to get your head around – poverty standing side-by-side with prolific consumerism; a city of slums that’s also the financial capital of the sub-continent and has the shopping centres, bars and restaurants to match. Marvel at the remarkable Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat. At 140 years old it's Mumbai's oldest laundry and, with over a 1,000 troughs, it is also the worlds largest open air, human-powered one.

Next, take in some of the key landmarks including the impressive World Heritage Site and historic railway station, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus – a striking combination of gothic and traditional Mughal architecture. For lunch, seek out a restaurant known for serving Parsi cuisine, whose community is largely concentrated in Mumbai. The Parsis are descendants of Zoroastrians who are believed to have immigrated to India from Persia in the 10th century.

Drop past Mumbai’s bustling Crawford Markets for an insight into local commerce. The rest of the afternoon and the evening are free for your own food adventures. Perhaps take high tea at the iconic Taj Hotel. There are also some fabulous restaurants in this city for all budgets and your leader will have plenty of suggestions.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Meals Included: Breakfast | Lunch

Day 13: Goa

Take a flight from Mumbai to Goa (approximately 1 hour), arriving in the early afternoon. The locals say that time moves more slowly in Goa, so this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a bit of tranquility in an often frenetic country. Tinged with a Portuguese flavour, the state of Goa is blessed with lovely beaches, rich traditions, World Heritage buildings and mouth-watering food. Goa's dense forested areas and favourable climatic conditions also make it a perfect location to grow the spices liberally used in its cuisine. The most important of Goan spices, the chilli, was introduced to Goa by the Portuguese. In the late afternoon, visit a local spice farm that uses organic methods of cultivation. For the daring, try a taste of feni, a spirit made from either coconut or the juice of the cashew apple, much-loved in this region. In the evening, perhaps enjoy a meal at one of the shacks that line the beach. Goa is renowned for its seafood, and variations of the fish curry, laced with coconut and served with rice, has become a regional classic. This is the perfect place to give it a try.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Goa - Spice farm tour including lunch

Meals Included: Breakfast | Lunch

Special Information:

Note: The Goa fish markets are closed in the months of June, July and August due to the wet season.

Day 14: Goa

In the morning, join a passionate cook who has lived in Goa all her life. Take a guided tour through the markets and get to know the building blocks of Portuguese-tinged Goan cuisine, followed by a final hands-on cooking class. Learn to prepare meals such as hot pork vindaloo or chicken xacuti and enjoy a laid-back Goan lunch.

The afternoon is free for shopping, a sight-seeing turn around Panjim, or simply relaxing on the beach. Tonight, savour a final group meal of seafood and spicy curry and farewell this epic Real Food Adventure.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Goa - Goan Market Tour and Cooking Class

Meals Included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 15: Goa

Your Real Food Adventure India comes to an end today. There are no activities planned and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Price is based on 2 adults sharing and includes the following:  

  • Flights and charges from Dublin
  • Meals: 13 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Transport: Plane, private vehicle, taxi, train, overnight train
  • Accommodation: Hotel (11 nights), Heritage property (2 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
  • Included activities:
    • Real Food Adventure Welcome Dinner
    • Delhi - Old Delhi walking tour
    • Delhi - Street Food Breakfast
    • Delhi - Jama Masjid
    • Delhi - Lunch at a Sikh Temple
    • Agra - Taj Mahal
    • Agra - Mughlai Cooking Demonstration
    • Jaipur - Amber Fort
    • Jaipur - traditional Kachori lunch
    • Jaipur - Rajasthani Cooking Class and Dinner
    • Bijaipur- Village tour
    • Castle Bijaipur - Rajasthani Desert Cooking Demonstration and Dinner
    • Udaipur - City Palace
    • Udaipur - Thali Cooking Class
    • Mumbai - Heritage Quarter walk
    • Mumbai - Chowpatti Beach Street Food Crawl
    • Goa - Spice farm tour including lunch
    • Goa - Goan Market Tour and Cooking Class

Please ask us about adding great value:

  • Travel insurance
Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply. 

For more information please call us on 021 427 7094 or 01 696 5135, email info@shandontravel.ie, request a call back using the red button or submit an enquiry through the form below.

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