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Diwali 2024 with Chand Sahrawat

Join Chand Sahrawat on a culinary tour to India during the Diwali festival in October 2024. Chand is a major influencer in the Auckland food scene, working with her husband, chef Sid Sahrawat and together own 3 iconic restaurants in Auckland – Cassia, Kol and Sid at the French Cafe. 


It is going to be a fascinating and vibrant adventure, offering a blend of festive celebrations and incredible culinary experiences. We will savor the diverse flavors of India and immerse in the cultural richness and joyous celebrations that characterize this auspicious festival. Diwali is perhaps the best time to be in India where the entire country comes alive with lights, decorations and festivities. 


This itinerary offers a great contrast between the Rajput era forts and palaces of Rajasthan, modern and old Delhi and the Mughal influence in Agra. Followed by the hustle and bustle of Mumbai and serene Goa. Throughout this journey, you will discover the essence of Indian culinary traditions, from the aromatic spices of North India to the coastal flavors of the South. 


Your gastronomic adventure begins in Delhi, for street food delicacies and the cuisine of the North-West frontiers. In Agra we enjoy the delectable Mughlai cuisine of the rich flavors of the aromatic biryanis, kebabs, and decadent desserts. while enjoying the city's culinary heritage influenced by the Mughal era.


In Jaipur, savor the traditional Rajasthani cuisine of the Rajput’s and Maharaja’s known for its spicy flavors. And then transition to the coastal paradise of Goa, immersing yourself in a fusion of Portuguese and Konkan flavors. Mumbai is the grand finale with culinary experiences just as diverse as is the city. Fine dine at the best restaurant in India, enjoy street food and the iconic Irani food that Mumbai is so famous for. 


Guests will experience Indian hospitality at its best in 5-star luxury hotels at all destinations. We have chosen ITC Hotels at all locations as they lead the culinary landscape in India. The culinary experiences, Diwali celebrations and Chand’s knowledge of Indian cuisine and her enthusiasm to showcase Indian culture to Kiwi’s will make this a memorable tour.


On this tour we are supporting a local NGO called Phool. They collect millions of sacred flowers offered in the temples of India and upcycle these flowers into the world's first certified, handcrafted incense products. By joining us on this tour you are helping us help more than 300 women from marginalized communities.

Your Culinary Experiences on this Tour

Destination
Highlights
Delhi Bukhara, Chandni Chowk, Haveli Dharampura
Agra Mughal themed dinner, Sheros cafe
Jaipur Rajput themed dinner, Rajasthani Thali, Organic farm, Diwali celebrations
Goa Cooking lesson, Feni making, spice farm, dining on the beach
Mumbai Fine dining at Masque, street food, Mirchi and Mime

Your Accommodation on this Tour

Destination
No of Nights
Hotel
Delhi 2 nights ITC Maurya
Agra 1 Nights ITC Mughal
Jaipur 2 Night ITC Rajputana
Goa 3 Night ITC Grand
Mumbai 2 Night ITC Maratha

Includes

  • 10 nights’ accommodation on breakfast basis in above 5-star luxury hotels
  • Meals and culinary experiences as per itinerary.
  • Air-Conditioned coach for sightseeing and transfers at all locations
  • English speaking guide at all locations
  • All requisite airport transfers with personal assistance
  • Air-Conditioned Chair Car train fare from Delhi to Agra
  • Entrance fees to the monuments as mentioned in the itinerary.

Excludes

  • International airfare
  • Domestic flights from Amritsar to Jodhpur and Jodhpur to Delhi (approx. USD $250 at current airfares but will be charged at actual cost at time of booking).
  • Tips and any personal expenses
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Anything which is NOT mentioned under Inclusions.
Delhi
Agra
Jaipur
Goa
Mumbai

Tour Plan

Day 01 October 27: Arrive in Delhi

On arrival at Delhi airport, we will be met by our local representative for transfer to our hotel. After checking in, take a few hours to rest and unwind from the long flight. That evening we will go to Akshardham which is arguably one of the best temples in India.

The start of our culinary journey is at an are internationally acclaimed Indian restaurant in our hotel. Bukhara, famous for the Mughlai cuisine, is frequented by A-list celebrities and dignitaries from all over the world.

Day 02 October 28: Delhi
After breakfast at the hotel, we will go sightseeing. The contrast between Old Delhi and New Delhi, both with its distinct characteristics, history, and vibe is fascinating. 
For dinner we will enjoy a special culinary experience at Haveli Dharampura, a UNESCO Awarded Heritage Haveli in Old Delhi. We will enjoy the flavourful recreations of tangy and tasty street food of Chandni Chowk at the comfort of your table. Take in the breathtaking view of Old Delhi, participate in a session of kite flying and enjoy sundowners of cocktails and wines on the roof top while watching the sunset.
Day 03 October 29: Delhi – Agra by train
After an early breakfast we will check out from our hotel and embark on a 90-minute train ride to Agra. 
Our local representative will meet us at the train station and take us to Taj Mahal, one of the modern Seven wonders of the World. 
For lunch we will go to Sheros Café – an establishment run by victims of acid attacks. There is no price on the menu, but we will be generous with our offering to them.
At dinner tonight we will replicate the luxurious ways of the Mughal Emperors. We will recreate the ambience and hospitality that was once the privilege of the Mughal’s in the courtyard of our hotel. The taste and flavours of the food are as authentic as it can get. 
Day 04 October 30: Agra- Jaipur
After breakfast we set off on a road trip to Jaipur. It is a 5-hour drive, but on the way, we will have a few stops to break the journey and take in some local sights such as one of the oldest stepwells that dates to the 8th century and is 13 floors deep. And Fatehpur Sikri, a historical complex that was commissioned by Emperor Akbar in the 16th century 
We will stop for lunch at Umaid Palace for a farm-to-table lunch experience. This resort is well known for its organically grown produce, and the food is cooked using ancestral cooking methods such as traditional woodfire ovens. 
Our first dinner in Jaipur is at 1135 AD, one of the best restaurants in Jaipur. It is situated in the Amber Fort, which was built in 1592. We will enjoy authentic Rajasthani food in an open-air courtyard under the star-studded night sky.
Day 05 October 31: Celebrate Diwali in Jaipur

After breakfast we will leave for an excursion to Amber Fort, the same place where we had dinner last night. But this time we will ride an Elephant to ascent the fort. 

Later in the afternoon we visit the City Palace – the royal residence for the Maharaja of Jaipur. 

And for dinner we have planned a special culinary experience in our hotel to celebrate Diwali, the biggest festival in India. Think earthen lamps, decoration lights, Diwali puja and fireworks.

Day 06 November 1: Jaipur – Goa

After breakfast at the hotel, we head to the airport for our flight to Goa. After 5 days of royalty, we will enjoy the sun and sand of Goa at our hotel, the ITC Grand Resort and Spa Goa. Our next 3 days in Goa are a perfect break before we reach the hustle and bustle of Mumbai and then head back home. The golden sands of Goa are warm and inviting and the water is always just right for a swim.

Day 07 - 08 November 2 – 3: Goa

There is no itinerary in Goa. We will have a lot of time for rest and relaxation by the beach or poolside or enjoy a spa at our Resort. We can dine at one of the beach shacks, we will visit a friend’s home to learn how to cook Goan food, learn how to make Feni (Goan liquor made from cashews). We will visit a spice plantation and have a meal at the spice farm. We can also go sightseeing to marvel at the many Portuguese inspired churches and monuments.

Day 09 November 4: Goa -Mumbai

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight to Mumbai. Or arrival, the day is at leisure in the hotel or transport can be arranged for shopping at a nearby mall. 

Dinner will be one of the highlights of this trip. We will dine at Masque, included in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2021 and The Best Restaurant in India in 2023. We will be treated to a sensory experience like no other with their 10-course fine dining degustation menu that marries tradition and innovation. 

Day 10 November 5: Mumbai
After breakfast we will head to South Mumbai to see the Gateway of India, Hanging Gardens, Marine Drive, etc. Lunch is at Mirchi and Mime, a trendy dining restaurant serving modern-Indian cuisine, first of its kind in India, served exclusively by speech & hearing-impaired service staff. After lunch there is an option to indulge in some retail therapy in an upmarket shopping mall. 
Dinner is at a casual dining restaurant offering a wide selection of eclectic vegetarian food. The distinctive and innovative regional cuisine, based on traditional recipes from Indian homes and flavours of street foods, is cooked with fresh ingredients and served in a simple home style.  On the way back to our hotel we can stop for a farewell drink or two at a rooftop bar of one of the swankiest hotels in Mumbai. 
Day 11 November 6: Departure to NZ or onward destination

After breakfast at the hotel, we will be transferred to the airport for our flight back to NZ.

Alternatively talk to us about extending your tour to spend some more nights in Mumbai, see some wildlife or stay at one of the stunning Tea Estates in Darjeeling.

Tour Cost:

Per person (based on twin share)NZD 8000
Single supplementNZD 3500
schedule
Tour Length 10Nights / 11Days
rupee
Cost NZD.8000 per person (twin share) NZD.3500 single supplement
sun
Best Season Oct - Nov
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    Delhi
    Agra
    Jaipur
    Udaipur
    Delhi
    Delhi
    Agra
    Jaipur
    Udaipur
    Delhi

    Tour Plan

    Day 01 Arrive Delhi (By Flight)

    Upon arrival at Delhi international airport, our company representative will meet & assist you with traditional welcome and transfer to your hotel for check-in. Rest of the day free & easy for own activities. Evening proceed for Dinner at Masala Library Restaurant ( www.masalalibrary.co.in) Masala library by Jiggs Kalra a magnum opus of the Czar of Indian Cuisine & tastemaker. The culinary offerings at Masala Library endevour’s to offer its patrons a never before under taken gastronomic voyage capturing the grandeur of centuries old traditions and the long last essence of one of the oldest known gastronomic tradition in the world. The main focus is to revive the traditional recipes specially KABAB & CURRIES. After dinner return to hotel(Meal Include – Dinner) Overnight at Delhi hotel

    Day 02 Delhi – Full Day Tour with Culinary experiences

    Post breakfast; proceed for a full day guided tour in Delhi starting from Old Delhi visiting drive pass Raj Ghat, visit Jama Maszid, drivepass through Red Fort & Chandni Chowk market and later enjoy an authentic old Delhi street food and taste (if guest like).

    After old Delhi tour; procced for lunch at a famous Old Delhi Indian restaurant called "Chor Bizarre" (www.chorbizarre.com/del) Chor Bizarre is the complete eating out experience, great décor, distinct ambience, wonderous cocktails, superlative food, charming old world service.  Every city in India have its own special ‘Chor Bazar’ which translate as ‘thieves market’. All kind of wares find their way here (with or without the consent of the owners). This brings an inspiration and to celebrate the eclecticism of India.



    Later proceed to visit India Gate, drive pass through Parliament Street & President house and visit Qutab Minar. 

    After sightseeing; In evening, you will take a cooking class session at chef Harpal Singh Sokhi at home with dinner. He is celebrity chef from India. Also known as “Energy Chef of India” is now a “Dancing Chef Of India”.  Hailing from North India, which, like the rest of India is rich in culture and cuisine, Chef Harpal is a music lover and is fluent in English and five Indian languages, namely Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Oriya and Telugu. He graduated from the catering school at Bhubaneshwar, a capital of Orissa. He spent his initial years in learning different international cuisines but later realised that his interest lay in unearthing the authentic regional Indian food.

    (Meal Include – Breakfast & Lunch)

    Overnight at Delhi hotel.

    Day 03 Delhi – Agra (By train Gatiman Express at 0810/0950 hrs) Half day Tour

    Early breakfast; check-out from the hotel and transfer to Delhi- Nizamuddin railway station to board the train to Agra; the city of Taj Mahal. 

    Upon arrival at Agra Railway station; Meet & assistance by company representative & transfer to hotel for check-in. After lunch proceed for a half day guided tour in Agra visiting Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Post tour; spend some time in shopping the world’s best Marble products and the famous James & Jewelry.  

    In night enjoy the dinner at Bellevue Restaurant in hotel Amar Vilas (www.oberoihotels.com/amarvilas) Bellevue offers an unforgettable dining experience. It is well known that Mughal Emperors were patrons of lavish foods. At here chef tried to capture Mughal’s passion for international flavours. You will find Italian Classics reinvented with an Asian twist that reflects the gout de terrior ot the spirit and nature of the South and South East Asian Regions.

     (Meal Include – Breakfast & Dinner)

    Overnight at Agra hotel

    Day 04 Agra- Jaipur (245 kms/ 04-05 hrs drive)

    Post breakfast; drive to Jaipur; the capital city of Rajasthan State and known as the “Pink City. Upon arrival Jaipur; check-in to the hotel and relax. 

    In Evening procced to visit Chokhi Dhani Village; Chokhi Dhani is a popular and remarkable attraction of Jaipur. It is an ethnic village resort offering you all type of entertainment options including dance, music, food and accommodations in royal styles. We can enjoy the activities at Chokhi Dhani include magic shows, puppet shows, Rajasthani dance, Rajasthani folk music, future tellers, acrobatics on a bamboo and luck predicting parrots. There are also interesting activities and adventures that will keep you completely engaged, like camel ride, elephant ride and horse ride and boating. Later take the Rajasthani dinner at the most sumptuous at Royal Rajasthani dining hall where we can enjoy delicious Rajasthani cuisines with cultural performances by bhopa and bhopan (Rajasthani songs & Music) 

    (Meal Include – Breakfast & Dinner)

    Remark: After visit Chokhi Dhani village; if guest not like Rajasthani food than we can arrange the dinner on finest restaurant in Jaipur (Restaurant Peshawar in hotel ITC Rajputana – On direct payment basis/ similar )   

    Overnight at Jaipur Hotel

    Day 05 Jaipur – Full day tour

    Post breakfast; leave for an excursion to Amber Fort. Enjoy the Elephant ride to ascend the Amber fort. After visiting Amber fort, visit to a traditional Rajasthani Handicraft & handloom factory to see the craftsmen performing.

    Afternoon enjoy the lunch at a famous Jaipur restaurant Swapna Bhawan in Hotel Raj Palace (www.rajpalace.com) Formal receptions remained the local activity of country life during the British period. Hence the Thakur Sahib made Swapna Mahal imitating the great houses of the British and French nability. This hall is completely titled out with European furniture, Chandliers, Mirrors and Crockery Collection. The Food is serve in Royal Thali (is a big plate made of silver , gold or other metal). 

    Later procced visit to City Palace and Jantar Mantar observatory. Before returning your hotel; a short stop in front Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace) for photo shoot. 

    After relaxing; In evening, we will proceed for dinner at Restaurant Rajput Room in hotel Taj Ram Bagh Palace; Here first we will explore Ram Bagh Palace and later enjoy the dinner. They special prepared the Rajasthani Thali and serve. 

    (Meal Include – Breakfast)

    Overnight at Jaipur hotel

    Day 06 Jaipur - Udaipur (By Flight)

    Early breakfast; on time transfer to Jaipur airport to board the flight to Udaipur; city of lakes. Upon arrived Udaipur; meet & assistance by company representative and transfer to hotel for check-in / or Proceed direct half day guided sightseeing tour of Udaipur. (Check-in time is 02 PM- Subject to early check-in facility if room are available) 

    visiting City Palace, an intriguing collection of buildings built in the year 1725. Also visit Sahelion ki Bari (Garden of Maids of Honour) and Jagdish Temple; the Indo-Aryan Temple and visit Old city of Udaipur.

    Later in evening procced for a cooking class demo on Rajasthani cuisine at chef home and enjoy the dinner with variety of foods which is prepared by chef.

    Chef : Mr. Vimal Dhar 

    One of India’s most renowned Young Chef, CHEF VIMAL DHAR is a highly experienced Chef with a passion for perfecting culinary specialties. With an impressive list of achievements to his credit, this astute and result oriented professional has been featured among INDIA’S TOP CHEF in the book MY LAST SUPPER by Melanie Dunea. The soft-spoken Chef Vimal Dhar also holds the distinction of having been featured in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, USA magazine by Mr. Stan Sessor and in the DISCOVERY CHANNEL by Anthony Bourdain. Also featured on TRAVEL & LIVING CHANNEL.

     

    CHEF VIMAL DHAR is featured among 50 Chefs handpicked globally by celebrity photographer Melanie Dunea for her latest coffee table book MY LAST SUPPER. For this book, the Dunea travelled the world to short list (based on surveys and extensive research) the 50 best names in the culinary world and interviewed each one of them herself.

     (Meal Include – Breakfast)  

    Overnight at Udaipur hotel

    Day 07 Udaipur – Delhi (By flight 9W-823at 1300/1410 hrs)

    Post breakfast; On time transfer to Udaipur airport to board the flight to New Delhi. Upon arrival, New Delhi airport; meet & assistance by company representative and transfer to hotel for check-in. Rest of the time is free for leisure and relax. In evening proceed for dinner at Indian Accent Restaurant. After dinner return to hotel 

    (Meal Include – Breakfast & Dinner) 

    Overnight at Udaipur hotel 

    Day 08 Delhi (By flight) & Departure

    Post breakfast; On time transfer to Delhi International airport to board the flight to onward journey. 

    (Meal Include – Breakfast)

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