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  5. Balance Retreat With Rachel Grunwell – February 2025

Balance Retreat With Rachel Grunwell – February 2025

The Balance Retreat in India is not just about finding another country to experience. This is also about finding yourself and helping you to live more “vibrantly alive” …

Set off on a transformative mind, body, and soul adventure to India with wellness expert, yogi, and author Rachel Grunwell. Over 12 days in India (across some awe-inspiring locations), you’ll experience a beginner’s journey of yoga and mindfulness, taste exquisite food, see temples and other sights of wonder, while you start your own personal wellness journey to uplift your life.

 

This thoughtfully crafted wellness and culinary tour combines the practices of yoga, mindfulness, and wellbeing learnings in tranquil Rishikesh along with the rich culture and incredible culinary experiences in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Rachel and the Good Food Journeys team are passionate about delivering exquisite travel experiences that you will dream about returning to.

 

About Rachel:

Welcome to Inspired Health

Wellness expert and award-winning writer Rachel Grunwell is a wellness coach and yoga and mindfulness teacher based in New Zealand. Her mission is to inspire people to live life more in “balance” – which is the title of her book. She loves sharing wellbeing tools that help clients to live a healthier and happier life that they love. The mum (of three teenage sons) helps people with research-backed advice on how to eat, move, sleep, and manage stress better. Her advice is easy to incorporate into your everyday life.

 

Rachel also has an extensive background as an author, wellbeing magazine columnist, and award-winning journalist. Rachel’s book is titled “Balance: Food, Health & Happiness” which includes 30 global experts (nutritionists, neurologists, psychologists, professors etc.) sharing research-backed advice on how to live life healthier, happier and more mindfully. The book also contains 30 nourishing recipes including juices and smoothies. The name of Rachel’s book is the theme of this retreat, and all participants will receive a signed copy of this book to enjoy and continue learning from. She has curated an amazing wellness coaching experience while you are on tour where she will share her wellness knowledge in the tranquility of Rishikesh which is renowned as the 'Yoga Capital of the World.'

 

This incredible 12-day wellness and culinary journey begins in Delhi where ancient history meets contemporary charm. The bustling markets, narrow lanes, and aroma of the delicious street food of Old Delhi is a sensory awakening, and a perfect welcome to India. Our next stop is Rishikesh, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. This is where the magic unfolds, and we begin the transformation to a more uplifted, mindful life. Daily wellness coaching, yoga and meditation on the banks of the Holy River Ganga is included, while you can also seek out recommended spa treatments and nature trails in the reserved forest of our hotel. There will be some recommended activities to help you rejuvenate your spirit, or you can just nourish your soul with your choice of self-care or another experience.

 

After 6 days of nature and mindfulness we head to the hustle and bustle of the Pink City of Jaipur, the gateway to Rajasthan's regal splendor. We will explore the majestic forts and palaces of the Rajput era that are adorned with intricate architecture and opulent interiors. We will experience 5-star luxury and enjoy authentic cuisine in the grandeur of a palace. Our last stop is in Agra, home to the iconic Taj Mahal, a symbol of eternal love and an architectural masterpiece. We will enjoy the ethereal beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site at sunrise, as its pristine white marble radiates in the soft morning light.

 

The ‘Good’ in our name stands for the Good we want to do for the community. In keeping with the Wellness theme of this tour, for every person who joins us, we will gift $100 towards paying for therapy tools and resources to help with patient recovery at Te Whetu Tawera, the Acute Mental Health Unit at Auckland Hospital.

 

Join Rachel and the team at Good Food Journeys on an unforgettable journey of self-discovery and culinary delights on this unique Wellness and Culinary Tour to India. It is a small group, and spaces are limited. SIGN UP HERE

Your Accommodation on this Tour

Destination
No of Nights
Hotel
Delhi2 nightsITC Maurya
Rishikesh6 NightsAtali Ganga
Jaipur2 NightsITC Rajputana
Agra1 NightsITC Mughal

Includes

  • 11 nights’ accommodation
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • All dinners, 7 lunches
  • 5 exclusive culinary experiences
  • Air-Conditioned coach for sightseeing and transfers at all locations
  • English speaking guide at all locations while sightseeing
  • All requisite airport transfers with personal assistance
  • Air-Conditioned Chair Car train fare from Delhi to Haridwar
  • Entrance fees to the monuments as mentioned in the itinerary

Excludes

  • International airfare
  • Domestic flights from Dehradun to Jaipur (approx. USD $150 at current airfares but will be charged at actual cost at time of booking).
  • Alcoholic beverages consumed with hosted dinners.
  • Tips and any personal expenses
  • Anything which is not mentioned under Inclusions.
Delhi
Haridwar
Rishikesh
Jaipur
Agra

Tour Plan

Day 01 Saturday, February 8: 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 February 9: Delhi

After breakfast at the hotel, Rachel will welcome you and the group will connect. Rachel will set out intentions for the journey together and go through the itinerary. We will then 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 our 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. The cultural evening with traditional Indian dance and music is a great welcome to India.

Day 03 Delhi – Haridwar by train

We check out early from the hotel with a packed breakfast to travel to Haridwar by Shatabdi Express train. On arrival we will transfer to Rishikesh and check in to our hotel.

After lunch Rachel will take us through the plan for the rest of our stay in Rishikesh. All meals at our deluxe nature resort will be simple, yet tasty and flavoursome Indian vegetarian food.

Day 04 February 11: Rishikesh

Each morning in Rishakesh, Rachel will lead the day with yoga and/or mindfulness teachings. There will also be a wellness workshop or experience each day for 60 minutes. The rest of the day is me-time for you to savour the surrounds, sights or take precious self-care time to rejuvenate.

 After lunch a few hours are at leisure to rest, you may choose to join us for a nature trail and find a spot in the reserved forest around the hotel to practice what you learnt this morning. You can book a spa or a massage at the hotel. Or you can indulge in any of the several adventure sports activities that our hotel has access to. White water rafting, anyone?

Later in the evening we will visit the Lakshman Jhula, a suspension bridge over river Ganga named after Lord Rama’s younger brother, Lakshmana. It is made of iron, is about 450 ft long and suspends at a height of 70 feet over the river. Built in 1939, it is one of the most prominent landmarks in Rishikesh. As the legend goes, Lakshmana crossed Ganga on ropes of jute and hence the bridge has been named in his honour. Tourists find it a thrilling experience to cross the lazily swinging bridge that gives a picturesque view of the surrounding landscape and historical temples on either side.

Day 05 February 12: Rishikesh

A highlight today is yoga and meditation on the banks of the river Ganga.

After lunch a few hours are at leisure to rest, enjoy a spa, adventure sports or go on a nature trail to practice what you learnt this morning.

In the evening today we will visit Triveni Ghat, situated at the confluence of the three most sacred rivers of India. Triveni Ghat is the most popular bathing ghat in Rishikesh. Before visiting the various temples, most pilgrims take a holy dip here, which according to Hindu mythology, washes away the sins of a person.

The evenings here are stunning. We will participate in the spectacular Ganga Arti (a ritual in which lamps are lit and prayers are offered to the river) accompanied by prayers and chanting. Thousands of lamps floating in the river during the arti present a spectacular view. This experience is serene, divine, and enthralling all at the same time and will be memorable.

Day 06 February 13: Rishikesh

Rachel leads today with inspiration, mindful movement and coaching.

After lunch we will visit Rajaji National Park, which is 20 km from Rishikesh on the foothills of Himalayas. Spread over 820 sq. km, it is home to more than 500 Elephants, Panthers, Tigers, Spotted Deer, Wild Boar, Himalayan Bear, Sloth, and over 400 bird species.

Day 07 February 14: Rishikesh

Rachel leads today with inspiration, mindful movement and coaching.

After lunch the rest of the day is free to explore the local markets and the spiritual vibe of Rishikesh. Today is Valentines Day, and if you are travelling with that special someone, we can arrange a romantic candle-light dinner for two.

Day 08 February 15: Rishikesh

Rachel leads today with inspiration, mindful movement and coaching.

For lunch today we will have a cooking demonstration on how to make the simple Indian vegetarian food that we have been enjoying in Rishikesh. These skills will come in handy to impress your friends back home in New Zealand.

After lunch the rest of the day is free to explore the local markets and the spiritual vibe of Rishikesh. If you enjoyed the Ganga Arti on the Triveni Ghat, we could arrange for you to visit that experience again.

Day 09 March 20: February 16: Rishikesh – Jaipur

Awaken to a group meditation session in the morning. After breakfast we will drive to Dehradun (1 hour) to board our flight to Jaipur. On arrival we will transfer to our hotel.

The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the magnificent ITC Rajputana Hotel, inspired by the architecture of Rajasthan’s traditional havelis and the romance and majesty of the royal era. Relax by the pool and enjoy the 5-star luxury and hospitality.

Dinner is a culinary experience of authentic Rajasthani food and culture with local folk dance and music.

Day 10 February 17: Jaipur

Awaken to a short group meditation and intention-setting session in the morning. After breakfast we will leave for an excursion to the majestic Amber Fort and City Palace. The intricate carvings, artistic mirror work, and beautiful paintings within the palace reflect the opulence and artistic finesse of the bygone era.

The rest of the day is at leisure for you to explore the many local markets, street food or we can suggest some authentic Rajasthani restaurants. For dinner we will enjoy a Royal Thali at Swapna Mahal, a restaurant in Raj Palace, the oldest palace in Jaipur built in 1727. Evening

Day 11 February 18: Jaipur - Agra

Awaken to a short group meditation session in the morning and intention-setting session. After breakfast we set off on a road trip to Agra. 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.

After checking in, we will visit the Agra Fort and enjoy a light and sound show about the history and love story behind the Taj Mahal. Immerse yourself in the lights and be transported to a time where horses come galloping at an Emperor’s command!

Our last meal of this tour together will be a memorable one to reminisce about our time together. At dinner tonight we will recreate the ambience, hospitality, and the luxurious ways of the Mughal Emperors in the courtyard of our hotel. The taste and flavours of the food are as authentic Mughlai as it can get.

Day 12 March 22: Wednesday, February 19: Agra – Delhi airport

Early morning, we will visit the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world. Rachel will lead you through a mindfulness session amongst the backdrop of a beautiful sunrise. You will savour this place even more after learning the history behind it. We head back to the hotel for breakfast and after check-out, we will get a transfer to Delhi airport (3-hour drive) for our flight back to NZ.

Alternatively talk to us about extending your tour to spend some more nights in Delhi or head to the beaches of Goa to relax before getting back home.

schedule
Tour Length 11Nights / 12Days
rupee
Cost NZD.6950 per person (twin share) NZD.2790 single supplement
start
Date Tour starts in Delhi on February 8, 2025
sun
Best Season Oct - Mar
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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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