A MATTER OF TASTE

Arrive in Delhi. You will be met by our Peirce & Leslie colleague and escorted to your hotel.

After breakfast, your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and together you will drive to one of the architectural triumphs of the Mughal Empire – Humayun’s Tomb (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), which is the earliest example of Mughal architecture in India.

Afterwards, you will visit Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the temple of the followers of the Sikh religion. The Sikhs believe that everyone, regardless of their station in life, should do “seva” or “social service”. This resulted in the “Langar” or Community Kitchen, where every member of the religion considers it an honor to put in a couple of hours, cooking thousands of Indian breads and making huge vat loads of curry for visiting pilgrims and anybody looking for a hot meal.

We will time your visit to coincide with the lunchtime service. You may like to serve the food yourself or help in the kitchen making Rotis (Indian bread).

After lunch, you will drive past the Red Fort (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The fort saw the rise and the fall of Mughal power. Next, you will head to the Jama Masjid, believed to be the largest mosque in India and Shah Jahan’s last architectural venture.

You will then climb on board cycle-rickshaws and take a ride through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk market. You will stop at the spice market and learn about India’s diverse and mouthwatering street food. In the ‘food street’ you will unravel the history, traditions and cultures behind these ‘street specialties’.

You will then return to your hotel driving through Rajpath or “King’s Way” and the wide tree-lined avenues of New Delhi, which served as the capital city for the former British Empire. Today, it is the address for some of the most iconic buildings of modern India, including the Secretariat buildings, Parliament House, Presidential Palace (Rashtrapati Bhavan) and India Gate, a memorial to 82,000 soldiers of the undivided Indian Army who died in the period 1914–21.

This morning after breakfast, you will be met by our Peirce & Leslie colleague and escorted to the airport in time to board your Go Air flight G8-268 (12.00/13.10 hours) to Lucknow.

On arrival in Lucknow, you will be met by our Peirce & Leslie colleague and escorted to your hotel.

Late in the afternoon, you will go on a ‘Heritage Walk’ of Lucknow with a specialist. On this walking tour you will explore the unexplored and be explained the inexplicable!

Thereafter, you will go on a ‘Culinary Walk’ that allows you to hop in and out of traditional roadside eateries. It also gives you the opportunity to experience the best of the best at unpretentious eateries, without having to worry about how to eat without a fork or to wipe your hands clean after you are done!

Take a half day tour and explore the major sites of Lucknow city today.

Visit the Bara Imambara, also called Asafi Imambara. Bara Imambara is an imambara complex built by Asaf-ud-Daula, Nawab of Lucknow in 1784. Bara means big and an imambara is a shrine built by Shia Muslims for the purpose of Azadari (which means, mourning and lamentation).

Then, visit Chota Imambara, also called Hussainabad Imambara built between 1837 and 1842. This structure houses the tombs of the builder Muhammad Ali Shah and of his mother and is approached through a fine garden.

Next, continue to Rumi Darwaza. Built in 1783, this gigantic gate is 60 feet tall as one of the famous landmarks of the city.

You will also explore the Residency. Built in 1780-1800, it used to be the official residence of the British Resident. It was also witness to the bitterest battles during the war of independence in 1857 and scars from the cannon balls can still be seen on every standing wall.

After lunch, set off for Agra by the 6-Lane Yamuna Expressway (approximately 4 hours, excluding stops).

On arrival at our hotel, you will be met by our Peirce & Leslie colleague who will assist you with the check-in formalities.

Early this morning, you will visit the stunning Taj Mahal at sunrise.

After a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, you will visit the Agra Fort (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah (the first tomb in India that is made entirely of marble).

Today’s lunch will be served at an authentic South Indian vegetarian restaurant. Whilst it may seem odd to visit a South Indian restaurant in the heart of North India, this restaurant is iconic and has been in business since 1921.

In the afternoon, you will take a specially designed walking tour of the Old City. The walk will take you past the gigantic Jama Masjid, to the silver lingam of the Shiva temple. Following the narrow lanes, you will pass shops selling items used in decorating the images of gods and goddesses.

In the evening, you will the opportunity to watch the sunset over the Taj Mahal from the quiet Mehtab Bagh garden, a beautifully restored Mughal garden.

Dinner will be served at another iconic restaurant serving North West Frontier cuisine with a lavish spread of delicious kebabs – both vegetarian and non-vegetarian - that are cooked in myriad of ways, a range of Indian breads – from the decadently indulgent to the light and fluffy and of course, the inimitable Dal Bukhara (slow cooked lentils).

After breakfast, you will drive to Jaipur (approximately 5 hours, excluding stops). En route, about an hour outside Agra, you will stop to see one of the Mughal Empire’s most inspired creations, Fatehpur Sikri (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

You will drive a further hour to Bharatpur where you will stop for lunch at a heritage hotel. After lunch, continue on our journey to Jaipur.
You will arrive in Jaipur during the evening hours and check-in to your hotel. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure.

This morning, you will visit the City Palace, which is a superb marriage of the Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture.

From the City Palace, you will enter the extraordinary “Jantar Mantar” (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the astronomical observatory built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1827.
After your visit to the Jantar Mantar, you may like to stop to take photographs at the iconic Hawa Mahal, or ‘Palace of the Winds’, with its ornate pink façade.

Enjoy a special Rajasthani thali lunch based on recipes taken from the Kanota family archives. All these recipes have been collected by the family from various sources and compiled in 50 hand-written books. Many these recipes will not be found anywhere else.

In the evening, you will visit the Fort-Palace at Amber (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). You will then drive about 30 minutes out of the city to a private farm house abutting the forest. Here, you will get to interact with the farm’s resident elephants feeding them, washing and scrubbing them– all in the privacy of one of our exclusive wilderness venues.

Dinner will be served at a private venue and will feature fresh homemade food with some of the vegetables grown organically at the farm.

A countryside drive takes you to Deogarh (approximately 5 hours, excluding stops) today. En route, you will visit the Brahma temple and the sacred lake in Pushkar.

You will also visit the Mahaparinirvana Temple. After lunch, continue on your drive to Deogarh. You will arrive in Deogarh during the evening hours and check-in to your hotel.

This evening, you will have the option of taking a village walk in the vicinity of the hotel.

Tonight’s dinner will feature typical Mewari cuisine, served with traditional hospitality. Home grown fruits and vegetables, in-house milk products and oils provide a delectable and distinct freshness.

Today’s drive takes you to Udaipur (approximately 3 hours, excluding stops). En route, visit the Delwara region of Rajasthan, which houses the beautiful temples of Nagda and Eklingji.

The temples in the small but beautiful complex at Nagda are known as the “Sas” and “Bahu” temples (literally, temples of the Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law), and comprise elaborately carved 10th-century temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

On arrival in Udaipur, you will check-in to your hotel.

In the evening, you will take a sunset cruise on Lake Pichola in a private boat, sailing past its picturesque ghats and palaces.

After breakfast, you will visit the City Palace. This sprawling palace was built over three centuries and is a series of four interconnecting palaces, illustrative of various architectural styles.

You will then take a walk through the Crystal Gallery, which has a rather eclectic collection of Crystal Objet d’art and furniture including a complete bedroom set, discovered recently in a storeroom in the Palace!

You will also visit the Jagdish temple located near the City Palace. An example of the Indo-Aryan style of architecture, the temple was built by Maharana Jagat Singh I in 1651, and enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu (the Preserver).

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. You will then return to your hotel.

Tonight, you will participate in a unique culinary experience conducted by a family that was once amongst the premier nobility of Mewar. You will have the opportunity to watch the meal being prepared (and try your hand, if you like) as they explain the intricacies of the process. This will be followed by dinner with the host family.

This morning, you will visit The Vintage and Classic Car Collection of The Palace of Udaipur. The grand limousines and cars showcased in the collection belong to the Royal family and are still in perfect running condition.

You will then return to your hotel.

After a quick lunch, you will be met by our Peirce & Leslie colleague and escorted to the airport in time to board your Indigo flight 6E-6916 (15.40/17.15 hours) to Hyderabad.

On arrival in Hyderabad, you will be met by our Peirce & Leslie colleague and escorted to your hotel.

Today you will explore the city’s rich and very colourful Nizami history.

Visit the quaint and bustling by-lanes of the Charminar area and the Mecca Masjid. It is a brilliant mosaic of history, culture, modernity, crafts, business and old-world charm – a perfect slice of the city’s life.

Laad Bazaar is located quite close to the Charminar. It is said that the market has been there since the Qutub Shahis and the Nizams era and thus represents the city’s living heritage.

Afterwards, enjoy a sumptuous lunch at the home of one of the traditional families of Hyderabad. The cuisine of Hyderabad borrowed liberally from the Persians and Mughals. To this they added local flavors and created a cuisine that is even today, very distinctive. One of the signature Hyderabadi dishes is Biryani. Apart from Biryani, there are other popular local dishes that highlight the cuisine of this region - taste a few of these this afternoon.

After lunch, you will visit the 18th-century Chowmahalla Palace , which is said to resemble the Shah of Iran’s palace, before continuing to the magnificent forts and palaces, a legacy left by the wealthy dynasty.

You will also visit the extraordinarily beautiful Paigah Tombs, known for their architectural excellence.

You will then return to your hotel and the remainder of the day will be at leisure.

After breakfast, you will be met by our Peirce & Leslie colleague and escorted to the airport in time to board your SpiceJet flight SG-6432 (09:10/10:45 hours) to Mumbai.

On arrival in Mumbai, you will be met by our Peirce & Leslie colleague and escorted to your hotel. En route, visit Dharavi, the second largest slum in Asia where you will get a close up look at the industry, the people and their way of life. Your co-explorer will be a local, for whom Dharavi has been home since childhood.

Your next stop will be to take pictures at the Dhobi Ghat. Dhobi Ghat or “washer folks’ place” is the world’s largest outdoor laundry and here Mumbai’s traditional washer folk – or dhobis – provide a wonderful service, collecting dirty laundry, washing it, and returning it neatly pressed, all for a very small fee.

You will then check-in to your hotel and the remainder of the day will be at leisure.

Dinner will be served at local restaurant that started out as a ‘hole-in-the-wall’ eatery specialising in Mangalorean seafood. Over the past 50 years, the restaurant has built up a steady clientele and is now one of the most popular sea-food restaurants in the city.

After breakfast, you will drive to the Gateway of India, the victory arch that was built to commemorate the 1911 royal visit of King George V and Queen Mary for the “Delhi Durbar”. Right opposite you will see the famous domed Taj Mahal Palace (your hotel), which has hosted heads of state, royalty and world-famous sportspersons and entertainers in its more-than-a-century-old lifetime.

From here, you will drive past the Royal Bombay Yacht Club founded in 1846, the second oldest and most majestic yacht club in Asia. You will then visit the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, one of the premier art and history museums in India, formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum.

Next, you will drive past the Fort District and Kala Ghoda area, which has a large number of the city’s heritage buildings and is full of museums, art galleries and educational institutions, the High Court, Sessions Court, St. Thomas Cathedral – which opened for worship in 1718, and of course the magnificent neo-Gothic railway station, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), formerly Victoria Terminus (VT).

Also, on the tour will be a visit to Churchgate Station, where you will get the opportunity to see the famed ‘dabbawallas’ or ‘lunch box carriers’ in action. The Mumbai dabbawallas are international figures now, thanks to Forbes Global. Their operation has a six sigma rating which implies less than 3.4 errors in every million transactions.

You will also walk through a traditional market area, where your guide will show you the famous Crawford Market and the “native” bazaar area of Bombay, with its mix of Hindu, Muslim and Jain traders who, alongside the Jewish businessmen, formed part of Mumbai’s business community. 

You will then return to your hotel.

After breakfast, you will be met by our Peirce & Leslie colleague in the lobby of your hotel and escorted to the airport in time to board your flight to your Onward Destination