India: A Cultural and Culinary Adventure
October 18-October 30, 2022
Minimum of 6 travelers
For an enriching, inspiring and unforgettable dream vacation, we are traveling to a ccountry with thousands of years of history: India, the oldest living civilization on earth.
We will spend thirteen fabulous days exploring the sights, sounds and flavors of this most enchanting country. We will visit several different regions with diverse cultures featuring incredible local foods.
Our Dream Vacation includes a visit to the glorious Taj Mahal, several dinners in traditional local homes, shopping at incredible bazaars, spice markets; foraging through bustling streets and vibrant cities, a safari through small villages, visits to palaces, fortresses and farms.
This will be a colorful and charismatic adventure filled with cultural and culinary delights, heritage hotels and amazing people. Please join us on this unforgettable women only journey…an open minded, in-depth immersion into a wonderful culture and a beautiful country.
Welcome to Delhi
Welcome to Delhi! Upon arrival in Delhi, our tour guide will meet you at the airport and assist you to our wonderful luxe hotel.
Once you are rested, we will meet for a quiet evening where we will learn more about the spices of India by a renowned food curator followed by a welcome dinner where we will learn more about each other!
For Adventurous Souls
After breakfast, we will meet our guide and proceed t
o Old Delhi for a Heritage & Bazaar walk.
Put on your big girl panties!
Today you will experience a cycle rickshaw ride in the very busy Chadni Chowk area where we will visit different markets: the silver and gold market, the wedding market and the spice market.
The markets we have dreamed about! Some street food testing (oh! for the adventurous souls) and then lunch at local restaurant.
Later in the afternoon, we will visit a local home and have dinner with a traditional family in their Haveli: an old private mansion where the same family has lived for generations.
Yes, this is what dreams are made of.
Oh, What a Sweet Day
After breakfast, we will meet our private driver to leave Delhi for a drive to Jaipur.
Upon arrival, we will check into our hotel.
The evening will be together but on our own to explore the local market – Johari Bazaar. Johari Bazaar is the most popular market of Jaipur.
This market is a local wedding shop catering to generations of brides to be! From wedding lehengas with tie and dye, hand embroidery, mirror and kundan work to delicate and dazzling pieces of jewelry, it can all be found here.
Beautiful precious and semi-precious stones can be found in abundance within this incredible market. There will be expert guidance for guaranteeing authenticity. Every eighth diamond in the world is, in fact, polished in Jaipur and this makes it one of the best places to shop at for jewelry.
Oh, and after shopping we will meet at Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar, the most popular sweet shop in Jaipur. A sweet day indeed!
Palaces and Elephants
After breakfast, how about an elephant ride when we visit Amber Fort
Cobblestone paths will lead us to Amber Fort, a beautiful place, high in the hills overlooking a lake.
After this we will leave for Samode Palace to be greeted with a traditional welcome cocktail and palace tour. From Samode Palace we will make our way by jeeps for a village safari.
Village to village we will venture. After our village safari we will arrive at a local farmhouse where we will spend the afternoon with a local
farmer and his family. We will have a farm to table meal sampling the regional vegetables prepared in local fashion.
The meal will consist of homemade vegetarian cuisine with fresh vegetables, lentil, rotis, pickle, chutney and rice kheer as dessert.
It will be incredible to have the meal prepared before us on sigri with wooded fire and it shall all be served in metal thalis and katoris. Relaxing upon charpoys and muddas we may never get up to take a tour of farm but our new farmer friend has a lot to show us and explain!
This morning, we pack up to leave and have a long day of travel but it will be in a comfortable luxe vehicle.
Let’s go! After breakfast, we will drive to Agra and in route visit Fathepur Sikri
, a UNESCO
World Heritage site.
Fatehpur Sikri is a must see ancient city in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is a stunning complex of pavilions and palaces spread throughout much of an abandoned city.
This city was built by Akbar, the Mughal emperor in the year 1571. It was constructed mainly as a tribute to the great Sufi saint Shaikh Salim Chisti who had blessed Akbar with a son.
There is much to learn and experience, how will we fit it all in?
Sunrises and The Taj Mahal
A sunrise visit to the beautiful Taj Mahal will begin our day. Have you dreamed about a sunrise at the Taj Mahal?
The Taj Mahal
was built in memory of an Emperor’s third wife. It is widely recognized as world masterpiece combining elements of Persian, Turkish and Indian architecture styles.
We will return to the hotel for breakfast and then visit Agra Fort. Another World Heritage site filled with Mosques, beautiful palaces and gardens. And onto a market. Can you ladies get enough shopping?
Kinari Bazar, from 15th Century also known as the Royal Wholesale market. This market combines beautiful architecture , religion, a local wholesale market with old traditional vendors .
This is the perfect wholesale market for spices, betel leaves, traditional bride and grooms dresses, herbs, plastic goods, famous sweet shops and perfumeries.
Another night will be spent with a local family where we will participate in cooking tonight’s traditional local dinner.
Make sure you are all packed. After breakfast, we return to Delhi airport and connect with a flight to Lucknow. Lucknow is a multicultural city representing ￼courtly manners, beautiful gardens, poetry, music, and fine cuisine. Upon arrival, we will be met by a local guide and taken to our beautiful hotel. We will meet for dinner to experience a Persian influenced cuisine at a fine dining Awadhi restaurant. A feast to remember!
Americans Meet the British
This morning we will embark upon a city tour of Lucknow. A city filled with grand
mausoleums, we will see the Sadat Ali Tomb and ‘Chatar Manzil’ – This is a magnificent palace and parts of this palace was built by the French architect, Claude Martin. Considered the gateway of the world’s most unique architecture, we will visit ‘Asifi Imambara’.
This is the world’s grandest hall, devoid of any pillar support, wood, iron beams or concrete walls. Along with the ‘Rumi Darwaza’ or the Turkish Gate and the Asfi Mosque we will visit visit the Husainabad Complex – where The Clock Tower is the highest Clock Tower in Asia and in some ways superior to its counterpart, ‘Big Ben’.
Then onto the Babylon of East, The Husainabad Imambara – known for its beauty and pieces of décor and built in 1840 by Mohammad Ali Shah. It is still considered to be a sacred address by the local boasting beautiful chandeliers, silver seats, sandalwood décor and calligraphy on the walls. For lunch we will dine at the infamous Royal Café where American and the British soldiers were served during the world war eras.
Later in the day, we will visit and have tea with local culinary expert Nawab Sahib. He will explain Awadhi Cuisine as we sit amongst his extensive collection collection of antiques. With this extraordinary culinary curator, we will walk the streets of Lucknow and engage in the local cuisine for an entertaining and adventurous discovery of our own palates.
The Colors of India
After leisurely morning, we visit the architectural marvel, LaLa Martiniere School
which was designed
by the Frenchman Major-General Claude Martin as a palatial home. To this day, Claude Martin is a revered personality in the city of Lucknow.
We will now reach the Lucknow Residency a place where speechless walls are This day is filled with British history and we will visit sites to pay homage to the glorious past.
The colors, the tastes and the history of a world we do not know. We will meander along the riverfront, which looks like a colorful canvas as washed clothes are hung in the sun to dry before they enter the last lap of their journey into the showrooms.
Yes, beautiful dyed and embroidered clothing. After a visit to a Chikan Showroom where we are able to shop for these hand-embroidered garments, we will have an afternoon with local women and artisans. Tonight we will be picked up by our private driver for an exclusive cooking session at Coquina.
Today is a travel day and we will fly from Lucknow to Varanasi via Delhi.
arrive and are settled into our hotel, we will witness the illuminated “Aarti” ceremony on the Dashashwamedh Ghat.
After Aarti, we will have dinner with a traditional local family and experience the cuisine of yet another different region.
Sunrise and Music on the Ganges
On this early morning, we will enjoy a beautiful boat ride along with a sitar player with a sitar player. A beautiful sunrise on the Ganges. Varanasi’s unique culture is associated to the river Ganges, where life and death intermingle.
We will return to the hotel for breakfast and a casual morning before we start our afternoon. In the afternoon, we visit Kachuri walli gali to taste street foods and will decide whether or not to dine in a local restaurant.
Could we possibly still be hungry? .After lunch, we visit the weaving area where you can witness the world famous Varanasi silk, visit the local weaver’s house to see how the textile is woven using a traditional loom.
So Sad to Say Goodbye
All good things must come to an end. After breakfast, we transfer to airport to board our flight for our last night in Delhi.
Upon arrival, you will have time on your own to pack, shop or rest before we have our goodbye dinner.
Departure transfer to airport to board flight for onward journey.
Recommended Readings and movies for this Dream Vacation because I feel strongly about empowerment and often times we are empowered by the books we read and the films we see.
How fun to recognize where you might go or where you have been…these places are not only meant to be in dreams. They are in books, movies, music and travels. The dream traveler in you can be made real….
Enjoying India: The Essential Handbook J.D. Viharani
The God of Small Things Arundhati Roy
The White Tiger Aravind Adiga
An Obedient Father Akhil Sharmer
The Immortals Amit Chaudhary
The Lost Flamingos of Bombay S.D. Shanghvi
The Namesake Jhumpa Lahiri
Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
Passage to India
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Eat, Pray, Love
The Darjeeling Limited
Once your reservation is made and a deposit is paid, India VISA requirements and vaccination information will be sent to you.
Internal airfare included in price IF BOOKED BY: March 1, 2022.
After these dates, you will be responsible for airfare.
BOOKING AND PAYMENT DETAILS
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS. We believe all women deserve their own space and privacy. Her Dream Vacation tour price includes private single room in boutique hotels or similar private accommodations, meals and tours where indicated, private transportation and more.
This particular dream vacation is limited to 8 women. Minimum booking is 4. In the event, we do not meet the minimum capacity for travel, you will have the option to pay a supplemental fee for a private customized tour. This decision will be made with your approval and receipt of supplemental payment.
Early reservations are advised and a non refundable deposit of $800.00 is required at the time of your reservation. You will receive a confirmation with travel details and an invoice for balance due. Full payment is due 120 days prior to commencement of trip.
If you are making your reservation, less than 90 days of departure, the entire amount of the trip must be paid in full at the time of reservation. Please contact us and you will be invoiced.
Tour Cost: $6395.00
Does Not Include: International flight or mandatory all inclusive travel insurance. Tips for guides, drivers, meals not indicated, alcoholic beverages, & personal spending or taxes.
*Itinerary is subject to change based upon weather and unknown events. Final itinerary with listed hotel accommodations, contact information, and transfer schedule will be sent prior to departure.*
THIS IS NOT A BUS TOUR. We will be traveling using private transportation, trains and ferries. After final payment, you will be sent additional information with travel and packing tips, final day to day itinerary, logistics and needed details from you to help you with ease of travel.
Our small group women’s tours include many extras that you may not be expecting. Because we are a small women’s group tour, we have the luxury of flexibility including necessary changes. We stop when we want to, we add in an extra site and we start our day when it makes sense. Some days are easier than others but you do have some free time built in. It is important to us that you take care of YOU. Do you want to get a massage? Go shopping? Or just chill in your room with a good book? Please do so with being mindful and respectful to your tour companions and traveling concierge.
We have expert guides and drivers who answer questions one on one, with transportation that is typically a luxurious touring van. We immerse with the locals and there is a lot of serendipity! We visit the “planned by us” but unknown to you and surprises along the way are built in. Please join us!
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