The original unique small-group tour that combines hands-on experiences and cuisine with the must-see sights.
Duration: 12 days / 11 nights
Dates: 14- 25 March 2022
Departs: Delhi Ends: Mumbai
Group Size: Min 6 – Max 12
Escorted by: Natasha Sinclair
Availability: Taking registrations
DAY 1: (Mon) ARRIVE IN DELHI
Arrive at any time today. Additional nights/early check-in available at an additional cost.
There is an optional outing to Khan Market with Natasha, leaving the hotel around 1 pm. This is a great place to buy gorgeous cotton clothes both Indian and Western in-style that will be super comfortable and stylish for the rest of your trip. Designed in a U-shape you can’t get lost here!
DAY 2: (Tue) OLD DELHI & HANDMADE INDIA
Be prepared for an assault on your senses!
This morning we explore Old Delhi by cycle rickshaw and on foot. We spend time at the 16th century Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque) and then get lost in the labyrinth of narrow lanes. You will be dazzled the spectacular array of trims, laces, tassels, beads and buttons before we merge with the crowds in Asia’s largest wholesale spice market.
Leaving Old Delhi, we lunch at a favourite local joint where we can sit down and safely introduce you to some of Delhi’s street food flavours.
Depending on how long we spend in Old Delhi, we may have time to visit Bangla Sahib, one of Delhi’s most prominent Sikh gurudwaras. In gurdwaras’ the concept of langar is practised. All people, regardless of race, religion or prosperity, may come and eat in the gurdwara kitchen (langar hall).
Afterwards, we will drive through Lutyens Delhi and past the India Gate in the Rajpath returning to the hotel so you can change before dinner.
Our welcome dinner tonight is at Varq – the award-winning Varq purveys a modern Indian gourmet dining experience offering authenticity of taste and artistic presentation. The menu engages with all the five senses with visually stunning dishes and promises to set a benchmark for contemporary Indian cuisine.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 3: (Wed) DISCOVER NOT SO NEW DELHI
Today we will explore New Delhi and discover that it is actually not that new at all. The wide avenues of the capital are built on top of and around a graveyard of cities that have risen and fallen over time.
Visit Humayun’s Tomb, travel by Metro & Auto (tuk-tuk) to Hauz Kaus, New Delhi’s own SoHo neighbourhood.
Lunch is included and our taste buds take a trip to South India to sample some of the best dosa, idli, sambhar and rasam in the city.
Later we will visit one of Delhi’s famed craft markets. The decision on which one will depend on timing and what events are on at the time. At these markets, you buy direct from the artisans and cash is essential.
After a full and busy day, we return to the hotel. Dinner is on your own account and you can either buy something from one of the stalls at the craft market or at your leisure back at the hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
DAY 4: (Thu) AGRA FORT & THE TAJ MAHAL
We leave Delhi behind this morning as we zoom up the Yamuna Expressway to Agra, arriving around lunchtime.
There is time for a quick lunch at the hotel cafe before our afternoon of sightseeing visiting both Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal.
Later we will explore on foot the area of Agra that is home the descendants of the artisans that built the Taj. Here we will explore the haphazard alleyways and visit some of the home-based workshops producing pietra dura marble inlay and ornate zardozi embroidery.
Dinner is on your own account and leisure at the hotel.
DAY 5: (Fri) HOLI – THE FESTIVAL OF COLOURS
Let your inner child loose and the colours will fly as we celebrate Holi.
Holi is not India’s biggest festival, but it is probably the most well known outside of India. Holi celebrates the arrival of spring, the triumph of good over evil and a time of renewal. We will join a local family that welcomes visitors each year to join them in their garden for some fun and safe Holi celebrations.
Everything is supplied – from the white kurtas (these are delivered to our hotel the night before) that will get drenched in a rainbow of colours to the music and the delicious Holi sweets and snacks.
The rest of the day is free to rest and relax at our hotel.
DAY 6: (Sat) A TAJ SUNRISE & FATEHPUR SIKRI
The choice is yours this morning, to get up early and see the sunrise at the Taj Mahal from across the river at Metab Bagh “The moonlight gardens” or you can enjoy a sleep in. For those getting up early you will be rewarded with a gorgeous view of the Taj, away from the crowds.
After checking out this morning we will drive to Fatehpur Sikri which used to be a town larger than London when it was originally constructed in the late 16th century. The red sandstone city complete with palaces and mosques was abandoned soon after it was built when the local wells went dry. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is an extraordinary place to wander around. Even after 300 years its buildings are in near perfect condition.
From Fatehpur Sikri we head to Bharatpur and have a relaxing lunch in a garden pavilion before continuing in our coach to Jaipur.
Dinner is included tonight at our Jaipur hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 7: (Sun) FORTS, FABRIC & FOOD
After breakfast, we will head out in jeeps to the 16th century Amber Fort. The fort is a glorious deceit: intimidating, rough and ready from the outside, while inside it is a sensuous journey through colonnaded halls of grand paintings, mirrored ceilings and intricate carvings.
Afterwards, we will get a fabric fix. From a huge variety of silks, cottons, cotton-silks and linens you can opt to have some clothes tailored to fit. Other shopping excursions in Jaipur are tailored to suit the group. There is no pressure to buy anything – window shopping is welcome. Lunch is an ‘on the go’ affair today.
This evening our hostess will lead a hands-on lesson in Rajasthani cuisine. This wonderful experience will arm you with some delicious and simple recipes that you can recreate at home.
After we sample each of the dishes we have learnt to cook, we will sit down and enjoy dinner with the family.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 8: (Mon) BLOCK PRINTING WORKSHOP
Leaving Jaipur at 8 am we will drive around half an hour to the village of Bagru.
Renowned for its block printing tradition, they use natural and indigo dyes to create beautiful fabrics. Here we will play with blocks and colours to create our own Bagru fabric to take home with us.
If you would like to have a quiet afternoon you can opt to be dropped off at our Jaipur hotel after our morning at Bagru or alternatively join us exploring some more of Jaipur’s boutiques.
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
DAY 9: (Tue) MUMBAI – A CITY WITH SOUL
After an early breakfast, we drive to Jaipur’s airport and fly to Mumbai. Arriving late morning, we will check into our hotel by lunchtime and a bit of downtime before we head out to do some sightseeing.
Mumbai is a seething mass of humanity and unrelenting traffic. Ornate Victorian-Gothic buildings provide a backdrop for noisy street vendors and office wallahs rushing to work. Wide leafy boulevards are lined with monumental British construction but not all the grand architecture was courtesy of the Raj. Wealthy Jains and Parsis have also left their mark. Always at the centre of the action, Bombay was at the forefront of the independence movement and it was from Gandhi’s house here that he coordinated the struggle.
This afternoon we will tick off all the must-see sights of Mumbai such as the Gateway of India, the Dhobi Ghat and Mani Bhawan.
Return to the hotel. Dinner is on your account tonight and we have a very early morning start tomorrow.
DAY 10: (Wed) MUMBAI STREET ECONOMICS & SOME FEISTY WOMEN
Wake up at the crack of dawn to catch a glimpse of the street economics of Mumbai. From feisty Koli women at the fish markets, newspaper distribution, fruit & vegetable markets, this is another side of Mumbai that largely disappears by 8am each morning.
Our breakfast will be a traditional Marathi one enjoyed at Natasha’s favourite ‘hole in the wall’ joint. The middle of the day is free to relax or explore.
For those keen to explore some more there is an optional excursion this afternoon to discover some of Mumbai’s most unique nooks and crannies like Mutton Street which is a paradise for artists, designers, decorators and antique hunters.
Dinner tonight is at The Bombay Canteen – sublime food and killer cocktails are guaranteed!
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 11: (Thu) WARLI ART & BOLLYWOOD DANCING
After breakfast, we are going to get creative and do our bit to support one of India’s unique yet endangered tribal art forms. Warli dates back to 2500BC and uses a very basic vocabulary – a circle, triangle and a square – to depict human life, and indigenous customs and traditions. Under the watchful eyes of an expert we will create our own tribal artwork.
Later, we give another much more well-known Indian art form a go – Bollywood Dancing! There is no doubt there will be a few laughs as we learn of the latkas and jhatkas that Bollywood, the world’s biggest film industry, is famous for. This afternoon is free to explore or relax at the hotel.
This evening, at Trishna, you can sample a range of dishes from the Mumbai and the Konkani Coast. This is an old school joint in the narrow lanes of the Fort area but continues to be on the ‘must eat here lists’ of many local and international foodies.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
DAY 12: (Fri) DEPART
Today we transfer to the international airport for your onward flight or to the domestic airport if you are joining our tour extension (details to be confirmed) For those wanting to extend their time elsewhere in India independently or one of her neighbours, please talk to us and we can help craft the perfect extension to your tour.
India Fabric Food & Fabulous + Holi
PER PERSON TWIN SHARE
Single Supplement if not willing to twin share from NZ$1,771
Trip Kitty: INR10,500 per person (approx. NZ$255) paid on day one of the tour.
Return International Airfares ex Auckland
Tour Escort/Guide, Natasha Sinclair, owner of Crafted Journeys
11 Nights’ accommodation on a twin share basis at the hotels mentioned above or similar.
Domestic Flight from Jaipur to Mumbai Booked for the Group with additional luggage allowance
All group tips for guides, coach drivers and helpers, rickshaw drivers etc on the main tour.
Hands-on Workshops & Experiences
Meals as per the itinerary
All included lunches and dinners include non-alcoholic drinks (water, juice, sodas). Alcohol, when available, is on your own account.
White Kurtas to wear for the Holi Celebrations
Transport in an Air-Conditioned Mini Coach.
English speaking specialist cultural interpreters who are experts in their respective fields and the special experiences as detailed in the itinerary
Monument Entrance Fees (one-time entry only) as per the detailed itinerary
Meet, greet and assistance for all airport transfers
Bottled water on our Mini-Coach
All currently applicable taxes
Expenses of personal nature like meals that are not included (see the itinerary), tips, laundry, telephone calls/fax, alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages, still & video camera fee at monuments, medical expenses, airfare, airport departure tax, any insurance. Personal tips – porters taking bags to/from your room and the person who meets you at the airport.
Any other services not mentioned in the inclusions.
Note prices are subject to change due to fluctuations in exchange rates, airfares and other factors beyond our control (i.e. changes in government levies/taxes, entry fees etc)