Agra Food Tour

Explore Taj Mahal and other places in Agra and it's cuisine with Agra Food Tour.


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How to avoid travel scams while traveling

It’s hard to escape from touts and scammers trying new travel scams anywhere in the world. These people are very pesky, mostly dishonest and always looking for new ways of fleecing money from unsuspecting tourists. We wrote this article to help tourists avoid getting cheated by such travel scams . We’ll explain this by the help of some real life incidents.

Common travel scams targeting tourists
1) Offering free, cheap stuff from ‘friend’s’ shop

Taking a tourist for a free tour of a workshop, garments factory, rug factory etc and claim that it’s just part of the tour and they are under no pressure to buy anything. It’s one of the most infamous scams in many popular tourist places done by taxi-drivers and guides .The salesmen don’t let anyone leave easily without buying anything and it could go on for a long time. The unsuspecting tourists are very often tricked in to buying some useless item like a rug, trinket or clothes at vastly inflated prices

2) Providing false information

One scam that we heard recently was from an American tourist who wanted to see Red Fort (Lal Qila) in Delhi. He was staying in Paharganj, which is about 15 minutes drive from Red Fort. As he started searching for an auto-rickshaw to take him there, a tout came up to him and offered him to take him there in his ‘private car’, and asked for 5-6 times the fare of what auto-rickshaw. He tried to persuade the tourist by telling him that due to some terrorist threat, only private cars were allowed inside the fort and auto-rickshaws and other vehicles were not. Fortunately, the tourist was smart and well-traveled and he ignored the tout. He got an auto-rickshaw and visited Red Fort without facing any issue.

Ways to avoid travel scams while traveling
As evident, any tourist is very likely to be approached by unscrupulous touts in a wide variety of Avoid conmen and travel scamssituations. Here is how you can avoid losing your money or prevent them from spoiling your vacation:

1) Don’t go to businesses which taxi-drivers, touts etc insist

As mentioned above, most business owners pay a very large percentage of their sales amount to whoever brings clients to them. While a small commission is OK, most of the time, it’s so much that the tourists end up buying things at many times their reasonable cost. Taxi drivers may offer you reduced fare if you agree to visit some showrooms or shops on the way. Avoid them at all costs. If you absolutely have to go, then always check for reasonable price and bargain hard.

2) Collect information online

Most of reputable businesses have an online presence by the means of a website, reviews of forums and various travel related sites like Tripzaar, Google Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor and many others. Look around for what other travelers are saying about them. Many businesses will have some bad reviews. In that case check how they responded or did anything to make up for the bad experience. There are many business with no online presence which can be good, but always ask fellow travelers before spending your money. People who are in business for long care about their reputation and are more trustworthy than small time touts who care only about money.

3) Plan ahead and keep it documented

You should know every relevant detail before paying anything in advance. When planning for a trip, make sure to have information about every hotel, driver, food, sightseeing, car, guide, etc. written down for quick and handy reference. It can prove helpful in many ways. Not only you have a good idea of what you are paying for, but you can also weed out the things you don’t need or ask for upgrades and better facilities.

4) Keep low profile

While traveling, do not show off your expensive stuff like branded clothes, electronics, large amounts of cash etc as a status symbol or for any other reason. Try keeping a low profile and don’t let other people know of your economic status. People who look rich usually attract more unsavoury characters than simple and and less flashy ones.

5) Don’t fall for bluffs

Some scammers try posing as officers of some government agency to fleece money from people. It’s rare, but if you ever have the misfortune of meeting any such thief, always ask for an ID. Every government issued ID has text in English as well as a local language, Hindi in most cases. They’ll probably tell you that you were doing something illegal and threaten you with arrest if you don’t pay them some money. Contact nearest policeman or an uninvolved local and let him know of the issue. As a rule, ignore anyone without uniform.

6) Ignore them

A lot of places frequented by tourists will have numerous vendors, guides and beggars trying to sell you something or asking for money. Don’t pay any attention to them or make eye contact or do anything to make them think that you might be interested in buying something from them. Not everyone is a tout, but most such people are poor who just want to make some money quick.

That being said, there are numerous ethical businesses like ours :D, which don’t rely on such corrupt practices . You’ll also find many good Samaritans who will help you without expecting anything in return. But you have to use your own wits to know that. Don’t let behaviour of some greedy person spoil your trip or mood. We hope that this article will prove useful and you will enjoy your travel experience. Contact us for feedback or more information about planning your own travel to Delhi, India or how to avoid travel scams.

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Indian Food : Dum Aaloo Recipe

Dum Aloo

Dum Aloo is a famous dish from Kashmiri cuisine. Here the main ingredients are potatoes and the thing to be noted is that baby potatoes are used for this dish. This is a popular recipe which is prepared all across and India and it has also earned accolades across the world. The ingredients used are simple but the taste is brilliant. You just need to cook it in the right manner.

Items required:

Potatoes small – you can 10 to 15 nos. as per your requirement.

Mustard oil – 3 table spoon – most important ingredient

Salt as per your taste

Tomato puree – preferably 2 table spoon or as per your requirement.

One large onion – thinly sliced so as to fry them

Half a teaspoon of sugar as per requirement
2 cloves of garlic
6 cashewnuts
Half teaspoon of turmeric
Half teaspoon of chilli powder
Garam masala – half a teaspoon (easily available in the market)
How to prepare the dish?

Heat the oil thoroughly in a kadhai
Fry the sliced onions until they are golden brown. Now keep them aside.
Next fry the baby potatoes until they are brown.
Now again heat the oil thoroughly.
Grind the fried onions and garlic to a fine paste. Sauté them in the heated oil along with the spices – turmeric, chilli powder, salt, sugar and garam masala.
Sauté it until the oil leaves the sides of the gravy.
Add tomato puree and then the potatoes with enough water.
Lastly add the cashewnut paste and simmer and serve hot.

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India Travel Guide – Transport

This article is meant to be a brief India travel guide for tourists who need some information about means of transport in India . Anyone traveling to India for the first time is sure to be overwhelmed by the diversity of cultures, languages, people, food, climates and almost everything else. It isn’t possible to write a comprehensive India travel guide which can cover even a fraction of what a tourist may encounter in India. We aim to cover as much vital details as possible without drowning the reader with too much information. We have already posted some India travel guides on this website,:

Traveling safely and for cheap in India during monsoons,
How to keep safe from water and food related problems while traveling and
How to avoid scams and touts while traveling

This guide intends to cover some of the general issues related to transport and travel in India. So let’s begin with :

Travel by trains in India

India has the biggest system of railway lines on the planet and the service is very good, if not excellent. Traveling in India on via train gives you the chance to explore India in detail and in general is cheaper than domestic air travel. Train travel in India offers good connectivity all over India for people with all kind of budgets .For someone with an inquisitive and open mind, it’s a great way of meeting all kinds of Indian people belonging to different regions and classes. There are different types of trains with different levels of service catering to people with different budgets and needs. Trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi are air-conditioned, fastest in India and provide meals. There are other trains like Duronto, Garib Rath, various Express and other trains which offer varying levels of service at different prices.

Apart from that, there are some luxury trains Palace on Wheels, Maharajas’ Express, The Golden Chariot and a few more. These trains are run jointly by Indian railways and tourism ministries of different states in which they operate. Journeying on these trains covers all aspects of transport, food, lodging and sightseeing. Service and level of comfort offered is among the best in world

One major drawback of trains is that it can prove difficult to procure tickets. Another one are the delays which can happen frequently on long routes. If you are very tight schedule, relying on trains for your India journey can backfire.

Inter-city or inter-state travel in India by Bus

In India, travel by bus is 2nd most popular way of cheap travel and in some cases, the only way of public transport to reach places like Manali, Laddakh etc, not yet connected by train network. There are different types of buses available on budget of the traveler. Ordinary buses are usually very crowded and it’s not possible to reserve tickets. They don’t have any air-conditioning or comfortable seats either, But they are very cheap as even a 5 hour journey may cost only Rs 100. Then there are luxury buses with better seats which may or may not have air-conditioning available. They are generally more comfortable and price for a 7-10 hour journey may vary between Rs 300 to Rs 800 for different places and operators. Tickets in air-conditioned buses cost around 1.5 times to double for same kind of seats.

Apart from these, there are luxury buses operated by private as well as government which offer maximum comfort at slightly higher prices. These buses are usually supplied by Volvo or Mercedes and have more comfortable seating arrangements than the rest.

Travel by Car

A car with driver is the most comfortable and safest way of travel in India.It is possible to get a car on rent and drive it yourselves, if you have necessary paperwork, but Indian roads are too chaotic for a foreigner. It’s better to hire a driver along with the car. Salary for driver is about Rs. 150-300 per day which is included in rent for the car and you don’t have to pay for his food or lodging. Different varieties of vehicles have different rent prices and they vary between Rs 8 per km to Rs 20 per km for most models which include Ambassador, Tata Indigo, Toyota Qualis and a few others.

Renting a car is a good option for various reasons as you have much more flexibility and don’t have to worry about following a strict schedule or missing a train or worry about tickets. Having a good driver who can communicate well also means that he can help you with finding good hotels, restaurants and other amenities easily. But be wary of drivers who act as touts. A majority of them try to take tourists to businesses which offer them commissions. It isn’t exactly illegal, but tourists should evaluate their choices before making decisions. They should make sure that they are getting good value for their money for the services availed.

Travel by motor-bikes

Using a motorbike (motorcycle) can be a great adventure if you are up to driving on dangerous roads. Royal Enfield is the most popular brand for motorcycle enthusiasts in India. It’s less fuel efficient but is powerful enough for most Indian roads including those on mountains. Motorcycles with engines of 100 to 220 cc are more common and cheaper and cam offer a mileage of 40kmpl to 70 kmpl depending upon various factors. It is possible to rent or buy new or used motorcycles. Rental cost per day for bikes vary between Rs 600 to Rs 1500 in different places for different bikes. While buying, it’s advisable to go for 2nd hand bikes which may cost anything between Rs 12000 to Rs 40000.

Travel in Indian cities by auto-rickshaws (tuk-tuk)

Auto/ tuk-tuk/three-wheeler is a good albeit slightly uncomfortable choice for short-distance travel inside Indian cities. Due to their small size, they can dodge traffic rush easily but have slow speeds which is actually good due to less safety features. Before getting in to an auto, always confirm with driver about fare. They’ll either go by distance covered on meter or ask for a flat fare. It’s different in different cities. Rest precautions are similar to those followed while hiring taxis anywhere in the world.

Well, this is gist of what a tourist should know about various modes of transport while traveling in India. We hope that it proves useful for some people. Email us at info@indiafoodtour.com or use this contact form for feedback or more information.

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Food Courts in Delhi

If you are short on time but still want to sample as many different varieties of food as possible in the shortest amount of time, then food courts offer a good choice. Fortunately, there are quite a few such places where you can have almost any kind of Indian food in clean surroundings at fairly decent prices. Although the food will not be the best, the convenience of finding so many varieties of food is hard to beat.

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Some of the more famous food courts in Delhi are in Pragati Maidan, Dilli Haat, and Kingdom of Dreams. Additionally, there area few smaller food courts in less famous places like Garden of Five Senses. Almost every big mall has a floor, usually the top most, dedicated exclusively to food. A food court in general, will have a number of small stalls serving food from all corners from India and sometimes foreign too.

If for you a South Indian food place means a joint which serves the usual idli, dosa, uttapam, curd-rice kind of stuff, prepare to get surprised. You can find many more dishes from every south-Indian state which includes Kerala, Tamilnadu, Karnatka, and Andhra Pradesh, each with it’s own stall. Even the staff belongs to that particular state for that extra authentic touch. fish and rice dish, odiya food, Indian food courtsQuality of the food might differ from one place to another even in the same premises. For example, a particular state’s stall in INA Dilli Haat food court may serve some really good food, while it may be bettered by another state in Pitampura Dilli Haat. It’s hard to find the ‘best’ , but you can find fairly good samples of food once in a while if you are patient enough. That was just a general example, but we hope that you catch the drift.

Of course, food is not the only reason to visit these food courts, as these are some of the must visit places in city. Dilli Haats for example have handicrafts, traditional clothes, furniture and other knickknacks from all over India for sale all the year round. In addition a lot of cultural events like music shows, conventions etc. are held there all the year round. Dilli Haat for example, hosts Indian Comic Con, regional music fests, art exhibitions and much more. Similarly, Garden Of Five Senses has some really beautiful and interesting flora and artistic concepts. It too plays host to numerous cultural events through out the year. Although, our Delhi city walk or food tours don’t include visit to these food courts in general, because we try to keep the food experience as authentic as possible. We do try to include them in plan if guests asks for it or wishes to attend some event under progress.
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Why choose Food Tour in Delhi ?

Why Food Tour in Delhi is the best culinary tour service
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There are many tour operators in Delhi, which offer almost similar city walks and food tour services as we do. Some of them provide very good service too. Then why should you choose us over any other ? Here are some unique and extra services offered by us that will help you make the decision:

1) Sightseeing, food, city walks and much more Tour of spice market in Delhi

Our tours focus not just food but also the sights and experience. A food tour with us includes extras like city walk, tour of special bazars like Spice Market (biggest in India), tour of some beautiful attractions cycle rickshaw rides, glimpses in to the kitchens and much more. Unlike every other tour, we provide food, sightseeing as well as a bit of adventure all in one package.

2) Low Price and Longer Duration

We offer the best possible food tour service which includes unlimited food, drinks, transport in air-conditioned vehicles, bottled water, wet-wipes, sanitizer and more at lowest possible price. No other tour operator is even close to providing everything that we do. Additionally, most of our tours are more than 5-7 hours long. Even then, our prices are amongst the lowest. Cost for a single person tour is Rs 4500 ($ 72), but cost per person for a group of 2 or more tourists is just Rs 4000 ($ 65). Discounts are available for larger groups.

3) Highly customized food tours

As our focus is on the individual guests instead of a large group of tourists consisting of mutual strangers, we design our tours around the guest instead of the other way around. No two city walk and food tours by us are exactly alike in terms of food, places visited etc. The food preferences of every single guest are taken in to account before suggesting or serving anything. This avoids situations like where a vegetarian guest is stuck in a larger group consisting of non-vegetarian strangers he/she never met before.

4) Pick up and drop from hotel or airport

Unlike almost every other food tour operator we offer pick up and drop from hotel and airport in air conditioned vehicles. Cost for this service is included in the price quoted, unless the distances are too large. In that case, we will mention it before we confirm the tour.

5) More than just Old Delhi

Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, New Delhi, One of attractions of Delhi Food Tour
Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, New Delhi

Certain areas of Old Delhi are best in terms of food and a large portion of our own food tours covers the huge variety of food served there. But there is a lot more to Delhi cuisine than just Old Delhi and we cover a very large area of Delhi during our tours to maximise your Indian food experience. This is in stark contrast to majority of other city walk and food tour operators who focus on just a particular area for a tour.

6) Focus on a wide variety of Indian food and complete Indian experience

Our focus has always been on Indian cuisine, with emphasis on street food. But not all items served in our food tours belong to street food category either. We have carefully short listed some very specific items which cover best of Indian cuisine irrespective of the type of place they are served. No fancy tea tasting or uppity fine-dining or exclusively street food tours which hardly provide actual real India experience which most tourists strive for.

7) Hygiene

Many people don’t associate street food with hygiene. But we make best efforts to ensure that the food we serve during the food tours is hygienic and safe to eat for all of our guests. We choose only a limited number of vendors who are well known for their quality of food, taste as well as cleanliness.

8) Trust and safety

Unlike many other tour operators and guides, we don’t receive any commission from any business we refer our guests to. Our aim is to provide best Indian experience to our guests. You can confirm the quality of our services via reviews and testimonials written by our guests on our pages at TripAdvisor, Google Plus, GetYourGuide and more.

One of better food tours in India

Don’t take what we say at face value. Go around and search for better deals. In our food tours, you’ll have the real India experience which is much sought after but rarely achieved. You’ll see, smell, touch and taste the authentic Indian food as it’s cooked and eaten by millions of Indians daily. Sure, we could go the snob way as some of our competitors have gone and make you ‘taste’ tea and eat food of doubtful authenticity and flavours in faux fine-dining restaurants. But this silly tea tasting and so-called fine dining is just laziness and snobbery that most Indians and genuine travelers don’t care about.

What is the point of having Indian food in fancy restaurants, that too in India when you can have the food of similar quality your own country ? There are dozens if not hundreds of restaurants serving Indian food in almost every big city across the world. We have tasted this so called Indian food in numerous countries which include Germany, Egypt, UK, Turkey, France, Russia, Malaysia, Thailand, Spain, Italy, Greece and many more and always ended up disappointed. Very few restaurants can come even close to preparing real Indian food for which it is justly famous Do you really want the same one size fit all kind of bland food when you are visiting India or want to have a taste of real Indian food as it is supposed to be with all of it’s flavours ?

Our Indian food tours offer all the luxuries and safety while providing the real Indian food and culture experience. Unlike normal food tour services, we focus on more than a single locality of Delhi city and try to cover as much places as possible spread over the whole city. As mentioned earlier, our food tours give you the chance to taste the best of traditional as well as modern Indian cuisines. Not only you’ll have some exotic Indian food like matar kachauri, paapri chaat but also some modern Indian concoctions like fruit kulfi, dozens of varities of kabas (kebabs) and much much more. The variety of food that you can have is limited only by your appetite, not our food tour plans.

It’s highly unlikely that you will find something better than our food tours in Delhi.
Contact us if you need more information or want to book a food tour. We’ll be happy to hear from you.
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Traveling safely and for cheap in India during monsoons

What tourists should know about traveling in India during monsoons
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Unlike what many people think, traveling in India during rainy monsoon season can be fun. Sure, there are usual reasons against it like unreliable routes, humid weather etc. A random flood or land slide can spoil any well planned travel itinerary. But traveling in India during monsoon season can be advantageous for a number of reasons. Tourists get great discounts on air fares, hotels and also enjoy their sightseeing as peak season crowds are absent.

Let us explain a little about Indian monsoons before going any further.

India is a a very big country and is justly classified as a sub-continent not only due to it’s size but also the large diversity in terms of landscapes and weather. Evergreen tropical forests in east, cold snow covered Himalayan mountains in north, hot Thar deserts in west, temperate coasts in south and more, these all provide tourists with a wide variety of options and time periods in which to explore the country. There is actually no definite or set time to visit India. Different regions have different peak-season for tourists , but that will need another article by itself.

Raneh waterfalls during monsoon season, khajuraho, India. Traveling during monsoons
Raneh waterfalls during monsoon season, India

Monsoon is the rainy season in India which lasts from June to September in different parts. It hits Kerala in southern India first in early June and travels northwards. Northern parts of India receive first monsoon showers late June or early July. Not every region experiences equal rainfall or at same time. They all have different experiences with monsoon rains. These rains are very important in economy and lives of everyone in the sub-continent.

The arrival of monsoon rains marks the end of infamous hot and dusty Indian summers and makes the conditions cooler and surroundings much more green and beautiful. Indian people like rains and seeing them enjoying the rainfall by getting soaked in the rain showers is a common sight. One of the most common snacks during this season is a combination of Chai ( type of milky Indian tea) and hot Pakoda (a fried salty snack)

Here is how tourists can enjoy monsoon travel in India

Advantages of traveling during monsoons in India

1) Good discounts in hotels, airlines and other businesses

A lot of airlines and hotels offer very good discounts during monsoons due to lean season, which can really decrease your travel expenses. As the majority of people like to stay indoors during rains, tourist activity is much less and you can enjoy your travel in comparative peace and leisure.

Panna National Park, India travel2) Different weather, landscapes and customised plans

Due to different landscapes and weather in different regions, tourists in India can plan their trips all year round. A tourist in India is not bound to dates in a calendar or weather reports to plan and enjoy the journey.

3) Greenery and pleasant weather

Everything comes to life during monsoons in India. The weather is pleasant, cool breeze blow almost all day long and the surroundings are covered with lush new greenery which is a relaxing sight . Places like parts of eastern and central India, Kerala, Western Ghats are even more stunning during monsoons due to clouds and greenery. A lot of rivers are in full flow and this makes for spectacular waterfalls.

4) Cleansing season

Many people think that rains of monsoons are have a cleansing effect, Pollution due to smoke and dust particles is minimised and people are generally more comfortable in this cooler weather. Ayurvedic detoxification during monsoon is very popular these days. Some herbs used in certain ayurvedic practices grow only during monsoons and the rains seem to have a good effect on efficacy of certain plants.

Precautions for travelers in India during monsoon season

Here are some basic precautions that the tourists should observe while traveling in India during monsoons:

1) Carefully plan road tripsSpiti, India adventure tours

Mountainous regions almost everywhere are susceptible to road blockages due to landslides, flash floods etc during rainy season. Plans your road trips by taking these factors in to count.

2) Closed wild life parks

Most of national parks and wild-life areas are closed for tourists during monsoons. So if you are looking for clicking a rhinoceros, tiger or any other exotic animal, confirm the availability in advance.

3) Consume safe water

Although it’s a very general rule, we can’t stress this enough. Don’t drink tap water or even from natural sources like lakes and rivers during rainy season. Always stick to bottled or filtered water.

4) Be cautious of bugs

Bugs and other critters like mosquitoes, flies, snakes etc can be a nuisance during rainy season. Keep an insect repellant handy and be careful of where you step or sleep/

That’s everything that we have to say about traveling in India during rainy monsoons for now. We hope that this article may be of some use for travelers. Please feel free to contact us for feedback or more information.
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