One day three ways: Delhi

PENNY-PINCH

Greet the dawn with yoga ($10) at Colonel's Retreat homestay (colonelsretreat.com), before a homecooked breakfast of aloo paratha, masala omelette and chai, (included in overnight rate $110). Take an auto-rickshaw ($5) to the imposing Red Fort ($1.50) and Asia's largest mosque, Jama Masjid (free, delhitourism.gov.in), before tackling the frenetic streets of Old Delhi on a heart-stopping cycle-rickshaw ride ($3 negotiable). Visit the Sikh temple Sri Bangla Sahib (banglasahib.org) for a moment of tranquillity and free communal meal, or langar. Head to Dilli Haat Market (entrance 35¢ delhitourism.gov.in) to shop for handicrafts from all over India, before heading back to the B&B for a cooking class and dinner ($10).

TOTAL: $139.85

EASY DOES IT

After arranging a day's car/driver hire (about $30), fill your senses at the Delhi flower market before continuing to National Crafts Museum ($3, nationalcraftsmuseum.nic.in) to view beautiful textiles. Pause for a brunch of regional specialties at the museum's Cafe Lota ($10) before visiting the moving Raj Ghat, Ghandi's final resting place (free). For reasonably priced fashion, head to GK I N Block Market's Fab India and Anokhi stores (cotton printed kurta $30, fabindia.com), then duck down the road to trendy Shalom for a pre-dinner cocktail ($8). Finish the evening at lovely Park Balluchi (parkballuchi.com), dining in the midst of parkland filled with peacock and deer ($30). Overnight in the elegant Hotel Visaya (from $140, thevisaya.com).

TOTAL: $251

SPLASH OUT

For sheer indulgence in colonial style, the Sunday brunch at Imperial Hotel ($52, imperialindia.com) is a must-do. Getting married? Hot foot it to Frontier Raas (frontierraas.com) in South Extension for divine saris or heavily-embroidered bridalwear ($500 up). Afterwards, relax with an ayurvedic spa treatment at Mantra Vedic Spa (from $65, mantraspa.co.in) before returning to your club room at the Taj Mahal Hotel ($521, tajhotels.com) to prepare for dinner, a bespoke experience for two in the hotel's signature restaurant, Varq. This features a personalised menu crafted by the master chef Hemant Oberoi, a celebration cake (featuring a photograph of the couple) and personal butler service at a table overlooking the pool. (from $1342 per couple).

TOTAL: $2480

The writer was a guest of Mantra Wild Adventures and India Tourism Office.

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