Day 03: Delhi / Ranthambore (Golden Temple Mail - 0755 / 0140 Hrs) After breakfast transfer to the train station to board your train to Ranthambore.
Meeting & assistance upon arrival & transfer to the Vanyavilas
Afternoon jungle excursion in an open top vehicle (Subject to train arriving in time)
Day 04 - 05: Ranthambore Morning and evening, jungle excursions in an open top vehicle. Ranthambore is known to have India's Friendliest tigers Assured of protection; these nocturnal creatures are seen often in the day. Sprawled on the Aravalli and Vindhya ranges of Rajasthan, Ranthambore National Park encompasses an area of 410 Sq. km. in which lives a healthy population of about 40 tigers. A large number of deer inhabit the area and leopards are occasionally sighted. The Pandam Taloa lake, located adjacent to the Jogi Mahal hunting lodge, is the park's favorite water source. Smaller pools at Raj Bagh and Milak also attract a variety of wild life The best way to explore Ranthambore is in open top vans as the park is well connected by arterial roads and tracks. Some of the popular sighting areas are Nal Ghati, Lahpur, Bakuala, Anantpur and the Kachida valley. Mammals: Tiger, Panther, Hyena, Jackal, Jungle Cat, Caracal, Sloth Bear, Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Chinkara, Indian hare mongoose. Birds: Bonelli's eagle, crested serpent eagle, great Indian horned owl, grey partridge sandgrouse, quail, spurfowl, common peafowl, tree pie, paradise flycatcher, pheasant tailed jacana, painted stork, black stork, spoonbill, green pigeon, ducks.
Day 06: Ranthambore / AgraUpon arrival you are individually checked in at your rooms at the luxurious Amarvilas hotel, which is one of the best boutique hotels in the world. The hotel of whimsical charm has several attractions. However, being in the city of the Taj Mahal, the most relevant charm of the hotels is the unhindered view of the Taj Mahal from your bedroom. It is the most beautiful and an amazingly uplifting sight. Only 600 meters from the Taj Mahal stands this luxury resort. Discerning travelers can now appreciate the fabulous Taj Mahal while enjoying world-class luxury. The elaborate Mughal gardens, terraced lawns, fountains, reflection pools and pavilions complement the classical architecture of the hotel
Agra is the city of the Taj Mahal, perhaps the most photographed monument in the world. However, there is a degree of enigma about the Taj. Once you hear about a building so much and once you see so many pictures of a building your expectations are real high; and this is the enigma about the Taj Mahal. No matter how many pictures you have seen or no matter how high your expectations are the Taj never lets you down - the unparalleled glory and beauty of the building surpasses beyond all human imaginations. At sun set we visit the Taj Mahal to witness this spectacular monument built for love. Besides perfect symmetry in every aspect of its construction, the inlay work of semi precious stones into marble in pietra dura style is absolutely remarkable.
Day 13 - 14: Kanha Tiger Reserve Kanha National Park, which is one of the most well known tiger reserves worldwide, is located among the Banjar and Halon valleys in the Mandla / Balaghat districts of the state of Madhya Pradesh. Its creation took place among, and after, a lot of turbulence and storm within concerned circles regarding rampant killing of wildlife in the area at the time. The central Kanha valley was declared a sanctuary way back in 1933 but got its status as a National Park in 1955. It covers a large area of 1,945 square kilometers, out of which 940 square kilometers form the main park. The altitude of the park ranges from 450 meters to 900 meters above sea level. The temperature, depending on the season, ranges from 0 degrees in the winters to 48 degrees in the summers. The park remains open from the 01st of November to the 30th of June. Sometimes, as with most parks of the country, it can be closed earlier if the monsoon season arrives sooner than expected. The park has a heavy monsoon season with an average annual rainfall of 1600mm. The basic infrastructure at the park is well developed and visits can "mostly" be expected to pass without any problems.
Kanha is also famous for it's animal conservation efforts made in collaboration and cooperation with the local resident communities. One of the famous success stories of the park is the survival of the Barasingha population in the park, which went down to as low as 66 animals in 1970 from the earlier 3000 and which through huge efforts have now revived to a respectable number of around 1000. Kanha boasts of many such success stories of which this is only an example.
Kanha National Park is world famous for it's tigers. Tiger sightings are not as rare as in most other parks of the country. The only other reserves in the country that can claim to have as many sightings as Kanha are Ranthambor and Kanha's own neighbour, Bandhavgarh.
Other than the tiger, some of the more frequently seen animals in the park consist of Leopards, Gaur, Chausinghas, Sloth Bears, Barking Deer, Swamp Deer (Barasingha), Blackuck, Langurs, Wild Boars, Porcupines, Mouse Deer, Hyenas, Jackals and Wild Dogs (Dholes).
Day 15: Kanha / Nagpur (260 kms / 06 hrs) Nagpur / Mumbai (9W 7044 - 2005 / 2125 hrs) Morning proceed for your last safari into the park.
After breakfast we drive to Nagpur airport to board your flight to Mumbai.
Meeting & assistance upon arrival check into the hotel The Oberoi
Day 16: Mumbai / Departure Transfer to the airport to connect your flight back home
Day 10 - 11: Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve The pattern of early morning and afternoon excursions will be interspersed with periods of relaxation back at our accommodation during the heat of midday. Although Tigers are the star attraction at Bandhavgarh the supporting cast of mammals and birds is very impressive, the latter including such species as Grey-headed Fishing Eagle, Plum-headed Parakeet, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo and Asian Paradise Flycatcher among a total of over 250 species recorded in the district. Tour members with an interest in ornithology will value the time between game drives as an opportunity to explore some of the habitats close to our base.
Tigers, and the more rarely seen Leopards, have no shortage of prey in the reserve. The Spotted Deer or Chital is a favourite item on the Tiger menu and several thousand of these delightful deer inhabit the park.
Other species found here in varying abundance include; Chinkara, Chowsinga, Wild Boar, Sambar, Muntjac and Nilgai. Herds of the Asian Bison, or Gaur, formerly Inhabited the Reserve but impressive beast has not been seen at Bandhavgarh since 1998 although a closely monitored programme for the reintroduction of the Gaur is planned within couple of years. A hunting pack of wild dogs may also be seen on occasions. Mammal sightings always require a degree of luck, particularly when the species is essentially nocturnal or reclusive but each outing in the reserve will at least provide a chance to meet one of the rarer inhabitants such as Sloth Bear, Indian fox, Jackal, Wolf, Ratel, Striped Hyenas, Jungle Cat or Indian Pangolin. More predictable are the sounders of Wild Boar rooting among the vegetation, Indian Hares, the lively little Palm Squirrels that seem to be constantly in a state of agitation, and several members of the mongoose tribe. Common Langurs and Rhesus Macaques are also plentiful, the former enjoying an elevated view of the forest as they devour their favourite leaves and often the first creature to bark out a warning at the appearance of a Tiger below.
Day 12: Bhandhavgarh / Kanha (325 Kms) Following breakfast we drive to Kanha Tiger Reserve.
On arrival, transfer across the countryside to your safari headquarters for a two-day exploration of this vast, unspoiled central Indian preserve.
Day 08: Agra / Jhansi (Shatabadi Express - 0820 / 1040 Hrs) Jhansi/ Khajuraho (180 Kms) Following breakfast transfer to the train station for a short ride on India's premier train service to Jhansi
Meeting and assistance upon arrival drive through fascinating tribal country to Khajuraho.
Upon arrival check into your hotel Grand Temple View
This tiny village is famous for its remarkable complex of temples built in an inspired burst of creativity between 950 and 1050 AD under the Chandela kings. Of the original 85, only 25 survive and each is a masterpiece dedicated to different deities. The temples were lost among the forest for centuries and were accidentally discovered by a British army engineer in 1858. The presence of erotic temple sculpture, which accounts for less than 10% of the total carvings, has resulted in many theories. The most popular being that the Chandelas were followers of the Tantric cult which believes that gratification of earthly desires in a step towards attaining moksha or release from the cycle of rebirth
Afternoon, we meet our guide, and, proceed on a tour of the world famous western group of temples depicting erotic sculptures of love making images of Gods and Goddesses and celestial Nymphs. The sexual fantasies displayed in the sculptures are mind-boggling. It speaks very highly of the artistic creativity and imagination of the sculptors. The frank depiction of uninhibited sex does hint towards a liberated society and times where people believed in dealing openly with all aspects of life. The graphic and realistic illustrated scenes of lovemaking elaborated on the Tantric texts.
Sound & Light Show: Evening, we visit temple complex to enjoy Sound & Light Show, where the history of the temples is narrated through the medium of Sound & Light. This fascinating Son-et-Lumiere spectacle evokes the life and times of the great Chandela Kings and traces the story of the unique temples from the 10th century to the present day. Amitabh Bachhan, the Indian Super Star, narrates the story of Khajuraho in his mesmerizing voice
Day 09: Khajuraho / Bandhavgarh (236 Kms) Early this morning with breakfast we drive to Bhandavgarh
Bandhavgarh National Park, situated amid the airy Vindhya hills of Madhya Pradesh, has established a reputation as one of the best places in India to observe Tigers. Although a relatively small reserve when first established in 1968, it was enlarged twenty years later to include adjacent tracts of Sal forest and this extension has proved very beneficial for the Tiger population. The 105 square kilometres of park area, open for tourists is estimated to have a population of 22 tigers, a density of one tiger for every 4.77 square kilometers.
Like many Tiger reserves in India, the area was formerly the hunting reserve of a Maharaja and contains much evidence of its royal associations, most spectacular being the ruins of a huge hilltop fort, which dominates the centre of the reserve.
Day 01: Arrival / DelhiLate night arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival as our representatives welcome you and escort you to your car.
Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the documents to you.
Welcome to India, or as we say 'atithi devo bhava' (the guest is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!
Day 02: DelhiYour morning activity begins with the historical part of the city also known as Old Delhi starting with `Shah Jehanabad' which has some dramatic remnants of the Mughal Empire in the imposing Red Fort and Jama Masjid India's largest mosque, built by Emperor Shah Jehan, creator of the Taj Mahal. You ride rickshaws through its principal street,
Chandni Chowk, originally renowned throughout the Asia with its tree-lined canal flowing down its center. These days it's a bustling jumble of shops, temples, mosques and craftsmen's workshops of goldsmiths, silversmiths, silk traders and embroiderers.
Explore the hustling and bustling of Old Delhi and streets of Chandni Chowk sitting in a cycle rickshaw.
Culminate the Old Delhi tour with a photo stop at Raj Ghat the site of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation. Built on the banks of the Yamuna River, is a simple memorial that marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated in 1948. A pretty park has been created around the memorial.
Continue on to Explore New Delhi drive through the boulevards of New Delhi and pass India Gate which is a memorial built to the 85000 soldiers who died in World War I and the Afghan battles of 1919.
At the other end of Rajpath stands the official residence of India's president, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, a complex of buildings that mix Mughal and Western architectural styles. Prior to independence, this was the home of India's last viceroy, Lord Mountbatten. Close by is Sansad Bhavan, the large though less imposing parliament building.
Lunch will be arranged at 'The Lodi' located next to Lodi Garden.
After lunch proceed to visit Qutab Minar, a tower of victory begun by the Slave Dynasty's founder, Qutb-ud-din-Aybak, in A.D. 1193 and completed by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 1368. At its base is India's first mosque, the Might of Islam Mosque, built on the foundation of a Hindu temple. It was completed in A.D. 1300.
Like the nearly contemporary slave, or Marmeluke, rulers of Egypt, slave kings of Delhi were anything but servile. The term simply indicates that they had once been held captives. In a court awash with intrigue and opportunity, India's Turkish conquistadors regarded a slave's loyalty as more dependable than that of their own kin. Purchased, rapidly promoted, eventually freed, and forever trusted, the erstwhile slave of a royal patron was ideally placed to act as either power broker or pretender. His elevated status was equally proclaimed with monuments. The Qutb Mosque boasts a tower of victory that doubles as India's, and perhaps Islam's, most massive minaret.