When was the last time your holiday was something more than just regular sightseeing? If you are craving for some adventure we know just the right places for you.
The impressive wildlife parks in India shall take you on a thrilling ride through the many jungle stories. Kanha and Bandhavgarh, are known for its wilderness and its predators, especially the royal Bengal Tiger. Get on a jeep safari to enjoy the spectacular beauty while having a great chance to spot the tiger.
Apart from the jungles, history awaits you at the splendid temples of Khajuraho, Taj Mahal at Agra and the heritage sites in Delhi. This itinerary is a perfect way to meet nature and history that makes India a true gem.
In traditional Indian style, you are welcomed at the airport and transferred to your hotel for a restorative night of Indian warmth and hospitality.
This morning is free for you to sleep in a bit and rest up for your exciting days ahead. This afternoon, enjoy a guided tour of the city of Mumbai.
Kanha National Park, considered the greatest of India’s wildlife preserves, is your destination today. A 160-km. drive, (about 3-1/2 hours) from Pench brings you to the park, encompassing 945 sq. kms. of gentle hills, savannahs, grasslands and thick forest. Parts of the Kanha Valley have been a preserve since 1933, but when a hunter killed 30 tigers in a single day in the 1950s, outrage caused the government to name Kanha a national park. It is home to an estimated 200 tigers, as well as leopard, spiky-horned nilgai, and sambar. To further your chances of spotting a tiger, you will safari into the forest by vehicle, then transfer to the back of an elephant, whose acceptance by other wildlife allows you to get closer views in less hospitable areas.
Game drives are on the menu all day, for even if you were lucky enough to spot a tiger yesterday, you’ll surely want to try for a second, but it often takes several forays for success. In the center of the park is a museum where you can take a break, meet fellow adventurers and have a glass of chai before setting off once again. Not incidentally, Kanha is home to 4,000 chital, spotted deer that are the staple diet of tigers. You may also catch sight of monkeys, porcupines, sloth bears, and wild boar as well as an exotic array of birds, such as orioles, egrets, hornbills, kingfishers and birds of prey, which are most likely found near the rivers.
Enjoy breakfast, then take a picturesque 310-km. drive (seven hours), passing from jungle to jungle, and stopping to enjoy a box-lunch along the way. In the hilly northeast area of the state lies Bandhavgarh. A newer park, its history dates back to the 1st Century B.C. when it served as a base for a line of Indian dynasties, including Chandellas. Once a royal hunting reserve, Bandhavgarhdrew world attention with the capture of a white tiger here in 1951, and is now famous for having the highest density of tigers, about 50, in India. With such good odds, this is considered the best place in the world for tiger sightings, particularly along rivers and in tall grasses. Good luck!
Forests, grasslands and bamboo breaks are calling you to morning and evening safaris over the lush, undulating terrain. In addition to tigers, the park abounds with India’s bison or gaur, bluish nilgai bulls, tiny chinkara gazelle, four-horned chowsingha antelope; barking deer and spotted chital; shaggy sloth bear; wild boar and many others. Your patience may also be rewarded with the sighting of the dhole or wild dog, which often travels in packs; or perhaps you’ll come upon a spotted leopard. Between safaris, enjoy the setting and your atmospheric accommodations.
Morning cannot seem to come too early when you are on safari, so after breakfast you head out eagerly for yet another day of game viewing and bird watching at Bandhavgarth. Rugged hills, jungles and delicate sal forests make this one of India’s great scenic areas, made even more impressive by an ancient fort with its rock-cut caves. Savor this wild remnant of the magnificent forests that once extended across the whole of Central India.
Today you will take the train for Khajuraho. In the temple architecture of India, the Khajuraho complex remains unique. One thousand years ago, under the generous and artistic patronage of the Chandela Rajput kings of Central India, 85 temples, magnificent in form and richly carved, were built on one site, near the village of Khajuraho. Of the original 85, only 22 have survived the ravages of time. We visit the sculptures of the temples of Khajuraho, which are ensconced in wall niches. Provocative maidens, dancers, musicians and embracing couples adorn these buildings of worship, which are masterpieces of Indian art.
Today we will travel to Jhansi and on arrival take the train to Agra. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Agra, famous as the home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal. The architectural splendour of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is a vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal empire, of which Agra was the capital in the 16th and early 17th centuries. While its significance as a political center ended with the transfer of the capital to Delhi in 1634 by Shah Jehan, its architectural wealth has secured its place on the international map. A pleasant town with a comparatively slow pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by craftsmen who are descendants of those who worked under the Mughals.
Today we explore Shah Jehan’s monument to love. The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor as the final resting place for his favorite Queen, Mumtaz. This perfectly symmetrical monument took 22 years (1630-1652 A.D) of hard labor and 20,000 workers, masons and jewellers to build. It was designed by the Persian architect, Ustad Isa. The verses of Holy Quran are inscribed on it and at the top of the gate’s 22 small domes, signifying the number of years the monument took to built. The elegant dome of the Taj has a diameter of 60 feet, and directly under the dome is the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. Fantastic inlay work, using semi-precious stones, decorates the exterior and interior.
We continue to Agra Fort. The great Mughal Emperor Akbar commissioned the construction of the Agra Fort in 1565 A.D., although additions were made until the time of his grandson, Shah Jehan. The forbidding exteriors of this fort hides an inner paradise. The fort is crescent shaped, flattened on the east with a long, nearly straight wall facing the river. It has a total perimeter of 2.4 kilometres, and is ringed by double castellated ramparts of red sandstone punctuated at regular intervals by bastions. A 9-metre wide and 10-metre-deep moat surrounds the outer wall.
Today after breakfast you will drive to Delhi, on arrival you will do a quick tour of Delhi.
Begin your tour of Old Delhi at the Red Fort with its pearl mosque and exquisite audience halls. See Jama Masjid mosque with its marble domes and splendid minarets; Raj Ghat (where Gandhi was cremated), the Ashoka Pillar and mile-long Chandni Chowk Bazaar where craftsmen sell their unique wares. In the afternoon you will visit New Delhi, a city designed and built by the British in the 1920s, a city of wide boulevards, impressive government buildings, green parks and gardens. Then marvel at the Qutab Minar, Emperor Humayun's Tomb and the National Museum, a treasure-house of 5,000 years of history. This evening is at leisure to prepare for your flight home. You will be picked up late this evening and transferred to the airport.