Taj, Temples & Tigers

A spectacular tour rich in culture and nature - this really is the ultimate tour in India with a chance to get up close and personal with the elusive Tiger

This is a once in a lifetime chance to see the Tigers of India and this magnificent tour combines both nature and culture to bring you an adventure that will remain with you always.

Tour highlights

    - Tour of Mumbai

    - Tiger spotting and game drives

    - Jaipur and the Amber Fort

    - Khajuraho Temples

    - Train journey

    - Taj Mahal




Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive Mumbai

Upon arrival in Mumbai, a representative holding a sign with your name, will meet you in the arrivals area upon exiting baggage claim and you will be transferred to your hotel for check in at 1200 hrs. Mumbai is the financial capital of India. It has a history of incredible transformation from its foundation to the present day, where small islands were strung together and land between them reclaimed to form the bustling metropolis it is today. A metropolis in the true sense of the word, the city has loads to see during the day and a vibrant life at night. Extolled by many as the mother of all cities, Mumbai (Bombay) has a history of incredible transformation from its foundation to the present day. It was built mainly for trade by the British and over the years it changed hands from the fishing village through the Portuguese conquest to Catherine of Aragon who took the seven islands of Mumbai as her dowry to Charles II of England. Mumbai was and still is the Gateway of India and a grand Archway of that name was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2

Mumbai

After breakfast, morning is at leisure. Afternoon meet your guide at the hotel, start touring of Mumbai. Visit the Gateway of India. Drive past the Afghan Church, the Secretariat of the Maharashtra Government and along the famous Marine Drive. Visit the amazing Hanging Gardens. Drive past the Haji Ali Mosque, a shrine in honor of a Muslim Saint on an island 500 m out at sea linked by a causeway. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 3

Mumbai - Nagpur - Pench

Early morning today, you will be transferred to the airport to connect to your flight departing Mumbai for Nagpur. On arrival at Nagpur airport, an Eastbound representative holding a sign with your name, will meet you in the arrivals area upon exiting baggage claim, you will be transferred to Pench (92 Kms / 2Hrs) for check in. Pench National Park, nestling in the lower southern reaches of the Satpura hills is named after Pench River which flows from north to south through the Pench National Park. It is located on the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh. Recently in 1992, Pench has been included under the umbrella of 'Project Tiger' as the 19th Project Tiger Reserve. A total of 758 Sq. kms of this Southern Indian tropical moist deciduous forest has its extent mingling with the tropical dry deciduous teak. The area is crisscrossed by a number of streams and 'nallahs' most of which are seasonal. Though the Pench River dries up in April end, a number of water pools locally known as 'dohs' are found which serve as water holes for the wild animals. The Pench Reservoir at the center of the park is the only major water source during the pinch period. As a prey concentration is high along the Pench River, tigers usually frequent this belt. Leopards though generally operate in the peripheral areas but are occasionally seen in the deep forest also. Jungle cats are commonly seen. Leopard cats, small Indian civets and palm civets are common but seen rarely. Afternoon enjoy a game drive in Pench National Park. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Pench

Morning/Afternoon enjoy game drives to Pench National Park. In Pench, Cheetas, Sambars, nilgai are commonly seen grazing on the open sites on roadsides and banks of river & reservoir. Jackals can be seen in search of food anywhere in the Park. Packs up to 15 of wild dog can be seen near Chhedia, Jamtara, Bodanala and Pyorthadi areas of the Reserve. Herds of gaur can be spotted near streams and bamboo patches commonly in summer months. Sloth bears occupies hilly, rocky out crops and favour mahul bel infested forest. Chnkara is present in very small numbers and is found in open areas around Turia, Telia and Dudhgaon villages. Langoors are very common in Pench, whereas the Rhesus monkeys may be seen occasionally on the fringes. Pench boasts more than 210 species of birds that include several migratory ones also. Commonly seen are Peafowl, Red jungle fowl, Crow pheasant, Crimson breasted barbet, Redvented bulbul, Racket tailed drongo, Magpie robin and lesser whistling teal. Evening return to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Pench - Kanha

This morning enjoy a game drive to Pench National Park, return to hotel for breakfast, then you will drive to Kanha (220 kms; 5 hrs). On arrival, check-in at hotel. Enjoy lunch at the hotel and prepare for your visit to an Indian park in the afternoon. This could be your first meeting with those magnificent stripes. Situated in central India in the Satpura Hill ranges, Kanha Tiger Reserve offers without a doubt, India's finest Tiger viewing. Spread over 1945 square kilometres with a core area of just 940 square kilometres, the grasslands and deciduous forests also support other mammals such as Barasingha, Chital, Muntjac (Swamp, Spotted and Barking Deer), Sambar, Common Langur and Rhesus Monkeys, Wild Boar, Asiatic Jackal, three of India's four lowland antelopes, Nilgai, Four-horned Antelope (Chowsingha) and Blackbuck, and occasionally Leopard, Gaur (Indian Bison), Sloth Bear, Wolf and Dhole (Wild Dog). In fact Kanha is noted for the last remaining population of hard-ground Barasingha, which exceeds 350. Birdlife present includes the Painted Partridge, Shaheen Falcon, Golden Oriole and the omnipresent Red Jungle Fowl. You will be accompanied by a driver and/or park guide, assigned by the National Park authorities. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Kanha

Enjoy 2 game drives (one in the morning pre breakfast and one in the afternoon) in the Kanha Tiger Reserve. All meals are at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Kanha - Bandhavgarh

This morning enjoy game drive to Kanha National Park, return to hotel for breakfast, later drive to Bandhavgarh (300 Kms; 7 hrs). On arrival, check-in at hotel. After lunch at resort, get ready to see the beautiful park. Bandhavgarh National Park, named after Bandhavgarh Fort, is situated in Central India and was formerly a Royal hunting reserve of the princely state of Rewe where the first White Tiger in the wild was ever found. The Park is situated in 450 square kilometres of mixed forest. The core area of the park is fairly small with a fragile ecology but it supports such wildlife as the Chital (Spotted Deer), Sambar, Muntjak (Barking Deer), Nilgai, Chinkara, Chowsingha (Four-horned Antelope), Wild Boar, Leopard, Dhole (Wild Dog) and of course Tiger. Bird life also abounds with over 275 species of bird such as hornbills, orioles, parakeets, peacocks, and eagles. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Bandhavgarh

Enjoy two safaris today - one at sunrise before breakfast and one in the afternoon post lunch, at the Tiger reserve of Bandhavgarh. Elephant Ride is available every morning subject to Tiger sighting, allowing you the chance to spot tigers and other wildlife from this unique vantage point. Regular Slide-shows and talks by expert naturalists are held in the evening to enhance your knowledge about the ‘big cat’. All meals are at the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9

Bandhavgarh - Khajuraho

This morning enjoy a game drive to Bandhavgarh National Park, return to the hotel for breakfast, later drive to Khajuraho, in six hours you will arrive in the tranquil town of ancient temples. Upon arrival in Khajuraho, check in at the hotel. Khajuraho oozes with passion, eroticism, dance and music and other finesses of creative arts depicted in sculpture and images of the temples. The 9th to 12th century temples of Khajuraho is the evidences of the architectural geniuses during the times of Chandela dynasty. Situated in Madhya Pradesh, India. The 85 temples were built in North Indian 'Nagara' style of architecture, though only 20 of them have survived the rough weather conditions over long years of time. The two richer distinctive groups of temples are the Western and Eastern group of temples. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10

Khajuraho - Orchha - Jhansi - Agra

After breakfast at the hotel, proceed for sightseeing of Khajuraho temples. 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, came up on one site, near the village of Khajuraho. From 950 AD - 1050 AD saw the completion of all the temples, in an inspired burst of creativity. Today, of the original 85, only 22 have survived the ravages of time. Visit the Kanderiya Mahadeo Temple which is also a UNESCO world heritage site to see the intricate carving and beautiful bas relief that for which these temples are famous. Later drive to Jhansi, enroute visiting Orchha. Visit the Jehangir Mahal, the most grandiose structure in Orchha the Raja Mahal, another monument of historical importance and the Rai Praveen Mahal. With their rich historical background, these places hold great value for the legacy of Orchha. After lunch at the Orchha, you will continue to drive to Jhansi and transfer to the Railway Station to board Shatabdi train departing Jhansi for Agra. On arrival in Agra an Eastbound representative will meet you and help you with transfer to your hotel. Agra is renowned the world over for the fabulous Taj Mahal which is situated on the right bank of the river Yamuna. Agra is a city with a glorious past and has the distinction of being the capital of various ruling dynasties. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11

Agra

This morning you will be escorted to the Taj Mahal. The Seventh Wonder of the World, built by Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz Mahal by the banks of river Yamuna. After her untimely death, Shah Jahan had her mortal remains buried in this mausoleum. And after his own demise he was placed to rest next to his beloved queen in the same mausoleum The Taj has been called the most extravagant monument ever built in the name of love. The great monument took almost 22 years to build and was completed in 1653. Around 20,000 workers from all over the country and central Asia were recruited to translate this dream into a reality. The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays. Later in afternoon visit the Agra Fort begun by Emperor Akbar in 1565. The high red stone monument stretches for around one and a half miles. The palace is notable for its smooth blending of Hindu and central Asian architectural styles. See the Diwan-i-Am (hall of public audiences), Diwan-i-Khas (hall of private audiences), the Khas Palace, the Sheesh Mahal (palace of mirrors), the Shah Jahani Mahal (Shahjahan’s Palace), Jahangiri Mahal (Jahangir’s Palace) and the Akbari Mahal (Akbar’s palace) inside the fort. Rest of the day at your leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 12

Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Jaipur

After breakfast, drive to Jaipur. This will take about 5½ hours. Enroute visit Fatehpur Sikri situated about 40 kms/1 hr from Agra, this was the erstwhile capital of the great Mughal Emperor Akbar. This magnificent fort palace had to be abandoned after just 15 years of occupation due to lack of potable water. You will continue drive to Jaipur. On arrival you will be checking in to your hotel. Situated 190 miles southwest of Delhi, Jaipur is an essential stop in any tour of Rajasthan. The old walled section of the city is known as the Pink City; it was painted red (a lucky color in Hindu culture) to welcome England’s Prince Alfred in 1853, the fading old buildings retain their hue. Jaipur is one of India’s newer cities, founded in 1727, and was the creation of Jai Singh II, the Maharaja of the Kuchwaha Rajputs, who decided when Mogul power was on the decline to move from his outmoded hillside fortress at Amber to establish a new capital on the plains further south. The Pink City was built in only eight years. Much of it was designed by Jai himself, including the City Palace and the Jantar Mantar, a fascinating astronomical observatory with massive instruments used to predict the monsoon and identify the movements of the stars. Most impressive is a gigantic sundial that is accurate to the nearest two minutes. All seven gates into the old city remain, one of which leads into Johari Bazaar - the famous jewelers market that has the best selection of precious stones in India. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 13

Jaipur

After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing of Amber Fort which is a classic, romantic Rajasthani Fort Palace, with its rugged, time-ravaged walls and fascinating palaces inside. Enjoy a ride on elephant back to climb up the hill to enter the fort (subject to availability, if Elephant ride is unavailable then a jeep ride will be used as a replacement). Visit the enchanting palaces and gardens inside the fort palace to complete your tour. On your way back, stop at Hawa Mahal - Palace of Winds in the heart of Jaipur’s shopping district to hunt for souvenirs. This afternoon is set for sightseeing of Jaipur. Visit the City Palace, the former residence of the royal family, a part of which is converted into a museum. Built in the style of a fortified campus, the palace covers almost one-seventh in area of the old city. One of the major attractions in the museum is the Armory Museum housing an impressive array of weaponry. Later visit the Jantar Mantar, which is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world. The observatory has 17 large instruments, many of them still in working condition. Later explore the 'pink city'. Jaipur’s traditional markets, streets and lanes are loaded with one noticeable feature: color! You will be amazed to see the fusion and variety of hues all around… in clothing, houses, painted carts and vehicles, painted elephants, and tattooed camels. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 14

Jaipur - Delhi

This morning drive to Delhi. This will take about 5½ hours. On arrival in Delhi, check in to the hotel. Delhi, India’s capital and political hub is an ancient city that has something for everyone. Settled seven times over the centuries, this city has grown in a way that reflects its past, while retaining its cosmopolitan flavor. Delhi is India’s showcase for architecture, religion, shopping and culture. Afternoon - combined sightseeing of Old and New Delhi takes you to Jama Masjid, - the largest mosque in India. Drive past the magnificent Red Fort, - a marvel in red sandstone, built on the banks of River Yamuna by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Next visit Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial. Visit the 12th century Qutab Minar is gracefully hand-carved for its entire height of 234 feet. Visit the mausoleum of emperor Humayun - a forerunner of the Mughal style of architecture. Drive past the India Gate, a World War I memorial, the Presidential Palace, Parliament House and the Secretariat buildings - an interesting blend of the Victorian and 20th century architecture. Overnight at the hotel.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 15

Delhi departure

Today, you will be transferred to the airport to be connected with your return or onward flight.

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Pricing

Deluxe 7th April 2016 - 30th June 2016

Luxury 7th April 2016 - 30th June 2016

Deluxe 15th October 2016 - 15th December 2016

Luxury 15th October 2016 - 15th December 2016

Deluxe 1st March 2017 - 30th June 2017

Luxury 1st March 2017 - 30th June 2017

Deluxe 10th October 2017 - 15th December 2017

Luxury 10th October 2017 - 15th December 2017

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