India - A Wildlife Paradise
Duration: 17 Nights/ 18 Days
Places to Visit: Delhi - Sawai Madhopur - Ranthambhore - Jaipur - Bharatpur - Agra - Khajuraho -Varanasi - Katni - Bandhavgarh - Umaria - Delhi
Day 01: Delhi
Arrival Delhi. Assistance at airport, and transfer to the hotel. Must have heard a lot about Delhi? But here is a chance to discover this city where thousands and thousands throng everyday for different reasons.
Delhi is no fairytale city but a city where dreams come to reality. Its strategic location was one of the prime reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. Delhi is truly a symbol of the old and the new; a blend of ancient well preserved monuments and temples along with jam-packed burger joints and upmarket shopping malls. It may seem daunting to a first time visitor but as a national capital and the gateway to the North, it is a must visit city on any travelers itinerary.
Afternoon sight seeing of Old and New Delhi combined. The historic Red Fort - Shah Jehan's elegant citadel in red sandstone, was built as an octagon measuring 900m by 550m and surrounded by a 9-meter deep moat, which was at its inception fed by the waters of the Yamuna River. The fort is entered from the Lahori Gate and leads to a roofed passage called Chatta Chowk.
The Naqqar Khana (drum house) at the end of this passage marks the entrance to the royal enclosure. A spacious lawn leads to the Diwan-i-Am - the pillared Hall of Public Audience, Diwan-i-Khas - the Hall of Private Audience where the emperor met select visitors and the Pearl Mosque built by Shah Jahan's son, Aurangazeb, the last of the "Great Mughals". Drive past the Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque), India's largest mosque and the famous bazaars of Chandni Chowk, which is adjacent to both the Fort and the Mosque. . Welcome Dinner at a nice restaurant in Delhi Overnight in Delhi TAJ PALACE / QUTUB RESIDENCY.
Day 02: Delhi - Sawai Madhopur - Ranthambhore
We begin our trip with the travel from Delhi Wildlife Tours India, Indian Wildlife Tours, Tiger Tours India to board the train for Sawai Madhopur.
Situated on the main Delhi-Mumbai railway line, Sawai Madhopur is one of the most visited tourist places of Rajasthan. Rich in history and legends, the town is the gateway to world famous Ranthambore National Park - the famous tiger reserve of Rajasthan.The place is a living witness to the course of events taking shape and sometimes history repeating itself. The 13th century A.D. saw the coming of the Sawai Madhopur under the rule of Govinda, the grandson of famed Prithvi Raj Chauhan, the last Hindu King of Delhi. Following his death his successor Vagbhatta beautified the city and built a temple at Jhain.
On reaching Sawai Madhopur, the guests are taken to check into hotel in Ranthambore. Ranthambore: With an area of 400 sq. km encompassing rocky hill crests which descend to open valleys between the Aravalli and Vindhya ranges, dotted with water pools and fruit trees, this park gets its name from the thousand year old fortress, which looms above the forest. Well known for the diurnal activity of tigers, Ranthambore is a very special and unusual area where a natural present meets a historical past. Sambhar, cheetal, chinkara, nilgai and langoor.
The elusive leopardand tigers are found in this reserve with tourists standing a very good chance of seeing tigers during the day. Dotted across the landscape are the crumbling ruins of its past glory, be it chhatris or cupolas, like palaces or old guard posts, all of which reinforce the magical and ethereal quality of this great wilderness.
Delicious lunch is served atthe lodge. After lunch, proceed on a game drive into the sanctuary in jeeps or on elephant backs. Overnight in Ranthambore TIGER DEN RESORT.
Day 03 : Ranthambhore
Ranthambore the land of the big cat awaits all the nature lovers for it to be discovered and savored upon. A day in the national park starts with the guests going into the jungle for safaris in jeeps and elephant backs accompanied by a professional naturalist. Overnight at the Tiger den resort.
Day 04: Ranthambhore - Jaipur
On the 4th day we move on to our next city planned in our trip after a morning game drive in the Ranthambore.We move to Jaipur and on arrival the guests are checked in to the rooms.
Jaipur - the capital of Rajasthan, is color washed pink - the color associatedwith hospitality in Rajput culture. This Pink City of fairy tale palaces, rugged fortresses perched on barrenAlbert Museum - Jaipur, Jaipur Travel Agents hills and broad avenues, is picturesque. The first planned city of its time, a formidable wall encircles Jaipur. Rest of the day at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Jaipur JAI MAHAL PALACE / ALSISAR HAVELI.
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Day 05: Jaipur
Proceed on an excursion to Amber Fort with Elephant ride up to the Fort. Drive past Hawa Mahal, known popularly as the Palace of Winds, is a facade built for the Ladies of the Royal household in the 19th century. The Amber Fort, the capital of the erstwhile State of Jaipur until 1728 is perched on a hill. It has halls of Public and Private audience, a Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors) various marble palaces which are marvelous examples of ancient Rajput architecture.
The Temple of Amba (Mother Goddess), the patron deity of the Royal family is at the entrance to the palace. Ride an elephant to ascend the hill on which the Fort is situated.Proceed on a city tour visiting the City Palace - the former royal residence built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal styles which houses a museum with a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes and armory of the Mughals and Rajputs, including swords of different shapes and sizes with ornate handles.
It has an art gallery with an excellent collection of miniature paintings, carpets, royal paraphernalia and rare astronomical works in Arabic, Persian, Latin and Sanskrit. Jal Mahal - Jaipur, Jaipur Tours & Travels Also visit the Jantar Mantar - an astrological and astronomical observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh in the 18th century, which is remarkable for its accuracy even in the present times. Overnight in Jaipur JAI MAHAL PALACE / ALSISAR HAVELI
Day 06: Jaipur - Bharatpur
A paradise in itself. Welcome to the land of some spectacular winged birds. Highlight of this sanctuary is the annual visit by migratory birds in winter months. It is also house to great variety of resident species of birds and is considered as the ornithologist's paradise. It is 57 km from Agra on Delhi-Jaipur highway. Bharat pur is better known today for one of the finest water bird sanctuaries in the world and is spread on 29 sq. km area of swampy, lightly wooded terrain. Best season for bird watching - from October to February.
Overnight in Bharatpur The Bagh
Day 07: Bharatpur
Watching those lovely colorful birds in the skyCrane - Bharatpur, Bird Tour India, Indian Bird Tour or perched on the trees is definitely what all bird lovers crave for. And a boat ride into their natural home in the forest is no doubt a experience that is out of the world. This is truly a fantasy of feathers. It is the bird kingdom, where time takes wing. Formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, ornithologist Salim Ali, is credited for bringing this park to public notice.
Nearby places of interest is the Government Museum, Bharatpur, which gives a glimpse of past splendour. Not far from the museum is the Bharatpur Palace, which is an excellent blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture. There is the Lohagarh Fort, which remained invincible despite several attacks by the British. Just 32 kms from Bharatpur, is the Deeg Palace. This strong and massive fort was the summer resort of the rulers of Bharatpur and has many palaces and gardens.
Day 08: Bharatpur - Agra
The land of the Taj awaits us as we drive down to Agra enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri (15 kms). Fatehpur Sikri - This exquisite city built by Akbar the Great in 1569, in red sandstone, with its forts, palaces and mosques was abandoned 14 years after its creation due to political reasons. The Diwan-i-am - a vast courtyard in which the emperor gave daily public audience.
Diwan-i-khas - a large quadrangle which contained all the major functions of the Palace, Pachisi court, the Emperors private living quarter, Jodha Bai's Palace, Mariam's Palace, Birbal's Palace, Hawa Mahal and Panch Mahal are some of the important buildings of this residential complex. The Friday Mosque and the exquisite tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti are in the religious grounds set aside in a separate enclosure adjacent to the secular buildings.
We continue our drive to Agra (40 kms). On arrival in Agra, the guests are assisted in to the hotel rooms where they check in.
Agra is famous as the home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Taj Mahal. The architectural splendor of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces in Agra is a vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal empire. Agra was their capital for nearly a hundred years from 1564. A pleasant town, with a comparatively easy pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by artisans who are hereditary crafts persons. The city is also famous for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes.
Located at the city of Agra in the State of Uttar Pradesh, the Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful masterpieces of architecture in the world. Agra, situated about 200 km south of New Delhi, was the Capital of the Mughals (Moguls), the Muslim Emperors who ruled Northern India between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Mughals were the descendents of two of the most skilled warriors in history: the Turks and the Mongols. The Mughal dynasty reached its highest strength and fame during the reign of their early Emperors, Akbar, Jehangir, and Shah Jehan.
We take an afternoon tour of the Taj Mahal - The Taj is closed on Fridays] Overnight in Agra TRIDENT / JAYPEE PALACE.
Day 09: Agra - Khajuraho
Before leaving Agra and moving to Khajuraho the guests are taken to the Agra fort, which also is place of high interest to the tourists.
Situated in the heart of Central India, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is a fascinating village with a quaint rural ambience and a rich cultural heritage. The fascinating temples of Khajuraho, India's unique gift of love to the world represent the expression of a highly matured civilization. It is one of the top tourist places of India.
An Airport has been built in this small village. Tourists with fat pockets but less time can fly Delhi-Agra-Khujaraho-Delhi in a day! There are a lot of hotels in the area to stay. Foreigners run a few. The shops in Khajaraho sell a lot of handicrafts and some of them are really good and reasonably priced.
Visit the Western Group of temples. The Kandariya Mahadeo temple of the Western group is the largest, dedicated to Shiva. The main shrine is exquisitely carved and features, in delicate detail, gods, goddesses, celestial maidens and lovers. Also visit the Chaunsat Yogini temple dedicated to Kali and Chitragupta temple dedicated to the Sun-god Surya. Overnight in Khajuraho TRIDENT.
Day 10: Khajuraho - Varanasi
Away from the architecturally built temples to the land of Ganges. The guests take a last visit to the city and visit the Eastern and Southern group of temples. The Parsvanath temple of the Eastern group is the group's largest Jain temple. The themes depict, in charming detail, everyday activity. Also visit the Duladeo temple dedicated to Shiva and the Chaturbhuj temple of the Southern group.
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Afternoon,the visitors are taken to the airport to board the flight to Varanasi, by 9W: 724 ( 1405 / 1445 hrs ) Meeting and assistance on arrival at Varanasi airport and Check into the hotel.
Varanasi or Banaras is one of the oldest cities of India. This city has found place in the Buddhist scriptures as well the epic of Mahabharata. In Pali language Varanasi was called Banarasi hence it got the name 'Banaras'. Varanasi is also called 'Kashi' or the city of spiritual light. Kashi is the place where Shiva and Parvati stood when the "time started ticking". This ancient city of India is located on holiest river of India--Ganga.
This relation is unique and has attracted thousands of pilgrims. One theory also goes that Varanasi is located on the land between the river Varuna and Assi hence the name Varanasi. This town also has its place in history with many events and incidents being related with it. From time immemorial Varanasi has been the center of education, religion, art and culture. For every visitor Varanasi has different experiences to offer. The shimmering red and golden water of the Ganges when rays of dawn falls on them, the high banks, the temples, the Ashrams, the pavilions all are an experience in themselves.
Chanting of Mantras, the hymns along with the fragrance of incense in fills the air with mysticism which entrails every person. The refreshing dip in the Ganges with the splashing of water along the ghats-- in Varanasi discovery and experience takes to the ultimate bliss.
Overnight in Varanasi TAJ GANGES / HINDUSTHAN INT'L.
Day 11: Varanasi Take a boat ride at dawn down India's most sacred river, The Ganges. Sun rise at the holy river is a truly tranquil and breath taking sight with pilgrims standing waist-deep in water, praying to the rising Sun. Past these bathing ghats, see the "burning ghats" where the Hindus cremate their dead. This is done with great religious fervor, which is a moving experience. The streets of the old city also call for some attention and fascination. See the famous Vishwanath temple with its spires covered with gold, dedicated to Shiva, the presiding deity of the city. Return to the hotel for Breakfast.
The most renowned and famous university in the country is the Benaras Hindu University founded in 1916 and its famous Museum - Bharat Kala Bhavan which houses one of the finest collection of Mughal miniature paintings and brocade textiles. The Bharat Mata and Durga Temple .
As the sun starts to set and the afternoon draws into the dusky evening we proceed on an excursion to Sarnath - The place where the Buddha turned the "Wheel of Law" and delivered His First Sermon. See the Chowkandi and Dhamek Stupas, the ruins of 9th and 10th century monasteries and temples, the temple built by the Mahabodhi Society in 1931, and the Tibetan Temple. Visit the famous Sarnath Museum. Overnight in Varanasi .
Day 12: Varanasi - Katni - Bandhavgarh
The hunting ground of the Kings and declared a national park in the year 1968 is Bandhavgarh national park for you. Considered as the crown in the wildlife heritage of Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh is known for the Royal Bengal Tigers, cheetals, leopard, sambhar, and many more faunal species. Bandhavgarh National Park is nestled in the Vindhya mountain range of Central India full of hills and reverines.
Dinner and overnight in Bandhavgarh TIGER'S DEN RESORT.
Day 13: Bandhavgarh
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Lodge. Morning and afternoon game drive into the sanctuary by Jeep/ Elephant. The Forest Department has devised an ingenuous system of tracking the tiger at this Park. Every day, early in the morning, elephants and their "Mahouts" (drivers) are sent out into the jungle, in search of the Tiger.
Once it has been sighted, a radio message is flashed to the Forest Ranger, who in turn informs the visitors in their jeeps, who are then taken on elephant-back, into the bush, to see the elusive Tiger. Overnight in Bandhavgarh TIGER'S DEN RESORT.
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Day 14: Bandhavgarh
We spend the next two days at this resort to understand and enjoy every moment of this vast jungle terrain. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Lodge. Morning and afternoon game drive into the sanctuary by Jeep/ Elephant Overnight in Bandhavgarh TIGER'S DEN RESORT.
Day 15: Bandhavgarh
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Lodge. Morning and afternoon game drive into the sanctuary by Jeep/ Elephant Overnight in Bandhavgarh TIGER'S DEN RESORT.
Day 16: Bandhavgarh - Umaria - Delhi
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Lodge. During your stay in Bandhavgarh, arrangements will also be made to visit the local villages and the Tala School. A visit to the Bandhavgarh Fort will also be arranged with picnic and lunch. Morning game drives into the sanctuary by Jeep/ Elephant.
There are also other places of interest for the guests who can take nature walks and indulge in indoor and outdoor games to use their spare time more constructively.
Evening take a train to Umaria Railway station (32 kms/ 30 mts) to connect the train for Delhi. Carry packed Breakfast from the hotel. Leave Umaria for Delhi by Utkal Kalinga Express leaving Umaria at 2015hrs. Overnight enroute on board the train.
Day 17: Delhi
Arrival at Delhi at 1330 hrs.The guests are welcomed by the officials and are taken into the hotel rooms. Overnight in Delhi PARK ROYAL / QUTUB RESIDENCY.
Day 18: Delhi
The last day of the 18-day long trip and the day is spent at the visitor's leisure doing their own things. Shopping, packing and independent activities.
There is a FAREWELL DINNER hosted at a nice restaurant. After Dinner, the visitors are taken to the Airport to board flight back home.
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