On The Tigers Trail
Duration : 16 Days / 15 Nights
Destination Covered : Delhi - Ranthambore - Agra - Jhansi -
Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh - Kanha - Nagpur - Mumbai
Day 01: Arrival / Delhi
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!
Overnight at The Imperial
Day 02: Delhi
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,
, 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
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
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.
As the afternoon sun recedes, visit the Tomb of the second
Mughal Emperor Humayun, which was commissioned by his senior
wife Haji Begum, in the 16th century. This is an early example
of Mughal architecture. The design elements of this tomb - a
squat building lighted by high arched entrances topped by a
protuberant dome and surrounded by formal gardens, were to be
refined over the years to the magnificence of the Taj Mahal.
Home Visit & a Welcome Dinner with an Indian Family
: This evening, we would visit an Indian family for an Indian
home experience. The evening is designed to give you a 'feel'
and insight into Indian family life as well as experience
typical Indian hospitality and home made Indian food.
Overnight at The Imperial
Day 04 - 05: Ranthambore
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.
Overnight at Vanyavilas
Day 06: Ranthambore / Agra
breakfast, we drive to Agra.
Upon 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
Overnight at Amarvilas
Day 08: Agra / Jhansi (Shatabadi Express - 0820 / 1040 Hrs)
Jhansi/ Khajuraho (180 Kms)
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
Overnight at Grand Temple View
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.
We are never short of wildlife to watch in this gem of a
Overnight at Mahua Kothi
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
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
The reptile residents of the park consist of Monitor Lizards,
Pythons and a large variety of other snakes.
Overnight at Banjaar Tola
END OF SERVICES
We do hope the flavor of India will
remain on your taste buds for all times to come and hopefully would
kindle an indelible fondness for the country and her people; Thank you
for being our guest, and as we say in India 'Please Come back Soon"