North India Culture with Wildlife

Duration: 21 Days / 20 Nights
Destination: Delhi, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaipur, Ranthambhore, Bharatpur, Agra, Khajuraho, Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Nagpur, Delhi
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North India Culture with Wildlife

Day 01 Arrive Delhi
Company representatives will receive you on arrival at the international airport in Delhi late in the evening. Transfer to your hotel. Relax.

DELHI, the capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. It is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land.  A window to the kaleidoscope - that is India.
Overnight will be at Delhi.

2nd Day :Delhi
After breakfast proceed for a day sightseeing tour of the city.
       
Old Delhi. The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; drive past the Red Fort continuing to the Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws, one of Asia’s largest mosques. The magnificent Red Fort, overlooking the river Jamuna was built during the years 1638 - 48 when the Moghul Empire was at its peak. The tour continues to Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques and which is viewed from the outside.

People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet.

Enjoy the rickshaw ride at Old Delhi.

After visiting Old Delhi, you will be driven to New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colours and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards.

Imperial Delhi will include the Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President’s residence. If time permits then visit the Lotus temple located in south of Delhi. It is lotus shaped and has rightly been given the name. It is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. It is open to all faiths and is an ideal place for meditation and obtaining peace and tranquility. Its founder, Bahaullah (1817-1892), is regarded by Bahai as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad.

Enjoy the DANCES OF INDIA SHOW in the evening.

Overnight will be in Delhi.

3rd day : Delhi – Jodhpur By Air
Set at the edge of the Thar Desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. Once the capital of the Marwar state, it was founded in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha-chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs who claimed to be descendants of Rama - the epic hero of the Ramayana. The massive 15th century AD Mehrangarh Fort looms on the top of a rocky hill, soaring 125 Mts. Above the plains. The city is encompassed by a high wall -10 km long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions.
Visit the museum of UMAID BHAWAN PALACE. Overnight will be at Jodhpur.

4th Day :Jodhpur
Morning sightseeing tour of Jodhpur - gateway to the desert beyond, home of the Rathors of Marwar, visit the Mehrangarh Fort, rising up a hilly scarp, built on the advice of a hermit, overlooking the city in the image of a long sentinel.  Inside the Fort are a number of palaces added by successive rulers. In this palace you would see different miniature paintings & cradle room. After this you would visit Jaswant Thada Memorial.

Afternoon go for a rare glimpse into the rich culture and true essence of India. Abundant wildlife (game) and memorable moments of the great desert landscape fascinates one while driving along the countryside.
Overnight will be at Jodhpur.

5th Day : Jodhpur – Udaipur
By Road in 6 hrs
Start for Udaipur after breakfast.

En-route, visit the RANAKPUR TEMPLES, dating back to the 15th century. 200 pillars, none of which are alike, support its 29 halls. The Temple abounds with intricate friezes and sculptures. Includes visits to two more Jain temples and the Temple of the Sun God with its erotic sculptures.

Reach and check in at hotel.

The city of Dawn, Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure lake, hemmed in by the lush hills of the ARAVALLIS. A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination of poets, painters and writers.

Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavor of a heroic past, epitomizing valor and chivalry. Their reflection in the placid waters of the LAKE PICHOLA is an enticing sight.

Udaipur is the jewel of MEWAR -a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 Years.

Relax in the evening. Overnight will be at Udaipur.

6th Day : Udaipur
Breakfast will be at hotel.

Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace. Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and the Peacock Courtyard. 

Also visit the lovely Sahelion-ki-Bari Gardens, the Jagdish Temple and the local folk Museum.
Proceed for Evening Motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola.  From the boat you will be able to view the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert.  Also visit the Jag Mandir Palace - the other island palace in the middle of the lake. Spend some time at the Jag Mandir Palace.
Overnight will be at Udaipur.

7th Day : Udaipur – Jaipur
By Road 260 km/6 hr
Breakfast will be at hotel. Drive to Jaipur.

JAIPUR - Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan a romantic realm of resplendent palaces, mighty fortresses and regal Maharajahs that lies in the western deserts and is an utterly unique part of India. Proudly belonging to the KSHATRIYA warrior caste and fiercely independent, the Rajput princes made fearsome foes. However, many of them realized that to maintain their wealth and authority locally, it was expedient to proclaim allegiance to the central power. Thus, many enjoyed a privileged position under the Mughal emperors and also the British Raj that followed.

The bustling Rajasthan capital of Jaipur takes its name from its venerated founder Jai Singh II, who was given the title Sawai Maharaja by the Mughal. Literally translated this would mean ’one and a quarter’, suggesting that the Mughal thought this emperor to be more valuable than just ‘one’. Jaipur is known as the ’Pink City’ on account of the distinctive colour of its buildings. This did not, however, form part of the original plan, but dates back to 1856, when the city was given awash of pink in honor of a State Visit from Prince Albert.

Reach Jaipur and check in at hotel.

This evening, visit the Birla Temple to learn more about the fascinating religious life of Jaipur. The marble structure, built as recently as 1985, houses ornate statues including one of Lakshmi (goddess of Wealth and Beauty) and Narayan dressed in gaudy robes, representing a Hindu vision of heavenly luxury. Carvings in the temple and on pillars supporting the covered walkways include images of the Hindu pantheon, as well as Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Francis of Assisi. Your visit will coincide with the AARTI Ceremony, which involves oil lamps being lit and waved, in order to awake and invoke the deity. Enjoy the experience and spend night at Jaipur.
Overnight will be at Jaipur.

8th Day : Jaipur
Proceed for morning excursion will be taken to the Amber Fort. Ride to the Fort on elephant back in a royal manner.
       
AMBER FORT PALACE - Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace.  Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I.  Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression.
Further proceed for sightseeing tour of Jaipur visiting...

CITY PALACE - A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city.  It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.
       
JANTAR MANTAR - This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country.  This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.
       
HAWA MAHAL - The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur.  It is a five-storey structure of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women.

Shopping and relax in the evening. Overnight will be at Jaipur.

9th Day : Jaipur – Ranthambhore
By Road in 5 hrs
Proceed to Ranthambhore.
Reach and transfer to the resort. Evening free at the resort and you can relax or watch some slides on the tiger.

Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, at the junction of the Aravalis and the Vindhyas, is a unique example of natural and historical richness, standing out conspicuously in the vast, arid and denuded tract of eastern Rajasthan, barely 14 kilometers from Sawai Madhopur. Get in tune with nature for a luxury holiday in the heart of the jungle.

Ranthambhore - perhaps the best place in the world to sight a tiger in the wild. The Ranthambhore National Park has had more Tiger sightings than any other National Park in the country. It has come to be known as "The land of the Tiger", where most of the documented footage of this majestic beast has been recorded.

It spreads over a highly undulating topography varying from gentle to steep slopes; from flat topped hills of the Vindhyas to the conical hillocks and sharp ridges of the Aravalis, from wide and flat valleys to narrow rocky gorges. An important geological feature the ‘Great Boundary Fault’ where the Vindhya plateaus meet the Aravali hill Ranges, meanders through the Reserve. The National Park is bound by the rivers Chambal in the south and Banas in the north.

Ranthambhore forest is of tropical dry deciduous type, further classified as Dhok climax forest because of the predominance of Dhok (Anogeissus pendulla) found nearly everywhere. Dhok is an extremely hardy tree, capable of withstanding prolonged droughts. The leaves of this tree are good fodder and they are browsed by herbivores, and form a significant part of their diet. Even the dry, fallen leaves, eaten by them, are rich source of nutrition.

The lakes abound with aquatic vegetation including duck weeds, lilies and lotus. A haven for a multitude of wild animals, the Park boasts of playing host to tigers, leopards, the elusive caracals, hyenas, sloth bears, wild boars, crocodiles and so on. Besides, there are over 300 species of birds, from the majestic Crested Serpent Eagle to the exotic Golden Oriole.

Tiger, at the apex of the food chain, lord over the kingdom in a subtle way. Solitary by nature, it operates in stealth. Therefore tiger sightings, frequent as they are, are always a matter of chance. However, even evidences of tiger's activities are very exciting.

The other kinds of cats found in Ranthambhore are Leopard (Panthera pardus), Caracal (Felis caracal), Leopard Cat (Felis bengalensis), Fishing Cat (Felis viverrina) and the Jungle Cat (Felis chaus). Besides the big cats, the other large predators found in Ranthambhore include Sloth Bear, Striped Hyena, Wolf, Wild dog (or Dhole), Jackal, Indian Fox, Palm Civet, Small Indian Civet, Common Indian Mongoose, Small Indian Mongoose, Ratel (or Honey Badger), Marsh Crocodile and the Indian Python. There are two species of Antlers, namely the Spotted Deer (or Chital) and the Sambhar Deer, and, two kinds of Antelopes, namely the Indian Gazelle (or Chinkara) and the Bluebull (or Neelgai). Black Buck (another kind of antelope), which is rarely found in the National Park is common in the Devpura area in the outskirts of the park.

Dinner will be served at the resort and relax for the night atresort.

10th Day : Ranthambore
Enjoy the early morning TIGER SAFARI inside the park in a jeep with a guide. Breakfast will be at the resort and then in the afternoon proceed for the second safari after lunch.

Relax at the resort in the evening and dinner will be at the resort.

Overnight will be at the resort.

11th Day : Ranthambhore - Agra
By Road in 1 hr

 "ruins" are in pristine condition  ...  it's not hard to imagine what the court life must have been like in the days of its grandeur. Also visit the Bulund Darwaza, the largest gateway in the world.

On arrival check-in at Hotel

AGRA: Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire - giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Today a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices, of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favorite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously. 

Evening: Free to explore.

Overnight will be at Agra.

12th Day : Agra
TAJ MAHAL : Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist's visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen.   

Proceed for day sightseeing of Agra after breakfast.

AGRA FORT - Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone.  Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction.

After Agra Fort we will visit BABY TAJ – The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj.

Evening: free to explore.

Overnight will be at Agra.

13th Day : Agra – Jhansi
By Train
Train Name : Bhopal Shatabdi Express
Train No. : 2002
Departure : 0800 hr
Arrival : 1024 hr
Jhansi – Orchha – Khajuraho
By Road in 4 hrs

Morning take a train for Jhansi. Reach and drive to Orchha, 12 km away.

ORCHHA - A MEDIEVAL CITY FOUNDED BY BUNDELA RULERS WITH PALACES AND TEMPLES OF THE 16TH AND 17TH CENTURY – WHICH HAVE REMARKABLY WITHSTOOD THE ONSLAUGHT OF TIME. THE CITY IS PICTURESQUELY FLANKED BY THE RIVER BETWA.

Proceed for sightseeing of ORCHHA sites within the Fort Complex. Enjoy your lunch atOrchha.

Continue drive to Khajuraho.

Situated in the northernmost part of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is famous for its enchanting temples and its legendary Khajuraho dance festival. The name Khajuraho is derived from the Khajur tree (the date palm tree) which is grown abundantly in the region. The Khajuraho Temples are dedicated to a celebration of womanhood, her myriad moods and facets. Famous for its erotic architecture, the carvings include, women writing a letter, applying eye makeup, combing her tresses, dancing & playing with her child. Her innocent, blushed, charming, seductive, ardent beauty, all depicted in exquisitely sculptured details. These temples have been designed and carved to lead the eyes from ground level upward till you seem to be looking at heaven.

Reach Khajuraho. Transferred to hotel and relax. Evening will be free and enjoy Sound and Light show at Western Set of temples.

Overnight will be at Khajuraho.

14th Day : Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh
By road in 5 hrs
Morning proceed for the visit to Eastern and Western Set of temples.

Later drive to Bandhavgarh.

Reach and check in at the resort.

Bandhavgarh is a new National Park with a very long history.  Set among the Vindhya hills of Madhya Pradesh with an area of 168sq miles (437sq km) it contains a wide variety of habitats and a high density of game, including a large number of Tigers.  This is also the White tiger country.  These have been found in the old state of Rewa for Many years.  Maharaja Martand Singh captured the last known in 1951.  This white Tiger, Mohun is now stuffed and on display in the Palace of Maharaja of Rewa. Prior to becoming a National Park, the forests around Bandhavgarh had long been maintained as a Shikargah, or game preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa.  The Maharaja and his guests carried out hunting – otherwise the wildlife was well protected.  It was considered a good omen for Maharaja of Rewa to shoot 109 tigers.  His Highness Maharaja Venkat Raman Singh shot 111 Tigers by 1914.

Where birds are concerned, keep a look out for white browed fantails, steppe eagles, green pigeons, grey malabar hornbills, black and white malabar hornbills (quite a rare sighting), blossom headed parakeets, parakeets, blue bearded bee eaters, green bee eaters, white bellied drongos, owls, Jerdon's and gold fronted leaf birds, minivets, woodshrikes and the lovely paradise flycatchers.
In the afternoon proceed into the Park for your wildlife safari. In the evening have dinner by the bonfire and overnight will be at the resort.

15th Day : Bandhavgarh
Enjoy safari inside the jungle.

Afternoon enjoy the visit to the Bandhavgarh Fort: The oldest fort in India - considered to be more than 2500 years.   One-hour trek up the fort is worth the effort.  The charm of this trek lies in discovering these monuments in the jungle, unspoiled and unexplored.  Some of the statues lie off the main path and so it is best to take a guide.  Apart from the avatars, well worth seeing are three small temples of around the 12th century.  These temples are deserted but the fort is still used as a place of worship.  Kabir Das, the celebrated 16th century saint, once lived and preached here. The natural ramparts of the fort give breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside. The fort still belongs to the Maharaja of Rewa and permission is required to visit it. However permission is available locally and no trip to Bandhavgarh is complete without making an effort to climb up the fort. The staff of the resort carries your lunch while you are busy negotiating the trek to the fort.
Evening: free to relax.
Overnight will be at the resort.

16th Day : Bandhavgarh
Enjoy a full day game viewing inside the jungle. (Two safaris)
Overnight will be at the resort.

17th Day : Bandhavgarh – Kanha
By Road 255 km in 6 hr
After breakfast drive to Kanha.

This is the place that has been described by RUDYARD KIPLING in his great book "The Jungle Book". Located in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha National Park is a tiger reserve that extends over an area of over 940 square km. A horseshoe shaped valley bounded by the spurs of the Mekal presents an interesting topography. Steep rocky escarpments along the edges offer breathtaking views of the valley. Realizing the danger on the Tiger population in the country, the Government started the "Project Tiger" at Kanha and in 1974 the area was declared a Tiger reserve. The park is also the habitat of the high ground Barasingha.

In 1930s, the Kanha area was divided into two sanctuaries - Hallon and Banjar of 250kms to 300kms each. Though one of these was subsequently disbanded .The area remained a protected one until 1947. Depletion of the tiger population in the year that followed led to the area being made an absolute sanctuary in 1952.

Patient watching should reward the visitor, with a sight of Indian Fox, Sloth bear, Striped hyena, Jungle cut, Lepord, Mouse Deer, Chausingha or four horned antelope, Nilgai, Ratel and Porcupine Kanha has some 200 species of birds. Watchers should station themselves in the hills, where the mixed and bamboo forests harbour many species and in the grassy forest clearings. Water birds can be seen near the park’s many rivulets and at Sarvantal, a pool that is frequented by water birds and the area in front of the museum. The birds comprise of Racket Tailed Drongo, Crested Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Peacock, Golden Oriole, Treepie, Whitenecked Stork, Shikra, White-eyed Buzzard, Roseringed Parakeet, Shama, Red Munia, Large Green Barbet, Crimson Breasted Barbet, Lesser Golden Backed Woodpecker, Hair Crested Drongo, Common Teal, Pintail Duck, etc.
Reach in the afternoon and relax at the resort.
Overnight will be at the resort.

18th Day : Kanha
Enjoy a full day game viewing inside the jungle. Overnight will be at Kanha.

19th Day : Kanha
Enjoy a full day game viewing inside the jungle. (Two safaris)
Overnight will be at the resort.

20th Day : Kanha – Nagpur
By Road in 6 hr
Nagpur – Delhi
By Air

Enjoy a full day game viewing inside the jungle.Morning: relax at the hotel.
Later drive to Nagpur. Reach and take a flight for Delhi.
Reach Delhi and transfer to the hotel. Overnight will be at Delhi.

21th Day : Delhi – Back Home
Today as per your flight timings, you’ll be transferred to the airport to take a flight back home with sweet memories of INDIA.


'Indian Wildlife' With 80 National Parks and 441 wildlife sanctuaries, Wildlife in India is nothing but a big retreat! Spot a Tiger in Corbett National Park