15 Nights/16 Days
If you want a complete taste of India then this is the program you ought to do. The tour provides you with an opportunity to see India’s spirituality, culture, religion, lifestyle, flora, fauna, and architecture. Everything that India is famous for is seen in this tour. This tour will answer your questions about Indian National Parks, the land of contrasts. When you visit Varanasi, you get a feel that this land the time forgot. Certain pockets of this town are a revelation for those who have a spiritual bend of mind. The early morning boat ride on the holy Ganges, to the evening Arti ceremony on the river, taking a cycle rickshaw through the tight lanes of the city give an insight on the values that India so proudly talks about in its scriptures.
Why everyone wants to visit the bazaars of Jaipur, what do they see there? What is it about the Taj Mahal in Agra that attracts people not once by again and again worldwide is to be seen, felt and understood. The erotic temples of Khajuraho, which were discovered accidentally few centuries ago also shock one’s senses on the thought behind these magnificent temples.
Finally, the call of the wild is satiated by your visit to Kanha and Bandhavgarh famously known as the Kipling Country. You might have seen the Tigers in the zoos, films or maybe some circus but seeing a Tiger in pure untamed wilderness which will give you sleepless nights for long. There is something about this animal that made Dunbar Brander a famous naturalist turned conservationist call it an engineering masterpiece. Your tiger safari in Kanha and Bandhavgarh in this tour will further heighten the other destinations in this tour.
National Parks Covered
Arrival in New Delhi
Arrive New Delhi. Overnight stay at the hotel in New Delhi.
In New Delhi
After breakfast proceed for the full day city tour of Old Delhi and New Delhi.
In the old city visit Red Fort built by Emperor Shah Jahan; Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India; Raj Ghat- the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi and enjoy a walking tour in Chandni Chowk- the silver street of Delhi bustling with activity.
In the afternoon visit Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India; India Gate – A War Memorial Arch. Also drive past the President’s house, Parliament house, Government secretariat buildings and Connaught place – the heart of New Delhi and a busy shopping center. Overnight stay at the hotel in New Delhi.
Day 3 & 4
New Delhi – Jaipur (by surface, 275km, 5-hour drive)
In the afternoon visit the Observatory, the Palace of Winds and the City Palace and Museum. The museum has an interesting textile section, which contains dresses and costumes of the former Maharajas and Maharanis of Jaipur. Jaipur is well known for its beautiful carpets, enamelled ornaments, precious and semi-precious stones, brass ornaments and many other arts and crafts. Spend time in crowded lanes & by lanes of pink city, haggling and souvenir-hunting in the evening. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Jaipur – Agra (by road, 250kms, 5 hour drive)
After breakfast drive to to Agra 250 kms / 5 hour drive. Enroute stop at Fatehpur Sikri, the ancient abandoned Moghul capital. This 16th century capital of Moghul emperor Akbar is a complex of forts, palaces and mosques built in sandstone. The city had to be deserted because of lack of water.
Agra – New Delhi (by road, 220kms, 4 hours drive)
Sunrise proceed to visit the famous white marble mausoleum, The Taj Mahal, which was built in the middle of the 17th century by the Moghul emperor Shah Jehan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Completed in 1652, skilled craftsmen from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and some 20,000 laborer’s worked for 17 years to build this edifice. Later proceed to visit the red sandstone AGRA FORT which stands like a crescent on the banks of Yamuna River enclosed by forbidding 20-meter high walls, with a 12- meter moat between them. After relaxed breakfast drive to New Delhi 220kms/4 hour drive.
New Delhi – Raipur – Kanha (flight + 210 kms/4 hrs drive)
Morning transfer to the airport to board a flight to Raipur. Met at the airport and drive to Kanha. Lunch at the resort and afternoon jeep safari. Kanha is located right in the heart of India, which also gives you an opportunity to experience the rural, tribal, and agricultural parts of India. Dinner and overnight at resort.
In Kanha National Park
Kanha’s sal and bamboo forests, rolling grasslands and meandering streams stretch over 940 sq km in dramatic natural splendor which form the core of the Kanha Tiger Reserve created in 1974 under Project Tiger. The park is the only habitat of the rare hardground Barasingha.
This is the original Kipling country of which he wrote so vividly in his Jungle Book. Packed breakfast which comes from the Lodge is served at a designated spot and spread on the bonnet of the Safari vehicle. Enjoy your breakfast in the wilderness of Kanha. The forests of the Banjar valley and Halon valley, respectively forming Kanha’s western and eastern halves.
Since then, a string of stringent conservation programmes have been launched, for the overall protection of the park’s fauna and flora. Kanha boasts of about 38 species of mammals. Some of the inhabitants of this park are the gaur, the largest of the world’s cattle; the sambar, the largest Indian deer; and the chausingha, the only four-horned antelope in the world. Other frequent visitors include the Nilgai antelope, the sloth bear, the dhole, or Indian wild dog, and an occasional Leopard. Some 300 species of birds inhabit the park, that includes the storks, egrets, black ibis, raptors, owls, and the red-wattled lapwings.
Depart for evening jeep tiger safari in Kanha National Park. Return at 6pm from safari. Dinner and overnight at the Lodge.
Kanha – Bandhavgarh (by surface 280 kms/6 hrs drive)
Morning jeep tiger safari in Kanha national park and after early lunch depart for Bandhavgarh, 280kms, 6 hour drive. On arrival check into the Lodge. Dinner and overnight at the Lodge.
Day 11 - 12
In Bandhavgarh National Park
Morning and afternoon safaris in the park. All meals and overnight at the resort.
The national park is mainly known for the density of its tiger population. The other wild attractions in the park include Leopards, Blue Bulls, Indian Gaur (Bison) Chausingha (Four Horned Antelopes), Spotted Deers, Sambar Deer, Wild Boar, Sloth Bears Fox, Jackals, Wild Dogs, etc. There are at least 22 mammal species and about 250 bird species in the Park. The other animals found in Bandhavgarh are Ratel, Porcupine, Small Indian Civet, Palm Squirrel, Lesser Bandicoot rat, the Jungle Cat, and the shy Hyenas.
The reptile population in the park includes Cobras, Kraits, Vipers, Ratsnakes, Pythons, Monitor Lizards and turtles. The two primate species – the rhesus macaque and the Hanuman langur – inhabit Bandhavgarh.
Bandhavgarh – Khajuraho (by road 280 kms/6 hrs drive)
Morning jeep tiger safari in Bandhavgarh national park and after breakfast drive to Khajuraho 280 kms/6 hrs drive. On arrival check into the hotel. Later city tour of Khajuraho.
Khajuraho, discovered by chance, is India’s second biggest single tourist attraction. Khajuraho has the largest group of medieval temples that are adorned with numerous sculptures of extraordinary grace and delicacy celebrating the stylized and refined courtly accomplishments of beauty, love and creative arts. Once the religious capital of the Chandela Rajputs, the temples of the city date from 950-1050 AD.
A wall with eight gates encloses the entire area and two golden palm trees flank each of them. Originally, there were over 80 temples, of which only 22 are now remarkably preserved.
The set of temples at Khajuraho celebrating Hindu religious thought in its mystifying variety of scope and inclusion stands distinguished from rest of the Hindu temples. The temples highlight the existential ethos in religion that venerates ‘Yoga’ and ‘Bhoga’. ‘Yoga’ is union of the self with the Almighty, while ‘Bhoga’ is the path to God through physical pleasure. The temples at Khajuraho, dedicated to physical love and pleasure are a testimony to this philosophy. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1986, Khajuraho is a prominent, must-see destination and its temples are India’s unique gift to the world as they capture life in every form and mood in stone. Evening Sound and Light show at Khajuraho.
Khajuraho – Varanasi (by Flight)
After breakfast visit the Eastern and Southern group of temples. The Parasvanath temple of the Eastern group is the group’s largest Jain temple. The themes depict, in charming detail, everyday activity. Also visit the Kandariya Mahadev temple dedicated to Shiva and the Chaturbhuj temple of the Southern group.
Afternoon transfer to the airport to board a flight to Varanasi. Met on arrival at Varanasi airport and transfer to the hotel.
Varanasi is one of India’s most important pilgrimage sites and the holiest of holy cities for Hindus. Known also as Kashi and Benaras, Varanasi is one of the world’s oldest living cities, and has been a centre of learning and culture for well over 2000 years.
Evening: Visit the “Ghats” or bank of the Ganga River. This is a fascinating walk as you can experience the cultural ethos that guides the life of the pious. See the rituals that take place to the setting sum and the ablutions that are performed in the river. As boats float down-stream, some carrying goods, fruits and vegetables, you will see others carrying the pious who perform ceremonies along the river.
On the banks or “ghats”, you can see some absorbed in prayer and the chanting of hymns, and others engaged in commerce and yet others performing functions like hair-cutting, massaging and even cleaning ears! Walk across to the Manikarnika Ghat, where you can see cremation, performed with intense ritual – the process of sending the departed soul to the heavens. Hindus believe that the gateway to the Heavens and for the Re-incarnation of the Soul `in a better state’, is possible when life’s last journey is from Varanasi. Overnight in Varanasi.
Varanasi – New Delhi (by flight)
Early morning: 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. 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
Also visit Sarnath a city located 13 kilometres north-east of Varanasi near the confluence of the Ganges and the Gomati rivers in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Later transfer to Varanasi airport to board a flight to New Delhi. Arrive and met at Airport. Transferred to hotel. Overnight at hotel in Delhi.
New Delhi Fly back home
Morning free for leisure activities and later transfer to International airport to board a flight back home or onward destination.