Taj and Tiger Tour

(2wks) 14 nights – 15 days – (3wks) 20 nights – 21 days
(2wks) - Delhi – Keoladeao National Park – Agra – Khajuraho – Bandhavgarh – Kanha (3wks) - Delhi – Keoladeao National Park – Agra – Khajuraho – Bandhavgarh – Kanha - Gir
Day 1 International Flight London – Delhi
Meet on arrival & transfer to hotel.
 
Day 2
Full day sightseeing around Delhi. Delhi, the capital city of India, strikingly evokes the ancient past, while at the same time showcases India's modern future. It's divided into two parts; the crumbling old city of Old Delhi, and the orderly and well planned New Delhi, giving a feel like they are worlds apart.
 
Highlights include: The Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, the main street of old Delhi, to name a few. These can be combined into half or full day tours.
 
Day 3
AM- Pick up from hotel & drive to Bharatpur 4-5 hour journey from Delhi; transfer to Hotel, either near or within the Keoladeao National Park.
 
PM – afternoon wildlife spotting around Keoladeao National Park. Keoladeao National Park (Bharatpur) – is a renowned bird sanctuary, World Heritage and Ramsar Site, and is the only manmade wildlife sanctuary in India. The park derives its name from the temple of Keoladeao (Shiva) and ‘ghana’ which locally means ‘dense’, implying the nature of the vegetation. There are well-defined forest trails, which can easily be covered on foot or by cycle, or you can also hire a rickshaw. Rickshaw pullers have been trained by the park management in bird watching and are quite knowledgeable. It is also an excellent place to watch mammals like Golden Jackal, Striped Hyena, Fishing Cat, Jungle Cat, Nilgai, Sambar, Blackbuck, wild Boar and, of course, Tiger. During the cool winter months it is also possible to see large Indian Pythons sunning themselves.
 
Day 4 Full day – Keoladeao National Park
 
Day 5
AM – pick up from hotel & drive to Agra (approx. 56kms), en route stop at Fatehpur Sikri; transfer to hotel.
 
PM – Agra Fort & sunset visit to Taj Mahal (closed Friday)
The Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri – (the City of Victory) was built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar. It was the capital of the Mughal Empire for around 10 years. Visit the complex of monuments and temples, (Fort & Place, Buland Darwaza, Kali Mata Temple and Shrine of Great Sufi Saint Salim Chisti, who blessed Emperor Akbar with a Son) all in a uniform architectural style.
 
The Taj Mahal – (crown of buildings) is a mausoleum built in white marble by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died unexpectedly. It is a fine example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Islamic and Indian architectural styles. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is widely considered as one of the most beautiful and most recognizable structures in the world and stands as a symbol of eternal love.
 
Day 6
Early morning train transfer for 08:00 departure to Jhansi. Arrive 10:40 – drive to Khajuraho – transfer to hotel.
 
Khajuraho Town – has the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculptures. The Khajuraho group of monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be one of the "seven wonders" of India.
 
Day 7
AM – Drive to Bandhavgarh, transfer to hotel
PM – Tiger Safari Bandhavgarh National Park (closed every Wednesday evening)
Bandhavgarh National Park – belongs to the Vindhyan mountain ranges of central India, and was given national park status in 1968. During the following years it has developed into one of India's finest tiger reserves, boasting the highest density tiger population in the country. It is supposed to be home to the rare white tigers, but none have been sighted in the last 50 years. Other wildlife attractions include Chousinga (small, four-horned antelope), Nilgai, Chinkara, Chital, Porcupine, Hyena and a myriad of bird species.
 
Day 8 - Full day game drive – Bandhavgarh National Park
 
Day 9 - Full day game drive – Bandhavgarh National Park
 
Day 10 - Full day game drive – Bandhavgarh National Park
 
Day 11 AM – game drive; drive to Kanha – transfer to hotel
(Kanha National Park closes every Wednesday evening)
Kanha National Park – hosts an astonishing diversity of wildlife, with up to 22 large mammals and around 300 birds. Wildlife attractions include Tiger, Leopard, Dholes (Indian wild dog), Indian Bisons, Sambar, Chital, Barasingha, Barking Deer, Black Buck, Chausingha, Nilgai, Monkeys, Mongoose, Mouse Deer, Sloth Bear, Jackal, Porcupine, Hyena, Jungle Cat, Hare, Rock Pythons among many others. Sighting and photographing this magnificent animal from elephant back, is an unforgettable experience.
 
Day 12- Full day game drive – Kanha National Park
 
Day 13- Full day game drive – Kanha National Park
 
Day 14- AM – game drive; drive to Raipur for flight to Delhi & transfer to hotel (2wk option)
AM – game drive; drive to Raipur for afternoon flight to Ahmedabad (9W 2510); transfer to hotel (3wk option)
 
Day 15-  Transfer to airport for flight home (2wk option)
 
1 week extension to Gir National Park for those who are interested
 
Day 15
AM – drive to Sasangir, transfer to hotel Gir Birding Lodge
PM – game drive
Gir National Park – is the only known home of the rare Asiatic Lions. It was because of these creatures that the park came into existence in 1965. The Asiatic lion is slightly smaller than its African cousin but still as impressive. Although the park is renowned for the lions, it also home to a large array of wildlife, including a sizable population of Leopards, Chital, Chausingha, Striped Hyenas, Langurs, Chinkara and numerous reptiles and birds. The park comprises 1,412km sq, of deciduous forest, interspersed with semi-evergreen and evergreen flora, acacia, scrub jungle, grasslands and rocky hills.
 
Day 16 -  Full day game drive – Gir National Park
 
Day 17 -  Full day game drive – Gir National Park
 
Day 18 - Full day game drive – Gir National Park
 
Day 19  
AM – drive to Velavadar; transfer to hotel Black Buck
PM – Game drive
 
Blackbuck National Park at Velavadar – was established to stop the decrease in the population of Blackbuck and now runs a very successful conservation programme for the species. The Blackbuck is a beautiful antelope with an unusual mating ritual; it involves a spectacular vertical leap of up to 2metres by the male. The park has a unique semi-arid grassland ecosystem, which is divided into four distinct habitats: grassland, shrubland, saline land and high tidal lands. Besides the blackbuck, wildlife species include Wolf, Striped Hyena, Wild Cat, Jackal, Indian Fox, Wild Boar, while the reptile kingdom includes Saw Scaled Vipers, Common Cobra, Krait, Rat Snake and Sand Boa. There are also over 187 bird species, including the Indian speciality Lesser Florican.
 
Day 20
AM – Game drive
PM – drive to Ahmedabad for evening flight to Delhi (SG 218); transfer to hotel
 
Day 21-  Transfer to airport for flight home – London

 

 
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