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LAND OF THE TIGER – 16 NIGHTS / 17 DAYS

Location – Delhi-Ranthambhore-Agra-Jabalpur-Kanha-Bandhavgarh-Delhi

 

 

 

Trip Type – Wildlife Tour

Trip Duration- 17 Day(s) – 16 Night(s)

Overview

On this safari we spend maximum time in three outstanding parks to give the best opportunity for quality viewings. Ranthambore, former hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur, boasts large numbers of sambar and chital as well as tigers. Kanha is teeming with varieties of deer, monkey, langur, wild boar and leopard, and the ‘hard ground’ barasingha can also be seen. Bandhavgarh, one of the smaller national parks, is also the most prolific and enjoys an impressive setting with a stunning cliff-top fort overlooking grasslands, birch forests and bamboo that provide cover for the indigenous wildlife. All these parks are ideal for viewing both predator and prey, and with eleven game drives included and more optional ones, the chances of seeing the magnificent Bengal tiger are greatly increased. In addition to all this we visit the most famous of India’s monuments, and arguably the most romantic building in the world, the Taj Mahal.

Meet and assist on arrival in Delhi and transfer to your pre-booked hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure. Overnight in Delhi.

After a leisurely breakfast, we are transferred to the railway station to board the train to Ranthambore National Park, a journey of approximately 5 hours. On arrival in Ranthambore we are transferred to our lodge on the outskirts of Ranthambore National Park. Overnight in Ranthambore

We make our first game drive today early in the morning and a second drive at Ranthambore in the evening to increase our chances of seeing tiger. Game drives are undertaken in a large open truck (called a canter) from which we have unobstructed views of the park and the animals. Ranthambore is one of India’s tiger reserves under Project Tiger. Sadly, after initial success, poaching has drastically reduced the tiger population, but many of our groups have seen wild tigers. There is a huge array of other wildlife, such as several species of monkey, deer, crocodiles and bird life, which together with the scenery, make for a fascinating and exciting day.

In the morning we head back into the park in search of tigers, returning to the hotel before lunch. In the afternoon we have time to take an optional visit to the ancient forts, temples and villages both in and around the park.

Overnight in Ranthambore.

We depart in the morning and travel to Agra by road, visiting Fatehpur Sikri en route. Formerly the capital of the Mughal Empire, this wonderfully preserved ‘ghost town’ was constructed by Emperor Akabar between 1570 and 1585 and reflects his ideals in art, religion and architecture. This impressive and well-preserved citadel became his capital in 1571, after the blessing of a local Moslem holy man correctly predicted the birth of a longed-for son, his successor the Emperor Jehangir. But this magnificence only lasted 14 years, as in 1584 Akbar left Fatehpur Sikri to secure his outlying territories, leaving this city much as we see it today. The site is one of the most atmospheric in northern India and its position on a ridge overlooking the modern village below and wonderful state of preservation provide us with a taste of this city’s majestic past.

On arrival in Agra we are transferred to our pre-booked hotel.

No stay in Agra would of course be complete without a visit to the beautiful white marble Taj Mahal, built by the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631. The Taj is serenely beautiful and never fails to amaze a first-time visitor; the white marble exterior changes colour according to the position of the sun during the day. We will get up early to see this magnificent sight at sunrise.

 

During the morning we will also visit the imposing Red Fort of Akbar, third of the Moghul Emperors, whose mighty sandstone walls enclose the beautiful white marble Pearl Mosque and the palaces, halls, courtyards and fountains of his sons and successors, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. It is here that the latter spent his last years, imprisoned by his own son Aurangzeb. This afternoon is left free for individual sightseeing.

In the evening we will catch the overnight train to Jabalpur.

 

We arrive in Jabalpur in the morning where we will have some breakfast before transferring, by road, to Kanha National Park. Although the distance is not too great the poor road surface means that the journey will take approximately 5 to 6 hours. On arrival at the hotel, the evening is at leisure.

Created in 1974 and often described as India’s greatest wildlife reserve, Kanha is vast. Covering approximately 1,945 sq. km of undulating terrain, the elevation ranges from 450m to 900m with expansive grasslands, plateaus and dramatic rocky escarpments providing a home to literally hundreds of species of wildlife. The tiger population has been affected by poaching in recent years but the huge abundance of animals make the game drives a memorable experience. Kanha is an Indian wildlife park of the imagination whose atmosphere and apparently endless landscape can rightly be described as Kiplingesque. During our time in Kanha we include 4 game drives in the itinerary. The game drives in Kanha are undertaken by jeep.

Overnights in Kanha.

We leave Kanha National Park after breakfast and drive to Bandhavgarh stopping off en route for refreshments, approximately 6 – 7 hours. On arrival, the remainder of the day and evening are at leisure. Overnight in Bandhavgarh.

At only 437 sq. km. Bandhavgarh is one of the smaller and least-visited National Parks and enjoys an impressive setting with a stunning cliff-top fort overlooking grasslands, birch forests and bamboo that provide cover for the plentiful indigenous wildlife. In common with many other parks, Bandhavgarh is home to a wide variety of game including leopard, sloth bear, gaur, sambar, chital, wild pig and of course tiger. The healthy population of approximately 60-70 animals means that this Park has the highest tiger density of any of India’s reserves. Game drives in Bandhavgarh are undertaken by jeep. Aside from the game and the tigers, the Park also plays host to up to 150 species of birds including many on the migratory trail, such as the Steepe Eagle.

During our stay in this beautiful rugged National Park the itinerary includes 4 games drives.

Overnights in Bandhavgarh.

To Katni Railway Station: this drive is approximately 3 hours. We will stop for refreshments, conveniences and any photo opportunities along the way. This evening we will catch the overnight train to Delhi.

 

On our early arrival into Delhi we will transfer to our hotel and have some breakfast. We will then have a tour of the capital. In Old Delhi we visit the Red Fort and Jamia Masjid (India’s largest mosque) and in New Delhi we see the fine colonial buildings. Built by the British Raj in the early years of the last century and set in spacious tree-lined boulevards, these now house various Indian governmental departments. The afternoon is free for further individual exploration of India’s capital or to relax at the hotel.

We depart Delhi in the morning for onward destination. The arrangements for those not flying with the group ends after check out.

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