Central India Tigers and Culture 2024
February 07, 2024
Central India Tigers & The Golden Triangle
India is a must-visit destination for every natural-born traveler. Its cultural history and prolific wildlife make India one of the best and most complete destinations globally.
On this amazing journey, you will explore its depths, visiting the most important national parks, Kanha National Park & Bandhavgarh National park, in search of the most impressive views of tigers.
We will also explore its holy sites at Khajuraho, Jaipur, and Agra, stopping for a fantastic sunrise visit to the breathtaking Taj Mahal.
This expedition has been crafted by us using our 25 years of experience, making it one of our new highlights for future NPE travelers.
WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY
- Visit Kanha National Park & Bandhavgarh National Park is a quest in search of Tigers.
- Explore Khajuraho’s ancient temples and UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
- Sunrise visit to Taj Mahal
- The best accommodation at top-class hotels
- Jaipur also known as the “pink city” the most important destination in Rajasthan
- Visit to Old and New Delhi
If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!
A 14 DAY EXPEDITION TO MEET THE MOST ICONIC ATTRACTIONS OF INDIA, AND MUCH MORE FROM US$ 9645.00 EXCLUDING FLIGHTS
Itinerary in Brief
Arrive in Delhi:
Upon your arrival at the Dehli airport, our tour representative will welcome you at the airport arrival lounge & transfer you to your hotel.
Overnight at The Claridges (Meals Aloft).
Old & New Delhi
After breakfast, we’ll tour Old Delhi to learn about the Mughal Empire’s splendor and ultimate devastation. The tour includes visiting Jama Masjid, India’s biggest mosque, and a drive through the Red Fort, the Mughal Empire’s most luxurious fort and palace. We’ll stroll around the streets and markets of this imperial capital city from the seventeenth century. You’ll be dazzled by the glitter of India’s largest jewelry market and relish the smells of one of Asia’s largest spice markets. You’ll find hidden jewels while exploring the tiny lanes and 350-year-old markets of the city established during the pinnacle of the Mughal Empire, India’s most spectacular empire, with a mix of strolling and rickshaw riding.
Lunch will be at a local restaurant.
The afternoon will be dedicated to New Delhi, founded by the British imperial government in 1911, to move their capital from Calcutta. The tour of New Delhi includes a visit to Humayun’s Tomb, a drive along the ceremonial avenue – Rajpath, passing the imposing India Gate, the Parliament House, and the President’s Residence and will finish with a drive through the Diplomatic Enclave.
Overnight at The Claridges (B, L, D).
Delhi – Raipur – Kanha
After breakfast, we will drive to the Delhi airport to fly to Raipur.
After landing at Raipur airport, we will drive four hours to Kanha.
Our drive takes us through the rural countryside, colorful towns, villages, and a stop in the sleepy town of Mandla (a sacred city for the Gond Indian tribes), where the Narmada River, the second holiest to the Ganges, is the center of activity. En route we will enjoy a picnic lunch.
Once we arrive at our lodge at Kanha, and after enjoying some time to freshen up, we will take the opportunity to stretch our legs and walk down to the Banjar River with our naturalists to identify the local flora and fauna and make you familiar with the surroundings. Termite mounds, flying squirrels, and butterflies, among many other species, will fascinate you. By the way, it is here that Rudyard Kipling got his inspiration to write The Jungle Book!
In the evening, we will receive a complete talk about the national park. We will look at some maps to understand the areas where we will be doing our safaris. We will also meet our local naturalists, who will answer all your questions to help you prepare for the experiences ahead.
Overnight at Kanha Jungle Lodge (B, L, D).
Day 4 & 5
Kanha National Park Safaris
We will enjoy two 4×4 safaris each day in the magnificent Kanha National Park.
We are staying with the family whose heritage dates back three generations of tiger conservation. Kailash Sankhala, was the founder-director of Project Tiger, under which the inception of the Project Tiger Reserves in India took place. Their grandchildren run and manage Kanha Jungle Lodge. We will have the first-hand opportunity to interact with them and spend one of the evenings watching the award-winning documentary Tigerland. Produced by the Discovery Channel and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, it focuses on two passionate people trying to save the Tiger. One of them is Kailash Sankhala.
Overnight at Kanha Jungle Lodge (B, L, D).
From Kanha National Park to Bandhavgarh National Park
After one last morning jungle safari in Kanha, we will depart on a five-to-six-hour scenic drive to Bandhavgarh. Along the way, we will enjoy an excellent picnic lunch. Upon arrival, we will enjoy free time to freshen up before a short talk before dinner.
Bandhavgarh is home to more than 25 animal species, more than 250 bird species, over 80 butterfly species, and many reptiles. Apart from tigers, the Bandhavgarh is home to panthers, wolves, hyenas, wild dogs, gaur, cheetah, sambhar, barking deer, sloth bears, and many more species. Bandhavgarh has long been a fantastic tiger habitat, with the greatest tiger density in the world. “In other parks, you have to be lucky to see a tiger,” wildlife enthusiasts in India joke, “but in Bandhavgarh, you have to be unlucky not to see a tiger.”
Overnight at Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge (B, L, D).
Day 7 & 8
Bandhavgarh National Park
Early morning wake-up calls with tea and coffee will begin the days.
You’ll wake up to foggy mornings and the sounds of birds singing, making for an exciting start to the day. Leave for your jungle safari as soon as the sun rises, followed by a resident naturalist and forest park guides in 4×4 Jeeps. Every day, our guides and trackers visit the park to keep track of Tiger movements by inspecting their feces and hearing for other species’ alarm sounds. A knowledgeable guide familiar with the wildlife in the region will greatly boost your chances of spotting a tiger, and NPE has recruited the best. During the safari, you will have a picnic breakfast in the jungle.
Each day we will return to our lodge in time for lunch. After some rest, we will depart on an afternoon safari that will have us back at our lodge in time to freshen up, enjoy a small talk with our guides, and dine.
Overnight at Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge (B, L, D).
Bandhavgarh National Park, and to Khajuraho
After another morning safari at Bandhavgarh National Park, we will depart, with picnic lunches, on a five-hour drive to Khajuraho.
We’ll get to our hotel with plenty of time to freshen up and enjoy a great dinner.
Khajuraho is known for its ancient temples, which have some of the world’s best art. The Chandela Dynasty built these temples between 950 and 1050 AD, depicting different forms such as meditation, spiritual teachings, kinfolk, wrestling, royalty, and, most importantly, sensual art. The temples are one of India’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with breathtaking exhibits of excellent sculptures and great architectural ability. The temples are divided into three groups based on their geographical location: eastern, western, and southern. The sculptures of the Khajuraho temples are stunning, detailed, and expressive, and will leave you speechless.
Overnight at Radisson Jass (B, L, D).
Khajuraho – Agra
After breakfast, we will check-out of the hotel and then visit the Jain and Hindu temples with their elaborate stone carvings. Images of gods and goddesses, heavenly maidens and dancers, animals and musicians, all frozen in stone, many in the act of wooing, may be seen in the erotic temples.
Khajuraho was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to preserve this collective celebration of life, love, and joy and symbolize the Chandela period’s spirit of creativity and human interactions (9th & 10th century CE).
The Parasvanath Temple, the only Jain Temple surviving at Khajuraho with excellent sculptures on the outer walls of the Sanctum, the Javeri Temple dedicated to Vishnu, and other temples dedicated to Brahma, the Goddess Kali, the Visha Temple of Shiva, and the Bharatji Temple with a lovely image of 11 headed Vishnu are all part of the Eastern group of temples.
After the visit, transfer to Khajuraho airport for a flight to Agra. (Air India flight from Khajuraho to Agra)
Upon arrival, we will drive to our hotel.
We will dine at Peshawri (located in our hotel), which brings the romance of India’s rough northwest frontier to life in this authentic, award-winning restaurant, making it a must-visit dining spot in Agra.
Overnight at ITC Mughal (B, L, D).
Taj Mahal at sunrise – From Agra to Jaipur – Samode Haveli
Rise early for morning coffee and prepare for a truly spectacular sight, the legendary Taj Mahal at daybreak. It is often said that Taj Mahal changes its colors by every minute depending upon the angle of sun rays and it is best seen either by sunset or sunrise. Sunrise however is the best timing for taking pictures of this monument under mild sunlight.
In 1475 AD, Badal Singh founded the city of Taj in Agra. In the Mahabharat, Agra is referred to as Agraban. Sikandar Lodi established Agra as his capital, but Babur conquered the Lodis, capturing Agra and the Mughal Empire. Agra saw a feverish building activity in the mid-16th century and early 17th century AD, and it was during this period, the Taj Mahal, the emblem of love, was erected.
Always the main reason for a journey to Agra, the Taj Mahal is a white marble tribute to Shah Jahan’s lovely wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Ustad Isa, a Persian architect, planned and built this monument, which took 22 years to finish. The Taj Mahal is known for its exquisite domes, delicately carved screens, some of the most extraordinary inlay work ever seen, and its remarkable architectural balance and perfect symmetry.
After this amazing experience, we will return to the hotel for breakfast and Checkout. While returning to Jaipur, visit to Agra Fort. After visiting the fort, we will drive back to Jaipur. (240Kms/ 4-5 hrs). Lunch will be served at a local restaurant
Upon arrival, check in at hotel. You will have the afternoon free to enjoy this superb hotel. A true master piece of historic first-class hotels.
Overnight at Samode Haveli (B, L, D).
After breakfast, we will visit the magnificent Amber Fort, the most iconic monument in Jaipur. The fort houses many palaces, halls, gardens, and temples, including Sheesh Mahal, an elaborate mirror palace that adds to the grandeur of this historical site.
After visiting the fort, we will enjoy a memorable private guided tour of the City Palace, the residence of the Royal family, who have opened their gates to visitors and converted a part of their palace into a museum. The Jaipur palace is full of brilliant architecture and intricately carved walls and pillars. We will visit the beautiful Chandra Mahal or Chandra Niwas, the most commanding building in the City Palace complex.
We will then continue for a unique cultural and culinary experience with Mr. Durga Singh Ji of Dera Mandawa, who will receive us in his home for lunch. While we are there, you may try your hand at Indian cooking if you wish.
Thakur Durga Singh was educated at the renowned Mayo College in Ajmer. He takes great pride in his history, cultural traditions, folk traditions, and eastern religions, and he likes to present Rajasthan and India to interested travelers. He is the current custodian of Dera Mandawa, and is an exceptional host.
After lunch, we will proceed to walk through the bazaars of Jaipur, which offer the opportunity to immerse in the riches of traditional India. Since its foundation in 1727, the royal family and nobles of Jaipur have been patronizing various craftsmen and artisans in the Pink City.
After lunch, we will return to our hotel to relax.
At 7:30 PM, we will take you to a fine dining experience at 1135 AD restaurant. 1135 AD name comes from the year when the Kacchawaha clan founded the dynasty. The current chef takes notes from the original royal cooks and brings forth the true culinary valor of the ‘Rajput Kingdom’.
This private dinner will be a Surya Thali experience that will last forever in your memory.
Overnight at the Royal Heritage Haveli (B, L, D).
Back To Delhi
After breakfast, we will depart on a five-hour drive to Delhi. We will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant along the way.
Upon arrival, the rest of the afternoon and evening will be free to enjoy our hotel facilities before heading out for our superb farewell dinner.
Overnight at JW Marriott (B, L, D).
Fly back home or continue to the extension
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Delhi airport to take your flight back home, or to continue exploring other areas of India with NPE (Please contact us about our multiple extensions available)
To Varanasi-Ganga Aarti Ceremony:
After breakfast, we will be transferred to Delhi’s airport to board our flight to Varanasi. Once we arrive in Varanasi, the NPE representative will transfer us to our hotel.
After time to rest and lunch, we will visit the Ganges for the beautiful Aarti (prayer) ceremony. Varanasi’s Ganga aarti is a brilliant beacon of devotion and bliss. There hasn’t been a day in a long time when the holy Ganga River hasn’t been revered.
We will enjoy unique ceremonies, and, as the sun sets, we will take a boat and float upriver from the Assi Ghat.
Overnight at Guleria Kothi Deluxe Room (B, L, D).
The complete Varanasi Experience
Get up early, and at the crack of dawn, we will depart on an unforgettable boat excursion that will allow us to admire, and
photograph, the living traditions of one of the oldest religions during the golden light hours of the day. You will be amazed by the color palette surrounding you, including the red and golden color of the water of the Ganges, the temples, ‘ashrams,’ and pavilions.
After sunrise, we will venture again down the Ghats (banks of the river), which will be much less crowded than the evening before. Once we are back at Assi Ghat, we will witness the morning Aarti (prayer), and because there are fewer people, we will be able to get up close to the priests. It is also possible to hear music students chanting hymns while the priests perform the morning rituals.
Overnight at Guleria Kothi Deluxe Room (B, L, D).
Yoga and Back to Dehli
It is the Ganga Ghats of Varanasi that complement the concept of divinity.
We will enjoy an optional but included early morning yoga session at the Ghats by a Varanasi yoga master.
We will then enjoy free time to explore the town before lunch. (Lunch today is on your own at Varanasi).
Our flight to Delhi is scheduled for 3:30 pm.
Upon arrival, we will transfer to the Radisson Blu Hotel, where we will rest until it is time to return to the airport to fly back home.
Overnight at the Radisson Blu (B).
Fly back home
Transfer to the airport and fly back home.
Breakfast this morning is included.
Kanha Jungle Lodge
Kanha Jungle Lodge, located in the heart of the rich Sal Forest and near the famed Kanha National Park, provides a natural setting for guests to enjoy the enormous expanse of wildlife in the area. Its outstanding location near the Mukki gate of Kanha National Park and its amenities will provide the perfect balance of luxury and relaxation before and after long days of game viewing.
Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge
The lodge was built on the theme of an Indian hamlet and is located within walking distance of Bandhavgarh National Park’s main gate. This excellent hotel offers a wide range of activities for guests to unwind and connect with nature. Its naturalist crew is one of the most valuable safari companions you can have. The lodge’s Jeeps are equipped with Bird Books, Binoculars, and, most importantly, a trained naturalist whose wealth of experience in these jungles will make each safari fascinating and leave you wanting more.
The Radisson Jass strives to deliver a well-balanced travel experience with comfort, style, and genuine hospitality. The Radisson Jass Hotel, surrounded by lush gardens and adjacent to Khajuraho’s famous temples, is the best spot to stay in this temple town. The hotel offers elegantly designed rooms and food and beverage, recreational, and heartfelt service to ensure that you and your family have a wonderful stay.
ITC Mughal, a Luxury Resort & Spa in Agra, is a fitting monument to the great Mughal builders of the past, sprawled over 23 acres of exquisite gardens near the Taj Mahal. The only Indian hotel that received the renowned Aga Khan Award for its outstanding Mughal architecture portrayal. This Agra luxury hotel has 233 sumptuous rooms and suites, evoking the Mughal Dynasty’s beauty and perfection.
Royal Heritage Haveli
The Royal Heritage Haveli, built initially as a hunting lodge in the 18th century by His Highness Madho Singh Ji of Jaipur, now serves as a boutique hotel after 200 years. The Royal Heritage Haveli is now run by Maharaj Jai Singh of Jaipur’s niece Angelique and her spouse Pradip. They are known for their gracious hospitality, providing each guest with a unique and authentic flavor of the Maharaja’s way of life. The Royal Heritage Haveli, which spans 100,000 square feet and features expansive lawns, tranquil courtyards, sumptuous furnishings, and grand living areas, is a wealthy destination.
The Claridges is a top-notch Indian hotel renowned for several international awards and its finest cuisine. This hotel provides the best experience in Delhi, with a fantastic combination of classic architecture and modern amenities. Its location will let you uniquely experience Delhi, and its amenities will provide the best relaxation experience before returning home.
Departure Dates & Rates
Feb 07, 2024
Note: All prices are in US$, per person, and based on double occupancy.
*Domestic Air prices are estimated and may change due to cost variation by the airlines.
** Some special conditions apply, please check the single supplement section of the expedition booklet by downloading the complete details.
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