Central India Tigers and Culture

Central India Tigers and Culture

DURATION

14 DAYS

PRICING

$ 9645

WHEN

January 24, 2023

DESTINATION

India

TYPE

SMALL GROUP

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 Agara, 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
India has two million gods and worships them all. In Religion, all countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire

-Mark Twain 

QUESTIONS?


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

Day 1 
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 Radisson Blu Plaza (Meals Aloft)

Day 2

Delhi – Raipur – Kanha

Your NPE guide will pick you up from The Olive Exclusive Boutique in the morning. After that, you and your guide will leave Kalahari in your safari vehicle and head southwest over the magnificent Khomas Hochland mountains before heading down the Great Escarpment into the Namibia Desert below. A picnic lunch will be served

After breakfast we will drive to the Delhi airport to fly to Raipur.

After landing in 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 (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 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, 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 3 & 4

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)

Day 5

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, cheetal, 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 6 & 7
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

Day 8

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

Day 9
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 1310 from Khajuraho to Agra arrives at 1355 hours)

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

Day 10
Taj Mahal at sunrise – From Agra to Jaipur – The Royal Heritage 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 Royal Heritage Haveli. B, L, D

Day 11
Jaipur

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

Day 12
To Delhi – The Claridges

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 excellent five-star hotel, The Claridges.

We have left this evening’s dinner on your own so that you can choose to enjoy any of the superb restaurants in the hotel or travel to the city to taste different flavors. Your expedition leader will assist you with your selection and help you with the reservations. He will also inform you of his plans for dinner so that you can join him if you wish.

Overnight at The Claridges. B, L.

Day 13
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.

We will enjoy time to freshen up at our hotel before our farewell dinner.

Overnight at The Claridges. B, L, D.

Day 14
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)

Varanasi Extension

Day 14
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.

Day 15

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.

Day 16

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.

Day 17

Fly back home

Transfer to the airport and fly back home.

Breakfast this morning is included.

Lodgings

Radisson Blu Plaza

Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport, a five-star hotel providing smiles and hospitality par excellence for the past two decades, stands tall and proud on the National Highway -8, just 5 minutes from Indira Gandhi International Airport. The hotel is well connected to New Delhi’s south and central areas on one hand and Gurgaon’s commercial center on the other. The world-class shopping complexes are both within walking distance. The Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport is certified with ISO 22000:2005, which guarantees the safety and hygiene of its guests.

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.

Radisson Jass

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

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

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

DEPARTURE

Jan 24, 2023

PRICE

$ 9645.00

Single Supplement

$ 2185

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS

$ 620

COMPLETE DETAILS
RESERVATION

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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The Upper Ganges River 14N

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Upper Ganges River Cruise

For many Indians, the Ganges river and its inhabitants are vital. It serves as both a spiritual destination for many Hindus and a lifeline for the millions of indigenous who reside around and on the banks.

You can travel deeper into India on the RV Katha Pandaw and get a more personal sense of the nation. Discover the riverside towns, take rickshaw rides, and visit the magnificent terracotta temples. If you enjoy wildlife, you might even get lucky and see some Gangetic dolphins playing in the ocean as you eat on deck.

Over 2,500 kilometers of the Ganges River pass between Bangladesh and India. Before draining into the Bay of Bengal, it travels from the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand south and east via the Gangetic Plain of Bangladesh and India.

Many tourists visit India to experience the vibrant culture. You will be able to attend presentations and demonstrations given by the local Indian population to add extra value to your vacation.

.

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY

  • Take a rickshaw in Kalna to see Bengal’s terracotta temples, & the unique Shiva temple with 108 shrines
  • Discover the brass-working village of Matiari
  • Cross the Lower Ganges or Hooghly River to the Ganges itself through the Farraka canal and lock
  • Opportunity to spot the rare Gangeatic dolphins
  • Explore Barh, famous for Hindu ritual cremation at Urmanath
  • Visit the archaeological site of Nalanda, the great 5th century Buddhist university
“India is the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the globe combined.”
~ Mark Twain

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

Explore India´s depths with NPE! Take a 15-day ride in the fantastic RV Katha to Varanasi on a journey full of cultural experiences starting from $6752!

Itinerary in Brief

Day 1
Kolkata

Transfer from the meeting point in Kolkata to start up your Pandaw ship. Set sail down the Hooghly River, a crucial distributor of the Ganga to Chandernagore, a French possession until 1950. Stroll along the riverside promenade, visit the 18th-century church and Dupleix’s House, the erstwhile Governor-General of French India. Return to the ship and continue upstream past the old Dutch settlement of Chinsura and, therefore, the Portuguese colony of Bandel.

Day 2
Kalna

Land at the country town of Kalna and take rickshaws to determine a gaggle of many Bengal’s most incredible terracotta temples, moreover because the unique Shiva temple with concentric rings made of 108 lesser shrines. On the way back to the ship, explore the colorful local market stuffed with fruit sellers and fishmongers. Continue sailing towards Mayapur to explore the vast new ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) temple, which dominates the skyline. Because of the headquarters of ISKCON or the Hare Krishna movement, the temple receives over 1,000,000 singing and dancing devotees a year from around the world.

Day 3
Matiari

Set off to get the brass-working village of Matiari. Interact with the local artisans learn how these skilled craftsmen all concentrate on a unique process – from beating the metal to etching the designs. Witness the entire process involved forming brass water pots, trays, and other vessels Later, cruise on past the battlefield of Plassey where, in 1757, statesman, the Commander-in-Chief of British India, defeated Siraj-ud-Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal.

Day 4
Murshidabad

Enjoy an early morning walk to the Khushbagh, a peaceful Mughal-style garden that encloses the tombs of Siraj-ud-Daulah – the last independent Nawab of Bengal – and his family. Continue cruising towards Murshidabad to where the lovely Hazarduari Palace dominates the waterfront. Explore the town, a hidden architectural gem along the river with dramatic, whitewashed, colonial-era structures, including Katra Mosque and Katgola palaces.

Day 5
Farakka

Cross from the Lower Ganges or Hooghly River to the Ganges itself through the Farraka canal and lock, which was constructed 1963-75. Passing into the lovely river, the Farraka barrage is visible just downstream. This really dams the Ganges and strategically controls the flow of water into neighboring Bangladesh. Enter a piece of the river rich in birdlife before stopping at Samtaghat, otherwise called Raj Mahal.

Day 6
Bateshwarsthan

Passing the confluence of the Kosi river that flows down from Nepal, moor at the gorgeous town of Bateshwarsthan to uncover the 8th-century Buddhist site of Vikramshila, one of all the two most vital centers of learning in India during the Pala Empire, together with Nalanda.

Day 7
Bhagalpur

Sailing along this stretch of the river provides a chance to identify the rare Gangetic dolphins. Land at Bhagalpur, a center of silk production, and visit the 18th-century mansion of the Collector, Augustus Cleveland.

Day 8
Sultanganj

Continue to Jahanigra Island, an area of pilgrimage with many rock carvings in alto relievo dating from the eighth century depicting aspects of Siva and Vishnu. Within the evening moor off Sultanganj, with its pair of great granite rocks, one crowned with a mosque and the other a tiny low temple dating from the 16th century.

Day 9
Munger

Munger is now a large and industrialized city but has a remarkable history. In 1762, Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal, shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Munger and established a firearms manufacturing center. Explore the Mughal fort, the East India Company cemetery, and step inside the Bihar School of Yoga, founded in 1964 by Satyananda Saraswati, one of the leading yoga schools within the country. The institution has developed yogic techniques by synthesizing traditional yogic, vedantic, and tantric practices and contemporary health science.

Day 10
Mokama

Stop at Mokama, once home to Gentleman Jim, the naturalist, and protector of the Indian tigers. Surrounded by farmlands, Mokama has the second-highest production of lentils within the country. Study the liberty fighters from Mokama like Lalldin Saheb, who during the liberation struggle was sentenced to jail during land rule.

Day 11
Barh

Explore Barh, a town famous for Hindu ritual cremation at Urmanath and the Alakhnath Temple.

Day 12
Nalanda – Disembark Ship

Disembark the ship early and drive to the archaeological site of Nalanda, the lovely 5th-century Buddhist university. Discover the massive red brick walls and stupas standing on the positioning of what was the longest-running university in Indian history. Immerse yourself within the tranquil surrounds of this UNESCO World Heritage Site which is assumed to possess accommodated over 10,000 students and hosted Buddha Siddhartha himself. Still, Bodh Gaya, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, arranged round the Maha Bodhi temple where the Lord Buddha attained enlightenment within the 5th century BC. Spend time exploring this global center of pilgrimage for Buddhists of all denominations and admire the various monasteries inbuilt various national styles – Tibetan, Burmese, Thai, Japanese, etc.

Overnight in Oaks Bodh Gaya or similar

Day 13
Varanasi

Board a flight to Varanasi, the oldest and holiest city of India established within the 11th century BC and today with over 2,000 living temples. Check-in to your hotel with time to clean up before an evening cruise along the sacred river to witness the Aarti ritual. Enjoy dinner at the good Kebab Factory, a contemporary and classy Indian restaurant specializing in delectable kebabs.

Overnight in Tree of Life Varanasi or similar

Day 14
Varanasi

Take a sunrise boat cruise past the showering ghats and observe the people as they are available to the river to perform their morning prayers and rituals. Following breakfast, explore the Old City on a walking tour through the traditional by-lanes and find out the colorful and chaotic life. Later visit Sarnath and the Deer Park, where the Lord Buddha gave his first sermon with its archaeological museum. Return to the hotel and luxuriate in a performance comprising a sitar and tabla before your farewell dinner

Overnight in Tree of Life Varanasi or similar

Day 15
Varanasi

After breakfast, you will check out and transfer to the airport or the Taj Ganges hotel.

The Ship

RV Katha Pandaw

Sister to the Kindat and identical in design the Kalaw was launched together with her in 2014. Kalaw is named after the PS Kalaw launched in 1917 and sunk in 1942 within the War. Paul Strachan witnessed the salvaging of the Kalaw in 1998 and managed to accumulate her nameplate and bell, the previous of which has been reused on her namesake. Again this ultra lightship combines one in every of the shallowest drafts on the river with one in every of the very best passenger space ratios afloat.

Departure Dates & Rates

DEPARTURE
October to May
PRICE
$6752
Single Supplement
Request a quote
STATUS
OPEN
MORE INFO
RESERVATION

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

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Discover the backwaters, tea plantations, spice markets, incredible temples, and the wildlife in the National Parks in search of tigers, elephants, and more in this amazing trip, get yourself ready as you experience the highlights of Southern India. Our expedition is designed to let you experience it all, the diverse wildlife and the unique local culture.

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY

  • Arrive in modern Bangalore.
  • Visit the outstanding royal residence of Mysore Palace.
  • Lookup for elephants and Indian tigers in the Nagarhole National Park.
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Travel far enough, you meet yourself.

– David Mitchell

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

Itinerary in Brief

DAY 1

Arrive in Bangalore

Upon your arrival at Bangalore airport, our tour representative will welcome you at the airport arrival lounge & transfer you to your hotel.

Overnight at Gold Finch (Meals Aloft)

Day 2

Bangalore – Mysore

After breakfast drive to Mysore (3 hrs.)

Mysore is the third-largest city in the state of Karnataka, India, and it served as the capital city of the Mysore Princely Kingdom (Kingdom of Mysore) for nearly six centuries, from 1399 until 1947. Mysore is noted for its palaces, including Mysore Palace, and for the festivities that take place during the Dasara festival when the city is host to large numbers of visitors.

The city also lends its name to the Mysore style of painting, the sweet dish Mysore Pak, the Mysore Peta (a traditional silk turban), and the garment known as the Mysore silk sari.

Late afternoon visit to Mysore Palace, which is one of the finest Royal Palaces in India. Mysore Palace is a magnificent and beautiful building. It is especially impressive when its façade is illuminated on Sundays and festive occasions. The interior of the Palace is equally extraordinary with its spacious halls, called Mantaps, paintings, and overall architectural beauty.

Mysore Palace is an excellent example of Indo-Saracenic architecture; the domes and the outside construction show

Muslim influence, but the interior of the Palace is a fine example of Hindu architecture. Together, it is a delightful aesthetic blend of Hindu and Muslim artistic styles.

Although the present palace is only a little over a century old, there is clear evidence showing that a royal structure existed at the present location even before the two Yadu dynasty princes, Yaduraya and Krishnaraya, came to Mysore in 1399 A.D.

Overnight at Royal Orchid Metropole (B, L, D)

Day 3

Mysore – Kabini (Nagarhole)

Early morning excursion to Ranganathithu bird sanctuary. Ranganathittu covers an area of fewer than 1 sq. km, but has a very high density of bird populations, making this a premium viewing site. The most common birds in the sanctuary are painted storks, spoonbills, white ibises, egrets, herons, and partridges. Most of the birds stay on tiny islands within the river and can be approached by boat.
The Kaven River, which runs through the sanctuary, is also home to a few crocodiles.
Later drive to Nagarhole National Park (2 hrs.)
Nagarhole is the perfect getaway for bird lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike; a place rich in forests, little streams, undulating valleys, and fascinating waterfalls. Nagarhole is a haven for many wild animals and is one of the last safe asylums for Asian elephants. Visiting Nagarhole would undoubtedly be an ethereal experience – a trip to paradise and back, and one never to be forgotten.
The misty Brahmagiri Mountains form a perfect backdrop to the natural sounds of the jungle and the murmuring of the streams and rivers. The snake-like river that winds through the forests is the source of the name of the reserve; ‘Naga’ signifying snake and ‘Hole’ meaning river, it is derived from the Kannada language of the region. Nagarhole is a place of never-ending enchantment, due to the extensive number of species found there including four-horned antelope, panther, warblers, hornbills, spotted deer, mouse deer, pangolin, gaur, and giant flying squirrel among many others.

Overnight at The Serai (B, L, D)

Day 4

Nagarhole

Morning Jungle Safari in the park via shared jeep or canter. Later enjoy a short coracle ride on the Kabini River. A coracle is a small, maneuverable country boat that is ideal for game viewing in this park.

Night Trails: As night descends upon the Kabini landscape, a whole world of nocturnal life emerges. Those of you not lured by after-dinner television can explore nature around the resort at night, armed only with flashlights and a spirit of adventure. Naturalists will escort you around the areas just outside the resort, and close to the Kabini’s shoreline. This is where you will encounter the fascinating nocturnal world of beetles, spiders, owls, moths, lizards, and even plants as you partake in this unusual nighttime expedition.

Overnight at The Serai (B, L, D)

Day 5

Nagarhole

Morning Nature Walk: A guided Nature Walk is one of the best ways to explore the treasures of nature. A naturalist will unravel the beauty of birds, insects, trees, and wildflowers on this expedition. The walk would take you along the banks of the Kabini river, and then through the scrub and fields along the nearby village roads.

During the afternoon, you will cruise through the serene backwaters of the Kabini River on a motorboat, viewing sleepy crocodiles and chirpy birds, busy with their morning catch. You will have the opportunity to view a variety of wildlife, including elephants, coming to the river for a bath or a drink.

Overnight at The Serai (B, L, D)

Day 6

Kabini – Bandipur National Park

After your leisurely breakfast, we will drive to Bandipur National Park (2 hrs.)

Serai-Bandipur, unlike any other resort in the region, is situated very close to the Bandipur National Park. Because Serai- Bandipur rubs shoulders with the Bandipur National Park, it provides an experience quite unlike anything you’ve ever

experienced. It isn’t uncommon to hear the calls of wild animals and the trumpeting of elephants as they pass by the resort.

Among other things, the Serai -Bandipur offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the magnificent Nilgiris Mountains. Look out of your bedroom window, and you’ll be presented with a perpetually changing view of the Nilgiris. Bandipur National Park teems with wildlife and provides a safe haven to a wide variety of animals, including the four-horned antelope, gaur, Asiatic elephant, leopard, sloth bear, black napped hare, black leopard, and a host of bird species like the barbet, babbler, warbler, and the Indian peafowl.

Upon arrival in Bandipur, check in to the hotel. Overnight at The Serai (B, L, D)

Day 7

Bandipur National Park

Morning and afternoon shared jeep/canter in search of the wildlife in this beautiful park. You will have the option to hire a bicycle from the resort to go on cycle trails around the resort and enjoy bird watching. For those who enjoy staying up a bit later, there is stargazing in the evening under the clear skies.

Overnight at The Serai (B, L, D)

Day 8

Bandipur – Wayanad

After an early morning Safari and a delicious breakfast, drive to Wayanad (2 hrs.)

The Tranquil Resort comprises 400 acres of private coffee and spice plantation nestled in the lush forest of Wayanad; this is an exotic location in Kerala. The name says it all, the Tranquil Resort is a small private estate that offers a luxurious homelike experience surrounded by an environment of exquisite ecological beauty and unending relaxation.

The elegant suites & tree villas enjoy a panoramic overview of the coffee plantation. This resort offers you your own personal and private sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of life. In addition to simply relaxing, you can also enjoy leisurely walks and bird watching in and around the plantation. The main cropping season for coffee and areca nut is between mid-January – mid-March, and at this time, the plantation buzzes with activity.

In addition to a pool and Ayurvedic massages, the Tranquil Resort also offers nature walks. You can choose from 12 different routes ranging from “Braveheart” to “Teaser” walks. Guests are provided with walk maps and the routes are well marked out with signboards.

Overnight at Tranquil Resort (B, L, D)

Day 9

Wayanad

Full day free to enjoy activities in and around Wayanad.

Afternoon activities include a coffee plantation visit. Wayanad has a successful spice cultivation program, and visiting those who grow spices in the area is now a part of the district’s development plan. The idea of the spice tour was conceived as an alternative source of income for small scale farmers and planters in Wayanad. Spice tours are also arranged to provide an introduction to the spice growers’ lifestyle to travelers.

Cooking class followed by dinner.

Overnight at Tranquil Resort (B, L, D)

Day 10

Wayanad – Cochin

After breakfast drive to Kochi (7 hrs.)

Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as ‘God’s Own Country’. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala.

In the evening visit Kathakali Dance theatre for a live performance of the famous Kathakali dance show. Kathakali is a traditional dance form of Kerala, and the impressive facial expressions, hand gestures, and dance moves that will leave one spellbound.

Overnight at Eighth Bastion (B, L, D)

Day 11

Cochin

Morning sightseeing tour of Cochin city visiting Bolghatty Palace, St Francis Church, Jewish Synagogue (remains closed on Friday & Saturday), Dutch Palace (Mattancherry) (remains closed on Friday).

You will also get to see the iconic Chinese fishing nets, Cheenavala, that is unique to this city. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. Oddly, these nets are found only in Kochi, not in China! Many fishermen earn their livelihood using these massive nets, with a whole stretch of the coast along with Fort Kochi and Vypeen being dotted with them.

Your tour concludes with a visit to Fort Cochin – a small community in itself. Since it is a natural harbor and one of the most important trade centers in the south of India, Kochi Fort of Kerala is one of the most significant towns in the state. One can see a unique blend of Dutch and Portuguese influences in Fort Cochin, due to the colonial occupation of Cochin for many years

Cooking class followed by dinner.

Overnight at Eighth Bastion (B, L, D)

Day 12

Cochin – Houseboat

After breakfast drive to Alleppey (1 hr.) to board Houseboat, on arrival check-in at Houseboat.

Sail along with the meandering network of Kerala backwaters, witness the exceptional water world, and experience its countless gems. Just before sunset, the Houseboat ties up for the night & dinner is served onboard.

Overnight onboard Houseboat (B, L, D)

Day 13

Houseboat – Kumarakom

Following breakfast on board, drive to Kumarakom (1 1⁄2 hrs.). On arrival in Kumarakom, check-in at the hotel, Kumarakom Lake Resort.

Overnight at Kumarakom Lake Resort (B, L, D)

Day 14

Kumarakom & fly home

After breakfast on time transfer to Cochin airport to connect flight for onward destination.

(B)

Lodgings

Taj Bunguluru – Bangalore

The Taj Bangalore, a 5-star luxury hotel near Bangalore Airport, has 154 rooms and unrivaled urban hospitality. Bengaluru is known as «India’s Silicon Valley,» and the hotel’s contemporary, sleek design and architectural treatment reflect the city’s modern and progressive spirit. The lovely outdoor seating created around the hotel allows guests to take full advantage of the year-round magnificent and delightful weather. The Taj Bangalore’s excellent location makes it ideal for travelers and luxury connoisseurs alike. Taj Bangalore is roughly 30 kilometers from the busy city center, another plus for the site. It’s perfect for individuals who don’t want to be bothered by the city’s hustle and bustle but want to be close to all that Bangalore is.

Royal Orchid Metropole – Mysore

Royal Orchid Metropole offers modern amenities in a heritage building, featuring 4-star accommodations in a former Maharajah’s residence. It features an outdoor pool and fitness center. Spacious rooms at Metropole feature wooden four-poster beds and private balconies with views of tropical greenery. Rooms have dining and seating areas. Metropole Royal Orchid has a well-equipped business center and a tour desk that helps with travel arrangements. Shikari serves a range of barbecued dishes and local specialties, accompanied by views of the hotel’s tropical gardens. Room service is available.

The Serai – Kabini

This 4-star resort sits on the banks of the Kabini River. It features an outdoor pool and a hot tub and is well-located for wildlife watching. The Serai Kabini offers spacious, air-conditioned rooms and villas which feature views of the Kabini River from either private or shared patios. The private bathrooms all include a hairdryer and free toiletries. A free breakfast is served each day at the Wild Grass restaurant, which also serves Indian, Western, and Chinese cuisine. Room service is also available. Guests can use the free weights or cardio equipment at the fitness center or relax at the resort’s spa with a massage treatment. The staff at the 24-hour front desk can provide dry cleaning and laundry facilities.

Tranquil Resort – Wayanad

Located in Ambalavayal, Tranquil Resort provides accommodations with a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and a shared lounge. This 4-star resort features free WiFi and a garden. The resort features family rooms. Guest rooms at the resort are equipped with a seating area, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and a private bathroom with a hairdryer and a shower. All guest rooms will provide guests with a desk and an electric teapot. Tranquil Resort offers a buffet or American breakfast.

Eighth Bastion  – Kochi

Located in Ambalavayal, Tranquil Resort provides accommodations with a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and a shared lounge. This 4-star resort features free WiFi and a garden. The resort features family rooms. Guest rooms at the resort are equipped with a seating area, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and a private bathroom with a hairdryer and a shower. All guest rooms will provide guests with a desk and an electric tea pot. Tranquil Resort offers a buffet or American breakfast.

When to go

The best time to visit most of India is during the cool, dry season, between November and March. Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are ideal at this time of year, and temperatures in Goa and central India remain comfortable.

The heat of the south is never less than intense but it becomes stifling in May and June. Aim to be in Tamil Nadu and Kerala between January and March.

However, from March onwards, the Himalayas grow more accessible for hikers. The trekking season reaches its peak in August and September while the rest of the Subcontinent is being soaked by the rains.

By September, the monsoon has largely receded from the north, but it takes another couple of months before the clouds disappear altogether from the far south. The east coast of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and the south of Kerala, get a second drenching between October and December, when the “northwest” or “retreating” monsoon sweeps in from the Bay of Bengal. By December, however, most of the Subcontinent enjoys clear skies and relatively cool temperatures.

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recommended Expeditions

Sri Lanka Private

Sri Lanka Private

DURATION

12 DAYS

PRICE

$ 8950.00

WHEN

2021 & 2022

DESTINATION

Sri Lanka

TYPE

SMALL GROUP 

Sri Lanka

Wild Sri Lanka Expedition! The natural wonders and culture of the country will take your breath away. You will be astonished that such a relatively small geographic area can contain such a diversity of wildlife – not only Sri Lankan elephants, but leopards, sloth bears, and the rare slender Loris among so many others. The number of well-kept Unesco World Heritage Sites is impressive, the food amazing, and the locals truly welcoming. Sri Lanka is one of the greatest travel destinations today.

Max Group Size: Only 12 participants!

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY

  • Explore the Cultural Triangle in detail, visiting its three UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, and Anuradhapura)
  • Birdwatch and search for endemic loris in the central part of the Island
  • Close contact with locals by spending quality time at a local village
  • Visit the best spice garden in the country and enjoy a cooking class
  • Kandy cultural event and visit the famous temple of the tooth
  • Travel by first-class trains up to the tea country
  • Stay at the British-classic Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya
  • Enjoy birding, wildlife viewing and botanizing at Horton Plains National Park
  • Safari at Undawalawa, the park with the highest concentration of wild Sri Lankan Elephants!
  • Spend two nights at Yala National Park with safaris. Yala has the highest concentration of Leopards in the World!
  • Birdwatching and botanizing at Bundala Park (UNESCO Biosphere Reserve)
  • Whale excursion from Mirissa. Multiple species
  • Visit Galle Fort, A UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Explore Colombo highlights
  • Sinharaja National Park, the best birding destination, filled with endemics
  • Travel with one of the most recognized naturalists in the country.

“The best dreams happen when you’re awake.”

~Cherie Gilderbloom

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

Itinerary in Brief

Day 1 
Arrive in Colombo

Upon your arrival at the Colombo International Airport, you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel in Negombo. In the evening, you will meet with your Senior Leader and Local Head Naturalist for a complete expedition briefing followed by a cocktail and a welcome dinner.

Overnight at Suriya Hotel. (D)

Day 2
Habarana and Sigiriya

You will leave in the morning towards Habarana, the city that will be your base to explore Sri Lanka’s impressive cultural triangle. You will stop along the way several times for cultural and wildlife experiences.

In the afternoon, you will visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most important archeological destination in Sri Lanka. You will have the chance to climb to the top and admire the remains of the palace, the frescoes, and the top gardens.

Overnight at Cinnamon Lodge. (B, L, D)

Day 3 
Polonnaruwa and Loris night excursion

You will drive to Polonnaruwa to visit this ancient city, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return to Habarana and enjoy an amazing typical Sri Lanka lunch.

In the afternoon, you will visit a local village to interact with locals, learn their uses, customs, and traditions.

During the late evening, you will go to Popham Arboretum for superb bird and wildlife watching, including a fascinating Loris-watching excursion with a knowledgeable local specialist.

Overnight at Cinnamon Lodge. (B, L, D)

Day 4
Anuradhapura and Aukana

Today, you will drive to Anuradhapura to visit its ancient city (UNESCO World Heritage Site). You will learn why the place is so meaningful for Buddhists, Tamils, and Hindus alike.

After lunch, you will continue to the impressive Aukana Temple. The Aukana Buddha Statue is 36 feet high and represents a Buddha in Asisa mudra or the “posture of blessing”, and is carved out of a single rock boulder.

Overnight at Cinnamon Lodge. (B, L, D)

Day 5
Dambulla, Matale, and Kandy

After breakfast, you will drive to Dambulla and visit the Golden Temple. The temple is Sri Lanka’s most popular historic site.

After your visit to the Golden Temple, you will travel to Matale to visit the Spice Garden where you will learn about the local spices and herbs, and their incredible medicinal and cosmetic values. You will share a traditional Sri Lankan cookery demonstration followed by a delicious lunch.

Then you leave for Kandy where you will take a tuk-tuk tour to attend a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing, and visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic complex.

Overnight at Kandy Cinnamon Lodge. (B, L, D)

Day 6
Kandy, Train Ride to Nanu Oya, and Nuwara Eliya

After breakfast, you leave for Peradeniya railway station to board the scenic train “Nanu Oya” in a first-class coach. This is the most beautiful train ride in Sri Lanka and will provide great interactions with locals and their culture.

Upon arrival, you will travel to Nuwara Eliya, located in the heart of Sri Lankan hill country, with lush green tea plantations carpeting the rolling hills.

Overnight at the Grand Hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 7
Horton Plains National Park and Nuwara Eliya

Today it will be an early departure for Horton Plains National Park with a packed breakfast. You will enjoy an extraordinary morning of birding and photography at Horton Plains.

Return to the hotel for lunch, and the afternoon at leisure follows, to enjoy the calm and charming environment of your British colonial-style hotel.

You will meet again in the evening for a city tour of Nuwara Eliya where many of the buildings retain features from the colonial period.

Overnight at the Grand Hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 8
Tea Plantation, Udawalawe National Park, and Yala

After breakfast, you will visit a local tea plantation and factory to see the process of producing one of the finest tea in the world. Nowadays, Sri Lankan tea is considered to be one of the best varieties in the world.

You will drive to Udawalawe for lunch.

In the afternoon, you will enjoy a safari at Udawalawe National Park. This is an important habitat for water birds and several mammal species, including Sri Lankan elephants!

In the evening drive to Yala.

Overnight at Cinnamon Wild Hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 9
Yala National Park

You will leave the hotel in the early morning with a packed breakfast for your first safari at Yala National Park. Among its more famous residents are the populations of leopards, majestic elephants, sloth bears, sambars, jackals, spotted dear, peacocks, and crocodiles. Yale has the highest concentration of leopards in the world!

Lunch at the hotel.

Second safari at Yala National Park in the late afternoon. In the evening; you will listen to an exciting lecture on leopards by your master naturalist.

Overnight at Cinnamon Wild Hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 10
Bundala National Park and Mirissa

Today you will explore another National Park, Bundala . In 2005 the National Park was designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, as it is an internationally important wintering ground for migratory water birds with no less than 197 species found here, the highlight being the greater flamingo.

Transfer to Mirissa.

Overnight at Mandara Resort Mirissa. (B, L, D)

Day 11
Whale Watching Excursion, and Galle

You will leave the hotel in the early morning for a spectacular whale-watching excursion. The chances of spotting the whales are about 90%. Blue whales, Bryde’s whales, pilot whales, sperm whales, and fin whales are the most commonly seen species.

Return to the hotel for lunch.

In the afternoon, you will visit Galle Fort. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.

Overnight at Mandara Resort Mirissa. (B, L, D)

Day 12
Colombo, Katunayake, and Fly US

After breakfast, it will be time to drive back to Colombo, a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings. During your journey around the city, you will witness many interesting sights and places, such as Independence Square, the Old Parliament Building, and Galle Face Green, all of which are a representation of Sri Lanka’s colorful character.

Then you will be ready for your farewell lunch at a first-class restaurant and transfer to the airport (B, L).

Lodgings

Suriya Hotel

The Suriya Resort was built on the stunning Waikkal/Negombo beach and is a creation of both foreign and local architecture. The hotel is situated beautifully on a peninsula overlooking the clear blue waves of the Indian Ocean and is bordered by the Ging Oya River. It is only a 30-minute drive from the Colombo International Airport.

The hotel offers a stunning array of accommodations, including 42 elegant deluxe rooms, 14 suites, and six private water chalets, all of which provide quiet, harmony, and elegance in every way for people looking for a memorable vacation that combines comfort, pampering, and seclusion of a luxury resort with the amenities and services of a high-end hotel.

Cinnamon Lodge

Cinnamon Lodge Habarana is located in a 0.15 square kilometer nature sanctuary that is home to several bird species and primates in the center of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle.

A casual and friendly atmosphere is created by the architecture, which is distinctively Sri Lankan and has columns and verandas, together with dark wood furnishings and vibrant textiles. Many of the elevated beds in the rooms, which are situated in two-story buildings scattered throughout the grounds, are designed to resemble the ancient royal traditions of Sri Lanka.

The Grand Hotel – Nuwara Eliya

In the south-central region of Sri Lanka sits the well-known city of Nuwara Eliya. It is located 1,889 meters (6,199 feet) above sea level. It features a Highland subtropical climate as a result of its high height. The recorded lowest temperature is 0.4 C°, while the recorded highest temperature is 27.7 C°. The average yearly temperature is between 11 and 20 C°. Mount Pidurutalagala (8,281 feet [2,524 meters]), which is prominently visible, is located 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Kandy. This mountain’s last name during the British era was Mount Pedro. Since state communication and television transmission towers are built on the mountain’s peak, the area is now a high-security zone.

Mandara Resort Mirissa

The Mandara Boutique Resort offers a world of luxury and comfort in the heart of the tropics. It is situated along Sri Lanka’s southwest coast, in a tropical setting with palm-fringed golden beaches abutting the magnificent Indian ocean.

There won’t be a dull moment during guests’ stay because of the variety of activities available, which range from whale viewing expeditions to protracted languid days by the pool. Offering tourists a memorable vacation, the restaurant’s delectable food, and opulent guest accommodations will treat them. Just relax and allow the helpful personnel takes care of you with friendly, individualized attention throughout your stay.

Departure Dates & Rates

DEPARTURE

2022

PRICE

$8950

Single Supplement
$1684
STATUS
OPEN
MORE INFO
RESERVATION

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recommended Expeditions

Southern India Private

Southern India 2022

DURATION

14 DAYS

PRICE

$ 9320.00

WHEN

FEB 14th, 2023

DESTINATION

India

TYPE

SMALL GROUP SAFARI

Southern India 2023

Discover the backwaters, tea plantations, spice markets, incredible temples, and the wildlife in the National Parks in search of tigers, elephants, and more in this amazing trip, get yourself ready as you experience the highlights of Southern India. Our expedition is designed to let you experience it all, the diverse wildlife and the unique local culture.

WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY

  • Arrive in modern Bangalore.
  • Visit the outstanding royal residence of Mysore Palace.
  • Lookup for elephants and Indian tigers in the Nagarhole National Park.
  • Explore one of the most important tiger reserves in India: Bandipur National Park
  • Enjoy Wayanad’s landscapes and get in touch with local villages and farms.
  • Experience the Kathakali Dance in Cochin.
  • Sail on a houseboat along Kerala’s backwaters and witness amazing wildlife.

Travel far enough, you meet yourself.

– David Mitchell

QUESTIONS?


If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!

Explore India in a new and unforgettable way! Tour India’s most renowned National Parks in a quest for tigers, elephants, birds and more wildlife starting from 9320!!

Itinerary in Brief

DAY 1

Arrive in Bangalore

Upon your arrival at Bangalore airport, our tour representative will welcome you at the airport arrival lounge & transfer you to your hotel.

Overnight at Taj Bengaluru

Day 2

Bangalore – Mysore

After breakfast drive to Mysore (3 hrs.)

Mysore is the third-largest city in the state of Karnataka, India, and it served as the capital city of the Mysore Princely Kingdom (Kingdom of Mysore) for nearly six centuries, from 1399 until 1947. Mysore is noted for its palaces, including Mysore Palace, and for the festivities that take place during the Dasara festival when the city is host to large numbers of visitors.

The city also lends its name to the Mysore style of painting, the sweet dish Mysore Pak, the Mysore Peta (a traditional silk turban), and the garment known as the Mysore silk sari.

Late afternoon visit to Mysore Palace, which is one of the finest Royal Palaces in India. Mysore Palace is a magnificent and beautiful building. It is especially impressive when its façade is illuminated on Sundays and festive occasions. The interior of the Palace is equally extraordinary with its spacious halls, called Mantaps, paintings, and overall architectural beauty.

Mysore Palace is an excellent example of Indo-Saracenic architecture; the domes and the outside construction show

Muslim influence, but the interior of the Palace is a fine example of Hindu architecture. Together, it is a delightful aesthetic blend of Hindu and Muslim artistic styles.

Although the present palace is only a little over a century old, there is clear evidence showing that a royal structure existed at the present location even before the two Yadu dynasty princes, Yaduraya and Krishnaraya, came to Mysore in 1399 A.D.

Overnight at Royal Orchid Metropole (B, L, D)

Day 3

Mysore – Kabini (Nagarhole)

Early morning excursion to Ranganathithu bird sanctuary. Ranganathittu covers an area of fewer than 1 sq. km, but has a very high density of bird populations, making this a premium viewing site. The most common birds in the sanctuary are painted storks, spoonbills, white ibises, egrets, herons, and partridges. Most of the birds stay on tiny islands within the river and can be approached by boat.
The Kaven River, which runs through the sanctuary, is also home to a few crocodiles.
Later drive to Nagarhole National Park (2 hrs.)
Nagarhole is the perfect getaway for bird lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike; a place rich in forests, little streams, undulating valleys, and fascinating waterfalls. Nagarhole is a haven for many wild animals and is one of the last safe asylums for Asian elephants. Visiting Nagarhole would undoubtedly be an ethereal experience – a trip to paradise and back, and one never to be forgotten.
The misty Brahmagiri Mountains form a perfect backdrop to the natural sounds of the jungle and the murmuring of the streams and rivers. The snake-like river that winds through the forests is the source of the name of the reserve; ‘Naga’ signifying snake and ‘Hole’ meaning river, it is derived from the Kannada language of the region. Nagarhole is a place of never-ending enchantment, due to the extensive number of species found there including four-horned antelope, panther, warblers, hornbills, spotted deer, mouse deer, pangolin, gaur, and giant flying squirrel among many others.

Overnight at The Serai (B, L, D)

Day 4

Nagarhole

Morning Jungle Safari in the park via shared jeep or canter. Later enjoy a short coracle ride on the Kabini River. A coracle is a small, maneuverable country boat that is ideal for game viewing in this park.

Night Trails: As night descends upon the Kabini landscape, a whole world of nocturnal life emerges. Those of you not lured by after-dinner television can explore nature around the resort at night, armed only with flashlights and a spirit of adventure. Naturalists will escort you around the areas just outside the resort, and close to the Kabini’s shoreline. This is where you will encounter the fascinating nocturnal world of beetles, spiders, owls, moths, lizards, and even plants as you partake in this unusual nighttime expedition.

Overnight at The Serai (B, L, D)

Day 5

Nagarhole

Morning Nature Walk: A guided Nature Walk is one of the best ways to explore the treasures of nature. A naturalist will unravel the beauty of birds, insects, trees, and wildflowers on this expedition. The walk would take you along the banks of the Kabini river, and then through the scrub and fields along the nearby village roads.

During the afternoon, you will cruise through the serene backwaters of the Kabini River on a motorboat, viewing sleepy crocodiles and chirpy birds, busy with their morning catch. You will have the opportunity to view a variety of wildlife, including elephants, coming to the river for a bath or a drink.

Overnight at The Serai (B, L, D)

Day 6

Kabini – Bandipur National Park

After your leisurely breakfast, we will drive to Bandipur National Park (2 hrs.)

Serai-Bandipur, unlike any other resort in the region, is situated very close to the Bandipur National Park. Because Serai- Bandipur rubs shoulders with the Bandipur National Park, it provides an experience quite unlike anything you’ve ever

experienced. It isn’t uncommon to hear the calls of wild animals and the trumpeting of elephants as they pass by the resort.

Among other things, the Serai -Bandipur offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the magnificent Nilgiris Mountains. Look out of your bedroom window, and you’ll be presented with a perpetually changing view of the Nilgiris. Bandipur National Park teems with wildlife and provides a safe haven to a wide variety of animals, including the four-horned antelope, gaur, Asiatic elephant, leopard, sloth bear, black napped hare, black leopard, and a host of bird species like the barbet, babbler, warbler, and the Indian peafowl.

Upon arrival in Bandipur, check in to the hotel. Overnight at The Serai (B, L, D)

Day 7

Bandipur National Park

Morning and afternoon shared jeep/canter in search of the wildlife in this beautiful park. You will have the option to hire a bicycle from the resort to go on cycle trails around the resort and enjoy bird watching. For those who enjoy staying up a bit later, there is stargazing in the evening under the clear skies.

Overnight at The Serai (B, L, D)

Day 8

Bandipur – Wayanad

After an early morning Safari and a delicious breakfast, drive to Wayanad (2 hrs.)

The Tranquil Resort comprises 400 acres of private coffee and spice plantation nestled in the lush forest of Wayanad; this is an exotic location in Kerala. The name says it all, the Tranquil Resort is a small private estate that offers a luxurious homelike experience surrounded by an environment of exquisite ecological beauty and unending relaxation.

The elegant suites & tree villas enjoy a panoramic overview of the coffee plantation. This resort offers you your own personal and private sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of life. In addition to simply relaxing, you can also enjoy leisurely walks and bird watching in and around the plantation. The main cropping season for coffee and areca nut is between mid-January – mid-March, and at this time, the plantation buzzes with activity.

In addition to a pool and Ayurvedic massages, the Tranquil Resort also offers nature walks. You can choose from 12 different routes ranging from “Braveheart” to “Teaser” walks. Guests are provided with walk maps and the routes are well marked out with signboards.

Overnight at Tranquil Resort (B, L, D)

Day 9

Wayanad

Full day free to enjoy activities in and around Wayanad.

Afternoon activities include a coffee plantation visit. Wayanad has a successful spice cultivation program, and visiting those who grow spices in the area is now a part of the district’s development plan. The idea of the spice tour was conceived as an alternative source of income for small scale farmers and planters in Wayanad. Spice tours are also arranged to provide an introduction to the spice growers’ lifestyle to travelers.

Cooking class followed by dinner.

Overnight at Tranquil Resort (B, L, D)

Day 10

Wayanad – Cochin

After breakfast drive to Kochi (7 hrs.)

Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as ‘God’s Own Country’. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala.

In the evening visit Kathakali Dance theatre for a live performance of the famous Kathakali dance show. Kathakali is a traditional dance form of Kerala, and the impressive facial expressions, hand gestures, and dance moves that will leave one spellbound.

Overnight at Eighth Bastion (B, L, D)

Day 11

Cochin

Morning sightseeing tour of Cochin city visiting Bolghatty Palace, St Francis Church, Jewish Synagogue (remains closed on Friday & Saturday), Dutch Palace (Mattancherry) (remains closed on Friday).

You will also get to see the iconic Chinese fishing nets, Cheenavala, that is unique to this city. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. Oddly, these nets are found only in Kochi, not in China! Many fishermen earn their livelihood using these massive nets, with a whole stretch of the coast along with Fort Kochi and Vypeen being dotted with them.

Your tour concludes with a visit to Fort Cochin – a small community in itself. Since it is a natural harbor and one of the most important trade centers in the south of India, Kochi Fort of Kerala is one of the most significant towns in the state. One can see a unique blend of Dutch and Portuguese influences in Fort Cochin, due to the colonial occupation of Cochin for many years

Cooking class followed by dinner.

Overnight at Eighth Bastion (B, L, D)

Day 12

Cochin – Houseboat

After breakfast drive to Alleppey (1 hr.) to board Houseboat, on arrival check-in at Houseboat.

Sail along with the meandering network of Kerala backwaters, witness the exceptional water world, and experience its countless gems. Just before sunset, the Houseboat ties up for the night & dinner is served onboard.

Overnight onboard Houseboat (B, L, D)

Day 13

Houseboat – Kumarakom

Following breakfast on board, drive to Kumarakom (1 1⁄2 hrs.). On arrival in Kumarakom, check-in at the hotel, Kumarakom Lake Resort.

Overnight at Kumarakom Lake Resort (B, L, D)

Day 14

Kumarakom & fly home

After breakfast on time transfer to Cochin airport to connect flight for onward destination.

(B)

Lodgings

Taj Bengaluru – Bangalore

The Taj Bengaluru, a 5-star luxury hotel near Bangalore Airport, has 154 rooms and unrivaled urban hospitality. Bengaluru is known as «India’s Silicon Valley,» and the hotel’s contemporary, sleek design and architectural treatment reflect the city’s modern and progressive spirit. The lovely outdoor seating created around the hotel allows guests to take full advantage of the year-round magnificent and delightful weather. The Taj Bengaluru’s excellent location makes it ideal for travelers and luxury connoisseurs alike. Taj Bengaluru is roughly 30 kilometers from the busy city center, another plus for the site. It’s perfect for individuals who don’t want to be bothered by the city’s hustle and bustle but want to be close to all that Bangalore is.

Royal Orchid Metropole – Mysore

Royal Orchid Metropole offers modern amenities in a heritage building, featuring 4-star accommodations in a former Maharajah’s residence. It features an outdoor pool and fitness center. Spacious rooms at Metropole feature wooden four-poster beds and private balconies with views of tropical greenery. Rooms have dining and seating areas. Metropole Royal Orchid has a well-equipped business center and a tour desk that helps with travel arrangements. Shikari serves a range of barbecued dishes and local specialties, accompanied by views of the hotel’s tropical gardens. Room service is available.

The Serai – Kabini

This 4-star resort sits on the banks of the Kabini River. It features an outdoor pool and a hot tub and is well-located for wildlife watching. The Serai Kabini offers spacious, air-conditioned rooms and villas which feature views of the Kabini River from either private or shared patios. The private bathrooms all include a hairdryer and free toiletries. A free breakfast is served each day at the Wild Grass restaurant, which also serves Indian, Western, and Chinese cuisine. Room service is also available. Guests can use the free weights or cardio equipment at the fitness center or relax at the resort’s spa with a massage treatment. The staff at the 24-hour front desk can provide dry cleaning and laundry facilities.

Tranquil Resort – Wayanad

Located in Ambalavayal, Tranquil Resort provides accommodations with a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and a shared lounge. This 4-star resort features free WiFi and a garden. The resort features family rooms. Guest rooms at the resort are equipped with a seating area, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and a private bathroom with a hairdryer and a shower. All guest rooms will provide guests with a desk and an electric teapot. Tranquil Resort offers a buffet or American breakfast.

Eighth Bastion  – Kochi

Located in Ambalavayal, Tranquil Resort provides accommodations with a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and a shared lounge. This 4-star resort features free WiFi and a garden. The resort features family rooms. Guest rooms at the resort are equipped with a seating area, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and a private bathroom with a hairdryer and a shower. All guest rooms will provide guests with a desk and an electric tea pot. Tranquil Resort offers a buffet or American breakfast.

Departure Dates & Rates

DEPARTURE

Feb 14, 2023

PRICE

$9320

Single Supplement

$2320

STATUS

OPEN

MORE INFO
RESERVATION

Details

Included in Land Cost:

  • Services of New Paths Expeditions in-house support team.
  • 24/7 services of an NPE Senior Leader during the expedition.
  • Local Guides
  • All accommodations and meals as stated in the itinerary
  • All excursions as stated in the itinerary
  • Bottled water in vehicles
  • Laundry included in several of our lodges.

 Not Included:

  • International and domestic flights.
  • Passport and visa fees.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Gratuities for Local Master Guide, Driver, and Expedition Leader (may be added to your final invoice, if desired).
  • Gratuities for optional trek guides.
  • Personal expenses and incidentals, such as, but not limited to, phone calls, e-mail, and laundry.
  • Trip cancellation, travel delay, and baggage loss insurance.
  • Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of New Paths Expeditions.

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