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13 nights Temples & Tigers Tour of India 13 nights Temples & Tigers Tour of India

13 nights Temples & Tigers Tour of India

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Temples & Tigers - India
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From the ancient times, India has been known all over the world for her numerous wonders.
Be it her breath-taking natural beauty, her rich wildlife, her varied and dynamic population, or her numerous historic buildings and monuments.
The rich heritage of India is best revealed in an amalgamation of all these features into one.
On this tour you will experience an unparalleled adventure, coasting through cities, towns and villages that truly bring to life her diverse characteristics.

From the ancient times, India has been known all over the world for her numerous wonders.
Be it her breath-taking natural beauty, her rich wildlife, her varied and dynamic population, or her numerous historic buildings and monuments.
The rich heritage of India is best revealed in an amalgamation of all these features into one.
On this tour you will experience an unparalleled adventure, coasting through cities, towns and villages that truly bring to life her diverse characteristics.

  • Valid for double/twin occupancy only
  • Departure points, dates and hours are subject to availability and cannot always be guaranteed
  • City Tax not included: payable directly on site
  • Hotel Check in 14:00, Check out 10:00
  • There is no charge for payments made with Debit Cards.

DAY 01: ARRIVE MUMBAI

Arrive in Mumbai International airport by your international flight. After immigration, you will be met and transfer to your hotel (Hotel check in time is 1400 hours).

Mumbai is a city of dreams, the glamor of the movie world, the razors edge of the skyscrapers to the mainland of the harbor. People here come from diverse ethnic backgrounds yet nurture the dreams of success, their undying spirit add color and flavor to this multicultural city.

A throbbing, cosmopolitan metropolis, it still retains the glory of the past, the colonial legacy that coexists with the Maratha influence. Still considered as the heart of business India, Mumbai houses the country's vibrant stock exchange. The Gateway of India is almost literally a symbol of entry into the country by sea or air.

DAY 02: MUMBAI

CULTURAL ENRICHMENTS- MUMBAI BY DAWN 

A unique offering where you see the bustling city of Mumbai wake up. You get to peek into the underbelly of the city and gain insights into what makes this magnificent city tick.

From seeing hundreds of newspaper vendors sort out newspapers of 7 different languages, experiencing one-of-its-kind fish auction of 20 tons of fish, to seeing an ‘only green’ herb market sprawled across a popular bridge, from watching the milkmen drive past with canisters, the melee of color at the flower markets, to experiencing the clamour and chaos of the arrival of over 100 tons of vegetables, fruits and meat – Mumbai by Dawn truly defines the mercurial character of Mumbai like none other. What’s interesting is that when you walk the same lanes a few hours later, you will not find any evidence of the morning’s hustle bustle. It comes at a price though, waking up at 5.15 for one! 

Post breakfast take a ferry ride from Gateway of India to reach Elephanta Island (Closed on Mondays).

Elephanta Island is one of a number of islands in Mumbai harbor. This island is a famous for the cave temples that have been carved out of rock. Known in ancient times as Gharapuri, the present name was given by the 17th century Portuguese explorers after seeing a monolithic basalt sculpture of an elephant here. They decided to take it home but ended up dropping it into the sea. Later, this sculpture was moved to the Victoria Museum in Mumbai.

Later take a city tour. Visit the Prince of Wales museum (Closed on Mondays) built in grand Indo Saracenic style, drive past Marine drive, visit the Jain temple, Mani Bhawan where Mahatma Gandhi used to , and Dhobi Ghat, the outdoor laundry. Drive past the Flora Fountain, the colorful Crawford Market and Victoria Terminus train station.

DAY 03: MUMBAI - NAGPUR - PENCH

Post breakfast you will be driven to the airport to board your flight to Nagpur. On arrival at Nagpur you would be driven to Pench National Park.

Upon arrival check-in to your hotel at Pench.Rest of the day at leisure

PENCH NATIONAL PARK nestles in the lower southern reaches of the Satpura Hills and is named after Pench River which flows from north to south through this National Park. It is located on the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh. Recently (in 1992) Pench has been included under the umbrella of "Project Tiger" as the 19th Project Tiger Reserve. A total of

758 sq. kms of this Southern Indian tropical moist deciduous forest has its extent mingling with the tropical dry deciduous teak. The area is crisscrossed by a number of streams and 'nallahs' most of which are seasonal. Though the Pench River dries up in April end, a number of water pools locally known as 'dohs' are found which serve as water holes for the wild animals. However, the water sources are not suitably distributed, hence large area is left unutilized by the wild animals.

The Pench Reservoir at the center of the park is the only major water source during the pinch period. As a prey concentration is high along the Pench River, tiger usually inhabits this belt. Leopard though generally operates in the peripheral areas but are occasionally seen in the deep forest also. Jungle cats are commonly seen. Leopard cats, small Indian civets and palm civets are common but seen rarely. Cheetal, Sambar, nilgai are commonly seen grazing on the open sites on roadsides and banks of river & reservoir. Jackals can be seen in search of food anywhere in the Park. Packs up to 15 of wild dogs can be seen near Chhedia, Jamtara, Bodanala and Pyorthadi areas of the Reserve. Herds of gaur can be spotted near streams and bamboo patches commonly in summer months. Sloth Bear occupy hilly, rocky out crops and favour mahul bel infested forest. Chnkara is present in very small numbers and is found in open areas around Turia, Telia and Dudhgaon villages.

DAY 04: PENCH

orning and afternoon proceed for game safari into Park.

DAY 05: PENCH - KANHA (185 KMs/ approx.04 hrs 30 mins)

After breakfast we would transfer you to Kanha National Park.

KANHA NATIONAL PARK Situated in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, the picturesque this National Park was the inspiration behind Rudyard Kipling's unforgettable classic Jungle Book. The park was created in 1955 by a special law and, since then, it has dedicated itself in preserving a variety of animal species. Many endangered species have indeed been saved here. Today Kanha is among the few most scenic and beautiful wildlife reserves in Asia. The most striking features of this region are the open grassy meadows, where sighting blackbuck, swamp deer, sambhar and chital is common. And, if one can transcend into time, a barefooted Mowgli would perhaps come padding along the dusty trail, for this is the land of Kipling's Jungle Boo

Located in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha national park cum Tiger reserve extends over an area of over 1,940-sq-kms. The main wildlife attractions in the park are tiger, bison, gaur, sambhar, chital, more pictures.... barasingha, barking deer, black deer, black buck, chousingha, nilgai, mouse deer, sloth bear, jackal fox, porcupine, hyena, jungle cat, python, pea fowl, hare, monkey, mongoose, tiger, and leopard. The birds species in the park include storks, teals, pintails, pond herons, egrets, peacock, pea fowl, jungle fowl, spur fowl, partridges, quails, ring doves, spotted parakeets, green pigeons, rock pigeons, cuckoos, papihas, rollers, bee-eater, hoopoes, drongos, warblers, kingfishers, woodpeckers, finches, orioles, owls, and fly catchers.

DAY 06: KANHA

Considered as one of Asia’s finest protected area the Kanha National Park is one of India’s national treasures. If you see the map of India, you place your finger right in the center of the map and you will find Kanha National Park. It is located in the Maikal hills of the Satpura range in the Central Indian highlands (21° 52` N, 80° 32`E) and it rises from 450 to 950 m above sea level.

Kanha is located in the heart of India. The small white houses with the stunning blue, irregular painted layer is an eye catcher for every one. Kanha has a core zone of 940 square km and a buffer zone of 1009 square km. The core zone is divided in 5 parts: Kisli, Kanha, Mukki, Bhaisanghat and Supkhar. It is a Mixed Deciduous Forest, which is celebrating a different beauty each season. You will be able to spot 22 species of mammals and 220 species of birds. This is including the famous Royal Bengal Tiger, Sloth Bear, Indian Wild Dogs, the elusive Leopards and the Hard Ground Barasingha found no where else besides in Kanha.

The early morning shafts of light are touching the earth through the woods, the air is filled with birdcalls and you are on the way to the jungle. You will spend the entire morning in the jungle before you will head back to the lodge, where the lodge team is already waiting for you with a refreshing welcome drink.

The afternoon safari will be coming closer and your naturalist is now awaiting your arrival with a warm smile and a keen spark of adventure in his eyes. And as we wave our hands behind your jeep, you are entering the fairytale of Kanha National Park again.

DAY 07: KANHA - BANDHAVGARH (250 Kms/ approx. 05 Hrs)

In the morning you will be driven to Bandhavgarh National Park. Upon arrival check-in to your hotel.

BANDHAVGARH NATIONAL PARK - The reserve named after the highest hill Bandhavgarh (807 m) in the centre of it, falls between the Vindhyan hill range and the eastern flank of Satpura hill range and is located in Shahdol and Jabalpur districts of Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh has been an excellent habitat of tiger and is known for the highest density of tigers in the world. Considering the importance and potentiality of the National park, it was included in the Project Tiger Network in 1993. The adjoining Panpatha Sanctuary too was declared as a part of the Reserve.

The area of 105 sq. km. of old National Park was finally notified in 1968. The remaining part of the National Park i.e. 343.842 sq. km. is yet to be finally declared though State Government

had made the initial notification in 1982. Panpatha Sanctuary with an area of 245.847 sq. km. was declared in 1983.

During these drives you stand a very good chance of seeing the Lord of the Indian Jungle the tiger. This magnificent striped cat was almost hunted down to extinction by 1970 after having numbered over 40,000 at the turn of the century. Thanks to the efforts of Project Tiger looking after reserves like Bandhavgarh, there is now a fighting chance for the beast to survive into the next Century.

A relatively small park, Bandhavgarh is one of the smallest tiger reserves holding such a large population of tigers (49 according to the 1997 census). Set in rugged terrain with many hills, the forested area is interspersed with savanna like areas known as Chaurs. These wildernesses support a rich variety of wildlife that includes Tiger, Leopard, Gaur (Indian Bison), Sloth Bear, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Chowsingha (Four horned Antelope), and Wild Pigs etc. It has also rich birdlife.

DAY 08: BANDHAVGARH

Morning and afternoon proceed for game safari into Park.

DAY 09: BANDHAVGARH -KHAJURAHO (260 Kms/approx. 05 hrs)

Morning proceed for the park sfari. Post breakfast depart by surface for Khajuraho. On arrival at Khajuraho, check-in to the hotel.

Optional: Late evening you will be transferred to famous Western Group of Temples for light and sound show which reminds the life and times of the great Chandela Kings and mark out the story of the exclusive temples from the 10th Century to the present day. The 50-minute fascinating show is held in every evening at the temple where technicolour floodlights sweep across the temples as Indian classical music soundtracks a potted history of Khajuraho narrated by the 'master sculptor'.

DAY 10: KHAJURAHO - VARANASI

Leave the hotel with your guide for the sightseeing of Western Group of Temples. Among the western group of temples, the most famous is the Kandariya Mahadev temple, 32 meters high with a fantastic range of sculptures including sensuous themes. Other temples include the Chaunsat Yogini, which is a granite temple, the Devi Jagdambe temple dedicated to the Mother Goddess, the Chitragupta temple, dedicated to Surya the Sun God, etc. Upon arrival in Varanasi, check-in at the hotel.

VARANASI – Varanasi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the oldest city in India. Varanasi touts an unrivaled diversity and a unique sense that can be experienced nowhere else.

For every visitor, Varanasi has a different experience to offer. The gentle waters of the Ganges, the boat ride at sunrise, the high banks of the ancient "Ghats", the array of shrines, the meandering narrow serpentine alleys of the city, the myriad temple spires, the palaces at water's edge, the ashrams (hermitages), the pavilions, the chanting of mantras, the fragrance of incense, the palm and cane parasols, the devotional hymns - all offer a kind of mystifying experience that is unique to the city of Shiva.

UNIQUE DELIGHTS: EXPLORE NORTHERN BAZAARS AND HIDDEN ALLEYS

Few tourists ever wind their way through the bazaars in the Northern gallis of the old city where you will find hidden alleys leading directly through the sacred zone of Banaras to the oldest buildings of the city.  As you enter the lanes of the Northern part of the city you will get to peep inside the shops, temples and lives of people who have never left their street for years. Eventually we find ourselves in the least traversed part of the city and riverside where the great mystic Kabir himself wrote poetry, the 8th century Krishna temple was demolished and a mosque perched on the top. This bazaar has so many twists and turns we even get confused.

DAY 11: VARANASI

In the morning take a boat ride on river Ganges to view the sunrise. Varanasi's unique culture is associated with the river Ganges, where life and death intermingle. The living flock the ghats to pray with the belief that bathing in the waters of the sacred river would result in the remission of their sins, while the ashes of the dead are scattered in the water to break the cycle of reincarnation and let the soul rise to enlightment.

Post breakfast visit some of the other important sites in the city with your guide. Dotted with temples, the city's principle shrine is the Vishwanath temple, dedicated to Shiva. The temple was destroyed repeatedly during various invasions but was finally rebuilt in 1776 A.D. by Rani Ahilyabai of Indore. Visit the famous Banaras Hindu University that was established in 1916 and the objective was to achieve the national awakening by spreading education all over the country. At present it is the largest residential university in Asia with large number of students from over 34 nations.   

CULTURAL ENRICHMENTSGUIDED BENGALI TOLA WALK

Late afternoon, you will be met by an expert for the guided Bengali Tola walk where in you will have an opportunity to get a glimpse of the symbiotic life of the riverside people of Varanasi. Eventually, as you tour through the city you will end up on Bengali Tola, the street of the Bengalis, where you will be visiting the hidden Mother Goddess Kali shrines, and the vistas of life along the riverside.

The tour continues to the historic ritual bathing site called Dashaswamedh, or the ten-horse sacrifice Ghat, the perfect way to conclude this walking city tour.

Later in the evening, an illuminated aarti is performed at Dasahwamedh Ghat. The presiding priests stand on a wooden Chauki in the water. To the chant of Sanskrit mantras, and the clash of cymbals and drums, the river is worshipped with flowers, incense, sandalwood, milk and vermilion. First the blazing camphor lamp and then the many flamed aarti lamps are raised high and then arched back to the water, the dark river reflecting the golden flames as Ganges accepts the worship. It is the Ganges that gives Varanasi its spiritual resonance.

DAY 12: VARANASI - DELHI

Morning visit Sarnath (Closed on Fridays). After attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya the Buddha went to Sarnath. It was here that he preached his first discourse in the deer park to set in motion the 'Wheel of the Dharma'. The museum at Sarnath (Sarnath Museum Closed on Fridays) contains carvings representing a whole range of styles: archaic, the Mathura School, Gupta, past Gupta and Medieval covering work of sculptors from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D.

Afternoon assisted departure transfer to the airport to board the flight for Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, you will be assisted at the airport and will be transferred to your hotel.

Spend the rest of the day at leisure. 

DAY 13: DELHI

CULTURAL ENRICHMENTSSPECIAL CYCLE RICKSHAW RIDE IN OLD DELHI

You will be transported 400 years back and will ride on a rickshaw through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk known as The Moonlit Square of India.  Witness the architectural marvels, the multicolored facades, beautifully decorated shops, ethnically dressed men and women and get bombarded by the cries of hawkers and fragrances emanating from the potpourri of eateries that line these historical alleys.

Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666) built the walled city of Delhi on the banks of holy River Yamuna.  It had a magnificent palace known as Red Fort, impressive mansions, enchanting bazaars, elegant shrines, royal gardens and fountains at every corner to romance ones' senses.  Emperor’s beloved daughter Jahanara designed a major street called Chandni Chowk in front of Red Fort, with a canal running down the center and pools at major intersections reflecting the moonlight. 

During the British regime, the street underwent major changes and since then this area has witnessed some of the most important events in Indian history. Today these splendid ruins and tales of valor are a testimony of the evolution of the times.  Chandni Chowk truly reflects the national unity, secularism and diversity of India.

The total duration of the tour will be 3 hours – 3 hours 30 minutes. It is an extensive tour that covers 20 main sites which includes palaces, mansions, elegant shrines and colorful bazaars. This is a detailed tour with several stops and includes complimentary snacks.  The tour ends at an Old Haveli (mansion) built in1860, which has a photo gallery depicting the lifestyle of Mughals and a small lounge to relax. 

Afternoon drive takes you along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate, Parliament House and the Presidential residence. Later visit the Qutab Minar - the five-storied tower with a 14.4 metre base that tapers up to two and a half metres at the top is visible for a long distance around. Pulling down 27 Hindu and Jain temples and using their columns erected the attached Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque also built by him.

CULTURAL ENRICHMENTS NIZAMUDDIN BASTI WALK

Late afternoon, walk through Nizzamuddin basti (colony), a medieval settlement where the tomb of the famous 13th century Muslim Sufi Saint Nizzamuddin Auliya is located. An underprivileged young adult trained by a local NGO will conduct this tour.

DAY 14: DELHI- DEPARTURE

  • Transfer to the airport

Today you will be assisted & transferred in your private car to Delhi International Airport to connect flight for onward destination.

Hotel & Board Basis

Mumbai| Nights-02| Hotel-Trident Nariman Point| Room Type-Superior Room| Board Basis-BB

Pench| Nights-02| Accommodation-Tiger Tuli Corridor| Room Type-Luxury Cottage| Board Basis-FB

Kanha| Nights-02| Accommodation-Chitvan Jungle Lodge| Room Type-Jal Cottage| Board Basis-FB

Bandhavgarh| Nights-02| Accommodation-Bandhavvilas| Room Type-Standard| Board Basis-FB

Khajuraho| Nights-01| Hotel-Taj Chandela| Room Types-Superior Garden View Room| Board Basis-BB

Varanasi| Nights-02| Hotel-Taj Gateway| Room Type-Standard Room| Board Basis-BB

Delhi| Nights-02| Hotel-The Maidens| Room Type-Heritage Room| Board Basis-BB

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