This is archetypal India at its best. If the idea of visiting this fabulous subcontinent fills your mind with images of the Taj Mahal’s glistening white marble being turned gold by the first rays of the early morning sun.
Or you imagine yourself strolling barefoot through the cool and quiet prayer rooms of ancient temples, surrounded by walls alive with intricate carvings and many-armed gods. Or you can picture yourself on a safari, breathlessly stalking a mighty tiger through dense jungle…this is your India.
The Taj and Tigers tour will turn your thoughts into living, breathing reality.
Day 1: Fly to Delhi
Day 2: Arrive Delhi where you’ll be taken to your hotel. In the afternoon you can begin your discovery of Delhi.
Day 3: Delhi
Sightseeing takes on a new dimension in Delhi with its huge variety of styles and influences. You can see Lutyen’s architecture with its imposing expressions of colonial rule – contrasting mightily with the ancient buildings of the Mughals – as well as mediaeval fortresses, mosques, bazaars. Of particular interest is the 234-foot high fluted minaret of Qutab Minar (dating back to the 13th century) and the unrivalled Humayun’s Tomb – a forerunner of the Taj Mahal. You’ll be driven around the imposing India Gate, the grand Parliament Building and Rashtrapati Bhavan, the president’s residence.
Stay: Two nights in a deluxe room in The Claridges.
Delhi – Agra
Today you’ll take an express train to Agra to see one of the seven wonders of the world – a sight no visitor to India should miss. Grand from a distance, cool and white during the heat of the day, golden at dawn and sunset, intricate in its detail, with inlaid stones and fine decoration. The Taj Mahal is the world’s most famous tomb. Also impressive is Agra’s immense fort, begun in the 1560s by the great leader Akbar.
Stay: One night in a superior, Taj-facing room at the Gateway Hotel.
Day 5: Agra – Khajuraho
Take the early morning express train to Jhansi, where you’ll be met and driven to Khajuraho to begin your safari through Madhya Pradesh’s premier national parks.
Day 6 – 7: Khajuraho
Begin your stay with a boat ride along the pristine Ken River, followed by another of the tour’s definite highlights. In Panna National Park your guide will take you through forests of teak, ebony, flame of the forest and tendu trees in search of tigers. And along the way you could also see panthers, sloth bears, sambar, cheetals, bluebulls, chowsingha and chinkaras, not to mention a diverse array of exotic birds.
Then come Khajuraho’s temples. They are superb examples of Indo-Aryan architecture with exquisite carvings, parades of mythical figures and towering pinnacles on a grand scale.
Stay: Three nights in a cottage in Sarai in Toria.
Khajuraho – Jabalpur
Take a drive through great countryside to Jabalpur where you’ll stay in a building dating back to the days of the British Raj in the 19th century.
Stay: One night in a Grand Room in Namada Jacksons Hotel.
Day 9: Jabalpur – Pench
Today you embark on a scenic, four hour drive to Pench National Park where you’ll be staying in romantic, safari-style tented accommodation in the heart of rural Pench.
Day 10 – 11: Pench National Park
An unrivalled safari experience awaits. You’ll go on game drives and elephant safaris, riding the gentle giants into the natural habitat of tigers and leopards. You’re also likely to see wolves, hyenas, wild dogs, gaur, sambars, nilgai, barking deer, chitals, chowsingha and wild boar.
Stay: Three nights in a luxury tent in Jamtara Wilderness Lodge.
Nagpur – Mumbai
Depart for Nagpur and fly to Mumbai for your connecting flight home