Tigers, Temples & the Taj Mahal
Tigers, Temples & the Taj Mahal 14 days
An adventurous itinerary visiting two of central India's best tiger parks, Satpura and Bandhavgarh, where we search the jungle for wildlife both by jeep and, more intriguingly, on foot. Added to this are visits to the magnificent temples of Khajuraho, the atmospheric and crumbling monuments of Orchha and the ultimate shrine to love: the Taj Mahal. We finish off with a visit to the little known but emerging new wildlife destination of Chambal.
Please note: from prices shown are for low season (Apr-Jun), please ask for high season rates (Oct-Mar)
- Tigers at Bandhavgarh and Satpura
- Walking safaris through the jungle
- Ancient Hindu temples of Khajuraho
- Palaces and monuments of Orchha
- Taj Mahal at dawn
- All accommodation
- Meals as shown in itinerary
- Transfers and transport by car with driver
- Guided jeep safaris and tours as shown in itinerary
- Domestic air and train travel as shown in itinerary
- Entrance and camera (non-video) fees
ITINERARY13 Nights 14 Days
- Day 1 | Arrive in Delhi
- Day 2 | Delhi to Satpura
- Days 3-4 | Satpura National Park
- Day 5 | Satpura to Bandhavgarh
- Days 6-7 | Bandhavgarh National Park
- Day 8 | Bandhavgarh to Khajuraho
- Day 9 | Khajuraho
- Day 10 | Orchha
- Day 11 | Agra
- Day 12 | Taj Mahal and Chambal
- Day 13 | Chambal
- Day 14 | Chambal to Delhi
Arrive in Delhi
Welcome to India! You will be met on arrival at Delhi International Airport and transferred to your hotel, located close to the airport, which will be convenient for your early flight tomorrow morning. Overnight at the Lemon Tree Premier.
Delhi to Satpura
A short transfer to the airport terminal for an early morning flight to Bhopal with a scheduled arrival time of 07.10. Three and a half hour countryside drive to Satpura and arrival at Reni Pani Lodge, your base for the next 3 nights. This afternoon you'll make your first foray into the park in search of leopard, blackbuck, crocodiles and other wildlife.
Full board accommodation at Reni Pani Lodge.
Satpura National Park
Morning and evening safaris into the park by jeep and on foot. Satpura is one of central India's lesser visited parks, offering the unique opportunity of walking safaris, which are not offered anywhere else. Seen as one of the country's best kept secrets, Satpura offers a rare true wilderness experience. Many grazing animals can be found here, in addition to their feline predators, along with a large number of bird species, some of which are extremely rare. The rugged terrain is characterised by gorges, rivers and rocky hills.
Full board accommodation at the Reni Pani Lodge.
Satpura to Bandhavgarh
Transfer to Pipariya train station for the Intercity Express to Jabalpur departing at 08:10 and arriving 10:50. Take a five hour drive by private car through the villages and countryside to Bandhavgarh and King's Lodge, to spend the evening at leisure. Dinner tonight will be at the hotel.
Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park was once the hunting grounds of the Maharajahs of Rewa with hunting rights all the way up to 1968 when the area was made a national park. Wildlife is obviously protected now which has encouraged a thriving big cat and wildlife population. Good sightings are possible of sloth bears, wild boar, mongoose, samber, barking deer and cheetal.
Migratory birds including warblers, with steppe eagles visiting the wetlands in the park in winter. You are also likely to spot teal, sarus crane, black ibis, kingfishers, Egyptian vulture, hornbills, adjutant, little grebe, white eyed buzzard, serpent eagle, paradise flycatcher and many more.
The Bandhavgarth Fort is not to be missed.
On days 6 and 7, take morning and afternoon jeep safaris into Bandhavgarh Park, which is reputed to have the highest concentration of resident tigers of any park in India.
Full board accommodation at King's Lodge.
Bandhavgarh to Khajuraho
Take a final game drive by jeep into the park this morning, followed by lunch at the hotel before setting off to Khajuraho and the Jass Radisson hotel.
Khajuraho is famed for its collection of Hindu and Jain temples, many of which feature elaborate and erotic carvings. Most of the temples are over 1000 years old and their art contrasts vividly with conservative modern Indian society. The temples are set in an attractive park and are a great introduction to Hindu temple art.
A full day today visiting both the Western and Eastern groups of Hindu and Jain temples at Khajuraho.
Overnight at the Jass Radisson Hotel on bed and breakfast basis.
Depart Khajuraho today for the short journey to the beautiful and historic village of Orchha. Set on a picturesque bend of the Betwa River, Orchha is home to a romantic, crumbling palace along with a collection of ancient towers, temples and cenotaphs. This afternoon take a tour around the palace and main monuments.
Overnight at the Amar Mahal Hotel on bed and breakfast basis.
This morning take the short drive to Jhansi for the Kerala Express train to Agra, departing at 07:10 and arriving at 10:20. Transfer to the Crystal Sarovar Hotel for 1 night. This afternoon take a tour of Agra's historic sites including the Red Fort and so-called Baby Taj - a preparation for the real thing tomorrow!
Taj Mahal and Chambal
Early morning guided visit to the Taj Mahal. Watch the sunrise over this masterpiece; the ultimate monument to love. Later in the day drive to Chambal Safari Lodge for a 2 night stay on full board basis. This afternoon we will search for Blackbuck deer and birds by jeep with a local naturalist.
Chambal is a recent addition to the wildlife scene of North India, and is emerging as a popular destination with its unpolluted habitat and rich diversity of species. Chambal river is also the last remaining habitat of the Gangetic river dolphin.
This morning we take to the river by boat to look for gharials, marsh crocodiles, Indian skimmers, red-crowned roofed turtle, smooth coated otter and the many other species of wildlife that the park plays host to. Chambal River, one of the cleanest in the country, supports 8 rare turtle species, the largest population of gharials in the wild and is one of the few places to spot the rare Gangetic dolphin.
This afternoon take a second jeep safari to look for the land based birds and animals in the park.
Chambal to Delhi
After a leisurely breakfast and some free time to relax this morning, head back to Delhi by car. You'll be taken to the International Airport for your homeward or onward flight. Exact timings today will depend on the time of your flight.
Your Itinerary Accommodation
Crystal Sarovar Premiere Hotel, Agra
A high quality, modern hotel, well located in the middle of Agra with excellent views of the Taj Mahal.
136 rooms and studios, some Taj facing, all with en-suite facilities, king or twin beds and TV. Choice of three restaurants, including poolside Sky Grill. Fitness centre and pool, wifi, children's activity zone.
Lemon Tree Premier Aerocity, Delhi
The perfect base from those wishing to stay close to Delhi's International Airport, the Lemon Tree Premier offers 280 stylish and bright rooms. Nice touches such as blackout curtains, soundproofing and orthopaedic mattresses ensure a good night's sleep before your flight.
The hotel has a swimming pool and fitness centre, and all rooms come with satellite TV, minibar and free wi-fi.
Reni Pani Lodge, Satpura NP
Featuring 12 luxury cottages, the Reni Pani Lodge is the spread over 30 acres of jungle on the edge of Satpura National Park. The prefect base for wildlife lovers, the grounds encompass towering trees, a seasonal stream and a number of watering holes that attract various birds and mammals. A choice of Nullah, Hill or Forest rooms offer contrasting views of the surrounding landscape.
The hotel's facilities include a swimming pool, lounge bar, restaurant and library. Rooms feature viewing decks, large bay windows and colourful local touches.
King's Lodge, Bandhavgarh
Nestled between two forested hills on the edge of Bandhavgarh National Park, King's Lodge is a comfortable base for your wildlife explorations of this area. With only 18 cottages (8 of which are on stilts), the lodge offers a peaceful and relaxing environment to enjoy the sounds of nature. A small viewing tower and library the motivated to further study the local wildlife between safaris, while those in pursuit of relaxation can enjoy the outdoor swimming pool, or treat themselves to a treatment at the spa.
The air-conditioned cottages are comfortable and tastefully decorated, with well appointed en-suite bathrooms and large verandas. A choice of an indoor dining room with a real fire, or outdoor BBQ await at mealtimes.
Jass Radisson, Khajuraho
Modern and comfortable, the Jass Radisson, Khajuraho is a convenient base for your visit to the temples. The hotel offers a great range of facilities including a swimming pool, Ayurvedic spa, tennis and badminton courts, table tennis, gym and multi-cuisine restaurant, while those who prefer can avail themselves of the 24 hour room service.
All rooms are air-conditioned, with 32" LCD TV, high speed internet, minibar, in-room safe and tea & coffee making facilities, and come with either a garden or pool view.
Amar Mahal, Orchha
Built in the 18th century, in the traditional style of Bundelkhand (the area of Central India in which Orchha is located), and featuring cupolas, pillared walkways and Indian arches, the Amar Mahal offers visitors a taste of old world Indian charm, with all the comforts of a modern hotel. Set in beautiful gardens, graced with views of some of Orchha's monuments, the hotel has a good range of facilities including 24 hour front desk, a multi-cuisine restaurant, swimming pool and spa.
The 46 rooms and suites are traditionally decorated, with air-conditioning and minibar.
Chambal Safari Lodge, Agra
Originally built as the administrative offices of a bi-annual cattle fair in the late 1890s, the Mela Kothi fell into disrepair and was renovated and transformed into its current incarnation as the Chambal Safari Lodge in 1999. Today, nestled amidst acres of woodland and pasture, the lodge is an oasis of peace and calm. While rustic in style, the rooms are clean and every effort has been made to make this lodge as eco-friendly and sympathetic to its surroundings as possible. The lodge's owners, Ram Pratap Singh and his wife Anu are keen birders and conservationists, and offer visitors and warm welcome.
Rooms have spacious outside areas, with nice touches like charpoys (string cots) and hammocks offering places to relax after your active day of wildlife watching. The main lodge building has a cosy sitting room, where guests can sit and read a book from the small library, or discuss their daily viewings with fellow wildlife enthusiasts. Simple, but delicious meals are provided, and hot water is available morning and evening. The lodge's electricity is provided by a generator and candles and hurricane lamps provide lighting at night.
What Our Customers
Out of my 9 safaris I had amazing sightings in 8 of them, including some very close encounters as they strolled past only a few feet away from our jeep. The Tiger Den Hotel was also very nice and comfortable and I would highly recommend it to others.
Although my main aim was to see tigers, which I did , it was the abundance of other wildlife and incredible birding that took me by surprise. The guiding was generally very good and the standard of accommodation much better than I was expecting. The food was fantastic throughout, especially as I’m a vegetarian. I think this trip represented great value for money and ticked so many boxes for me, I look forward to going back one day.
The thing I liked most about our itinerary was that it kept us away from the crowds, having been to India before I know how busy and over whelming it can be but with Sara’s help we were able to visit some of the less well known National Parks, yet didn’t compromise on the wildlife. We saw everything we wanted and more, rhino, leopard, lion, tiger, sloth bear and more birds than I care to remember. Thank you for a fantastic trip and we look forward to booking another wildlife adventure with you in the near future.
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