The wild is calling! Answer it's call! Take a walk on India’s wild side with this thrilling 13-day safari that takes in three national parks and emblematic monuments such as the Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Agra Fort and Taj Mahal. Start in the urban jungle of Delhi, winding your way through the myriad alleys of the old town and sauntering through the broad boulevards of the Raj. Fly to Madhya Pradesh to explore one of India’s largest tiger reserves, Kanha National Park. This hilly wilderness boasts spectacular landscapes of dense forests interspersed with vast grasslands, where wild animals such as the endangered barasingha deer roam freely and hundreds of bird species fly about. Continue the adventure at Bandhavgarh National Park, which began its existence as a maharaja’s private hunting grounds but where wildlife and birds now flourish. Its hills, valleys, rivers, meadows and forests are a sight to behold. The thrill level moves up a notch at Panna National Park, popularly known as the Emerald Forest. Its rugged landscape is covered in a mix of rainforests, savannahs and deep escarpments, which are irrigated by the irrepressible Ken River. Near the park is Orchha, which has some of the biggest monuments of any small town in India. We leave the wild behind for a cultural denouement to the program with a train trip to Agra to visit this majestic Mughal city’s top attractions before returning to Delhi.
On arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, you will be met by a PureQuest representative and then transferred to your hotel for check-in. The rest of the day is at leisure. Delhi is a bustling metropolis in which the past and the present merge, and where the Old and the New cities define the capital’s impressive cultural and architectural heritage. Amid the fast-spiraling skyscrapers, the remnants of bygone eras stand as silent reminders to the capital’s ancient legacy. The city’s many temples, mosques, palaces, forts and bazaars exude mystique and mystery as you ￼will discover during you stay in the capital.
Today is a tale of two cities as we explore Old Delhi in the morning and New Delhi in the afternoon. After breakfast at the hotel, we tour Old Delhi, which is a maze of alleys and side streets. The first stop is an emotional visit to the Raj Ghat memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Drive past the imposing Red Fort en route to the awe-inspiring Jama Masjid mosque, the largest in the capital, and a masterpiece of Mughal architecture. After this spiritual sojourn, enjoy a thrilling tricycle rickshaw ride though the backstreets of Old Delhi, weaving in between the thousands of pedestrians and vehicles that cram these ancient routes. Lunch of choice in the streets of Old Delhi. ￼￼￼Continue to New Delhi to tour the broad boulevards and imperial vision of architect Edwin Lutyens. Now eight decades old, New Delhi was built by the British to be the capital from which they ruled their Indian Raj, and as such was meant to define and represent their power. Drive past Rashtrapati Bhavan – the official presidential residence – the Jaipur Column, the Secretariat, the Parliament building and the impressive India Gate, where there is a photo stop. Next we visit Humayun’s Tomb, where the second Mughal emperor is interred. The final visit of the day is to Qutub Minar, which at 238 ft is the tallest stone minaret in India. Work on its construction began in the late 12th century and it has withstood the ravages of time in contrast to the ruins of the several structures surrounding it. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner back at the hotel. Accommodation at The Park Hotel in Delhi
Rise very early in the morning for transfer to the airport at 04:30 hours for a flight to Jabalpur in the state of Madhya Pradesh. On arrival, transfer by car to Kanha National Park, which is India’s largest tiger reserve. Situated in the Maikal Hills, Kanha boasts a spectacular landscape of vast sal tree forests, interspersed with swaying grasslands and beautiful stretches of lush bamboo growth. Since 1973, the park has been an integral part of the Project Tiger conservation program, when it was one of nine reserves established to protect endangered Bengal tigers and their ecosystems. Enjoy orientation walks around the property on arrival with the rest of the day at leisure. In the evening, we visit the Gond and Baiga tribal area to meet and interact with villagers in their homes and to learn about their culture and lifestyles as well as about their relationship with wildlife and the environment. The guide will translate during these visits. Accommodation in Kanha National Park at Chitvan Jungle Lodge
It’s time to go into the wild with morning and afternoon safaris in a 4WD vehicle. The wild animals and people who lived among the meadows, hills, forests and rivers that today form Kanha National Park were the inspiration for the famous children’s stories of the Jungle Book. The park has played a key role in the protection of threatened wildlife such as the central Indian barasingha. Kanha’s herd of this swamp deer is the last world population of the hard ground subspecies, which has virtually been saved from extinction owing to efforts of Project Tiger. Nowadays, there are barely 450 individuals left in the wild. Accommodation in Kanha National Park at Chitvan Jungle Lodge
We again enjoy morning and afternoon safaris in the pristine wilderness of Kanha. As well as tigers and barasingha, the park is also home to leopards, spotted and sambar deer, gray langur, wild pigs and more than 300 species of birds. It has most of the representative species of the Indo- Malayan tropical dry zone such as greater racket-tailed drongo, Indian pitta, lesser adjutant stork, paradise flycatcher, verditer flycatcher and shama. Accommodation in Kanha National Park at Chitvan Jungle Lodge
Depart Kanha after breakfast at the lodge, driving across northwards to the near-mythical Bandhavgarh National Park, arriving in time for lunch. In the afternoon, an orientation tour around the lodge will help you settle in the new surroundings. Bandhavgarh has the largest density of tigers in the world in its natural habitat, which is even more impressive when it is factored in that until five decades ago it was the private domain of the maharajas of Rewa, who were renowned for their hunting prowess. Since the state took control of the park, the animal population has once again begun to flourish. Bandhavgarh has extensive sal and bamboo forests, hills, valleys, rivers, marshes and meadows, resulting in varied floral and faunal diversity. Rest of the day at leisure. All meals are at the lodge. Accommodation in Bandhavgarh National Park at Bandhav Vilas
Bandhavgarh National Park is a place steeped in legend as you will discover during today’s morning and afternoon safaris. Its name is means ‘brother’s fort’ and ancient scriptures say that the Lord Rama gifted the fort to his younger brother, Lakshmana. The park’s hilly geography is dominated by the hill rising 1,000 feet above the plain where the fort is located. There are 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds found in Bandhavgarh, and every morning the park rangers use elephants to track tigers. Accommodation in Bandhavgarh National Park at Bandhav Vilas
Bid farewell to Bandhavgarh after breakfast, driving northwest through the Ganges basin to Panna National Park, which is popularly known as the Emerald Forest. Check-in at the resort on arrival and then head to Khajuraho, which is located in the Vindhya Mountains, a half-hour drive away. Khajuraho is a UNESCO World Heritage Site encompassing the ruins of 20 medieval Hindu and Jain temples, which are famed for their erotic decorations. The original site featured more than 80 temples but the majority were desecrated for their impiety during the Muslim conquests of the 13th century. Today, many Indians consider Khajuraho to be one of the country’s ‘seven wonders’. The largest and most impressive temple is Kandariya Mahadeva, which has a main spire of 102 feet and an exterior decorated with a profusion of mainly erotic sculptures, which are considered to be among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art. In the evening, we will attend a light and sound in the western group of temples. All meals are at the resort. Accommodation in Panna at Ken River Lodge
We go wild again today after last night’s audiovisual extravaganza at the erotic temples. Morning and afternoon safaris in Panna National Park will reveal a fascinating world centered on the Ken River, which irrigates the land and sates the thirst of the wildlife. The landscapes around the river are particularly dramatic and in some sections appear to be from another planet. Wildlife in the park includes tigers, leopards, wild dogs, wolves, hyenas, sloth bears and deer as well as reptiles such as pythons and more than 200 species of birds. The landscape ranges from the lush to the arid, with closed canopy forests, open savannah grasslands and degraded scrublands. Accommodation in Panna at Ken River Lodge
Rise early for a fascinating bird-watching cruise on the Ken River. This spellbinding experience immerses you in the symphony of nature with the sounds of chirping and twittering echoing across the Panna National Park. This raw and untouched habitat is home to more than 235 species of birds, including the white-necked stork, the bareheaded goose, the king vulture and the blossom-headed parakeet. Return to the hotel for breakfast and check out followed by departure by road for Orchha, a small town with a big reputation. As the capital of a princely state for 450 years, Orchha has an astonishing architectural heritage for a town its size, most notably the 15 imposing chhatris (cenotaphs) built in the memory of late rulers and nobles. Orchha is located on an artificial island on the Betwa River, and elsewhere in the town are a number of beautiful 16th and 17th century palaces and temples. Continue to Jhansi to catch the 18:44 train to Agra. Dinner is served onboard the train. On arrival at 21:10 hours, you are met at the railway station by a representative and transferred to the hotel for check-in and overnight stay. Accommodation in Agra at Jaypee Palace Hotel
After the birds of the Ken, it’s now time to become a culture vulture in amazing Agra. This beautiful city has given the world its most defining image of India and as such evokes the romance of this vast sub-continent. Agra was the first capital of the Mughal Empire and as such is the repository of two of the Mughals’ greatest architectural masterpieces. Enjoy a tour of the city after breakfast at the hotel, starting at the red sandstone Agra Fort, from where the Mughals ruled their empire. The walls and gates erected by Akbar the Great still stand, protecting the palaces, pavilions, mosques and gardens within, and to walk through the main Amar Singh Gate is to step back in time. Continue the tour at the Taj Mahal, the ‘love poem written in stone’ which has become ultimate symbol of India. Situated on the southern bank of a bend on the Yamuna River, the Taj was built by the heartbroken Shah Jahan as the mausoleum of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died while bearing him his 14th child. The emperor recruited the finest architects and craftsmen in the world, bringing them from Persia, Italy and further afield – 20,000 men or more – and they spent two decades working on the project. An army of 1,000 elephants transported the marble from sites more than 200 miles away. In the evening, we visit the home of a local family for a cooking demonstration followed by dinner. Accommodation in Agra at Jaypee Palace Hotel
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before checking out and heading to Delhi by road. The rest of the day is at leisure in the capital with a farewell dinner in the evening. Accommodation in Delhi at Lemon Tree Premier Delhi Aerocity
A representative will assist you for on-time transfer to the airport to connect to your onward flight.
Accommodation on above mentioned or similar category hotels
13 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 11 dinners
All transfers and sightseeing by air-conditioned vehicles
Train travel in air-conditioned coach
English-speaking local guide for sightseeing
One-time monument entry fees during sightseeing as per program
Rickshaw ride in Old Delhi during sightseeing
04 Games drives in Kanha National park
02 Game drives in Bandhavgarh National Park
02 Game drives in Panna National Park
01 one-hour boat ride at Ken River
Naturalist for all game drives
Sound & light show in Khajuraho
All presently applicable taxes
Any expense of a personal nature such as table drinks, tips, laundry, any alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, phone calls etc
Any kind of medical or travel insurance
Any airfare or visa fees
Anything that is not mentioned in the above program
The best season for this trip is 15 October to 30 June.