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2by2 for holidays that will change your life
2by2 for holidays that will change your life
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Tiger Safari Holidays India Bandhavgarh Kanha Pench Tadoba Satpura

India Tiger Safari Holiday: Bandhavgarh + Kanha + Taj Mahal + Varanasi + Khajuraho

India: Taj + Varanasi + Khajurajo + Bandhavgarh + Kanha
IPK12M
12 NIGHTS
FROM £2,495
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
India Tiger Safari Holiday Bandhavgarh Kanha Taj Mahal Varanasi Khajuraho

This India tiger safari holiday is perfect for those who want to explore the culture of this fascinating country as well as its wildlife, as is combines the two famous tiger reserves - Bandhavgarh & Kanha - with ancient Delhi, the astonishing Taj Mahal, spiritual Varanasi & the hand-carved erotic Kama Sutra temples at Khajuraho. English speaking city guides, private driver, private jeep safaris & sightseeing included.

India Tiger Safari Holiday Bandhavgarh Kanha Taj Mahal Varanasi Khajuraho
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India Tiger Safari Holiday
• 
Delhi
• 
Red Fort
• 
Agra
• 
Taj Mahal
• 
Varanasi
• 
Khajuraho Temples
• 
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
• 
Jeep Safaris
• 
Kanha National Park
• 
India Tiger Safari Holiday
• 
Delhi
• 
Red Fort
• 
Agra
• 
Taj Mahal
• 
Varanasi
• 
Khajuraho Temples
• 
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
• 
Jeep Safaris
• 
Kanha National Park
Day 1
You will be met at Delhi Airport by your driver and transferred to your hotel in this ancient capital of kingdoms and empires that is now a sprawling metropolis.
 
Delhi's strategic location was one of the main reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power and today it is a conglomerate of seven cities. The division between the old walled city and New Delhi marks a division in lifestyles, with the old city retaining its past traditions whilst New Delhi strives to match the pace of the 21st century.
Day 2
Today enjoy a full day tour of modern New Delhi and the 17th century walled city of Old Delhi, which came to prominence when Shah Jahan moved his capital here from Agra.
 
In Old Delhi enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride through 300-year old Chandni Chowk market, a maze of lanes crowded with noisy shops selling an extraordinary variety of items and foods, and past the Jamia Masjid (or Friday Mosque), the largest in India, and drive past the imposing walls & battlements of the Red Fort, once the most opulent palace in the Mughal Empire. We continue to the Raj Ghat - the simple but moving memorial on the site where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated.
 
In the afternoon our tour of New Delhi starts with a visit to the Qutub Minar, an ancient victory tower built of red sandstone and marble in 1199 and still the tallest minaret in India. With its imposing cylindrical towers and surrounding ruins, it is today a World Heritage Site. Our next stop is Humayun's Tomb, the beautiful mausoleum of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, that inspired the Taj Mahal.
 
We drive along the Rajpath - the capital's broadest avenue - where you will see the imposing arch of the India Gate war memorial, Parliament House, the Rashtrapati Bhavan presidential residence built for the Viceroy of India, and the government buildings on Raisina Hill.
Day 3
This morning we drive 3.5-hours from Delhi to the ancient city of Agra, set along the banks of the Yamuna River and originally the capital of the Mughal Empire.
 
Agra is world renowned as the home of the Taj Mahal - that great symbol of love built by emperor Shah Jahan in the 16th century as a memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal.
 
On arrival we visit Agra Fort, a massive structure with walls over 70-ft high and 1.5-miles long that encompasses an astounding collection of well preserved buildings, many of them completed during the reign of Shah Jahan. After he was deposed by his son, he was imprisoned in this fort where he remained until his death - spending the rest of his life looking out along the river to the final resting place of his beloved wife.
 
At the end of the day we visit the stunning Taj Mahal. This magnificent white marble mausoleum took 22 years to build and, apart from its stunning design and perfect symmetry, it is noted for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best marble inlay work ever done. Sunrise and sunset are particularly good times to visit and see the dome subtly change its colour.
 
Note: Taj Mahal is closed every Friday. You are allowed a maximum of 3-hours at the monument and cannot take in anything except your camera, water and essential medicine.
Day 4
This morning your guide will take you across the river to view the Taj Mahal at sunrise.
 
After returning to your hotel for breakfast, we visitt the much quieter Itmad-ud-Daulah - fondly known as the "Baby Taj" as this mausoleum, built to honour the grandfather of Mumtaz, was the forerunner of the Taj Mahal.
 
Afterwards transfer 3.5-hours to Delhi Airport for your flight to the ancient city of Varanasi.
 
You will be met at Varanasi Airport and transferred to your hotel in this holy city, situated on the sacred River Ganges. Varanasi is regarded as the spiritual capital of India and is a holy city for both Jains and Hindus, who believe dying here can bring salvation. The Benares Gharana form of Indian classical music developed here and many prominent Indian philosophers, poets, writers and musicians have made it their home.
 
In the late afternoon your guide will walk with you to the bathing ghats (steps) on the River Ganges to witness the moving daily Aarti Ceremony, a religious ritual performed as an offering to the gods. It includes the lighting of hundreds of candles that are released in baskets onto the river, which will leave you spellbound. The ceremony lasts about 1.5 hours.
 
Note: Hotels situated on the Ganges River or next to a temple are not allowed to serve alcohol. These same hotels often only serve vegetarian food.
Day 5
Rise early today for a very special experience - a boat ride on the River Ganges as the sun rises. View the remarkable colours on its waters as you pass the bathing ghats, a series of steps leading down to the river where the faithful come to bathe and pay homage to the sun god. Also see the cremation ghats.
 
Afterwards enjoy a short walking tour of the temples of Bharat Mata, Durga and Vishwanath, followed by a visit to the ruins and museum at Sarnath - an important pilgrimage site where the Buddha gave his first sermon. Here you will see many stupas (shrines) including the Mulagandha Kuti Vihar, a Tibetan Buddhist shrine containing a life-sized golden image of Buddha.
 
Note: Sarnath Museum is closed every Friday.
Day 6
Transfer to Varanasi Airport for your flight to Khajuraho.
 
Check into your hotel in this city that derives its name from the Khajur tree (date palm) and is world renowned for its magnificent erotic Kama Sutra temples.
Day 7
Today enjoy a tour of the magnificent ancient hand-carved Temples of Khajuraho, built between 950 and 1050 AD and whose murals depict the life and times of the Chandela Rajputs.
 
We start with the Western Group of temples, which contain the largest and loveliest temples of the area. Of this group, the Kandariya Mahadev temple dedicated to Shiva is the most perfect. With its elaborate spire and bands of beautiful carvings, it represents Chandela art at its best. It shares a high terrrace with the older and simpler Devi Jagadamba temple.
 
Next we tour the Eastern Group of Hindu and Jain temples. These divine sculptures are a tribute to life, embodying the sublime and spontaneous whilst also celebrating erotic life.
Day 8
Today we leave Khajuraho and travel 5-hours to Bandhavgarh National Park - once the hunting reserve of the royal family of Rewa and today one of the most famous tiger reserves in the world.
 
Covering 168 sq miles (437 sq km) of bamboo, grassland and deciduous forests in the Vindhya Hills of Madhya Pradesh, this reserve is where the amazing white tigers were discovered.
Day 9
Today is devoted to the wildlife of Bandhavgarh National Park on a private jeep safari.
 
Early morning is the best time to track tigers and other wildlife, but be aware that it is extremely difficult to find tigers in the jungle and sightings are never guaranteed. Best viewings are generally at the end of the dry season (March to May, although it is extremely hot from April onwards), when the tigers search out the waterholes - but you need to take at least 4 game drives for a good chance of a sighting.
 
In the afternoon return to the park for another private jeep safari before dinner. There are many bird species as well as mammals such as sloth bears, langur monkeys, wild boars, wild dogs, mongoose and three types of deer - chital, sambar and barking.
 
Note: This tiger reserve is closed every Wednesday afternoon, when only a morning game drive is offered. The park is also closed during the Holi & Diwali festivals, as well as during the monsoon season (July to early October).
 
In the winter months, morning safaris require warm clothes including woolly hats and gloves to protect you from the wind chill in your open vehicle.
Day 10
Today leave Bandhavgarh National Park and transfer 5-hours to Kanha National Park - one of the largest and most scenic national parks in India and an ideal habitat for tigers and their prey.
 
Five times the size of Bandhavgarh, Kanha's mixed forests are interspersed with vast meadows known as maidans. Perennial streams run through these, providing a source of water for wildlife even in the hot summer months. As a result hundreds of chital deer graze on carpets of green grass, against a backdrop of majestic sal tree forests. Check into your lodge close to the entrance to this premier wildlife sanctuary.
Day 11
Rise at dawn to track wildlife in Kanha National Park, which is particularly well known for its endangered swamp deer (or hardwater barasingha) which live on large open grassy meadows amongst the lush sal and bamboo forests. Brought back from the brink of extinction, these handsome animals are a remarkable conservation success story.
 
Early morning is the best time to track tigers and other wildlife, but be aware that it is extremely difficult to find tigers in the jungle and sightings are never guaranteed. Best viewings are generally at the end of the dry season (March to May, although it is extremely hot from April onwards), when the tigers search out the waterholes - but you need to take at least 4 game drives for a good chance of a sighting. Sloth bears are also found in this park.
 
Two private jeep safaris per day are included - one in the early morning and one in the late afternoon.
 
Note: This tiger reserve is closed every Wednesday afternoon, when only a morning game drive is offered. The park is also closed during the Holi & Diwali festivals, as well as during the monsoon season (July to early October).
 
Day 12
Transfer 4-hours to Jabalpur Airport for your flight to Mumbai.
 
You will be met at Mumbai Airport and transferred to your hotel situated near the airport in this bustling city.
Day 13
Transfer to Mumbai Airport for your flight home.