20 Nights/ 21 Days
National Parks visited
Delhi, Ranthambhore, Jaipur, Bharatpur, Agra, Khajuraho, Varanasi, Bandhavgarh, Umaria, Delhi


Day 1: Delhi

DEPART your city
Board international flight to Delhi. Overnight on board

DAY 02 : Arrive Delhi

Arrive Delhi very early in the morning. Welcome, meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to hotel. On arrival, check into the rooms. (Room protected for immediate occupancy).

Delhi - the capital of India, is a fascinating city with complexities and contradictions, beauty and dynamism, where the past co-exists with the present. Many dynasties ruled from here and the city is rich in the architecture of its monuments. Delhi is not only the present metropolis of India but also a Necropolis. Because of its location, being on the banks of the river Yamuna, many cities have risen and fallen over the last five millenia.

Late morning : proceed on a Combined tour of Old & New Delhi. The Qutab Minar, is a Tower of Victory built in the 12th century by Qutbuddin Aibak. Within its spacious courtyard stands the Iron Pillar, which dates back to the 4th century AD and bears a Sanskrit inscription in the Gupta style. The pillar has puzzled scientists, as its iron has not rusted in all these centuries. Visit India Gate, the memorial of the First World War and drive past Rashtrapathi Bhawan - the residence of the President of India, which is flanked by the houses of Parliament and the Government Secretariat buildings.

The historic Red Fort - Shah Jehan’s elegant citadel in red sandstone, was built as an octagon measuring 900m by 550m and surrounded by a 9-meter deep moat which was at its inception fed by the waters of the Yamuna river. The fort is entered from the Lahori Gate and leads to a roofed passage called Chatta Chowk. The Naqqar Khana (drum house) at the end of this passage marks the entrance to the royal enclosure. A spacious lawn leads to the Diwan-i-Am - the pillared Hall of Public Audience, Diwan-i-Khas - the Hall of Private Audience where the emperor met select visitors and the Pearl Mosque built by Shah Jahan’s son, Aurangazeb, the last of the “Great Mughals”. Drive past the Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque), India’s largest mosque and the famous bazaars of Chandni Chowk which is adjacent to both the Fort and the Mosque. . Welcome Dinner at a nice restaurant in Delhi Overnight in Delhi TAJ PALACE / QUTUB RESIDENCY

DAY 03 : Delhi - Sawai Madhopur - Ranthambhore

Morning transfer to the Railway Station to board the train for Sawai Madhopur. Leave Delhi for Sawai Madhopur by your city. Meeting and assistance on arrival at Sawai Madhopur Railway Station and transfer to hotel in Ranthambore. On arrival, check into the Jungle Resort.

Ranthambore: With an area of 400 sq. km encompassing rocky hill crests which descend to open valleys between the Aravalli and Vindhya ranges, dotted with water pools and fruit trees, this park gets its name from the thousand year old fortress, which looms above the forest. Well known for the diurnal activity of tigers, Ranthambore is a very special and unusual area where a natural present meets a historical past. Sambhar, cheetal, chinkara, nilgai and langoor. The elusive leopard and tigers are found in this reserve with tourists standing a very good chance of seeing tigers during the day.

Dotted across the landscape are the crumbling ruins of its past glory, be it chhatris or cupolas, like palaces or old guard posts, all of which reinforce the magical and ethereal quality of this great wilderness. Lunch at the lodge. After lunch, proceed on a game drive into the sanctuary. Overnight in Ranthambore TIGER DEN RESORT/RANTHAMBORE REGENCY

Day 04 : Ranthambhore

Morning and afternoon game drive into the sanctuary by Jeep. Overnight in Ranthambore TIGER DEN RESORT/ RANTHAMBORE REGENCY

DAY 05 : Ranthambhore

Morning and afternoon game drive into the sanctuary by Jeep. Overnight in Ranthambore TIGER DEN RESORT/ RANTHAMBORE REGENCY

DAY 06 : Ranthambhore / Jaipur

Morning game drive into the sanctuary. Return to the hotel for Breakfast at and drive to Jaipur (170 kms/ 5 hours). Assistance on arrival and check into the hotel.

Jaipur - the capital of Rajasthan, is colour washed pink - the colour associated with hospitality in Rajput culture. This Pink City of fairy tale palaces, rugged fortresses perched on barren hills and broad avenues, is picturesque. The first planned city of its time, Jaipur is encircled by a formidable wall. Rest of the day at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Jaipur JAI MAHAL PALACE / ALSISAR HAVELI

Day 07 : Jaipur

Morning : Proceed on an excursion to Amber Fort with Elephant ride up to the Fort. Drive past Hawa Mahal, known popularly as the Palace of Winds, is a facade built for the Ladies of the Royal household in the 19th century. The Amber Fort, the capital of the erstwhile State of Jaipur until 1728 is perched on a hill. It has halls of Public and Private audience, a Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors) various marble palaces which are marvelous examples of ancient Rajput architecture. The Temple of Amba (Mother Goddess), the patron deity of the Royal family is at the entrance to the palace. Ride an elephant to ascend the hill on which the Fort is situated.

Afternoon : proceed on a city tour visiting the City Palace - the former royal residence built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal styles which houses a museum with a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes and armoury of the Mughals and Rajputs, including swords of different shapes and sizes with ornate handles. It has an art gallery with an excellent collection of miniature paintings, carpets, royal paraphernalia and rare astronomical works in Arabic, Persian, Latin and Sanskrit. Also visit the Jantar Mantar - an astrological and astronomical observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh in the 18th century, which is remarkable for its accuracy even in the present times. Overnight in Jaipur JAI MAHAL PALACE / ALSISAR HAVELI

Day 08 : Jaipur / Bharatpur

Morning drive to Bharatpur (200 kms/ 5 hrs). On arrival, check-in to the room. Bharatpur is popular for its bird sanctuary - the Keoladeo Ghana National Park - finest in Asia, inundated with over 400 species of water birds. The sanctuary covers an area of 40 sq. km of swampy, lightly wooded terrain which was once the private hunting and shooting preserve of the Maharaja of Bharatpur. Today it is the protected breeding ground for many species of birds and also the home of migratory birds, especially of the Siberian Crane, that spends its winter here. Colonies of cormorants, spoonbills, storks, egrets, herons, pelicans, ibis and grey herons can be spotted all over the park, besides a fairly rich habitation of deer and snakes. [The best time to visit the Park is from October though March] Late afternoon: Visit the Sanctuary by boats - an excellent way to see the birds and watch the spectacular sunset (subject to availability). Overnight in Bharatpur LAXMI VILAS PALACE

Day 09 : Bharatpurh

Morning visit the park once again, on a Cycle Rickshaw. afternoon visit the Sanctuary. Overnight in Bharatpur LAXMI VILAS PALACE

Day 10 : Bhartapur / Agra

Morning drive to Agra enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri (15 kms). Fatehpur Sikri - This exquisite city built by Akbar the Great in 1569, in red sandstone, with its forts, palaces and mosques was abandoned 14 years after its creation due to political reasons. The Diwan-i-am - a vast courtyard in which the emperor gave daily public audience. Diwan-i-khas - a large quadrangle which contained all the major functions of the Palace, Pachisi court, the Emperors private living quarter, Jodha Bai’s Palace, Mariam’s Palace, Birbal’s Palace, Hawa Mahal and Panch Mahal are some of the important buildings of this residential complex. The Friday Mosque and the exquisite tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti are in the religious grounds set aside in a separate enclosure adjacent to the secular buildings. Continue drive to Agra (40 kms). On arrival, check-in to the room.

Agra is famous as the home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Taj Mahal. The architectural splendour of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces in Agra is a vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal empire. Agra was their capital for nearly a hundred years from 1564. A pleasant town, with a comparatively easy pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by artisans who are hereditary crafts persons. The city is also famous for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes.

Afternoon : tour of the Taj Mahal - the inimitable poem in white marble. Built over a period of 22 years, by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1630, for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains, it is one of the seven modern wonders of the World. [The Taj is closed on Fridays] Overnight in Agra TRIDENT / JAYPEE PALACE

Day 11 : Agra / Khajuraho

Morning : visit the Agra Fort, built by three Mughal Emperors starting from Akbar the Great in 1565 AD, which is a masterpiece of design and construction. Within the fort are a number of exquisite buildings including the Moti Masjid, Jahangir’s Palace, Khas Mahal and the Sheesh Mahal, Diwane-i-Am, Diwane-i-Khas and Musamman Burj, where Emperor Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal Emperor, died a prisoner. Later transfer to the airport to board the flight for Khajuraho. Leave Agra for Khajuraho by CD: 7407 ( 1225 / 1315 hrs ) (Flight operates on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays as per current schedule) Meeting and assistance on arrival at Khajuraho airport and transfer to the hotel. On arrival, check-in to the room.

Created by the Chandela kings around 925 AD, Khajuraho emerged when the west was still finding its place in the Sun. The temples are a spectacular feat of architectural excellence, carved with the roughest of tools, all within the span of a hundred years. There were 85 temples in all, portraying the zest for life of the people. The elaborate carvings depict spirituality, love, music, dance, hunting and feasting. Today, 22 temples survive. Khajuraho has achieved fame for the sensual appeal of the erotic sculptures. But, these form only part of the wealth of the site that depicts everyday life of the people and the court in the 10th and 11th centuries.

Architecturally the temples have some unique features. They stand on high platforms and do not have the customary enclosure. Each temple has a large number of spires in ascending order representing man's aspirations towards spiritual goals. The sculptures describe the moments of truth, amazement and bliss in which one forgets everything and surrenders completely to spiritual emotion. And this wonder is the elusive theme of the temples at Khajuraho.

Afternoon : visit the Western Group of temples. The Kandariya Mahadeo temple of the Western group is the largest, dedicated to Shiva. The main shrine is exquisitely carved and features, in delicate detail, gods, goddesses, celestial maidens and lovers. Also visit the Chaunsat Yogini temple dedicated to Kali and Chitragupta temple dedicated to the Sun-god Surya. Overnight in Khajuraho TRIDENT

Day 12 : Khajuraho / Varanasi

Morning : visit the Eastern and Southern group of temples. The Parsvanath temple of the Eastern group is the group’s largest Jain temple. The themes depict, in charming detail, everyday activity. Also visit the Duladeo temple dedicated to Shiva and the Chaturbhuj temple of the Southern group.

Afternoon transfer to the airport to board the flight for Varanasi. Leave Khajuraho for Varanasi by 9W: 724 ( 1405 / 1445 hrs ) Meeting and assistance on arrival at Varanasi airport and transfer to the hotel. On arrival, check-in to the room.

Varanasi is one of India’s most important pilgrimage sites and the holiest of holy cities for Hindus. Known also as Kashi and Benaras, Varanasi is one of the world’s oldest living cities, and has been a centre of learning and culture for well over 2000 years.

Evening : Visit the “Ghats” or bank of the Ganga River. This is a fascinating walk as you can experience the cultural ethos that guides the life of the pious. See the rituals that take place to the setting sum and the ablutions that are performed in the river. As boats float down-stream, some carrying goods, fruits and vegetables, you will see others carrying the pious who perform ceremonies along the river. On the banks or “ghats”, you can see some absorbed in prayer and the chanting of hymns, and others engaged in commerce and yet others performing functions like hair-cutting, massaging and even cleaning ears! Walk across to the Manikarnika Ghat, where you can see cremation, performed with intense ritual - the process of sending the departed soul to the heavens. Hindus believe that the gateway to the Heavens and for the Re-incarnation of the Soul `in a better state’, is possible when life’s last journey is from Varanasi. Overnight in Varanasi TAJ GANGES / HINDUSTHAN INT’L

Day 13 : Varanasi

DAY 05 Early morning : Take a boat ride at dawn down India's most sacred river, The Ganges. Sun rise at the holy river is a truly tranquil and breath taking sight with pilgrims standing waist-deep in water, praying to the rising Sun. Past these bathing ghats, see the "burning ghats" where the Hindus cremate their dead. This is done with great religious fervour which makes for a moving experience. On your return walk through the streets of the old city. See the famous Vishwanath temple with its spires covered with gold, dedicated to Shiva, the presiding deity of the city. Return to the hotel for Breakfast

Late morning : Visit the Benaras Hindu University founded in 1916 and its famous Museum - Bharat Kala Bhavan which houses one of the finest collection of Mughal miniature paintings and brocade textiles. The Bharat Mata and Durga Temple

Afternoon : Proceed on an excursion to Sarnath - The place where the Buddha turned the “Wheel of Law” and delivered His First Sermon. See the Chowkandi and Dhamek Stupas, the ruins of 9th and 10th century monasteries and temples, the temple built by the Mahabodhi Society in 1931, and the Tibetan Temple. Visit the famous Sarnath Museum. Overnight in Varanasi TAJ GANGES / HINDUSTHAN INT’L

Day 14 : Varanasi / Katni / Bandhavgarh

Fly to Varanasi the land of the sacred river ganga. Afternoon tour of Varanasi city.

Morning transfer to the Railway Station to board the train for Katni. Leave Varanasi for Katni by Howrah Mumbai Mail ( 0830 / 1557 hrs ) Carry packed lunch from the hotel. Meeting and assistance on arrival at Katni Railway Station and transfer to the Forest Lodge in Bandhavgarh (95 Kms). On arrival check-in at the Jungle Resort

The density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh is relatively high. The possibility of spotting Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Leopard and Tiger is very good. The park is also densely populated with animals like the Chital (Spotted Deer), Sambhar, Barking Deer, Nilgai (Blue Bull), Chowsingha (Four Horned Antelope) and is rich in bird life.

The terrain is rocky, rising sharply from the swampy and densely forested valley. The finest of these hills is Bandhavgarh which is bounded by great cliffs and eroded rocks. The Bandhavgarh Fort, believed to be 2000 years old, stands at the highest point. There is a temple at the fort that can be visited by jeeps. Scattered throughout the park, particularly around the fort, are numerous caves containing shrines with ancient Sanskrit inscriptions. The ramparts of the fort provide a home for vultures, blue rock thrushes and crag martins. Dinner and overnight in Bandhavgarh TIGER’S DEN RESORT

DAY 15 : Bandhavgarh

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Lodge. Morning and afternoon game drive into the sanctuary by Jeep/ Elephant.

The Forest Department has devised an ingenuous system of tracking the tiger at this Park. Every day, early in the morning, elephants and their "Mahouts" (drivers) are sent out into the jungle, in search of the Tiger. Once it has been sighted, a radio message is flashed to the Forest Ranger, who in turn informs the visitors in their jeeps, who are then taken on elephant-back, into the bush, to see the elusive Tiger. Overnight in Bandhavgarh TIGER’S DEN RESORT

Day 16 : Bandhavgarh

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Lodge. Morning and afternoon game drive into the sanctuary by Jeep/ Elephant Overnight in Bandhavgarh TIGER’S DEN RESORT

Day 17 : Bandhavgarh

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Lodge. Morning and afternoon game drive into the sanctuary by Jeep/ Elephant Overnight in Bandhavgarh TIGER’S DEN RESORT

Day 18 : Bandhavgarh / Umaria / Delhi

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Lodge. During your stay in Bandhavgarh, arrangements will also be made to visit the local villages and the Tala School. A visit to the Bandhavgarh Fort will also be arranged with picnic lunch.

Morning game drive into the sanctuary by Jeep/ Elephant. Evening transfer to Umaria Railway station (45 kms/ 1½ hrs) to connect the train for Delhi. Carry packed Breakfast from the hotel. Leave Umaria for Delhi by Utkal Kalinga Express leaving Umaria at 2242 hrs. Overnight enroute ON BOARD THE TRAIN

Day 19 : Arrive Delhi

Arrive Delhi at 1330 hrs. Meeting and assistance on arrival at Hazrat Nizam-uddin Railway Station and transfer to the hotel. On arrival, check-in to the rooms. Rest of the afternoon at leisure for independent activities. Evening : Visit an Indian home and participate in some specially planned activities. Overnight in Delhi PARK ROYAL / QUTUB RESIDENCY

Day 20 : Delhi

Full day free for shopping, packing and independent activities.

Evening: FAREWELL DINNER at a nice restaurant. After Dinner, transfer to the Airport to board flight back home. ( Rooms may be retained till departure for airport)

Day 21 : Leave Delhi

Leave Delhi for your city