Untamed India : 16 Days

Land in the nation's capital to be introduced to its mixed heritage through the Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Lotus Temple, be whisked away to adore the Taj Mahal in all its glory and spend a week and a half discovering India's wild side. Play hide and seek with the chinkara at the Panna National Park, 'spot' the leopards of Bandhavgarh, greet the royal Bengal tiger at Kanha and smile at old world monkeys such as the macaque and langur at Pench to re-discover from where it all began.



Day 1-2: Delhi

COMPASS REPRESENTATIVE will receive you on arrival at the airport and receive you. Transfer to your hotel. Relax.

DELHI, India’s capital is a city built in layers. Over millennia, with the city as epicenter, great empires have risen and fallen, one built atop the remains of another. Consequently, countless ruins and monuments dot the city, each with a story to tell. Alongside, New Delhi’s wide multi-lane motorways, bustling with shopping malls, fast cars and steel and glass office complexes, belong unmistakably to the 21st century.

Proceed for the sightseeing of Old Delhi.

The tour begins with Raj Ghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. The shrine is a simple black stone structure with an eternal flame burning at one end, a fitting tribute to a humble man who changed the world with nothing but the power of ideas.

Red Fort: The imposing red sandstone structure was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1639, and remained seat of the empire for the next two centuries. Today, the Prime Minister of the India delivers his Independence Day speech to the nation from its ramparts.

A rickshaw ride takes us to Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques. We shall view this magnificent structure from outside, its lofty domes and minarets reminiscent of a scene from the Arabian Nights.

Overnight will be at Delhi.

Day 3: Agra

Proceed to Agra. Reach and check into the hotel.

AGRA: Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire - giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Today a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices, of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favorite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously.

Enjoy the sightseeing of Agra Fort & Baby Taj.

AGRA FORT – The red sandstone structure is surrounded by chahar-bagh, a four-square formal garden. Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone. Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction. It lies on the bend of the river Yamuna, almost in the heart of the town. Akbar built it as his citadel over the years 1563-73 in the finest architectural style. It has imposing gates and walls of red sandstone and a moat.

After Agra Fort we will visit BABY TAJ or the ITMAD-UD-ULLAH – The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj. One of the most beautiful Mughal tombs, Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb was built by Nur Jahan, the Empress of Jahangir for her father in 1628. The tomb is a resting place of the powerful personality in Mughal Court, Itmad-Ud-Daulah, whose life is very interesting. Formerly a very poor Persian merchant then named Mirza Ghiyas or Ghiyas Beg he became a minister and a trusted treasure in Akbar's court. After Akbar's death in 1605, his son Jahangir rose into power. Jahangir made Ghiyas Beg his chief minister and honored him with the title of Itmad-Ud-Daulah, the Pillar of State. Later, Jahangir met a beautiful daughter of Ghiyas Beg named Mehr-Un-Nissa and married her. Mehr-Un-Nissa soon played a significant role in the Jahangir's court and was called Nur Mahal, the light of the Place. Owing to her influence, her father and brother were granted with privileges in the court. When Ghiyas beg (Itmad-Un-Daulah) dies in 1622, Nur Mahal decided to build a mausoleum for him. Queen Mumtaz Mahal or the lady of the Taj was also from this prevailing family. The mausoleum is entirely made of white marble and graced with intricate decoration of inlay work, and marble-screen work belonging to the Islamic style. With its tranquil, small garden on the bank of Yamuna River, the tomb stands impressively elegant from a distance.

Proceed for a HERITAGE WALK to the other side of River YAMUNA with your guide.

The other side of the TAJ MAHAL across the river Yamuna where Mughal History has been written in edicts of stone, the river Yamuna lined with the residences of mobility was the artery, the very lifeline, which fostered the development of Mughal Agra. These heritage relics have been weaved together for a historic experience of Mughal Agra. You would walk through the various monuments in midst of rural setting intertwined with the communities along with stunning view of the TAJ MAHAL.

Enjoy the extended hospitality of the local villagers sipping a cup of Masala Chai on the Tea Terrace with standard, comfortable, clean, affordable, and safe facilities. The whole village walk through India’s Mughal History and amiable people is an unforgettable experience.

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 4-5: Panna National Park

Proceed to Panna. Reach Panna and check into the hotel.

PANNA National Park is situated in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, at a short distance from Khajuraho. The region, famous for its diamond industry, is also home to some of the best wildlife species in India and is one of the most famous Tiger Reserves in the country. The park is known worldwide for its wild cats, including tigers as well as deer and antelope. Due to its closeness to one of the best-known Indian tourist attraction in India, Khajuraho, the park is recognized as an exciting stop-over destination. The climate of the region is tropical. Summers, somewhat scorching, are when one has the maximum chances of encountering the exclusive wildlife of this park.

PANNA is famous for its diamond mining industry and this makes it an interesting place to visit. PANDAV FALLS is also a major attraction with its lake that is fed by a waterfall. Another major attraction of this region is the RAJGARH PALACE, a magnificent piece of architecture overlooking the valley.

Overnight will be at Panna.

Day 6-8: Bandhavgarh National Park

Reach Umaria and drive to Bandhavgarh. Reach and check in at the resort.

Bandhavgarh is a new National Park with a very long history. Set among the Vindhya hills of Madhya Pradesh with an area of 168sq miles (437sq km) it contains a wide variety of habitats and a high density of game, including a large number of Tigers. This is also the White tiger country. These have been found in the old state of Rewa for Many years. Maharaja Martand Singh captured the last known in 1951. This white Tiger, Mohun is now stuffed and on display in the Palace of Maharaja of Rewa. Prior to becoming a National Park, the forests around Bandhavgarh had long been maintained as a Shikargah, or game preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa. The Maharaja and his guests carried out hunting – otherwise the wildlife was well protected. It was considered a good omen for Maharaja of Rewa to shoot 109 tigers. His Highness Maharaja Venkat Raman Singh shot 111 Tigers by 1914.

Where birds are concerned, keep a look out for white browed fantails, steppe eagles, green pigeons, grey Malabar hornbills, black and white Malabar hornbills (quite a rare sighting), blossom headed parakeets, parakeets, blue bearded bee eaters, green bee eaters, white bellied drongos, owls, Jerdon's and gold fronted leaf birds, minivets, woodshrikes and the lovely paradise flycatchers.

Enjoy afternoon game drive.

Spend evening in leisure.

Overnight will be at Bandhavgarh.

Day 9-11: Kanha National Park

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Drive to Kanha. Reach and check into the hotel.

This is the place that has been described by RUDYARD KIPLING in his great book "The Jungle Book". Located in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha National Park is a tiger reserve that extends over an area of over 940 square km. A horseshoe shaped valley bounded by the spurs of the Mekal presents an interesting topography. Steep rocky escarpments along the edges offer breath-taking views of the valley. Realizing the danger on the Tiger population in the country, the Government started the "Project Tiger" at Kanha and in 1974 the area was declared a Tiger reserve. The park is also the habitat of the high ground Barasingha.

In 1930s, the Kanha area was divided into two sanctuaries - Hallon and Banjar of 250kms to 300kms each. Though one of these was subsequently disbanded .The area remained a protected one until 1947. Depletion of the tiger population in the year that followed led to the area being made an absolute sanctuary in 1952.

Patient watching should reward the visitor, with a sight of Indian Fox, Sloth bear, Striped hyena, Jungle cut, Leopard, Mouse Deer, Chausingha or four horned antelope, Nilgai, Ratel and Porcupine Kanha has some 200 species of birds. Watchers should station themselves in the hills, where the mixed and bamboo forests harbour many species and in the grassy forest clearings. Water birds can be seen near the park’s many rivulets and at Sarvantal, a pool that is frequented by water birds and the area in front of the museum. The birds comprise of Racket Tailed Drongo, Crested Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Peacock, Golden Oriole, Treepie, Whitenecked Stork, Shikra, White-eyed Buzzard, Roseringed Parakeet, Shama, Red Munia, Large Green Barbet, Crimson Breasted Barbet, Lesser Golden Backed Woodpecker, Hair Crested Drongo, Common Teal, Pintail Duck, etc.

Overnight will be at Kanha.

Day 12-14: Pench National Park

After breakfast, drive to Pench.

Pench National park, nestling in the lower southern reaches of the satpuda hills is named after Pench River, meandering through the park from north to south. It is located on the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh, bordering Maharashtra, in the districts of Seoni and Chhindwara.

The undulating terrain of Pench is covered with small hills and well stocked taek and mixed forest. The main floras are Teak (Tectona grandis), Saja (Terminalia tomentosa), Bija (Pterocarpus marsupium), Lendia, Haldu, Dhaora, Aonla, Amaltas etc. The ground is covered with a number of grasses, bushes, herbs & shrubs. Dazzling white Kullu trees scattered around singly in the forest is conspicuous among various hues of green. The old plantations of Teak & Bamboo add orderly vistas in the otherwise general wilderness.

The flow of Pench river stops in December, what remains are a few scenic and serene pools in the river bed. There are a few perennial springs and tanks. At the southern boundary of park, the Pench river has been dammed for Pench hydroelectric project at Totladoh. At the maximum capacity the reservoir submerges 54 sq Kms of the park area. This had been the loss of best valley forest, which was once referred by Sir Rudyard Kipling in his book named "Jungle Book". This large reservoir of Pench with sporadic islands attracts a number of winter birds from north.

Cheetal, Sambar, Nilgai are commonly seen grazing on the open sites on roadsides and banks of river & reservoir. Jackals can be seen in search of food anywhere in park. Packs of wild dogs can also be seen occasionally. Herds of Gaur can be spotted near streams and bamboo patches, more common during summer months.

Langurs are very common. Whereas Rhesus monkeys may be seen occasionally on the fringes there are around 50 Tigers and 30 Leopards they are a shy lot and can be seen on roads and near water pools of river during summer months. Pench boasts of more than 210 species of birds including several migratory ones. Commonly seen are Pea fowl, Red jungle fowl, Crow pheasant, Crimson breasted barbet, Redvented bulbul, Racket tailed drongo, Magpie robin, lesser whistling teal.

Reach and transfer to the resort.

Overnight will be at Pench.

Day 15: Delhi

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Today, you will be driven to New Delhi, built by the British in the 1930s as their imperial capital. Majestic government and administrative offices line its wide, tree-lined avenues. Named after Sir Edwin Lutyens who was commissioned to design the city in 1911, this part of the city is also known as Lutyen’s Delhi and is a striking contrast to the old city.

The red sandstone arch of India Gate, memorial to Indian and British soldiers who laid down their lives in World War I, leads us to the Parliament House, the magnificent seat of the world’s largest democracy. We shall also see Rastrapathi Bhawan, the Indian President’s official residence. Inside is the famed Mughal Gardens with its resplendent fountains and manicured lawns. In spring, it opens its doors to the public.

The day’s tour ends at the Qutub Minar. Built in 1193 by Qutubuddin Aibak, a slave general, it is the tallest stone tower in India and marks the site of the country’s first Muslim kingdom. The iron tower in a square opposite is unique in that it never rusts, although it has been exposed to the elements for centuries. Also visit Humanyun’s tomb.

Visit the lotus-shaped Bahai temple south of Delhi. An ideal place for meditation, this Bahai House of worship is open to people of all religion.

In evening, enjoy Blessedness of the Sufis – This experience takes you to a little mohalla (neighborhood) in Delhi called Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin. Here you will be introduced to Sufism, a mystical version of Islam, and its teachings of Ishq (love), Aql (intelligence) and Ilm (knowledge). You will walk the ancient crowded alleys to explore monuments and sites associated with famous Sufi saints including Nizamuddin Aulia, Amir Khusrau and Mirza Ghalib. Finally you will enjoy Sufi music concert called a qawwali.

Overnight will be at Delhi.

Day 16: Delhi - Back Home

Enjoy morning game drive.

Come back and have breakfast.

Later drive to Jabalpur airport to take flight for Delhi Reach and check into the hotel.

Relax and as per the international flight timings, you will be transferred to the airport to take flight back home with sweet memories of the Indian Wildlife.

SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED

• Rickshaw ride at Old Delhi.
• Horse cart ride to Taj Mahal in Agra.
• Theatre show in Taj Mahal in Agra.
• Lunch at Orchha.
• Elephant ride in Bandhavgarh and Kanha if available.

THE TOUR INCLUDES

• Accommodation at mentioned hotels,
• Sightseeing tours as mentioned in the itinerary,
• All transfers from stations and airports in private ac deluxe toyota innova wth english speaking driver,
• Daily buffet breakfast,
• English speaking company authorised guide for all mentioned tours,
• All private safaris in Panna, Bandhavgarh, Kanha & Pench with a naturalist,
• All meals in Panna, Bandhavgarh, Kanha & Pench,
• Economy class airfare in full service airline,
• Executive class train travel between Agra and Jhansi,
• Monument entrances,
• Assistance at the airports on arrival / departure,
• Assistance at stations on departure and arrival,
• All applicable taxes and service charges and
• All road taxes, government taxes and driver allowances.

EXCLUSIONS

• Lunches and dinners (except for those mentioned in inclusions),
• Personal expenses,
• Camera fees, tips etc,
• International airfare, • Visa charges.

Hotels

City Luxury Hotels & Theme Lodges Nights
Delhi Imperial 02
Agra The Oberoi Amarvilas 01
Panna Pashan Garh 02
Bandhavgarh Mahua Kothi 03
Kanha Banjaar Tola 03
Pench Baghvan 03
Delhi Imperial 01

Tour Price

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