Taj, Tigers and Temples
Taj, Tigers and Temples
Taj, Tigers and Temples
Taj, Tigers and Temples
Taj, Tigers and Temples

Taj, Tigers and Temples

From: 
Regular price
$3,939.00
Sale price
$3,939.00

Private Holiday
12 Days ex Delhi
Departs Daily
 

Embark on what may be deemed the quintessential Northern India journey: a splendid voyage intertwining the rich history, vibrant hues, and diverse culture of Rajasthan, the captivating allure of the Taj Mahal, breathtaking encounters with wildlife, the exquisite temples of Khajuraho, and the enigmatic ambiance of Varanasi. Over the course of 12 days, immerse yourself in this journey, which also features three exhilarating game drives in pursuit of the elusive tiger within the enchanting confines of Bandhavgarh National Park.

Highlights:

  • Rickshaw ride through the vibrant streets of Chandani Chowk in Old Delhi
  • Experience the profound reverence for the Ganges River as you traverse its waters by boat
  • Embark on exhilarating jeep safaris through the scenic landscapes of Bandhavgarh National Park, in search of the elusive tiger
  • Immerse yourself in the tranquil splendor of the Taj Mahal, a timeless testament to love's grandeur
  • Uncover the charm of Jaipur, famously known as the "Pink City."

This trip can be extended to other wildlife parks of India like Ranthambhore, Kanha and Pench.

Important note: National Park is open from 01 October to 30 June only.

Day 1: Delhi

Welcome to India. On arrival at Delhi International Airport you will be met by a representative of our local operator and transferred to your hotel where accommodation is reserved for two nights. The remainder of day is at leisure. Overnight Delhi.

Day 2: Delhi (B)

Today you will begin your discovery of India with a sightseeing tour of Old Delhi with its maze of small alleyways, side streets and legendary bazaars. Take a rickshaw ride driving past the magnificent Red Fort - a marvel in red sandstone, and Jama Masjid - the largest mosque in India (view from the outside), then walk through the old lanes and busy markets of Chandni Chowk, savouring the ambience of the oriental bazaar.

Next discover New Delhi, characterised by colonial buildings and boulevards. Visit the 12th century Qutab Minar, gracefully hand carved for its entire height of 234ft, discover the mausoleum of emperor Humayun a forerunner of the Mughal style of architecture and the imposing modern Lakshminarayan temple, and visit Raj Ghat – the open-air memorial to Mahatma Gandhi.

Day 3: Delhi – Varanasi (B)

This morning you will be transferred to Delhi Airport for your flight to Varanasi, the holiest of the Seven Sacred Cities of Hinduism and Jainism, nestled along the banks of the great River Ganges. Remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight in Varanasi.

Day 4: Varanasi (B)

Today, embark on an exploration of Varanasi, beginning with an early morning boat excursion along the Ganges to witness its sacred daily rituals. This majestic river, ranking as the third largest globally in terms of discharge, holds deep reverence in Hinduism as the embodiment of the goddess Ganga and serves as a vital lifeline for the millions dwelling along its banks. Additionally, it is the habitat of the elusive Susu, a species of freshwater dolphin.

Later in the day, venture to Sarnath, the site of Buddha's inaugural sermon, visit Benares Hindu University, and navigate through the vibrant market streets via a rickshaw ride.

As dusk settles, walk along the Ghats and attend a fascinating Aarti Ceremony during which offerings of flowers and glowing lamps are made to the holy river. Overnight in Varanasi.

Day 5: Varanasi - Khajuraho (B)

Early this morning you will be transferred to the railway station for your train journey to Khajuraho – a fascinating ancient temple complex built approximately 1000 years ago. The temples in this complex, which once covered 20 square kilometres, are dedicated to two religions, Jainism and Hinduism, suggesting a tradition of tolerance and acceptance of varying religious beliefs. On arrival at Khajuraho you will be transferred to your hotel and have the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight in Khajuraho.

Day 6: Khajuraho - Bandhavgarh (250 km) (BD)

Morning guided tour of Khajuraho visiting the Western and Eastern group of Temples, including the famous Kandariya Mahedeo temple. Considered one of the best examples of medieval preservation in India, this large and intricate temple is contemporaneous with the White Tower at the Tower of London – one of the first stone castles constructed in the United Kingdom – which helps put the architectural grandeur of this site into perspective.

Upon completion of your morning tour you will be transferred to Bandhavgarh National Park where accommodation is reserved for two nights ... let your wildlife adventure begin!

Day 7: Bandhavgarh (BLD)

This morning, depart on the first of your three game drives across the park. The density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the highest known in India, and the animals here are amongst the most studied in the world. Many of these fully wild tigers have been named and are familiar to the guides. Although still rare to see in the wild, this national park gives you the best chance of seeing one of these elusive creatures in their natural habitat. The park is also home to healthy population of leopards and many species of deer.

Time at leisure at your resort prior to a second game drive later this afternoon - another opportunity to spot the elusive tiger and observe the numerous other animals in the park.  

Day 8: Bandhavgargh - Agra (B)

Set out this morning on your final game drive through the parklands, a last chance to seek out that elusive tiger and observe some of the park's 37 mammal species and more than 250 bird species that call it home.

This afternoon transfer to Katni railway station (travel time of approx. 2 hours) and depart by train to Agra. On arrival at Agra railway station you will be transferred to your hotel where accommodation is reserved for two nights.

Day 9: Agra (B)

Embark this morning on a guided exploration of Agra, beginning with a visit to the iconic Taj Mahal, renowned as the epitome of Mughal architecture. Commissioned by Shah Jahan in the 17th century as a mausoleum for his beloved wife, this magnificent structure was brought to life over nearly two decades by approximately 20,000 skilled artisans. Revered as a symbol of enduring love and sorrow, the Taj Mahal stands as a cherished landmark that captivates visitors from around the globe.

Afternoon visit to the majestic Agra Red Fort. Pre-dating the Taj Mahal by a century, it is rumoured that, after being deposed and restrained by his son, Shah Jahan died here on a marble balcony with a view of his beautiful monument.

Day 10: Agra - Jaipur (B)

Depart this morning for a visit to the eerie ghost town of Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar’s former capital which was deserted by its original founders due to water shortages in 1585 after less than 20 years of inhabitation. It has experienced periods of habitation, renewal, and desertion ever since, with the current population of this once opulent site now numbering just over 30,000.

Proceed to Jaipur, renowned as the Pink City and the vibrant capital of Rajasthan. In 1876, during Prince Albert's visit to India, the Maharaja of Jaipur orchestrated a strategic campaign to leave a lasting impression on the esteemed visitor. This multifaceted approach began with the construction of the magnificent Albert Hall, ensuring the prince's visit to the region. Subsequently, the Maharaja ordered the entire city to be painted pink, a traditional symbol of warmth and hospitality. Enamored by the color, the Maharaja's beloved wife persuaded him to enact a law the following year, prohibiting the painting of buildings in any other hue, thus cementing the city's unique aesthetic.

Day 11: Jaipur (B)

Begin your day with a visit to the grand Amer Fort, a pinnacle of architectural splendor in a region renowned for its impressive structures. Originally established in 976, this fort underwent extensive enhancements over centuries until its completion in 1727. Afterwards, proceed to explore the Hawa Mahal, also known as the Palace of the Winds, followed by visits to the City Palace and the Jantar Mantar Observatory. The observatory, constructed in 1734, boasts a remarkable collection of astronomical instruments, including the world's largest sundial.

Day 12: Jaipur - Delhi (B)

Depart this morning after breakfast for Delhi (travel time approx. 5 hours). On arrival in Delhi transfer to the International Airport for your onward flight.

Optional: additional night in Delhi - surcharge applies.

TOUR INCLUSIONS:

  • Accommodation in selected category hotel with private facilities
  • Meet and assist at airports/railway stations by English speaking assistant
  • Private air conditioned transportation with English speaking driver
  • Meals as per itinerary - breakfast daily; full board during stay at Bandhavgarh Hotel
  • All sightseeing, excursions and transfers using A/C Innova Crysta vehicle (or similar)
  • Services of local English-speaking guide for sightseeing tours as per itinerary
  • Entrance fees (single visit) for sightseeing tours as per itinerary
  • Rickshaw ride at Chandani Chowk during Old Delhi Tour
  • Economy class airfare Delhi to Varanasi (minimum 25kg check-in baggage allowance).     Note: Flight prices may vary and are confirmed at the time of confirmation - additional deposits required to secure flights
  • Morning boat ride at river Ganges, rickshaw ride in bustling streets and evening spiritual Arti at Ghats during Varanasi city tour
  • 2nd class air-conditioned train ticket from Varanasi to Kharjuraho (early morning service)
  • 3 open game drives (shared jeep basis) with English speakjing naturalist in Bandhavgarh National Park
  • 1st class air-conditioned sleeper class train ticket from Katni to Agra
  • Mineral water available in vehicle during drives and sightseeing tours
  • India government service tax
  • 24/7 support in India
  • Assistance of local representatives
  • India Travel Notes – issued by Innovative Travel

TOUR EXCLUSIONS:

  • International airfares
  • Optional tours and excursions
  • Meals othe than those specified
  • Porterage
  • Tipping/Gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Departure taxes
  • Hotel charges for minibar or any extra charges
  • Visas (unless specified)
  • Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above

Accommodation based on the below or similar

Delhi

First Class: The Suryaa, New Friends Colony (Deluxe room)

Heritage Class: Maidens Hotel, Shamnath Marg (Heritage Room)

Deluxe Class: Le Meridien Windsor Palace (Executive Room)

Varanasi

First Class: Hotel Madin, Varanasi (Deluxe room)

Heritage Class: Ganges View Ghat Hotel (Upper Floor River View Room)

Deluxe Class: Radisson Varanasi (Superior Room)

Khajuraho

First Class: Hotel Chandela, Khajuraho (Deluxe room)

Heritage Class: SYNA Heritage Hotel (Super Deluxe Room)

Deluxe Class: The Lalit Temple View (Temple View Room)

Bandhavgarh

First Class: Tiger's Den Resort (Deluxe room)

Heritage Class: SYNA Tiger Resort (Tribal Cottage)

Deluxe Class: Kings Lodge, Bandhavgarh (Deluxe Cottages)

Agra

First Class: Grand Mercure, Agra (Taj Facing Premium Room)

Heritage Class: The Grand Imperial, Agra (Deluxe Room)

Deluxe Class: Courtyard by Marriot Agra (Deluxe Room)

Jaipur

First Class: Hilton Jaipur (Hilton Guest Room)

Heritage Class: Shapura House, Jaipur (Suite Room)

Deluxe Class: Hotel Jaipur Marriot (Deluxe Room)

Flight Delhi to Varanasi
Economy class ticket with 25kg check-in baggage allowance. Flight prices may vary and are confirmed at the time of confirmation - additional deposits may be payable to secure flights.  
 
Hotels
The hotels listed in the itinerary may vary due to tour scheduling. Your final itinerary will contain full details of any changes where possible.
 
National Holidays / Peak Periods
Surcharges may apply. Prices will be confirmed at time of booking.
 
Sightseeing
Taj Mahal: closed on Fridays
Delhi Red Fort: closed on Mondays
 
Transportation - Private Holidays
The vehicle used on your private tour will be an air-conditioned Toyota Innova Crysta or similar.

Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. All featured tour itineraries and offers may be subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are available in some destinations for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.