This could possibly be the ultimate Northern India journey: a wonderful tour combining the history, colours and culture of Rajasthan, the mesmerising Taj Mahal, stunning wildlife, the beautiful temples of Khajuraho and the mystical atmosphere of Varanasi. This 12 day itinerary includes three game drives on the trail of the elusive tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park.
- Experience the serene majesty of the Taj Mahal –the world’s greatest monument to love.
- Explore the beautiful Bandhavgarh National Park on three jeep safaris, looking out for the elusive tiger.
- Discover the deep reverence in which the Ganges River is held as you traverse its waters by boat.
Private Touring programme
- Meals and sightseeing as per itinerary
- Overnight train Agra - Katni 2nd class AC Sleeper
- Domestic flights included: Khajuraho to Varanasi & Varanasi to Delhi (economy class)
Note: Flight prices may vary and are confirmed at the time of confirmation- additional deposits will be payable to secure the flights - Baggage allowance is generally 15kg for domestic flights.
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
Upon arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport you will be met by a representative of our local operator and then transferred to your hotel. The remainder of day at leisure to unwind.
Day 2: Delhi (B)
Today you will begin your discovery of India with a sightseeing tour of Old Delhi. Explore its maze of small alleyways, side streets and the legendary bazaars of Chandni Chowk. Continue to New Delhi, characterized by the British colonial buildings and wide tree-lined boulevards.
Day 3: Delhi – Jaipur (B)
Today, drive to the Pink City of Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan. When Prince Albert visited India in 1876, the Maharaja of Jaipur waged a campaign designed to impress the visiting dignitary. This was a two-fold strategy – first he built the exquisite Albert Hall Depart to ensure he visited the region. He then repainted the entire city pink, a traditional colour of welcome and hospitality. The Maharaja’s favourite wife liked the colour so much that she convinced him to pass a law the following year making it illegal for anyone to paint their building another colour. During the afternoon, take a cycle rickshaw ride to visit the vibrant vegetable market before returning to your hotel.
Day 4: Jaipur (B)
This morning visit the majestic Amber Fort. In a land of impressive architecture, this fort is one of the most exquisite sites. Initially founded in the year 976, the current fort underwent centuries of expansion and improvement up until 1727. Later, drive to the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the winds) and visit the City Palace and to the Jantar Mantar Observatory, a collection of astronomical instruments completed in 1734 and featuring the world’s largest sundial.
Day 5: Jaipur – Agra (250km) (B)
Depart for Agra, visiting en route 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.
Day 6: Agra – Katni (B)
This morning visit the world famous eternal monument of love, the Taj Mahal. Regarded as the finest example of Mughal architecture, this mausoleum was constructed by Shah Jahan in the 17th century to house the tomb of his favourite wife. Some 20,000 artisans laboured for close to 20 years to complete the project at a cost estimated to have been USD $827,000,000 in 2015 currency values. This enduring monument to love and grief is the highlight of India for many visitors.
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. Tonight, transfer to the railway station and overnight train to Katni.
Day 7: Katni – Bandhavgarh (B L D)
Morning arrival in Katni. Transfer to Bandhavgarh National Park to begin your wildlife adventure. This afternoon, depart for the first of 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 give 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.
Day 8: Bandhavgargh (B L D)
Another day exploring the parklands, in the hope of spotting the elusive tiger. With one jeep safari scheduled for the morning and another in the afternoon, you will have a great chance at seeing one of these creatures and some of the other 37 species of mammal and over 250 species of bird who make the park their home.
Day 9: Bandhavgargh – Khajuraho (250 km) (B)
Today, drive 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. Afternoon sightseeing tour of the Eastern group of temples displaying exquisite and timeless intricate carvings.
Day 10: Khajuraho - Varanasi (B)
This morning, visit the southern and western temple groups of Khajuraho, 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.
Later, fly to Varanasi, the holiest of the Seven Sacred Cities of Hinduism and Jainism, nestled along the banks of the great River Ganges. This evening, walk along the Ghats and attend a fascinating Aarti Ceremony during which offerings of flowers and glowing lamps are made to the holy river.
Day 11: Varanasi (B)
Early morning boat ride on the Ganges to witness the daily rituals. This incredible river, the third largest in the world by discharge, is revered in Hinduism as the goddess Ganga and is a lifeline for the millions of people who live upon its shores. It is also home to an elusive species of fresh water dolphin, the Susu. Later, visit Bharat Mata and Durga Temples. This afternoon visit Sarnath, where Buddha gave his first sermon.
Day 12: Varanasi - Delhi (B)
Morning at leisure to further explore this fascinating city. Later, transfer to the airport and flight to Delhi to connect with your onward flight.
(Optional extra night in Delhi)
- Private air conditioned transportation with English speaking driver
- Accommodation in tourist class hotels
- Meals as per itinerary
- Entrance fees as indicated
- 3 game drives (shared jeep basis) in Bandhavgarh National Park
- Domestic flights (price subject to change)
- Train Agra / Katni in 2nd class A/C sleeper
- International airfares
- Optional tours and excursions
- Port Taxes and fuel surcharges
- 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
Type of vehicle used on your tour
1 or 2 passengers (Tourist, First and Heritage class): Maruti Swift Dzire (Sedan) or similar
1 or 2 passengers (Deluxe class) or 3 passengers travelling together: AC Toyota Innova or similar
Note: The hotels listed in the itinerary may vary due to tour scheduling.
Your final itinerary will contain full details of any changes where possible
Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays, Delhi Red Fort is closed on Mondays.
Bandhavgarh National Park is closed 01 Jul - 15 Oct
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. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe 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 valid 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.