Looking for adventure and excitement? Then the Tiger Tour of India is just the thrill for you. Enjoy the coveted experience of actually seeing the elusive, yet majestic, orange striped creature in its own natural habitat. As you take this adventure on the India tiger safari, you will experience some magical moments in India’s National Park, even though it is relatively small when compared to those in Africa. While venturing on this India Tiger Safari and Wildlife India Tour, brace yourself for the emotional rush you will experience on your encounter with herds of elephants, wolves, maybe leopards, and of course the Bengal Tiger.
The conservationist in India have been doing a fantastic job in preserving the Tiger population and ensuring that on your India tiger tour you get the utmost opportunity to spot and track a tiger. The most recent census conducted in 2014 shows that the tiger population of India has increased by nearly 30 per cent in a period of three years, rising from 1,706 to 2,226 with the major increases occurring in the parks of Central India (Madhya Pradesh), this is in contrast to other regions of the world where the tiger population has be decreasing. This data was collected by utilizing the most recent technology including digital imaging of pug marks, satellite data, camera traps and, tagging.
Come along with us on our India tiger tour as we track the footsteps of a tiger at three of India’s major national parks and experience an India Wildlife tour of your dreams. Take in the amazing events and exciting encounters with the largest of all the animals in the cat family, as you go on the tiger safari India. TopIndiaTravel selects Jeep safaris that are guided by the experts and we arrange for you to escape the crowds and be housed in small camps and lodges that are owned and operated by the best known conservationist in the field. Our aim is to allow you to enjoy your India Tiger Safari to the fullest. As we journey, we will pass through the Old Delhi and see the Khajuraho temples and the Orchha fort palace. Not to be left out, of course, is the internationally famous Taj Mahal as well as Jaipur’s rocky forts and palaces; helping you to be a part of the fascinating combination of history and culture and leaving you with an authentic Indian experience.
Old Delhi is a vibrant and colorful city and is laid out with a network of narrow alleys and tall buildings. Whether you walk or travel through old Delhi on a rickshaw, you will experience the life and hustle bustle that is truly Indian. Visit the bazaars! See the fantastic sights! Hear the Indian beats! Smell the aromas of Old Delhi! While there, we must visit the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site called Red Fort. This fort consists of marble palaces and courtyards, which are encircled by the beautiful marble domed Jama Masjid with its towers, the Meena bazaar, and the Chandni Chowk.
Our next stops will be to two UNESCO World Heritage sites. First, we visit the charming Humayun’s Tomb, which is a perfect representation of early Mughal architecture, with some elements of Persian design. It is thought that this structure was the forerunner to and inspiration of the Taj Mahal design. Then without doubt, we must visit the massive Qutab Minar; “the most beautiful example of its class known anywhere” described Victorian historian James Ferguson. It is indeed a magnificent victory tower that was built as a memorial of Qutb-ud-Din’s defeat of the Turks back in 1236 and it can be seen from miles away.
New Delhi really is a stark contrast to Old Delhi, it is a city of extensive boulevards and is well known for its official parks, impressive Parliament Building, the Rashtrapati Bhawan (the official residence of the President) and the India Gate, which was built to memorialize the 90,000 soldiers of the former British Indian Army who died fighting for the Indian Empire in the Afghan Wars and World War 1.
We will take a guided shopping tour of Delhi in the afternoon and browse through the posh Khan Market, which is frequented mainly by the expats and well-off Indians. This market is rated as the 21st most expensive retail high street in the world. Visit the Meherchand Market not far away and shop for your Indian weaves, designer leather bags, organic spices and a variety of other products. Stop at the ancient historic village of Hauz Khas which has been transformed into a sophisticated village with antique shops, art and designer stores. Overnight in Delhi!
After your fill of a hearty breakfast, we will travel to Jaipur, a place of kings, queens and legends and the opening to the lively, marvelous state of Rajasthan. Jaipur was established in 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II, a mighty warrior and astronomer. It is also known as the “Pink City” with its pink sandstone architecture that adds to its uniqueness and color. It is also distinguished by its palaces with intricately carved designs, forts, havelis and fantastic bazaars.
Transfer to the hotel after arrival!
Vibrant Colorful Bazaars and Delicious cuisine! That’s what Jaipur is famous for and you will want to take in as much of the action as you can. So after a short rest at the hotel, we head to the old pink city for a guided and exciting tour of the famous bazaars.
It will be a quick ride to MI Road where we will have lunch at Natraj. You can take your pick from the delicious dishes on the menu, with a wide variety of Indian, Chinese and Continental favorites. Don’t be shy, try out some different meals like thali, which is a large plate with small amounts of a variety of curries and Indian breads. When lunch is completed we head to none other than Lassiwala a little further at #312 and with the sign “since 1944”. It is here that you will be treated to a delightful yogurt drink in an earthenware cup. Simply Delicious!
Enjoy lunch and take a stroll over to the Tripolia Bazaar on the West. Located on a narrow street with shop after shop lining its edges you will find a wide selection of traditional Rajasthan-style bangles, necklaces and other jewelry. It’s a good time and place to do some bargaining. Not far away we take a walk south to the Johari Bazaar or Jewel Market, taking in all the city’s sights and sounds. Here you will find shopping for everyone, tourist and locals alike: saris, scarves and well-known Jaipur jewelry. A note to the wise however, before buying large quantities, do some research first. We then make a right turn towards the Bapu Bazaar which sells mainly house wares and accessories. Check out the mirror-work, draperies, bedspreads and other linens and if you wish, get your arm or hands designed by the skillful henna (mehendi) artist on the side of the road.
Our day will end at the Nahargarh Fort, also called Tiger Fort that was constructed in 1734 by Jai Singh as a security bolster for Amer Fort. On the North and overlooking the city from the edge of the ridge this fort is a sight to behold in the night, as the floodlit walls bounce off yellow, orange and white reflections, illuminating the night skies. To reach the fort you travel on a winding path 8 km through the hills from Jaipur. When you get to the top drink a well -deserved cold beer and cast your eyes over Jaipur’s splendid view beneath. Awesome!
Overnight in Jaipur!
We make our way to the magnificent Amber Fort after breakfast. It has been given its place among the Six Hill Forts of Rajasthan that have been chosen as UNESCO World Heritage sites. It will be an adventure touring this fort from the beginning to the end. You have an optio nif you want, to hop on an elephant’s back to make your way there or perhaps you prefer more modern transportation, if so then you will be driven by jeep there. Whichever way you choose, it will be worth it. Eleven kilometers from Jaipur you will have the privilege of seeing a fantastic exhibition of Rajput architecture that is an excellent representation of the old capital during the Kachhawah Empire. Maharaja Raja Man Singh started the first palace while MaharajaSawai Jai Singh later finished it. Be amazed at the old fortress with a maze of vast walls and beautiful marble towers standing the midst, carved and brightened by the numerous small mirrors that glimmer playfully. Inside the palace there are The Diwan-e-Aam, or Public Hall, the Diwan-e-Khas, or the Private Hall and the Sukh Niwas, the perfect spot to feel the refreshing air that emanates from the water channels in the summer. Admire the famous Sheesh Mahal or “Hall of Mirrors” in the Jai Mandir or the “Temple of Victory,” Then check out the queens’ private rooms from which they could watch what was happening around them in privacy.
We head back into the Pink City for a tour of Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds. This pink building with a pink sandstone exterior was erected for the royal ladies to be able to watch the parades and the events on the streets below without anyone noticing them. We will walk around the corner and enter this magnificent building. The interior is a beautiful display of small chambers and stained glass windows, along with a stunning view over Jaipur city.
The next stop will be the City Palace. This museum is massive and is well loved for its exhibits of royal clothing, palanquins and carpets. It shows off an impressive fusion of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal architecture.There is also a special room set for the ancient armory and miniature paintings depicting battles and court scenes. As you walk further on the inside, you will see the Chandra Mahal which is still a royal residence and because of this, there is a restriction on visitation. Nevertheless, you will still enjoy a walk around this spectacular seven story building. You will browse around the courtyard known as the Pitam Niwas Chowk with four doors including the especially beautiful peacock door. Next to that is another one of India’s outstanding UNESCO World Heritage Sites called Jantar Mantar. This is India’s best kept of the five solar observatories all named Jantar Mantars across Northern India. You will be astounded by these 14 huge and ancient astronomical instruments, which despite being built in the 18th century by Maharajah Jai Singh II are still able to foretell when an eclipse will occur, tell time accurately upto 2 seconds and measure distances amongst other things! Just Incredible!
When lunch is over, we take the eagerly awaited drive to Ranthambhore National Park, to begin our Tiger searching adventure! Ranthambore National Park is an exceptionally charming place resting between the Vindhyan Plateau and the Aravali Hill sin Rajasthan’s eastern section, which was the ancient hunting place for Jaipur’s Maharajas. Set in an area of 1334 square Km it also houses the shrines of Mansingh and Kaila Devi and was the original idea of Jaipur’s leaders to preserve this area for nature. In 1955 Ranthambore was transformed into a Safari reserve and became one of India’s first protected areas even though it only became an official National Park in 1984. In 1972 with the introduction of the “Project Tiger” it became one of the first reserves to host tigers. You will find the environs to be very pleasing. The park gets most of its water from the Banas in the North and the Chambal River in the South, and has an amazingly beautiful landscape, including six man- made streams and lakes that are ever filled with water.
Upon arrival in Ranthambhore, Transfer to your Jungle Lodge on the outskirts of the national park. Overnight in Ranthambhore!
It’s early in the morning and time to sip on your welcome cup of bed tea or if you prefer coffee, delivered straight to your door at dawn. Slip on enough clothes to keep you warm and get ready for the tiger safari of your life. The sun rises and at the entrance you will be accompanied by a Forest Department guide (mandatory). His role is to help you spot the tiger and the other wildlife in the park, ensure your safety and make sure the rules are kept. Note that there are times when only shared jeeps are allowed to enter the Ranthambore National Park, in an effort to control vehicular traffic.
This park is home to an abundance of mammals and birds in several varieties that you will be privileged to see. There are numerous Spotted Deer (Chital) and Sambar Deer (Swamp Deer) who feed way out in the lakes and sometimes you can only see their heads. Look out for Common Langurs, Nilgai (the largest of India’s antelopes), Mugger (Crocodiles) in the lakes and Monitor Lizards on the shores and a fantastic array of birds; peafowls are common in the lakes. Bronze-winged and Pheasant-tailed Jacanas and the Cotton Pygmy Geese can also be seen. Chances are we will come across a Sloth Bear, Leopard, or maybe a Chinkara Antelope (or Indian Gazelle). So even if we do not get a view of a Tiger on this safari it would still have been an unforgettable morning.
All good things must come to an end and so we complete our tour in the park, we go back to the hotel for breakfast and then make our way to the impressive fort of Ranthambore (you can visit Ranthambore Fort on any of the two days stay in Ranthambore). It is located on a cliff some 65 meters high and offers spectacular views of the landscape over the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Late in the afternoon we can go back to the park by jeep and stay there until sunset. Our journey back is lit by oil lamps and before having a much needed sleep, we enjoy dinner and have some stories and drinks around the campfire. Overnight in Ranthambhore!
On Day seven we pack our breakfast and have a cup of tea or coffee, then proceed on a long drive to Agra known for being the home of the glorious Taj Mahal, which is some 250km and 5 hours drive away. As we make our way there, we stop off at Keoladeo Ghana National Park a UNESCO World Heritage Natural Site. Keoladeo National Park at Bharatpur, in Rajasthan, is a bird watchers paradise and is accepted as one of Asia’s most outstanding vast wetland reserves and was initially created for duck shooting. What happens is that the connecting shallow swamps in the Park, which are constantly refilled by monsoon rains throughout the summer, become a sanctuary for thousands of migratory birds during the winter months. Our exploration of this 29km park will be on foot and also by bicycle rickshaw. You have also an option of doing Boat safari in Keoladeo National park (subject to enough water). You will be excited to see the over 150 species of birds that inhabit this park; the Ruddy-breasted Crake, White-tailed Eagle, Sarus Crane to Small Minivet and water birds like the Black-necked and Painted Storks, Cotton Pygmy-goose, Intermediate Egret, Black Cormorants and Darter. Then there is also the rare Ferruginous and Red-crested Pochards and Greater Painted-snipe.
But the park is not only about birds because it also houses a wide variety of wild animals including the hard to find Fishing Cat;actually this park is one of the few places where this animal is known to be. Also keep your eyes out for the Sambar (swamp deer) and Spotted Deer, Nilgai (blue bull),Asiatic Jackal, Wild Boar, and two species of mongoose.
When we arrive in Agra in the afternoon we transfer to the hotel and after a short rest we make our way to take in the breathtaking “Love Poem in marble” the Taj Mahal at sunset. Probably the most photo’d monument in the world the Taj Mahal will not disappoint. Indeed it’s the world’s wonder of wonders with unsurpassed beauty. It is an extraordinary tribute of endless love from Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal who died during childbirth. Perfectly proportioned and exhibiting the highest quality of marble with mosaic work done with semi-precious stones, the Taj Mahal showcases the outstanding abilities of the 20,0000 artisans from countries like Turkey, France, Persia and Italy who labored for some 17 years to build it.
Spend the night at a hotel in Agra!
Enjoy breakfast early this morning and proceed to the Agra railway station to travel in air-condition chair-class on the Shatabdi Express train to Jhansi, departing at 08:00 hours. It’s a superfast train that takes only two hours to get there, arriving at 10:00 hours. On arrival, we drive for four hours to Khajuraho.
Along the way we stop in Orchha, a tiny ancient town on the Betwa river banks. Here you will find 16th century temples and thousands of devotees and tourists in the tranquil countryside environment. Immerse yourself in the serenity and natural settings of this village.
Then we visit the Jehangir Mahal, a Hindu-Islamic designed memorial dedicated to the visit of Mughal Emperor Jehangir to Orchha. Not too far away is the Raj Mahal, replete with a wealth of lively murals depicting both secular and religious themes that enliven the walls and ceilings. The Raj Parveen Mahal palace is a wonderful 2-storey building constructed to match the height of the trees in the gardens of Anand Mahal and devoted to the love of Raja Indramani.
In Orchha we will enjoy a delicious lunch and then drive to Khajuraho, Central India’s temple city. It consists of a significant amount of temples carved with precision and erotic 10th century sculptures that were erected by the Chandela Dynasty over a period of 100 years. After the Afghan invasion the creators of the temples fled and they were left in the jungles untouched for centuries. It was only after a British officer on a hunting expedition stumbled upon them in 1838 that they were restored. Although only twenty five of the eighty five temples remain, it is believed that some of the best temple architecture anywhere in the world can be found here. Khajuraho remains an important religious center and equals centers like Bhubaneswara (Orissa) and Aihole (Karnataka). It is no secret that the carvings on these temples dedicated to a variety of deities are highly sensual and erotic. For that reason it has become a major attraction.
Transfer to the Hotel after arrival! Overnight in Khajuraho!
Today we will visit Khajuraho’s Western Group of Temples, which consists of the impressive Lakshmana Temple, one of the best kept temples of the group and is dedicated to Vishnu. A must-see is the Shiva temple of Kandariya-Mahadev dated back to the 11th century and is an outstanding illustration of the brilliance of the ancient Chandela architects. It is some 31m high and has almost 1000 statues decorating the walls of the temple’s interior and exterior. Further into the inner sanctuary is the fertility symbol of Shiva which is the phallus or stone lingam. One of the main attractions of this temple is the erotic and sensual sculptures exhibiting passion, emotion and sexual fervor. Apart from the deities immortalized in stone there is a wealth of sensuous and erotic sculptures with an exquisite depiction of human life and emotions, equating passion with spiritual union. The sculptures are considered to be the most perfect figures achieved in stone which depict gods, goddesses and amorous couples.
It takes two to three hours to visit the temple of Khajuraho, after which we leave for Bandhavgarh National Park. On the way we take lunch!
Upon arrival, transfer to the Hotel. Overnight in Jungle Lodge in Bandhavgarh!
Bandhavgarh National Park , Madhya Pradesh: Bandhavgarh Park is one of the most beautiful in India and carries the name of the tallest hill in the park (807m), where the Bandhavgarh fort is located. Visitors are offered much more than amazing wildlife as there is also history, temples, incredible hermit caves carved by hand, 10th century shrines all snuggled within sal trees (Shorea robusta) and forests irrigated by springs and streams, along with precipitous rugged hills and valleys. Because of the terrain and the fact that the parks roads cut across the forests, your chances of spotting the tigers in Bandhavgarh are increased.
With a core area of 105 km² (and a buffer zone of approximately 400 km²) this is the smallest of the three parks in the region – the others being Kanha and Pench – but it has one of the highest concentrations of tigers in India and is quite popular as a result.
Bandhavgarh National Park is a natural environment that is unblemished and an excellent home for its wildlife inhabitants, which include of course, the tigers. But they are other fascinating animals like the Sloth Bear, Gaur (Indian Bison), Leopard, Wild Boar, Porcupine and of course the Spotted Deer and Chinkara (Indian Gazelle). That’s not all you will find in this park there is an abundance of other animals like the Golden Jackal, Rhesus Macaques, Gray Langur (Semnopithecus), Striped Hyena, Small Indian Civet and the Jungle Cat. Not forgetting the beautiful birds with several species to be found: Rock Pigeon, Long-Billed Vultures, Plum-Headed Parakeet and the Orange-Headed Thrush.
It’s such a wonderful location that we will spend two full days at the Bandhavgarh National Park. You will have the very best guides and environmentalist on tour with you and when you spot the tigers you have enough time to track their movements. There will be a burst of excitement at your first sighting; perhaps it will be when they are playing, sleeping, hunting or drinking. Whenever you do, cherish this awesome moment! Don’t leave the park without taking the climb to the Bandhavgarh Fort, the trek will be well worth it, as you behold the astonishing view of the beautiful countryside below, atop one of India’s oldest forts.
Please Note: On all of our tours we make every effort to provide 3 game drives through Tala gate (Premium Zone) and 2 game drives through Magdhi & Khatoli gate (Normal Zone)
This morning we continue our tiger safari India, as we go on another game drive, all hyped up about getting another sighting of the majestic and powerful tiger.
Go back to the Jungle Lodge for breakfast.
Continue the day with a drive to the Kanha Tiger Reserve some 5 hours away. As we travel along this route from Bandavgarh to Kanha you will encounter lovely landscapes and a kaleidoscope of nature’s colors that will thrill your total being. Beds of beautiful yellow flowers intermingled with emerald green hills, fields with pink and purple flowers all blending nicely to create spectacular picture perfect scenes. As you drive along the well-paved roads you will be charmed by the goings- on in the villages, as the people of this region go about their everyday lives; men working in their fields, children on bicycles, women in their beautiful saris carrying out their daily chores. The small homes are made of mud and tiled roofs amidst the peaceful lakes and rivers.
Kanha Tiger Reserve is situated in Madhya Pradesh in the heart of Central India, is the largest tiger reserve in the country and one of the best parks for tiger sightings. It is believed that it inspired the writings of Kipling’s Jungle Book.
It spans over an area of 1945 sq. km. including a core area of 940 sq km. Kanha offers an amazing panoramic view; rivers and valleys, precipitous cliffs, hilltop forests and bamboo, thick low lying forest of sal trees that are forever green and rising and falling grasslands. Adding to this awesome environment ares ome 200 species of birds like the Crested Serpent Eagle, Peafowl, Grey Hornbill and the Hawk Eagle.
This reserve also houses some 22 species of mammals, the only four horned ungulate in the world the Chausingha (four-horned antelope), Tigers, Gaur (Indian Bison) and the Barasingha (Rucervus duvauceli branderi) known as the Swamp Deer), which was almost extinct until recently, when the numbers were increased from a mere 66 to 550 by June 2015.
It is very likely that you will also get a glimpse of a sloth bear or leopard.
At the Kanha Reserve the most often seen animals are the Jackal, Wild Boar, Langur, Swamp Deer (Cervus unicolor), Sambhar Deer (Cervus duvauceli) and Chital (Axis Axis) more popular as Spotted Deer which lets you know when there is a tiger somewhere close. Drive through the Jungle – Listen to the warning calls – Exciting!
The first scientific study on tigers was started by the well-known zoologist George Schaller and there is the possibility that the grasslands maybe extended to encourage the increase in habitat. This is being done under the “hard ground” project. If implemented therewill be a displacement of the surrounding villages.
We stay at the jungle lodge on the outskirts of the Kanha Tiger Reserve and that’s where we go after arrival.
Spend the Night in Kanha!
Please Note: Our itinerary in Kanha includes 5 Exclusive game drives and we always make every effort to ensure that there are three drives for Kanha Zone (Premium) and two drives for Kisli, Sarahi and Mukki zones.
Rise early! Expect an adventure! You will have two full days to enjoy and explore the Kanha National Park, a fantastic space with great looking tigers. We journey there before sunrise, looking to increase our chances of seeing a tiger. Surreal is the simplest way to describe the feeling of being in such a natural environment, with the most refreshing atmosphere and gorgeous landscapes of sal and other trees and every shade of green mixed with the orange-red flowers of the butea gum trees. Added to that there are several species of beautiful, colorful wildlife in all shapes and sizes. It would be no surprise if this is what inspired Henry David Thoreau, the famous American philosopher to pen the classics Walden and The Maine Woods. As you set out to explore this vast national park, make sure you put on the right clothing to keep you warm; it can be quite cold early in the morning.
For next few hours you can take a little rest, eat some lunch, watch the birds, freshen up or trek around the camps environs by foot.
Later in the afternoon you get the opportunity to go back to the park until sunset by jeep. Oil lamps will keep our way lighted as head back home. If you are not too tired you can have a nice chat about the day’s events around the camp fire before dinner and then get some sleep.
Don’t miss the chance while you stay in Kanha, to take a cycle ride and visit the nearby villages and browse the local market, discovering more about Kanha and its surrounding areas.
Overnight in Kanha Tiger Reserve!
It’s the morning of our final day on our India Tiger tour and we will make our last expedition of this magnificent park searching for these large orange striped cats. Then we will drive to Jabalpur and fly back to Delhi.
After you arrive in Delhi you can either head to the airport and go to your next destination or spend the night in Delhi!