Temples, Tribes and Tigers of Central India


Temples, Tigers and Tribes of Central India

Style: TravellerCultural discovery away from the crowds
Duration: 13 days
Type: GroupSmall group tours with a maximum of 12 travellers

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive Delhi

Arrive in Delhi, the capital of India, where you are met and transferred to your hotel. Overnight at The Metropolitan Hotel New Delhi or similar.

Day 2 – Orchha

Travel by express train to Jhansi. On arrival in Jhansi you will be met and transferred to Orchha, a tiny village in the north of Madhya Pradesh. Overnight Amar Mahal or similar. (B)

Day 3 – Orchha

Today you start with a guided morning tour of Orchha. The huge monuments which once formed the capital of the Bundela kings now surround and dwarf, the small rural village of Orchha. The largest of these is the Palace complex, where the separate Raj Mahal and Jehangir Mahal boast a unique combination of Hindu & Muslim architecture, painted decorations, and tile work. You will also see the fantastic Chaturbhuj temple and the enormous cenotaphs by the river. In the afternoon, you are free to further explore the village on your own. Overnight at Amar Mahal or similar. (B)

Day 4 – Khajuraho

Drive from Orchha to Khajuraho, known for its temples representing the finest art and architecture of medieval India. Every inch of the outside and much of the inside, of these temples is covered by superb stone carvings. The sculptures are sublime and sensuous at the same time, from the famous erotic art to the beautifully carved boar statue, and many more. You will have the chance to visit the Khajuraho temples on a guided afternoon tour. Overnight at Ramada Khajuraho. (B)

Day 5 – Bandhavgarh

Drive from Khajuraho to Bandhavgarh National Park, one of the best places in India to spot a tiger and also home to a wide range of other game such as nilgai, jungle cat, wild boar, hyenas and many species of birdlife. This compact park with a core area of 105 sq km was originally the private game reserve of the Maharajas of Rewa and it is here that the first white (albino) tiger was found. Overnight at Nature Heritage Resort or similar. (BLD)

Day 6 – Bandhavgarh

Morning and afternoon jeep safaris in Bandhavgarh National Park are escorted by a specialized naturalist for extensive wildlife viewing. Your day begins just before dawn with a wake-up call along with a cup of tea/coffee at the designated time. An open jeep awaits you to take you closer to the nature and, hopefully, to see the majestic tigers. Some neatly packed fruits are provided along with a bottle of mineral water for your  jungle safari. Overnight at Nature Heritage Resort or similar. (BLD)

Day 7- Kanha

You drive from Bandhavgarh to Kanha National Park. This is original Kipling country, of which he wrote so vividly in his Jungle Books. The same abundance of wildlife species exists today in Kanha National Park, which is one of the largest sanctuaries in India covering an area of over 2,000 sq km. With its extensive grasslands and sal and bamboo forests, Kanha is often compared to Ngorongoro park in Tanzania. Ravines and hills make for interesting features, and undoubtedly Kanha's beauty is thrilling. The park is the only habitat of the rare hard-ground Barasingha deer (Cervus Duvaceli Branderi). It is also home to 21 other species of large mammals including a number of tigers and well over 200 species of birds. Overnight at The Courtyard House or similar. (BLD)

Day 8 – Kanha

Today you will join a morning and afternoon open jeep safari in the various zones of Kanha National Park. Each excursion takes approximately three hours. The zone is allotted during the online gate entry booking. The preferred zone is subject to availability. Apart from tigers, you can see leopards, Indian bison, sambhar, blackbuck and wild dogs. Days in Kanha start early, with one game drive at dawn, watching the sun streak through the foggy forest and listening to the forest wake up. After lunch, you will have another game drive in the hotter afternoon, prime time for animals to go looking for a drink of water. Overnight at The Courtyard House or similar. (BLD)

Day 9 – Bhoramdeo

Drive from Kanha to Bhoramdeo, a village in north-western Chhattisgarh. The Maikal Hills that surround the village are home to many species of central India's spectacular wildlife as well as to the indigenous Baigas and Gonds, whose tolas (villages) dot the countryside. Bhoramdeo is also known for its 11th-century temple complex, a miniature local Khajuraho of similar antiquity but rather more exclusive. You stay for three nights in a simple but well-run rural retreat. Overnight at Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat (BLD)

Day 10 – Bhoramdeo

In the company of your local guide you will visit the villages around Bhoramdeo. You have the chance to spend an afternoon at a pottery village (trying your hand at the wheel or paddling the clay with your bare feet), a bamboo-craft centre, cow herders' villages and Agaria (blacksmith) villages. There are also many colourful weekly haats (tribal markets); with one falling on almost every day of the week, you will have the chance to visit at least one. Overnight at Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat. (BLD)           

Day 11 – Bhoramdeo

Today it is possible to take a short trek into the forested hills to explore the local wildlife. The hills around Bhoramdeo are also home to a plethora of birds. Wildlife species that have been seen in the area include the wolf, nilgai, dhole, hyena, leopard, porcupine, jungle cat - and even tigers although you will be unlikely to see any here. Short, local cycle rides, arranged by the retreat, are also a good way to explore, and the area is safe and friendly, perfect for solo pottering around. Overnight at Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat. (BLD)

Day 12 – Bhoramdeo – Raipur – Delhi  

A three-hour drive takes you to Raipur airport where you can board a flight back to Delhi. Overnight at a hotel close to Delhi airport. (B)

Day 13 – Depart

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight (B)


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