Unwind Worldwide
For expert advice and unbelievable prices call us on 0844 875 4010
Login Register

Tiger Trails and Temples

User Rating:
GD Star Rating
Tiger Trails and Temples

Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Rooms Available

2-Join tour Delhi; PM tour of New Delhi
Arriving in Delhi today, there will be time to freshen up before an afternoon tour of the colonial grandeur of New Delhi. The Indian capital has long been a phoenix,
rising again and again out of its own ruins and is essentially a city divided in two: a magnificent living monument to the grandiose designs of the Mughals and the
British. New Delhi, the setting for this afternoon’s tour, was the creation of the British Raj of the 1930s and its streets are filled with a rich collection of the
architectural creations of Edward Lutyens. Our tour this afternoon will include many of the sites of New Delhi and give us the opportunity to see for ourselves this
vibrant city of bustling bazaars and historic sites: the ideal place to begin our journey. Following the broad expanse of the Rajpath (Kingsway), we will visit the towering memorial arch of the India Gate, a testament to the 90,000 Indian troops who lost their lives during WWI and the fighting along the Northwest Frontier during the
early years of the 20th century. We will also visit the imposing buildings of the Indian Parliament, as well as the Mughal majesty of Humayun’s Tomb, a 16th century mausoleum commissioned by the emperor’s Persian-born wife and considered by many to be one of the best examples of Mughal architecture in the country. Our final visit of the day will be to the towering Qutb Minar, a spectacular 13th century edifice that heralded the final demise of the Hindu kings and the arrival of the Muslim sultans. Made of sandstone and marble it towers some 73m above the city. Please note: Delhi’s traffic is very busy so occasionally this may effect our sightseeing tour but your guide will do their best to make sure you see as much as possible.
Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Rooms Available

3-AM train to Sawai Madhopur, then drive to Ranthambore
Transferring to the New Delhi Railway Station this morning we take a train south, to Sawai Madhopur, from where we drive the short distance to Ranthambore National Park on the eastern borders of Rajasthan. One of the best of India’s Project Tiger conservation projects, Ranthambore was once the private preserve of the Maharajahs of Jaipur and encompasses nearly 400 sq km of lush jungle, turquoise lakes and ancient temples which provide a rich haven for crocodiles, leopards, tigers and some 300 species of birds. This is probably one of the best parks in the country for spotting tigers and during the dry season from September to May, when water is scarce, the animals stay close to the lakes and rivers, affording some ideal opportunities to search out these most elusive and magnificent of animals. This afternoon there will be a chance to take an optional excursion to the 10th century remains of Ranthambore Fort, perched on a hilltop overlooking the serene majesty of the park. From up here you can get some fabulous views across the surrounding landscape towards the meeting point of the Aravali and Vindhya Hills. Spread across some 7 kilometres, the fort is one of the oldest in the country, said to have been built by a Chauhan chieftain during the middle years of the 10th century. Passing into the hands of the Mughals, it was gifted to the Maharajah of Jaipur in the 17th century and today presents a magnificent reminder to an age of sumptuous grandeur, with temples and mosques and intricate carved halls throughout, including one of the most important Ganesh temples in the country that even today attracts pilgrims from everywhere. Take binoculars with you, as there is always a chance of spotting a tiger drinking at the waters of the lake below.
Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Rooms Available

4-Morning and afternoon game drives
Today we include morning and afternoon game drives in the park. Declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1957 (although it was still being used as a hunting reserve until the early 1970s) it became part of the Project Tiger scheme in 1974 and today is home to some 40 tigers, most famously its diurnal tigers that roam amongst the woodlands and present some of the best opportunities to view these remarkable beasts in the wild. Aside from its more famous residents, the park is also home to sloth bear, langur, striped hyenas, marsh crocodiles, pythons, Ganga soft-shelled turtles and a myriad of bird species, including crested hawk eagle, crested serpent eagle, jacana, parakeet and white-breasted kingfishers. The rich landscapes around the park were once part of the magnificent jungles of Central India and comprise rivers, lakes and forests that nestle amongst a surrounding girdle of steep cliffs and rocky outcrops.
Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Rooms Available

5-Drive to Orchha via Shivpuri
A full day’s travelling sees us driving through a typical rural landscape, to Orccha in the Madhya Pradesh region of Central India. We travel via the old Scindia capital of Shivpuri, an ancient town whose thick, forested landscapes were once the hunting grounds of the Mughal emperors. The town’s royal heritage is still very much in evidence, with a sumptuous collection of marble cenotaphs, Mughal pavilions and exquisite palaces that recapture some of the opulent glory of the Scindia clan of Gwalior. From here we continue on towards Orchha, a medieval gem whose palaces and temples were built by the Bundela rulers of the 16th and 17th centuries. Set on a bend in the Betwa river and approached by an arched bridge, the city was founded by the Rajput prince Rudra Pratap in the 16th century, going on to become the capital of the Bundela Dynasty for over 200 years.
Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Rooms Available

6-AM excursion to Orchha Fort complex; PM free
This morning we enjoy a tour to Orchha’s magnificent Fort Palace complex, where we find three grandiose 17th century palaces. The Jehangir Mahal was built to commemorate the visit of Emperor Jehangir to Orchha and is considered by many to be the pinnacle of medieval Islamic design. Close by is the Raj Mahal, which is filled with a rich array of exquisite religious murals, whilst the palace of Raj Parveen Mahal is a beautiful 2-storey pavilion, dedicated to the beautiful love of Raja Indramani and built to match the height of the trees in the surrounding gardens of Ananad Mahal. This afternoon has been left free for you to explore further at your leisure. The city is filled with regal 16th century temples that still echo to the sounds of thousands of devotees and the quiet, rural surroundings present some ideal opportunities to enjoy walking around the villages, soaking up the timeless ambience of this hypnotic setting. There are options to try your hand at cooking, visit a local school, or perhaps discover something of the region’s cottage industries, learning a little more about life in these traditional Indian villages. This evening there may be an opportunity to experience a traditional Puja ceremony at the main temple in Orchha, an essential part of any Hindu devotee’s act of reverence towards the divine.
Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Rooms Available

7-AM drive to Khajuraho; PM visit to the Western Temples
A morning’s drive brings us to Khajuraho, revered as the temple city of Central India and famed for its incredible number of intricately carved temples. Considered to embody some of the finest temple architecture on earth, only about 25 of the original 85 temples remain, but they still rank as some of the finest in all India. Built by the Chandela Dynasty over a period spanning some 100 years, the temples reverted back to the jungle once their creators fled the unwarranted attentions of invading Afghans from the north. The city lay undisturbed for centuries, until its discovery in 1838 by a British officer, whose Victorian sensibilities were believed to have been somewhat shocked by the frequent use of erotic images amongst the sculpted carvings. The eroticism of the carvings is well known today and each temple is dedicated to a different deity, expressing its own nature and beliefs. This afternoon we will visit the western complex of temples, which includes the imposing Lakshmana Temple, dedicated to Vishnu and one of the best preserved of this temple group. We’ll also visit the 11th century Shiva temple of Kandariya-Mahadev, a particularly excellent example of Chandela architectural mastery, which boasts a 31m high sikhara and nearly 1000 statues adorning its temple walls inside and out. Deep in the gloom of the inner sanctuary is Shiva’s fertility symbol, the stone lingam (phallus).
Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Rooms Available

8-Free day
With a day free to continue exploring further, you can return to the Western Temples, or perhaps take a walk or cycle ride to the outlying Eastern Temples, which contains a number of temples scattered amongst the remnants of the old village. These include three Jain temples, the largest of which, Parsvanath, contains some of Khajuraho’s finest work that display a quite exceptional quality of workmanship. For those wishing to travel further afield there is the opportunity to visit the Panna National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty that is renowned for its wild cats, including tigers, leopards and caracals. An area of open grasslands and deciduous woodland, its forests are filled with sambar, whilst the rocky escarpments are home to sloth bear. With some 200 species of birds on offer as well, it is a haven for some of Central India’s most diverse wildlife.
Overnight: Simple Hotel
Single Rooms Available

9-Drive to Bandhavgarh
We leave early this morning, for a full day’s drive by bus, to the little-known wildlife and tiger reserve of Bandhavgarh. Nestling amongst the hills and plains that lie in the shadow of the Vindhyan Mountains, Bandhavgarh can probably boast the highest density of tigers in the country, as well as a healthy population of leopards. For years the private playground of the Maharajahs of Rewa, it was in this area that the famous White Tiger of Rewa was discovered, and today the area’s forested hills and wetlands offer sanctuary not only to the big cats, but also to nilgai, wild boar and jackals. Covering some 450 sq km the park derives its name from the ancient fortress that sits majestically atop the heights of 800-metre high cliffs, dominating the surrounding landscape much as it has for centuries.
Overnight: Simple Hotel
Single Rooms Available

10-Morning and afternoon game drives
We have a full day today to enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in the park, making the most of this spectacular wilderness and hopefully spotting some of the 50 or so tigers that have been recorded here. There is little chance of us spotting any of the rare white tigers as one has not been seen here for over 50 years, when the then Maharajah captured an orphaned cub in the Bagri Forest. This magnificent animal, who the Maharajah christened Mohan, went on to sire a number of offspring, who found their way to zoos and circuses the world over. It is believed that all the white tigers now in captivity are direct descendants of Mohan, seemingly the last of his kind in the wild. After our morning drive there will be some free time to perhaps enjoy an optional bird watching walk with a local guide, before we resume our game drives later this afternoon. The park is a paradise for bird lovers, with Malabar hornbills, bee-eaters, paradise flycatchers and steppe eagles amongst the diverse array of birdlife that make this isolated park their home. This evening there will be an optional slide show at the naturalist guide’s home.
Overnight: Simple Hotel
Single Rooms Available

11-AM game drive; PM free
After another game drive this morning, the afternoon is free to enjoy as you wish. You may like to take another game drive through the park (optional). It is also possible to visit Bandhavgarh Fort, reportedly one of the oldest forts in India. The location offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and is worth the climb to the crest of the hill. The fort is owned by the Maharajah of Rewa and permission to visit can be arranged locally.
Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Rooms Available

12-Drive to Kanha National Park
Another full day’s drive brings us to Kanha National Park, a lush landscape of sal forest, wooded grassland and open plateaux that encompass one of the largest parks in the country. Covering some 2,000 sq km this spectacular reserve is another of India’s important Project Tiger sanctuaries and presents an excellent location to spot these elusive predators. It also provides an important refuge for the rare swamp deer (barasingha) and the Indian bison (gaur) and for years has vied with nearby Pench Tiger Reserve as the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. The park came into being in 1955 and since its inception as a tiger reserve in 1974 it has gone on to save the swamp deer from near extinction. These animals are unique in Kanha and populate the open grasslands that lie on the fringes of the bamboo and teak forests. During the winter months these expansive landscapes are teeming with the deer, providing a tempting target for the large predators.
Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Rooms Available

13-Explore Kanha village and its surrounds.
This morning we make our first journey in to the park on an early morning game drive. We use jeeps to explore the park with a park guide in each jeep helping to explain what signs to look out for when tracking tigers. Whilst we hope to see the mighty Bengal tiger there is plenty of other wildlife to view as well. Our afternoon is free to relax and wander through the village.
Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Rooms Available

14-Morning and afternoon game drives
Set within a horseshoe-shaped valley and surrounded by the spurs of the Mekal, the park and its rich grasslands are fed by the waters of the Surpan River, which cuts a meandering swathe through its landscape. As well as tiger and barasingha, these forests and plains are home to hyena and jungle cat, mongoose and leopard and the valley echoes to the calls of hoopoes, warblers and woodpeckers, whilst beside the banks of the river we can find kingfishers, egrets and herons. Today we aim to complete another two game drives into the park in search of its wildlife.
Overnight: Basic Overnight Train

15-Drive Jabalpur; overnight train to Delhi
This morning we will take our last foray into the park in search of fantastic beasts. We will then drive to Jabalpur where we will catch our overnight train back to Delhi.
Overnight: Standard Hotel
Single Rooms Available

16-Arrive Delhi this morning; PM city tour of Old Delhi
Arriving in Delhi this morning we transfer to our hotel where breakfast is provided. We will then have a relaxing morning to freshen up from the overnight train journey, before an afternoon tour of Old Delhi by metro and cycle rickshaw. The former capital of the 17th century Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, the old city is a magnificent fusion of grandiose architecture and vibrant chaos, centred around the Chandi Chowk Bazaar, an eclectic cacophony of noise, colour and deafening barter that is so essentially Indian. Our sightseeing takes in the spectacular Jami Masjid Mosque, the largest in India and Shah Jahan’s magnificent swansong. Taking 14 years to complete, the mosque is a majestic structure, featuring four towers, three gateways and two towering minarets that stand some 40m high. Built from sandstone and marble its vast courtyard can hold upwards of 25,000 worshippers and from the top of the southern minaret you can get a clear view of the colonial designs of Edward Lutyens across the city. The imposing Red Fort dates from the middle years of the 17th century, the pinnacle of Mughal power and prestige, and its sandstone walls reach a towering height of some 33m in the heart of the city. We have allowed free time in the city after the tour, to continue exploring any of the sites you have been shown at your own pace, taking in the vibrant atmosphere of this most Indian of cities.

17-Tour ends Delhi
Our tour ends this morning after breakfast.

Tour includes:

16 Breakfast
1 Lunch
8 Dinner
4WD, Rickshaw, Bus, Train
11 nights Standard Hotel
3 nights Simple Hotel
1 night Basic Overnight Train
Tour Staff:
Driver(s), Explore Tour Leader, Local Guide(s)
Group Size:
Generally 12 – 18

Leave a Review

You must be logged in to post a review of Tiger Trails and Temples ...

To leave a review please either Login or Register for an account. It only takes a few seconds and you will also gain access to our tour community and member forums.

explore holidaysExplore have been running small group adventure holidays throughout the world since 1981 and have a vast array of experience, knowledge and well established close personal contacts in all the countries in which they operate, which makes them stand out as one of the most trusted adventure tour operators in the UK.

They are passionate about what they do, and above all, simply love nothing more than to travel. The founder directors ran overland trips through Asia, Africa and the Americas in the 1960s and 70s prior to setting up the company, and were determined that the spirit of adventure that was such an important part of those early pioneering days, should continue to play key role as part of the driving ethos of Explore.

Our Opinion
It is little wonder that over 60% of all Explore customers who travel each year have travelled with them previously, Explore are clearly committed to the “travel experience” and their itineraries are always offer that slight “Explore Twist” which makes them even more appealing.

More tours to choose from...

All tours are ABTA and ATOL bondedAll content is copyright of Unwind Worldwide - © Unwind Worldwide 2012. All rights reserved. Sitemap
Unwind Worldwide is a limited company (Registered in England & Wales, number 06924728).
We accept Visa, Visa Debit, Visa Electron, Mastercard, Maestro, Switch and American Express cards