Essence of India

Highlights

  Agra 
  Chambal River Sanctuary
  Colourful bazaars
  Jaipur – The Pink City 
  Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve

Price is from £4,750.00 pp

India is not a country but a continent and travelling through it is an experience like none other. Overwhelming in its chaos at first, it gradually unfolds unique delights.

You may find it in its majestic forts, monuments and temples; in exquisite crafts; in traditional and contemporary arts; in the bustle of its colourful bazaars; in diverse cuisines; or in the unexpected beauty that filters through the chaos.

This itinerary showcases the various facets of the country through some of the popular destinations that all first-time visitors to India must travel to. We have also included some interesting hideaways to get away from the crowds, after all it is a vacation.

This is a great introduction to life, culture, cuisines, architecture, wildlife and rural countryside of North India.

Time to visit: Good all year round although during monsoon time of July/Aug/Sept not all of Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve zones are open.

At a Glance

  • Price is £4,750.00 pp.
  • Group size is minimum of 2.
  • Duration is 12 nights in India.
  • Accommodation is in hotels and guesthouses.
  • Price includes international and internal flights, transfers, accommodation, meals and activities stated in the itinerary.

Itinerary

Day 1 – 2: Delhi
A Delhi expert who will spend some time giving you a background of the city before setting out into the city will meet you in your hotel. Explore the city with your city expert. This experience can be customized depending on your interests. There are forts, palaces, old market places, museums and art galleries along architecture and heritage experiences. At the end the second day with a visit to the Kingdom of Dreams for a Bollywood style theatre followed by dinner.

Accommodation: The Claridges Hotel, Delhi. The Claridges provides a luxury accommodation facility to the guests where they could witness the magic of old Delhi along with the modern luxury of New Delhi. 

Days 3 – 4: Chambal Safari Lodge                      
After an early breakfast we transfer to the railway station to catch a train and you should reach the lodge well before lunch. After lunch yuou can do some birding with the lodge naturalist around the property or explore the surrounding farmland in a jeep.

Take a boat safari on the Chambal River. Chambal is excellent for viewing endemic Gharial crocodile, freshwater ‘mugger’ crocodile, Gangetic river dolphin, Indian skimmers and many other riverine birds.

Accommodation: Chambal Safari Lodge. Set in 35 sprawling acres of  heritage plantation,  this lodge is an oasis of peace, tranquility and gracious hospitality.

Day 5: ITC Mughal       
We transfer to Agra, the city of love and longing – meticulously planned, built and nurtured by three successive Mughal emperors – Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan, during the most glorious era of the Mughal Empire. Step into the Mehtab Bagh – a beautifully laid out garden on the other side of the Yamuna to be wowed by another spectacular view – by the fountain, directly in front of the entrance gate – many connoisseurs have concluded that this is the most memorable view of the Taj.

Accommodation: ITC Mughal. This luxury hotel in Agra is a fitting tribute to the great Mughal builders of the past, full of splendor and perfection which was the hallmark of the Mughal Dynasty.

Days 6 – 7: Ramathra Fort        
Journey into life in rural India. The fort has a lake nearby where you can take a boat ride or enjoy a picnic. Early mornings are excellent for a nature walk in the forest that surrounds the fort. It is a nice hike where you can see many bird species and if lucky a hyena or even a leopard.

Accommodation: Ramathra Fort. Set in a romantic hilltop fort with stunning views across rural Rajasthan, Ramathra Fort is a wonderfully remote and the ideal location to get away from it all.

Days 8 – 10: Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve        
Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve is divided into 10 zones, which can be explored by visitors. This afternoon we take our first safari into the park in search for the Bengal Tiger. Safaris are not only look for the tiger but also other denizens of this forest such as leopard, jungle cat, golden jackal, sloth bear, blue bull, Indian gazelle, Sambar deer and spotted deer.

There is also the chance to visit the Dastakar – a women empowerment organization that produces textiles and crafts handmade by village women.

Accommodation: Ranthambhore Kothi. Encompassed by the lush green forests and edged with soothing sight of natural water lake, this accommodation offers a never to be forgotten experience with an exciting chance to glimpse tigers.

Day 11 – 12: Jaipur       
After lunch you begin exploring the pink city. Visit the old city market, the City palace and the Jantar Mantar Observatory this evening. Explore Amer Fort and visit a farm on the outskirts of the Amer called Dera Amer Here is an organized elephant interaction where you can bathe and feed these gentle giants while we learn about them. Explore the arts and crafts of the city including block printing, tie & dye, blue pottery and jewellery making.

Accommodation: Taj Jai Mahal Palace. This is is a stunning piece of Rajasthan’s heritage, a great example of Indo-Saracenic architecture set amidst 18 acres of landscaped Mughal gardens.

Day 13: Return to Delhi and flight home
Fly to Delhi to catch your flight home.

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