Indian Journeys

Highlights

  Panna Tiger Reserve
  Rupmati’s Pavilion
  Madhya Pradesh                      
  Amazing architecture 
  Glorious birds

Price is from £4,850.00 pp

Madhya Pradesh is the true centre and heartland of India. Its forests were made famous by Rudyard Kipling and many have subsequently been turned into National Parks in order to preserve their unique, rich and varied wildlife. 

Part of the beauty of Madhya Pradesh is its lack of infrastructure, meaning that this, one of India’s most enchanting states, remains virtually unspoilt by mass tourism.  Its sites are treasures which are varied and captivating and include the imposing fort at Gwalior and the Scindia palace museum which houses an excellent collection of art.  

One of the things we love about this state is that much of it really does seem like the rest of India used to be one hundred years ago and when driving between destinations one is privileged to witness this.  Drives go through forested areas, and past villages where most of the population still live in mud and thatch houses which they repaint every year, after the monsoon, in a vivid indigo blue.  During November when the mustard crops are ready the brilliance of the yellow against the blue houses is wonderfully eye catching. 

Time to visit: October – June.

At a Glance

  • Price is £4,850.00 pp.
  • Group size is minimum 2 people.
  • Duration is 13 nights in India.
  • Accommodation is in either home-stays or cottages or heritage hotels.
  • Price includes international and internal flights, transfers, accommodation, meals and activities stated in the itinerary.

Itinerary

Days 1 – 2: Delhi                                             
Explore the city with your city expert. There are forts, palaces, old market places, museums and art galleries along architecture and heritage experiences. 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. 

Day 3: Khajuraho       
India’s most titillating town is famed far and wide for the erotic stone carvings that swathe Khajuraho’s three groups of World Heritage–listed temples. It is also the gateway to Panna Tiger Reserve.

Explore Panna Tiger Reserve by jeep safaris into the park today. The park was originally part of Project Tiger and its forest are full of an amazing diversity of wildlife found in Central Indian forests. Today there are over 34 tigers in the park. 

There is also the chance of an excursion to Ajaygarh Fort which is a mix of culture, heritage and wildlife. The fort lies several hundred steps on a steep outcrop overlooking the small rural town of Ajaygarh.

Accommodation: Sarai at Toria. This is a charming earth-friendly property on the banks of the Ken River, surrounded by wildlife, culture and tranquil scenery.

Day 6: Orchha   
This morning you take your last safari into Panna Tiger Reserve in search of the big cats that call it home. After an early lunch, you transfer by road to Orchha.

Accommodation: Amar Mahal, Orchha. The architecture of Amar Mahal is built like the Rajput house of Bundelkhand. It is a perfect gateway to experience the historical and natural splendour of the surrounding area.

Days 7 – 8: Agra
Orchha could make towns many times its size green with jealousy. For nearly 300 years it was one of the most important urban areas leaving the town with a supreme display of Mughal-influenced Rajput architecture in the shape of spectacular palaces, temples and royal chhatris (cenotaphs).

Travel to Agra, the city of love and longing – meticulously planned, built and nurtured by three successive Mughal.

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 vista.

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

Days 9 – 10: Bhopal  
Split by a pair of lakes, the capital of Madhya Pradesh offers two starkly contrasting cityscapes. North of the lakes is Bhopal’s Muslim-dominated old city, a labyrinthine area of mosques and crowded bazaars. South of the lakes, Bhopal is more modern, with wide roads, some excellent museums, and upmarket hotels and restaurants nestled comfortably in the Arera and Shyamla Hills.

Explore Sanchi, a small village which is a major Buddhist pilgrimage site that is home to the Great Sanchi Stupa, a hemispherical structure that contains ancient relics of the Buddha and his followers.

Visit the Tribal Museum, an enchanted forest at this surreal place that is unlike any museum you will have visited before. Dedicated to the tribal peoples who make up more than 10 million of Madhya’s population, the exhibits were created by 1500 Adivasis using only materials from their own villages.

Accommodation: Jehan Numa Retreat. Sprung up from the earth at the edge of a green forest is this snug spa and resort which has been created in the tradition of culture and life that is nourished by its relationship with nature.Peace and tranquility.

Days 11 – 12: Maheshwar     
The peaceful riverside town of Maheshwar has long held spiritual significance with its ancient ghats and temples on the holy Narmada River. Away from the ghats and historic buildings, Maheshwar’s colourful streets display some brightly painted wooden houses with overhanging balconies.

Maheshwar is a captivating place that packs a lot of punch in a very small area. The ghats are a whirl of colour and interest and the compact old quarter is a pleasure to explore. It is dominated by its fort, whose huge ramparts, towering above the river ghats, were built by Emperor Akbar.  

Visit picturesque Mandu which is perched on a pleasantly green, thinly forested 25-sq-km plateau. Mandu is home to some of India’s finest examples of Afghan architecture and the plateau is littered with World Heritage–listed palaces, tombs, monuments and mosques. Rupmati’s Pavilion, the most romantic of them all, sits serenely on the edge of the plateau, overlooking the vast plains below.

Accommodation: Ahilya Fort. The Ahilya Fort Hotel is set in six buildings of the 18th century where  you can stroll through 3 acres of courtyards, fountains, and gardens that link areas within the Wada. It is easy to find a secluded spot to read a book, sip some tea, or just watch the butterflies flutter by.

Day 12: Fly home
You have the morning at leisure before catching a flight to Delhi and then back home.

 

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