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Rajasthan with Wildlife Tours


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Duration Covered : 21 Nights / 22 Days
Destination Covered : Delhi - Mandawa - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Jaipur - Ranthambhore - Agra - Umaria - Bandhavgarh - Kanha - Jabalpur - Delhi

Day 1 : Delhi
Arrival at Delhi You will be met on arrival at the International airport. Transfer to your hotel. Relax.
India gate
DELHI The capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. Delhi is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land and a window to the kaleidoscope - that is India. Overnight stay at Delhi.

Day 2 : Delhi sightseeing
In the morning we will take you to a sightseeing tour of Old Delhi. You will enjoy the grandeur of the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk Nad the greenery around Rajghat. In the afternoon you are back in your hotel for lunch. Soon you will be out for a city tour of New Delhi. Here you will have a delightful time at the India Gate, Akshardham temple, Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Laxman Temple.

Day 3 : Delhi - Mandawa
By Road : 260 km/6 hr
Proceed for Mandawa after breakfast. MANDAWA is part of the SHEKAWATI AREA in Rajasthan and is also known as the OPEN AIR ART GALLERY. There are beautiful and rustic villages with painted frescoes all around. There are royal districts in this area with castles and forts and they include NAWALGARH, DUNDLOD, MUKUNDGARH, MANDAWA, MAHENSAR, etc to name a few. The best known is the MANDAWA CASTLE. A breathtaking view of the town can be seen from the terrace of Castle Mandawa. Precious collection of arms with jade handles, traditional ceremonial costumes can be seen at the Museum at the Castle. The havelies worth a visit are Chokhani, Saraf, Goenka and Ladia in this town. It was built in 1775 by Thakur Nawal Singh, descendant of Rao Shekhaji, who also founded the city of Nawalgarh. The Castle, now a 51 room hotel has no two rooms alike. It also houses an interesting collection of paintings, jade, costumes and antiques. The courtyard and the terrace come to live during evenings with candle-lit dinners and fire-dances during the season. It is a two hundred and forty year old fortress, which has been converted by the family into a fine example of traditional hospitality. just take a walk round the castle sightseeing the paintings and the architecture. There are markets in the compound and brightly dressed villagers all around. Overnight stay at Mandawa.

Day 4 : Mandawa - Bikaner
By Road :180 km/4 hr
Breakfast will be at hotel. Take a walking tour of the painted 'havelis' of some of the leading business families of the country. Though they no longer live here, the local caretakers are happy to show the visitors around. Chowkhani Haveli, Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli, Lakshminarayan Ladia Haveli, Mohahanlal Saraf Haveli and Bhagchandika Haveli are of special interest. Spend the major part of the day looking into frescoes. Proceed to Bikaner. Reach and check in at hotel. BIKANER - The royal fortified city with a timeless appeal. Lying in the north of the Desert State, the city is dotted with many sand dunes. Bikaner retains the medieval splendor that pervades the city's lifestyle. More popularly called the camel country, the city is renowned for the best riding camels in the world. The ship of the desert is an inseparable part of life here. Be it pulling heavy carts, transporting grains or working on wells, camels are the prime helpers. The wells of Bikaner - an important source of water are other attractions of the city. These are built on high plinths with slender minareted towers on each of the Four Corners and can be noticed even from a distance. Relax in the evening or visit city. Overnight will be at Bikaner.

Day 5 : Bikaner - Jaisalmer
By Road : 330 km/5 hr
Proceed for sightseeing tour of Bikaner after breakfast. Rao Bikaji, a descendant of Jodhaji - the founder of Jodhpur, founded this desert town in the North of the state in 1488. Visit the Junagarh Fort, constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Jai Singh, a general in the Moghul Emperor Akbar's army. The city is also called the "Camel Country". Visit the camel-breeding farm - the only one in Asia. Visit the KARNI MATA TEMPLE. Proceed for Jaisalmer. Rising from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage is the city of Jaisalmer. A commanding fort etched in yellow sandstone stands, with its awesome splendor, dominating the amber-hued city. The city has an interesting legend associated with it, according to which, Lord Krishna-the head of the Yadav Clan, foretold Arjuna that a remote descendent of the Yadav Clan would build his kingdom atop the Trikuta Hill. His prophecy was fulfilled in 1156 AD when Rawal Jaisal, a descendent of the Yadav Clan and a Bhatti Rajput, abandoned his fort at Lodurva and founded a new capital -Jaisalmer, perched on the Trikuta Hill. Reach and check in at hotel. Overnight will be at Jaisalmer.

Day 6 : Jaisalmer
After a relaxed breakfast proceed for full day sightseeing tour of The Golden City - Jaisalmer. It is in the heart of the Great Indian Desert. Its temple, fort and palaces are all built of yellow stone. The city is a mass of intricately carved buildings, facades and elaborate balconies.

Visit the JAISALMER FORT - The oldest living Fort in the world. (This is the highlight of the tour)

See the Patwon-Ki-Havelies, Salim-Singh-Ki-Haveli and Gandhi Sagar Tank. Also visit Barabagh Hill.

In the afternoon, proceed to the SAM SAND DUNES for visiting the typical Rajasthani Desert Village. View the sunset from the dunes, as the sky is set on fire. Return to the village for dinner amidst Rajasthani musicians playing haunting tunes. Stay overnight at Jaisalmer.
Jaisalmer Fort
Day 7 : Jaisalmer to Jodhpur
By Road : 300 km/6 hr
Proceed for Jodhpur after breakfast. Reach Jodhpur by late afternoon as you will take a short excursion to visit the OSIYAN TEMPLES. Set at the edge of the Thar Desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. Once the capital of the Marwar state, it was founded in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha-chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs who claimed to be descendants of Rama - the epic hero of the Ramayana. The massive 15th century AD Mehrangarh Fort looms on the top of a rocky hill, soaring 125 Mts. Above the plains. The city is encompassed by a high wall -10 km long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions. Overnight will be at Jodhpur.

Day 8 : Jodhpur
Breakfast will be at hotel. Proceed for morning sightseeing tour of Jodhpur - gateway to the desert beyond, home of the Rathors of Marwar, Visit the Mehrangarh Fort, rising up a hilly scarp, built on the advice of a hermit, overlooking the city in the image of a long sentinel. Inside the Fort are a number of palaces added by successive rulers. In this palace you would see different miniature paintings & cradle room. After this you would visit Jaswant Thada Memorial. Afternoon go for a village safari and have a rare glimpse into the rich culture and true essence of India. Abundant wildlife (game) and memorable moments of the great desert landscape fascinates one while driving along the countryside. Relax in the evening or proceed for shopping. Overnight will be in Jodhpur.

Day 9 : Jodhpur - Udaipur
By Road : 260 km/6 hr
Proceed to Udaipur after breakfast. Stop at the beautiful Jain temples of Ranakpur. RANAKPUR TEMPLES, dating back to the 15th century. 200 pillars, none of which are alike, support its 29 halls. The Temple abounds with intricate friezes and sculptures. Includes visits to two more Jain temples and the Temple of the Sun God with its erotic sculptures. Reach Udaipur and check into hotel. The city of Dawn, Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure lake, hemmed in by the lush hills of the ARAVALLIS. A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination of poets, painters and writers. Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavor of a heroic past, epitomizing valor and chivalry. Their reflection in the placid waters of the LAKE PICHOLA is an enticing sight. Udaipur is the jewel of MEWAR -a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 Years. Relax in the afternoon. Overnight will be at Udaipur.

Day 10 : Udaipur
Breakfast will be at hotel. Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace. Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and the Peacock Courtyard. Also visit the lovely Sahelion-ki-Bari Gardens, the Jagdish Temple and the local folk Museum. Proceed for Evening Motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. From the boat you will be able to view the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert. Also visit the Jag Mandir Palace - the other island palace in the middle of the lake. Spend some time at the Jag Mandir Palace. Overnight will be at Udaipur.

Day 11 : Udaipur - Jaipur
By Road :300 km/6 hr
After breakfast drive to Jaipur. Stop at the KISHANGARH PHOOL MAHAL PALACE for lunch. Continue drive to Jaipur. Reach and check in at hotel. JAIPUR - The origins of the beautiful city of Jaipur can be traced back to the eighteenth century, during the reign of Jai Singh II who ascended the Amber throne in 1699. Jaipur today, epitomizes the spirit of Rajputana. In-spite of growing into a bustling metropolis, it still retains its character and history - A beautiful fusion of the yesteryears and modernity. It is popularly known as the Pink City because of the extensive use of the locally abundant pink plastered stone, painted so in honor of the visit of the royal consort of Queen Victoria. Jaipur thrills the soul with its massive forts, magnificent palaces, exquisite temples and lush gardens. Reach Jaipur and check in at hotel. Shopping and relax in the evening. Overnight will be at Jaipur.

Day 12 : Jaipur
Breakfast will be at hotel. Morning excursion will be taken to the Amber Fort. Enjoy the fort ascent on elephant back in a royal manner.

AMBER FORT PALACE - Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Jaipur visiting...

CITY PALACE - A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.

JANTAR MANTAR - This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.

HAWA MAHAL - The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. It is a five-storey structure of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women. Free in the evening or you can visit the CHOKI DANI VILLAGE for a SIT DOWN dinner of authentic Rajasthani Cuisine. This will be a totally vegetarian meal though if you plan to go there. Overnight will be at Jaipur.

Day 13 : Jaipur - Ranthambhore
By Road : 180 km/3 hr
Drive to Ranthambhore after breakfast. Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, at the junction of the Aravalis and the Vindhyas, is a unique example of natural and historical richness, standing out conspicuously in the vast, arid and denuded tract of eastern Rajasthan, barely 14 kilometers from Sawai Madhopur. Get in tune with nature for a luxury holiday in the heart of the jungle. It has come to be known as "The land of the Tiger", where most of theRanthambhore National Park Tour - tiger documented footage of this majestic beast has been recorded. It spreads over a highly undulating topography varying from gentle to steep slopes; from flat topped hills of the Vindhyas to the conical hillocks and sharp ridges of the Aravalis, from wide and flat valleys to narrow rocky gorges. An important geological feature the 'Great Boundary Fault' where the Vindhya plateaus meet the Aravali Hill Ranges meanders through the Reserve. The National Park is bound by the rivers Chambal in the south and Banas in the north. Proceed for the afternoon game drive into the forest. Overnight will be at Ranthambhore.

Day 14 : Ranthambhore Wildlife Reserve
Breakfast will be at hotel. Enjoy two private jungle safaris at Ranthambhore. Overnight will be at Ranthambhore.

Day 15 : Ranthambore - Agra
By Road : 221 km/5 hr
Breakfast will be at the hotel. Drive to Agra visiting Fatehpur Sikri en-route. The deserted, red Sandstone City, Emperor Akbar built that as his capital and palace in the late 16th century is an exhilarating experience. It a veritable fairytale city and its "ruins" are in pristine condition. It's not hard to imagine what the court life must have been like in the days of its grandeur. Also visit the Bulund Darwaza, the largest gateway in the world. Continue your drive to Agra and on arrival check-in at Hotel.

AGRA: Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire - giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Today a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices, of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favorite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously. Overnight will be in Agra.

Day 16 : Agra - Umaria (Bandhavgarh)
By Train at 2100 hr Visit TAJ MAHAL at sunrise.

TAJ MAHAL : The fifth Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, built it in 1631 in the memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, a Muslim Persian princess. She died while accompanying her husband in Behrampur in a campaign to crush a rebellion, after giving birth to their 14th child. Her death so crushed the emperor that all his hair and beard were said to have grown snow white in a few months. When Mumtaz Mahal was still alive, she extracted four promises from the emperor: first, that he build the Taj; second, that he should marry again; third, that he be kind to their children; and fourth, that he visit the tomb on her death anniversary. He kept the first and second promises. Construction began in 1631 and was completed in 22 years. Twenty thousand people were deployed to work on it. An Iranian architect designed it and it is best appreciated when the architecture and its adornments are linked to the passion that inspired it. It is a "symbol of eternal love". Having buried her down at Behrampur, it was time for the emperor to keep his promise and build a tomb there itself. But by and by, it was felt that it was virtually impossible to transfer all the marble there, as it would cost an entire fortune and an entire lifetime. So, when Agra was chosen as the only alternative, astonishingly her grave was uprooted and brought to Agra, only to be finally transferred to the monument, completed twenty-two years later. Return to the hotel for breakfast. Proceed to Agra and visit Agra Fort- which was built by Akbar In 1525 AD. After Agra Fort we will visit Baby Taj - The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj. Proceed to station for train (overnight) to UMARIA. Overnight will be on the train.

Day 17 : Arrive at Bandhavgarh
Reach UMARIA and transfer to Bandavgarh. Reach and check in at the resort. Bandavgarh is a new National Park with a very long history. Set among the Vindhya hills of Madhya Pradesh with an area of 168sq miles (437sq km) it contains a wide variety of habitats and a high density of game, including a large number of Tigers. This is also the White tiger country. These have been found in the old state of Rewa for Many years. Maharaja Martand Singh captured the last known in 1951. This white Tiger, Mohun is now stuffed and on display in the Palace of Maharaja of Rewa. Prior to becoming a National Park, the forests around Bandavgarh had long been maintained as a Shikargah, or game preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa. The Maharaja and his guests carried out hunting - otherwise the wildlife was well protected. It was considered a good omen for Maharaja of Rewa to shoot 109 tigers. His Highness Maharaja Venkat Raman Singh shot 111 Tigers by 1914. Where birds are concerned, keep a look out for white browed fantails, steppe eagles, green pigeons, grey malabar hornbills, black and white malabar hornbills (quite a rare sighting), blossom headed parakeets, parakeets, blue bearded bee eaters, green bee eaters, white bellied drongos, owls, Jerdon's and gold fronted leaf birds, minivets, woodshrikes and the lovely paradise flycatchers. In the afternoon proceed into the Park for your wildlife safari. In the evening have dinner by the bonfire and overnight will be at the resort.

Day 18 : Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
Enjoy birding inside the jungle and on the periphery. (Two safaris) Trip to the Bandavgarh Fort: The oldest fort in India - considered to be more than 2500 years. One-hour trek up the fort is worth the effort. The charm of this trek lies in discovering these monuments in the jungle, unspoiled and unexplored. Some of the statues lie off the main path and so it is best to take a guide. Apart from the avatars, well worth seeing are three small temples of around the 12th century. These temples are deserted but the fort is still used as a place of worship. Kabir Das, the celebrated 16th century saint, once lived and preached here. The natural ramparts of the fort give breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside. The fort still belongs to the Maharaja of Rewa and permission is required to visit it. However permission is available locally and no trip to Bandhavgarh is complete without making an effort to climb up the fort. The staff of the resort carries your lunch while you are busy negotiating the trek to the fort. Overnight will be at the resort.

Day 19 : Bandhavgarh - Kanha
By Road : 255 km in 6 hr
After breakfast drive to Kanha. This is the place that has been described by RUDYARD KIPLING in his great book "The Jungle Book". Located in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha National Park is a tiger reserve that extends over an area of over 940 square km. A horseshoe shaped valley bounded by the spurs of the Mekal presents an interesting topography. Steep rocky escarpments along the edges offer breathtaking views of the valley. Realizing the danger on the Tiger population in the country, the Government started the "Project Tiger" at Kanha and in 1974 the area was declared a Tiger reserve. The park is also the habitat of the high ground Barasingha. In 1930s, the Kanha area was divided into two sanctuaries - Hallon and Banjar of 250kms to 300kms each. Though one of these was subsequently disbanded .The area remained a protected one until 1947. Depletion of the tiger population in the year that followed led to the area being made an absolute sanctuary in 1952. Patient watching should reward the visitor, with a sight of Indian Fox, Sloth bear, Striped hyena, Jungle cut, Lepord, Mouse Deer, Chausingha or four horned antelope, Nilgai, Ratel and Porcupine Kanha has some 200 species of birds. Watchers should station themselves in the hills, where the mixed and bamboo forests harbour many species and in the grassy forest clearings. Water birds can be seen near the park's many rivulets and at Sarvantal, a pool that is frequented by water birds and the area in front of the museum. The birds comprise of Racket Tailed Drongo, Crested Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Peacock, Golden Oriole, Treepie, Whitenecked Stork, Shikra, White-eyed Buzzard, Roseringed Parakeet, Shama, Red Munia, Large Green Barbet, Crimson Breasted Barbet, Lesser Golden Backed Woodpecker, Hair Crested Drongo, Common Teal, Pintail Duck, etc. Reach in the afternoon and relax at the resort. Overnight will be at the resort. Kanha National Park Tour - deer

Day 20 : Kanha
Enjoy a full day game viewing inside the jungle. (Two safaris) There would be a lot of birding today as we would take roads around the forest to places not frequented by people and in the bushes. Overnight will be at the resort.

Day 21 : Kanha - Jabalpur - Delhi
By Road : 180 km in 4 hr
By Overnight Train Proceed for the morning safari and birding into forest. Proceed to JABALPUR after lunch. Reach and board overnight train to Delhi.

Day 22 : Delhi - Departure
Reach and check into hotel for the day. The day will be spent at leisure or for last minute shopping. Compass will host the FAREWELL DINNER in the evening and then transfer in time to the airport for flight home with sweet memories of India.


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