Classical India & Bandhavgarh Tigers - Khajuraho, Varanasi & The Taj Mahal - Awesome Experiences

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Classical India & Bandhavgarh Tigers - Khajuraho, Varanasi & The Taj MahalIndia

From £3,275 per person for 6 nights (based on 2 adults sharing)*
Tick off India’s must-sees then search for elusive tigers at Bandhavgarh National Park, on this journey through some of the country’s most diverse sights.

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Wonders of WildlifeExtraordinary & Secret Places
Summary

India

From the sacred waters of Varanasi to the magnificent tigers of Bandhavgarh National Park, this experience showcases the astonishing diversity of India. Take a tuk-tuk ride through Delhi, watch the sunrise over the Taj Mahal and wander amongst thousand-year-old-temples on this one-of-a-kind adventure. 

AWESOME ELEMENTS INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE:

  • See the world famous Taj Mahal by the light of an Indian sunrise
  • Search for the elusive Bengal tiger in Bandhavgarh, one of only a handful of places where they can still be seen in the wild
  • Lose yourself in the dancing and chanting of the mesmerising Ganga Aarti ritual in spiritual Varanasi
  • Experience authentic life along the river with a dawn boat trip on the Ganges
  • Explore the crumbling fortress city of Kalinjar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Take an eye-opening trip to the thousand-year-old temples of Khajuraho, adorned with carvings from the Kama Sutra

You’ll arrive in Delhi to a traditional welcome of marigold garlands, before diving headfirst into this frenetic city. Zipping around by tuk tuk, you’ll sample the city’s tastiest street food and meet a diverse array of local characters. Then take the train to Agra, where you’ll witness a spine-tingling sunrise over the Taj Mahal. From here you’ll head to Varanasi on the sacred river Ganges, for a magical starlit Hindu ceremony. The Ganga Aarti ritual takes place each evening, when young pandits (Hindu scholars) dressed in saffron robes and bearing flaming lamps give thanks to the river, with clouds of incense and rhythmic chanting adding to the drama. You’ll also cruise along the Ganges at dawn and see worshippers bathing in the sacred waters, welcoming the sun with chants and offerings.

From Varanasi you’ll travel to Kharjuraho for a private guided tour of the UNESCO-listed stone temples and their famous carvings, many of which depict erotic scenes from the Kama Sutra. At your final stop, Bandhavgarh National Park, you’ll set out on morning and afternoon safari drives with an expert naturalist guide in search of the elusive Bengal Tiger.

India Summary


Please click the Full Itinerary tab for the full daily itinerary, details of what's included and information about children and solo travellers.


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £450 per person and take approximately 8.5 hours depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. 

Experience start point: New Delhi (DEL). Suggested arrival by 11am.

End point: New Delhi (DEL). The experience ends late evening on Day 7. Please book your flight home after 23:00 or you can stay an extra night in Delhi (we can arrange this for a supplement).

All tour departures up to 31st December 2018 are part of our Pioneers Club promotion. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.

Map
Full Itinerary

Itinerary

India

Day One: Welcome to India

Arrive at Delhi International Airport to a traditional greeting of marigold garlands, followed by a private transfer to your hotel. After check-in, you’ll embark on an exploration of the city with your private guide. Travel by tuk-tuk down the grand boulevard of Rajpath (King’s Way) to the imposing India Gate, before heading to frenetic Connaught Place. Here, washermen (dhobi walas) soak hotel sheets, restaurant tablecloths and myriad clothing in the old-fashioned outdoor laundries tucked between the monuments. Have a drink at the perfectly-preserved, turn-of-the-century United Coffee House; or visit the Gandhi Smriti museum, where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last days of his life. Come evening, it’s time for a culinary tour by tuk-tuk, tasting some of the city’s best street food and heading behind the scenes to meet some of the chefs, bakers and families who have been providing fabulous food here for generations.

Overnight in Delhi

Classic - The Surya 

Premium - The Claridges 

Deluxe - Oberoi New Delhi

Meals included: None

Rickshaw


Day Two: Discovering Agra

You’ll be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the station for the 8:00am Gatimaan Express train, scheduled to arrive in Agra at 9:30am. Then it’s time to explore this buzzy city of monuments and markets, once the capital of the grand Mughal Empire. Make for its second most famous UNESCO World Heritage site first – Agra Fort. Built as a military defence in the 16th-century, this imposing, red-brick building was converted into a palace by Shah Jaden a century later. Marvel at its marble stonework and countless courtyards, then drive through the city, past bustling bazaars and through tuk-tuk traffic jams, to Itimad-ud-Daulah, the tomb of a Persian nobleman that’s nicknamed the Baby Taj. Enjoy a free evening, before tomorrow’s early start.

Overnight in Agra

Classic - The Double Tree Hilton 

Premium - ITC Mughal 

Deluxe - Oberoi Amarvilas

Meals included: Breakfast

Agra Fort


Day Three: Taj Mahal and Varanasi

Take it two of India’s most famous sights today: First, you’ll rise before dawn to visit the Taj Mahal in the glorious Indian sunrise, when its marble exterior is at its most beautiful, reflecting the rose and golden tints of the sky. After returning to your hotel for breakfast and check-out, you’ll head to the airport to start your journey to one of the oldest cities in the world, Varanasi. You’ll arrive mid-afternoon, and check-in to your hotel ready for a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle on the River Ganges: The Ganga Aarti is a Hindu ritual that gives thanks to the sacred river. Under atmospheric moonlight, chanting and bell ringing mingle on the air, as singers and dancers in elaborate costumes perform by the water in clouds of headily perfumed incense.  

Overnight in Varanasi

Classic - Radisson Hotel in Varanasi 

Premium - Vivanta by Taj Gateway 

Deluxe - Brijrama Palace

Meals included: Breakfast

India Collage


Day Four: The Ganges and Khajuraho

Rise before 5:30am, for a sunrise boat trip along the Ganges. The early start is worth it: this is the best time to observe Varanasi’s daily morning rituals. Watch worshippers bathing in the sacred waters as they welcome the sun with chants and offerings to the river. Then it’s back to the hotel for breakfast and check-out before your private transfer to the airport. You’ll arrive in Khajuraho, home to a UNESCO-listed collection of exquisite stone temples, in the early afternoon. Check in to your hotel, then wander the Western temples with your private guide. Every inch of their delicate, 1,000-year-old facades are filled with intricate carvings, famously including erotic scenes, some depicting the Kama Sutra. 

Overnight in Khajuraho

Classic - Radisson Hotel in Khajuraho 

Premium - The Lalit Temple View 

Deluxe - Pashan Garh

Meals included: Breakfast

Khajuraho temples


Day Five: Onwards to Bandhavgarh

After breakfast and check-out, you will travel the 140 miles to Bandhavgarh National Park, your home for the next two nights. On your way, you will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kalinjar Fort, a evocatively crumbling fortress city with far-reaching views over the plains of Bundelkhand. Some of the temples inside its walls date back to 300AD, and its walls and pillars are carved with delicate patterns, inscriptions and depictions of gods and goddesses. Later, you’ll continue to your lodge in Bandhavgarh, where you will check-in before dinner.

Overnight in Bandhavgarh

Classic - Bandhav Vilas 

Premium - Tree House Hideaway 

Deluxe - Samode Safari Lodge

Meals included: Breakfast; dinner

Bandhavgarh


Day Six: Tiger Time

The forested wilderness of Bandhavgarh National Park has the highest density of tigers in India, and it is the home to a unique ecosystem. Leopards, sambar and barking deer all live among its trees, while egrets, hornbills, kingfishers and eagles populate its skies. Before breakfast, you’ll head out on a safari drive with an expert naturalist guide (early morning is the best time to spot the region’s wildlife). Return to the hotel by 10.00am for breakfast and time to relax, before a longer afternoon drive through the wilderness as dusk falls. 

Overnight in Bandhavgarh

Classic - Bandhav Vilas 

Premium - Tree House Hideaway 

Deluxe - Samode Safari Lodge

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch; dinner

Bandhavgarh Tigers


Day Seven: Heading Home

Your final morning provides another opportunity to search for wildlife as you take a game drive before breakfast. Check-out after lunch, when you will be transferred by private taxi to the Jabalpur airport for your flight to Delhi where the tour will end (included in tour price). 

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch


Accommodation

You will get a choice of hotel options for the duration of your experience:


Classic ★★★

Classic hotels provide mid-range accommodation (minimum three-star rated), with comfortable rooms and private facilities. We’ve selected these hotels based on positive client feedback.


Premium ★★★★

Premium hotels are typically upper mid range (usually four star), with more amenities than our classic choices. They all have comfortable rooms with private facilities and have received good client feedback.


Deluxe ★★★★★

Deluxe hotels are luxury hotels with excellent facilities and service, usually categorised as 4.5 or 5 star. Clients rate them extremely highly.


When booking an experience, please remember that the hotel category you select is for the whole tour. The table below displays the hotels listed for each category. Please note that the actual hotel selection will be driven by availability at time of booking.


Overall meals included: 6 Breakfasts; 2 lunches; 2 dinners

What's included:

  • Private English-speaking guides unless stated otherwise 
  • Private transfers, train tickets and internal flights, unless stated otherwise 
  • Meals as listed 
  • Mandatory taxes and service fees 
  • Entrance tickets and permits unless stated otherwise 
  • Safari game drives through Bandhavgarh National Park 
  • Attend the spiritual Ganga Aarti ritual on the River Ganges 
  • Culinary street food tour by rickshaw in Delhi 
  • Flight from Jabalpur to New Delhi

What's not included:

  • International flights to/from the start/end point of our experiences 
  • Optional extras listed 
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel and restaurant staff 
  • Any visa, customs, airport taxes or similar charges before or after the tour 
  • We cannot guarantee the included hotel breakfast for early departures 
  • Drinks during meals unless stated otherwise 
  • Personal expenses, such as laundry 


For Home Office travel advice to this country, read more here


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £450 per person and take approximately 8.5 hours depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. 

Experience start point: New Delhi (DEL). Suggested arrival by 11am.

End point: New Delhi (DEL). The experience ends late evening on Day 7. Please book your flight home after 23:00 or you can stay an extra night in Delhi (we can arrange this for a supplement).


All tour departures up to 31st December 2018 are part of our Pioneers Club promotion. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.

Extras

Awesome Experience bonuses

Many of our experiences have optional features available at an added cost. Please see below for available extras for this experience. Please continue to checkout to select any optional extras and to see pricing information.

Optional Extras

To customise your experience, you can select any of theses extras at an additional cost during the basket stage.

Extra night in Delhi Airport Hotel - Holiday Inn Aerocity

Spend an extra night at an airport hotel in Delhi so you can travel feeling rested and refreshed the next day.

Extra night in Delhi Airport Hotel - Pullman Aerocity

Spend an extra night at an airport hotel in Delhi so you can travel feeling rested and refreshed the next day.

Extra night in Delhi Airport Hotel - JW Marriott Aerocity

Spend an extra night at an airport hotel in Delhi so you can travel feeling rested and refreshed the next day.

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