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Tiger Safari with Taj


Duration of Trip -::- 09 Days
Key Places covered -::- Delhi, Ranthambhore, Agra, Umaria, Bandavgarh, Delhi

Day 01: Delhi
Company representatives will receive you on arrival at the international airport in Delhi late in the evening. Transfer to your hotel. Relax.

DELHI, the capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. It is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land.  A window to the kaleidoscope - that is India.
Overnight will be at Delhi.

Tiger Safari, Ranthambhore National ParkDay 02: Delhi – Ranthambhore
By deluxe train in 5 hr
Transfer to the station for train to SAWAI MADHOPUR after breakfast.
Reach and transfer to the resort. Evening free at the resort and you can relax or watch some slides on the tiger.

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. Ranthambhore is perhaps the best place in the world to sight a tiger in the wild. This National Park has had more Tiger sightings than any other National Park in the country. It has come to be known as "The land of the Tiger", where most of the documented footage of this majestic beast has been recorded.

Tiger, at the apex of the food chain, lord over the kingdom in a subtle way. Solitary by nature, it operates in stealth. Therefore tiger sightings, frequent as they are, are always a matter of chance. However, even evidences of tiger's activities are very exciting.
Overnight will be at resort.

Day 03: Ranthambhore
Wake up early morning and leave for your safari into the National Park. Track the tigers and other wildlife through the morning. Return to the resort / lodge by 1000 in the morning and have breakfast.

Freshen up and either spend time at the pool or visit the town. You could also go for a nice visit to the temple on top of the fort.

In the afternoon have lunch and then leave again for you afternoon safari. The safari will be till evening 1700 – 1800 hr and then return to the resort / lodge.

Dinner will be at the resort and retire early for the night.
Overnight will be at Ranthambhore.

Day 04: Ranthambhore – Agra
By Road 250 km in 6 hr
Proceed to Agra after breakfast.
Stop at Fatehpur Sikri on your way.

Fatehpur Sikri is 37 km west of Agra. Jajal-ud-din-Muhammad Akbar, Humanyun's son, accessed the throne at the tender age of 14. While hunting around Sikri his curiosity was aroused by the songs of some minstrels about the celebrated Khwaja -Mu'inu'd-din Chisti, the founder of the Chisti order of SUFIS. Akbar, who was without a male heir heard about Saint Salim Chisti and visited him in the year 1568. The saint blessed him with 3 sons and in gratitude Akbar ordered the great mosque of Fatehpur Sikri built under his supervision. As a mark of respect to the saint, Akbar shifted his capital to Fatehpur Sikri and built various secular buildings like the Diwan -I-Am, Diwan-I-Khas, Jodhabai palace, Birbal's house, Marian's house and the Panchmahal.
Continue drive and reach by evening.

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.  A walk down the narrow bustling streets of the city will introduce the visitor to the wafting aroma of Mughlai cuisine.

Reach Agra. Check in at hotel.
Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 05: Agra – Umaria (Bandavgarh)
By Overnight train
Proceed to visit Taj after breakfast. Enjoy battery van ride to the Taj.

TAJ MAHAL: Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist's visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen.   

Proceed for sightseeing to the AGRA FORT - Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone.  Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction.

Visit Itmadullah’s Tomb built by Empress NOOR JEHAN in memory of her father (The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj).

You will be transferred to station for train to UMARIA. Overnight will be on train.

Deer, Bandhavgarh National ParkDay 06: Bandavgarh
Reach UMARIA and transfer to Bandavgarh. Reach and enjoy breakfast.

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 RamanSingh shot 111 Tigers by 1914.

There are 32 hills in this part of the park, which has a large natural fort at its center.  The fort’s cliffs are 2625 feet (800 meters) high, 1000 feet (300 meters) above the surrounding countryside.  Winter temperatures (Nov-mid-February) vary from almost freezing at night to around 68 degree Fahrenheit in the daytime.  Summer nights are also cooler than the daytime temperatures, which rise to 104 degree Fahrenheit.  This park is closed during the breeding season, which coincides with the monsoon (July-October).  Rainfall in the park averages 50 inches (120cm) per year.

Bandavgarh has been a center of human activity and settlement for over 2000 years, and there are references to it in the ancient books, the Narad-Panch Ratra and the Shiva Purana. Legend has it that Lord Rama, hero of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, stopped at Bandavgarh on his way back to his homeland after defeating the demon King Ravana of Lanka.  Two monkey architects, who had engineered a bridge between the isle of Lanka and the mainland, are said to have built Bandavgarh’s Fort.  Later Rama handed it over to his brother Lakshmana who became known as Bandavdhish “The Lord of the Fort”.  Lakshmana is the particular God of the fort and is regularly worshipped in a temple there.

The oldest sign of habitation in the park are caves dug into the sandstone to the north of the fort.  Several contain Brahmi inscriptions dating from the 1st century BC. Various dynasties have ruled the fort, for example, the Maghas from the 1st century AD, the Vakatakas from the 3rd century AD, from that time onwards Bandavgarh was ruled by a succession of dynasties including the Chandela Kings of Bundelkhand who built the famous temples at Khajuraho.  The Baghel Kings, the direct ancestors of the present Royal family of Rewa, established their dynasty at Bandavgarh in the 12th century.  It remained their capital till 1617 when the center of court life moved to Rewa, 75 miles (120Kms) to the north.  Without royal patronage Bandavgarh became more and more deserted until forest overran the area and it became the royal hunting reserve.  This helped to preserve the forest and its wildlife, although the Maharajas made full use of their rights.  Each set out to kill the auspicious number of 109 Tigers.

At independence Bandavgarh remained the private property of the Maharaja until he gave it to the state for the formation of the National Park in 1968.  After the park was created poaching was brought under control and the number of animals rose dramatically.  Small dams and water holes were built to solve the problem of water shortage.  Grazing by local cattle was stopped and the village within the park boundaries was relocated.  The Tigers in particular prospered and the 1986 extension provided much needed forest to accommodate them. 

Bandavgarh is justifiably famous for its Tigers, but it has a wide range of other game.  The undergrowth is not as dense as in some northern terai forests, but the best time to see the park inhabitants is still the summer months when water becomes scarce and the undergrowth dies back. 

Proceed for full day game viewing inside the jungle. (Two safaris with lunch break in-between)
Overnight will be in the lodge.

Day 7: Bandavgarh
Breakfast will be in the lodge.
Proceed for full day game viewing inside the jungle. (Two safaris with lunch break in-between)

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 ofthe resort carries your lunch while you are busy negotiating the trek to the fort.
Overnight will be at the resort.

Elephant  Safari, Bandhavgarh  National ParkDay 8: Bandavgarh – Delhi
By Overnight train
Enjoy the morning safari in the National park.

Enjoy your breakfast and proceed to Umaria / Katni for return train to Delhi.
Overnight will be on the train.

Day 9: Delhi
Reach Delhi in the early morning.
Transfer to hotel close to the airport.

Depending on the time for your international flight enjoy some shopping or explore the historical sites of Mughal Delhi.
Proceed to the airport for flight home / next destination. 

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