Thanks to a vast variation in geography and climate, India has exciting diversity in habitats and wildlife with nearly 350 mammals, 2100 species of birds and thousands of fish and reptiles. Of the highly endangered species, India has 55% of world’s tiger population, 50% of Asiatic Elephant, 60% of One-horned Rhino and 100% of Asiatic Lion. Unlike Africa where all major species have almost exclusive habitats, in India, they co-exist in the wildlife parks providing excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Welcome to India. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel, Get a taste of Indian hospitality while you enter the hotel by the hotel staff. You will experience the traditional Indian welcome, whilst you complete the check-in procedures. We realise that our guest will be tired and jet lagged by a long journey, so the first day is for you to relax and get acclimatised to the surrounding.
Overnight in New Delhi
After breakfast commence your full day tour of Delhi. Delhi with its Old and New parts — each with its specific charm and glory — makes a very interesting city for its sustenance to medieval and modern cultures at the same time and space. While Old Delhi, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in the 17th century, still retains its medieval character to a great extent and almost indubitably reminds one of the crowded old towns of the Middle East; New Delhi is like any other modern city with tall buildings and massive shopping complex. This morning you will be taken to visit the medieval Jama Mosque followed by a walking tour of traditional businesses of Old Delhi (market is closed on Sundays)– exploring centuries old arts and crafts with businessmen belonging to the 6th or 7th generation of the men who first started them. You will visit a marvellous old-fashioned shop where you can test Indian perfume (attar) from cutglass bottles. You will saunter through the main bridal street of Old Delhi, Kinari Bazaar, with its dazzling display of embroidered silk wedding sarees, beautiful bangles and colourful turbans for the bridegroom. The Khari Baoli is all about spices - here, rice and dal, dry fruits, nuts and saffron dealers have traded for more than 150 years. The smell of the spices will remain with you even after you have left the market. In this experience, if you are lucky you will also be introduced to the art of pigeon flying by a kabootar baz (pigeon fancier).
Later in the afternoon you will be taken to explore New Delhi – including Humayun’s Tomb, Qutab Minar and drive past Lutyens’ Delhi.
Humayun's Tomb is another magnificent Mughal building built in 1565-66 and set in a square enclosed garden. This finely proportioned structure in red sandstone and marble served later as a model for the Taj Mahal. Dominating the ruins of the earliest existing settlement of Delhi is the city's famous landmark - the Qutab Minar. This imposing victory tower (73m) has five storeys, each
marked by intricately carved projections or balconies. Elaborately carved pillars embellish the courtyard of a nearby mosque. At the centre of the courtyard is the amazing Iron Pillar (4th-5th century A.D.), which has not rusted through the centuries. The interesting buildings of Lutyens’ Delhi are the India Gate, the Rashtrapati Bhawan (President's House) and Parliament House.
Overnight in New Delhi
This morning you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to airport to board your flight to Nagpur. On arrival in Nagpur you will be driven (5 hours) to Kanha. Kanha is one the largest national parks in India extending over 1945 sq. km. of undulating country, which includes a core area of 940 sq. km. Elevations range from 450 to 900 meters. The setting of Kipling's 'Jungle Book', it is a beautiful area of forest and lightly wooded grassland with many rivers and streams, and it supports an excellent variety of wildlife. Kanha Tiger Reserve was created in the core area of the park under the Project Tiger programme in 1974.
Kanha has some 22 species of mammals. The most easily spotted are the stripped palm squirrel,common langur, jackal, wild pig, chital or spotted deer, barasingha or swamp deer, sambhar and black buck. Less commonly seen species are Tiger, Indian hare, dhole or Indian wild dog, barking deer and Indian bison or gaur. Other animals found in the park are Indian fox, sloth bear, striped hyena, jungle cat, panther, mouse deer, four-horned antelope, porcupine and wolf. Kanha has some 200 species of birds. Bird-watchers should station themselves in the hills where the mixed and bamboo forests harbour many species. Water birds can be seen near the park's many rivulets and at Sarvantal, a pool that is frequented by water birds. Early mornings and late afternoons are best for bird-watching. The commonly seen species of birds include cattle egret, pond heron, black ibis, common peafowl, crested serpent eagle, racket-tailed drongo, and hawk eagle, various species of fly-catchers, woodpecker, pigeon, dove, parakeet, babbler, mynah, Indian roller, white-breasted kingfisher and grey hornbill.
Overnight in Kanha
This morning you will be collected from your hotel and driven to Bandhavgarh National Park (6hours). On arrival in Bandhavgarh you will check into your hotel. The rest of the day may be spent in leisure.Prior to becoming a National Park, the forests around Bandhavgarh were maintained as the game preserve of the royal family of Rewa and hunting was carried out by the Maharajas and their guests. It was as late as 1968 that special conservation measures were taken and Bandhavgarh wasdeclared a National Park. Set amidst the Vindhyanchal ranges, the park covers an area of 437 sq.km. and has a series of ridges running through it. About half of the Park is covered with fine standsof Sal, while mixed forests are found in the higher reaches of the hills. Stretches of bamboo andgrasslands are found throughout. The main view area is still in the core of the park with its 32 picturesque wooded hills.
Within the limits of the Park are also interesting cave shrines scattered all-over. An ancient fort upon a precipice, 800 metres high, dominates the Park. In fact, Bandhavgarh’s history goes back 2000 years in time and the earliest signs of habitation can be seen in the caves excavated from the cliffs to the north of the fort. Brahmi script inscriptions here date back to the 1st century BC.
There are more than 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds. Common langurs and rhesus macaque represent the primate group. Carnivores include the Asiatic Jackal, Bengal Fox, Sloth Bear, Ratel, Grey Mongoose, Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat, Leopard and Tiger. The artiodactyls frequently sighted are Wild Boar, Spotted Deer, Sambhar, Nilgai, Chinkara and Gaur. Among theherbivores, Gaur is the only coarse feeder.The vegetation along streams and marshes is rich in bird-life. The common ones are little Grebe, Egret, Lesser Adjutant, Sarus Crane, Black Ibis, Lesser Whistling Teal, White-eyed Buzzard, BlackKite, Crested Serpent Eagle, Black Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Common Peafowl, Red Jungle Fowl.Dove, Parakeet, Kingfisher and Indian Roller.
Reptilian fauna include Cobra, Krait, Viper, Rat snake, Python, Turtle and a number of lizard species.
Overnight in Bandhavgarh
Early this morning and in the afternoon you will be taken inside the jungle for game drives. The
rest of the day may be spent in leisure.
Overnight in Bandhavgarh
Another day to explore the park in morning and afternoon game drives. The rest of the day may
be spent in leisure.
Overnight in Bandhavgarh
This morning you will be collected from your hotel and driven to Panna (4.5 hours).Later in the afternoon you will be taken for a game drive inside the national park. Lying along the river Ken, Panna National Park contains large areas of un-spoilt forest and a variety of wildlife spread over almost 543 sq. km. The tiger can be glimpsed here, though rarely, with other rare species such as the leopard, wolf and gharial. Herds of bluebells, chinkara and sambhar are a
Overnight in Panna
Today early in the morning you will be taken once again inside the jungle for game drive. In the afternoon you will be taken to visit the world famous temple of Khajuraho. Once the capital of great Chandela rulers, Khajuraho, today, is a quiet village of only few thousand people. In these temples, the sculptures have shown many aspects of Indian life 1000 years ago — gods and goddesses, warriors and musicians, real and mythological animals. Khajuraho's temples almost all date from one century-long burst of creative genius from 950-1050 AD. Basically all temples follow a three-part layout. You enter the temple through a porch (Ardhamandapa). Behind this is the hall (Mahamandapa), supported with pillars and with a corridor around it. The inner sanctum (Garbhagriha) is where the image of the god, to which the temple is dedicated, is displayed. The temples are almost all aligned east to west, with the entrance facing
east. Most of the temples are made of sandstone. The temples can be divided into three groups: Western, Eastern and Southern. Of these, the Western Group is the most impressive.
Overnight in Khajuraho
After a leisurely morning, you will be driven (3.5 hrs) hours to Jhansi railway station for your train to Agra (Shatabdi Express; 1755/ 2025 hrs). En route you may visit Orchha for its temples and palaces. Orchha is a city frozen in time. It was founded by Bundela Chieftain, Raja Rudra Pratap in the 16th century, who chose this stretch of land along the Betwa River as an ideal site for his capital. Heand the succeeding rulers of Orchha built many beautiful palaces and temples in the 16th and 17th century. Today, remains of the fort and palaces speak eloquently of Orchha’s time of glory. Though little more than a village, stepping back in time into Orchha’s history is an enjoyable experience. On arrival in Agra you will be received at the railway station and taken to your hotel.
Overnight in Agra
Built in the early 16th century and the capital of mighty Mughals for a long time, Agra is famous for its beautiful monuments of the medieval times. The city was pampered by the Mughals for more than two centuries - an evidence of which is spread all over the city in form of various structures constructed during those days. However, with the fall of the mighty Mughals, Agra became a victim of rebels' assertion of power and the city suffered a series of plunders by the unruly rebellious forces. Today you will be taken to explore Agra – visiting Agra Fort and Taj Mahal at sunset. Many of the events which led to the construction of the Taj took place in the famous Agra Fort. Begun by Emperor Akbar in 1565, additions continued to be made until the time of his grandson Shah Jehan. The magnificent palaces, towers, bastions, ramparts and gateways symbolise the power of the mighty Mughals. Made mostly of red sandstone it is strikingly similar to the Red Fort in Delhi. The Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays) has been described as a 'tear on the face of eternity' and as an enduring monument of love. The unique beauty of Taj Mahal is blended with grandeur and its massive over-all design is matched with immaculately intricate execution. Built by Mughal Emperor Shan Jehan in the memory of his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal complex took 22 years to be completed and is today counted among the Seven Wonders of the World. It is particularly stunning at the time sunset.
Overnight in Agra
This morning you will be driven to Jaipur (4 hours drive) – en route visit the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri was built by great Mughal Emperor Akbar in the 16th century to serve as the capital of his vast empire. Although Akbar had many wives, he did not have an heir, which led him to many holy men and finally to the renowned Sufi Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti, who lived in an isolated cave near Sikri. The saint blessed Akbar and soon a son was born to him. The grateful emperor named his son Salim after the saint, erected the grand Jami Mosque near the saint's dwelling and vowed to build a great city on that place. Thus emerged the great city of Fatehpur Sikri, a citadel of grand courts, palaces, mosques and gardens that rivalled the splendours of Delhi and Agra. However, destiny had other things in store for the city. Shortage of water and un-rest in the north-west madeAkbar abandon the city only 13 years later. Today, even after the passage of 400 years, the magnificence of this royal city has not faded and remains immaculately preserved. After visiting Fatehpur Sikri you will continue your drive to Jaipur and check into your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight in Jaipur
Start the day with a visit to the milk market where large quantities of milk is procured from individual sellers and then resold to whole buyers. Enjoy the interesting ways by which the buyers judge the purity of milk and negotiate the prices. Afterwards continue to Amber Fort – one of the more fascinating of Indian forts. It was the ancient capital of the erstwhile Jaipur state. Its construction began in 16th century and was subsequently added on to by successive rulers. Inside the fort, the places worth visiting are the Palace of Mirrors, inlaid with millions of tiny glistening mirrors, the hall of Public Audience and the beautiful manicured gardens. Continue to visit the City Palace, Jantar Mantar (medieval observatory) and drive past Hawa Mahal (palace of winds). The City Palace is situated in the heart of the city. The whole complex is wonderfully laid out with large courtyards, balconies, cupolas, arched entrances and gardens, which are a combination of Rajput and Mughal architecture. The museum here displays the rich heritage of the Jaipur family in miniature paintings, textiles, garments, books & manuscripts, carpets, palanquins and weapons dating back to the 15th century. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II had a passion for astronomy which led him to build five astronomical observatories in India at Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi, Mathura and Delhi. The observatory at Jaipur, built in 1728, is the largest and best preserved of them. The observatory has curious collection of sculptures which enable the calculation of many astronomical and astrological events like eclipses etc. Each of these structures was built after relentless study of books, manuscripts and discussions with scholars from all over the world. Even today they are put to good work.
Built in 1799 Hawa Mahal or the palace of winds is one of the landmarks of Jaipur city, although it is little more than a façade. It is a five-storey building in pink, built to enable the women of the harem to see the activities of the outside world without being seen. Tonight you will be hosted a Farewell Dinner.
Overnight in Jaipur
Today you will be collected from your hotel (Check-out before 12 Noon) and be driven (5 hours) to Delhi’s International airport reaching in time to board your flight to onward destination with a bunch of enthralling and mesmerizing memories of your tour.
Yes. All Zigi Tour’s guests are required to purchase travel insurance prior to their India tour. Your leader will record your insurance details on the first day.We have negotiated very special rates with our colleagues at Holiday Extras – with no upper age limits and no medical declaration for UK tours.
To obtain a quotation simply call them on 0800 2800 104 – Please ensure you quote our special price code Q4228
Unfortunately pollution is a global phenomenon. It is advisable to carry dust masks if you are sensitive to dust or may have conditions like asthma, etc.
They’re an incredibly effective way of stopping diarrhoea and preventing dysentery (Delhi Belly). It quickly absorbs the toxins or pathogens that are causing the problem and keeps you strong.
A pouch to keep your personal belongings like passports, loose money, personal medications, Photo ID, etc. is strongly recommended.
India is a place of endless eye candy and spectacles that you won’t see anywhere else. Naturally a camera comes in handy.
We provide complimentary mineral filtered water for our tours. It is strongly advised to consume only packaged drinking water or carry water purification tablets.
It is important to carry international travel adapters to charge your electronic items such as laptops , phones, toothbrush, tablets, etc
It is important to stay hydrated. Electrolytes can be easily added to a bottle of water to get an extra boost of hydration.
A good sunscreen is strongly advised to protect your skin from tropical weather.
Travel back pack comes in handy whilst you are on a day tour or just venturing out. It can be stored to keep your belongings such as camera, tablet, water bottle, snacks, etc