Rajasthan - A wildlife Adventure

Rajasthan is not just the “Land of Kings and Forts”, but home to rich and wide variety of mammals and birds, which is unfolded through out this fascinating journey.

Focus: Bird/ Mammals/ Taj Mahal, People, Forts and Palaces.
Highlight: Demoiselle cranes (Anthropoides virgo) & Bishnoi Village
Best Time: November through to February.
Duration : 15 days.

Programme: Delhi/ Agra/ Bharatpur/ Ranthambore/ Jodhpur/ Kheechan/ Jodhpur/Narlai/ Uadipur/ Delhi.

Day 1: Arrive Delhi.
Assistance on arrival with garland welcome and transfer to the Pre-booked hotel. Morning free to re-charge. Afternoon Old Delhi Tour (half day) : Shah Jahan founded the city of Shahjanabad, now referred to as Old Delhi, in 1648. The famous Red Fort in the heart of Old Delhi was once the most opulent fort of the Mughal Empire and it boasts the Diwan-I-Am, Hall of Private Audience. Opposite the fort is the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in the world, built by Shah Jahan to dominate his city. Breakfast & Overnight in Hotel.

DELHI: Perhaps there is no other capital city in the world so steeped in history and legend as the Indian capital, Delhi. It was the magnet that drew the Mongols, Turks, Persians, Afghans, Mughals and Finally the British. All of whom contributed to its glorious but turbulent history. The fascination with Delhi was such that even though it was abandoned many times, its rulers returned to it again and again rebuilding it at least seven times.

Day 2: Delhi/ Agra/( Train)- Bharatpur drive. (About 2hrs).
Very early morning transfer to the railways station for Shatabdi express to Agra ( breakfast on board). Arrive Agra and visit to India’s most celebrated monument the Taj Mahal, built as a monument of eternal love by Shah Jahan to the bride Mumtaz. Also vsiit RED Fort, The forts have fine views of the Taj across the River Yamuna, and consists of Deewani – Aam(hall of public ordnances) and Deewan- Khass (the hall of Private ordnances).

After lunch in local restaurant we drive 2 hrs to Bharatpur’s wetland ( one of the best bird watching location in the world). The first birds to arrive from the hills of North India are herons, flowed by egrets, cormorants, ibis, spoonbills and strok, then the winter migrants from the Arctic tundra and western Siberia- numerous species of ducks, geese, coots, eagles, harriers, cranes and waders. Seven of the world’s seventeen species of stork are found here, the most numerous and eye-catching being the painted stork.
Arrive Bharatpur and stay in hotel for 2 nights.

Day 3: Bharatpur :
Early morning and evening we take a cycle rickshaw ride with resident naturalist through the park. Breakfast and overnight in hotel.

Day 4: Bharatpur- Ranthambore National Park ( by Train):
Early morning visit to the park, return to hotel for late breakfast, after breakfast time free until afternoon train to Ranthambore National park. Arrive Ranthambore assistance on arrival and transfer to the jungle camp or resort. Dinner and overnight in hotel/camp.

Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is situated in Rajasthan at the eastern end of Aravalli range. The rolling hills; dry dhok forest and tranquil lakes, decorated with the crumbling ruins of numerous temples and a hilltop fort, epitomize all the princely splendor of this famous Rajput state. The reserve also offers one of the best opportunities for seeing Tiger during the day, as well as many other mammals, including Leopard, Sloth Bear, Rhesus Macaque, Common Langur, Nilgai, Indian Gazelle (Chinkara), Wild Boar, Jackal, Spotted and Barking Deer, Samber and Marsh Mugger Crocodiles. The bird life here is also superb, particularly around the lakes. All meals and overnight in camp/resort.

Day 5 and Day 6, Ranthambore – Game viewing
Morning and evening game viewing by open jeep with knowledgeable resident guide. Day is spent free or visit to Ranthamboire Fort frome where you will have fine views of the Park . Breakfast, lunch, dinner & over night in Deluxe tents.

Day 7, Ranthambore to Jodhpur ( by Train).
Morning Game viewing then return to hotelk for breakfats and Lunch. After lunch transfer to railways station for inter-city express, leaving at 1440hrs. Arrive Jodhpur at 2255hrs. Assistance on arrival and transfer to hotel for 2nights.

At the entrance of the Thar Desert in the region called Marwas stands the blue city of Jodhpur. The massive Mehrangarh Fortlooms over the city and the Red sandstone Palaces within the fort form one of the most impressive complexes in Rajasthan. Its museum contains sections which house armory, palanquins, howdahs and headgear from all the communities of Rajasthan. Life in the city revolves around the Clock Tower area, a haven for shoppers, selling everything from the leather mojris (shoes) to ornamental swords fashioned after designs seen in the fort museum.

Day 8, Jodhpur.
After leisurely breakfasts we visit the impressive Mehrangarh Fort. Afternoon we take a delightful jeep ride to Bishnoi Village, Bishnoi’s are perhaps the most remarkable of the desert people, members of a sect which believes in complete non-violence to all living organisms: they are the primary reason that desert wildlife still exists on the subcontinent. The women of the community have been known to brest-feed black bucks fawns, while many of the men have died in their efforts to counter armed poaching ganges. It is remarkable how desert wildlife thrives around Bishnoi settlements. Return to hotel. Breakfast and overnight in hotel.

Day 9, Jodhpur- Kheechan ( drive about 125kms/3hrs).
After breakfats we drive through Thar desert to Kheechan village where people feed thousands of Demoiselle crans between September to March, right in the center of the Thar Desert. Our two nights stay will be in Lallgarh Niwas, a simple 10 room hotel with en-suite facilities.

Day 10, Kheechan.
Very early morning visit to the village of Kheechan ( about 5kms from our hotel), to see the winter visitor to the desert, its breeding grounds stretching from southeast Europe to Mongolia. It is the smallest of the five crane species found in India and is dark gray with white ear tufts behind its bright crimson eyes.

In Kheechan, a chugga ghar, or feeding home, stores the grain used to feed the cranes. The high- pitched calls of the birds at first light are the signal for one of the village men to scatter grain all over the area. Soon the sky darkness as thousands of demsiselle cranes arrive to feast, often less then 5 mts from the village folk with whom they have established a bond of trust over decades. Thousands of demoiselle cranes spend more then half the year around these sand dunes in the center of Thar Desert. They are regularly fed by the people of the village nearby who consider them a symbol of good fortune. After spending all morning watching these magnificent birds, we spend time in the village, meet village people who are very welcoming, evening return back to hotel for overnight.

Day 11, Kheechan to Narlai ( about 265kms/7hrs).
After breakfats we take a long journey through Rajastani villages to our overnight stay in beautiful charming village of Narlai, here our stay will be in a delightful atmospheric Rajasthani Haveli Hotel- Rawla Narlai, all rooms are decorated in Rajasthan style and offers fine views of a huge beautiful roak. Breakfats and overnight in hotel.

Day 12, Narlai- Udaipur ( 140kms/3hrs).
After leisurely breakfast ,We start our day with a short drive through the beautiful Aravali hills to the romantic lake city of Udaipur. Set on the shores of Lake Pichola and surrounded by hills, Udaipur grew in complete contrast to the harsh deserts of the rest of Rajasthan. As capital of the old Mewar state it was the only Rajput stronghold to uphold its Hindu allegiance in the face of Muslim invasion. From the late 16th century, peace brought about an era of renaissance in the arts and encouraged the building of beautiful palaces around the lake, culminating, in the City Palace, one of the largest palace complexes in the world. The lake itself is a romantic setting surrounding the gleaming white Lake Palace and the Jag Mandir, a refugee of the rebel Mughal prince, Shah Jahan, soon to be the creator of the incomparable Taj Mahal. We arrive at our delightful heritage hotel, and have plenty of time to relax in the garden and / or swimming pool. Our afternoon is free to visit the local bazaar or go boating on Lake Pichola. Breakfast and overnight in hotel.

Day 13, Udaipur:
After breakfast full day visit to City Palace – the largest palace complex in Rajasthan, comprising many buildings added at different time by various maharajas. Perhaps the most beautiful are the Moti Mahal with its mirror inlay and the Chini ka Chitra Mahal’s iridescent tile work. At the nearby, Jagdish Temple, there is an impressively carved image of Lord Vishnu, to whom the temple is dedicated. A boat ride around Lake Pichola offers spectacular views of the city. The City Palace towers over the lake and you will also see the merchant’s havelis, temples, the royal hunting lodge and the exquisite Gul Mahal Pavilion on Jag Mandir Island. Having disembarked, you continue to the ornamental gardens of the Maids of Honor or Sahelion ki Bari. Evening free. Breakfast and overnight in hotel.

Day 14, Udaipur- Delhi ( fly).
After breakfast transfer to the airport for flight back to Delhi, Arrive Delhi and transfer to the airport hotel where we will have access to Day room ( for wash and Change). After dinner transfer to the airport.

Day 15, Departure:
Early morning fly back.