Untamed India

The very name evokes a picture of a land untamed, raw and powerful. A land that over the centuries has harbored countless mavericks from the Great Mughals to Marharajas of Rajasthan and self-styled rulers of the wild including the Royal Bengal Tiger.

Embark on this classic journey exploring the Mughal Highlights, including the fabled Taj Mahal, we then continue to Chambal Sanctuary which is veritable heaven for Ghariyals, Crocodiles, Turtles and the Gangetic Dolphins a Bird watchers paradise, proceed to the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, one of the best bird watching locations in India then a train journey to Ranthambore National Park presenting electrifying encounter with the Royal Bengal Tiger, heading towards the Maharajas Pink City-Jaipur before finishing our journey in bustling Capital city of New Delhi.

Route: Delhi-Agra-Chambal-Bharatpur-Ranthambore-Jaipur-Delhi.
Best Time: Mid October to Mid March.
Duration: 12 days.

Day 1:
Leave your country for New Delhi.

Day 2: Arrive Delhi:
Assistance on arrival and transfer to the Pre-booked hotel. After breakfast a guided tour of Old Delhi (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. VISIT Red Fort, Jama Masjid Mosque & Humayuns tomb. Breakfast and 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 3: Delhi – Agra (drive 247kms/5hrs).
After early breakfast, we drive to Agra, with the stunning Taj Mahal epitomizing the outstanding architecture of the Mughals. The earliest reference to Agra can be found in the epic Mahabharata where it is referred to as the Agravana. It was in the medieval period, however, that Agra rose to prominence as the capital of the Mughals when the city was beautified with gardens, water falls, bathhouses and canals, after check in at the hotel for overnight stay, we proceed to visit India’s most celebrated monument the Taj Mahal, built as a monument of eternal love by Shah Jahan to the bride Mumtaz, the Taj Mahal looks amazingly graceful from almost any angle. It was built over a period of 20 years by 20,000 laborers and craftsmen and displays superb craftsmanship. The close up details of the Taj Mahal is as exquisite as the overall architectural design, with semi-precious stones and beautiful patterns covering the marble surface. RED Fort, Akbar began Agra Fort in 1565, with additions of the citadel being made through to the time of Akbar’s grandson, Shah Jahan (Kind of the World). 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), it also has a nice grape garden, beautiful fountain ways. Evening free, to relax by the pool. Breakfast and overnight in hotel.

Day 4, Agra-Chambal ( drive 60kms/2hrs),
After leisurely breakfast we drive to Chambal National Park, situated on the Chambal river, Arrive and check in at the Chambal Resort. Afternoon we take a guided boat trip in the river to see the Gangatic Dolphins, Ghariyal, crocodiles, turtles, the Bird life is amazing, one can easily spot the Indian Skimmer, Thick knee, comb ducks, Brahamni ducks, Bar-headed Goose, spoonbill, Heron, Kingfishers, Fishing eagles, Flamingo, Pelican, Carmorant and partridge, return to the resort. All meals and overnight in resort.

Day 5, Chambal:
Early morning Boat trip to see birds and other wildlife, we will have packed breakfast with us to enjoy all morning in the wild. Return back to Resort for Wash and Lunch.

Day 6, Chambal-Bharatpur( drive about 105kms/3hrs):
Early morning Boat trip to see birds and other wildlife, return to the resort for breakfast and then Proceed to Bharatpur. On the way we visit the deserted sandstone buildings of Fatehpur Sikri. In Bharatpur we stay in a delightful Heritage hotel. Afternoon visit to the Park in Cycle Rickshaws with Naturalist. Breakfast in local restaurant and overnight in hotel.

The wetlands of Keoladeo present a scene of raucous calm. Once the hunting preserve of the Bharatpur royalty, this exceptional ecosystem is now one of the finest bird sanctuaries on planet Earth, which has been declared a Ramsar Site, as well as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Keoladeo National Park was previously known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and lies 174 km from Delhi and only 50 km from Agra. If Taj Mahal is “rhapsody in marble” then definitely Keoladeo is a “ballad of birds”. Located at the confluence of Gambhir and Banganga rivers and spread over 29km2 of shallow lakes and woodlands, Keoladeo National Park provides shelter to over 300 avian species, particularly during winter when the resident numbers multiply as a result of migrants. The freshwater swamp with the picturesque Kadam trees, stands of Acacia and profuse aquatic vegetation, is a habitat of various living organisms, which serve as food for the different species of animals. Two-thirds of the birds listed in Keoladeo are land birds while one-third of the species are water birds. Pintails, teals, mallards, pochards, geese, coots, storks, curlews and sandpipers can be seen in the lake; the heronry at Keoladeo is indeed one of the finest in the world, with 14 species nesting and breeding in the Park. The woodlands and pastures are alive with the gambolling of bulbuls, babblers, sunbirds, sparrows, parakeets and orioles, while the skies are set on fire by the birds of prey like the eagles, hawks, harriers, falcons, buzzards and vultures. However the rarest bird, which visits Keoladeo National Park from faraway Siberia is the globally threatened Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus); in fact these wetlands are the only wintering area of the western population of this beautiful, endangered bird. But all is not “feather and crow” in Keoladeo. Non-feathered members of this largely feathered fraternity are mammals such as the Wild Boar, Sambar, Nilgai, Chital, Mongoose, Otter, three species of wild cats, Civets, Jackals and also the gigantic Rock Pythons that live beyond the Temple of Keoladeo in the heart of the Park.

Day 7, Bharatpur – Ranthambhore National Park (train).
Early morning visit to the Park and take boat ride (this is not guaranteed and will depend upon water level in the wetland area). Return to hotel for breakfast, and then afternoon transfer to the railway station for express train to Ranthambhore National Park. Arrive ranthambore and transfer to the Jungle Resort for 03 nights. Dinner and overnight in resort.

Ranthambhore National Park is an awesome reminder of the great jungles that once clothed Central India; its horizon marked by a thousand-year-old fort, which stands in stoic silence, keeping eternal vigil over the magnificent forests sprawled in its shadow. This fort was once the centre of a Hindu kingdom and bears the scars of several wars and military sieges. The 400km2 Ranthambhore National Park famous for its tigers was the hunting ground of the Kachhwaha rulers of Jaipur and has a rich plant and animal life. Its dry deciduous jungles were amongst the first nine National Parks to be brought under Project Tiger in 1973. Some 450 species of plants provide sustenance to its herbivores that are hunted for food by the carnivores, thus keeping the circle of life in motion. The 22 species of mammals listed here include the Leopard, Sloth Bear, Hyena, Jungle Cat, Caracal, Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Indian Hare, Wild Boar and Mongoose besides its prime attraction – the Royal Bengal Tiger. Nearly 300 species of birds have been recorded here and the Park’s avifauna includes – Painted Stork, Black Stork, White-necked Stork, Spoonbill, Bonelli’s Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Grey Partridge, Painted Partridge, Sandgrouse, Spurfowl, Common Peafowl, Pheasant-tailed Jaçana, Great Indian Horned Owl, Indian Treepie, Paradise Flycatcher, and Stork-billed Kingfisher among others. Prehistoric looking Marsh Crocodiles can be seen in and around the lakes that dot the rugged countryside of this extraordinary National Park and more than a dozen varieties of reptiles are found in the forests of Ranthambhore.

Day 8, Ranthambhore Jeep safari.
Early morning and evening jeep safari to view wildlife with Naturalist. Afternoon visit to the Fort or just relax by the pool. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight in Resort. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight in hotel.

Day 9, Ranthambhore Jeep safari.
Early morning and evening jeep safari to view wildlife with Naturalist. Afternoon visit to the Fort or just relax by the pool. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight in Resort. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight in hotel.

Day 10, Ranthambhore – Jaipur – Delhi (drive/train).
Early morning jeep safari: after breakfast drive to Jaipur about 3hrs. Arrive and stay overnight in delightful heritage hotel.

Day 11, Jaipur-Delhi ( Drive about 250kms/5hrs):
After early breakfast we proceed with our local guide to visit the Hawa Mahal (the Palace of Winds) and the City Palace. And continue to Delhi, journey bringing us first to the 16th Century fortress at Amber, Ascent the fort by painted Elephant, after visiting the Fort we drive to Delhi. Arrive Delhi where we will have few rooms for wash and change at the Orchid Hotel. After dinner transfer to the airport.

Day 12, Departure:
Early morning fly back to London.