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Central Himalayan Safari

Camping, Trek, Rafting, Safari and Yoga in the Kumaon Himalayas
Duration: 13 nights and 14 days
Best Time: mid March to mid-June
Nature of excursion: moderate
Tour Code: HIM07

ITINERARY
Day 1: Delhi
Day 2: Agra
Day 3: Delhi SatTal
Day 4: Sat Tal to Abbott Mount
Day 5: Rafting on Saryu and Mahakali
Day 6: Abbott Mount to Jageshwar
Day 7: Jageshwar
Day 8: Jageshwar to Pangot
Day 9: Pangot to Kunjkharak Trek
Day 10: Kunjkharak to Akashkhanda Trek
Day 11: Akashkhanda to Kumeria Trek
Day 12: Corbett Tiger Reserve
Day 13: Corbett to Delhi
Day 14: Departure

Highlights

A multi faceted Himalayan tour
Sightseeing in Delhi
Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri
Spectacular Himalayan views and experiences
Exploration of a range of areas and habitats. Mountains, lakes, forests, Kumaoni villages and wildlife reserves.
Birding and wildlife opportunities
Fishing, rafting, trekking, rappelling, rock climbing and yoga
Unique architecture
Variety of cuisines
Soft adventure

Description
This multi faceted tour gives you a taste of some iconic experiences India has to offer. A visit to India's capital city, Delhi and the world renowned Taj Mahal in Agra. It aims to provide a glimpse of the natural, architectural, historical and cultural sights of Himalayan India. You get to explore a range of areas and habitats like mountains, lakes, forests, Kumaoni villages and wildlife reserves nestled in the rich and diverse Himalayan region too.

We start with the capital Delhi where you spend the first night. You can opt for a guided tour to see the famous architectural gems of the Mughal or British times or enjoy the array of cuisines and cosmopolitan experiences it offers.

Iconic Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri visit comes next as we take you to Agra on a lovely train ride.Next we take you to explore the magnificent beauty and diversity Himalayas offer. We start with camping and birding at the foothills of Himalayas. Sat Tal, which literally means 'Seven Lakes' in Hindi, has lovely views, options for strolls or treks in the woods or butterfly watching. It is a perfect destination to unwind. You can also enjoy fishing or a boat ride on the serene lake. Thrill seekers can indulge in rappelling and rock climbing here too.

We move on to the historic hamlet of Abbott Mount next. It was founded by and named after Mr. John Harold Abbott, an English businessman who wanted to develop a hill station for the European community in the 20th century.

There are only thirteen secluded cottages spreads over this private hill. There is a picturesque church set amidst the forest and an ancient cricket pitch with an unsurpassed view of the mountains. This is an ideal destination to relax and connect with nature. Long walks in the woods, reading a book as you sip tea in the sprawling lawns, spotting birds chirping in the foliage or enjoying the lovely meals provided in this quaint 100 year old lodge. It is a perfect mountain break.

For those seeking an adventure, we take you thrilling rafting experience from Rameshwar to Pancheshwar on river Saryu very close to Abbot Mount.Next we take you to explore Jageshwar's ancient 8th -12th century Shiva temples. Counted among the 12 Jyotirlings in the country, Jageshwar lies in a beautiful narrow valley hedged by monarch-sized, ancient deodars. Exquisite ancient ruins, beautiful Himalayan vistas, gurgling stream nearby, Jageshwar offers a spiritual retreat. With morning Yoga sessions and options for massage as well, you can choose to soak in the spiritual energy of this holy area or go for hikes in the surrounding woods. A picnic on the cool riverside is also a very enticing option.

The birding paradise of Pangot is next on our list. The entire drive to Pangot is mostly through the forested area of Cheena Peak Range via Snow View Point and Kilbury, the main habitats for wildlife. The stay at a quaint eco-lodge called Jungle Lore Birding Lodge, is also a highlight of this sleepy hamlet. The spectacular views and warm hospitality adds to the charm of the experience. You can enjoy birding or a trek with our guide. You can hope to see Blue Whistling Thrush, Red-Billed Blue Magpie, Blue-Capped Redstart, Streaked Laughing Thrush, Grey-Backed Shrike, Yellow-Breasted Green Finch etc.

The next two days are spent trekking in the Kumaon hills to Corbett. This forest trek has an altitudinal variation of 450 m to 2500 m. Highly recommended for beginners, this is a moderate trek through beautiful natural surroundings.

From Vinayak to Kumeria via Kunjkharak and Akashkhanda, with spectacular views of the icy Himalayas, you hike along old pony trails. Starting from the bank of the Kosi River, this trek leads through dense broadleaf forests rich in wildlife. On a clear day you get spectacular views of Nanda Ghunti (20,700 ft) and Trishul (23,360 ft). Huge rocks in forested ridges make it a good place to sight high altitude birds like Lammergeier, Himalayan and Eurasian Griffon.

Other raptors you may see are Tawny Eagle, Steppe Eagle and Kestrel. Dominated by oak, chestnut and rhododendron, this area is a riot of red when in bloom.

You pass through small Kumaoni villages, where you can see simple hill folks indulge in their everyday household chores, thrashing wheat or taking their sheep for grazing. Beautiful local architecture, slate and mud houses, carved doors and windows make very interesting photo opportunities. You can choose to stay at such a traditional house or tented camps or forest bungalows. Spending time chatting with these friendly villagers, hearing their music, sharing their food is an unforgettable experience.

Once you reach Kumeria we take you to the last destination, the famous Corbett Tiger Reserve. Enjoy jeep safaris or an elephant ride for tiger and other wildlife viewing. Enjoy birding around the area early in the morning as you spend two nights at the quaint Tiger camp resort. Corbett is a popular retreat for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. It provides a great opportunity for viewing wildlife, especially the tiger in its natural habitat. The main wildlife animals found in the Corbett National Park include the Tiger, Elephant, Chital, Sambar, Nilgai, Gharial, King Cobra, Muntjac, Wild Boar, Hedgehog, Common Musk Shrew, Flying Fox, Indian Pangolin and nearly 600 species of birds.

Driving back to Delhi at the end of two weeks, you would have seen some of unforgettable natural, architectural, historical and cultural sites that India has to offer.

ITINERARY

Day 01: Delhi
Meals: On your own
Arrival in Delhi. You will be met and transferred to your hotel. Time permitting, you may opt for a guided tour of Old or New Delhi. Overnight in a hotel.

Day 02: Day Excursion to Agra
Meals: Breakfast in train, lunch in Agra and packed dinner
You will be met at 0500 hours and transferred to the station to connect to the morning train to Agra at 0615 hours. Arrive Agra at 0810 hours. Full day guided tour of Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. Connect to the evening train from Agra back to Delhi at 1855, arriving at 2200 hours. You will be met at the train car and transferred to the hotel. Overnight stay in a hotel.

Day 03: Delhi-Sat Tal
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Drive from Delhi to Sat Tal (6 hours). The last 30 km drive from Kathgodam is through the hills, the main habitats for excellent birding. Go for a short trek with our guide for birding or opt for a boat ride in Sat Tal lake or if you are an angler enjoy fishing in the lake. Overnight in Sat Tal Birding Camp.

Day 04: Sat Tal-Abbott Mount
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Enjoy rappelling and rock climbing this morning in Sat Tal. Drive to Abbott Mount (6 hr.). Visit Mayawati Ashram, the headquarters of Adwait Ashram, it was sanctified by Swami Vivekanand and is also known for its charming surroundings. Overnight stay in Abbott Mount Cottage.

Day 05: Abbott Mount
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Drive to Rameshwar (1.5 hours). Rafting from Rameshwar to Pancheshwar in Saryu river ending in a confluence of Mahakali and Saryu. Overnight stay in Abbott Mount Cottage.

Day 06: Abbott Mount-Jageshwar
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Drive to Jageshwar (3 hr.) via Almora. A guided tour of Jageshwar and Dandeshwar group of temples. Overnight stay in Van Serai.

Day 07: Jageshwar
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Morning session of Yoga and option for a massage. Day free to visit Vriddh Jageshwar or go for a short hike. Overnight stay.

Day 08: Jageshwar-Pangot
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Drive from Jageshwar to Pangot (6 hours) via Almora and Nainital.
The last part of the drive is through the forested area of Cheena Peak Range via Snow View Point and Kilbury, the main habitats for wildlife. Overnight in Jungle Lore Birding Lodge.

Day 09: Trek
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Vinayak to Kunjkharak (16 km); Time: 5 hrs; Level: Easy Overnight at a fully serviced camp.

Day 10: Trek
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Kunjkharak to Akashkhanda; Time: 6 hours; Level: Easy We camp for the night at Akashkhanda (1600 m).

Day 11: Trek to Corbett National Park
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Akashkhanda to Kumeria Time: 8 hours Level: Moderate
We pick you up at the end of the trek and take you to Tiger Camp for overnight stay in comfortable cottages.

Day 12: Corbett Tiger Reserve
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Early morning drive to the jungle for bird watching and wildlife viewing. The jungle visits lasts for about three hours. Return to Tiger Camp for Breakfast and lunch. Option of nature walk or bird-watching. Afternoon drive to the jungle of Bijrani (a part of Corbett National Park) for tiger tracking on elephant back (on first come first served basis). Overnight stay in the resort.

Day 13: Corbett Tiger Reserve-Delhi
Meals: Breakfast and packed lunch
Morning nature walk or a safari into the jungle. Leave for Delhi after breakfast (6 hours drive). Overnight stay in a hotel.

Day 14: Delhi-return journey
Meals: Breakfast
You will be transferred to the airport for your journey home. Tour ends.

Services included:
-Accommodation on twin / triple sharing basis in the hotels
-Meals as per the itinerary
-Sightseeing with guides
-Permits and entry fee
-Camping and treks with equipment and gear
-All surface transfers by a private air-conditioned vehicle
-Train tickets

Services not included:
-Optional tours/excursions, personal & incidental expenses.
-Tips, laundry, phone calls, alcohol, camera fee etc.
-International and domestic air fare, visa, insurance.
-Elephant rides.

Please ask for Terms and Conditions

Write to us: wildindiatours@vsnl.com  info@asianadventures.in



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