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Ganges, Temples & Tigers

Varanasi, Khajuraho & Bandhavgarh National Park
Duration: 06 nights 07 days
Best Time: Mid-October to Early April
Tour Code: TEMP01

ITINERARY
Day 01: Delhi to Varanasi
Day 02: Varanasi
Day 03: Varanasi to Khajuraho
Day 04: Khajuraho to Bandhavgarh National Park
Day 05 & 06: Bandhavgarh National Park
Day 07: Bandhavgarh National Park to Delhi

Highlights

Sightseeing in Delhi
Enthralling aarti (prayer) at the Ganges river side
Exploring the sights, cuisine and culture of the three destinations
The magnificent Khajuraho temple complex
Tiger Safari at Bandhavgarh National Park
Fort, ancient temple ruins, cultural experiences and village visit in Bandhavgarh
Interesting drives and train journeys providing a glimpse of incredible rural India
Stay at a unique eco-lodge with luxury tents in Bandhavgarh

Description
This exciting family tour combines two of the country's most fascinating cultural and ancient sites namely Khajuraho and Varanasi and an opportunity to visit the Tigers of Bandhavgarh.
Starting at India's capital city, Delhi, we take you to see the magnificent monuments of the Mughal times and the architectural gems of British and modern India. The sightseeing will include Mahatma Gandhi's memorial at Raj Ghat, glorious Red fort, Qutub Minar, Asia's largest mosque-The Jama Masjid, Lutyen's Delhi of the British Raj to see the India gate, President's residence and houses of Parliament and modern India's architectural marvels like the Bahai temple. You are free to sample the varied cuisine options available in the gourmet city. We take the overnight train from Delhi to the ancient holy town of Varanasi. Situated on the banks of river Ganga, it was best described by Mark Twain. 'The oldest living city….Older than legend, older than tradition…older than all of these put together.'

The old city, best explored on foot and cycle rickshaws, can be very chaotic but exotic at the same time. The magical sight of sunrise, bathing the banks with gold is an unforgettable sight to behold. With boats sailing past, pilgrims taking holy dips, cremations and birth rites being performed under picturesque iconic umbrellas, clothes being washed, there is never a dull moment on the 80 odd ghats of this holy river. The evening aarti at the busiest Dashashvamedha Ghat, is spectacular to say the least.

After exploring this fascinating and unforgettable destination, we take a flight to Khajuraho to see the magnificient Khajuraho temple complex, the most iconic manmade structure in India after the Taj Mahal. Built by the Chandela dynasty of kings between 8-9th Century, it is now a World Heritage site. The 25 temples at Khajuraho are best known for depiction of various explicit sexual poses along with the usual scenes of dancers, musicians, processions, domestic, courtly and social scenes. They are considered to be a version of pure Kamasutra in stone. Outside the temple complexes, there are lovely cafes serving traditional and international cuisine and hosts of shops selling curios for the international tourists that visit Khajuraho. Among other artifacts and jewellery, beautiful brass statues are great buys as souvenirs.

A pleasant 5-hour road trip takes us away from the manmade to the beautiful natural forests of Bandhavgarh National Park. A great place to sight the revered but endangered Tigers among other mammals and birds. A beautiful drive from Khajuraho with lovely views of rural Madhya Pradesh, you will get to see a glimpse of typical central Indian flora, vistas, architecture and way of living. A perfect start to the adventure ahead.

Bandhavgarh is uniquely famous as a forest offering nearly 100 percent tiger sightings. The density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh is one of the highest known in India. Along with the majestic tigers, one can hope to see more than 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds.

In the park, you can taste the real adventure of a jungle safari. The excitement begins to build up as we take you to the core of the forest and you begin to hear and spot the animal and birds. You can also choose to explore birdlife in the forests, fort or adjoining areas, like the Bhadrashilla Lake, Gadhpuri Dam and Bhambhera Dam, which are ideal for birding. A trip to the ancient temple ruins at the 2000-year-old Bandhavgarh fort is also a great option. You can either explore it in a jeep or follow the steep trekking path on foot with our trained local guides. Along with thrilling safaris, for those interested, we can also arrange a village visit or cultural performance of local tribal dance. Also recommended is a visit to the Baghel Museum, housing precious belongings including a stuffed white tiger of the Maharaja of Rewa who maintained Bandhavgarh as his game reserve.

In Bandhavgarh, along with the Tiger, you can see the Leopard, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Barking Deer, Blue Bull, Indian Gazelle, Hyena, Jackal, Wild boar, Sloth Bear, Common Langurs, Rhesus Monkey etc.

The vegetation along streams and marshes is rich in bird life. The common species of birds seen here are Egrets, The Blue Bearded Bee-Eater, Darter, the Yellow and Red-Wattled Lapwings, EgyptianVulture, Kingfishers and Indian Rollers.

Reptilian fauna include Cobra, Krait, Viper, Rat Snake, Python, Turtle and a number of Lizard varieties.
Checking into Monsoon Forest, a unique eco-lodge with luxury tents and indigenous central Indian mud house styled architecture, serenity seeps into you. With beautiful grasslands, views of the forest and the Bandhavgarh Fort in the distance, it's an ideal base to explore the magic of tiger spotting. Be prepared to have a fabulous stay as they go out of their way to make your stay most memorable. Special romantic dinners, traditional massages and yoga sessions are also an option at this resort.

After fantastic wildlife sightings and relaxing stay over the three nights at Monsoon Forest in Bandhavgarh, we take the flight back to Delhi where our tour ends.

ITINERARY

Day 01 Delhi-Varanasi
Meals: On your own
Morning guided tour of old Delhi covering Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Raj Ghat etc. Check out at noon. Afternoon guided tour of New Delhi. Visit India Gate, the museums, drive past President House, Qutab Minar & Humayun's tomb. Connect to overnight air-conditioned sleeper train to Varanasi (Benaras) at 2040 hours.

Day 02 Varanasi
Meals: On your own
Arrive in Varanasi at 0845 hours. You will be met and transferred to the hotel. Afternoon guided sightseeing of Varanasi visiting the temples, mosques, Man Mandir Gate, Bharat Kala Bhavan (excellent collection of Mughal paintings and Banarasi textiles), Government Weaving Centre to watch the famous Banaras silk-weaving. Ganga aarti (if possible). Overnight in a hotel.

Day 03 Varanasi-Khajuraho
Meals: On your own
Morning- Boat-ride on the Ganges river to see the bathing ghats on the holy river, ayurvedic tea at Street View Gai Ghat, excursion to the 17th century Ramnagar Fort (now a museum). Visit the pilgrim centre of Sarnath (holy to Buddhists and Jains with Stupas where Buddha preached for the first time and a deer park where the 11th Jain Tirthankar was born). Connect for the flight to Khajuraho. Overnight stay at a hotel.

Day 04 Khajuraho-Bandhavgarh National Park
Meals: Breakfast, dinner
Spend your morning touring the ancient temples including Kandariya Mahadev Temple, the Chaunset Temple and Nandi Temple. You will be transferred to Bandhavgarh National Park in the afternoon (5 hours drive). Overnight stay at Monsoon Forest.

Day 05 & 06: Bandhavgarh National Park
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Morning and afternoon visits to the park for nature watch and tiger tracking in 4WDs. Overnight in Monsoon Forest.

Day 07: Bandhavgarh National Park-Delhi
Meals: Packed breakfast
You will be transferred to the airport at 0430 hours to board the morning flight at 0930 to Delhi. Arrive by noon. Tour ends. Note: Another morning drive into the jungle on Day 07 is possible if you travel by overnight train from Bandhavgarh to Delhi, arriving on Day 08 at 0730 hours. The cost of an additional safari and train fare will be extra.

Services included:
-Accommodation on twin sharing basis
-Meals as per the itinerary
-Sightseeing in Varanasi and Khajuraho with guides
-A boat cruise on the Ganges with a guide
-Jungle visits in Bandhavgarh National Parks in 4WDs with park guides
-All surface transfers by a private air-conditioned vehicle
-Train Ticket

Services not included:
-Optional tours/excursions, personal & incidental expenses.
-Tips, laundry, phone calls, alcohol, Monument entrance fee, 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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