Tigers, Temples and Lions of India

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Download Tigers, Temples and Lions of India Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in New Delhi

Arrive in New Delhi, the bustling capital of India, and transfer to our comfortable hotel in the city. This evening we will have dinner and our orientation meeting.

Overnight in New Delhi.

 

Day 2: Stunning Temples of Swaminarayan Akshardham & Lotus

We spend the day exploring 2 of Delhi's most impressive temples. We start with Swaminarayan Akshardham temple, which translated means the Divine Abode of God. We explore this vast and impressive site, including lunch. After lunch, we visit the Bahai Lotus temple which is built in the shape of a lotus flower.

Overnight in New Delhi.

 

Day 3: Fly to Udaipur

Today we have an early morning flight to Udaipur.
Udaipur is set in the Girwa Valley amidst the Aravalli Hills of south Rajasthan. Udaipur is a beautiful city - regarded by Indians and foreigners alike as one of the most romantic in India. It is a lovely city to explore with fairy tale white marble palaces, placid blue lakes and green hills that create a feeling of serenity. Udaipur is undoubtedly an oasis of color in an arid region of India.

Upon arrival we will have a walking tour of the small streets with some free time. At sunset take a boat ride around the lake to get a different perspective of Udaipur's beautiful setting. In the evening we will attend a culture show followed by dinner.

Overnight in Udaipur.

 

Day 4: Udaipur

This morning we visit impressive City Palace, overlooking the lake and city of Udaipur. Later in the afternoon, we will visit an art studio for a demonstration of miniature paintings, an age old art form in Udaipur, symbolizing Rajasthan in many ways - colorful, detailed and opulent.

Overnight in Udaipur.

 

Day 5: To Bera, Rabari Shepherds

Today we drive to the area of Jawai Dam and visit the village of Bera, which is home to the Rabari Shepherds, a nomadic tribe of cattle herders. This area is also home to a big but very shy cat - the elusive leopard. The leopard roams in the wild here, which makes for an exciting safari. In the afternoon we will go for a village walk to meet the Rabari Shepherds and learn about their history and traditions.

Enroute, we stop at the exquisite Jain Temple of Ranakpur, If possible, we will have lunch at the temple restaurant and have the Jain High Priest talk to the group and explain the fundamental of the Jain religion.

Overnight in Bera.

 

Day 6: Leopard Safaris, Jawa Dam

Today we will have 2 leopard safaris, one starting early morning and a second one in the afternoon. Temperatures are cooler in the morning and late afternoon making it a better time to see leopards. During the mid afternoon when temperatures are hottest, is when the big cats typically relax or sleep in the shade.

We will have free time after lunch to relax and enjoy the resort, or you can explore the town of Bera on foot.

Overnight in Bera.

 

Day 7: Leopard Wildlife Safari, to Mt. Abu

Before we depart for Mt. Abu, we drive to nearby Jawa Dam, a beautiful setting of water, islands and surrounding ancient mountains. The area of Bera boasts vast and varied vegetation and wildlife including the elusive leopard, crocodiles, the ever so mischeivous hyena, the mighty Bluebull, the graceful pelican, the Greylag Goose, Robin Accentor, Demoiselle Crane, and the Barheaded Goose to name a few.

After our visit to Jawa Dam, we depart for the hill station of Mt. Abu as we eventually ascend to higher elevations before checking into our heritage hotel.

The Dilwara Jain Temples are perhaps the finest Jain temples for their extraordinary architecture and unmatched marble stone carvings. From outside the temples are not overly impressive but the temple's interiors showcase the extraordinary work of human craftsmanship at its best. These temples were built between 11th to 13th century AD. The ornamental details of the marble stone carvings are phenomenal. The minutely carved ceilings and the pillars are just amazing. All this was done at a time when no transport or roads were available at an elevation of 1220 m. Dilwara temples are also a popular Jain pilgrimage that is also open to tourists. Photos are not allowed so you can visit these temples and simply enjoy their beauty without distraction.

Overnight in Mt. Abu.

 

Day 8: To Ahmedabad

After a relaxing morning, we enjoy lunch at a restaurant with a beautiful view overlooking the lake. Following lunch, we depart for Ahmedabad where we stay at a heritage hotel and enjoy a very traditional dinner on the hotel rooftop.

Overnight in Ahmedabad.

 

Day 9: To Sasan Gir National Park, Sabarmati 'Gandhi' Ashram

After breakfast we visit The Sabarmati Ashram, a simple ashram that has had a profound affect on India. The following is taken from the official website:

"While at the Ashram, Gandhi formed a school that focused on manual labour, agriculture, and literacy to advance his efforts for self-sufficiency. It was also from here on the 12 March 1930 that Gandhi launched the famous Dandi march 241 miles from the Ashram (with 78 companions) in protest of the British Salt Law, which taxed Indian salt in an effort to promote sales of British salt in India. This mass awakening filled the British jails with 60 000 freedom fighters. Later the government seized their property, Gandhi, in sympathy with them, responded by asking the Government to forfeit the Ashram. Then Government, however, did not oblige. He had by now already decided on 22 July 1933 to disband the Ashram, which later became asserted place after the detention of many freedom fighters, and then some local citizens decided to preserve it. On 12 March 1930 he vowed that he would not return to the Ashram until India won independence. Although this was won on 15 August 1947, when India was declared a free nation, Gandhi was assassinated in January 1948 and never returned.
Over the years, the Ashram became home to the ideology that set India free. It aided countless other nations and people in their own battles against oppressive forces.
Today, the Ashram serves as a source of inspiration and guidance, and stands as a monument to Gandhi’s life mission and a testimony to others who have fought a similar struggle."

After our Ashram visit, will begin a long drive (approx 7 hrs) to Gir National Park. Besides Africa, this is the only place in the world you can spot lions roaming free in the wild. With its dry and deciduous vegetation, it provides an ideal habitat for Asiatic lions. Although Gir is most famous for its lions, it also features the Chowsinga (4 horned antelope), in addition to over 200 bird and over 40 reptile species.

Dinner and overnight in Gir.

 

Days 10 - 11: Lion & Wildlife Safaris

For the next 2 days, we will have morning and afternoon jeep safaris to search for the Asiatic lions and other exotic wildlife found in Gir.

In 1913 due to over-hunting practices, the lion population had declined to 20 lions. It was through the efforts of the Dungar Garh royal family that the Asiatic lion became protected, and in 1965 Gir became a national park. Today it covers approximately 1412 kilometres and is home to over 500 lions.

Overnight in Gir.

 

Day 12: Fly to Mumbai

We depart Gir and drive to Dui (or Rajkot) to catch our flight to Mumbai. Upon arrival in Mumbai, we go to our seaside hotel along the fashionable waterfront, where everyone from teenagers to families have made this a very Mumbai thing to do.

Overnight in Mumbai.

 

Day 13: Mumbai Sites

Today is devoted to the impressive sites of Mumbai (formerly Bombay). We begin our exploration of India's largest and most fashionable city with a train ride to the world's largest outdoor laundry at Mahalakshmi Dhobi Ghat.

After lunch, we visit Prince of Whales Museum, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (UNESCO - a masterpiece of Gothic architecture), Gateway to India, and the famous Taj Hotel.

Overnight in Mumbai.

 

Day 14: Fly to Nagpur, Ramtek Temple

Today we take a short flight to Nagpur. Upon arrival, we check into our hotel before leaving for Ramtek temple. This temple site is believed to be the place where Lord Rama spent some time during his exile with his wife, Sita, and brother Lakshmana. The temple sites atop Mount Rama is made up of a cluster of temples mostly dating from 4th to 6th centuries.

Overnight in Nagpur.

 

Day 15: To Tadoba National Park, Evening Tiger Safari

Sit back and enjoy the scenery today as we drive (approx 7 - 8 hours) to Tadoba National Park, one of the finest and largest national parks in Maharashtra state. This beautiful and wild paradise has abundant dry deciduous forests and lakes teeming with rich aquatic life.

This afternoon we have to opportunity to enjoy our first wildlife safari in search of the rare and magnificent Royal Bengal Tiger!

Overnight in Tadoba National Park.

 

Day 16: Tadoba - Jeep Safaris in search of Royal Bengal Tigers

We will enjoy both a morning and evening jeep safari in search of India’s national animal, which is also one of the biggest and most beautiful cats in the BIG CAT family - the Royal Bengal tiger. The hilly terrain provides perfect shelter for the animals, yet its excellent accessibility makes it an ideal area for a wildlife safari.

Overnight in Tadoba National Park.

 

Day 17: To Pench, Morning Tiger Safari

This morning, we have one last tiger/wildlife safari in Tadoba before returning to our lodge for breakfast. We then depart for Pench National Park.

Dinner and overnight in Pench National Park.

 

Day 18: To Kanha Tiger Reserve

Today we drive to picturesque Kanha National Park. Animals you may see in the park include tigers, leopards, wild dogs, foxes and jackals, swamp deer, spotted deer, sambar, barking deer and Indian gaur (part of the ox family).

Dinner and overnight in Kanha.

 

Day 19: Morning Safari, to Bandavgarh National Park

Enjoy an early morning safari in Kahna, arguably the most beautiful of the parks that we visit. After our safari, we return for breakfast before departing for Bandavgarh National Park, known for its large population of Royal Bengal tigers. Bandavgarh is one of the better parks to search for the magnificent Royal Bengal tiger. In addition to our goal of seeing these majestic cats, we can also enjoy the incredible biodiversity of the tropical forests and grassland area of central India.

Overnight in Bandavgarh National Park.

 

Day 20: Bandavgar - Tiger Safaris

Today we have both a morning and an evening jeep safari in the famous tiger reserve in Bandavgarh National Park. We will search for the famed Bengal tigers, but we will also be on the lookout for white tigers, leopards, sloth bears, and deer. The area is also home to scores of bird species including eagles.

Overnight in Bandavgarh National Park.

 

Day 21: Tiger Safari, to Khajuraho

Enjoy your last wildlife and tiger safari before the drive to Khajuraho, a historical place which is famous for beautiful temples from the 12th century AD, and known for its erotic figures.

Overnight in Khajuraho.

 

Day 22: Erotic Temples of Khajuraho, to New Delhi

Today enjoy a guided tour of the famous erotic temples of Khajuraho before lunch.
After lunch we will drive to the airport to catch our flight to Delhi.

Upon our evening arrival, we will have our farewell dinner and overnight at our airport hotel.

 

Day 23: Depart New Delhi

Today we say goodbye to India and its majestic big cats. We transfer to the airport for our international flights home.

 
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