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Trip Extensions

Varanasi Extension

Duration: 3 days

On this trip extension, you'll visit the holy city of Varanasi (Benaras), one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, dating back to the 11th century BC. The city is the holiest of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism and Jainism, an... read more

Goa Extension

Duration: 4 days

Spend four relaxing days in Goa, India's smallest state after your India adventure. Unwind on renowned beaches, see phenomenal World Heritage architecture, and take in the rich flora and fauna that make Goa a biodiversity hotspot.

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: arrive delhi

Bustling DelhiBustling Delhi

Upon arrival at Delhi international airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel where you will be welcomed traditionally with Arti and Tikka - a Hindu Ritual where young women put a vermilion on your forehead and welcome you with a platter of auspicious items. This will mark your journey to India with good fortune. Afterwards, you'll be provided with a non-alcoholic beverage while you are being checked in. 

Meals
None
Lodging
Thikana B & B or similar

Day 2: delhi city tour

See the intricate carving details at Qutub MinarSee the intricate carving details at Qutub Minar

After a tour briefing with your guide you will head over to a local temple for a blessing from a priest as an auspicious start to your tour. Afterwards, spend the morning exploring Old Delhi beginning with a visit to the 350 year-old Jama Masjid Mosque. From here, hop aboard a rickshaw and take a ride through the narrow lanes of the bustling colorful markets bustling with crowds. Stop at the Red Fort for a quick photo opportunity from the outside.    

Optionally, visit the Crafts Museum which contains a vast collections of various crafts from all over India including textiles and embroideries, sculptures, bamboo and terra-cotta figures, etc. Another good option would be to have a mouth-watering lunch at the Lota Café, offering unusual food choices from all of the states of India.

This afternoon, head on over to the New Delhi section, which feels like a different city altogether. Visit Qutab Minar, India's tallest stone tower. Drive past the government buildings including the President's House and Parliament House, all designed in the 1920's by British architects Lutyens and Baker. At the end of the avenue is the India Gate, also known as Rajpath (King's Way), a War Memorial Arch built to remember the 90,000 Indians who gave their lives in WWI. 

Later, visit the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib where you'll have a chance to volunteer at the Community Kitchen. Gurudwara is one of the most important Sikh Gurdwaras in Delhi and known for it's affiliation with the eighth Sikh Guru, Har Krishan. It is easily recognized by its golden dome and tall flagpole. Because the concept of langar is practiced, all people, regardless of race or religion, may eat at the Gurdwara kitchen and all are invited to volunteer in the food preparation. If you choose to participate, please note that visitors are required to cover their hair and take off their shoes. Head scarves are provided at the Gurdwara. This will be followed by an evening ceremony and then return to your hotel for the night.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Thikana B & B or similar

Day 3: indian architecture and jaipur

The beautiful Shahpura HouseThe beautiful Shahpura House

Your hotel’s breakfast prepares you for the scenic, six-hour drive to Jaipur, stopping along the way to visit the Samode Palace and Shahpura Haveli. The 475-year-old Samode Palace is a splendid example of regal Indo-Saracenic architecture, combining the best of Indian and Mughal styles. The Shahpura Haveli is another exquisite example of Indo-Saracenic architecture and over the years it has been a popular place to stay for a number of royalties, travelers, celebrities and artists.

On arrival in Jaipur, your guide will assist with check in at your lovely hotel and then you'll have the rest of the afternoon at your leisure. Your accommodations at the beautiful Shahpura House will allow you to take in the architectural details of a traditional Indian-style mansion at your leisure.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Shahpura House or similar

Day 4: jaipur's forts, palaces, & markets

Amer FortAmer Fort

This morning, you will drive along the streets of Jaipur to the Amer Fort, stopping en-route to view and photograph the beautiful Palace of Winds or Hawa Mahal, so named for the perforated screen facade that catches the breezes or "Hawa". Completed in 1799, the Palace was originally built to allow the sequestered ladies of the court to view the bustling life of the city. At the Amer Fort, which is constructed of white and red sandstone, ascend the hill to the fort by jeep if you are unable to make the walk up to the top. Next, visit the Jantar Mantar Observatory, built between 1728 and 1734 by Maharaja Jai Singh. This is the largest observatory of the five Maharaja Singh had built. Your city tour also takes you to the City Palace, a dazzling display of Hindu and Mughal architecture. The palace contains a museum with items on display including queen's carriages, weapons, artwork, and huge water flasks made entirely from silver. 

This afternoon, explore some of the local markets including Bapu Bazaar, the perfect place to shop for camel skin products, textiles and perfumes as well as artifacts made of marble and sandstone. No shopping experience can be complete without a visit to the Johari Bazaar where you will find an array of gold, silver, diamonds, and emeralds to choose from if you like. Other market options include the Ramganj Bazaar, known for embroidered shoes and Kishanpol Bazaar, known for its tie-dye garments.

This evening, take a rickshaw ride to the Birla Temple to witness the evening Aarti Ceremony, a Hindu ritual where wicks soaked in ghee or clarified butter are offered to the deities. This sacred ceremony is accompanied by music, with the lyrics telling the stories of the powers and goodness of the deity.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Shahpura House or similar

Day 5: heritage walk, cooking class & aarti ceremony

See traditional farming methods used in JaipurSee traditional farming methods used in Jaipur

Early this morning, head out on a three hour Heritage Walking tour of Jaipur. This walk has been planned in a way that allows you to get a closer look into Jaipur's charmingly chaotic life. Every lane in this walled city has something interesting to offer and this walk take you into some of the important blocks or chowkris such as Modikhana, Vishverwarji, Ghat Darwaza and Topkahana Desh. You will have an opportunity for close interactions with people belonging to different artisan communities like the Thatheras (metal utensil makers), Manihars (Lac bangle makers), marble sculpture makers, Neelgars (Tie-dye community), Pannigars (silver and gold foil makers), Meenakari and Kundan workers (Gold enamelers), etc.   

Your afternoon will be free to relax or explore local bazaar by yourself.

In the evening you will be escorted to an Indian House where you will enjoy a Cooking Demonstration and dinner with a local Indian family. It is nothing similar to a Cooking Demo organized at the hotels. This provides a very unique experience where the lady of the house herself shows you the day to day cooking styles and you will be welcome to join her. After the cooking demonstration, you will sit down to dine with the family and perhaps share some of your stories with each other. 

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Shahpura House or similar

Day 6: drive to ranthambhore national park

Travel in open-top jeeps and get close to wildlifeTravel in open-top jeeps and get close to wildlife

Enjoy the scenic four-hour drive to Ranthambhore, where you'll check into your resort. After lunch at the resort, enjoy a wildlife safari in the park. Nestled in the rugged and hilly landscape of the Aravali hills in northwestern India, Ranthambhore National Park is possibly the best-known tiger destination in the world. It was once the private hunting grounds of the Jaipur and Karauli royal families during the 19th century. Over a long period from the 1950's to 1970's, more and more of the forest in the area was designated as wildlife grounds or sanctuary, eventually growing to become a wildlife reserve and, in 1980, a national park.

It is home to an astounding diversity of life, including over 40 species of mammals, 320 species of birds, over 35 species of reptiles, and over 300 species of plants. Besides tigers, wild cats found in Ranthambhore include Leopard, Caracal, Jungle cat, Rusty Spotted cat, and Fishing cat. The ungulates include Sambhar, Spotted deer (Chital), Blue bull (Nilgai), Chinkara (Indian gazelle), and wild boar. Other mammals you may see are the Sloth bear, Indian fox, Jackal, Indian wild dogs (Dhole), Small Indian civet, Palm civet, Common Indian and Ruddy mongoose, and Striped hyena.

(Note: The park admits a maximum of 14 jeeps and 20 trucks daily, so we will reserve space as soon as we get passport details from all participants. If we are unable to book space, we will travel instead to a nearby sanctuary where there are leopards, Striped hyena, Asiatic jackals, Jungle cats, and bird life.)

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Dev Vilas or similar

Day 7: ranthambhore national park wildlife safari

If you're lucky, you'll spot leopardsIf you're lucky, you'll spot leopards

Today, enjoy enjoy morning and afternoon game drives while staying at the resort. Optional activities available at the park during your free time include: a visit to Ranthambhore Fort, founded in 944 AD by the Nagil Jats. This fort tells an enchanting tale of the Maharaja's of Jaipur that hunted for game in the reserve; a visit to a nearby village for a great cultural experience and to learn about their way of life and see why they are known for their handicrafts; spend time birdwatching at Mansarovar Dam, a perennial water source that attracts native and migratory birds; or an excursion to Surual Lake, another excellent place for birdwatching. Even if you are not a fan of birdwatching, this is still a great place to visit for it's calm a peaceful relaxation opportunities.

Note: Activities are not included in land cost.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Dev Vilas or similar

Day 8: train to bharatpur, fatehpur sikri & agra

The Taj MahalThe Taj Mahal

After breakfast, transfer to the railway station where you will board the Sawai Madhopur-Bharatpur train. Upon arrival in Bharatpur, you will be driven to the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri, built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and later abandoned due to scarcity of water. The graceful buildings within this city are remarkably well preserved, including the Jama Masjid, the Tomb of Salim Chisti, and Panch Mahal. Also see Bulund Darwaza, the largest gateway in the world built to commemorate Akbar's conquest of Deccan in 1601. From Fatehpur Sikri, it's about another 1.5 hours to Agra.

Agra, once the capital to the Mughals in the 16th and 17th centuries, is most famous for its impressive monuments, including the majestic Taj Mahal. Emperor Shah Jahan built the legendary Taj Mahal in 1630 to enshrine the remains of his beloved Queen Mumtaj Mahal. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned, white marble masterpiece. It stands today as testimony to the skill of craftsmen brought in from Persia, Turkey, France, and Italy and to 17 years of labor by 20,000 workers. After watching the sunset at the Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays), check in to your hotel for the night.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Hotel Radisson or similar

Day 9: monuments of agra

Agra FortAgra Fort

You will be met early in the morning at the hotel for a sunrise view of India’s most famous site, the majestic Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays). This legendary monument, dedicated to love, was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1630 to enshrine the remains of his Queen Mumtaj Mahal. This architectural marvel is a perfectly-proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble. It stands today as testimony to the skill of craftsmen brought in from Persia, Turkey, France, and Italy and to 17 years of labor by 20,000 workers.

Return to your hotel for breakfast, then continue on with your tour of Agra with a visit to the Agra Fort, home to three Mughal Emperors. Here you will see the transition from the military might of the stern citadel raised by Akbar to the lavish beauty of shimmering white marble palaces built by Shah Jahan. Within the fort are palaces and the Halls of Public and Private Audience.  Next, visit the Tomb of Itimad-ud Daulah, known as the "Baby Taj" because it was regarded as a draft of the Taj Mahal. The tomb, built in the early 17th century, was built mostly from red sandstone with marble decorations. Continue on to the Mehtab Bgah Gardens, built by Emperor Babur in the 16th century. These gardens were an integral part of the design of the Taj Mahal. If you like, visit a marble factory to see how the intricate inlay work on marble is done before returning to your hotel where you have the rest of the day free.

Optionally, for an additional cost, in the evening, witness an amazing music and light show depicting the tale of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz, known as the "Mohabbat the Taj". 

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Hotel Radisson or similar

Day 10: train to jhansi, orchha palace, & khajuraho

Jain temple carvings in KhajurahoJain temple carvings in Khajuraho

After an early (possibly boxed) breakfast at the hotel, you’ll transfer to the railway station to board the Bhopal Shatabdi train for the ride to Jhansi (ETD 8:30 am / ETA 11:00 am).

Upon arrival in Jhansi, you’ll be driven ½-hour to Orchha to explore the Orchha Palace and other sites. The bustling Orchha Palace complex is actually home to several palaces and monuments. Established by King Rudrapratap Singh in 1501, it was an ideal place to build a capital as thick forests shelter the area—which also helped preserve these age-old monuments. Over the decades, several generations of kings and queens called this complex home, as did their vast entourages of officials, servants, horses and elephants. Pass through the entrance gate, through a courtyard and into the King’s Palace, or Raja Mahal. Within the royal chambers, you’ll be witness to intricate murals of gods, mythological creatures, humans, and animals, all depicted within religious and social themes. Upstairs rooms still have remnants of mirrors in the ceilings and walls.

You'll then head out on a 4.5-hour drive to Khajuraho, enjoying the scenery along the way. In the temple architecture of India, this complex remains unique. One thousand years ago, under the generous and artistic patronage of the Chandela Rajput kings of Central India, 85 temples were built here from 950 AD - 1050 AD. Today, of the original 85, only 22 have survived the ravages of time. These remain as a collective hymn to life, to joy and to creativity; to the ultimate fusion of man with his creator.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Hotel Ramada or similar

Day 11: khajuraho temples

There are many intricate Jain temples in KhajurahoThere are many intricate Jain temples in Khajuraho

You'll spend the day exploring the magnificent temple complex. The temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandella dynasty, between 950 and 1050, and only about 20 or the 85 temples remain. They fall into three distinct groups and belong to two different religions – Hinduism and Jainism. They strike a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture. The Temple of Kandariya is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art. 

After exploring the Eastern & Western group of temples, visit the old section of Khajuraho where you'll find homes whitewashed or painted in colorful pastels, small shrines that line the streets, and ancient wells.

Tonight you'll return to the Western group of temples to experience the Khajuraho Sound & Light Show. This is the best evening activity for understanding the history, facts, and myths of the Khajuraho temples.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Hotel Ramada or similar

Day 12: drive to bandavgarh national park

Storks are a sight at BandhavgarhStorks are a sight at Bandhavgarh

After an early breakfast at the hotel, you'll head out on a relaxing six-hour drive to the resort in Bandavgarh, where you’ll enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure, followed by dinner at the resort. 

Bandhavgarh was once a "Shikargah", or game preserve, of the Maharajas and their guests until it was declared a National Park in 1968. In 1972, Project Tiger and Wildlife Protection Act were enacted. today, the park it home to around 37 species of mammals, more than 250 species of birds, and a number of reptiles. Bandhavgarh has the highest density of Bengal tigers in the world making spotting them easier than some of India's other Tiger Reserves. Other mammals you may see at the park are the Indian bison, sambar and barking deer, Indian wolf, striped hyena, and Indian Leopard. Some of the bird life you'll see are the parakeets, barbets, Indian grey hornbill, egrets, herons, stilts, flycatchers, storks, and kingfishers.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Bandhav Vilas or similar

Days 13-14: bandavgarh wildlife safaris

See tigers up closeSee tigers up close

Bandhavgarh National Park has a large array of wildlife including sloth bears, deer, leopards and jackals. Birdwatchers will delight in the plethora of bird species inhabiting all terrains from rocky crags to the auburn forest floor and mottled forest canopy. Bandhavgarh was named after an ancient fort built on a 2,624 foot cliff in the park. From its zenith one can enjoy incredible views of the park. However, prior permission is required.

You’ll enjoy an early morning game drive to catch the wildlife during one of their most active times of the day, then return to the resort for breakfast. An afternoon game drive followed by dinner at the resort completes your day.

You'll spend your free time to do as you like, perhaps visiting a nearby village, taking a birding walk to learn more about the local birds, or visit a village workshop to learn more on how they produce items from weaving bamboo. Consider taking a picnic meal at one of the nearby bodies of water. 

Note: Wildlife safaris do not operate on Wednesday afternoons or Diwali and Holi Festivals. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Bandhav Vilas or similar

Day 15: drive to jabalpur & flight to delhi

The Ghats at VaranasiThe Ghats at Varanasi

You'll set out on an early morning departure for Jabalpur (approximately 4-5 hour drive) where you catch a flight back to Delhi and stay at the airport hotel.

Optionally, and highly recommended, is a visit to the Kingdom of Dreams, one of India's ultimate live entertainment complexes. The Kingdom of Dreams brings to life a blend of India's art, culture, heritage, craft, and performing art and combines that with all the modern technology of today. Show runs from 7:30 to 9:30 pm and does not operate on Mondays.

Or, consider extending your adventure.  Fly to Varanasi, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, dating back to the 11th century BC. The city is the holiest of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism and Jainism, and is very sacred to both Hindus and Jains. This is an excellent excursion for those looking for deep cultural and religious experiences. Or unwind on some of India's renowned beaches such as Goa.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Holiday Inn International Airport Hotel or similar

Day 16: depart delhi

Meet the friendly localsMeet the friendly locals

Transfer to the airport for your homebound flight.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
None

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
From
$3,900
Group size 2-3: $4300 Group size 4+: $3900 Local flight Jabalpur-Delhi add $150 (estimated)
Single Supplement:
$1,050
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates

Need to Know

Park rules as per the Government of India:

  • Parks may close without any prior notice to visitors.
  • No safari refund is allowed after the booking has been confirmed.
  • Bookings are non-transferable.
  • Reserved safari seats cannot be resold or exchanged with other visitor.
  • Identity proof is required for entry into the park.
  • Cost of the park ticket may change after the booking and visitors will be liable to pay the difference at the time of entry.
Duration:
16 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Best available jungle lodges to deluxe hotels
Activity Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Some long drives over bumpy roads
Group Size:
Most custom trips can accommodate groups of any size, from one person to as large of a group as you'd like. Some exceptions apply; ask your Adventure Specialist for details.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

Top Travel Destinations for 2017

Where will your adventures take you in 2017? For curious explorers eager to see the world, it can be hard to narrow down travel options. So, the team at Journeys International has …

Explore the wild side of India
Explore the wild side of India
There are many intricate Jain temples in Khajuraho
There are many intricate Jain temples in Khajuraho
Wild Boar can often be seen
Wild Boar can often be seen
Widlife viewing from jeeps
Widlife viewing from jeeps
Amer Fort
Amer Fort
Meet India's friendly faces
Meet India's friendly faces
See traditional farming methods used in Jaipur
See traditional farming methods used in Jaipur
Jain temple carvings in Khajuraho
Jain temple carvings in Khajuraho
See the snake charmers
See the snake charmers
Be on the look-out for monitor lizards
Be on the look-out for monitor lizards
Colorful plates at the market
Colorful plates at the market

Taj Mahal, Temples, and Tigers

From big cats to big temples, experience the unparalleled breadth of India

overview

Three of India’s best-known icons are yours on this trip, as you explore the Taj Mahal, a variety of sprawling historic forts and temples, and the majestic tiger.

Starting in Delhi, you’ll have time to explore both Old and New Delhi, before traveling to Jaipur to explore the rich labyrinth of fascinating bazaars and opulent palaces, including the Amber Fort and the Palace of Winds. From there, you’re off to Ranthambhore National Park, possibly the best-known tiger destination in the world. Home to an astounding diversity of life, the park’s denizens include over 40 species of mammals, 320 species of birds, over 35 species of reptiles, and over 300 species of plants.

You’ll then head to the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri and then onto Agra, where you’ll explore Agra Fort and the world famous Taj Mahal. Continue on to the bustling and well-preserved Orchha Palace and the temple complex at Khajuraho. Within the steep ridges, undulating forest, and open meadows of Bandhavgarh National Park, you’ll search for Royal Bengal Tigers. A former hunting preserve, the park is now also home to white tigers and is the location of Bandhavgarh Fort, the oldest fort in India, believed to date back to the third century.

National Parks in India are generally open from the start of October until the end of June and the number of jeeps allowed in the parks is restricted, so early booking is essential to optimize your safari experience. If a jeep is not available at the time your safari is scheduled, you will join with other groups in a mini truck. Full day exclusive private jeep safaris can bee organized for additional costs.

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

Three of India’s best-known icons are yours on this trip, as you explore the Taj Mahal, a variety of sprawling historic forts and temples, and the majestic tiger.

Starting in Delhi, you’ll have time to explore both Old and New Delhi, before traveling to Jaipur to explore the rich labyrinth of fascinating bazaars and opulent palaces, including the Amber Fort and the Palace of Winds. From there, you’re off to Ranthambhore National Park, possibly the best-known tiger destination in the world. Home to an astounding diversity of life, the park’s denizens include over 40 species of mammals, 320 species of birds, over 35 species of reptiles, and over 300 species of plants.

You’ll then head to the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri and then onto Agra, where you’ll explore Agra Fort and the world famous Taj Mahal. Continue on to the bustling and well-preserved Orchha Palace and the temple complex at Khajuraho. Within the steep ridges, undulating forest, and open meadows of Bandhavgarh National Park, you’ll search for Royal Bengal Tigers. A former hunting preserve, the park is now also home to white tigers and is the location of Bandhavgarh Fort, the oldest fort in India, believed to date back to the third century.

National Parks in India are generally open from the start of October until the end of June and the number of jeeps allowed in the parks is restricted, so early booking is essential to optimize your safari experience. If a jeep is not available at the time your safari is scheduled, you will join with other groups in a mini truck. Full day exclusive private jeep safaris can bee organized for additional costs.

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: arrive delhi
    Bustling DelhiBustling Delhi

    Upon arrival at Delhi international airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel where you will be welcomed traditionally with Arti and Tikka - a Hindu Ritual where young women put a vermilion on your forehead and welcome you with a platter of auspicious items. This will mark your journey to India with good fortune. Afterwards, you'll be provided with a non-alcoholic beverage while you are being checked in. 

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Thikana B & B or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: delhi city tour
    See the intricate carving details at Qutub MinarSee the intricate carving details at Qutub Minar

    After a tour briefing with your guide you will head over to a local temple for a blessing from a priest as an auspicious start to your tour. Afterwards, spend the morning exploring Old Delhi beginning with a visit to the 350 year-old Jama Masjid Mosque. From here, hop aboard a rickshaw and take a ride through the narrow lanes of the bustling colorful markets bustling with crowds. Stop at the Red Fort for a quick photo opportunity from the outside.    

    Optionally, visit the Crafts Museum which contains a vast collections of various crafts from all over India including textiles and embroideries, sculptures, bamboo and terra-cotta figures, etc. Another good option would be to have a mouth-watering lunch at the Lota Café, offering unusual food choices from all of the states of India.

    This afternoon, head on over to the New Delhi section, which feels like a different city altogether. Visit Qutab Minar, India's tallest stone tower. Drive past the government buildings including the President's House and Parliament House, all designed in the 1920's by British architects Lutyens and Baker. At the end of the avenue is the India Gate, also known as Rajpath (King's Way), a War Memorial Arch built to remember the 90,000 Indians who gave their lives in WWI. 

    Later, visit the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib where you'll have a chance to volunteer at the Community Kitchen. Gurudwara is one of the most important Sikh Gurdwaras in Delhi and known for it's affiliation with the eighth Sikh Guru, Har Krishan. It is easily recognized by its golden dome and tall flagpole. Because the concept of langar is practiced, all people, regardless of race or religion, may eat at the Gurdwara kitchen and all are invited to volunteer in the food preparation. If you choose to participate, please note that visitors are required to cover their hair and take off their shoes. Head scarves are provided at the Gurdwara. This will be followed by an evening ceremony and then return to your hotel for the night.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Thikana B & B or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: indian architecture and jaipur
    The beautiful Shahpura HouseThe beautiful Shahpura House (Photo: )

    Your hotel’s breakfast prepares you for the scenic, six-hour drive to Jaipur, stopping along the way to visit the Samode Palace and Shahpura Haveli. The 475-year-old Samode Palace is a splendid example of regal Indo-Saracenic architecture, combining the best of Indian and Mughal styles. The Shahpura Haveli is another exquisite example of Indo-Saracenic architecture and over the years it has been a popular place to stay for a number of royalties, travelers, celebrities and artists.

    On arrival in Jaipur, your guide will assist with check in at your lovely hotel and then you'll have the rest of the afternoon at your leisure. Your accommodations at the beautiful Shahpura House will allow you to take in the architectural details of a traditional Indian-style mansion at your leisure.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Shahpura House or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: jaipur's forts, palaces, & markets
    Amer FortAmer Fort

    This morning, you will drive along the streets of Jaipur to the Amer Fort, stopping en-route to view and photograph the beautiful Palace of Winds or Hawa Mahal, so named for the perforated screen facade that catches the breezes or "Hawa". Completed in 1799, the Palace was originally built to allow the sequestered ladies of the court to view the bustling life of the city. At the Amer Fort, which is constructed of white and red sandstone, ascend the hill to the fort by jeep if you are unable to make the walk up to the top. Next, visit the Jantar Mantar Observatory, built between 1728 and 1734 by Maharaja Jai Singh. This is the largest observatory of the five Maharaja Singh had built. Your city tour also takes you to the City Palace, a dazzling display of Hindu and Mughal architecture. The palace contains a museum with items on display including queen's carriages, weapons, artwork, and huge water flasks made entirely from silver. 

    This afternoon, explore some of the local markets including Bapu Bazaar, the perfect place to shop for camel skin products, textiles and perfumes as well as artifacts made of marble and sandstone. No shopping experience can be complete without a visit to the Johari Bazaar where you will find an array of gold, silver, diamonds, and emeralds to choose from if you like. Other market options include the Ramganj Bazaar, known for embroidered shoes and Kishanpol Bazaar, known for its tie-dye garments.

    This evening, take a rickshaw ride to the Birla Temple to witness the evening Aarti Ceremony, a Hindu ritual where wicks soaked in ghee or clarified butter are offered to the deities. This sacred ceremony is accompanied by music, with the lyrics telling the stories of the powers and goodness of the deity.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Shahpura House or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: heritage walk, cooking class & aarti ceremony
    See traditional farming methods used in JaipurSee traditional farming methods used in Jaipur

    Early this morning, head out on a three hour Heritage Walking tour of Jaipur. This walk has been planned in a way that allows you to get a closer look into Jaipur's charmingly chaotic life. Every lane in this walled city has something interesting to offer and this walk take you into some of the important blocks or chowkris such as Modikhana, Vishverwarji, Ghat Darwaza and Topkahana Desh. You will have an opportunity for close interactions with people belonging to different artisan communities like the Thatheras (metal utensil makers), Manihars (Lac bangle makers), marble sculpture makers, Neelgars (Tie-dye community), Pannigars (silver and gold foil makers), Meenakari and Kundan workers (Gold enamelers), etc.   

    Your afternoon will be free to relax or explore local bazaar by yourself.

    In the evening you will be escorted to an Indian House where you will enjoy a Cooking Demonstration and dinner with a local Indian family. It is nothing similar to a Cooking Demo organized at the hotels. This provides a very unique experience where the lady of the house herself shows you the day to day cooking styles and you will be welcome to join her. After the cooking demonstration, you will sit down to dine with the family and perhaps share some of your stories with each other. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Shahpura House or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: drive to ranthambhore national park
    Travel in open-top jeeps and get close to wildlifeTravel in open-top jeeps and get close to wildlife

    Enjoy the scenic four-hour drive to Ranthambhore, where you'll check into your resort. After lunch at the resort, enjoy a wildlife safari in the park. Nestled in the rugged and hilly landscape of the Aravali hills in northwestern India, Ranthambhore National Park is possibly the best-known tiger destination in the world. It was once the private hunting grounds of the Jaipur and Karauli royal families during the 19th century. Over a long period from the 1950's to 1970's, more and more of the forest in the area was designated as wildlife grounds or sanctuary, eventually growing to become a wildlife reserve and, in 1980, a national park.

    It is home to an astounding diversity of life, including over 40 species of mammals, 320 species of birds, over 35 species of reptiles, and over 300 species of plants. Besides tigers, wild cats found in Ranthambhore include Leopard, Caracal, Jungle cat, Rusty Spotted cat, and Fishing cat. The ungulates include Sambhar, Spotted deer (Chital), Blue bull (Nilgai), Chinkara (Indian gazelle), and wild boar. Other mammals you may see are the Sloth bear, Indian fox, Jackal, Indian wild dogs (Dhole), Small Indian civet, Palm civet, Common Indian and Ruddy mongoose, and Striped hyena.

    (Note: The park admits a maximum of 14 jeeps and 20 trucks daily, so we will reserve space as soon as we get passport details from all participants. If we are unable to book space, we will travel instead to a nearby sanctuary where there are leopards, Striped hyena, Asiatic jackals, Jungle cats, and bird life.)

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Dev Vilas or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: ranthambhore national park wildlife safari
    If you're lucky, you'll spot leopardsIf you're lucky, you'll spot leopards

    Today, enjoy enjoy morning and afternoon game drives while staying at the resort. Optional activities available at the park during your free time include: a visit to Ranthambhore Fort, founded in 944 AD by the Nagil Jats. This fort tells an enchanting tale of the Maharaja's of Jaipur that hunted for game in the reserve; a visit to a nearby village for a great cultural experience and to learn about their way of life and see why they are known for their handicrafts; spend time birdwatching at Mansarovar Dam, a perennial water source that attracts native and migratory birds; or an excursion to Surual Lake, another excellent place for birdwatching. Even if you are not a fan of birdwatching, this is still a great place to visit for it's calm a peaceful relaxation opportunities.

    Note: Activities are not included in land cost.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Dev Vilas or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: train to bharatpur, fatehpur sikri & agra
    The Taj MahalThe Taj Mahal

    After breakfast, transfer to the railway station where you will board the Sawai Madhopur-Bharatpur train. Upon arrival in Bharatpur, you will be driven to the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri, built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and later abandoned due to scarcity of water. The graceful buildings within this city are remarkably well preserved, including the Jama Masjid, the Tomb of Salim Chisti, and Panch Mahal. Also see Bulund Darwaza, the largest gateway in the world built to commemorate Akbar's conquest of Deccan in 1601. From Fatehpur Sikri, it's about another 1.5 hours to Agra.

    Agra, once the capital to the Mughals in the 16th and 17th centuries, is most famous for its impressive monuments, including the majestic Taj Mahal. Emperor Shah Jahan built the legendary Taj Mahal in 1630 to enshrine the remains of his beloved Queen Mumtaj Mahal. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned, white marble masterpiece. It stands today as testimony to the skill of craftsmen brought in from Persia, Turkey, France, and Italy and to 17 years of labor by 20,000 workers. After watching the sunset at the Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays), check in to your hotel for the night.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Radisson or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: monuments of agra
    Agra FortAgra Fort

    You will be met early in the morning at the hotel for a sunrise view of India’s most famous site, the majestic Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays). This legendary monument, dedicated to love, was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1630 to enshrine the remains of his Queen Mumtaj Mahal. This architectural marvel is a perfectly-proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble. It stands today as testimony to the skill of craftsmen brought in from Persia, Turkey, France, and Italy and to 17 years of labor by 20,000 workers.

    Return to your hotel for breakfast, then continue on with your tour of Agra with a visit to the Agra Fort, home to three Mughal Emperors. Here you will see the transition from the military might of the stern citadel raised by Akbar to the lavish beauty of shimmering white marble palaces built by Shah Jahan. Within the fort are palaces and the Halls of Public and Private Audience.  Next, visit the Tomb of Itimad-ud Daulah, known as the "Baby Taj" because it was regarded as a draft of the Taj Mahal. The tomb, built in the early 17th century, was built mostly from red sandstone with marble decorations. Continue on to the Mehtab Bgah Gardens, built by Emperor Babur in the 16th century. These gardens were an integral part of the design of the Taj Mahal. If you like, visit a marble factory to see how the intricate inlay work on marble is done before returning to your hotel where you have the rest of the day free.

    Optionally, for an additional cost, in the evening, witness an amazing music and light show depicting the tale of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz, known as the "Mohabbat the Taj". 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Radisson or similar
  • Day 10: train to jhansi, orchha palace, & khajuraho
    Jain temple carvings in KhajurahoJain temple carvings in Khajuraho

    After an early (possibly boxed) breakfast at the hotel, you’ll transfer to the railway station to board the Bhopal Shatabdi train for the ride to Jhansi (ETD 8:30 am / ETA 11:00 am).

    Upon arrival in Jhansi, you’ll be driven ½-hour to Orchha to explore the Orchha Palace and other sites. The bustling Orchha Palace complex is actually home to several palaces and monuments. Established by King Rudrapratap Singh in 1501, it was an ideal place to build a capital as thick forests shelter the area—which also helped preserve these age-old monuments. Over the decades, several generations of kings and queens called this complex home, as did their vast entourages of officials, servants, horses and elephants. Pass through the entrance gate, through a courtyard and into the King’s Palace, or Raja Mahal. Within the royal chambers, you’ll be witness to intricate murals of gods, mythological creatures, humans, and animals, all depicted within religious and social themes. Upstairs rooms still have remnants of mirrors in the ceilings and walls.

    You'll then head out on a 4.5-hour drive to Khajuraho, enjoying the scenery along the way. In the temple architecture of India, this complex remains unique. One thousand years ago, under the generous and artistic patronage of the Chandela Rajput kings of Central India, 85 temples were built here from 950 AD - 1050 AD. Today, of the original 85, only 22 have survived the ravages of time. These remain as a collective hymn to life, to joy and to creativity; to the ultimate fusion of man with his creator.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Ramada or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: khajuraho temples
    There are many intricate Jain temples in KhajurahoThere are many intricate Jain temples in Khajuraho

    You'll spend the day exploring the magnificent temple complex. The temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandella dynasty, between 950 and 1050, and only about 20 or the 85 temples remain. They fall into three distinct groups and belong to two different religions – Hinduism and Jainism. They strike a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture. The Temple of Kandariya is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art. 

    After exploring the Eastern & Western group of temples, visit the old section of Khajuraho where you'll find homes whitewashed or painted in colorful pastels, small shrines that line the streets, and ancient wells.

    Tonight you'll return to the Western group of temples to experience the Khajuraho Sound & Light Show. This is the best evening activity for understanding the history, facts, and myths of the Khajuraho temples.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Ramada or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: drive to bandavgarh national park
    Storks are a sight at BandhavgarhStorks are a sight at Bandhavgarh

    After an early breakfast at the hotel, you'll head out on a relaxing six-hour drive to the resort in Bandavgarh, where you’ll enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure, followed by dinner at the resort. 

    Bandhavgarh was once a "Shikargah", or game preserve, of the Maharajas and their guests until it was declared a National Park in 1968. In 1972, Project Tiger and Wildlife Protection Act were enacted. today, the park it home to around 37 species of mammals, more than 250 species of birds, and a number of reptiles. Bandhavgarh has the highest density of Bengal tigers in the world making spotting them easier than some of India's other Tiger Reserves. Other mammals you may see at the park are the Indian bison, sambar and barking deer, Indian wolf, striped hyena, and Indian Leopard. Some of the bird life you'll see are the parakeets, barbets, Indian grey hornbill, egrets, herons, stilts, flycatchers, storks, and kingfishers.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Bandhav Vilas or similar
    Show on a map
  • Days 13-14: bandavgarh wildlife safaris
    See tigers up closeSee tigers up close (Photo: Avijit Sarkhel )

    Bandhavgarh National Park has a large array of wildlife including sloth bears, deer, leopards and jackals. Birdwatchers will delight in the plethora of bird species inhabiting all terrains from rocky crags to the auburn forest floor and mottled forest canopy. Bandhavgarh was named after an ancient fort built on a 2,624 foot cliff in the park. From its zenith one can enjoy incredible views of the park. However, prior permission is required.

    You’ll enjoy an early morning game drive to catch the wildlife during one of their most active times of the day, then return to the resort for breakfast. An afternoon game drive followed by dinner at the resort completes your day.

    You'll spend your free time to do as you like, perhaps visiting a nearby village, taking a birding walk to learn more about the local birds, or visit a village workshop to learn more on how they produce items from weaving bamboo. Consider taking a picnic meal at one of the nearby bodies of water. 

    Note: Wildlife safaris do not operate on Wednesday afternoons or Diwali and Holi Festivals. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Bandhav Vilas or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 15: drive to jabalpur & flight to delhi
    The Ghats at VaranasiThe Ghats at Varanasi

    You'll set out on an early morning departure for Jabalpur (approximately 4-5 hour drive) where you catch a flight back to Delhi and stay at the airport hotel.

    Optionally, and highly recommended, is a visit to the Kingdom of Dreams, one of India's ultimate live entertainment complexes. The Kingdom of Dreams brings to life a blend of India's art, culture, heritage, craft, and performing art and combines that with all the modern technology of today. Show runs from 7:30 to 9:30 pm and does not operate on Mondays.

    Or, consider extending your adventure.  Fly to Varanasi, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, dating back to the 11th century BC. The city is the holiest of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism and Jainism, and is very sacred to both Hindus and Jains. This is an excellent excursion for those looking for deep cultural and religious experiences. Or unwind on some of India's renowned beaches such as Goa.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Holiday Inn International Airport Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 16: depart delhi
    Meet the friendly localsMeet the friendly locals

    Transfer to the airport for your homebound flight.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
From
$3,900
Group size 2-3: $4300 Group size 4+: $3900 Local flight Jabalpur-Delhi add $150 (estimated)
Single Supplement:
$1,050
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates

Need to Know

Park rules as per the Government of India:

  • Parks may close without any prior notice to visitors.
  • No safari refund is allowed after the booking has been confirmed.
  • Bookings are non-transferable.
  • Reserved safari seats cannot be resold or exchanged with other visitor.
  • Identity proof is required for entry into the park.
  • Cost of the park ticket may change after the booking and visitors will be liable to pay the difference at the time of entry.
Duration:
16 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Best available jungle lodges to deluxe hotels
Activity Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Some long drives over bumpy roads
Group Size:
Most custom trips can accommodate groups of any size, from one person to as large of a group as you'd like. Some exceptions apply; ask your Adventure Specialist for details.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Varanasi Extension

Duration: 3 days

On this trip extension, you'll visit the holy city of Varanasi (Benaras), one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, dating back to the 11th century BC. The city is the holiest of the seven sacred cities of Hinduism and Jainism, an... read more

Goa Extension

Duration: 4 days

Spend four relaxing days in Goa, India's smallest state after your India adventure. Unwind on renowned beaches, see phenomenal World Heritage architecture, and take in the rich flora and fauna that make Goa a biodiversity hotspot.

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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