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DELHI, JUNGLE SAFARI AND THE TAJ MAHAL
14 NIGHTS STARTING FROM £5345 PER PERSON
TIGERS AND TAJ
Now India is a place beyond all others where one must not take things too seriously—the midday sun always excepted.
Take this trip to India and the experiences will steal into your heart and never leave.
Start with the exotic architecture of Delhi, your senses overloaded with the intensity of colours, sounds, tastes and smells, as though your eyes once saw only in black and white but now everything’s available in radiant technicolour.
Move on to the lush beauty of the jungle on unforgettable safari outings, glimpse the magnificent tiger and leopard, encounter elephants and their mahouts, be dazzled by the vibrant plumage of birds – and then travel to Agra and wander around the Taj Mahal at sunrise, surely one of the most glorious images of beauty on the planet, rising above the banks of the Yamuna River “like a solitary tear suspended on the cheek of time,” as poet Rabindranath Tagore once wrote.
Beyond words, beyond all human imaginations, the only thing left to do is go there and be enthralled.
WHY GO ON THIS TRIP?
DAYS 1, 2: THE RICH TAPESTRY OF DELHI
Welcomed at the airport, you’ll be taken to your home for the next two nights – the incomparable Imperial Hotel, recently awarded the honour of Best Luxury Historical Hotel in India. It’s an iconic 1930s building where you’ll experience traditional top-class service harking back to the halcyon days of the Raj.
After a refreshing night’s sleep, take in the magic of multidimensional Delhi on a sightseeing tour by rickshaw – the quaint alleyways of the Chandni Chowk bazaars, the palatial glory of the Red Fort, the magnificent Jama Masjid mosque and the India Gate, the peace of the park at Raj Jhat where Gandhi was cremated, the mysterious ruins at Qutab Minar – and then plunge back into the 21st century if you desire, visiting contemporary art galleries and shops.
DAYS 3, 4, 5: START YOUR INDIA SAFARI, TIGERS?
A morning flight to Nagpur, then you’ll be transferred for 3 nights in Pench, staying at Taj Bhaghvan, a charming lodge on the edge of the National Park, a teak jungle alive with wildlife. Yes, here are the tigers you’ve dreamed of glimpsing, and many other species, some of which you’ve probably not even heard of, like gaur, sambar and chital. Each day you’ll be escorted on fascinating safaris, mornings and evenings, deep into the heart of the trees, alongside meandering streams.
The lodge has beautifully-appointed contemporary bungalow suites, a swimming pool, and a canopied rooftop platform where you could sleep out under the star-spangled skies if you chose.
DAYS 6, 7, 8: NEXT STOP KANHA
Here, on the banks of the Banjaar River, the next resting point on your trip of a lifetime is the Taj Banjaar Tola, a camp such as you’ve never imagined, with sumptuous bamboo-panelled tents – if they could be described as mere tents – with ensuite facilities and immaculate interior design which celebrates local craft and textiles.
Twice-daily safaris, during your three night stay, take you into forests and across huge expanses of meadows of the Kanha National Park, where you may see big cats, deer and antelope, langur monkeys, bison and boar as well as countless species of birds.
DAYS 9, 10, 11: BEAUTIFUL BANDHAVGARH
If you’ve not managed to see a tiger yet, here is the place where a sighting is almost guaranteed, along with abundant wildlife of diverse species – the Bandhavgarh National Park, amongst the crags of the Vindhyan Hill plateaux, with dark forests, winding streams and golden meadows. Here you can see tiny rusty-spotted cats, wild dogs, sloth bears and many more animals and birds on your morning and evening safaris, guided by expert naturalists.
Home will be the Mahua Kothi Lodge for 3 nights, chic huts in the style of traditional dwelling places, yet with all modern conveniences for your comfort.
DAYS 11, 12, 13: ALL ABOARD FOR THE TAJ MAHAL
A first-class overnight sleeper train, the Mahakaushal Express, whizzes you from Katni Junction to Agra for a morning arrival, when you’ll be taken to your hotel, the splendid Oberoi Amarvilas, just 600 metres from the Taj Mahal. A half-day tour takes in the massive red sandstone Mughal Agra Fort and then, as the jewel in the crown of your amazing trip, the next day starts with a sunrise trip to the Taj Mahal itself.
The last day, onward to Delhi for one last night before your homeward flight, your head and heart bursting with memories of a remarkable adventure.