Golden Triangle: Wildlife
Trip Code: AITGTW
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This extended itinerary combines the incomparable ‘golden triangle’ of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur with two of India’s renowned wildlife sanctuaries: Ranthambhore National Park and Keoladeo Ghana National Park.
Ranthambhore National Park is one of the country’s most scenic parks and a prime tiger conservation area and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Keoladeo Ghana National Park is regarded as one of India’s most important bird sanctuaries.
The opportunity to explore nature at your own pace is a feature of this tour. It includes early morning or evening walks or boat, jeep, cycle-rickshaw, camel, or horse safaris. In addition to wildlife exploration there are a number of other activities to be enjoyed, such as visits to local villages, ancient temples, fortresses and ruins.
Day 1 Delhi
On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check-in. Believed to have been founded around the 3rd century BC, Delhi is one of the oldest and most fought over cities in India. In fact, it has been rebuilt out of ruins at least seven times. It would take a lifetime to discover all that is the ‘Immortal City’ of Delhi.
Day 2 Delhi
A guided tour today will give you a sense of Delhi’s epic history, along with the background to the principal sights. Among these are India’s largest mosque Jama Masjid, Ghandi’s simple memorial Raj Ghat, the chaotic shopping street of Chandni Chowk, the lotus shaped modern Ba’hai temple, and the towering observatory Qutab Minar.
Day 3 Jaipur
Make an early start this morning for the approximately 6-hour drive to Jaipur. Known as the ‘Pink City’ it was founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693–1743) and is the capital of Rajasthan. A friendly, busy town, with its palaces, gardens, museums and bazaars full of jewellery, textiles and folk-based arts and handicrafts, it is a major attraction for many who visit India.
Day 4 Jaipur
An expert local guide will take you sightseeing this morning. Begin with a visit to the famous and photogenic Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), and continue on to the still inhabited City Palace, and Maharaja Jai Singh’s astronomy park.
End your tour with a ride on a colourfully pained elephant (driven by a mahout) up the steep, zigzagging road to the gate of the mighty Amber Fort – a highlight of Rajasthan for many visitors.
Day 5 Ranthambhore
This morning drive 3 to 4 hours to the famed Ranthambhore National Park, one of India’s most scenic parks and a prime tiger conservation area. Once the private reserve of the Maharaja of Jaipur, it was used for royal hunting jaunts; in 1972 it became a national park under the Project Tiger Scheme. A popular destination, it has thousands of visitors a year – all hoping for a glimpse of the elusive tiger.
Day 6 Ranthambhore
The Royal Bengal Tiger is the national animal of India. Today you will have morning and late afternoon shared jeep safaris into the park, where there is the possibility of seeing this magnificent big cat. Although sightings cannot be guaranteed, they do occur fairly regularly – mainly because the tigers that live here have become used to being observed by humans and are quite indifferent to the sight and sound of vehicles and flashing cameras!
Day 7 Bharatpur
Today make the 5 hour drive to Bharatpur, location of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Keoladeo Ghana National Park, which is regarded as one of the world’s finest bird sanctuaries. Spread over 29 sq kms of wetlands, it attracts a wide variety – more than 375 species – of migrant and water birds who fly in each winter from places as distant as Siberia. At dusk take a cycle-rickshaw ride into the Park.
Day 8 Bharatpur
Although the main attractions for tourists here are the migratory birds, Keoladeo’s dry area of mixed deciduous and scrub vegetation is also home to many animals, including the Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat, Striped Hyena, Sambar, Fishing Cat, Blackbuck, wild Boar and the famed nilgai (blue bull) whose broad backs provide comfortable resting places for birds! Rise early this morning to explore the park by cycle rickshaw.
Day 9 Agra
Depart Bharatpur this morning for the 1½ hour drive to Agra. Transformed four hundred years ago by two great Mughal monarchs into a city befitting the glory of the mighty Mughal Empire, it is home to the finest examples of Mughal architecture in India and home to the world’s most magnificent monument to eternal love – the Taj Mahal. [Image: dcastor].
Day 10 Chambal Safari
Ideally, visit the Taj before dawn – the sight of the sun rising over its magnificent dome is unforgettable! Explore this amazing monument to your heart’s content, before paying a visit to Agra Fort, which with its innovative architectural features, is a wonder itself.
Later make the short – 1 hour drive – to Chambal Safari; a world away from the touts and hawkers of Agra, this is a very special place to stay.
Day 11 Chambal Safari
Your accommodation here is at a charming family run eco-lodge; nestling in sprawling acres of woodland and farm, it is home to numerous birds and small mammals.
There are a number of activities to be enjoyed today. You can visit the local village, ancient temples, fortresses and ruins; and you can explore nature at your own pace: take early morning or evening walks or boat, jeep, camel, or horse safaris, accompanied by resident naturalists.
Day 12 Delhi
Depart Chambal today for the approximately 6 hour drive to Delhi and transfer to the airport for your flight home or to another Indian destination.
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