Tigers and Treasures of India
November 6, 2017

Overview:

India is the land that evokes flights of imagination and curiosity, a canvas of spectacle and color. Ruled by a succession of native kingdoms, and often overrun and inhabited by invading armies of Central Asian origin, followed by the Mughals and finally the British, transformation has been never ending and the results are deeply and visibly etched in today’s milieu. This custom designed Expedition Easy small group departure takes in the colorful tapestry of Indian culture as we travel to such magical destinations as the “Pink City”, Jaipur, sacred Varanasi to the temples of Khajuraho, and of course a sunrise visit to the legendary Taj Mahal! India’s natural history experience is not to be forgotten as we go on safari in two of the best-known national parks – Bandhavgarh and Kanha, traversing the teak forests, open meadows and waterholes in search of the globally-threatened Bengal Tiger. India is a feast for the senses and this expedition features the best India has to offer.

Brief Itinerary:
November 6, 2017 – November 21, 2017
Day 1: Delhi, India
Day 2: Old Delhi / New Delhi
Day 3: Delhi / Jaipur
Day 4: Jaipur
Day 5: Jaipur / Agra
Day 6: Agra / Varanasi
Day 7: Varanasi
Day 8: Varanasi / Khajuraho
Day 9: Khajuraho / Bandhavgarh National Park
Day 10-11: Bandhavgarh National Park
Day 12: Bandhavgarh National Park / Kanha National Park
Day 13-14: Kanha National Park
Day 15: Kanha / Dehli
Day 16: Dehli / Home

Interested in more information? Please contact Expedition Easy by telephone at 1-800-617-2319 or e-mail info@expeditioneasy.com.

Tigers and Treasures of India
November 6, 2017

Day-by-Day Itinerary:
November 6-21 2017

Day 1 – November 06, 2017 – Arrive Delhi and Overnight
Arrive in Delhi from your international flight, and after clearing customs & immigration, you will be met and transferred via private vehicle to your hotel in Delhi where you will spend the next two nights. Upon your arrival to The Claridges, check in to a Deluxe Room for 2 nights, relax and enjoy your day at leisure.
Delhi, the capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. It is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land.

Day 2 – November 07, 2017 – Full Day touring of Old Delhi & New Delhi
After breakfast depart the hotel for a full day sightseeing of the walled city called Old Delhi and the cosmopolitan New Delhi. Overnight at The Claridges.
Old Delhi – A sight-seeing tour of Old Delhi entails visiting the Raj Ghat – the memorial site, where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated; Jama Masjid – the largest mosque in India and the Red Fort – once the most opulent fort and palace of the Mughal Empire. Enjoy the rickshaw ride in one of the busiest market if Delhi – Chandani Chowk.
New Delhi – An extensive sight-seeing tour of New Delhi would include a visit to the Qutub Minar, a drive along the ceremonial avenue – Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate, Parliament House, the President’s Residence and would end with a drive through the Diplomatic Enclave followed by shopping at prime and famous shopping places. Humanyun’s Tomb (built in the 16th century and architecturally the fore runner of the Taj Mahal).

Day 3 – November 08, 2017 – Drive from Delhi to Jaipur
Early morning meet your guide and driver, depart Delhi and drive straight to Jaipur. Check-in to the Samode Haveli in a Deluxe Room for 2 Nights
Jaipur: The picturesque capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is awash in pink – the colour associated with hospitality in Rajput culture. Built in 1727 A.D. by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh JI, Jaipur displays a remarkable harmony and architectural splendor. The ancient heart of the Pink City still beats in its fairytale palaces, rugged fortresses perched on barren hills and broad avenues that dot the entire city. The only planned city of its time, Jaipur is encircled by a formidable wall. There is a timeless appeal to Jaipur’s colorful bazaars where one can shop for Rajasthani handlooms and trinkets. Beautifully laid out gardens and parks, attractive monuments and marvelous heritage hotels (once the residence of Maharajas), are worth admiration. Not to mention the ambling camels and cheerful people in multi-hued costumes that makes your trip to the pink city a memorable one.

Day 4 – November 09, 2017: Full Day touring Jaipur
After an early breakfast an excursion takes you to beautiful Amber Fort. Followed by visits to City Palace, Jantar Mantar (Observatory), Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds). Return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure, overnight at Samode Haveli.
Amber Fort Palace – Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression.
Jantar Mantar – This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.
City Palace – A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal and the City Palace Museum.
Hawa Mahal – The ornamental facade of this “Palace of Winds” is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. Their five-storey structures of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows.

Day 5 – November 10, 2017: Drive to Agra / Fatehpur Sikri & Agra Fort
After breakfast drive to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri for a visit to the fortress. Upon arrival in Agra, check in to the hotel, ITC Mughal Luxury Collection in a Mughal Chamber for one night. Late afternoon visit Agra fort. Overnight ITC Mughal Luxury for 1 night.
Fatehpur Sikri: The capital of the Mughal Empire between 1570 and 1585, Fatehpur Sikri was built under the personal supervision of the Emperor Akbar. He was childless and, having tried all sorts of solutions to his plight, visited a Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chishti, for help. Soon a son was born and, impressed and overjoyed, he started building on the site where he had met the saint. However due to a severe shortage of water the city was abandoned after only fifteen years and the capital was relocated back to Agra. As a result Fatehpur Sikri stands untouched and perfectly preserved; a complete medieval fortress of red sandstone, with vast central squares, exquisitely carved multi-tiered pavilions, cool terraces and formal gardens.
Agra Fort, a massive structure with 70-foot high, 1.5-mile long walls encompassing an astounding collection of well-preserved buildings, many of them completed during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan.

Day 6 – November 11, 2017: Taj Mahal Sunrise Visit and Fly to Varanasi
Rise early for morning coffee and prepare for a truly spectacular sight, the legendary Taj Mahal at daybreak. It is often said that Taj Mahal changes its colors by every minute depending upon angle of sunrays and it is best seen either by sunset or sunrise. Sunrise however is the best time for taking pictures of this monument under mild sun light. After returning to the hotel enjoy a full American breakfast before transferring to the airport for your flight to Varanasi. Situated on the banks of the sacred Ganges, the city of Varanasi has been a center of learning and civilization for over 2000 years.
Transfer to your hotel for some time at leisure, this evening witness an Aarti ceremony of the holy river Ganges at the Dashaswamedh Ghat. Huge lamps are set ablaze and the priest holds forth the lamp as the multitude chants the hymns. Overnight in Varanasi at the Gateway Hotel Ganges for 2 nights in an Executive Room
Taj Mahal- Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder, which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist’s visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen. (Taj closed on Friday)
Varanasi, known to the devout as Kashi, is said to have been founded by Shiva, Lord of the Universe. One of the oldest living cities in the world, as also one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India,

Day 7 – November 12, 2017: Sunrise on the Ganges and Full Day Touring Varansi
Early in the morning drive to Daswamedh Ghat and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world’s oldest and most important religions. Board a boat with your guide and proceed to the middle of the river, where at sunrise the sight unfolds before you. Return to the hotel for breakfast. Later proceed for Varanasi city sightseeing including a visit to Bharat Mata Mandir (Mother India Temple), Durga Temple (popularly known as monkey temple) and Benares Hindu University. Afternoon excursion to Sarnath. Overnight Gateway Hotel Ganges.
Sarnath has previously been known as Mrigadava, “deer park,” and Isipatana, meaning the place where holy men fell to earth. The latter name is based in the legend that when the Buddha was born, devas came down to announce it to 500 holy men. The holy men all rose into the air and disappeared and their relics fell to the ground.

Day 8 – November 13, 2017: Fly Varanasi to Khajuraho a UNESCO World Heritage Site
After breakfast transfer to the airport to board your flight to Khajuraho. Upon arrival in Khajuraho, transfer to your hotel for some time at leisure before an afternoon guided walking tour. Overnight at the Radisson Hotel Khajuraho for 1 night in a Deluxe Room.
Explore the magnificent Jain and Hindu temples and intricate stone sculptures illuminated in the morning light. Known as the erotic temples, the craftsmanship exhibits images of gods and goddesses, celestial maidens and dancers, animals and musicians, all frozen in stone, many in the act of courtship. Khajuraho is a UNESCO World Heritage Site to preserve this collective glorification of life, love, and joy, and reflect the spirit of creativity and human relationships of the Chandela period (9th & 10th century CE). The Eastern group of temples include the Parasvanath Temple – the only Jain Temple surviving at Khajuraho with excellent sculptures on the outer walls of the Sanctum, the Javeri Temple dedicated to Vishnu, and other temples dedicated to Brahma, the Goddess Kali, the Visha Temple of Shiva, and the Bharatji Temple with a lovely image of 11 headed Vishnu.

Day 9 – November 14, 2017: Drive to Bandhavgarh National Park
After an early breakfast depart Khajuraho and drive all morning to Bandhavgarh National Park arriving in time for lunch at the lodge and an afternoon safari in a 4×4 jeep accompanied by resident naturalist and forest guide. Return to the lodge for evening tea and rest of time free to relax. Overnight at Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge in a cottage for 3 nights.

Bandhavgarh National Park: Set amongst The Vindhya Hills in Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh consists of 168 sq miles of Sal & a mixed forest of bamboo, grassland, and a complex of deciduous forests. There are at least 150 species of birds in the park, along with other mammals such as Tigers, Sloth Bear, Langur Monkeys, Wild Boar, Mongoose, 3 Kinds Of Deer – Chital, Sambar And Barking, to name a few.

Upon arrival in Bandhavgarh, check in to hotel.

Days 10 & 11 – November 15 & 16, 2017: On Safari at Bandhavgarh Natl Park
Rise and shine with a knock on your room door with Tea/Coffee. You wake up to misty mornings and sounds of birds calling, which will make an exciting start to your day. As soon as dawn breaks, leave for your Jungle Safari, accompanied by a resident naturalist and forest park guides in 4×4 safari vehicles. In the winter months morning safaris require warm clothes and woolen caps and gloves to keep you warm from the wind chill factor in your open jeep. We provide blankets and sometimes even a hot water bottle to keep you comfortable. Lunch and afternoon safari by 4×4 jeep accompanied by resident naturalist and forest guide. Return to lodge for evening tea and rest of time free to relax. Overnight at Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge.

Day 12 – November 17, 2017: Drive to Kanha National Park
After a morning jungle safari, drive to Kanha National Park through rural countryside, colorful towns & villages and includes a stop in the sleepy town of Mandla (sacred city for Gond tribes) where the Narmada river, second holiest to the Ganges, is the center of activity. En-route enjoy a picnic lunch, arrive Kanha and check in at Lodge. Overnight Kanha Jungle Lodge for 3 nights.
Kanha National Park-Set on The Chhota Nagpur Plateau in Madhya Pradesh, Kanha provides breath taking vistas of grassy plains and strands sal forests. This 366 sq mile preserve was set to save two endangered species i.e. Tiger and Barasingha. The park offers a variety of species including Tigers and Leopards, Cheetal, Gaur, Barking Deer, & Sambhar Deer.

Days 13 & 14 – November 18 & 19, 2017: Kanha National Park
You will wake up to misty mornings and sounds of birds calling, which will make an exciting start to your day. As soon as dawn breaks, leave for your Jungle Safari, accompanied by a resident naturalist and forest park guides in 4x 4 Jeeps. A picnic breakfast in the middle of the Jungle with a cup of hot Tea or Coffee. The rest of the morning is at leisure or go for nature walks, visit to nearby village/school or engage yourself in cooking demonstration. Lunch and afternoon safari by 4×4 open jeep. Return to lodge for afternoon tea and dinner and perhaps night-time star gazing. Overnight at Kanha Jungle Lodge.

Day 15 – November 20, 2017: Kanha-Raipur-Delhi
After your last morning, transfer to Raipur airport to board your evening flight to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, transfer to your airport hotel. Stay overnight in Delhi at The Pride Plaza Hotel, near the airport.

Day 16 – November 21, 2017: Delhi Departure
Transfer to Delhi airport to board your international flight.
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*Please note: This itinerary is subject to change. In the spirit of expedition travel, plans may change slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the wildlife and destination.

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Tigers and Treasures of India
November 6, 2017

Rates:

With an Expedition Easy Tour Leader & Local Indian Guide
November 6 – 21, 2017
Approx. $6,270 per person sharing, based on 9-10 guests traveling
Approx. $7,075 per person sharing, based on 6-8 guests traveling
Approx. $8,950 per person sharing, based on 4-5 guests traveling

**A minimum of 4 travelers required with an Expedition Easy Tour Leader

Single supplement: approx. $1,745

With a local Indian Naturalist/Guide only
Approx. $5,180 per person sharing, based on 9-10 guests traveling
Approx. $5,675 per person sharing, based on 6-8 guests traveling
Approx. $6,630 per person sharing, based on 3-5 guests traveling
Approx. $8,545 per person sharing based on 2 guests traveling

Single supplement: approx. $1,745

**Rates are valid for the November 06-21, 2017 set departure as well as requested departure dates from Oct 15, 2017 through April 30, 2018, except December 20, 2017 – January 05, 2018

Rates are based on per person sharing and are approximate until the time of booking.
Rates are quoted in USD and subject to change without prior notice due to circumstances
beyond our control; i.e. fuel increases, currency fluctuations, etc.

Airfare supplement: approx. $625 per person
For sectors Delhi-Varanasi, Varanasi – Khajuraho & Raipur – Delhi in economy class

Baggage allowance 15 kg per person

Please note that airfare & air schedule is subject to change

Included:

– Accommodation on twin/double sharing basis at hotels mentioned above or in similar category in their standard rooms unless otherwise specified
– All meals with combination of packed lunch / hot lunches as required to fit the itinerary
– Services of Air Conditioned vehicles (Toyota Innova or similar) for all transfers, drives and sightseeing
– Full time English speaking local Tour Leader/Guide as well as resident naturalists at national parks
– Full time Expedition Easy Tour Leader when 4 or more travelers are booked on the
06-21 November, 2017 trip
– Jeep Safaris/Elephant Safari in Bandhavgarh & Kanha NP inclusive of entry fee to park and resident naturalist
– Rickshaw ride in Old Delhi
– Elephant ride at Amber Fort, Jaipur
– Boat ride on Ganges at Varanasi during evening Aarti as well as morning visit to the Ganges
– Battery van ride at Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri from their parking area
– Entrance fees to the places of visit, natural parks
– One still camera fee per person per day
– Bottled drinking water during all transfers, drives & sightseeing as well as during all meals at hotels, restaurants and National Parks
– Meeting / assistance at the time of arrival and departure at airport/ Railways Station and during check in/out at hotels in major cities
– All Tips
– Service tax of 3.62%

Note:
– Jeep safaris in the National parks in Madhya Pradesh (Bandhavgarh & Kanha in this itinerary) will not operate on Wednesday afternoons, other safari activities will be offered

Not Included:

– Domestic and International Airfare (internal airfare supplement quoted separately above)
– Travel Insurance
– Indian Visa Fee
– Anything not mentioned in the above Included
– Any expenditure of personal nature like drinks (mineral water other than what is mentioned in inclusion above), laundry, telephone calls, ala carte meals, Video Camera fee if any, etc
– Any expenses incurred due to any unforeseen fuel increase, change in government tax policy or for any other reason beyond our control like natural calamity/acts of god, etc.

Deposit & Payments

This itinerary is subject to the availability of all services at the time of making a reservation. No space is being held at this time. Please contact Expedition Easy for the full terms and conditions that apply. We are happy to answer questions and discuss your trip.

Reservations

To reserve space on a trip on the Expedition Easy website, please contact Expedition Easy by telephone at 1-800-617-2319 or e-mail info@expeditioneasy.com.

Set departure will operate November 6-21, 2017.

Other departure dates available. Contact Expedition Easy with your preferred dates of travel.