Tigers and the Taj – Tiger Tour
Tigers and the Taj Mahal – both the best recognized enigmatic symbols of India. This classic trip combines a visit to Ranthambhore in the state of Rajasthan – ‘the land of Kings’ to get a glimpse of the greatest of the big cats – The Tiger, with a visit to see the most romantic monument on earth – the Taj Mahal. Come join this incredible sojourn and do a tiger tour with Enchanted India on a vacation that will create memories that warm your heart for a lifetime.
Best Time: Mid October – End May
Your journey begins in the heart of India – Delhi, the capital. Delhi is named after Dilu, a king who built a city at this location in 50BC. A city of 25 million people, India’s capital is filled with relics of lost empires. Medieval fortifications, some of the finest examples of Colonial and Mughal architecture, some of the greatest bazaars in the sub-continent all vie with modern architecture in all seven of Delhi’s cities. Especially noteworthy is the area called New Delhi planned by Lutyens. Delhi is becoming the centre for Art and Culture in India, and hosts the most renowned Art, Book and Fashion festivals.
From Delhi you travel to the small town of Sawai Madhopur, the gateway to the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. Ranthombore, the hunting grounds of the Maharajah of Jaipur, lies at the junction of the Aravalli and Vindhya mountain ranges and offers a magnificent backdrop of archaeological monuments for wildlife viewing. One of the premier tiger reserves in the country, Ranthambore is one of the best places to look for encounters with this elusive predator. About 272 species of birds are found here many of which you will encounter on safaris in the Reserve.
From Sawai madhopur you travel to Bharatpur to visit the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a wetland site of international importance and a designated Ramsar site. This is a manmade and managed wetland area home to 336 species of birds, and every year thousands of migratory waterfowl visit the area for winter breeding. The sheer number of birds has often led to the region being declared one of the richest bird areas of the world.
The journey continues to the city of Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Enroute you visit the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. This is a world heritage site and was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1569. The city was built to serve as the capital of the Mughal Empire but was abandoned soon after its inception due to the paucity of water. The buildings built primarily in red sandstone with independent pavilions arranged in formal geometry. The imperial palace was over two miles long is largely intact and surrounded by a wall five miles long.
The Taj Mahal is considered one of the most beautiful buildings ever created. The Taj was created in pristine white marble set with precious stones and offset by buildings of red sandstone. The Mausoleum was built by the Emperor Shah Jehan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal who he married in 1612. Mumtaz Mahal died in childbirth in 1629 and the court went into mourning for two years. The Emperor decided to build a monument in her memory and the Taj Mahal was created. The building is over 20 storeys high and took 22 years to complete with a work force of 20,000 craftsmen. The uniqueness of the Taj lies in its remarkable innovations. It is a perfectly symmetrical building and lies at the end of a beautifully laid out quadripartite garden that lends depth and perspective to the viewing of the monument. The long water body in the centre of the garden perfectly reflects the building.
After drinking in the beauty of the Taj Mahal and marveling at the exquisiteness of the craftsmenship on display you return to your Hotel and then the following day back to Delhi.
Day 1: Delhi
Arrival in Delhi. Check into your hotel.
Day 2: Delhi – Sawai Madhopur
In the morning you embark on a guided short sightseeing tour of Delhi. This will cover parts of New Delhi with the India Gate, Presidents House, parts of Lutyen’s Delhi, the Qutab Minar and Humanyan’s Tomb. In the afternoon you take Train to Sawai Madhopur the gateway to Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. You transfer to your Lodge. Overnight at Lodge
Day 3–5: Ranthambore Tiger Reserve
There are two safaris each day into the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in your quest for the tiger. Other mammals in the Park include the Sambar and Chital Deer, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Crocodiles, Mongoose and Jackals. Birdwatching is also rewarding and some of the birds that one can expect to see include Grey francolin, Sirkeer Malkoha, Painted Sandgrouse, Indian Courser, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Southern Grey Shrike, Isabelline Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Variable Wheatear,Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Blue Rock Thrush, and Common Buzzard. Overnight at Lodge.
Day 6: Sawai Madhopur – Bharatpur
At Bharatput you visit the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a wetland site of international importance and a designated Ramsar site. This is a manmade and managed wetland area home to 336 species of birds, and every year thousands of migratory waterfowl visit the area for winter breeding. The sheer number of birds has often led to the region being declared one of the richest bird areas of the world. Check into Lodge and after lunch go into the Keoladeo Ghana National Park on foot or cycle rickshaws with a birding guide. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 7: Bharatpur
Full days of birding in Keoladeo Ghana National Park on foot or cycle rickshaws with a birding guide. The birds to expect are Indian Courser, Sarus Crane, Dusky eagle Owl, Large tailed Nightjars, CommonPochard, Great white Pelican, Greylag and Bar headed Goose. Overnight at Lodge
Day 8: Bharatpur – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra
Today you will drive to Agra visiting Fatehpur Sikri en route to Agra. You arrive in Agra in time for Lunch and check into your hotel. In the afternoon you visit the Taj and see the sights of Agra. Overnight at hotel in Agra.
Day 09: Agra – Delhi
You drive back to Delhi and check into your hotel. You have the evening free to explore Delhi and its bazaars and food.
Day 10: Goodbyes
Transfer to the Airport for your flight back.