The Kipling Country


Duration:
13 nights / 14 days

Places to Visit:
Mumbai, Nagpur, Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Umaria, Agra, Delhi

Day 1: Arrive Mumbai

Arrive Mumbai by an International flight. Meeting and assistance on arrival at Mumbai Airport and transfer to hotel.

Once a cluster of seven islands, Mumbai was presented to King Charles II in 1661 as part of the dowry when he married Princess Catherine de Braganza of Portugal. Over the years, as colonialism gave way to independence, Mumbai has transformed itself into an entity with thriving markets, business houses and many different communities reflecting a cosmopolitan and trendy atmosphere rarely seen elsewhere. On the surface, it represents the ever-changing face of today’s India — the old coupled with the dynamic new, and yet at its very core, the heart of the city is steeped in Indian customs and values. It is the capital of Maharashtra state, and its official language is Marathi although English and Hindi are widely spoken and understood.

The fast-paced life has given rise to hordes of “fast-food outlets” on almost every road, offering lip-smacking choices of Mumbai’s very own pav bhaji, bhelpuri and kebabs. There is no dearth, though, of multi-culinary delicacies dished out in posh restaurants by expert chefs. Mumbai is a shopper’s delight with bargain buys, exclusive boutiques, ethnic markets and mini bazaars. This busy city is also the hub of a thriving cultural life, with a constant stream of performances in music, dance and drama. The seat of the Hindi film industry, known locally as Bollywood, it produces the largest number of films in the world. Mumbai caters to the adventurous and the romantic through its sporting activities, nightclubs, pubs, theatres, beaches and restaurants.

Day 2: Mumbai

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning: Visit the 19th century Jain Temple with its silver doors, the Kamala Nehru Park and the Ferozshah Mehta Gardens known as the Hanging Gardens of Bombay and the Towers of Silence where the Parsis dispose their dead. Visit Mani Bhavan where Mahatma Gandhi spent 17 years of his life working for the freedom of India. The Prince of Wales Museum has an excellent collection of miniatures (closed on Mondays). Afternoon at leisure (No vehicle at disposal). Overnight in Mumbai.

Day 3: Mumbai – Nagpur – Kanha
Resort,Kanha

Morning departure transfer from the hotel to the airport to board flight (9W 111: 0710 / 0825 hrs) to Nagpur.

Meeting on arrival at Nagpur airport and drive to Kanha (275 kms / 7 hrs) Kanha, 175 kms southeast of Jabalpur, is one of India’s largest national park and Asia’s finest park. India’s one of the most successful conservation efforts of saving the Barasingha (Swamp Deer) was done here. Kanha National Park covers an area of 1945 sq kms including a core zone of 940 sq kms. The setting of Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’, it is a beautiful area of forest and lightly wooded grassland with many streams and rivers. It is the home of a variety of animals including tiger, panther, and many species of deer, wild pig, bison, a variety of monkeys and other animals besides some 200 species of birds. It is also part of ‘Project Tiger,’ one of India’s most important and successful conservation efforts Overnight in Kanha.

Day 4: Kanha
Resort,Kanha

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Lodge. Game drives are organized by The Park both in the early mornings and late afternoons by open jeeps and will be accompanied by a trained naturalist.

The naturalist make it sure that you have the best of the adventure when you inside the forest. They track the big cat before hand and when it settles down they take you near it.

Day 4: Kanha

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Lodge. Morning and afternoon proceed on a game drive to the sanctuary. Overnight in Kanha.

Day 6: Kanha – Bandhavgarh
Churhat,Bandahavgarh

Breakfast at the lodge. After breakfast drive to Bandhavgarh (325 kms). On arrival check in at the resort.

A wildlife retreat where history and nature meet, Bandhavgarh is too far away from Kanha. Set amidst the Vindhyan ranges, the park has a series of ridges running through it. This park was the former hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa and at present is a famous natural hub for White Tigers. White Tigers, now a major attraction around the world’s zoos, were first discovered in Rewa, not far from here. The terrain is broken, with rocky hill ranges, running roughly east west, interspersed with grassy swamps and forested valleys.

Day 7: Bandhavgarh
Churhat,Bandahavgarh

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Lodge. Morning and afternoon proceed on a game drive to the sanctuary. The Forest Department has devised an ingenuous system of tracking the tiger at this Park. Every day, early in the morning, elephants and their “Mahouts” (drivers) are sent out into the jungle, in search of the Tiger. Once it has been sighted, a radio message is flashed to the Forest Ranger, who in turn informs the visitors in their jeeps, who are then taken on elephant-back, into the bush, to see the elusive Tiger. Overnight in Bandhavgarh.

Day 8: Bandhavgarh

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Lodge. Morning and afternoon proceed on a game drive to the sanctuary. Overnight in Bandhavgarh.

Day 9: Bandhavgarh

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Lodge. Morning and afternoon proceed on a game drive to the sanctuary. Overnight in Bandhavgarh.

Day 10: Bandhavgarh – Umaria – Agra

Breakfast and Lunch at the Lodge. Morning proceed on a game drive to the sanctuary. Late afternoon drive to Umaria railway station (45Kms) to board Kalinga Utkal Express to Agra. Board the train at 1930 hrs Overnight enroute on board the train.

Day 11: Arrive Agra
Fort,Agra

Arrive at Agra railway station at 0930 hrs. Meeting and assistance on arrival at the railway station and transfer to the hotel.

Agra is famous as the home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Taj Mahal. The architectural splendour of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces in Agra is a vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal Empire. Agra was their capital for nearly a hundred years from 1564. A pleasant town, with a comparatively easy pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by artisans who are hereditary crafts persons. The city is also famous for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes. Afternoon excursion to Fatehpur Sikri.

Fatehpur Sikri – This exquisite city built by Akbar the Great in 1569, in red sandstone, with its forts, palaces and mosques was abandoned 14 years after its creation due to political reasons. The Diwan-i-am – a vast courtyard in which the emperor gave daily public audience; Diwan-i-khas – a large quadrangle which contained all the major functions of the Palace, Pachisi court, the Emperors private living quarter, Jodha Bhai’s Palace, Mariam’s Palace, Birbal’s Palace, Hawa Mahal and Panch Mahal are some of the important buildings of this residential complex. The Friday Mosque and the exquisite tomb of Sheik Salim Chisti are in the religious grounds set aside in a separate enclosure adjacent to the secular buildings. Overnight in Agra.

Day 12: Agra – Delhi

Morning: Proceed on a city tour of Agra. Visit the Agra Fort, built by three Mughal Emperors starting from Akbar the Great in 1565 AD, which is a masterpiece of design and construction. Within the fort are a number of exquisite buildings including the Moti Masjid, Jahangir’s Palace, Khas Mahal and the Sheesh Mahal, Diwane-i-Am, Diwane-i-Khas and Musamman Burj, where Emperor Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal Emperor, died a prisoner.

Day 13: Delhi

Morning: Proceed on a tour of Old Delhi visiting the historic Red Fort – Shah Jehan’s elegant citadel in red sandstone, which was built as an octagon measuring 900m by 550m and surrounded by a 9m deep moat which was at its inception fed by the waters of the Yamuna river.

The fort is entered from the Lahori Gate and leads to a roofed passage called Chatta Chowk. The Naqqar Khana (drum house) at the end of this passage marks the entrance to the royal enclosure. A spacious lawn leads to the Diwan-i-Am – the pillared Hall of Public Audience, Diwan-i-Khas – the Hall of Private Audience where the Emperor met
select visitors and to the Pearl Mosque built by Shah Jahan’s son, Aurangazeb, the last of the “Great Mughals”. Very near the Fort is the Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque), India’s largest mosque, also built by Shah Jahan. See the colourful bazaar of Chandni Chowk and take a cycle rickshaw ride through the back streets of Old Delhi to get a first hand experience of the hustle and bustle of this traditional city. This ride through the small by-lanes will be most fascinating.

FAREWELL DINNER at a nice restaurant in the town.

After Dinner, transfer to the international airport to board the flight back home.

Day 14: Depart Delhi

Leave Delhi by an International flight.