This tour has been planned especially for the domestic travelers who wish to have a taste of not just the Indian culture, but also mix some fun and adventure to it.
Day-1: So on day one, I meet them right at the Airport exit gate in New Delhi from where we straightaway leave for Agra. The drive is about five hours. And early noon we check in at the Utkarsh Vilas close to the majestic Taj Mahal. Staff is ready with a hot meal post which I recommend that the guests take some rest. And in the evening I am joined by local culture guides who take you to an extensive tour of the Evening guided tour of Taj Mahal. You can do some shopping post this cultural trip and then return to an awesome meal and cozy beds of the hotel for an overnight rest.
Day-2: On day two the travelers go for an early morning check-out and leave for Chambal (Dhaulpur) for morning Boat Cruise. An early morning boat-ride at the Chambal is the best experience one can get at a river. And we at Asian Adventures really knows how to plan and execute its birding tours. River Chambal is one of the country’s most beautiful and least polluted river of India. So the birding thrill includes spotting the large nesting colonies of the rare INDIAN SKIMMER, BLACK-BELLIED TERN, Flocks of migratory WATERFOWL, various species of CRANES feeding nearby. We captured COMMON, DEMOISELLE and SARUS CRANE in our camera. Not just that Chambal gave us beautiful views of Marsh Crocodiles (Muggers), Ghariyal (Fish-eating Crocodile), a few species Turtles. If you were more than lucky than you may even spot the highly endangered Gangetic River Dolphins.
After a boat cruise, the travelers are back on road with me as we continue the drive to Bharatpur. The arrival here is in the afternoon. The travelers take lunch and some rest. Towards say 3 pm I am joined by a local guide who will take the travelers to watch birds outside the Keoladeo National Park. Why outside? Because time is less and well will explore the park in totality the next day.
Day-3: On day three, before the Sunrise, we reach the Keoladeo National Park or the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary with cameras and food, water, etc packed up. Though there are various options for the tourists to explore the Sanctuary, usually the travelers either explore the sanctuary bicycles or cycle-rickshaws. This mosaic of grasslands, woodlands, swamps, and wetland…..the sanctuary offers more than 200 species of birds, 30+ species of mammals and species of snakes! The bird families in the park also include hundreds of aquatic birds that fly here in the winter months. So we spend half a day here in the company of SARUS CRANES, SPOT-BILLED PELICANS, BAR-HEADED AND GREYLAG GEESE, MANY DUCKS, INDIAN SPOTTED AND WHITE-TAILED EAGLE, SHIKRA, MANY WADERS, WAGTAILS & WARBLERS, RED-THROATED FLYCATCHER, various species of LARKS, AND PIPITS. After a half-day birding, I take the guests back to their hotel for a lunch and to check out. It is time to drive to the land of the Tiger – Ranthambore. We arrive at the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in the evening and check in to a typical Rajasthani Welcome at the Ranthambhore Heritage Haveli. This is our den for the night.
Day-4: Day four is about taking two safaris, one early morning and another post an early lunch. We begin the day early and land as per the opening timings of the National Park to catch an early Tiger. So where do we go? Well, we go by the local guides’ directive – if a tiger was spotted in a particular region the day before, he might have changed its location the next day. So there is not a fixed plan. Thus I will detail where we spotted Tiger on this very trip. Our first Tiger spotting happened with the rising Sun amid the song of the birds as the majestic animal came for its first drink of the day at the Soorwal Lake. The tourists not only filled their camera with various poses The Tiger threw at us but also many species of birds that the Soorwal Lake is famous for. Post lunch during the evening Safari we visited the ruins of the Ranthambore Fort – one of the best Tiger sighting zones of the region. But we could not spot a Tiger during this time, so decided to visit again in the coming days. Rather we spotted wild boar, wild bear and some awesome species of birds including the Rufous Treepie which is also fondly called the TIGER’s TOOTHPICK. Towards the early end of this Safari, we also went on a short hike to the Ganesha temple of the Fort region, where through binoculars we spotted a Tiger at a long distance. The most important birds in Ranthambore include’s Graylag Goose, Woodpeckers, Indian Gray Hornbills, Common Kingfishers, Bee Eaters, Cuckoos, Parakeets, Asian Palm Swift, Owl, Nightjars, Pigeon, Dove, Crakes, Snipes, Sandpipers, Gulls, Terns, Great Crested Grebe, Eagles, Darters, Cormorants, Egrets, Herons, Bittern and many more. By the time we are done with this, the day has come to an end and it is time to dig your fingers into a Rajasthani Meal done to your taste and after that hit the bed. And all that with some Rajasthani Music playing in the dining area.
Day-5: On day five we take a final early morning Safari at Ranthambore and check out by say 11 am to drive down to Jaipur. By the time we reach Jaipur it is already late afternoon, so while the guests take lunch and some rest, I sit with the local guides and plan a trip of the walled-city markets for the taste of the local culture of Jaipur for the guests. After spending a lovely evening the guests come back to the Umaid Haveli for dinner and overnight stay.
Day-6: Day 6 is about some pre-designated local guides joining me to take the travelers on a fully-guided tour of the majestic city of Jaipur. The walled heritage city of Jaipur, with its enchanting old bazaars, havelis, forts, and pink-hued buildings is full of romance and royal charm. There is so much to see in Jaipur but the best way to explore it being on the roads, soaking up the sights and sounds of this bustling city. Visiting the old heritage sights like City Palace, Hawa Mahal, various havelis and old palaces that have now been converted into luxury hotels, gives you a glimpse of its erstwhile grandeur. The stunning Amber Fort Palace established in 1592 by Man Singh I is a sight to behold. The narrow lanes of the charming bazaars in the walled city are full of color and beckon you to buy handcrafted souvenirs, paintings, textiles, blue pottery, traditional jewelry, bangles etc. Every lane is a veritable treasure of some artistry, tie and dye art, gem cutting, and polishing, leather work, bangle making. You can see it all here. We also take you to a very interesting resort away from the city where the ambiance transports you to a traditional Rajasthani village where you can enjoy a traditional meal, local folk dance and music performances, puppet shows etc. After enjoying a full day in Jaipur I bring the tourists back to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day-7: Day seven is about returning to Delhi by road. So we start after an early breakfast at 7 am. And after lunch and check in at the designated hotel in Delhi, I take the tourists for a half-day tour of the walled city. Some important places worth visiting in Delhi include the Humayun’s Tomb, the Jantar Mantar, the Bahai temple, the Qutab Minar, Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Raj Ghat, India Gate. The local guides and I cover as much as possible for the tourists. And we come back to the hotel for dinner and overnight rest.
Day-8: On day eight, it is time to bid adieu to the tourists, some of whom have now become good friends. And the tour ends on a happy note with hugs and exchange of contact details…and a promise to meet again.