This trip is designed to maximize your chances of thrilling experiences with the Bengal tiger. Located in the rural heart of India, you'll explore multiple natural habitats—including the deciduous forests of Kanha National Park, considered the most beautiful and pristine wildlife reserves in the country.  The trip is topped off with visits to the Taj Mahal, the glorious city of Fatehput Sikri, and the extraordinary Khajuraho temples.

Highlights

  • Catch a glimpse of the elusive Bengal tiger
  • Have once-in-a-lifetime wildlife viewings, like leopard and sloth bears
  • Experience the breathtaking Taj Mahal & the Red Fort of Angara
  • View the exquisite erotic stone carvings at the Khajuraho temples
  • Enjoy an overnight train to Jabalpur, an authentic Indian experience 

Brief Itinerary 

Day Highlights

Overnight

Day 1 Arrival in Delhi Delhi
Day 2 Train trip from New Delhi – Ranthambore  Sawai Madhoput
Day 3 Ranthambore: Morning & Evening Game Drives Sawai Madhoput
Day 4 Ranthambore – Bharatpur  Bharatpur
Day 5 Bharatpur – Agra  Agra
Day 6 Sight-seeing of Agra & overnight train to Jabalpur Overnight Train
Day 7 Arrive Jabalpur & transfer to Kanha National Park Kanha
Day 8 Kanha: Morning & Evening Game Drives Kanha
Day 9 Kanha – Bandhavgarh National Park Bandhavgarh
Day 10 Bandhavgarh: Morning & Evening Game Drives Bandhavgarh
Day 11 Bandhavgarh – Khajuraho  Khajuraho
Day 12 Khajuraho – Delhi Delhi
Day 13 Departure from Delhi  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Delhi

A city cus drops of travelers in front of the New Delhi train station
A city bus drops off travelers in front of the New Delhi train station

Arrive at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. Upon arrival, after the traditional welcome, transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is yours to relax and grab any last-minute necessities. 

Day 2: New Delhi – Ranthambore 

India's architecture is influenced by many ethnic and religious groups, the influences of which are seen in the well-preserved ruins
India's architecture is influenced by many ethnic and religious groups, the influences of which are seen in the well-preserved ruins

Today you have a half-day sight-seeing excursion in Delhi. Visit the walled city of Old Delhi - crowded and full of activity, it's an excellent place to view the architectural influences of the great Mughals who once rules from the ramparts of the majestic Red Fort. 

Stop in at Jama Masjid, a beautiful mosque from the 17th century, then take a walk through the famous Chandni Chowk - a typical Indian market abuzz with activity. Finish the day with a stop in the Rajghat - the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, the 'father of India'.

Moving over to New Delhi, drive past the Presidential Palace, the Secretariat Buildings and down the impressive Rajpath to the India Gate. Later, transfer to the railway station to board the train to Sawai Madhopur, a small town in Rajasthan that has gained popularity for its proximity to Ranthambore National Park. On arrival to Sawai Madhoput, check into your hotel and get settled - tomorrow is an exciting day.  

Day 3: Ranthambore: Morning & Evening Game Drives

Black-winged kite (Elanus caeruleus) perched on branch in Ranthambore national park
Black-winged kite (Elanus caeruleus) perches on branch in Ranthambore national park

Today you will have two game drives into the park to try to catch a glimpse of one of the elusive tigers. Wake up early in the morning - one of the best times to catch a glimpse of these secretive animals - and leave for your first safari into the National Park. Ranthambore has one of the largest populations of tigers in India, and your experienced guides know the best places to visit to see the tigers. 

After the drive, return to the hotel, have breakfast and relax until lunch. In the afternoon, return to the park for your second safari.

Day 4: Ranthambore – Bharatpur 

A Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) is a common sight in the park. You are likely to see many species of birds on this day of the trip. 
A great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) is a common sight in the park. You are likely to see many species of birds on this day of the trip. 

In the morning, drive to Bharatpur to visit the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a world-heritage listed bird sanctuary. It is home to egrets, ducks, coots, storks, kingfishers, owls, eagles, and harriers, among others. In earlier times, the Maharaja (Prince) of Bharatpur diverted water from a nearby irrigation canal, and used the created habitat to organize hunting parties for his guests. In 1956, it was converted into a bird sanctuary, and is now home to over 360 species of birds. 

Day 5: Bharatpur – Agra 

The incredibly well-preserved complex of Fatehpur Sikri will delight travelers fascinated with art and history 
The incredibly well-preserved complex of Fatehpur Sikri will delight travelers who are fascinated with art and history 

In the morning, pay another visit to the bird sanctuary with a local naturalist, who will guide you through a wildlife viewing experience. In the afternoon, drive to the city of Agra via Fatehpur Sikri, a majestic monument built with red sandstone. This impressive and well-preserved citadel became Emperor Akbar’s capital in 1571, but was deserted after 14 years due to the scarcity of water. Amazingly, the buildings are well preserved, even to this day.

Day 6: Sight-seeing of Agra & overnight train to Jabalpur

The Red Fort of Agra, a stunning architectural display of the Rajput and Mughal architectural styles
The Red Fort of Agra, a stunning architectural display of the Rajput and Mughal architectural styles

At sunrise, visit the breathtaking Taj Mahal, which stands on the southern bank of the Yamuna river. This stunning monument is a symbol of eternal love, and its beauty never fails to impress first-time visitors. Within striking distance is the imposing Red Fort of Agra, which exhibits a blend of the Rajput and Mughal architectural styles. The afternoon is left free for individual sightseeing or visiting the bazaar, where you can see the famous marble inlays produced by the descendants of the artisans who worked on the Taj Mahal.

In the evening, board the overnight train to Jabalpur.

Day 7: Arrive Jabalpur & transfer to Kanha 

Adolescent tigers like to play by chasing each other, the birds around them, or anything else that moves
Adolescent tigers like to play by chasing each other, the birds around them, or anything else that moves 

Arrive in Jabalpur early in the morning and transfer to a nearby hotel for breakfast. Later, drive to Kanha National Park and check into your hotel. Created in 1974, Kanha covers approximately 750 square miles (1945 sq. km) of diverse terrain with grasslands, plateaus, and rocky escarpments providing a home to a number of species of wildlife. Tigers, leopard, bison, many species of deer, monkeys and a good number of birds roam freely within its wild spaces, giving Kanha the unofficial title as "India's best-managed wildlife reserve". Your afternoon is free to relax and soak in the atmosphere or pay a visit to the nearby village.

Day 8: Kanha: Morning & Evening Game Drives

A male chital, also known as the axis deer, or spotted deer, relaxes in the shade during the afternoon heat.
A male chital, also known as the axis deer, or spotted deer, relaxes in the shade during the afternoon heat

Today, take two jeep safaris into the park- one early in the morning before the heat of the day, and the second in the afternoon after lunch. There is also an option to go on an elephant ride in the morning instead of the jeeps- since wildlife are less likely to be startled by elephants than noisy jeeps, you may have more successful wildlife viewings. Keep an eye out for the beautiful chital deer- you can spot the males by their impressive meter-long antlers and spotted rufous coats.

Day 9: Kanha – Bandhavgarh 

Tigers are mostly solitary, and live their lives separately from each other, except for mating and raising cubs. Even thought this cub looks grown, she still has a lot to learn from her mom, and will stay with her for several years before leaving to establish her own territory.  
Although she is almost grown, this cub will stay with her mom for several years before leaving to establish her own territory.  

Early this morning, make the drive to Bandhavgarh National Park. Bandhavgarh is home to a wide variety of rare and endangered animals including the insectivorous sloth bear, the impressively large gaur (the largest living bovine native to India), the majestic sambar deer, chital, wild pig, and a wide variety of birds. The park also has the highest Bengal tiger density in the world, so keep your eyes peeled for signs of tracks. Like in Kanha, most game drives in Bandhavgarh are also undertaken by jeep, and there is also an option to view wildlife from the back of an elephant.

Day 10: Bandhavgarh: Morning & Evening Game Drives

Although tigers are at the top of most visitor's viewing list, they are by no means alone in the park- many wonderful species calls these national parks home. 
Although tigers are at the top of many visitors' viewing list, many wonderful species call these national parks home

Today, following the rhythm of the other mornings, take your first game drive early in the morning to see some wonderful wildlife species and return to your hotel to rest for lunch. In the afternoon make another foray into the park. Besides tigers, you may also catch a glimpse of the leopards that have a large breeding population in this national park. For the avid bird watcher or botanist, there are a plethora of bird and plant species to be seen here. 

Day 11: Bandhavgarh – Khajuraho 

Most of the temples were built between 950 and 1050 by the Chandela dynasty, and their carvings suggest a high level of religious tolerance
Most of the temples were built between 950 and 1050 by the Chandela dynasty

In the morning you leave for Khajuraho. Khajuraho is a small town located in the Bundelkhand region (Chhatarpur District) of Madhya Pradesh, and is famous for groups of unique Hindu and Jain temples. These temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their beautiful and erotic rock carvings. Behind the village, the Vindhya mountain range forms an incredible backdrop, making Khajuraho an even more beautiful place to visit. Upon arrival, check into the hotel, and the rest of the day is free to relax and explore.

Day 12: Khajuraho – Delhi

The intricate and erotic carvings on the temples are unparalleled in their detail
The intricate and erotic carvings on the temples are unparalleled in their detail

In the morning visit both the western and eastern groups of temples. There were originally nearly 100 separate temples built between 950 and 1050 CE, each dedicated to a different deity. Now only 20 of these temples still exist and are considered to be the finest in India for their unmatched workmanship and intricate details.

In the afternoon drive to the Jhansi railway station to board the train to Delhi. You arrive in Delhi late in the evening and transfer to the hotel for your last night. 

Day 13: Departure from Delhi

Foot and automobile traffic on the road leading up to the India Gate in Delhi in the evening 
Foot and automobile traffic on the road leading up to the India Gate in Delhi in the evening 

After breakfast, make your way to the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi to board flights to your respective destinations, or stay and extend your stay in India. Either way, safe travels!