Discover some of central India's most magnificent temples, spot wildlife, and explore local villages on this 13-day tour. You'll go on game drives in Bandhavgarh National Park and Kanha National Park, both of which are top locations to see tigers, and can admire the elaborate carvings at the temples in Khajuraho.


  • Admire the magnificent UNESCO-listed temples at Khajuraho
  • Look for tigers and more in the grasslands and forest of Bandhavgarh National Park
  • Visit Bhoramdeo Temple and attend an evening ceremony
  • Trek in Bhoramdeo, spotting langur monkeys, barking deer, and jackals

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Delhi, Free Evening Delhi
Day 2 Transfer to Orchha, Guided Tour Orchha
Day 3 Transfer to Khajuraho, Visit the Eastern Group of Temples Khajuraho
Day 4 Visit the Western Group of Temples, Explore the Old Town of Khajuraho Khajuraho
Day 5 Transfer to Bandhavgarh Bandhavgarh
Day 6 Morning & Evening Game Drives in Bandhavgarh Bandhavgarh
Day 7 Transfer to Kanha, Walk Through Local Villages Kanha
Day 8 Morning & Afternoon Safaris at Kanha National Park Kanha
Day 9 Transfer to Bhoramdeo, Tribal Village Visit Bhoramdeo
Day 10 Visit Local Villages in Bhoramdeo Bhoramdeo
Day 11  Guided Trek in Bhoramdeo Bhoramdeo
Day 12 Transfer to Delhi, Sightseeing Delhi
Day 13 Depart Delhi  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Delhi, Free Evening

Lodi Garden
Lodi Garden

Welcome to Delhi! Your guide will meet you at New Delhi International Airport and will give you a traditional swagat (welcome). After taking a private transfer to your hotel in New Delhi, you'll have the rest of the evening free to explore India's lively capital. You'll discover a city with a fascinating history and diverse architecture due to its numerous rulers over the centuries. There are Mughal mosques, British colonial architecture, and 16th-century mausoleums, as well as grand monuments, bazaars, and premium shopping. Immerse yourself in city life by trying some local food or shopping for souvenirs.

You also have the more tranquil option of a guided tour of New Delhi's Lodi Garden. Stretch your legs in this 90-acre (36-ha) scenic garden, which is one of the city's most popular parks. Here you'll discover a wide variety of trees and birds, as well as 15th-century tombs, mosques, and bridges. After a relaxing stroll, join the locals for a cup of chai (sweet, strong milky tea) at a tea shop at its center. The iconic India Gate war memorial is close to the gardens.

Day 2: Transfer to Orchha, Guided Tour

The 14 cenotaphs set on the River Betwa

You'll start the day by taking an early morning train to Jhansi. Your driver and local guide will meet you at Jhansi train station, and you'll travel by car to your hotel in Orchha. Orchha is a popular location for temple tours in the country, as it's home to medieval temples and forts. Some of its most important sites are Chaturbhuj Temple, Ram Raja Temple, and Jahangir Palace. Its 14 cenotaphs set on the River Betwa's banks are also a must-see.

After you've checked in at your hotel, you'll leave for a guided tour of Orchha. Once the capital of the Bundela dynasty, the small rural village has impressive monuments. The largest of these is the palace complex, where the Raj Mahal and Jahangir Mahal have a unique combination of Hindu and Muslim architecture, painted decorations, and ornate tile work. Then you'll visit the Chaturbhuj Temple and the enormous riverside cenotaphs (chhatris), which are memorials for Orchha royalty. Throughout the tour, you'll have plenty of opportunities to take photographs.

Day 3: Transfer to Khajuraho, Visit the Eastern Group of Temples

khajuraho temple view
Khajuraho's magnificent temples

In the morning, you'll drive to Khajuraho. Khajuraho is known for its magnificent temples, which are UNESCO-listed and famous for their erotic stone carvings. Built between 950 and 1050 CE, during the Chandella Dynasty, the architecture here is incredible. You'll see interesting stone carvings depicting love and passion, fear, doubt, and jealousy, with griffins, nymphs, demons in revolt, beasts, and gods. In the afternoon, you'll go on a guided tour to explore these.

First, you'll visit the Eastern Group of Temples, which are split between those dedicated to Hindu gods and goddesses and those dedicated to the Jain gods. While the group of temples in the west is better known, this group is well worth a visit. Sculptures here depict everyday life rather than sensual subjects. Later, you'll go to the Archaeological Museum, which was originally built by W.A. Jardine in 1910, with a new building constructed in 2016. Here you'll see a rare collection of sculptures and architectural ruins and can look around various galleries telling stories of Khajuraho's history.

Day 4: Visit the Western Group of Temples, Explore the Old Town of Khajuraho

Khajuraho: Western Group of Temples
Kandariya Mahadeva

Today, you'll visit the Western Group of Temples, which are the best-preserved and well-known in Khajuraho. Lakshmana is the oldest temple of the western group, dating from around 950 CE, and is well preserved, with some erotic carvings. Kandariya Mahadeva is the largest, with a huge selection of sculptures that are considered some of the greatest masterpieces of Indian art. Take your time to enjoy the marvelous architecture and the setting of the temple complex.

A good way to see another side of Khajuraho is to head to its Old Town, and you'll do this in the afternoon. This area is filled with mud houses and rustic bungalows, and its streets are cleaner than those in most Indian cities. It is a good representation of ancient India. Here you'll be given an insight into the daily life of the locals, and you are likely to meet women dressed in traditional clothing. Some locals may even invite you in for a cup of tea if you're kind and courteous to them. 

Day 5: Transfer to Bandhavgarh

Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the best places to spot tigers

First thing, you'll set off to Bandhavgarh National Park in the state of Madhya Pradesh, one of the most popular national parks in India. It is one of the best places in the country to spot tigers and is also home to a wide range of other wildlife, such as nilgai, sloth bears, jungle cats, wild boar, hyenas, and many species of birds. This compact park with a core area of 40.5 square miles (105 sq km) was originally the private game reserve of the Maharajas of Rewa, and the first white (albino) tiger was found here. It has a small hilltop fort inside a forested area, as it was the one-time capital of the Baghel dynasty. 

Plan your trip to India
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
In the afternoon, you can relax after your journey or there's the option to visit a hamlet in Bandhavgarh on a village walk. On this walk, you'll meet locals and will see their simple homes, which are made up of clusters of mud cottages surrounded by lush, emerald-green forests, golden fields, and shimmering ponds. You'll see older members of the villages relaxing and enjoying hookahs, people busy with household duties, and animals being herded away to graze. The villages you pass through are a relaxing contrast to city life.

Day 6: Morning & Evening Game Drives in Bandhavgarh

Bandhavgarh: Morning & Evening Game Drives
Enjoy morning and afternoon drives in Bandhavgarh National Park

Today a 4WD open-top Jeep will be waiting to take you on a morning safari through the grasslands and forest of Bandhavgarh National Park. You'll be accompanied by a specialist guide to help you spot as much wildlife as possible. Keep a lookout for majestic tigers as well as leopards, jackals, Bengal foxes, langur monkeys, sloth bears, hyenas, jungle cats, leopards, and more than 250 species of birds.

After your morning adventure, you'll return to your hotel to relax before heading out again on an afternoon safari. As well as wildlife, your guide will point out historical marks of human presence, such as caves, statues, temples, ponds, wells, and more as you drive. However, an undoubted highlight will be the sight of a tiger sunbathing or strolling nearby, so have your camera ready.

Day 7: Transfer to Kanha, Walk Through Local Villages

Today's your last chance to see a Bengal Tiger before we return to Delhi
Kanha National Park is particularly beautiful 

In the morning, you'll drive to Kanha National Park for another chance to spot Bengal tigers. One of India's best tiger reserves, Kanha National Park spans 362 square miles (940 sq km) and is divided into two sanctuaries: Hallon and Banjar. It is a particularly beautiful national park with open grassland areas, meadows, bamboo forests, and hills covered with tropical forests. You'll also have a high chance of spotting tigers with their favorite prey, chital and sambar deer. It is the only park in India to have barasingha, or swamp deer, which have been brought back from near extinction.

After your drive, you'll have the rest of the day to relax and explore at your own pace. Alternatively, you have the option of going on a walk through the villages of Kanha. During this guided walk, you'll cross the Banjar River and will amble through a beautiful forest on animal trails to reach Chhapri village. Here you'll visit a local tribe that makes products to sell out of bamboo. You'll then climb a small hill to reach a sunset spot with a fantastic view over the forest.

Day 8: Morning & Afternoon Safaris at Kanha National Park

Kanha National Park is home to many wild animals, like these deer
Kanha National Park is home to many wild animals

Days in Kanha start early, and your first game drive will be at dawn in a 4WD open-top Jeep. You'll see the sun streaking through the foggy forest as you drive and will listen to the wildlife waking up. Apart from tigers, keep your eyes peeled for leopards, Indian bison, sambar deer, blackbuck, and wild dogs.

After lunch, you'll go on another game drive in the hotter afternoon temperatures. This is prime time to spot animals looking for a drink of water. The landscape here, with grasslands, wetlands, forests, and meadows, inspired Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book."

Day 9: Transfer to Bhoramdeo, Tribal Village Visit

Attend an evening puja
You can attend an evening puja (offering) ceremony 

After breakfast, you'll drive to Bhoramdeo, an isolated village in north-western Chhattisgarh. The Maikal Hills that surround it are home to the Indigenous Baiga and Gond tribes, whose tolas (villages) are dotted through the countryside. On reaching Bhoramdeo, you'll check into your hotel.

In the evening, you'll visit some surrounding tribal villages to learn more about the lifestyle of the locals. you'll also visit Bhoramdeo Temple, which is a striking 11th-century temple complex dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva a couple of minutes' walk from the village. It's almost a miniature Khajuraho and of a similar age. Here, you can attend an evening puja (offering) ceremony with bursts of bells, fragrant smells, and small fires. You'll then return to your hotel to relax. 

Day 10: Visit Local Villages in Bhoramdeo

Bhoramdev (Kawardha)
Spend the afternoon at a pottery village

A local guide will pick you up in the morning and will take you to visit some more of the villages around Bhoramdeo to explore the area's culture and traditions. You'll spend the afternoon at a pottery village, trying your hand at the wheel or paddling the clay with your bare feet. You'll then call in at a bamboo workshop.

Later you'll visit the Yadav (cattle herder) villages and Agaria (blacksmith) villages to discover more about the daily routines here. The area is also known for its many colorful weekly haats (tribal markets), taking place almost every day of the week, and there will be the chance to visit at least one of these. In the evening, relax at your hotel.

Day 11: Guided Trek in Bhoramdeo

Langur monkeys
Search for local wildlife such as langur monkeys

Today, you'll go on a short guided trek into the forested hills to search for local wildlife. Look out for langur monkeys, barking deer (also known as muntjac deer), and jackals, together with a huge variety of birds, butterflies, and other insect life. 

In the afternoon, hire a bike and explore the local area independently, perhaps calling in at the local villages that you'd like to see more of, shopping at another tribal market, or just enjoying the scenery and interacting with locals as you cycle past.

Day 12: Transfer to Delhi, Sightseeing

Explore the Local Sites of Delhi
Visit Gurudwara Bangla Sahib

You'll head back to Delhi today and transferred to Swami Vivekananda Airport to board a flight to the city in the morning. When you arrive, a representative will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel in New Delhi, where you can relax after your journey. Once you've freshened up, you'll visit one of the main Sikh pilgrimage centers in Delhi, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib.

The white marble gurudwara (Sikh house of worship), with its golden domes and enormous sacred pond, was built in the middle of the 17th century. This is where the six-year-old guru, Harkrishan Dev, once resided. The gurudwara premises include the main prayer hall (containing the Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book), a central water tank, a library, a museum, a hospital, a school, and an art gallery. As in all gurudwaras, a langar (communal meal) is served here. Visiting the kitchen and witnessing this amazing experience is fascinating. Later, you can spend some time in the famous colonnaded shopping area of Connaught Place.

Day 13: Depart Delhi

Enjoy the final sights of Delhi as you drive to the airport

Today is the last day of your tour. Enjoy the final sights of Delhi as you are driven to New Delhi International Airport to board your flight to your next destination. Until next time!

More Great India Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to India? Check out these other India itineraries, explore different ways to spend 13 days in India, or discover the best time to visit India.


Map of Wildlife & Temples in Central India: Khajuraho, Bandhavgarh & Kanha - 13 Days
Map of Wildlife & Temples in Central India: Khajuraho, Bandhavgarh & Kanha - 13 Days