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Transfer to airport for flight to Khajuraho. Situated in the heart of india, in the state of madhya pradesh, khajuraho is a fascinating village with a quaint, rural ambience and a rich cultural heritage, honoured by the world as india’s unique contribution to human civilisation. The chandela dynasty built eighty-five temples here. Only twenty remain as embodiments of indian architectural and sculptural art. Even ten centuries after they were constructed, the temples of khajuraho reflect an eternal philosophy relevant to all mankind. The temples of khajuraho is a world heritage site and belong not just to india but to the world. The nearby panna national park is a project tiger park making the area a unique combination of outstanding cultural and natural heritage. Proceed for sightseeing of a group of temples. Overnight will be at Khajuraho. Overnight at the Hotel.
Proceed for morning sightseeing of temples after breakfast. Drive to Bandhavgarh after lunch. Bandhavgarh is a new National Park with a very long history. Set among the Vindhya hills of Madhya Pradesh with an area of 168sq miles (437sq km) it contains a wide variety of habitats and a high density of game, including a large number of Tigers. This is also the White tiger country. These have been found in the old state of Rewa for Many years. Maharaja Martand Singh captured the last known in 1951. This white Tiger, Mohun is now stuffed and on display in the Palace of Maharaja of Rewa. Prior to becoming a National Park, the forests around Bandhavgarh had long been maintained as a Shikargah, or game preserve of the Maharaja of Rewa. The Maharaja and his guests carried out hunting – otherwise the wildlife was well protected. It was considered a good omen for Maharaja of Rewa to shoot 109 tigers. His Highness Maharaja Venkat Raman Singh shot 111 Tigers by 1914. There are 32 hills in this part of the park, which has a large natural fort at its center. The fort’s cliffs are 2625 feet (800 meters) high, 1000 feet (300 meters) above the surrounding countryside. Over half the area is coverd by Sal forest although on the upper slope it is replaced by mixed forest of sal, saj, dhobin, and saja. Winter temperatures (Nov-mid-February) vary from almost freezing at night to around 68 degree Fahrenheit in the daytime. Summer nights are also cooler than the daytime temperatures, which rise to 104 degree Fahrenheit. This park is closed during the breeding season, which coincides with the monsoon (July-October). Rainfall in the park averages50 inches (120cm) per year. Bandhavgarh has been a center of human activity and settlement for over 2000 years, and there are references to it in the ancient books, the Narad-Panch Ratra and the Shiva Purana. Legend has it that Lord Rama, hero of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, stopped at Bandhavgarh on his way back to his homeland after defeating the demon King Ravana of Lanka. Two monkey architects, who had engineered a bridge between the isle of Lanka and the mainland, are said to have built Bandhavgarh’s Fort. Later Rama handed it over to his brother Lakshmana who became known as Bandavdhish “The Lord of the Fort”. Lakshmana is the particular God of the fort and is regularly worshipped in a temple there. The oldest sign of habitation in the park are caves dug into the sandstone to the north of the fort. Several contain Brahmi inscriptions dating from the 1st century BC. Various dynasties have ruled the fort, for example, the Maghas from the 1st century AD, the Vakatakas from the 3rd century AD, From that time onwards Bandhavgarh was ruled by a succession of dynasties including the Chandela Kings of Bundelkhand who built the famous temples at Khajuraho. The Baghel Kings, the direct ancestors of the present Royal family of Rewa, established their dynasty at Bandhavgarh in the 12th century. It remained their capital till 1617 when the center of court life moved to Rewa, 75 miles (120Kms) to the north. Without royal patronage Bandhavgarh became more and more deserted until forest overran the area and it became the royal hunting reserve. This helped to preserve the forest and its wildlife, although the Maharajas made full use of their rights. Each set out to kill the auspicious number of 109 Tigers. At independence Bandhavgarh remained the private property of the Maharaja until he gave it to the state for the formation of the National Park in 1968. After the park was created poaching was brought under control and the number of animals rose dramatically. Small dams and water holes were built to solve the problem of water shortage. Grazing by local cattle was stopped and the village within the park boundaries was relocated. The Tigers in particular prospered and the 1986 extension provided much needed forest to accommodate them.
Bandhavgarh is justifiably famous for its Tigers, but it has a wide range of other game. The undergrowth is not as dense as in some northern terai forests, but the best time to see the park inhabitants is still the summer months when water becomes more scarce and the undergrowth dies back. Check in at the resort and overnight will be at Bandhavgarh. Overnight at the Hotel.
A full day game viewing inside the jungle. (Two safaris) Trip to the Bandhavgarh Fort: The oldest fort in India – considered to be more than 2500 years. One-hour trek up the fort is worth the effort. The charm of this trek lies in discovering these monuments in the jungle, unspoiled and unexplored. Some of the statues lie off the main path and so it is best to take a guide. Apart from the avatars, well worth seeing are three small temples of around the 12th century. These temples are deserted but the fort is still used as a place of worship. Kabir Das, the celebrated 16th century saint, once lived and preached here. The natural ramparts of the fort give breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside. The fort still belongs to the Maharaja of Rewa and permission is required to visit it. However permission is available locally and no trip to Bandhavgarh is complete without making an effort to climb up the fort. The staff of the resort carries your lunch while you are busy negotiating the trek to the fort. Overnight will be at the resort. Overnight at the Hotel.
Jungle exploration on elephant back and Jeeps. Bird watching and a walk to the fort. Overnight will be at Bandhavgarh. Overnight at the Hotel.
After breakfast drive to Kanha. This is the place that has been described by RUDYARD KIPLING in his great book “The Jungle Book”. Located in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha National Park is a tiger reserve that extends over an area of over 940 square km. A horseshoe shaped valley bounded by the spurs of the Mekal presents an interesting topography. Steep rocky escarpments along the edges offer breathtaking views of the valley. Realizing the danger on the Tiger population in the country, the Government started the “Project Tiger” at Kanha and in 1974 the area was declared a Tiger reserve. The park is also the habitat of the high ground Barasingha. In 1930s, the Kanha area was divided into two sanctuaries – Hallon and Banjar of 250kms to 300kms each. Though one of these was subsequently disbanded .The area remained a protected one until 1947. Depletion of the tiger population in the year that followed led to the area being made an absolute sanctuary in 1952. Patient watching should reward the visitor, with a sight of Indian Fox, Sloth bear, Striped hyena, Jungle cut, Lepord, Mouse Deer, Chausingha or four horned antelope, Nilgai, Ratel and Porcupine Kanha has some 200 species of birds. Watchers should station themselves in the hills, where the mixed and bamboo forests harbour many species and in the grassy forest clearings. Water birds can be seen near the park’s many rivulets and at Sarvantal, a pool that is frequented by water birds and the area in front of the museum. Excursion to Kawardha just east of the Maikala Range (up to 1100m) to the south east of Kanha National Park, Kawardha is a small town in Chhattisgarh (34 forts) region of M.P. In this remote area Maharaja Viswaraj Singh has recently opened his palace to visitors. It provides a delightfully quite unspoiled contrast with India’s big cities and with the much busier tourist circuit of Rajasthan’s ‘palace circuit’. This town is in the center of the Baiga tribe, who live in forest surrounding the town, and these are several eleventh century temples in the immediate region. Reach in the afternoon and relax at the resort. Overnight will be at the Kanha ResortMorning after breakfast, drive to Pokhara and on arrival check in into hotel. Afternoon free to explore the valley. Overnight at the Hotel.
Spend the full day viewing game and spotting TIGERS inside the jungle. (Two safaris). Overnight will be at the resort.
Proceed for the morning GAME DRIVE into the forest. Proceed to Nagpur. Nagpur, popularly known as Orange Capital of India is also the second capital of Maharashtra. The Gond King of Deogad, “Bakht Buland Shah” laid the city’s foundation in the year 1702. This city derived its name from the river Nag that flows through it. Nagpur was the capital of Madhya Bharat State (C.P. and Berar) after Indian independence and in 1960, the Marathi majority Vidarbha region was merged with the new state of Maharashtra. Overnight will be at Nagpur.Overnight at Hotel.
Breakfast will be at hotel. Transfer to airport for flight to Delhi. Reach and transfer to airport for connecting flight home. If your return flight is late in the evening we would be organizing a hotel for day use which can be used for relaxing.
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