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Welcome to India, Shimla beckons! Arriving to Delhi International Airport you will be met by our representative and included onward transfer to our hotel. The remainder of the day offers free time for you to relax or explore the city your own way.
Early this morning we board the Shatabdi Express bound for Kalka. Here, travellers will transfer (independently) to the narrow gauge Himalayan Queen Toy Train travelling to Shimla. The scenic 96 kilometre journey built on a 2 feet six inches gauge has 919 curves, passes through 20 railway station and clatters across 5 level crossings, each to the cacophonous symphony of greetings, tooting horns and the hubbub of Indian life. There are 102 tunnels to navigate and some 863 multi-arched galleries bridges (similar to ancient Roman aqueducts) to cross where spectacular landscapes of rolling hills, lush valleys and panoramic vistas can be seen. Arrive Shimla, where you will be met on the station platform and transferred to our hotel.
Shimla sprawls along a crescent-shaped ridge at an altitude of over 2100m. The famous main street, ‘The Mall’, lined with stately English homes and the fortress-like former Viceregal Lodge, reinforces Shimla’s quintessential English look. Today, we enjoy a half day guided sightseeing tour of the lofty settlement, venturing into the narrow streets, which fall steeply away from the ridge giving way to colourful bazaars and fine views of the surrounding valley and snow-capped peaks.
Today offer free time for you to independently explore, opt to stroll, drop by the colourful Lakkar Bazaar or hike to the summit of Jakhoo Hill, Shimla’s highest point where visitor’s are rewarded with panoramic views of the eternal snows set as a backdrop to the sleepy township of Shimla beneath. Hotel check out is at 12 noon, opt for some lunch and pack an evening picnic meal before driving to Kalka to board the Kalka Shatabdi Express at sunset and arriving to Delhi at 21:55pm. Transfer from the train station to your hotel.
Drive to Corbett National Park. Afternoon and evening at leisure.
Morning and afternoon game drives in shared jeeps or canters. Corbett is India’s first national park and one of its finest. It is notable not only for its rich and varied wildlife and birdlife but also for its scenic charm and magnificent mountain and river views. The park comprises the broad valley of Ramganga River backing onto the forestcovered slopes of the Himalayan foothills. Corbett is a bird-watcher’s paradise with over 600 species, and since the creation of the Kalagarh Dam on the Ramganga River, large numbers of waterfowl have been attracted here.
Morning and afternoon game drives in shared jeeps or canters. There is an immensely rich flora – 110 species of trees, 51 species of shrubs, 33 species of bamboos and 27 species of climbers in Corbett National Park. The valley floor is covered with tall elephant grass, lantana bushes and patches of Sal and Sheesham. The fauna is as rich as the flora. The park has always been noted for its tigers, which are seen quite frequently. There are leopards too but they are seldom seen. In all there are over 50 species of mammal alone.
Morning game drive in shared jeep or canter. Later we return to your hotel in Delhi - Hotel Florence, 2719 Bank St, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 11005. End of arrangements until we meet again on the 15th Jan. (Accommodation in Delhi not booked with On the go)
Welcome back to Delhi! Arrive Delhi, included transfer to hotel.
Morning drive to Bharatpur (approximately 5 hours) and check in to our hotel. In the afternoon, we travel by rickshaw to the Keoladeo National Park. The Keoladeo National Park is a World Heritage Site. It was artificially created by a planned system of canals, embankments and sluices, as a private wildfowl shooting preserve by the Maharaja of Bharatpur in the 1850s. Now a National Park, Keoladeo attracts thousands of migratory birds during the winter months, which fly in from Central Asia, Siberia or China to escape the severe cold and restricted daylight hours of their homelands. It is one of the finest waterfowl reserves in the world; over 350 species of birds have been spotted here. Half day bird watching today.
Today we spend a full day bird watching at Keoladeo National Park.
This morning we start our bird watching at Bund Baretha, followed this afternoon by a visit to the bird sanctuary. Bund Baretha is a large reservoir which is also noted as a good location to find Indian Skimmer and other waterbirds. The surrounding arid countryside is worth checking for sandgrouse, Indian Coursers, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Eastern Pied, Isabelline and Desert Wheatears along with a number of prinia species to test identification skills.
Today, we have an early start for our drive to Chambal (approximately 3 hours). We check into our hotel and enjoy the afternoon at leisure.
Today we take on a boat safari along the Chambal River. The Chambal River was declared a Gharial Sanctuary during 1978-79 by the M.P. Government, with an aim to provide a fully protected habitat for the conservation and propagation of the highly endangered Crocodilian species and other aquatic animals. The National Chambal Sanctuary is the longest river Sanctuary and holds the best Gharial population in the country.
Early morning drive from Chambal to Agra (approximately 2 hours). Check in at your hotel (day room use at Agra Hotel - Siris 18. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city in the afternoon, including Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays) and Agra Fort. Built entirely of white marble, the Taj Mahal has no peers. Continuing, we visit Agra fort, which boasts some of India’s finest Mughal buildings behind it’s fortified walls. Later on transfer to Agra Railway Station for overnight train to Jabalpur – 2nd Class Air Condition Sleeper (both seats in different coaches, your guide will try to speak with the ticket collector to allot the seats in the same coach but cannot be guaranteed as seats are allocated automatically).
We arrive at Jabalpur early morning and transfer to the Hotel Narmada Jackson for breakfast. Later we drive to Kanha (approximately 4 hours) and check in to our resort. In the afternoon we enjoy a game drive (shared jeep) in the National Park. Kanha is one of India's largest and most remote national parks, covering 1945 sq km of forest and lightly wooded grasslands. An extensive network of rivers and streams supports it.
Enjoy morning game drives (shared jeep) in the National Park. Free afternoon (Afternoon game drives are not available on Wednesdays).
Morning and afternoon game drives (shared jeep).
We have a morning game drive (shared jeep) and after lunch, drive from Kanha to Nagpur for our flight to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
This morning we head to Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary for the last of our bird watching, before heading back to the hotel for our check-out and transfer to the airport.
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