India - Rajasthan, Thar Desert

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Jungles and Dunes

* Tiger Reserve and forest walks * Rich wildlife * Colourful cities * Camel safari, Thar Desert hamlet

Deer in Madhya Pradesh jungle

From sweeping jungles to undulating dunes, this special journey offers two wonderfully contrasting sides of rural India, combined with a visit to three of India's finest cities, packed with history and atmosphere.

Take in the landscapes that inspired Kipling's Jungle Book tales and discover a wealth of wildlife as you enjoy a jeep safari through Pench tiger reserve. Experience traditional Indian hospitality in a peaceful desert hamlet, where deer and peacock wander freely through the village, and enjoy a camel trek into the dunes. Travel via Agra -  home to the unrivalled Taj Mahal - and experience the delights of Jodhpur and Jaipur. An unforgettable holiday that allows you to experience the astonishing variety of this great country.

The heart of the jungle

Jungle walk in Madhya Pradesh

An internal flight from Delhi takes you to Nagpur, where you are met and transferred to the forest village of Sakata. The village lies on the edge of the South Shivni Forest - the migratory corridor between Pench and Kanha Tiger Reserves. Stay in an old hunting lodge, get to know the community and enjoy local forest walks, with good wildlife opportunities, before moving into the core of the Pench Reserve. Explore the jungle by jeep to witness the abundant bird and animal life residing there, giving you the greatest chance of spotting the elusive tiger.

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Bright cities

An overnight train journey transports you from jungle to city. With two nights in Agra you have time to explore and visit India's most famous piece of architecture, the iconic Taj Mahal. From Agra you move into Rajasthan to the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, where you can visit the pink honeycombed Hawa Mahal 'Palace of Winds' and the wonderful observatory at Jantar Mantar.

Into the desert

Hacra village IndiaFrom Jaipur you travel via Jodhpur - 'Gateway to the Thar' - into the desert to the charming hamlet of Hacra. With four nights here, you get a unique insight into life among the dunes, meeting farmers and shoemakes, visiting neighbouring hamlets and relaxing in the warm afternoons. Experience the exhilaration of travelling by camel as you journey into the desert to spend a night camping beneath the starlit desert sky.

 

 

tiger in forest, Madhya Pradesh - India

We look after you from the moment of your arrival at Nagpur airport. Your holiday includes internal flight from Delhi to Nagpur, overnight rail journeys and transfers to the desert, accommodation in the village guesthouses and in the cities, with all meals provided during your stay with the communities. In the city and during transfers, meals are at your own local charge. We have devised each of our holidays to provide a good balance between activity and relaxation; please feel free to tailor your holiday to your exact requirements.

Your Outward Journey

Day 1 Arrive Delhi airport; internal flight from Delhi to Nagpur. Welcome Nagpur airport, road transfer to Sakata (4hrs). Relax and overnight stay in old hunting lodge.

Exploring the jungles

Day 2 Full day and night Sakata, local forest walk and introduction to village life.

Day 3 After lunch, road transfer to Pench core zone (2hrs) for evening safari by gypsy jeep. Overnight in park accommodation, on edge of Pench core near Karmajhiri village.

Day 4 Early morning jeep safari, return to Karmajhiri for lunch and village exploration before a final night stay.

Into the city

Day 5 Transfer from Pench to Nagpur station to catch the overnight train to Agra.

Day 6 Welcome Agra station, transfer to hotel for breakfast, car and driver for day to visit the Taj Mahal and explore the city. Overnight hotel.

Day 7 Full day and night Agra, with car and driver.

Day 8 Morning transfer from hotel to Agra station for day train to Jaipur. Welcome Jaipur station and transfer to hotel. Afternoon at leisure to explore the sights in the Pink City. Overnight hotel.

Day 9 Day exploring Jaipur with car and driver, overnight hotel.

With the Community of Hacra

Day 10 Morning train from Jaipur to Jodhpur. On arrival at Jodhpur a 2-hour road transfer transports you from the bustling city to the great Thar desert and the hamlet of Hacra.

Day 11 - Day 13 During your stay in Hacra you will get to know the community, have guided village walks, see the traditional crafts of shoe-making and rug-making, watch the watermelon harvest and enjoy local folk music, and relax in the evening warmth as blackbuck and peacock emerge from the undergrowth. Take a day trip to the nearby town of Osiyan to see the remarkable cluster of Jain temples. Enjoy a camel safari and walk (10-12 km) to the sand dunes, taking a picnic lunch, and spend a night in the tented camp among the dunes.

Homeward Journey

Day 14 Return to Jodhpur by road to spend the day exploring the bustling bazaars and magnificant hill fort. Overnight Jodhpur hotel.

Day 15 Enjoy a final day in the city before your overnight train from Jodhpur to Delhi.

Day 16 Arrive Delhi, transfer to airport for homeward flight.

Flights

We ask our guests to make their own arrangements for international travel to India. For this holiday we recommend return flights to Delhi. Your holiday includes an internal flight from Delhi to Nagpur, overnight rail journeys and transfers to the desert, accommodation in the village guesthouses and in the cities, with all meals provided during your stay with the communities. In the city and during transfers, meals are at your own local charge.

Travel information for India can be found here.

Tailor-made

We have devised each of our holidays to provide a good balance between activity and relaxation; please feel free to tailor your holiday to your exact requirements.

The suggested itinerary can be extended if you wish to spend more time exploring the forests of Madhya Pradesh, the Thar Desert and the cities, or shortened if your time in India is limited. Add extra nights with the community of Sakata or Hacra and add a visit to Keechan to see the demoiselle cranes and a night in Jodhpur. Our knowledgeable staff will be delighted to help fashion the holiday to suit you.

Jodhpur

This is one of the major cities of northern Rajasthan, formerly the centre of a Princely State. The city has much to offer in terms of old palaces, the magnificent hill fort and shopping, especially in the bustling bazaar in the old town. Add extra nights here to allow yourself time to fully explore this vibrant city.

Demoiselle Cranes

The small village of Keechen lies some 60 km to the northwest of Hacra, near Phalodi, accessed by road. For over 150 years the villagers of Keechen traditionally feed the handsome Demoiselle Cranes (kurja), which migrate through the area between October and March, creating an unofficial bird sanctuary but is supported by several international bird conservation organisations. A visit to Keechan can be arranged on your return journey.