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India Wildlife Adventure: Kaziranga & Mighty Brahmaputra River

The Mahabaahu

India: Kaziranga & Mighty Brahmaputra River

Small Ship Cruises
The Mahabaahu

 

India Wildlife Adventure: Kaziranga & Mighty Brahmaputra River.  You are invited to a remote realm of rare wildlife, intoxicating scenery, exotic culture, mighty waterways and remarkable history. Few such secluded and unspoiled corners remain in this world and we are proud to present them to you on this rare and comprehensive survey of India’s lovely state of Assam.

With national parks, temples, monasteries, tea plantations, fresh water dolphins and tribal villages, Assam is still a world of great adventures. A charming jungle lodge and luxury riverboat lay in wait for those who yearn to feast their eyes upon the Asian one-horned rhino, gangetic dolphin and the incalculable natural wonders that are Kaziranga National Park and the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra River.

Friendly and curious locals await visitors to share smiles and photos in their villages and temples. Remarkable Majuli Island, chanting priests, ancient Ahom architectural marvels and colonial tea bungalows are just a few highlights of your journey, replete with daily adventure. To broaden and enhance your experience to this distant land you’ll visit Kolkata (Calcutta), India’s intellectual capital where book markets flourish, idol makers toil and colonial architecture takes you back in time to when this was the capital of the English empire in the East. All the while, enjoy the hospitality, attentive service and in-depth knowledge of local guides, MV Mahabaahu crew and your private Expedition Leader.

Optional Pre-Trip Extensions

Delhi Extension

No other city in the world is like Delhi, the capital of India. One of the oldest cities in the world, Delhi has an excellent old town ambience in Old Delhi and is full of modern marvels in New Delhi. Stately and historic, the city is one of the undisputed highlights of the country. An array of historical sites including World Heritage Sites of Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar, among many other historical treasures, are to be found here. The seamless blend of old and new worlds makes for a fascinating exploration of this metropolis.

 

Day

1 & 2

Depart Home City / Delhi

Depart your home city on independent flights to Delhi. Upon arrival you are met and escorted to your luxurious home for the night, The Claridges, where hotel staff is ready to welcome you. The balance of the day is at leisure to rest, enjoy the hotel and explore from this delightful and very well-located property.

Day

3

Delhi

A morning of delights awaits you in the bustling city of Delhi.  Begin with Old Delhi, founded in 1639 AD by the Mughal Emperor Shahjanhan. Visit Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India. Stop to see the memorials at Raj Ghat (King’s Gate) and Shanti Vana (Forest of Peace), where you find the cremation sites of Indian heroes Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Pay a visit to Chandni Chowk, the oldest and busiest market in Old Delhi and the site of Red Fort. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore. (B,L)

Day

4

Explore Delhi

Explore New Delhi. Also known as “Lutyens’ Delhi” the new section of the city was largely designed by Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, considered by many to be the greatest architect in British history. Your afternoon includes Qutub Minar, surrounded by medieval monuments. Built by Qutub-ud-Din Aibek in 1199, Qutub Minar is the world’s tallest brick minaret. Explore Humayun’s Tomb complex and gardens before visiting India Gate (formerly the All India War Memorial). Drive past President’s House, Parliament House, Government Secretariat Buildings and Connaught Place; New Delhi’s main shopping center. Enjoy lunch before returning to your hotel an afternoon at your leisure (B,L)

Day

5

Delhi / Depart

Drive to Delhi in time for the flight to Kolkata, enjoy the hotel and explore before meeting your travel-mates for dinner. (B,L,D)

Agra Extension

Agra is an ancient city, mentioned in the Mahabharata. It came into the limelight during the reign of the Mughals and is famous for being home to the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. The Taj is a monument of such incredible elegance that it is considered synonymous with beauty itself.  Agra Fort, the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah and Fetehpur Sikri also await your discovery.

 

Day

1 & 2

Depart Home City / Delhi

Depart your home city on independent flights to Delhi.  Upon arrival you are met and escorted to your luxurious home for the night, The Claridges, where hotel staff is ready to welcome you. The balance of the day is at leisure to rest, enjoy the hotel and explore from this delightful and very well-located property.

Day

3

Agra

Drive to Agra and spend the afternoon exploring Agra Fort and the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah. Amber Fort is one of the most impressive examples of Mughal architecture and certainly the most important of the 16th century. Multiple Mughal palaces and mosques are found within the sandstone walls.  Often referred to as “Baby Taj” or “jewel box”, the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah was built between 1622 and 1628 AD.  It is an excellent example of a transition in Mughal architecture from red sandstone and marble to white marble and pietra dura inlay. Spend two nights at the ITC Mughal. (B,L)

Day

4

Agra

This morning you visit magnificent Taj Mahal, a touchstone site that fully lives up to its reputation as one of the most glorious monuments in the world. Built by Moghul Shah Jahan for his beloved wife, the project took 22 years to complete. Its placid pools, flowing fountains, flawless marble and very silhouette have become synonymous with the heart of Indian culture and iconic architecture. Continue to Fatehpur Sikri (Victory City). Once the Mughal capital, this walled city is a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles of architecture. Make your way among the Jama Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chisti, and Panch Mahal while your guide takes you back in time to a place where culture and religion flourished more than 1,000 years ago. (B,L)

Day

5

Agra / Depart

If your main India expedition begins in Delhi, enjoy a morning at leisure in Agra before returning to Delhi by road.  Check in at the group hotel and join your fellow India travelers this evening. If your main India adventure begins somewhere other than Delhi fly from Agra or drive to Delhi from where you fly (depending on flight schedules) to your next destination to begin your main India adventure. (B)

Kanha National Park Extension

Along with being an Important Tiger Reserve, Kanha is often described as India’s best game sanctuary and a model for wildlife conservation everywhere. The park’s grassy meadows, flat-topped hills, teaming wildlife, numerous crystal clear streams and lush forest were Kipling’s stage and inspiration for The Jungle Book.  While home to a wide range of all things wild, Kanha is, along with Bandhavgarh, arguably the best habitat for tigers in India. However, the park’s greatest story is perhaps the hard ground swamp deer, or barasingha. This species was near extinction with just about 66 left in 1970.  Strict conservation policies and focused initiatives were put in place to rescue them.  Today, the park’s over 400 barasingha are the only known surviving population of this species and are considered the “jewel of Kanha”.  If a tiger is near you are sure to hear the alarm call of the barasingha.  Other species such as honey badger, leopard, dhole, chital, porcupine, sloth bear and the mighty guar are residents of the park.  Kanha is an ornithologist’s dream with over 300 recorded species, such as the Indian golden oriole, Indian roller, pied myna, and blossom-headed parakeet.

 

Day

1 & 2

Depart Home City / Delhi

Depart your home city on independent flights.  Upon arrival in Delhi you are met and escorted to your home for the night, The Claridges, where friendly hotel staff is ready to welcome you. Spend the rest of today at leisure to rest, enjoy the hotel and explore from this very well-located property.

Day

3

Delhi / Kanha National Park

Fly this morning to Jabalpur or Raipur (depending on flight schedules) and continue by road to Kanha National Park. Your home for three nights is Kanha Jungle Lodge.  Settle in and get to know your naturalist guides and other staff as you prepare for two days of exploration in one of India’s premier parks. (B,L,D)

Day

4&5

Kanha National Park

Explore Kanha National Park on morning and afternoon naturalist-led game drives.  When not in the park, visit a village or local school or perhaps enjoy a walk around the lodge grounds for excellent birding and where creaturs big and small are waiting to be discovered. (B,L,D Daily)

Day

6

Kanha National Park

Fly from Jabalpur or Raipur (depending on flight schedules) to Delhi and overnight at Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi. (B,L)

Day

7

Depart

Fly this morning to your next destination to begin your main Indian adventure. (B)

Varanasi Extension

Historic Varanasi is one of the world’s oldest living cities, being contemporary with the ancient cities of Nineveh and Thebes. For those who want an in-depth look into the fascinating Hindu religion, there is no better place to explore than Varanasi. Our Varanasi extension travels also the banks of the Ganges, where we see devotees taking to the river for ritual bathing and to throw the ashes of their loved ones into the holy water. Tour the city itself, visiting Bharat Mata and Durga temple.  Tour the sacred Buddhist site of Sarnath, where Buddha gave first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Wrap up your visit with excursions to Dhamaekha Stupa, Moolgandha Kuti Vihar and the Sarnath Museum, which houses a rich collection of Indian antiques.

 

Day

1 & 2

Depart Home City / Delhi

Depart your home city on independent flights.  Upon arrival in Delhi you are met and escorted to your home for the night, The Claridges.  The balance of the day is at your leisure to rest, enjoy your accommodations and explore from this well-located property.

Day

3

Delhi / Varanasi

Fly to Varanasi where you will visit Bharat Mata Temple and relish an afternoon rickshaw ride through the town and bazaar. Later enjoy an evening cruise on the Ganges where you witness locals in prayer along the sacred river.  Your home for two nights is The Gateway Hotel Ganges. (B,L)

Day

4

Varanasi

Before breakfast, venture out on the Ganges by boat to witness the early morning activity along the river. A short walk through the narrow alleyways and roads of Old Town reveals Varanasi’s important temples. Drive to Sarnath to see where Buddha gave his first sermon before visiting the Archeological Museum (closed on Fridays) and a local monastery. (B,L)

Day

5

Varanasi / Depart

Fly today to join your fellow travelers on your main India adventure.  (B)

 

Daily Itinerary

Kaziranga & Mighty Brahmaputra River Itinerary

  • Day

    1-2

    Depart Home City / Kolkata

    Depart your home city on independent flights. Consider joining one of our many optional extensions to enhance your experience in Asia. Arrive Kolkata where you are met and escorted to your luxurious home for the night, Lalit Great Eastern Hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure to rest, enjoy the hotel and explore before meeting your travel-mates for dinner. (Day 2: D)

  • Day

    3

    Kolkata

    Early this morning, experience a unique highpoint of visiting Kolkata; a heritage walk through White Town (British Calcutta). Your guide will set the stage for a trip back in time as you wander through these historic and significant areas to the time when Calcutta was the capital of the British Empire in India. Among the many architectural marvels are the Treasury Building, St. John’s Church, Kolkata GPO & Postal Museum, the Old Currency Building and the Central Telegraph Office. Return to the hotel for some rest and relaxation. This afternoon partake in an overview of the prominent sites that not only make Kolkata a unique and interesting city but also showcase its deeply rooted cultural traditions as well as its place in modern history. These include Mother House, the Book Market, the Flower Market, Victoria Memorial, Kalighat Kali Temple and Kumartuli idol market (if in operation). Enjoy an authentic Bengali dinner before returning to our hotel. (B,L,D)

    Photographing elephants on jeep safari in Kaziranga
  • Day

    4

    Kolkata / Jorhat / Embarkation

    Fly to Jorhat to embark the MV Mahabaahu and start our adventure on the Brahmaputra River. Prayed to by members of four religions — Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bonpas — the Brahmaputra is perhaps the holiest river on Earth. Along the way we’ll encounter the unique and exciting cultures of Assam as well as the wildlife along its shores. Brahma is the creator in the Hindu religion. In Hindi, “putra” means “son.” Brahmaputra means the son of Brahma and is the only male river in India. The Brahmaputra has its origins in Angsi Glacier in Tibet, from where it winds 1,571 miles through China, India and Bangladesh before meeting the Bay of Bengal. (B,L,D)

  • Day

    5

    India Cruise: Sibsagar

    Travel to historic Sibsagar, once the stronghold of the Ahom kingdom. It was here the Ahom people retained their sovereignty for almost 600 years. Rang Ghar, which means “house of entertainment” in Assamese, is a two-storied building built by Ahom royalty to serve as a private area to observe local sporting events and other forms of entertainment. Visit Shiva Dol, a bustling 18th century temple where local Hindus come to pray, and Talatal Ghar, possibly the greatest example of Tai Ahom architecture. Enjoy a family-hosted lunch at a tea estate. (B,L,D)

  • Day

    6

    India Cruise: Majuli Island

    At Majuli Island, the world’s largest inhabited river island, witness temple priests perform a powerful chant and melody called Gayan Bayan, meant to bring the priests into a trance-like state of prayer. Enjoy a performance called Mukha Bhavana where masks are used by actors to enact an episode from the epic Ramayana. The scene is set in a forest from where Sita is abducted by the demon King Ravan and then the battle fought by Ram, helped by Hunuman and his monkey warriors, to rescue Sita. Pay a visit to a Mishing village. Known for their textiles, Mishing people are a Southeast Asian race believed to have originated in Mongolia. (B,L,D)

  • Day

    7

    India Cruise: Kaziranga National Park

    Continue our exploration of the Kaziranga area with a boat safari along the shores of the park’s eastern range, where the waters of the Brahmaputra and Dhansiri Rivers meet. Gangetic dolphins in particular like this area for the confluence of waters and the fertile feeding that provides. Swamp and hog deer come to the shores to graze while eagles and kingfisher hunt along the surface of the rivers. The ship’s naturalists will be with you to help identify the various species and interpret their behaviors. Onboard, enjoy educational presentations about upcoming activities and attractions. A dance performance by Vaishnav girls depicts the Dashavatar, or ten avatars of Vishnu, the preserver of the universe who comes to life at different times to protect mankind from being annihilated by evil. (B,L,D)

  • Day

    8

    India Cruise: Kaziranga National Park

    Early this morning we return to Kaziranga National Park to enjoy a safari before we sail to Bishwanath Ghat. Walk through this village of friendly locals and children eager to shake hands and practice their English to visit Shiva temple and learn about local silk weaving. Watch for gangetic dolphins in the water and buffalo, elephant, deer and even rhino on the shores as we sail along Kaziranga National Park. This afternoon visit a tea estate to see how local women pluck and harvest the leaves that make some of the world’s best tea. (B,L,D)

  • Day

    9-10

    Kaziranga National Park

    Explore biodiverse Kaziranga National Park on morning and afternoon jeep safaris. Kaziranga National Park is home to the largest number of one-horned rhinoceros in the world, the true star of the park. However, rhinos are not the park’s only attraction. 35 major mammals, including elephant, tiger, hoolock gibbon, capped langur, bristly hare, hog badger, otter, leopard, wild boar, sambar, swamp deer, hog deer, muntjac, water buffalo and gaur all call this park home. Among the rich birdlife are the rare greater adjutant stork, Bengal florican, blacknecked stork, lesser adjutant stork, Pallas’s fish eagle, swamp partridge, grey peacock-pheasant, great pied hornbill, green imperial pigeon, babblers and thousands of migratory birds, seasonally attracted to the park from as far away as Siberia. Spend two nights at Diphlu River Lodge. The quaint bungalows feature forest-view terraces, each surrounded by fragrant tea gardens. (B,L,D Daily)

  • Day

    11

    Kaziranga National Park / Jorhat / Delhi

    After a morning at leisure, enjoy lunch in Jorhat before you fly to Delhi. Dayrooms are reserved at Radisson Blu Park Delhi prior to evening transfers for independent flights home. (B,L,D)

  • Day

    12

    Arrive Home City

    Arrive in North America the same day. Connect to your flights home.

Optional Post-Trip Extensions

Nepal Extension

The tremendous variances in altitude and topography of Nepal foster an incredible diversity of ecosystems: the dizzying heights of Mount Everest, thick tropical jungles teeming with wildlife, thundering rivers, forested hills and frozen valleys. Within this realm, you also find one of the richest cultural landscapes anywhere. Explore this remarkable country, taking in the historic city of Kathmandu, small villages and the superb wildlife of Chitwan National Park.

Double Occupancy $2,898; Single Occupancy $3,998;  In-Country Airfare $340

Day

1

Delhi / Kathmandu

Fly today to Kathmandu to begin your Nepal expedition. Upon arrival, transfer to the Hyatt Regency. This afternoon tour Kathmandu City, including Durbar Square, the temple of the Living Goddess, the Royal Palace and Kasthamandap – a monument built from the trunk of a single tree from which the name of the city Kathmandu was derived. Continue to Swayambhunath, the oldest Buddhist Stupa. Here you will have amazing views of the entire Kathmandu Valley. (B,L,D)

Day

2

Kathmandu / Bharatpur / Chitwan

Take a short flight to Bharatpur from where you are driven to the banks of the Narayani River (Amaltari Ghat). From here you cross by boat and continue a short distance by road to Temple Tiger Green Jungle Resort, situated in the heart of Chitwan National Park. Late this afternoon, enjoy a wildlife safari in search of the Asian one-horned rhinoceros. Chitwan National Park is known for its tropical creeper-clad forests, great meandering rivers and lush seas of tall elephant grass (18-20 feet high). It is home to the rich and diverse wildlife of Nepal such as sloth bear, wild boar, gaur (bison), four species of deer, two species of monkeys, two species of crocodiles, leopard and the elusive Royal Bengal tiger. There are also over 450 species of birds and various other reptiles. (B,L,D)

Day

3

Chitwan National Park

Your Nepal tour includes an early morning safari, penetrating through deep, dense grasslands in search of rhinoceros and other mammals. Return to the lodge for breakfast and enjoy the remainder of the morning at leisure. You may wish to visit the elephant stables, where a senior naturalist will discuss the habits of elephants. This afternoon, take a jeep safari to the Narayani River to embark on a boat excursion in search of gharial, mugger crocodiles, fresh water dolphins, otters and various water birds. Disembark at a different part of the river, where you can choose a jeep safari or guided nature walk back to the lodge. This evening there is a lecture and slide show on the flora and fauna of Chitwan. Overnight at Temple Tiger Green Jungle Resort. (B,L,D)

Day

4

Chitwan National Park / Pokhara

Following an early morning wildlife excursion and breakfast, drive via Bharatpur to Pokhara, a small town nestled in a green valley below the towering peaks of the Western Himalayas. The mountains are as few as nineteen miles away, so your view is unimpaired. At dawn, gather in the terraced, lakeside gardens to watch these mighty sculptured forms shimmer in the changing morning light; a breathtaking sight. You have the day to leisurely explore Pokhara, lounge in the garden or gaze at the mountains. Spend two nights at the Fish Tail Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day

5

Pokhara

This morning you explore the Pokhara Valley, one of the most picturesque valleys in Nepal. Pokjara lies 125 miles west of Kathmandu, under the shadows of the Annapurna Range. This area is a rare combination of snow-clad mountains, crystal clear lakes, streams and villages inhabited by friendly ethnic tribes. Before returning to the hotel, enjoy a relaxing boat ride on beautiful Phewa Lake. (B,L,D)

Day

6

Pokhara / Kathmandu

Late this morning you transfer to the airport for a short flight to Kathmandu, where you enjoy the rest of the day is at leisure to explore on our own. Enjoy a farewell dinner with fellow Nepal expedition travelers at a fine local restaurant, and overnight at Hyatt Regency. (B,L,D)

Day

7

Kathmandu: Optional Everest Flight / Delhi

After breakfast, weather permitting, there is an optional Mount Everest flight not included in the price of your Nepal travel package. This spectacular one-hour flight is an ideal opportunity to photograph this resplendent mountain range. Early this afternoon you board your return flight to Delhi. Upon arrival you check in Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi, where dayrooms have been reserved before your evening airport transfer. (B,L)

Day

8

Depart / Arrive Home City

Depart Dehli early on your independent flight, arriving North America the same day.  Make your connections to your home city.

Jawai Leopard Reserve Extension

Expand your India experience with a visit to Jawai Leopard Reserve, an important area for leopard conservation as well as colorful Rajasthan culture. Leopard is the top carnivore in The Aravalis of southern Rajasthan. The rocky hills around this region provide a perfect hiding place for the elusive hunter. Leopards have lost much of their territory, and are in danger of losing it all, to ever-increasing human pressure. With this in mind, India declared the region a Leopard Conservation Zone. Since then, the leopard population density of the zone has increased to approximately 50 and your chances of sighting one are higher here than in most places in India. Other interesting and important species, such as endemic nilgai (blue bull), chinkara and lots of water birds, reside in the area.

The word Godwad (pronounced as goad – waad) in local language translates to “area in the foothills.” Apart from being rich in biodiversity, it is also one of the most culturally interesting places in all of Rajasthan. Witness a shepherd from the maverick “Raika” community tending his flock of sheep or a farmer busy with his daily business – all of these in the vicinity.

Double Occupancy $1,498; Single Occupancy $2,198;  In-Country Airfare $350

Day

1

Delhi / Jawai Leopard Reserve

Take an early morning flight to Udaipur.  From here you transfer by road to Jawai Leopard Reserve and Godward Safari Camp, your home for three nights. (B,L,D)

Day

2 & 3

Jawai Leopard Reserve

While at Godwad Safari Camp you can enjoy morning and afternoon wildlife safaris in 4×4 jeeps,  visits to local shepherd villages, cycling safaris, sunset hikes to Mithidi Dam, picnic lunches, trekking, bird watching and wonderful photography throughout.

While leopard is the main species to spot, other important animals to watch for are rhesus macaque, sloth bear, Indian civet cat, Indian porcupine, hyena, wild boar, jackal, hare hanuman langur, nilgai and chinkara. Nilgai (blue bull) is the largest Asian antelope and is endemic to India. Chinkara, also known as Indian gazelle, is native to Iran, Pakistan and India. The Jawai dam is the biggest dam in western Rajasthan and has more than 200 crocodiles as well as large numbers of turtles and aquatic birds.

Over 200 species of migratory and domestic birds can be found here at various times of the year. Birds of interest are adjunct stork, demoiselle crane, spoonbill, bar-headed goose, Siberian crane, spot-billed duck, brahminy kit, Asian brown flycatcher, and stork-billed kingfisher. (B,L,D Daily)

Day

4

Jawai Leopard Reserve / Delhi

Drive to Udaipur, from where you fly to Delhi. Dayrooms are reserved at Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi where you can catch your breath, clean up and pack before you are escorted to the Delhi airport for your independent flights home. (B,L)

Day

5

Depart / Arrive Home City

Depart Delhi on independent flights.  Arrive North America the same day and connect to flights home.

Things to Know

What is included in the price of this Brahmaputra Cruise?

Included in the price of your trip are the following.

  • Accommodations, excursions, meals and transportation as listed in the itinerary
  • Services of a private IE Expedition Leader in addition to local guides
  • Arrival and departure transfers between the group hotel and airport no matter what day or time
  • One soft drink or local beer per person per included lunch and dinner off the ship
  • Bottled water on excursions, group transfers, at included lunches and dinners and in rooms daily
  • All gratuities to group service staff except your IE Expedition Leader and Mahabaahu crew

What is the activity level on this trip to India?

A trip to India requires good health and mobility. While we have time scheduled for rest and recuperation, your itinerary in India has a moderate pace, involving wildlife activities and transportation from place to place to ensure that you have maximized opportunity to interact with the wildlife and local culture. Consult your physician if you are in doubt about your ability to enjoy an adventure in India and please contact our office with any questions.

Excursions are typically early in the morning and late in the afternoon, if not all day.  This is to beat the heat and staggering traffic conditions throughout the country.  Your Kolkata heritage walk will be early in the morning and last about two hours. This is all standing and walking with few places to sit.  Streets are level.  Your safaris in the national parks are done by jeep and elephant.  You will have to climb in and out of the vehicles and note that park roads are bumpy and rutted. You will drive at a reasonable pace but it’s still very bumpy.  Safaris tend to last about three hours.  The elephant safari is up to one hour and may require you to ride straddled across the top of the elephant with other guests. It is also possible that you will ride side-saddle.  It depends on the equipment they use that day.

Excursions during the cruise are by vehicle, on foot and by excursion boat.  Walking is easy to moderate with places to sit along the way.  You will visit temples where you will be required to remove your shoes and socks.  They will not permit you to use shoe-covers or socks.  You may have to walk over open ground barefoot for several meters to get where you are going.

What kind of weather can I expect in India?

India has a very wide range of climatic patterns. October to March brings the best weather over much of the country. The coolest months are from November to mid-March while the hottest are from April to July. March and April are typically dry and with less vegetation, offering the best game viewing opportunities. From mid-July to September come the monsoon rains. Kolkata is hot and humid in March and April, reaching temperatures of over 100 F.  Kaziranga and much of Assam is typically about 10 degrees cooler than Kolkata but is still hot and humid if there is no cloud cover.  Visiting in March and April does mean heat and humidity but it also means much smaller crowds, more accessible attractions and more exclusivity with the locals.

What will the food be like and can you handle special dietary requests in India?

With advance notice we can accommodate most dietary requests. Vegetarian food is abundant in India but Kosher and gluten-free diets are not possible to accommodate. The majority of meals on this trip are Indian food, with curry served with every meal, including breakfast. Chicken is the most common protein while rice, beans and potatoes are the most common starches. Indian restaurants and hotels that cater to visitors are used to, and quite good at, preparing non-spicy foods for those who cannot handle the heat.

Are you able to customize a trip to India to feature destinations and activities of my choice?

Yes! If our India itinerary does not suit your desires please contact our Custom Department where a specialist can craft the kind of experience that will make your adventure the trip of a lifetime.

Accommodations

Lalit Great Eastern Hotel

Lalit Great Eastern Hotel

Restored and renovated over a period of seven years, Lalit Great Eastern Hotel has been referred to as the “Jewel of the East” and the “Best Hotel East of the Suez”.  The longest operating hotel in Kolkata (165 years), this 5-star property was built in 1841 as the Auckland Hotel and is an historic landmark, in walking distance of Chowringhee Rd and Park Street. Over the years, the hotel has been the favorite haunt of royalty and celebrities from across the world. Deluxe rooms are 350 sqft and feature free Wi-Fi, mini-bar, safe and tea/coffee maker.

Diphlu River Lodge

Diphlu River Lodge

Only the Diphlu River separates Diphlu’s extensive grounds from the National Park itself, and the jungle views are exceptional. The air-conditioned cottages are made of bamboo and thatch, and built on stilts above the ground. All cottages make full use of local materials and artifacts and blend in with the stunning natural surroundings. All are well-appointed and charmingly furnished with individual interiors. Each has a seating area with comfortable cane furniture, a writing desk, mini-bar, safe, small fridge and tea & coffee machine, as well as top-quality beds and mattresses. The very spacious separate cottages have a wide folding glass door opening onto a thatched veranda with cane day bed and inviting chairs, and overlook the Diphlu River and National Park, while at the rear a deck with sun loungers looks across farmland. The grounds of the lodge have been carefully planned to preserve the natural environment. The eco-friendly operation of the resort includes re-cycling grey water for irrigation.

Borgos Resort

Quaint bungalows, fragrant tea gardens and mist-draped mornings are hallmarks of Borgos Resort, a 44-room oasis located in Bijulee Tea Garden near Kaziranga National Park.  Executive rooms feature forest-view terrace, individually controlled AC, and full en suite facilities with hot and cold shower and complimentary Wi-Fi.  Recreational activities include swimming pool, fitness center, spa and safaris into the national park while the resort’s full-service restaurant serves quality meals and room service.

MV Mahabaahu

MV Mahabaahu

“Mahabaahu” comes from “Maha” (mighty) and “Baahu” (arms). Arms in Indian deities represent energies. Hence, Mahabaahu is an entity with mighty energies. Every spacious cabin offers satellite TV, personal safe, mini bar, in-house telephone and en-suite bathrooms. While dining, enjoy a chef-prepared menu of local/Indian and Continental specialties using locally-sourced ingredients. Evenings are spent watching local tribal dances or with an immersive lectures, or simply relax in the swimming pool or library.

Cabins: 23
Swimming Pool
Salon
Spa
Onboard Currency: Indian Rupee
Credit Cards: Visa, MasterCard and American Express
Elevator: Yes
Smoking: Only in open areas
Length: 180 ft.
Speed: 12 knots

Radisson Blue Plaza Delhi

Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi

Located just minutes from Delhi Airport, the Radisson Blu offers easy access for early flights as well as all the amenities you expect in a luxury hotel, including spa, fitness studio, hydrotherapy lounge and beauty salon.  Our superior rooms feature free Wi-Fi, LCD TV, rain shower, safe and hair dryer.

Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

Hyatt Regency Kathmandu is a 5 star luxury resort set on 37 acres of landscaped grounds, created in the traditional Newari style of Nepalese architecture. Rooms are well-equipped and spacious with private bathroom, walk-in shower, in-room safe and mini bar. Amenities include free Wi-Fi. The hotel’s four restaurants and bars ensure the perfect dining experience with an array of cuisine options while guests can stay fit at the hotel’s Club Oasis, which features a well-equipped fitness center, a health and beauty spa, two outdoor swimming pools (one for adults and one for children) an indoor and outdoor whirlpool, tennis courts and a jogging track.

Temple Tiger Green Jungle Resort

Temple Tiger Green Jungle Resort

For over 25 years Temple Tiger Green Jungle Resort has been at the forefront in providing gold standard services in Chitwan National Park. Located in the Buffer Zone area of Amaltari Ghat, Nawalparasi combines the best of jungle wilderness yet within close proximity to Tharu and Bote villages.  The new resort opened in 2012, as all properties within the park have been closed.  The resort features 25 air-conditioned villas with private balconies, overlooking the Chitwan National Park and the Narayani River, about a 30-minute boat ride from the main park. The rooms have wood floors with throw carpets and have solar heated bathrooms with hot water. The central dining room overlooks a man-made lake.

Fish Tail Lodge

Fish Tail Lodge

Fish Tail Lodge enjoys a unique location situated on a peninsula across Fewa Lake. Shuttle-floats or boats transport you across to the resort. With the lake on one side and a forest hill on the other, the views are spectacular. Cosseted by their staff in this oasis of tranquility, facing one of the most beautiful, breathtaking views in the world, you will understand why the lodge features in the bestselling book “1000 Places to See Before You Die” by Patricia Schultz. The lodge was built in the late 1960’s with unique round cottages that are set amidst a lush garden. Garden Terrace Rooms feature garden, pool and forest views, en suite shower with hot water, cable TV, free Wi-Fi, safe and tea/coffee making facilities. The lodge has a full spa.

The Claridges, New Delhi

The Claridges

The 5-star, 132-room Claridges is an historical landmark and iconic hotel located in at the heart of New Delhi’s eminent address – Lutyen’s Delhi – close to sites such as India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan. The capital’s bustling commercial and cultural centers are just a few steps away. The hotel features a full spa, outdoor pool and four restaurants. Deluxe rooms feature a safe, minibar, Wi-Fi, AC, TV, and all modern amenities.

india accommodations itc mughal

ITC Mughal

The lavish ITC Mughal is spread across 35 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens just a short distance from the Taj Mahal. Enjoy 24-hour room service, 24-hour concierge service, a swimming pool and treatments in The Royal Spa. Its beautifully appointed Mughal Rooms offer coffee/ tea maker, safe and cable TV.

Jai Mahal Palace

Jai Mahal Palace

Built in 1745, the Jai Mahal Palace is a stunning piece of Rajasthan’s heritage, a great example of Indo-Saracenic architecture set on acres of landscaped Mughal gardens. Jai Mahal Palace has been the residence of three Prime Ministers of the princely state of Jaipur. Painstakingly restored and recently refurbished, it is now a luxury hotel equipped with all modern-day comforts. Unwind with rejuvenating treatments and therapies at the spa and explore the palace history and its landscaped gardens.

Vivanta by Taj - President - Mumbai

Vivanta by Taj – President – Mumbai

The 5-star Vivanta by Taj – President is just over 1 mile from Marine Drive and 2 miles from the Gateway of India, with many restaurants and shops nearby.  The hotel offers free Wi-Fi, outdoor swimming pool, 24-hour in-room dining, business center, 24-hour fitness center, Jiva Spa, Taj Salon, Asian flavors at Thai Pavilion, comfort-food at The Konkan Café, and Italian at Trattoria. Superior rooms offer 32″ LCD TV and home theatre system with Bose surround sound, electronic safe with inbuilt plug point, mini-bar, hair dryer and tea/coffee maker.

Godwad Safari Camp

Godwad Safari Camp

Godwad Safari Camp is a tented camp located in the Jawai Leopard Conservation Zone, around the Bera area in Rajasthan. The natural rocky hill outcrops here are an ideal hiding place for leopards. Over a three-night stay chances are fair that guests will see a leopard. Birding here is excellent while the conservation zone hosts many other species as well, such as Indian langur and crocodile.  Deluxe tents feature en suite facilities with hot and cold water.

Lalit Laxmi Vilas Palace Udaipur

Nestled amidst the Aravalli Hills with captivating view of Fateh Sagar Lake, The 55-room Lalit Laxmi Vilas Palace Udaipur showcases the rich history and culture of the vibrant state of Rajasthan. Built by his Highness Maharana Fateh Singh in 1911, this luxury heritage hotel features a majestic architecture and décor that reflect the culture, charm and grandeur of this bygone era.  All rooms are 300 sqft with LCD TV, free Wi-Fi, mini-bar, tea/coffee maker, electronic safe and en suite facilities.

The Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi

The Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi

This five-star property occupies 40 acres of lush gardens near the city center of Varanasi, known as The Chowk. The hotel features a pool and spa on site. All rooms feature tea and coffee maker, mini bar, safe, hair dryer and Wi-Fi.

Field Leaders

India Wildlife Expedition guide Aishwarya Maheshwari

Aishwarya Maheshwari

Expedition Leader

Aishwarya is a dedicated conservation biologist with 10 year experience working with leading tourism, research and conservation organizations to preserve and protect the various fragile ecosystems of India. His education, experience and enthusiasm lead WWF India to give him the lead role in the “Snow Leopard Project” for five years, which resulted in significant improvements in conservation of the species as well as sustainable development. Later, he went on to lead other projects across Central and Southern Asia to curb poaching.  At Earthwatch Institute India, Aishwarya led groups in Corbett Tiger Reserve as part of the Citizen Science Program and is passionate about the relationship between eco-tourism and ecological conservation.  Aishwarya has dedicated his life to the study of the relationships between man and animal and how to use that knowledge to further conservation and the enjoyment of guests who come to India for safari.  He has been published and sited in multiple publications and given lectures at many universities and government council meetings about conservation biology.  Most of all he cares deeply for guests on our safaris and does everything he can to ensure an educational, meaningful and, above all, fun experience for visitors.

India guide Vibhav Srivastava

Vibhav Srivastava

Expedition Leader

Vibhav brings more than a decade of field study and expertise to his role as Expedition Leader for International Expeditions’ India Wildlife Safari. Since graduating with an advanced degree in Botany, Vibhav has worked as a naturalist, wildlife biologist and researcher. His experience in the field includes serving as the head of field conservation for a tiger protection NGO and studying the socioeconomic impact of villages located near protected forests. Vibhav has published papers and articles to a variety of textbooks and magazines, and even brings experience as an announcer for Air Varanasi! The group Tour Operators For Tigers (TOFT) selected Vibhav as one of India’s Top 5 Best Naturalists!

Wildlife

Asian Elephant

The Asian elephant is smaller than the African variety, with smaller ears and a larger trunk. Like the cow, the elephant is considered sacred in India. One of India’s most beloved gods, Ganesh, is elephant-headed, and elephants are used in religious rituals throughout India. In Jaipur, there is an Elephant Festival held each year on Holi, and in Kerala a spring festival called Thrissur Pooram features an astonishing display of elephants decorated with gold trappings.

Indian Leopards

Another one of the big cats found in India, the leopard roams all over the subcontinent in large numbers. It’s extremely good at adapting to a wide variety of habitats, and is a skillful and stealthy hunter. Though populous, leopards are highly elusive and hard to spot without an experienced guide. Both Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Parks are great places to see them in the wild. Leopards – especially the mysterious and rarely-seen snow leopards – feature in many local myths and stories.

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Traveled to Japan ~ East and Southeast Asia

We had a fabulous time. The hotels were great as were the tours. We enjoyed the private guides best. Every one of our private guides was fantastic and made sure that we got to do what we (Andy!) wanted to do. Our guide in Arashiyama changed things around so that Andy could go to the Monkey Park, which was not on our original itinerary, but something he decided he wanted to do. She even climbed the mountain with him after settling me in a coffee shop with a cup of coffee!! Summer, our guide in Shanghai, was fantastic, and even helped get us checked in at the airport when we left. The tours themselves were wonderful and we got a good taste of the cities we visited. Both of us are planning on returning to Japan and China again sometime in the future and I will certainly keep you in mind when the time comes. By the way, the tip that we probably appreciated the most was to fly premium economy. I don't know if we would have survived that trip if we hadn't!!

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