Golden Triangle & tigers holiday in India

“A great value nine day tailor made trip covering not only the Golden Triangle but also Kanha NP for tiger watching.”

Highlights

Delhi | Old Delhi| Kutub Minar, | President House | National Museum | India Gate | Jaipur | Jaipur palaces | Agra | Taj Mahal | Red fort | Jabalpur | Kanha National Park | Tiger watching and three game drives | Sleeper train journey

Description of Golden Triangle & tigers holiday in India

This nine day, tailor made holiday revolves around a carefully crafted itinerary that takes in not only the cultural highlights of Golden Triangle, India ‘s stunning historical trail, but also one of the country’s natural highlights too: seeing India’s tigers in Kanha National Park.

After a day of sightseeing in Delhi, you will head to the majestic city of Jaipur, where you are immersed in an eclectic and fascinating mix of royal architecture, from the Palace of the Winds to the Amber Fort, as well as ancient markets intermixed with this ancient majesty.

From the pink city of Jaipur to the white marble magnificence of the Taj Mahal in Agra. A vast mausoleum built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his late wife. Famous the world over, take time here to absorb its greatness. Ironically, history has it that the emperor was imprisoned and here say has it that he was able to see his creation from his prison cell. This part of the trip also takes you to the Agra Fort and also the nearby fortified ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri, the Mughal capital, from 1571 to 1585.

From the Taj to tigers, as our next stop is Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, where magnificent habitats of rich, native sal forests and open dry grasslands are the perfect terrain for India’s finest mammal. There are around a hundred tigers within the park, a large part of the park also designated as the Kanha Tiger Reserve, formed by the prestigious and pioneering Project Tiger in 1974. There is a wealth of other wildlife here too, of course, from langurs to leopard, sambhar to rare swamp deer. On the three game drives you will be accompanied by an expert naturalist guide.

The holiday cost includes bed and breakfast accommodation, driver guide and air conditioned vehicle in Delhi and Agra, entrance fees, transfers and overnight air conditioned rail journey. During your time in Kanha National Park you will stay in a luxury lodge, with all meals, game drives, park and naturalist guide fees included.

Please note that as this is a tailor made itinerary, we can always adapt it to your needs and interests. For example, many of our guests include an additional day or two to Varanasi and Khajuraho’s temples. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss any further ideas.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailormade throughout the year and can be adapted to suit your requirements for 2 to 12 people. The best time to travel is October to June
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Holiday type

Travelling with a local operator

This holiday is operated by a company based in the holiday destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. They will be able to tailor make your holiday to suit your requirements not only concerning the dates of travel but also typically the standard of accommodation, and thus price. It is rare for local operators to be able to help with the booking of your flights.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Golden Triangle & tigers holiday in India

This is a special trip where we are supporting an NGO called Jagrit who are involved in giving education, accommodation, clothing & food to small children who are found begging in railway stations.An amount of £5 per person goes to this NGO.

Another feature of this trip is that we use the old heritage palace hotel in Jaipur whose owners have maintained the building very well thus contributing to saving the old Indian architecture and culture. We use only local guides in Agra & Jaipur.

This trip aims to help and support a more responsible and sustainable approach to wildlife tourism in Central India by catering to small group of not more than 10-12 people, thus leaving behind the least impact on a particular destination. Our connection with the central Indian National parks & jungles date backs to 1932 when one of our family members Late Lakhpat Rai was the first chief conservator of Forest of Central India during British rule. The trained naturalists who will accompany you for game drives are from the local community who have developed the skills of communicating with clients over the years with our regular in house training.

Recently we installed the first ground water recharge unit in one of the lodges in Kanha which we will use. A part of the income (£5 per person) generated from this tour goes straight to the local tribal village school in Kanha. We will be visiting one such school during your trip.

The lodge in Kanha: The lodge you will stay in was constructed using locally available material and each cottage was built in the local style without chemical paints. They use waste wood boilers for heating and try to minimise electricity use by using energy saving lamps and solar, hurricane and earthen lamps in the night. There is no air-conditioning. In addition the lodge use recycled stationary, harvests rain water, uses soak pits to collect water and reuses waste water in the garden. All cleaning is done manually (no machines), organic waste is composted, food is cooked on LPG stoves and they do not allow music or televisions to keep noise pollution to a minimum.

The lodge is dedicated to the local upliftment of the area. They were the first in the history of Kanha National Park to train the locals in catering, house keeping, steward ship, guiding etc, all of whom had very basic schooling, if any at all. The staff is trained at the parent hotel in Jabalpur, and the majority (all drivers) come from the local community. They have financed one vehicle for a member of our staff who is from the community and use this for game drives. In addition, they do not have washing machines so they can provide work for the local community and have taught the local people cane weaving and pottery, the results of which are all used in the lodge. Raw materials are purchased locally where possible.

Reviews of Golden Triangle & tigers holiday in India

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 18 Nov 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


There were so many differnt things to take in across the whole tour but I suppose the highlights had to be walking through the arch and seeing the Taj Mahal for real. Photos do not do it justice and it really is breathtaking, you can see why it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Going on Safari was also great, although we did not actually see a lion the surroundings are beautiful and a pleasant change from the hustle of the towns and cities we travelled.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Travel lightly to avoid having to move lots of luggage from place to place, especially via train. Talk to your driver, they have lots of information and tips and were all friendly but can be quiet, especially if the guide is in the car.
Be open minded and accepting of differnt cultures so that you can look beyond possible first impressions.

Be prepared that the guides may try to get you to visit shops or manufacturers which are interesting but always try to talk you into buying things. These can be interesting, especially the little cottage industries, where you can pick up small items as souveniers but we were also offered Persian rugs and marble tables!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


To some extent, especially in the lodge where we stayed on safari. Obviously the operator is a small local business so in that respect yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was a very memorable experience. There are so many things to take in and I have heard many say that it is an assault on the senses, the sights, sounds and smells can be overwhelming in both good and bad ways. We are really pleased we have been able to experience India.

Reviewed on 02 Nov 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Courtyard House,the safari and seeing a leopard and 2 tigers

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be ready for long drives between location, do early starts if possible to avoid the heat of the day.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Not so much in Jaipur and Agra but in the Kanha tiger reserve and area it benefited the locals

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I can not fault the holiday provider

Read the operator's response here:

Greetings

Thanks for the feedback.We are happy that you enjoyed your recent tour of India. But I
understand there was some issue with the guide in Jaipur.We have taken a note on that &
assure to incorporate best possible way to improve ourselves.Thanks once again for the
suggestion & kind feedback.

Kirty

Reviewed on 02 Feb 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


1 Kanha Wildlife park, 2 Monkey Temple Jaipur.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Wrap up warm if on safari in the winter months. It was -2C on one morning.
Check the standard of hotels booked. The hotels booked for us en route were
not as good as we had hoped and we had to change location at Kanha park as the
allocated accommodation was woeful. Don't book an overnight train on Indian rail (even first class). It was poor and 17 hours long. No apparent food service on board.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


It benefited local guides and some local people. The park was well policed.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I visited India nearly 30 years ago and the experience was much better last
time. The major sites in Agra and Jaipur are now overcrowded with tourists.
However, I would give a special mention to the guides and drivers in Delhi, Agra
and Jaipur who were excellent. The guide in Kanha did not really speak to us at
all on the safaris and this was a little disappointing as we did not know what
was happening.

Read the operator's response here:

We take special care when booking the accommodation. Guests were also informed before booking the tour. You have accommodation for all budgets. Guest decided to upgrade the Hotel in Kanha & the same was organised within no time.

Indian 1st class AC trains are very good and one can see the reviews of the clients on various platforms like trip advisor & so on. Again it depends some like it some don't.

We have taken a note on guide and will surely see that in future he should be able to converse more with clients.

Reviewed on 11 Jan 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Learning about a new culture. One of the most memorable moments was being diverted off the highway due to road blockages and travelling through miles of countryside and small rural communities totally unused to seeing outsiders. And being at the Taj Mahal for New Years Day, even if it was foggy!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go with your eyes wide open and be prepared to mix with the locals whenever you can. Don’t restrict yourself to eating in the hotels – get out. We met a couple at the airport on the return journey who had not gone out of their hotels because they wanted to stay in a ‘clean environment’. Why bother going to India?

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Tourism is a big part of the economy in Rajasthan, but not sure how much of it trickles down to local communities. In terms of impact on the environment –I think we probably had a negative environmental impact because we were travelling by car for the whole 2 weeks.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Great - everything we hoped it would be. Bar some teething problems with the operator we had the holiday of a life-time. The hotels were excellent and the local guides that were arranged were very knowledgeable, Our driver, Hawa Singh, really made the trip - extremely generous and kind, it was great to have the freedom to move at our own pace and not be dictated by anyone else.

Reviewed on 10 Jun 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Visiting our driver's home and family - an impromptu visit.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Do your homework prior to your holiday and be very clear with respect to what you want to do and see.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Did not perceive any noticeable difference from trips previously experienced in other regions.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Good.

Reviewed on 21 Sep 2010 by

Firstly I would like to thank you Neelesh for helping to organise such an amazing holiday. We all had a fantastic time and are already looking forward to when we can visit India again.

The feedback I want to give is mainly very positive
1. Dijo our driver in Kerala and Rakesh in the North were excellent - they went out of their way to make sure we enjoyed ourselves
2. The local guides were very good - in particular our guide in Agra (Vakish?) and Veejay in Jaipur were superb and helped bring to life their cities
3. On the whole the hotels were very well selected - The Old Harbour in Cochin was wonderful.
4. Your itinerary worked very well - making best use of our time

Not so good
5. 2 of our vehicles broke down - although Rakesh was very good at getting his repaired quickly
6. Only the last vehicle - the one Dijo drove had a full compliment of seat belts. We westerners like to have seat belts and therefore the first 2 vehicles which did not provide everyone with seat belts meant we were not entirely comfortable with travelling
7. We did not appreciate being taken by our guides to their local carpet/craft shops - these are hard sell places that we would have prefered not to visit

We are missing India already and would welcome any suggestions on what trip we should do next. I will be recommending this operator to friends who want to visit India. Many thanks.

Read the operator's response here:

We thank you for your feedback as it’s a continuous process of improving ourselves & do our best to make your holiday a memorable one. Though we use the best quality vehicles but its unfortunate that it got broke down for which we feel very sad. We have also taken a note on guides and have already taken necessary steps.

Reviewed on 20 Feb 2010 by

Overall, we had a lovely holiday and found it most enjoyable and extremely interesting. Of course we were disappointed to find that our train journeys and visit to Kanha had to cancelled, but we understood the circumstances, and no one can be blamed for the weather. We really appreciated all the effort you put into making alternative arrangements so quickly, and we were very satisfied with our visit to the bird sanctuary in Bharatpur. Everything went very smoothly and we felt very well looked after by all the drivers and guides you had arranged for us. Everyone was most friendly and welcoming to us. This was our first visit to India, and we hope it will not be our last.

Reviewed on 11 Jan 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


We booked a touring holiday of the golden triangle over the Christmas period and followed with some beach and party time in Goa. The touring was fantastic and allowed us to experience the real India - the sights, hustle and bustle of every day life, the pollution, traffic, amount of people and noise were all incredible and added to the experience. Jaipur was my favourite city - we stayed in a Heritage site which was absolutely breath taking.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Book with this operator. They are an efficient and reliable company and were always on hand should we have experienced any problems. Even phoned us while we were travelling to ensure we were ok and everything was going to plan.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes - we were the beach sellers best customers - they must have been disappointed we only had a week at the beach!!!!!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We booked our own flights to India and booked our trip via this operator. They were a very helpful company to book with and met all our requirements. All e-mails/enquiries were responded to in very good time. We were always met on time and experienced no hiccups while on our trip. Our thanks go to Neelesh of the tour company.

Reviewed on 10 Jan 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Our holiday was tailormade for the 3 of us and was our 4th visit to India. You forget how much of an assault India is to the senses until you step out of your arrival airport & India is there up close & in your face - the noise, the smells, the thousands of people, the traffic (rickshaws. bikes, tuk tuks, cows, camels, elephants as well as motor vehicles!). It really is one of the most exciting destinations in the world.

Although we had visited the Taj Mahal in the early 1980s it still definitely had the WOW factor for us. Pictures certainly do not do it justice. However the biggest highlight for us on this trip was our 1st visit to Amritsar. The Golden Temple, particularly when it is lit up at night, really is quite spectacular. It is on a par with the Taj Mahal & Angkor Wat in Cambodia for taking your breath away at first sight. When we visited the temple at night and people were praying we felt a little bit intrusive but the locals stood back & pushed us forward so we could see everything. It was quite a moving experience. We flew to India 3 days after the hotel bombings in Mumbai in November and Indian people we met were really pleased that we had not let those incidents put us off going. The only downfall was that we didn't see any tigers - but I'm sure they saw us!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We travelled to Northern India at the beginning of December. There was a little bit of mist around early morning but it was dry & during the day warm enough to walk about in short sleeves. In fact of all our visits to India this was the coolest but by far the most bearable temperature for sightseeing. We didn't feel as exhausted at the end of the busy days as we have done when we have travelled in the hotter more humid months. This is something we shall bear in mind if we decide to return for a 5th trip.

Ladies remember that bodies need to be covered a little bit more than maybe you're used to in the warm weather at home. We were surprised by how many women don't realise this. If the Indians think you're showing too much flesh at some sights you will be given shawls to cover your shoulders. Always travel with a sarong so you can cover up as the communal shawls have been well used!. Especially take a shawl/scarf to the Golden Temple as heads must be covered to go in there. Men also have to cover their heads & we were told by our guide that caps are not acceptable, but men can buy a scarf for a matter of pennies at the temple.

The early mornings & late evenings in December were cool & when we went out on the game drives in the national parks it was cold in the jeeps. We definitely needed our fleeces & long trousers on. I would also recommend that you do the game drives in smaller jeeps rather than the canters which hold about 20 people. Hotels in India can be simple (even when they describe themselves on their websites as luxury) but certainly the ones we have experienced were spotlessly clean. Remember to take a plug for the sinks though. I had read on various websites that people had been cold in their rooms in Indian hotels in winter. That was not our experience.

When you travel to India pack your sense of humour & your patience & go with no expectations. You will be very pleasantly rewarded. Indian people are noisy but very very kind & friendly & they are curious about us. We were stopped several times by locals who just wanted to speak to us. We didn't stick to veggie food, as lots of travellers seem to do for fear of being ill (although veggie food is common in India) & none of us was ill. The goat dishes were particularly tasty but contained a lot of bone. Be careful of the bottled beer. It is good but we had a few dodgy bottles - very cloudy, no fizz & tasted very bitter - but each restaurant/bar changed them no problem. We changed money at the airport on arrival & got a much better rate that at hotels.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We stayed in small locally owned hotels & ate in restaurants frequented by locals. The food was very good & cheap. We didn't stick to veggie food, as lots of travellers seem to do for fear of being ill, although veggie food is common in India. (can recommend the goat but it can be a bit bony.) We booked our trip direct over the internet with a company in India who Responsible Travel suggested may be able to tailor make our trip. We hoped this would benefit people in India rather more than if we had booked through a UK travel operator. The trip went like clockwork & I would certainly do it this way again. We used local guides in each place we visited who were excellent. I'm not sure about our impact on the environment because we did a lot of road travel & flew Delhi to Amritsar & back but that was our choice as we wanted to pack a lot in to a short amount of time.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Everything about it was excellent. We are very lucky to have travelled the world extensively over the past 25 years but every now & again we are drawn back to India. If you haven't tried it yet give it ago. You'll wonder why you didn't do it years ago. "Thank you Neelesh"

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