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Mar
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Central Himalayan Safari (14 Days; # 262)

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This multi faceted tour gives you a taste of some iconic experiences India has to offer. A visit to India's capital city, Delhi and the World renowned Taj Mahal in Agra. It aims to provide a glimpse of the Natural, Architectural, Historical and Cultural sights of Himalayan India. You get to explore a range of areas and habitats like Mountains, Lakes, Forests, Kumaoni Villages and Wildlife Reserves nestled in the rich and diverse Himalayan region too.

We start with the capital Delhi where you spend the first night. You can opt for a guided tour to see the famous architectural gems of the Mughal or British times or enjoy the array of cuisines and cosmopolitan experiences it offers.

Iconic Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri visit comes next as we take you to Agra on a lovely train ride. Next we take you to explore the magnificent beauty and diversity Himalayas offer. We start with camping and birding at the foothills of Himalayas. Sat Tal, which literally means 'Seven Lakes' in Hindi, has lovely views, options for strolls or treks in the woods or butterfly watching. It is a perfect destination to unwind. You can also enjoy fishing or a boat ride on the serene lake. Thrill seekers can indulge in Rappelling and Rock Climbing here too.

We move on to the historic hamlet of Abbott Mount next. It was founded by and named after Mr. John Harold Abbott, an English businessman who wanted to develop a hill station for the European community in the 20th century.

There are only thirteen secluded cottages spreads over this private hill. There is a picturesque church set amidst the forest and an ancient cricket pitch with an unsurpassed view of the mountains. This is an ideal destination to relax and connect with nature. Long walks in the woods, reading a book as you sip tea in the sprawling lawns, spotting birds chirping in the foliage or enjoying the lovely meals provided in this quaint 100 year old lodge. It is a perfect mountain break.

For those seeking an adventure, we take you thrilling Rafting experience from Rameshwar to Pancheshwar on River Saryu very close to Abbot Mount. Next we take you to explore Jageshwar's ancient 8th -12th century Shiva temples. Counted among the 12 Jyotirlings in the country, Jageshwar lies in a beautiful narrow valley hedged by monarch-sized, ancient deodars. Exquisite ancient ruins, beautiful Himalayan vistas, gurgling stream nearby, Jageshwar offers a spiritual retreat. With morning Yoga sessions and options for massage as well, you can choose to soak in the spiritual energy of this holy area or go for hikes in the surrounding woods. A picnic on the cool riverside is also a very enticing option.

The birding paradise of Pangot is next on our list. The entire drive to Pangot is mostly through the forested area of Cheena Peak Range via Snow View Point and Kilbury, the main habitats for wildlife. The stay at a quaint eco-lodge called Jungle Lore Birding Lodge, is also a highlight of this sleepy hamlet. The spectacular views and warm hospitality adds to the charm of the experience. You can enjoy birding or a trek with our guide. You can hope to see Blue Whistling Thrush, Red-Billed Blue Magpie, Blue-Capped Redstart, Streaked Laughing Thrush, Grey-Backed Shrike, Yellow-Breasted Green Finch etc.

The next two days are spent Trekking in the Kumaon hills to Corbett National Park. This forest trek has an altitudinal variation of 450 m to 2500 m. Highly recommended for beginners, this is a Moderate Trek through beautiful natural surroundings.

From Vinayak to Kumeria via Kunjkharak and Akashkhanda, with spectacular views of the icy Himalayas, you hike along old pony trails. Starting from the bank of the Kosi River, this Trek leads through dense broad leaf forests rich in Wildlife. On a clear day you get spectacular views of Nanda Ghunti (20,700 ft) and Trishul (23,360 ft). Huge rocks in forested ridges make it a good place to sight high altitude birds like Lammergeier, Himalayan and Eurasian Griffon.

Other raptors you may see are Tawny Eagle, Steppe Eagle and Kestrel. Dominated by Oak, Chestnut and Rhododendron, this area is a riot of Red when in bloom.

You pass through small Kumaoni Villages, where you can see simple hill folks indulge in their everyday household Chores, Thrashing Wheat or taking their sheep for grazing. Beautiful local architecture, slate and mud houses, carved doors and windows make very interesting photo opportunities. You can choose to stay at such a traditional house or tented camps or forest bungalows. Spending time chatting with these friendly villagers, hearing their music, sharing their food is an unforgettable experience.

Once you reach Kumeria we take you to the last destination, the famous Corbett National Park. Enjoy Jeep Safaris or an Elephant Ride for Tiger and other Wildlife viewing. Enjoy birding around the area early in the morning as you spend two nights at the quaint Tiger Camp ResortCorbett National Park is a popular retreat for Wildlife and Nature Enthusiasts. It provides a great opportunity for viewing Wildlife, especially the Tiger in its Natural Habitat. The main Wildlife animals found in the Corbett National Park include the Tiger, Elephant, Chital, Sambar, Nilgai, Gharial, King Cobra, Muntjac, Wild Boar, Hedgehog, Common Musk Shrew, Flying Fox, Indian Pangolin and nearly 600 species of birds.

Driving back to Delhi at the end of two weeks, you would have seen some of unforgettable Natural, Architectural, Historical and Cultural sites that India has to offer.

Date
March 01 - March 15
Time
7:00pm - 9:00pm (IST)