Puri to Bhubaneswar is a three-hour drive combined with historic sites and temples, before relaxing in the Ayurvedic Spa of your luxury hotel. The following day, absorb the dramatic temples and glorious textiles and markets of the present and former capitals of Orissa.
Bhubaneswar – Kolkata
Morning flight from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata, a short ride to your hotel, and a final day to catch up on sightseeing or shopping in the vast variety of markets, with your Bengali guide and a vehicle at your disposal.
Depart Kolkata for onward journey
Fly to Aurangabad (about one hour) where your guide will meet you and check you into your luxury hotel where you are booked on bed-and-breakfast basis. After lunch, a guided tour of Ellora Caves and Aurangabad. There are various set pieces on the standard Aurangabad tour, including the Pan Chakki (Water Wheel). Of further interest might be a visit to the Himroo Factory - the traditional Himroo fabric is a blend of cotton and silk, with designs and patterns inspired, inter alia, by Ajanta frescoes.
Ellora, the first World Heritage site of your tour, is 30 km from Aurangabad City. Thirty-four monasteries and temples extending over more than 2 km have been dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff. Ellora, with its uninterrupted sequence of monuments dating from 600 to 1000 CE, brings the civilization of ancient India to life. Not only is the Ellora complex a unique artistic creation and a technological exploit but, with its sanctuaries devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, it illustrates the spirit of tolerance that was characteristic of ancient India.
In the evening return to your hotel for dinner.
Ajanta, also a World Heritage site is just over 100 km away (two hours) by private air-conditioned car. High on a cliff, a series of carved caves, each more dramatic than the other. Hewn painstakingly as monsoon retreats, varshavasas. for Buddhist monks, the cave complex was lived in continuously from 200 BCE to about 650 CE. There are thirty caves, including some unfinished ones. Five are chaityas or prayer halls and the rest are viharas or monasteries.
Return in the evening to your luxury Aurangabad hotel.
Today you will take a short evening flight (45 minutes) from Aurangabad to Nagpur in the very centre of India, so there is plenty of time to potter around in Aurangabad City. You will be met at Nagpur Airport by a representative of Tuli International Hotel; we recommend dinner at the hotel's fine restaurant which specialises in North-West Frontier-style kebabs.
From Nagpur your Chinkara vehicle will drive you five hours (250 km) to Kanha National Park, India's premier Tiger Reserve, arriving in time for your first of at least five guided park drives. Bask in the warm hospitality of Shergarh, in a naturalist's paradise of flora and fauna.
Bhoramdeo – Raipur – Kanker
Breaking for a leisurely lunch at Raipur's best restaurant, you will reach your suite at Kanker Palace, gateway to Bastar, by early evening - to a royal welcome and a feast of entertainment by local dancers and musicians. Your princely hosts are happy to interpret the history, culture and tribal environs of their former State.
Nagpur – Kanha National Park
From Nagpur your TransJourneys vehicle will drive you 5 hours (250 km) across country to Kanha National Park, India's premier Tiger Reserve, arriving in time for your first of at least 5 guided Park drives. Bask in the warm hospitality of Shergarh, in a naturalist's paradise of flora and fauna.
Kanha National Park – Bhoramdeo
Two hours from Kanha, near the site of ancient Khajuraho-style temples, Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat marks the start of your tribal experience - simple farmhouse living and specially guided visits to the markets and homes of the Gond and Baiga tribes who live in the beautiful Maikal Hills. Trekking and nature walks too.
Your flight is likely to arrive in the middle of the night. Your hotel representative will escort you to your luxury hotel close to the airport to rest before the following day’s flight to Aurangabad from the Domestic Airport. Your Mumbai airport hotel is on bed-and-breakfast basis.
Jagdalpur – Kanker
Depart Jagdalpur for Kanker with a brief stop at SAATHI to witness the making of traditional Bastar handicraft such as bell metal, terracotta and wrought iron. Regain Kanker Palace by evening, and relax all next day and night with your royal hosts.
DO’s and Don’ts
Carry several copies of your passport and credit cards while travelling.
Wear light comfortable clothing according to weather conditions.
Pack medications with prescriptions.
Mark all of your travel bags with your personal details such as name and address.
Make calls or text your family and friends about your travel details.
Don’t eat street food or drink tap water.
Don’t accept food and drinks from strangers or those who you met only a few times.
Don’t leave your kids unattended even for a minute.
Don’t leave jewellery, mobile phones, laptops, cameras in hotel room. Get a locker for the same.
Don’t try on adventure activities unless you feel confident about it.