Bird Watching Tour North India

Duration : 12 Days / 11 Nights
Attractions : Rajghat - Humayun Tomb - Qutab Minar - India Gate - Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary - City Palace, Jaipur - Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal) - Laxmi Narayan Mandir, Jaipur - Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary - Siberian Crane - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra Fort -Taj Mahal - Sonkhaliya

Day 01 : Flight to India (New Delhi): Arrive in New Delhi around midnight. The capital and the cosmopolitan city, New Delhi is the main gateway for the travelers to India. When arrived, you will be received by an Indo Vacations representative and taken to the hotel.

Day 02 : New Delhi: Today in the morning we go for sightseeing in Old Delhi. Sights worth watching in Old Delhi includes "Rajghat", the place where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated, Jama Masjid and the great mosque of old Delhi. Today we also visit the famous "Humayun Tomb" which is the first significant example of Mughal architecture in India and "Kutab Minar" which is 71 meter high and was constructed in 1199. Before we proceeding to the hotel we drive through New Delhi where we will visit the India Gate, Government Buildings and Embassies.

Day 03 : New Delhi - Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary - New Delhi (about 46 km): Driving further after having our breakfast today we visit Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, founded by very own birdman Late Dr. Salim Ali. Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is home to a variety of domestic and migratory birds, in winters birds fly all over from Siberia and Europe. The birds include Darters, Egrets Shovellers, Gadwell, Geese, Teals, Kingfishers, Lapwings, Demoiselle Cranes, Ruddy Shelducks, Pelicans, Flamingoes, Bar-headed Geese, Grey Lags, Mallards, Pochards. Local species include Plovers, Herons, Cormorants, White Ibises, Spoonbills and Painted Storks. There are about 100 species of birds. Other wildlife in the park include Blackbuck, Nilgai, Hog Deer, Sambar, Wild Dog or Dhole, Caracal, Wild Cat, Hedgehog, Mongoose, Striped Hyena, Indian Porcupine, Rattle or Honey Badger, Leopard, Wild Pig, and four horned Antelope. After visiting this sanctuary we return back to the hotel.

Day 04 : New Delhi - Jaipur (about 270 km): Today we drive to the Pink City, Jaipur, which owes its name, foundations and careful planning to the great warrior and astronomer, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and is famous for its handicrafts and precious and semiprecious stones. In the afternoon we visit the City Palace that is still the formal residence of the royal family, built with an amalgamation of the Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The museum of the City Palace has a private collection of the Jaipur Maharajas. Then we move further continue to Jantar Mantar, a stone observatory, and the largest of Jai Singh's five remarkable observatories. This palace has complex instruments that reveal to us the secrets of medieval Indian astronomy.

Day 05 : Jaipur: After breakfast we drive to the ancient capital of Amber, which lies 11 km away from Jaipur. It was the ancient capital of Kachhawaha dynasty for 6 centuries before it was moved to newly created Jaipur. We will move to the Palace Fortress on the back of an Elephant and while on the route to Amber we visit the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), built in 1799 AD. It contains 953 small casements with each having its own balcony. The windows enabled cool air to circulate and the ladies to watch processions below without being seen. In the afternoon we walk through the colorful Bazaars of Jaipur and visit a factory to see the famous block printing work being done since centuries in Jaipur. In the evening we drive through the new city of Jaipur and visit "Laxmi Narayan Mandir", a Hindu temple made out of white marble. We might also get an opportunity to observe a prayer ceremony here.

Day 06 : Jaipur - Bharatpur: Today after breakfast we drive to Bhratpur, famous for the Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary. This bird sanctuary is one of the finest bird sanctuary in Asia. Bharatpur was earlier a duck shooting resort of the Maharaja. Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary with its 375 species is one of the best water-bird sanctuaries in the world. Winters are flocked with various migratory birds from the northern hemisphere including the rare Siberian Crane.

Day 07 : Bharatpur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra (about 260 km): Today we leave Rajasthan, the biggest state in India and drive through a series of fields, small towns and villages to Agra. While on the route we make a stop and visit Fatehpur Sikri, which is a majestic capital frozen in time, constructed by Akbar the Great in the 16th century. This exquisite city is constructed by red sand stones and was abandoned as abruptly as it had been built. It is said that due to failing in the water supply, it was abandoned. In the evening arrive in Agra and evening is free for leisure.

Day 08 : Agra: Today we start our sightseeing by visiting the Agra Fort, built by three of the greatest Mughal emperors. The construction of this massive structure began in 1565 under Akbar's reign and continued till the time of his grandson's reign, Shah Jahan who built the impressive imperial quarters and mosque. After visiting Agra Fort we proceed to visit the most beautiful monument of India, the Taj Mahal, an enduring monument of love, with a continually fulfilling beauty. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1631-52, as a tomb and memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal (Jewel of the Palace), who died at the age of 39 giving birth to her 14th child. We spend a lot of time at Taj Mahal so that one can soak oneself in the beauty of this grand memorial.

Day 09 : Agra - Sonkhaliya - Agra: Today from Agra we will drive to Sonkhaliya to see the rare and spectacular Indian Bustard. Other birds that can be found in this area include Stoloczka's Bushchat and White Naped Tit. Here we can see the Indian Bustard, Desert Isabelline and variable Wheatears and a huge number of Greater Short-toed Larks together with the occasional Bimaculated Lark. After visiting this sanctuary we will return back to hotel in Agra.

Day 10 : Agra - National Chambal Sanctuary (about 70 km): Today after having breakfast we will drive further to visit National Chambal Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is famous for the rare Gangetic Dolphin and was founded in the year 1979 and is a part of a large area co-administered by Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The other inhabitants of the sanctuary include Crocodile, Alligator, Swamp Deer, Chital, Leopard, Hyena, Chinkara, Sambar, Nilgai, Wolf and Wild Boar. This sanctuary spreads over an area of 340 square km. There we will go for boat cruise on river Chambal and view the various birds like the Indian Skimmer, Black-bellied Tern, Bar-headed Goose and other Waterfowl.

Day 11 : National Chambal Sanctuary - New Delhi: In the morning, after having our breakfast we drive to New Delhi. After arriving in New Delhi in the afternoon,evening is free for leisure. When arrived in New Delhi, you will be received by our representative and transferred to the hotel. In hotel rooms one can get fresh and change. The rest of the day is for leisure (opportunity for the shopping or enjoy a massage in the Hotel. After having dinner we leave for the airport with the Indo Vacations representative.

Day 12 : New Delhi: Take a flight around midnight for home destination.