Embark on the journey-of-a-lifetime as you spend two weeks exploring the wonders hidden in India’s heartland. This epic adventure offers the chance to uncover treasures that lie off the country’s well-trodden tourist trail. From Delhi, dive into history at Kalinjar and discover the natural wildlife and wonders of Panna, the architectural gems of Chanderi and Bhopal and the matchless view from the fort at Maheshwar. Spend your days exploring historic towns, citadels, temples and mosques, hiking through jungle and spotting rare wildlife. Spend your nights in total luxury at Kaafila tented camps or unique and stunning hotels, gathering memories that will last forever.
This morning, set off into central India on a flight to Khajuraho via Varanasi and onwards by car through stunning countryside, past the Panna Tiger Reserve and the temple of Baldeoji, to your Kaafila camp at Kalinjar. Take a short walk into the countryside before enjoying sundowners, dinner and a relaxing night’s sleep in your luxury tent.
Begin your explorations this morning with a visit to Kalinjar Fort. Now crumbling and overgrown with jungle, this strategically-important hill fort was once considered one of India’s greatest. Spend the day discovering this massive complex of temples, mosques, shrines and palaces, embellished and carved with depictions of Hindu deities. Enjoy a picnic lunch and later return to camp for the evening.
Continue your exploration of the Kalinjar area today as you head out on foot or by car or bike. Discover the rare and exotic flora and fauna of the forests surrounding the Panna Tiger Reserve on a jungle trek or drive and take a walk around the fort of Ajaigarh and the colorful little villages nearby.
Rise early to continue your adventure and make a stop at the ‘Scottish’ mansion belonging to the scion of the ruling family of Panna, where you will enjoy breakfast and meet the family. Check in at the Sarai at Toria hotel on the Ken River and settle in before an afternoon game drive in Panna Park. Look out for tigers, leopards, striped hyena, crocodiles, deer, gazelle and much more.
Start the day with an early morning drive in the park before brunch. Later, visit the ancient temple site of Khajuraho – now one of India’s most famous tourist attractions and where you will have a guided tour by an expert historian. After a day of discovery, relax at your hotel.
After breakfast, continue on your scenic journey through the beautiful countryside of Bundelkhand and the busy town of Chhatarpur, making a stop at the palace of Bijawar to see its mirrored rooms. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade of Baldeogarh Fort on the edge of a lake. Finally, you will arrive at Chanderi and your luxury Kaafila camp.
Spend the day exploring the walled-town of Chanderi and discover the medieval architecture protected by its hill-top citadel. Visit tombs, mansions and temples, as well as Jama Masjid - the Friday Mosque, and see the skilled weavers in action at their looms. Take a look at the prehistoric rock paintings of Naneun on the banks of the Urvashi River and relax back at camp for the evening
After breakfast, head out on the road to visit the Udaigiri caves, which are carved into imposing sandstone in the distinctive Gupta style. Later, make a stop at the Great Stupa, where a group of Buddhist monuments house the Buddhist remains of Sanchi. This evening, you will check in at Jehan Numah Retreat for a relaxing night’s sleep.
Spend the day exploring the pretty city of Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, which is divided by its two lakes. Take a walk around Bhopal’s old city with its marketplaces, mosques and palaces, as well as the new city with its immaculate parks, gardens and the Bharat Bhavan, designed by renowned Indian architect Charles Correa. This evening, relax back at your luxurious retreat.
After breakfast, begin your journey onwards to Maheshwar, an ancient temple town on the banks of the river Narmada and featured in the Ramayana. Explore the temples and fort complex, and check in to your suite at the 250-year-old Ahilya Fort, set on a cliff edge. Enjoy the stunning views and a relaxing evening.
Spend the day exploring Maheswar and its historic and architectural delights, so lovingly preserved over the centuries. Take a traditional wooden boat trip for a leisurely spot of birdwatching on the river and enjoy a stroll on the ghats before another night in luxury at the fort.