Tigers, temples and Paleolithic paintings ...
Is The Wild Heart of India for you?
There's something very special, almost primordial, about Madhya Pradesh ... it's the kind of place that lets your soul expand to the far horizons. This two-week roadtrip includes some of India's most ancient and fascinating sites as well as lets you immerse yourself in nature in two of the country's best tiger reserves, Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks. Seeing a tiger in the wild for the first time is an unforgettable moment.
Anyone interested in history will be blown away by the diversity of historical treasures, from the Unesco World Heritage Sites of the 30,000-year-old rock paintings at Bhimbetka and the 10th-Century erotic carvings of Khajuraho, to the Buddhist monument of Sanchi (3rd century BC), ancient Hindu caves, and Rajput and Mughal palaces and forts.
Having the convenience of your own air-conditioned car and driver means you can access some of the more remote sites in comfort. This trip does involve long car journeys as distances are vast and roads rudimentary in places.
How long is the trip?
Two weeks, but this can be extended or shortened as required. As there's so much to see in this part of India, we'd always recommend extending a trip here rather than shortening it.
Please get in touch for more details on how we can tailor the trip for you.
Being paddled down the serene Ken River at Sarai at Toria, the off-the-grid eco-lodge run by English wildlife photographer and conservationist Joanna Van Gruisen and her husband, Indian environmental ecologist and big cat biologist Raghu Chundawat. This retreat is one of B&B's favourite spots in India.
Where we go
Datia, Orchha, Khajuraho, Bandhavgarh National Park, Kanha National Park, Bhedaghat, Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, Bhopal, Sanchi, Udayagiri Caves, Chanderi, Gwalior
When to go
October to March. Temperatures reach 40 degrees Celsius by mid-April, and the rainy season continues till around mid-September.
Extend your trip by a few days to include the peaceful riverside town of Maheshwar and its wonderful Ahilya Fort hotel.
For lovers of ...
HISTORY The history of Madhya Pradesh stretches back millennia and it's treasure after historical treasure on this trip. The itinerary also includes the important Hindu caves of Udayagiri (4th century AD), the Jain carvings at Gwalior (7th to 15th Century), the beautiful Bir Singh Palace at Datia, the palaces, temples and cenotaphs of Orchha, and the magnificent fort at Gwalior.
ART & CRAFTS Gond painting is a traditional dream-like artform inspired by nature; we can arrange tribal painters to teach you their craft. The little-visited town of Chanderi is known for its gorgeous silks.
WILDLIFE The tiger is, of course, the big one, but there are plenty of other beasts and birds, including leopards, gaur (Indian bison), sambar (large deer), the pretty chital (Bambi-like spotted deer), swamp deer, wild boar and a plethora of birds, from snake and crested eagles to the exquisite paradise flycatcher, iridescent kingfishers and the spectacular racket-tailed drongo.
The parks, which are a mix of open meadows, bamboo thickets, mixed forest and dry deciduous woods of sal and teak, are also home to sloth bears, honey badgers, pangolins, wolves and hyena.