05 NOV - 17 NOV
About This Tour
Rudyard Kipling wrote The Jungle Book, a collection of stories published in 1894 about the “man-cub” Mowgli who grew up alongside animals in the wilds of India. For many people, these stories defined our idea of India as an exotic place, full of adventures amidst the dense foliage with predator and prey lurking around every corner. The reality nowadays is somewhat different. India is the 7th largest country on the planet, it has the 2nd largest population. Sadly, over-population has diminished natural landscapes and endangered wildlife, but the government of India is doing all it can to protect its rich and diverse wildlife in more than 120 national parks, 18 bio-reserves and 500 wildlife sanctuaries.
Toto Tours has organized many tours to India, but this is the first that will place primary focus on its wildlife. In addition to seeing rare animals in their natural environment, you will also experience the best of Indian heritage and culture. Around every corner another wonder of India’s kaleidoscopic richness reveals itself — Hindu temples, Buddhist stupas, Mughal forts, British colonial architecture and the glorious Taj Mahal. We invite you to experience an adventure like no other!
- Mumbai, India’s most populous city
- Gothic Victoria Station in Mumbai *
- Kanha National Park
- Bhandhavgarh National Park
- Temples of Khajuraho *
- 16th century Agra Fort *
- Sunrise visit to Taj Mahal in Agra *
- Architectural splendor of Fatehpur Sikri *
- Amber Fort in Jaipur *
- Jantar Mantar, ancient marble observatory in Jaipur *
- Red Fort in Delhi (on extension) *
* UNESCO World Heritage Sites
LEAVE HOME BOUND FOR MUMBAI, INDIA
Depart your home city today on an overnight international flight to Mumbai, India. The tour starts in Mumbai, and it ends in Delhi. The Mumbai International Airport has the three-letter code BOM, and the airport code for Delhi is DEL. Use these codes when researching flights from your home city. International flights typically arrive in India very late the following evening. Tour services begin in Mumbai with overnight accommodations on November 6. Let us know if you would like to book an additional night in Mumbai tonight so that you can have a full day of rest tomorrow before the tour starts. (Meals aloft)
ARRIVE IN MUMBAI
Your flight will likely arrive late in the day. A driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to our hotel for an overnight stay. Touring begins tomorrow. (Meals Aloft)
Enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of the sights in Mumbai. We start with the Gateway of India and Prince of Wales Museum, the largest Fine Art Museum in India. Continue to Rajabai Tower, a famous clock tower modeled after London’s Big Ben. We visit Flora Fountain, sprawling Crawford Market (noted for its Norman and Flemish architecture), Malabar Hill to see the famous “Queen’s Necklace” and the Hanging Gardens. Mani Bhavan (the Gandhi Museum) served as Gandhi’s Bombay headquarters and played a very prominent part in India’s unique struggle for freedom.
Next visit Haji Ali’s Dargah, one of India’s most famous and prestigious landmarks situated about 500 yards from the Mumbai shoreline in the middle of the Arabian Sea. Culminate the day at Dhobi Ghats, the public laundries which is a unique feature of Mumbai with row upon row of giant concrete wash pens, each fitted with its own flogging stone. Our Welcome Dinner is at Alibaba Restaurant tonight. Overnight in Mumbai. (Breakfast / Dinner included)
FLY TO NAGPUR
Transfer to the airport for our mid-morning flight to Nagpur, arriving just after noontime. A driver will meet us at the airport. After lunch we proceed to our lodge at Kanha National Park. It is one of India’s largest parks, covering almost 2000 kilometers of pristine Indian wilderness. It boasts a spectacular landscape of vast sal tree forests, interspersed with flourishing green meadows and beautiful stretches of lush bamboo growth. This national park is one of the first nine tiger reserves established with the initial launch of Project Tiger in 1973, aimed at protecting tigers and their ecosystems. Kanha is prime tiger wilderness, and it remains Project Tiger’s greatest success story. Today is a travel day with free time to enjoy our lodge. Our first visit to the park will be tomorrow. Overnight in Kanha. (All Meals)
TIGER RESERVE AT KANHA NATIONAL PARK
Today we enjoy morning and afternoon safaris by jeep. There are numerous tiger reserves in India, but nowhere can you see these magnificent creatures as often and as regularly as in Kanha National Park. There are also herds of spotted deer to be seen with smaller herds of beautiful Antelope and Black Buck. With a little luck, you could also spot the timorous Barking Deer and the rare Barasingha (the Swamp Deer). Once there were only 66 of these in Kanha, but careful conservation and management raised their population to over 400. Spotting wild animals is always a matter of luck but Kanha is so rich in wildlife that the odds are tilted in your favor. There are 175 varieties of birds in Kanha, and visitors often catch glimpses of all the grazers, porcupine, Gray Langurs, mongoose, hyena, even a Leopard. (All Meals)
SAFARI AND TRANSFER TO BHANDHAVGARH NATIONAL PARK
After another early-morning jeep safari, return to our lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, we drive to Bandhavgarh National Park. This was an ancient stronghold of many kings in a land with history dating back roughly 4000 years. This park, which was once the private game reserve of the ruling family of Rewa, holds the distinction of being the home of the last White Tiger in the wild. The park is dotted with many caves that have ancient rock paintings and carvings. Majestic Bandhavgarh Fort dominates the center of the park with its own history dating back thousands of years. Various temples with statues depicting incarnations of Lord Vishnu are inside the fort. We check in and enjoy dinner and overnight at our Bhandhavgarh lodge. (All Meals)
BHANDHAVGARH NATIONAL PARK
The entire day is scheduled for wildlife viewing. In addition to the Tiger, other important cats living in the forest here are the Leopard and Jungle Cat, as well as 3 types of antelope and many species of bat, deer, butterflies and birds. Set among the Vindhya hills of Madhya Pradesh with an area of 168 square miles, the park contains a wide variety of habitats and a high density of game, including many tigers leading to its designation as a Project Tiger Reserve in 1993. (All Meals)
After breakfast drive to Khajuraho, a small town located in the heart of India and famous for its erotic temples. The Chandela rulers built these temples in a short span of 100 years from 950-1050 AD. Out of 85 temples, only 20 have survived the ravages of time. The temples belong to two different religions – Hinduism and Jainism. They are in three groups in an area of about 8 square miles. The western group is the largest and most important, while the group just east of the present Khajuraho village contain Brahmin and Jain shrines. The Southern group houses the Chaturbhuj Temple and the Eastern Temple. Enjoy a sound and light show at the temple complex this evening. (Breakfast / Dinner)
ORCHHA / GWALIOR
After breakfast drive to Orchha, which was the capital of the kingdom of the Bundella Rajputs from 1531 to 1783. We visit Jahangir Mahal Palace, an Indo-Persian style palace of the Mughul period and the Ram Raja Temple, built in the 17th century. We take lunch in Orchha before driving onward to Gwalior. We check in to our hotel, a former palace, in the late afternoon. Rich in history, this 120-year-old Usha Kiran Palace played host to the King of England and is now a heritage hotel. Set amidst 9 acres of beautifully landscaped lawns, this regal palace is outfitted with artistic stone carvings and delicate filigree work. (All Meals)
GWALIOR / DRIVE TO AGRA
Gwalior’s tradition as a royal capital continued until the formation of present day India, with the Scindias having their dynastic seat here. The new city of Gwalior became, over the centuries, the cradle of great dynasties and with each, the city gained new dimensions from warrior kings, poets, musicians and saints, contributing to making it a capital renowned throughout the country. On a sightseeing tour this morning, we explore the 15th century Gwalior Fort, built on a sandstone precipice and overlooking the surrounding plains.
Afterwards we depart Gwalior and drive to Agra, famous as the home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Taj Mahal. The architectural splendor of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces in Agra is a vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal empire. We visit the Agra Fort and later the Itmad-ud-Daulah Tomb, an earlier version of the Taj Mahal. Time permitting, observe incredible marble-inlay craftsmen at work and see some of the other exquisite products produced here. Overnight in Agra. (Breakfast / Dinner)
TAJ MAHAL / FATEPHUR SIKRI / JAIPUR
We make a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal, a jewel of Muslim art. It is one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture, combining elements from Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian styles. Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. We return to our hotel for breakfast, afterward checking out and driving to Fatephur Sikri, the deserted city. Built in 1571, it is one of the world’s most perfect ghost cities, with pristine red sandstone buildings as perfect as when they were first chiseled more than five centuries ago. We have plenty of time to explore the magnificent structures here before driving onward to Jaipur. We check in to our hotel upon arrival, and the evening is free. (All Meals)
Enjoy a very full and festive day of sightseeing. At the Amber Fort, we experience the thrill of riding on an elephant up to the main entrance. Amber is a classic, romantic Rajasthani Fort Palace, with a rustic exterior and a lavish interior. Miniatures painted on the walls depict hunting and war scenes as well as festivals. Precious stones and mirrors are embedded into the plaster. Inside the Fort visit the Jag Mandir or the Hall of Victory.
Later we tour the city of Jaipur, visiting the Maharaja’s City Palace, which has been converted in part into a museum. Visit the Jantar Mantar, which is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world, built by Jai Singh from 1728 to 1734. We finish our tour with a stop at Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds, a honeycomb palace with 953 latticed windows overlooking the bazaar and busy streets of Jaipur. Toto Tours hosts a Farewell Dinner this evening at Nayaran Niwas Palace. Overnight in Jaipur. (Breakfast / Dinner)
DEPARTURE FROM DELHI
Enjoy a free morning, relaxing around our hotel or exploring more of Jaipur. We check out of our hotel in late morning and depart around 12 noon for the drive to Delhi. On arrival, we check into day rooms at our hotel near the airport. You will have use of the room until 9:00 pm, when you will transfer to the international airport for your flight home. Those who have not seen Delhi on a previous visit can choose to extend one more day for a city tour. (Breakfast)
OPTIONAL DELHI EXTENSIONSATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2017
Enjoy a full-day sightseeing tour of Old & New Delhi. Start with a visit to the great Jama Masjid, the principal mosque of Old Delhi built in 1656. Take an exciting rickshaw ride through the old marketplace Chandi Chowk to see the Red Fort, built in the year 1648 (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Continuing our tour, we drive to New Delhi. We will see Raj Ghat, the simple black marble memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, and stop at the Ghandi Memorial Museum. Following lunch, we will view the India Gate (memorial built in 1931 to commemorate India’s fallen soldiers), the President’s House, and the soaring spire of the Lakshmi Narayan Temple. Visit Geeta Bhawan Hall where paintings depicting scenes from Indian mythology are displayed. Other attractions are the gardens and fountains inside the premises. Culminate the day at Qutub Minar, the tallest minaret in the world built in 1206. Return to the airport hotel in the evening. Your Day Room will be available until 9 pm. Dinner on your own. We provide your transfer to the International airport for flight home. Cost for this extra day and additional hotel stay – $300 per person double, $450 single. We can also further customize this tour if you wish to see other parts of India. In India, everything is possible!
Entry Requirements - All U.S. citizens need a valid passport and valid Indian visa to enter and exit India for any purpose. Most visitors, including those on official U.S. government business, must apply for visas at an Indian embassy or consulate abroad before entering the country. U.S. citizens seeking to enter India solely for tourist purposes, and who plan to stay no longer than 30 days, may apply for an electronic travel authorization at least four days prior to their arrival in lieu of applying for a tourist visa at an Indian embassy or consulate. Please visit the Indian government’s website for electronic travel authorization for additional information regarding the eligibilities and requirements for this type of visa.Immunizations and Health - No immunizations are required, but the U.S. Center for Disease Control strongly recommends the following inoculations: tetanus, hepatitis A & B, typhoid, and Japanese encephalitis. Please check out their website at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/india for complete details. You should only drink boiled or bottled water in India. Avoid cut salads, raw vegetables and fruits without skin everywhere except in hotel restaurants.
Exit Requirements - No airport tax is currently charged upon departure from India, nor is one anticipated. However, any such taxes or fees instituted after publication of this itinerary will be the responsibility of the clients to pay directly to the appropriate airport authorities.
Making Travel Arrangements to IndiaOn this tour, international airfare is NOT included. You will need to get your international air to Mumbai, India, and return from Delhi, India, to the U.S.A. We encourage you to work with Steven Goldberg at Frosch Travel in Chicago, who knows the best flights to get you to Mumbai, with return from Delhi.
1 internal flight within India is included in the price of this trip.
You will need to arrive in Mumbai, India, on the night of November 6, 2017. (We encourage you to consider arriving one day early to recover from jet lag.) You will depart from Delhi, India, late at night on November 17, 2017 (or late at night on November 18, 2017 if you are participating in the optional Delhi Extension).
Steven Goldberg / Frosch TravelToll-Free in USA: 1-800-323-1276
International guests, please call +1-312-371-9686
When calling, please identify yourself as a Toto Tours participant. If you leave a message on Steven’s voice mail, he will return your call promptly. He will be happy to discuss your travel plans and help you decide when to purchase your ticket for the best rate.
NOTE: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible we often must turn away last minute registrants because we relinquish hotel space 8 – 12 weeks prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.
What to BringIn November, the weather will still be very warm in Mumbai (between 75 and 90), while temperatures in Khajuraho, Gwalior and other locations on this tour may range about 10 to 15 degrees cooler. Laundry can be done at some of the places where we stay for two or more nights. You will be happier if you pack half of the clothes you think you need, do laundry along the way, and save room in your suitcases for fantastic purchases!
Suggested Packing List:
- Proof of citizenship. Passport and visa required.
- Comfy walking shoes for day tours.
- Polo shirts / T-shirts (5 – 6).
- Lightweight, long sleeve shirts (2 – 3) for cool evenings.
- Shorts – 2 or 3 pairs.
- Sweater or jacket for cooler evenings.
- Lightweight long pants.
- Sunscreen / lip balm.
- Sunglasses / sun hat with tie-on.
- Personal toiletries (Bring an anti-diarrhea remedy just in case!)
- Mosquito repellent, with Deet.
- Camera, lots of digital memory, extra batteries.
- Ziploc Bags (sandwich size for documents, gallon size for wet items or toiletries).
- Electrical Adapter. The electricity supply in India is 230 Volts / 50 Hertz. Click here to see images of the type of adapter you will need.
- A good book for the long flights.
Money MattersThe currency unit in India is the Rupee (INR). As of November 7, 2016, the interbank exchange rate was 66.6 INR to the U.S. $1.00. ATMs are readily available in the major cities, and offer the best exchange rate for obtaining local currency. Credit cards are also widely accepted in establishments catering to tourists.
Tipping Guidelines—Virtually everyone in India expects to receive a tip. In tourist restaurants or hotels a 10% service charge is often added to bills. We will make collective tips to our drivers and guides, and a suggested tip amount will be provided prior to departure.
The Toto SpiritToto Tours provides Adventure Travel Experiences as differentiated from tours in the traditional sense. Adventure Travel allows (even encourages) you to be an active participant. Adventurers can be identified by certain traits. They are:
- fun-loving optimists who have a sense of humor and accentuate the positive
- good natured realists who are willing to accept situations as they exist
- undaunted by the unexpected, like occasional delays or bad weather
- willing to forego some of the amenities we normally take for granted
- eager to try new things & test limits
- not whiners!
Travel InsuranceWe recommend you purchase travel insurance with Travel Guard to cover for unforeseen events prior to and during your trip. Please follow the link below or call us for more information.
Tour prices per personPrice: $4,500 in double occupancy hotel accommodations.
Private Room: $1,400 additional, for a total tour price of $5,900.
(Paying a single supplement is not required. Toto Tours will try to match you with a roommate if you are traveling alone and prefer to share a room. If this is not possible, a single supplement will be applied to your reservation before the final payment date.)
(Due at time of registration for the tour. May be paid with a credit card.)
Remaining Balance (main tour): $3,300 double / $3,900 single
Remaining Balance Due: August 26, 2017 (80 days prior to departure)
(Full payment required with reservation form if enrolling after this date.)
Note: The tour price does not include bank service charges for processing credit card payments, and assumes that the balance of the tour price will be paid by check. If you would like to pay the final balance with a credit card, a 4% service charge will be applied. Let us know if you wish to pay by credit card, and we will adjust your invoice accordingly.
Included: Airport transfers at the beginning and end of the tour; 11 nights hotel accommodations; hotel breakfasts daily plus Welcome & Farewell Dinners and other meals as specified in the itinerary; one internal flight within India; day room use for late departure from Delhi; ground transportation in air conditioned motorcoach; sightseeing activities and entrances as listed in the itinerary; bottled mineral water every day during drives; porterage at hotels, railway stations and airports; fully guided and escorted tour.
Not Included: Round trip airfare to Mumbai (BOM) and returning from Delhi (DEL); visa fees; airport taxes and departure fees; ground transportation for sightseeing on your own (taxis, local guides, etc.); meals and optional activities not specifically listed in the itinerary; camera fees; alcoholic beverages; insurance; laundry; telephone calls; faxes; or any other expenses of a personal nature. Tips to drivers and guides and other conveyance attendants are not included; tipping guidelines for our group tips will be provided prior to departure.
Internal Flight: The projected cost for the flight within India are included in your total tour price. If there are significant differences, the price may need to be adjusted to reflect actual (current) rates prior to the final payment deadline.
Click hotel name to read description
- Mumbai (2 nights): Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (Tower Wing, Superior Sea View)
- Kanha (2 nights): Kanha Earth Lodge (Bungalow)
- Bhandhavgarh (2 nights): Kings Lodge (Cottage)
- Khajuraho (1 night): Hotel Taj Chandela (Superior Garden View)
- Gwalior (1 night): Usha Kiran Palace (Superior)
- Agra (1 night): Hotel Trident (Deluxe Garden View)
- Jaipur (2 nights): Hotel Trident (Deluxe Lake View)
- Delhi: Pride Hotel (Day Room until 9pm on last day)