National Parks Of India (21n/22d)

Bandhavgarh has the highest density of Bengal tigers known in the world

Bandhavgarh has the highest density of Bengal tigers known in the world

Day 01 – Arrive Bangalore
Upon arrival at Bangalore International airport our staff will meet you and take you to your pre-booked hotel in the city. Bangalore is a big metro city and popularly called the silicon valley of India due to its growing IT trade.

Day 02 – Bangalore to Kabini
Breakfast and tour brief by the Indian tour escort and later check out and depart by road to the first national park of “Kabini” An interesting country side drive and upon arrival transfer to the hotel.

Day 03 – In Kabini
Morning and afternoon park excursion with local guide and forest guard. Boat Safari and Jeep safari will be organized here to witness the flora and fauna of this beautiful park. Kabini is the south-eastern part of the “Nagarhole National Park” in the western ghats. Once a private hunting lodge of the Maharaja of Mysore, Kabini was a popular hunting hotspot for British Viceroys and Indian royalty. Now it is considered to be one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka, famous for its spectacular wildlife and bird life.

Day 04 – Kabini to Bandipur
After breakfast leave for Bandipur NP.

Day 05 – In Bandipur
Morning and afternoon jungle excursions with our local guide.  Bandipur National Park, established in 1974 as a tiger reserve under Project Tiger.Bandipur is known for its wildlife and has many types of biomes, but dry deciduous forest is dominant.  The park spans an area of 874 square kilometers (337 sq mi), protecting several species of India’s endangered wildlife. Together with the adjoining Nagarhole National Park (643 km2 (248 sq mi)), Mudumalai National Park (320 km2 (120 sq mi)) and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (344 km2 (133 sq mi)), it is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve totaling 2,183 km2 (843 sq mi) making it the largest protected area in southern India.  Bandipur supports a good population of endangered and vulnerable species like Indian elephants, gaurs, tigers, sloth bears, muggers, Indian rock pythons, four-horned antelopes and dholes.  Bandipur supports a wide range of timber trees including: Teak, Rosewood, Sandalwood , Indian-laurel, Indian Kino Tree, giant clumping bamboo, clumping bamboo and Grewia tiliaefolia.  There are also several notable flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs including: Kadam tree, Indian gooseberry, Crape-myrtle, axlewood, Black Myrobalan, Schleichera trijuga, Odina wodiar, Flame of the Forest, Golden Shower Tree , satinwood , Black Cutch, Shorea talura (E), indigoberry.

Day 06 – Bandipur to Thrissur
After breakfast leave for Thrissur,. Thrissur in well known for a prominent Krishna Temple. We will visit the temple premises from outside as non-hindus are not allowed inside the temple. Later continue to the hotel and upon arrival check in and rest of the day free.

Day 07 –Thrissur to Kumarakom
After breakfast leave for Kumarakom and upon arrival embark on backwater boat for a cruise through open lakes and canals of Kerala. Sighting its rich bird life and visit to small villages and an opportunity to do sea food shopping and cook it with the houseboat chef.

Day 08 – Periyar WLS / Thekkady
Disembark at either Kumarakom or Allepey jetty and drive to Periyar wildlife sanctuary. Upon arrival at Periyar transfer to the wildlife resort. Afternoon visit to a spice plantation farm and learn to identify and use various spices grown in Kerala.

Day 09 – At Periyar WLS
After early breakfast leave for a cruise on Periyar lake and witness the natural beauty of the park. With luck spot the herds of elephant, wild Indian bison, bear, tiger on the banks of the lake. In the afternoon trek in the jungle with forest guards and sight its various flora and fauna. It is notable as an elephant reserve and a tiger reserve. The protected area covers an area of 925 km2 (357 sq mi). 350 km2 (140 sq mi) of the core zone was declared as the Periyar National Park in 1982. The park is often called the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. It is also referred to by the name “Thekkady”. It is set high in the Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills of the southern Western Ghats along the border with Tamil Nadu state. Fileea are covered of unaffected evergreen or semi-evergreen rain forest. There typically tall tropical tree species such as Vateria indica,Cullenia exarillata, Hopea parviflora, Canarium strictum, Artocarpus hirsutus and Bischofia javanica are seen. They reach heights of 40 to 50 Metres. Scarcely 13% consists of damp leaves forest, 7% of Eucalyptus plantation and 1.5% of grassland. The remainder (around 3.5%) of the protected area is covered by the Periyar artificial lake as well as the Periyar River and Pamba rivers. Altogether the reservation counts nearly 2000 kinds of flowering plants (Angiosperms), three kinds of seed plants (gymnosperms) and 170 different species of ferns. Among the Angiosperms, there are 169 families of sweet grasses and 155 kinds of Fabaceae. Orchids, with 145 representative types, are the most frequent flower. About 350 of the occurring plant types can be used for medical purposes. Mammals:  Periyar National Park is known for its elephants. Altogether 62 different kinds of mammals have been recorded in Periyar, including many threatened ones. Periyar is a highly protected tiger reserve and elephant reserve. There are an estimated 53 tigers (2010) in the reserve.The elephant number around 900 to 1000 individuals. Other mammals found here include gaur, sambar (horse deer), barking deer, mouse deer, Dholes (Indian wild dogs), mongoose, foxes and leopards. Also inhabiting the park, though rarely seen, are the elusive Nilgiri tahr. Four species of primates are found at Periyar – the rare lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri Langur, the common langur, and the Bonnet Macaque. Birds: So far 320 different kinds have been counted in Periyar. The bird life includes darters, cormorants, kingfishers, the great Malabar Pied Hornbill and racket-tailed Drongos. Reptiles: There are 45 different kinds of reptile in the protected area out of which there are 30 snake, two turtle, and 13 lizard species. Among those are Monitor lizards that can be spotted basking in the sun on the rocks along the lake shore. Visitors who trek into the Periyar national park often see a Python and sometimes even a King Cobra. Amphibians:  Twenty seven different kinds have been recorded, of which ten are endemic to the Western Ghats, such as some species of frogs and caecilians. Fish: In the waters of the protected area 38 different fish types live, of which four are endemic to the Western Ghats. Salmon and Trout are some of the fish present here. Insects: There is a remarkable variety of butterflies and there are about 160 different kinds in total.

Day 09 – Periyar to Thattekad
After breakfast leave for Thattekad and upon arrival transfer to the resort.

Day 10 – At Thattekad
Full day birding with local guide.  The Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, covering an area of barely 25 km², and located about 60 km north-east of Kochi (Kerala state, India), was the first bird sanctuary in Kerala. Salim Ali, one of the best known ornithologists described this sanctuary as the richest bird habitat on peninsular India. Thattekkad literally means flat forest, and the region is an evergreen low-land forest located between the branches of Periyar River, the longest river in Kerala.  The Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary has a rich and varied birdlife. Several species of birds, both forest birds as well as the water birds.

Day 12 – Thattekad to Kochi to Nagpur via Mumbai and transfer to Tadoba
Transfer to Kochi airport for flight to central India “Nagpur” A transit day today and much of the time will be spent flying and on the airports. Upon arrival at Nagpur our vehicle will be waiting outside the terminal building and to drive us to Tadoba Andheri Tiger Reserve. Upon arrival at Tadoba transfer t the resort.

Day 14 – At Tadoba
Morning and afternoon park safaris sighting wildlife with local guides in open jeeps.  Tadoba Andheri Reserve is the largest national park in Maharashtra. Total area of the Reserve is 625.4 square km. This includes Tadoba National Park, created in 1955 with an area of 116.55 square km. and Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary created in 1986 with an area of 508.85 square km (196.47 sq mi). The Reserve also includes 32.51 square km Protected Forest and 14.93 square km ‘Other areas’.  Densely forested hills form the northern and western boundary of the Tiger Reserve. The elevation of the hills ranges from 200 m (660 ft) to350 m (1,150 ft). To the southwest is the 120 ha (300 acres) Tadoba lake which acts as a buffer between the park’s forest and the extensive farmland which extends up to Irai water reservoir. This lake is a perennial water source which offers good habitat for Muggar crocodiles to thrive. Other wetland areas within the reserve include the Kolsa lake and Andhari river.  Tadoba reserve covers the Chimur Hills, and the Andhari sanctuary covers Moharli and Kolsa ranges. It’s bounded on the northern and the western side by densely forested hills. Thick forests are relieved by smooth meadows and deep valleys as the terrain slopes from north to south. Cliffs, talus and caves provide refuge for several animals. The two forested rectangles are formed of Tadoba and Andhari range. The south part of the park is less hilly.  FAUNA: Aside from around 65 of the keystone species Bengal tiger, Tadoba Tiger Reserve is home to other mammals, including: Indian leopards, sloth bears, gaur, nilgai, dhole, striped hyena, small Indian Civet, jungle cats, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, chital, and chausingha.  Tadoba lake sustains the Marsh Crocodile, which were once common all over Maharashtra.  Reptiles here include the endangered Indian python and the common Indian monitor. Terrapins, Indian star tortoise, Indian Cobra and Russel’s viper also live in Tadoba.  The lake is an ornithologist’s paradise with a wide diversity of water birds, and raptors. 195 species of birds have been recorded, including three endangered species. The Grey-headed fish eagle, the Crested Serpent Eagle, and the Changeable Hawk-Eagle are some of the raptors.  Other interesting species include the Orange-headed Thrush, Indian Pitta, Crested Treeswift, Stone Curlew, Crested Honey Buzzard, Paradise Flycatcher, Bronze-winged Jacana and Lesser Golden backed Woodpecker. Warblers and the black-naped blue flycatcher exist here and the call of the peacock may often be heard.  74 species of butterflies have been recorded including the pansies, monarch, Mormons and swordtails.  FLORA: Tadoba reserve is a predominantly Southern tropical Dry Deciduous Forest with dense woodlands comprising about 87 per cent of the protected area. Teak is the predominant tree species. Axlewood Anogeissus latifolia is a fire-resistant species growing here. Palas or Flame of the Forest Butea monosperma adds vibrant color to the forest. Black plum trees grow in the riparian habitat around the lake. At the waterhole at Panchadhara, huge arjun trees are seen.  Patches of grasses are found throughout the reserve. Bamboo thickets grow throughout the reserve. The climber Kach Kujali (velvet bean) found here is a medicinal plant used to treat Parkinson’s disease. The leaves of bheria are used as an insect repellant and bija is a medicinal gum. Beheda is also an important medicine found here

Day 15 – Tadoba to Pench NP
After breakfast leave for Pench National Park. Upon arrival at Pench transfer to the resort. Later after lunch visit the park in open jeeps safari with naturalist and guide and sight its numerous flora and fauna.

Day 16 – At Pench NP
Morning and afternoon park safaris with naturalist and guide.   PENCH NP  It was declared a sanctuary in 1977 but raised to the status of National park in 1983. Later it was established as Tiger Reserve area in 1992. In year 2011 park won the Best Management Award. Pench Tiger Reserve and its neighborhood is the original setting of Rudyard Kipling’s most famous work, The Jungle Book. Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book and its character Mowgli is based on Pench National Park. This park is also famously called as Mowgli Land.  Tiger is the main cat species of the park present in good numbers but sighted infrequently. Commonly seen wildlife is chital, sambhar, nilgai, wild boar, and jackal. Other wild animals found are leopard, sloth bear, wild dog, porcupine, jungle cat, fox, striped hyena, gaur, chowsingha and barking deer. There are more than 170 species of birds including several migratory ones. Some of them are peafowl, jungle fowl, crow pheasant, crimson-breasted barbet, red-vented bulbul, racket-tailed drongo, magpie robin, lesser whistling teal, pintail, shoveler, egret and herons.  As per 2011 Tiger Census ; There are 25 tigers under this umbrella of the Park. 39 species of mammals, 13 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians. Apart from mammals and other land-based wildlife, the park is also rich in bird life. According to an estimation of the wildlife authorities, the bird population in the park counts to be over 210 species like barbets, bulbul, minivets orioles, wagtails, munias, mynas, waterfowls and blue kingfishers.

Day 17 – Pench to Kanha NP
After breakfast leave for Kanha NP and upon arrival at Kanha transfer to the resort. If time permits than visit the national park. Overnight at the resort in Kanha.

Day 18 – At Kanha
Morning and afternoon park safaris in open jeeps and with naturalist and forest guard.  Kanha NP  Kanha National Park was founded on 1 June 1955. Today it stretches over an area of 940 km² in the two districts Mandla and Balaghat. Together with a surrounding buffer zone of 1,067 km² and the neighboring 110 km² Phen Sanctuary it forms the Kanha Tiger Reserve. This makes it the largest National Park in Central India.  The park has a significant population of Royal Bengal Tiger, leopards, the sloth bear, Barasingha and Indian wild dog. The lush sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines of Kanha provided inspiration to Rudyard Kipling for his famous novel “Jungle Book “.  Kanha’s carnivore population includes tigers, leopards, wild dogs, wild cats, foxes and jackals.  Among the deer species Swamp Deer or Hard Ground Barasingha is pride of the place as it is the only sub species of swamp deer in India (Cervus duavcelli branderi). The animal is adapted to hard ground unlike swamp deer of the North which live in marshy swamps. Kanha National Park has been instrumental in rescuing the “Swamp Deer” from extinction. Indian Gaur (Bos guarus), belonging to the ox genus, is found in Kanha but seen mostly as winter ends. In summer gaur inhabit meadows and water holes in the park. Other commonly seen animals in the park include the spotted deer, sambar, barking deer and the four-horned deer. The latter can be seen at Bamni Dadar climb. Recently, mouse deer have also been discovered in the tiger reserve.  Black buck did not originally survive here as the habitat was not suitable. However, Black buck have recently been reintroduced inside a fenced area in the park. Nilgai can still be seen near the Sarahi Gate, while the Indian Wolf once commonly seen at Mocha is a rare sight now. Hyena and sloth bear are seen occasionally. Langurs and wild boars are common, but the pugnacious rhesus macaque is seen less often.  Nocturnal animals like fox, hyena, jungle cat, civets, porcupine, ratel or honey badger and hares can be seen outside the park confines.  Reptiles like pythons, cobras, krait, rat snakes, vipers, keelbacks and grass snakes are nocturnal animals, and are therefore rarely seen. There are many species of turtles as well as amphibians found in the NP. Kanha National Park is home to over 1000 species of flowering plants

Day 19 – Kanha to Bandhavgarh NP
After breakfast depart for the famous Bandhavgarh Natiobnal Park. Interesting drive through the country side and upon arrival transfer to the resort.

Day 20 – At Bandhavgarh
Morning and afternoon park safaris with naturalist and guide.  Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968, with an area of 105 km². The buffer is spread over the forest divisions of Umaria and Katni and totals 437 km². The park derives its name from the most prominent hillock of the area, which is said to be given by Hindu Lord Rama to his brother Lakshmana to keep a watch on Lanka (Ceylon). Hence the name Bandhavgarh (Sanskrit: Brother’s Fort).  This park has a large biodiversity. The density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh is one of the highest known in India. The park has a large breeding population of leopards, and various species of deer. Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa captured the first white tiger in this region in 1951. This white tiger, Mohan, is now stuffed and on display in the palace of the Maharajas of Rewa.  Bandhavgarh has the highest density of Bengal tigers known in the world, and is home to some famous named individual tigers. Charger, an animal so named because of his habit of charging at elephants and tourists (whom he nonetheless did not harm), was the first healthy male known to be living in Bandhavgarh since the 1990s. A female known as Sita, who once appeared on the cover of National Geographic and is considered the most photographed tiger in the world was also to be found in Bandhavgarh for many years

Day 21 – Bandhavgarh to Umaria transfer and O/N Train to Delhi
Morning safari in the park in a different zone and later after breakfast and lunch leave for Umaria and board the overnight train to Delhi.

Day 22 – Arrive Delhi and fly out.
Upon arrival in Delhi transfer to a hotel for wash and change and later in the evening transfer to the airport for flight back home or onward destination.

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