Temples, Tigers and Tribes Tour

Temples, Tigers and Tribes Tour – an 13 day Small Group Tour.

India remains a fiendishly impossible country to package, and perhaps for this reason its allure is profound and enduring. No single visit should seek to condense what must be one of the world’s most diverse and intense travel destination.

However, this well-balanced tour combines some of India’s best wildlife viewing opportunities and explorations of fascinating historic sites, with a rare opportunity to become genuinely immersed in the rural life of village India – it’s a truly memorable experience for any visitor.



This tour combines visits to ancient temple cities with two outstanding wildlife sanctuaries at Bandhavgarh and Kanha in central India.

Bandhavgarh is famous for its tigers tours with a healthy population of Bengal tigers but it also has a wide range of other game including nilgai (blue bull), jungle cats, wild boar, hyenas and exotic birds. Kanha’s gorgeous forest also offers good chances of spotting the majestic tiger and other wildlife including leopards, Indian bison, deer and blackbuck, as well as a plethora of bird life. It is a stunningly beautiful park.

You also visit the exquisite, small town of Orchha, with its magnificent and jungle-entangled palaces and temples, and Khajuraho famed for its erotic sculptures. Round off your journey with a visit to idyllic Bhoramdeo, a village beside an 11th Century temple complex in north-western Chhatisgarh, an area far off the beaten track and ideal for exploring the life of India’s aboriginal tribes.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track
  • Culture 
  • History 
  • Wildlife 

Tour pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Begin your Tigers tour when you arrive in Delhi, the capital of India, meet your driver and transfer to hotel accommodation. Depending upon timings it may be possible to arrange local excursions. Overnight at Taj Hotel or similar. No meals are included today.

After breakfast, head to the railway station and board the express train to Jhansi. On arrival in Jhansi drive the short but picturesque 18km road route to Orchha, a small but historic village in northern Madhya Pradesh, one-time bastion of the Bundela dynasty. The Temples, Tigers and Tribes group tour is underway! Overnight Amar Mahal or similar. (B)

This morning embark on a guided tour of Orchha. Huge monuments which once defined the capital of the Bundela kings now surround and dwarf the small rural village. The largest of these is the palace complex, where the Raj Mahal and Jehangir Mahal display a unique combination of Hindu and Muslim architecture, painted decorations, and ornate tile work. Afterwards, visit Chaturbhuj temple and the enormous riverside cenotaphs. The afternoon is free for independent exploration. Overnight at Amar Mahal or similar. (B)

Today, drive from Orchha to Khajuraho. Take a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, a complex of 25 temples dating from 950AD to 1050AD that manifest the finest art and architecture of medieval India. Delicate, sable-coloured sandstone is covered by finely detailed stone carvings. Scenes are sublime and sensuous, ranging from erotic art to subjects drawn from Hindu and Jain religious teachings. Overnight at Ramada Khajuraho. (B) 

The drive from Khajuraho to Bandhavgarh National Park traverses an undulating tree-clad landscape through protected areas of Madhya Pradesh.  Bandhavgarh is one of the best places in India for a Tigers tour and to spot a Royal Bengal tiger. It is also home to a wide range of wildlife including leopard, nilgai antelope, jungle cat, wild boar and hyena. The park’s birdlife too is prolific with over 150 species recorded. This compact park, with a core area of 105 square kilometres, has the distinction of being the place where the world’s first wild albino tiger was spotted. Overnight at Nature Heritage Resort or similar. (BD)

Activities in the park include morning and afternoon jeep safaris escorted by expert wildlife guides. The day begins just before dawn with a wake-up call and an invigorating cup of tea of coffee. Game viewing is from open vehicles, bringing you closer to nature and ideal for photography. Tigers may be the draw for most but other flora and fauna and their place in this complex ecosystem are not ignored. Overnight at Nature Heritage Resort or similar. (BLD)

Today we drive to Kanha Tiger Reserve, the original inspiration for Rudyard Kipling when he wrote ‘The Jungle Book’.  Today a similar abundance of wildlife still exists in one of the largest sanctuaries in India, in total covering an area in excess of 2,000 square kilometres. Extensive grasslands and sal and bamboo forests have led to comparisons with Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Ravines and hills create diverse habitats, home to Royal Bengal tiger, leopard, sloth bear, swamp deer, sambar and Indian bison, along with a rich birdlife. Overnight at The Courtyard House, or similar. (BD)

Today, morning and afternoon jeep safaris explore different habitats, each excursion taking around three hours. Early morning drives offer the best opportunities to see wildlife, leaving at dawn as the sun streaks through the mist and the forest comes alive. However, after lunch, when temperatures have risen, there’s a chance to observe animals as they search out water. Overnight at The Courtyard House, or similar. (BLD)

After breakfast we drive Bhoramdeo, an isolated village in north-western Chhattisgarh. The Maikal Hills that surround the village are home to the indigenous Baigas and Gonds tribal people, whose tolas (villages) are dotted through the countryside. This is an opportunity to attune to life in rural India as we’ll stay for three-nights at a simple well-run rural retreat where comfortable farmhouse-style accommodation of just five rooms, is set in idyllic gardens. A few minutes’ walk from the village lies a striking 11th century temple complex dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, almost a miniature Khajuraho and of similar antiquity. Here, there’s an opportunity to attend an evening puja (offering) ceremony and experience the concurrent enthusiastic burst of bells, smells and minor pyrotechnics. Food throughout the stay is prepared in Chhattisgarhi village style, mainly vegetarian and representative of real Indian cuisine. Overnight at Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat. (BLD)

In the company of a local guide, today visit some of the villages around Bhoramdeo. There’s the chance to spend an afternoon at a pottery village, trying your hand at the wheel or paddling the clay with bare feet, later calling in at bamboo workshop, and afterwards at the Yadav (cattle herder) villages and Agaria (blacksmith) villages. The area is notable for many colourful weekly haats (tribal markets), taking place almost every day of the week, and there’ll be a chance to visit at least one of these. Overnight at Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat. (BLD)

Today there’s a short, guided trek into the forested hills to search out local wildlife. Species commonly seen include langur monkey, barking deer and jackal, together with a wealth of bird, butterfly and other insect life. Later, it’s possible to hire bicycles and independently explore the nearby area, calling in at villages and interacting with local people. Overnight at Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat. (BLD)

A three-hour drive takes you to Raipur airport, where you can board a flight back to Delhi. Overnight at a hotel close to Delhi airport. (B)

We end the Temples, Tigers and Tribes tour and transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

The Temples, Tigers and Tribes group tour operates subject to a minimum group size of 2 travellers.

Single Supplement from £495.

Return flights to Delhi to join the Temples, Tigers and Tribes group tour start from £400 from London. Please contact us for a quotation

Mapped itinerary.

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Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

India Temples Tigers Tribes Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All transport
  • Train tickets by Shatabdi Express from Delhi to Jhansi (A/C Chair car)
  • Flight from Raipur to Delhi (15kg checked baggage and 7kg hand baggage)
  • All accommodation on twin-share basis
  • Park entrance fees for excursions listed in the itinerary
  • Services of English speaking guide / tour leader
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Services, Meals and Drinks other than those mentioned in the itinerary
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees (unless specifically mentioned in the inclusions) and extra charges for camera and video
  • Tips (see the notes section for information on the tipping kitty)

A trip that exceeded expectations. Well supported in India and excellent heritage hotels and comfortable vehicle.

Julia Killick, UK