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Madhya Pradesh: Wildlife, History & Romance

11 days from £4,950 per person

Madhya Pradesh has always slightly dodged the spotlight which shines so brilliantly on more celebrated neighbouring states, which means one can experience the richness of this magical central Indian state without that feeling of just following a tourist trail. Kipling Country has so much to offer, from ancient wonders dating back thousands of years, to abundant wildlife and birding opportunities, travel experiences here really do rank with the best.

Your journey begins in the state capital of Madhya Pradesh, the green and picturesque city of Bhopal. The city is centred around pair of enormous lakes, green parks and leafy boulevards. In Bhopal’s Muslim-dominated old city, explore a fascinating, labyrinthine area of mosques and crowded bazaars, with the ethereal call to worship echoing through the lanes. Delve into the history of the four female Islamic rulers, known as the Begums of Bhopal, who developed the city in the 19th and early 20th centuries, or explore the modern part of town south of the lakes, with wide roads, some excellent museums, and upmarket hotels and restaurants.

From Bhopal drive the bustling route to the peaceful and serene Satpura National Park, where you will be welcomed with open arms at the wonderful family-run Reni Pani Jungle Lodge, sister to the Jehan Numa Retreat. Game drives here are second to none, with each naturalist trained to the highest calibre, and accompanying every game drive; there is no sight or sound too small not to be identified. Wildlife is plentiful, so one can expect to spot leopard, sloth bears, wild dog, crocodile, langur, gaur, sambar, blue bull, as well as a rich variety or birdlife. Tigers are the big news here, and your chances of spotting a regal beauty in its natural habitat are as good as anywhere in India.

The final leg of your journey takes you to the sleepy and spiritual riverside town of Maheshwar. Life here mirrors the languid Narmada River which flows gently passed the town. Maheshwar is infused with the spiritual and chill-out vibes for which India is renowned, and is fascinatingly far removed from mainstream Indian culture. The unparalleled Ahilya Fort is possibly one of the most romantic spots in India, and a firm Ampersand favourite. Read a book by the pool, float smoothly down the river on a long boat or sip a G&T from the balcony as the sun dips below the horizon in the evening. This hotel will be sure to steal your heart, and you’ll leave wishing you hadn’t.

This holiday is purely a suggested itinerary. It can be booked as it is, or alternatively used as a starting point for creating your own perfect tailor-made tour of central India.


Itinerary details

11 days from £4,950 per person

Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar, North India (5).jpg Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar, North India (5).jpg
Bhopal Madhya Pradesh North India 1 Bhopal Madhya Pradesh North India 1
Bhopal, North India.jpg Bhopal, North India.jpg
Sanchi Madhya Pradesh North India 2 Sanchi Madhya Pradesh North India 2
Sanchi Madhya Pradesh North India 1 Sanchi Madhya Pradesh North India 1
Sanchi, Bhopal, North India.jpg Sanchi, Bhopal, North India.jpg
Jehan Numa Bhopal North India 15 Jehan Numa Bhopal North India 15
Jehan Numa Bhopal North India 3 Jehan Numa Bhopal North India 3
Satpura National Park, Madhya Pradesh, North India.jpg Satpura National Park, Madhya Pradesh, North India.jpg
Satpura National Park, Madhya Pradesh, North India (1).jpg Satpura National Park, Madhya Pradesh, North India (1).jpg
Jamtara Wilderness Camp Pench National Park North India 3 Jamtara Wilderness Camp Pench National Park North India 3
Satpura National Park, Madhya Pradesh, North India (2).jpg Satpura National Park, Madhya Pradesh, North India (2).jpg
Reni Pani Jungle Lodge Satpura Wildlife Reserve North India 3 Reni Pani Jungle Lodge Satpura Wildlife Reserve North India 3
Reni Pani Jungle Lodge Satpura Wildlife Reserve North India Reni Pani Jungle Lodge Satpura Wildlife Reserve North India
Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar, North India (4).jpg Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar, North India (4).jpg
Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar, North India (3).jpg Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar, North India (3).jpg
Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar, North India (1).jpg Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar, North India (1).jpg
Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar, North India (2).jpg Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar, North India (2).jpg

Key

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When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.
Susan Heller

So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India

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