Two nights in Ranthambhore at the Oberoi Vanyavilas (5*)
Our ‘Two Nights in Ranthambhore at the Oberoi Vanyavilas (5*)‘ sample tour is merely a suggestion, to share a flavour of the possibilities. It can be refined in any number of ways to better suit your tastes and requirements.
Nestling in the natural beauty of the wilds, the Oberoi Vanyavilas is an opulent jungle resort built to emulate the grandeur of the maharajas hunting camps. It is situated on the edge of the Ranthambhore tiger reserve and is the perfect base from which to explore the territory of the majestic tiger. Vibrant frescoes and richly detailed interiors create the ambience of a royal hunting palace. The resort setting is picture-perfect with a dramatic water-course, refreshing swimming pool and fantastic spa. The luxury tents with finely embroidered canopies, luxurious bathrooms and private walled gardens are in perfect contrast to the ruggedness of the jungle.
Day 1 – Head from Agra to Bharatpur to board the train to Ranthambhore
After a relaxing morning in Agra, you’ll be met by a member of our team at your hotel to begin your journey to Ranthambhore. You’ll be picked up from your hotel and introduced to your guide, before heading off to Ranthambhore. Due to poor road standards between these particular cities, we find it best to board a train from nearby Bharatpur. Besides, taking the train can be a refreshing change of pace from the car, and an interesting experience whilst in India.
En-route to Bharatpur station (where you’ll be boarding the train to Ranthambhore), on the outskirts of Agra, you’ll stop in Fatehpur Sikri for a guided tour. The capital of the Mughal Empire for only 14 years, the majestic red sandstone buildings of the now uninhabited fortified city of Fatehpur Sikri are remarkably well preserved, and show-case elegant architecture and an inspired sense of planning. In a sense, Fatehpur Sikri was built on faith: in 1569, so the story goes, the Mughal emperor Akbar was driven to despair because he didn’t have a male heir. He made a pilgrimage to visit the mystic Salim Chishti, who blessed him. The blessing evidently worked, as Akbar had a son within the next year, naming him Salim in honour of the saint. Two years later, Akbar began building a new capital in Chishti’s village of Sikri, later renaming it Fatehpur Sikri. When the British came to Fatehpur Sikri in 1583 to meet Akbar, they were amazed to see a city that exceeded contemporary London in both population and grandeur – with more rubies, diamonds and silks than they could count. What remains today is a cluster of empty royal dwellings. Because it was abandoned and never resettled, the city was not modified by later rulers, and thus is the best reflection of Akbar’s aesthetic and design philosophies. Fatehpur Sikri now stands as an intriguing ghost town, reflecting a high point in India’s cultural history.
Upon reaching Bharatpur there will then be time for a late lunch before you board the 15:50 train. The train is scheduled to arrive in Sawai Madhopur at 18:02, and a member of our team will be waiting for you on the platform (outside of your coach) with a sign of your name. From here, you’ll be chauffeured to the Oberoi Vanyavilas, for a two night stay. Before leaving you to rest, our representative will brief you on the times and procedures for tomorrow.
Day 2 – Private Jeep Safaris in Ranthambhore National Park
Early this morning, you’ll be met by your guide and Jeep for a private safari in the reserve. Ranthambhore National Park is one of the best places in India to spot a tiger in the wild, and encompasses over 500 square miles of rugged terrain. The Maharaja of Jaipur used this vast expanse of dry deciduous forests, lakes, meadows and mountains for a private hunting reserve until it became a national park in 1972. The reserve is home to a vast ecosystem of flora and fauna, as well as healthy tiger and leopard populations. Though tiger sightings unfortunately cannot be guaranteed, what you’ll definitely see are numerous peacocks, sambar (large Asian deer), chital (spotted axis deer), chinkara (gazelles), wild pigs, jackals, crocodiles and often sloth bears. Sighting a tiger in Ranthambhore is an exciting experience. First, you will hear the jungle sounds that warn of a tiger’s presence: monkeys and peacocks scream loudly and the deer in the area become agitated and nervous. Your guide will be watching out for these signs and noises as he accompanies you through the jungle.
You’ll return to the Oberoi for breakfast, and here there’ll be a few hours at leisure in which to relax, explore the local area and discuss sightings with staff and other guests. In the mid-afternoon you’ll head back into the park for a second safari, to observe the jungle in a different light.
Day 3 – We’ll drop you in Jaipur
After breakfast this morning, you’ll be chauffeured to Jaipur and dropped at your preferred location. The standard check-out time from the Oberoi Vanyavilas is 12 noon.
- Private, air-conditioned vehicle where described in the itinerary (from your preferred location in Agra to Bharatpur Station, via Fatehpur Sikri; from Ranthambhore station to the Oberoi Vanyavilas; from the Oberoi Vanyavilas to your preferred location in Jaipur)
- Two nights at the Oberoi Vanyavilas in a Luxury Tent, with daily breakfast
- Two private Jeep safaris in Ranthambhore National Park, with transfers from/to the Oberoi Vanyavilas; an experienced English speaking naturalist guide
- English speaking guide and entrance tickets at Fatehpur Sikri
- English speaking representatives to meet you at each step of the journey (in Agra, at Bharatpur station, at Ranthambhore station, and on your departure from Ranthambhore)
- Train tickets from Bharatpur to Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambhore), in the highest class (Air-Conditioned Chair Car)
- All applicable taxes
- 112,090 per person (based on two persons sharing a twin/double tent)
The price is valid from 1st October – 20th December 2017, and from 5th January – 30th March 2018. Rooms/safaris are subject to availability. For travel outside these periods please do get in touch.