You can view original post here: https://adventureinternational.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/india-tiger-safari-taj-mahal/
Ultimate India Safari: http://www.adventure-international.com/trips/safaris/93/ultimate-india-safari/
India is a wild place to say the least. Delhi can be overwhelming and beautiful at the same time. We enjoyed our stay at The Leela Palace New Delhi: http://www.theleela.com/locations/new-delhi A very well-appointed hotel in the city, nice rooms, and of course excellent food. India certainly knows hospitality and that can be felt all over the country. We were on a trip to explore a few luxury jungle lodges in the area of Madhya Pradesh with the obvious goal of spotting tigers. Our first stop was Bandhavgarh National Park, which was a flight to Jabalpur and then a road transfer of 4 hours. Mahua Kothi Jungle Lodge: http://www.andbeyondindia.com/luxury_india/india/bandhavgarh_national_park/and_beyond_mahua_kothi_bandhavgarh_jungle_lodge/accommodation/mahua_kothi_jungle_lodge is just 10 minutes away from the entrance into Bandhavgarh. 12 jungle suites or kutiyas give a sense of privacy and seclusion. Simple sophistication, with earthy tones, wooden shutters, handmade pottery roof tiles and open rafters with rough hewn beams, envelopes you in a sense of rustic luxury. Hand woven textiles, cool stone and antique brass add sensual textures. Each kutiya is accessed through a private courtyard, where scented incense and fragrant beverages create an olfactory feast every morning. Large windows open up onto rolling lawns and brilliant bougainvilla. Mahua Kothi was a perfect homebase from which to explore Bandahvgarh. Game drives are very similar to Africa, morning & evening game drives with lunch and a siesta during the day. We were extremely lucky to see a tigress and her two cubs. Coming from an Africa background of seeing big game almost every game drive, it was important to go to India in order to manage future guests’ expectations of how often people see a tiger. My calculations were roughly once in every four game drives. Therefore, as a suggestion for tiger safaris, you need at least a week to get good sightings.
From here it was off to Kanha National Park, a 6 hour road transfer from Bandhavgarh. (soon there will be a schedule charter circuit, as for now, private planes are a bit expensive). Banjaar Tola Tented Camp: http://www.andbeyondindia.com/luxury_india/india/kanha_national_park/and_beyond_banjaar_tola_kanha_tented_camp is a great contrast, as the tented camp sits overlooking the Banjaar River in Kanha. Just 18 lightweight tented suites are spread out along the riverbank and into the sal forest. Contemporary, flowing shapes, canvas walls and roofs, and immense glass doors that let in the Indian sky create an atmosphere that is light and ethereal. In the silence of the night, listen to the jungle sounds floating across the river from the comfort of your tented suite. Admire stunning river views from the privacy of your own veranda or share the experiences of the day on dramatic decks facing the Banjaar River. Banjaar Tola was another great homebase from which to explore Kanha, a game park from which Disney’s jungle book was inspired from. Again, we were very lucky to get a long sighting of a tigress. Additionally, we were able to see a leopard, it was too fast to get a photo, but we definitely saw a good spotting, the leopard looked at us and walked away. The fur seemed much thicker and richer colors than its African counterpart. Another great sighting was the swamp deer, only endemic to Kanha. Here, we also got to see a tiger on elephant back. We enjoyed cooking classes from the chef, but unfortunately, my chicken tikka masala is still not that good!
Our last quick stop was heading to Agra to see the Taj Mahal (highly recommended). We flew back to Delhi and straight away drove 4 hours to Agra. We had a great stay at The Oberoi Amarvillas: http://www.oberoihotels.com/oberoi_amarvilas/index.asp Probably the most strategically placed hotel in the area. In the morning, we were quickly taken to the entrance of the Taj Mahal by golf cart and we were in the first 20 people in line to get in. The Taj Mahal is beautiful, one can easily take hundreds of photographs of this masterpiece (image set below). We drove back to Delhi and we were on our way to Bhutan!