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Deep into The Heart of India

14 Nights

Palaces, temples and forts; tigers, wildlife and vast undulating hills. With stays in tribal villages amongst jungle and river valleys this holiday in Central India has pretty much everything.

Holiday Highlights

The undiscovered gems that comprise the state of Madhya Pradesh never cease to astound. This is the heart of India that inspired Rudyard Kipling to write the much loved Jungle Book. Jungle and wildlife sanctuaries, rural, tribal villages are criss crossed by great rivers and bejewelled with some of the greatest medieval architecture of India and particularly so in this journey of exploration from the centre of this vast state to its north-eastern part.

Itinerary | Day by Day

We look after you from the moment of your arrival at Delhi airport. Your holiday includes all rail journeys and transfers across Madhya Pradesh, simple, comfortable accommodation in the welcoming village guesthouses, and is book-ended by stays in two fine historical hotels. All meals are provided during your stay in Madhya Pradesh. A safari visit to Panna Tiger Sanctuary and entrance to the great monumental buildings are included.  Please feel free to extend or tailor your holiday to your exact requirements.

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DAY 1 | Outward Journey

Arrive Delhi, overnight Delhi guesthouse. There is so much to see in Delhi; choose to visit Humayan’s Tomb, the Lotus Temple or Akshardham, explore the Red Fort or shop in Dilli Haat.

DAY 2 | In Delhi & night train

Enjoy a day in Delhi, there is so much to do and see: Humayan’s Tomb, the Lotus Temple or Akshardham, explore the Red Fort or shop in Dilli Haat.  An evening transfer takes you to New Delhi station to catch the night train to central Madhya Pradesh at Itarsi.

Day 3 & 4 | Arrival in Madhya Pradesh and Pachmarhi hill station

A short transfer on arrival takes you to Pachmarhi and the comfortable Champak Bungalow in time for breakfast.The hill station is famed for its calm nature with great opportunities for exploring forest and temples. Your two days here are a relaxing introduction to Madhya Pradesh before settling in to village life.

Day 5-7 | Village life in Sabarvani and a wildlife walk

A couple of hours by road from Pachmarhi and you will be welcomed by your village host to Sabarvani. Settle in to your village guesthouse, your home for three nights in this traditional village. Take a guided walk, through the buffer zone of Satpura National Park, accompanied by a naturalist for the wildlife, to a wonderful picnic spot. In the village itself experience a bullock cart ride, visit the farms, discuss the crops and agriculture with the villagers, enjoy a cookery lesson or simply relax.

Day 8 | A great rail journey across the state

An early morning transfer to Pipariya station for a day train journey (6 hrs) across the lovely rolling farm land and forests of central Madhya Pradesh to its exciting east. On arrival at Satna station you will be transferred to your next home in a nearby village. You will be welcomed as an honoured guest and staying in your own guesthouse for three nights.

Day 9 & 10 | Cycle around the villages, visit great temples….. and spot a tiger?

Your stay will either be in the village of Janwaar or Pataan, depending on availability. Pataan is a village split into several small hamlets and you can use the cycles provided to visit them along the country lanes, while Janwaar is a larger village with a strong community feel who have preserved local traditions. Explore the local farms and wander through guava trees, enjoy delicious local dishes, see local bamboo and ceramic handicrafts and enjoy the serenity of the villages. 

There is also much to do and see outside the village and we recommend some local trips. Nearby Khajuraho has the finest example of medieval temples in India. There are 25 of them with the earliest dating from the 11th century and the Chandela dynasty (guided visit included).

You should also visit the wonderful Panna National Park & Tiger Sanctuary, with its combination of savannah and jungle landscape criss-crossed by the deep majestic Ken river (dawn guided visit included). Your guide will help you to spot deer, flying squirrel, wild boar or jackal, and point out pugmarks and signs of the elusive tiger. Members of our team had the privilege of a tiger sighting in November 2022.

Day 11 | Another village, and the fort, palaces, temples at Orchha

You leave Pataan/Janwaar by a road transfer (3 hours) to Ladpurakhas village near Orchha. Run by two families with help from across the community, this is another delightful village guesthouse. A wonderful place to break your journey, for nearby Orchha is a world heritage site with its beautiful fort, palace and temple dating from the Bundela dynasty in the 16th century.

Day 12 & 13 | The great fort of Gwalior and a beautiful Haveli

Today, with a farewell to village life,  you continue your road  journey  (3 1/2 hrs) to Gwalior and a stay in the lovely Krishnayan Haveli, an oasis of relaxed calm and hospitality in the city centre. From this 19th century manor house you can step straight into the bustling town streets. Take the short walk to the Maharaj Bada, which some say is the most beautiful square in Asia – it would not be out of place in an Italian city. However dominating the town, on its plateau above, is the great Gwalior Fort. This Rajput fort dates from the 15th century and encompasses two palaces. A wonderful place and we have a visit arranged for you.

Day 14 | Farewell to Madhya Pradesh, from Gwalior to Delhi by train

Morning train back to Delhi (3 1/2 hrs). Day hotel before night flight or overnight stay in Delhi.

Into the Heart of India

14 Nights
£ 1450 per person
  • Panna Tiger Sanctuary entry
  • All meals in the villages
  • B&B in Delhi Guest house
  • Guide and Porter services
  • Picnic lunches
 PARTY 4-6





Gentle walking

Mixed Terrain


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