Travel India with us! India can be aptly define as land of diversities and contradictions. Rather a sustaining paradox! Yet lies functioning unity in every element of its diversities. Within a few kilometer of driving distance, you may come across varying degree of diversity from the last one you saw a few kilometer back. It will never cease to amaze you.
People travel with their own set of likings, interests and proclivities and with this extension trip, an attempt is made to add diversity like India itself and vindicate your trip as a whole. Be it warm, sunny, vibrant beach of Goa and its quaint colonial churches,renowned flea markets. Or be it your business prospects, crowd and cosmopolitan face – beneath its veneer sophistication lies its rich traditional values of Indian biggest Metropolis – Mumbai. Or land of Rajas – Rajasthan, with its rich cultural and traditional heritage as old as time itself. Or Delhi the capital of India, which has history engraved in every stones and corners. And most of its historical monuments beckon you alluringly. Or perhaps your interest lies in nature and wildlife, and Corbett National Park and Rathambore Tiger Sanctuary fit your bills perfectly with wide array of Flora and Fauna on offering.
If you are taking one of our tours in Bhutan and Nepal, this short sojourn serves greatly as an extensions tour, before or after the main trip. Moreover, with the introduction of Visa on Arrival by Indian Government, this extension tour has gathered massive momentum.
Ranthambore Tiger Sanctuary – 3 Days (Tiger Safari)
Ranthambore is situated in the State of Rajasthan and is surrounded by hill ranges and very near to the outer fringes of the Thar Desert. Originally a hunting ground of the Maharaja of Jaipur, Ranthambore was declared a game sanctuary in 1955. In 1980, it became a national park and listed among the reserves protected under Project Tiger (1973). It sprawls over an estimated area of 400 square kms. Steep crags embrace a network of lakes and rivers, and on top of one of these hills is the impressive Ranthambore Fort built in the 10th century. The terrain fluctuates between impregnable forests and open bush land. As a result of stringent efforts in conservation, tigers, the prime assets of the Park, have become more and more active during the day. More than in any other park or sanctuary in India, tigers can be spotted here in daylight.
Day 1: Jaipur – Ranthambore (L/D)
Pick-up from Jaipur airport or hotel and transfer by road to the Ranthambore Tiger Sanctuary. Arrive around noon at wildlife resort and check in. In the afternoon, a wildlife animal safari to the jungle in an open jeep. Overnight at the lodge.
Day 2: At Ranthambore (B/L/D)
Early morning drive into the dense jungle of Ranthambore in a jeep for tiger tracking and bird watching. Also indulge in wildlife photography. The jungle visits last about three hours. Explore the wild surroundings or bird watching in Ranthambore National Park. Return to the lodge for lunch. Afternoon drive into the jungle for another wildlife safari.
Day 3: Ranthambore to Jaipur (B)
In the morning visit to the 1,000-year old Ranthambore Fort. Depart for return journey to Jaipur and drop off at hotel or airport in Jaipur
Delhi – Imperial Splendour – 3 days
Day 1: Arrive Delhi
On arrival in the capital of India you are met by Wind Horse representative and transferred to your hotel by private a/c car. Free stay at leisure. Overnight hotel.
Day 2: Delhi Tour (B)
A full day tour of the capital. First visit the ancient capital, with its pageant of Indian history, from its origins around 1200 BC, through the periods under the Sultans in the 10th century, (seen in the Qutab complex), and the Moghuls from the 14th century, with the Humayun’s tomb and magnificent Red Fort. Stroll through Chandni Chowk market and visit Jama Masjid. Also stop at the Raj Ghat Park. Finally drive through the New Delhi of the British Raj, majestically laid out next to the old city with its broad tree-lined avenues and imposing public buildings, where we see India Gate, Parliament houses and President House. Overnight in hotel.
Day 3: Delhi – Departure (B)
Free at leisure or pursue your own interests until departure transfer to the airport, railway station etc in Delhi for your onward flight. Check-out time is noon.
Goa – Beach Break – 4 Days
Extend your trip with a relaxing stay in tropical Goa on India’s west coast. Indulge yourself. Retreat to the routine of lazy days and tropical evenings indicative of the beachside lifestyle. Settle into your favourite sunlounge by the pool with a book or drift down to the perfect spot under a palm tree on one of the sandy beaches. Discover the colonial influence in the lane ways of Panaji’s old Portuguese quarter. Fossick for the perfect souveneir at Anjuna’s atmospheric Wednesday flea market. Sample some the locally brewed ‘feni’ and dine on fresh seafood at a beach shack. There is plenty of time to do as much or as little as you wish.
Day 1 – 3: Arrive in Goa
Met on arrival at Goa’s airport ‘Dabolim’, and transfer to your hotel, where you are booked for three nights. Over the next few days you have plenty of time to do as much or as little as you wish. Overnights in hotel of your choice.
Day 4: Depart Goa
As all good things must come to an end, today is time to farewell Goa. You don’t have to check out of your room until 12 noon, so make the most of your morning by the pool or however you choose at this tropical paradise. You will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.
Highlights of Indian Metropolitan city.3 Days.
Bombay, also known as Mumbai, is the most modern city in India and it captures the spirit of the changing pace set by liberalization and modernization. Once a cluster of seven islands, Mumbai was presented to King Charles II in 1661 as part of the dowry when he married Princess Catherine de Braganza of Portugal. Over the years, as colonialism gave way to independence, Mumbai has transformed itself into an entity with thriving markets, business houses and many different communities reflecting a cosmopolitan and trendy atmosphere rarely seen elsewhere in India. On the surface, it represents the ever-changing face of today?s India ? the old coupled with the dynamic new, and yet at its very core, the heart of the city is steeped in Indian customs and values.
Day1: Arrive in Bombay (Mumbai).
On arrival at the airport you are met by our representative and transferred to your hotel by private A/c car. Balance of the day is free to rest or pursue your own interests. Overnight in hotel.
Day 2: Mumbai (B)
Morning excursion to Elephanta caves by boat. Afternoon visit Kamla Nehru Park, Prince of Wales Museum, Mani Bhawan, Dhobi Ghat, Gateway of India, and the Hanging Gardens which are situated on the slopes of Malabar Hill offering a panoramic view of Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach. Overnight at hotel. (Elephanta is closed on Monday)
Day 3: Mumbai Departure (B)
Today is free to further explore this endlessly colorful city before transferring to the airport in time for your onward flight. Check-out time is noon.
Corbett Wildlife 4 – Days
Wildlife Safari in Corbett National Park.This is a wonderful opportunity to see India’s wildlife up close and personal. From chaotic Delhi, transfer by private air-conditioned car to peaceful Corbett, India’s first National Park. Backing onto the slopes of the Himalayan foothills, the park is home to a variety of wildlife, including the elusive tiger.
Day 1: Delhi to Corbett National Park (D)
Meet at Delhi airport or one of the hotels in Delhi. Then drive to Corbett National Park takes about 7 hours (265km). Upon arrival, check into lovely Claridges Corbett Hideaway (Deluxe option) or Corbett River view retreat (Superior). Evening at leisure. Both the resorts are well established and close to the National Park entrance.
Days 2 & 3: Corbett National Park (B/L/D)
The park lies in the valley of the Ramganga River, at the Himalayan foothills and is spread over 324 sq.kms. Corbett is home to a rich variety of flora and wildlife. There are over 50 species of mammals alone, including tiger, leopard, elephant, hyenas and deer. Most notable are the majestic tigers of Corbett, which are a challenge to track down. Corbett is a bird-watcher’s paradise with over 600 species, and since the creation of the Kalagarh Dam on the Ramganga River, large numbers of waterfowl have been attracted here.
Day 4: Return to Delhi
Rise early this morning to participate in a jungle safari, your final opportunity to visit the National Park. On your return you will check out of the hotel and drive back to Delhi. You can be transferred directly to Delhi airport or dropped off at a Delhi hotel of your choice. Please note that your domestic flight should be no earlier then 8.30pm or an international flight no earlier than 11pm to allow enough time for check-in.
All National Parks are closed from July till end of Sept but certain parts of Corbett remains throughout the year.
Wonderful opportunity to see India’s wildlife,Cities combining with any of our group Journey to Himalayas.
Starting from USD$ 300 is an estimate cost as it largely depends on number of participant, travel date, uses of hotel and other logistic. Please contact us for details.
- 3 nights accomodation with all meals in corbet national park.
- Two jeep safaries, entrance fees to the park.
- Guide services by expert naturalist during the safari in Corbett.
- Trsnsportation from Delhi to Corbett and return by private air-conditioned vehicle with English speaking driver / tour escort.
- Indian visa.
- Hotel in Delhi.
Stein & Mason Introduction to Bhutan & India Tour (Nov. 17- Dec. 03 2011)
Dear Ugen ,Jambay and team,
I’m not a big fan of public forums but did want to give you some feedback re our trip. We had a great time and were looked after very well in India and Bhutan. Transfers went smoothly, our guides and drivers were terrific and the content was all that we could ask for. We have some wonderful memories and would definitely recommend Windhorse Tours as a “go-to” company.
I would, however, like to comment on a few of our hotel experiences.The lack of hot water was a problem at Ashok Country Resort, Delhi (our second stay) and Tenzinling Resort, Paro. Otherwise, staff were very nice.
Alsisar Haveli, Jaipur was lovely but our hair-dryer caught fire on the first night. Our request for another one was ignored (we had called Reception twice) and we only got a replacement after personally going down to Reception. This all took more than 3 hours. This sounds a bit petty but is of utmost importance when you are hanging around with wet hair! On the plus side, the restaurant staff were very attentive.
Hotel Marina Agra caters mainly to large groups and the individual traveller is virtually ignored. We could not be accommodated for dinner in the main dining area because of groups. It is also in a very inconvenient location so I would not recommend sending anyone there.
Reception at Hotel Phuntsho Pelri, Thimphu were extremely unfriendly but the restaurant staff were terrific.
Our room at Meri Phuensum Resort, Punakha was unsatisfactory so we did not unpack but immediately requested another one. We were instantly denied but things changed when I asked them to contact Tashi, our guide. Suddenly we were shown two other rooms, one of which was quite satisfactory. Other than that our stay was very pleasant.
None of these things spoiled our trip but I just wanted to mention the above since unsatisfactory accommodation can really upset some people. I also want to add that the staff at Palace Heights in Delhi were extremely helpful.
Oh, the only glitch was the proposed hike at Dochu La Pass. As it was virtually our second day in Bhutan, we had not yet acclimatized to the altitude so we only went half-way. Altitude was not a problem by the time we went to Tiger’s Nest which, of course, was one of the highlights.
Thanks again for your assistance in planning this trip.
With best regards,
Sandra SNov. 17- Dec 03, 2011
Drukyul Walking tour with Tamshing Festival from Oct 03 – Oct 16,2011
We were in India for 10 days after we left Bhutan so we are just barely getting back to normal. Our sleep patterns are now only about 2 hrs out of whack. I got up at 5am this morning and keep trying to sleep till 7. The good thing is I get a lot done before most people are even out of bed. I was composing a review of Windhorse when Debbie received your email so the vibes must have been in the air on both sides of the world.
Overall we had a great time in Bhutan. Windhorse, and generally the people of Bhutan, left us with a very positive impression of the country.
The tour itself was done very well and it seemed to us, more than any other organized tour we have ever been involved with (Debbie and I are somewhat independent and tend to find our own way), suited our needs. Tashi, our guide and Karma, our driver, were a wonderful team and were there for our every need. Karma was particularly cautious and there was not one single incident where any of us passengers felt at risk, even when I could look out the window of the van and see straight down 400M. Karma was particularly quiet but if we engaged him in conversation he was always pleasant and knowledgeable. Tashi was, as far as we were concerned, a perfect guide. He was knowledgeable, flexible, and polite, he took care of us when needed and let us off on our own when we needed a break. He had a couple of attributes that stand out. His commitment to making sure Debbie’s dietary needs were taken care of at every stop we made. This saved her a lot of worry about the ingredients used in the preparation of the food and the fact that it may have a negative effect on her well being. He has a vast number of connections and he was able to utilize the influence of those connections to an end that would ultimately enhance our experience in Bhutan. Tashi’s past as monk and his outward personality enable him to know and befriend people at every stop along the tour route, because of this we were admitted to some things that are not on the regular tourist trail or that were not accessible to other groups. Simply by asking a monk, with whom which he could identify because he was once in the monk’s shoes himself, to show us his shared room we were invited to visit a young monk’s apartment. The monk was quite proud of his abode and we were thrilled to actually step inside his room and see first hand how he lived. It reminded me very much of a Canadian university residence. There were other instances, like when we were admitted to a museum that was closed for the day but Tashi had studied with the monk in charge so we had a private showing. As far as I am concerned this museum was one of the highlights of the trip and I feel very privileged to have been admitted.
In general, we found the accommodation in line with our expectations and completely acceptable. For the most part the hotel staff at each location went out of their way to be gracious hosts and their actions were beyond what I am accustomed to in the places we frequent.
The first hotel we stayed at set a very high standard. Hotel Druk in Phuentsholing was a very classy place. The reception staff was efficient, if a little bit formal, but nice enough. The room was well maintained and immaculate. The beds were extremely comfortable. The restaurant staff went a long way to help find Debbie food she could eat. This is a very good choice for your guests.
The Tenzinling Hotel, in Paro, is also very good. It is a bit remote from town but we were so bagged each night that going out in the evening was out of the question. Although simply furnished the room was very spacious which made for a pleasant stay. It was very clean. The staff was doting and took very good care of us. It was very quiet in the evening which made for good sleep. The buffet was good and different enough each night to make the meals interesting.
The Dochula Resort is slightly tattered but still a nice place to stay. The setting is outstanding and waking up to a view of the mountains is not to be missed. The bed was a bit hard but we slept well. The food was only OK, this is an area where the hotel could improve. The rooms were clean. Again the staff was super.
The guest house Hotel Gakiling in the Phobjikha Valley was the most ‘rustic’ place we stayed. Mr. Ugan had given us the heads up so we were prepared. If the accommodation left something to be desired there were a couple of plusses to the place. First, the staff was very nice and not so formal as other resorts, I found this pleasant, I personally do not believe it is necessary to be stuffy and do a good job at guest service. They served the best food we had eaten to that point in the tour, and the communal atmosphere of the dining/meeting room was great for meeting other travellers and swapping experiences and stories. I did notice the construction going on and presume the accommodation was being upgraded. The valley was most serene and for the sake of a little roughing it, this location should not be left off the itinerary.
The Mountain Lodge in Jakar, was overall, our favourite place. The biggest issue was the availability of hot water. If you did not have a shower at exactly the right time, and that time varied each day, having a hot shower was not possible. They were at least not cold so we didn’t have too much to complain about. The wood stove heaters could be a problem in the middle of winter but it was October and we did not have any issues with a cold room. The hotel was very quiet; we were able to sleep through the night easily. The internet at the hotel was the most consistent we experienced on the trip. The food was excellent and the staff dealt with Debbie’s food allergies very well. The rooms were cleaned each day and although it was not necessary we were provided with clean towels. We found the staff at this hotel to be particularly attentive, they knew us on the first morning we were around and learned our idiosyncrasies quickly. I really liked the 4 young people that worked the dining area at this hotel. Use this hotel on every one of your trips that extend into Bumthang!!!
The best feature of the Tashi Ninjay Guest House, in Trongsa, is the view, which was worth the price of admission. There is one thing that I did not like much and that was I could not find a fire exit. If a fire blocked the one exit, the windows were far too high to jump from and the exit at the end of the hall had no stair to the ground. The rooms were quite ordinary, but provided all the essentials. The food was in our opinion substandard and needs work.
In the Punakha hotel, the Y.T., we were boarded in a palatial suite. Again the view was outstanding. We had enough room to hold a party. Although the beds were twin beds, each was big enough to serve as a double. The rooms were very clean. The owner took special interest in the restaurant and floated from table to table greeting the guests personally. The food was noticeably good. The owner and restaurant staff were very good to make Debbie a special breakfast for the morning we hiked near the Dochula Pass.
The Phuentsho Pelri Hotel in Thimphu, is a high end hotel, that we found a bit pretentious. The shortcomings; first, they charge way too much for the use of the internet, to use the business centre, the charge was 6 Nu per minute, the internet café 50M from the front entrance charges 1 Nu per minute; and our bed was very hard, it was by far the hardest bed we experienced during our stay in Bhutan, that said our travel companions said they had a very comfortable bed. On the good side, it is centrally located and everything we needed during our 3 days in Thimpu was very handy. The rooms are well appointed; the furniture was appropriate and nice. Even though the hotel was located in the shopping area and there was a ‘club’ adjacent, it was very quiet after 10pm and we slept well. The heat worked and we used it for an hour each evening to take the chill out of the air before we went to sleep. There was more than ample hot water for our showers and we quite enjoyed the luxury while it was available. The restaurant was excellent. The food was good and the head waiter was extremely conscientious. He was diligent in finding food for Debbie and when our travel mate, Ralph, was feeling ill and did not show up for dinner the waiter put together a meal of bland food and took it up to Ralph’s room so he could at least try to eat something. That action was far beyond anything we expected.
Although in general I would not consider the food exciting, it was overall very good. It would have been interesting to indulge in a local dish once in a while. We did get to try Ema Datshi a couple of times and although I could not eat great quantities I did enjoy the opportunity and the challenge. The buffet food was pretty standard and was as far as I could make someone’s idea of what tourists should like. I did find comfort in the standard eggs and toast for breakfast. When I was in China I could not face what was put out for breakfast and it was hard to go through the first part of the day without eating adequately. There were a couple of restaurants we ate in where the food was not up to standard. Both were in Thimpu, the food was at best, ordinary. I do not think any of the four of us enjoyed either place.
The walks we went on were a needed break from riding in the car for so many hours. Both Debbie and I are in good shape and did not find the hikes (even the walk to the Tiger’s Nest) all that difficult. We had heard so much about how difficult it is and were mentally prepared to suffer but actually found the hike to be quite a nice walk. We started earlier than most and the cooler air was a big advantage, although I do believe the lighting on the building would have been much better for pictures in the evening.
As Buddhism is the keystone of the Bhutan society we did expect to visit a lot of religious sites but after two weeks of dzongs they can start to run together. By the end of the 2 week we could not remember which feature we had taken in at which location. There were several diversions from the dzong/monestary itinerary, like the weaving places, the art school and hand made paper factory. It would be good to include as much alternative entertainment as possible. We went to Bhutan in October in order to take in the festivals. After visiting two different festival sites each for the better part of a day I would suggest that 2 half day visits is quite enough to get the idea of what they are about. Unfortunately, as outsiders we are not able to discern the subtleties of the performance and a lot of the reason for the dance is lost on us. After the 3 rd or 4th dance of the day I had had enough. Don’t get me wrong I would not have missed the opportunity to attend those functions, it is just I do not have the same commitment as a local person might have. One of the highlights of the tour for me was the museum at Trongsa. The installations are great and the adaptation of the building that houses the collection is the most interesting building we visited.
I hope the comments I have made will be considered constructive. Any deficiencies I have mentioned had only a VERY MINOR affect on the entire trip. I do believe that the people make the place, and that being the case, Bhutan is a place well worth the visit. All the people we met during our short stay were pleased that we could and would visit a country that they are very proud of. I will be telling all my travelling friend’s to visit Bhutan and I will be passing on the contact information of Windhorse Travel. You folks have been stellar from the first time we contacted you until the email we received the other day.
If you want to get an idea of impressions we had of Bhutan as they accumulated you could read our blog that we did daily as we travelled. You can find it at http://havecarryonwilltravel.com.
Murray & Debbie SOct 03 - 16,2011
Your message of April 24th was waiting when we returned home to Vancouver; I did not have my computer with me so did not get your email en route. I want to thank you for all the fine arrangements you made for us at every step of the way. All went smoothly, and as you had advised us about “bare minimum” hotels after Shigatse, we were prepared with sleeping bags, etc. Thought you might enjoy seeing a few images of the adventure, including some faces that might be familiar to you. Again, thank you so much for a job well done.
Warm regards, Pamela
Pamela & Kenneth
Tour of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan & India from April 17 – May 10, 2011.
Pamela PApril 17 - May 10, 2011.
Stephen Freeman x 03 – 09 Mar/01 Apr, 2011
Dear Sonam, Now that we have returned home after our trip to Bhutan and India following our memorable week touring in Sikhim and Darjeeling with you, I would like to thank you and your team at Windhorse Travel for putting it together to meet our needs, and for the wonderful tour that you executed for us. From the greeting at Badgdora upon our arrival to our departure across the border into Bhutan, you went out of your way to find out our personal interests and then tailored the tour to ensure we got the very most out the vacation, for which we are truly grateful.
I would recommend Windhorse Travel to anybody truly interested in an unforgettable vacation in some of the most beautiful and interesting places in the world. Now we aare saving up to take in another vacation to Bhutan and India in a couple of years time to see the parts of the countries that we didn’t cover on this vacation.
Stephen and Eva FreemanMarch 09-April1,2011
Stephen Freeman Family 09 March – 01 April, 2011
Dear Ugen, Now that we have returned home after a memorable 3 weeks in Sikhim, Bhutan and India I would like to thank you and your entire team at Windhorse Tours for putting it together to meet our needs, and for the wonderful tour that you executed for us. From the greeting upon our arrival to our departure, your staff went out of their way to find out our personal interests and then customized the tours to ensure we got the very most out the vacation.
In particular I want to thank the tour guides in each location who are all outstanding individuals who have left lasting memories of the lands we visited, and were each one exceptional:- Sonam Tsering Bhutia in Drajeeling and Sikhim; Leki Dorji in Bhutan and Mukesh in India. Could you please thank Mr. Gupta from your Delhi office, to who came out late at night to meet my wife and I at the airport, and then our daughter a week later, got her safely to her hotel and then ensured that she caught her early morning flight to Paro next morning.
I would recommend Windhorse Toursto anybody truly interested in an unforgettable vacation in some of the most beautiful and interesting places in the world. Now we aare saving up to take in another vacation to Bhutan and India in a couple of years time to see the parts of the countries that we didn’t cover on this vacation. Kind Regards, Steve, Eve & Katherine F
Steve, Eve & Katherine FMarch 9 -April1,2011
Arunachal Pradesh & Nagaland March -2006
Our trip to Arunachal Pradesh last year was wonderful! I will never forget the monastery and nunnery at Tawang, surrounded by the snowcapped Himalayas so close to the borders of Bhutan and Tibet. The views were even more spectacular than in Bhutan. Being the only westerners at the festival was also very special and David Sangtam made us feel welcome and very much a part of the community. I think he knows everyone on the entire mountain! (I also have a picture I love that I’ll send you when I’m at the “right” computer.
Dr. Carolyn AydinMarch 15, 2006
North Eastern India (Arunachal & Nagaland) – March 2007
About our trip to Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. It was truly a wonderful adventure. Our guides were locals who not only knew where to take us but also knew everyone there once we arrived! I want to go back again one day very soon to discover more of the tribal groups and villages.
It is a long drive to get to the festival on the top of the world but worth every moment of it. People are lovely. Temples are wonderful. Scenic views are unbelievable. I loved being nearly the only tourists we saw in the month we were there! Can’t wait for the next trip.