The Taj Mahal, Tigers and Temples in India

As the country in which we began our tours, India holds a special place in our heart, and there are few more iconic symbols of India than the tiger. Here, you'll find a few of our favourite tours showcasing India and its most beloved animal.

Our knowledge, experience and love for India is unsurpassed, reflected in the depth and variety of our small group tours as well as our vast array of extension options. Several members of our team have travelled extensively in India and our in-house specialist, Sunita, was born and raised there, so we bring first-hand knowledge of this fascinating country.
Undoubtedly, one of India’s main draws is its spectacular, diverse and rare wildlife, including the country’s most beloved creature, the tiger. There are few opportunities left worldwide to witness these special creatures in the wild, and with 70% of the world’s tiger population, there is nowhere better to do so than in India. India is home to many diverse habitats with fantastic wildlife opportunities, as well as a rich culture and countless sights to see that go beyond nature. Creating unforgettable trips isn’t just our business, it’s our passion, and we’ve collected a few of our best tiger-focussed tours in India right her for you, our traveller.


As India’s national animal, there are few animals held in such high regard across the country – and indeed, across the world – as the tiger. India is home to 70% of the tigers left in the world, which, tragically, is just over 2,000 by recent counts. As such, there’s no better place to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. There are 50 tiger reserves across India, all of which are governed by Project Tiger and administrated by the National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA). We organise trips to just a select few of these, each offering a unique way to experience India’s tigers and the country as a whole.
One of North India's most popular tiger locations is Ranthambore National Park, home to close to 100 Bengal Tigers. Game drives through the park's jungles allow for excellent opportunities to spot these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. In years gone by, Ranthambore was one of the most famous hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur, but today, the park provides a safe home for these animals and acts as a major wildlife tourist attraction, allowing wildlife lovers and photographers alike to witness tigers not behind the bars of a cage, but in their natural habitat. The national park is expansive, covering an area of 1,334-square-kilometres, along with its nearby sanctuaries, the Mansingh Sanctuary and the Kaila Devi Sanctuary. Despite its size, tigers are easily spotted within the park, and they can often be seen during the day times in search of food, passing the warmer hours, or taking care of their young.

Another of India’s many fantastic tiger locations is the Kanha Tiger Reserve. Situated in the Madhya Pradesh central-highland area of India, this beautiful landscape consists of dense, verdant forests, crystal-clear streams and picturesque mountain ranges. Having earned its title of ‘reserve’ in 1879, the plants and animals of these forests have been protected for well over a century, and the rich diversity in life that resulted was enough to inspire countless individuals, including Rudyard Kipling in the writing of ‘The Jungle Book’. Naturally, the animal many come to see is the tiger, and there are few better places to do so. The reserve has one of the largest populations of Indian tigers across the country, and is also home to the Royal Bengal Tiger.

View our blog for more information on tigers:

Top 5 tiger conservation steps India

The Taj Mahal

Arguably, a visit to the Taj Mahal alone makes a trip to India worthwhile, though there are so many reasons to visit. For nature lovers drawn to India by the country’s tigers and other rare animals, the Taj Mahal offers another dimension to a journey, and it isn’t located far from many of the parks and sanctuaries popular with those in search of the beautiful beasts. The true beauty of the Taj can only be understood when experienced in person, and there are countless fine details to be appreciated up close.  
The Taj Mahal is undoubtedly one of the world's most iconic structures. The immense mausoleum of white marble was built for Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Situated on the right bank of the Yamuna in a vast Mogul garden, this epic monument’s distinct octagonal structure dominates the landscape. The capped, bulbous dome and isolated minarets at the corners of the temples boundary complete the structure’s reigning and distinctive look. The materials used to build the Taj Mahal were brought in from across the globe: India and central Asia contributed towards the main body of the temple almost singlehandedly, while the iconic, white Makrana marble came from Jodhpur. The countless precious stones that adorn the inlay came from Baghdad, Punjab, Egypt, Russia, Golconda, China, Afghanistan, Ceylon, Persia and the Indian Ocean. The Taj’s unique Mughal style combines elements and styles of Persian, Central Asian and Islamic architecture, so in many senses, India’s most iconic building was a global affair. With that, it’s only fitting that the Taj Mahal is still celebrated and admired worldwide to this day. 

Forts and Temples: Jaipur, Chambal & Amritsar 

Agra's Taj Mahal is by no means the only temple worthy of a visit, and it's no secret that India is home to many structures of great beauty and significance. The UNESCO-listed Red Fort in Old Delhi is rich with history and possesses a striking beauty – once a symbol of India's Mughal past, the fort is now one of India's sovereignty. A stop in Jaipur offers the chance to admire the intricacy of the city’s many forts and palaces, including the elaborate Wind Palace, the enchanting Water Palace, and the City Palace in all its striking beauty. Jaipur is also home to the Jantar Mantar, or ‘the old observatory’ – one of the five astronomical wonders constructed by Sawai Jai Singh. 
Further south, visit quaint riverside temples in Chambal – the view from the water is unlike any other temple tour entirely. Another of India’s gems is the glittering Golden Temple in Amritsar, where free meals are served to thousands every day. Amritsar is at the epicentre of the Sikh faith, and the Golden Temple is the holiest of Sikh shrines and a site of pilgrimage for thousands. The striking beauty of the temple is unmatched by any other, excluding perhaps the Taj, and for those in the region, it’s worthy of a visit not just for its beauty, but for its spiritual significance, too.

The Tours

Taj, Tigers & Temples

Experience not only India’s iconic wildlife, but its iconic man-made wonders, too. Marvel at the beauty of the Taj Mahal in Agra, and admire Jaipur’s intricate forts and palaces, including the Wind Palace, the Water Palace, the City Palace and the Amber Fort. Discover river wildlife in Chambal under the guide of trained naturalists who provide expert information on the animals you’ll see, which include the endangered Chambal Gharial (long-nosed crocodile), marsh crocodiles, Gangetic dolphins and a host of exotic birdlife. After much anticipation, travel to Ranthambore’s jungles, to track tigers in their forest home.


Big Cats of India

Though it is undoubtedly the most iconic, the tiger isn’t the only big cat in India. On this tour, explore some of India’s best national parks in search the country’s three feline predators. Visit the Bandhavgarh and Kanha national parks to see the majestic tiger. Next, head to Satpura National Park, one of India’s best-kept wildlife secrets, and the home of the elusive leopard. Finally, travel to Gujarat’s Gir National Park to witness the world’s only Asiatic lions. On your travels, you’ll take in not only incredible wildlife and nature, but incredible culture, too. 

Big Six of India

In addition to tigers, witness the other animals that make up India’s ‘big 6’. Visit Gir National Park in Gujarat, home to the country’s second most impressive big cat, the rare Asiatic lion, and journey to Central India’s best tiger location, the Kanha and Pench Tiger Reserves. Finally, head to India`s remote north-east, where you will see Asian elephants in the wild and come face-to-face with the one-horned rhinos of India. 


Wildlife of North East India

North-East India is home to some of the rarest and most spectacular wildlife in the world. Visit Manas National Park on the fringes of the Bhutan border, where you’ll witness not only tigers but clouded leopards and panthers, too. Travel to Assam's Kaziranga National Park, home to the world's largest population of one-horned rhinos and experience an unforgettable dawn safari. Finally, experience the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forests in the world, and one of the most unique habitats of the fearsome Royal Bengal Tigers.

Tiger Conservation

As a responsible travel company, ensuring all areas of our tours are beneficial to the places we visit is our top priority, and there are few things more pressing on a global scale than the ever increasing threat to our wildlife. With that in mind, we’ve taken great care to ensure our tiger tours have only a positive impact on tiger populations & habitats.
The 2011 census report released by the Indian government puts the number of tigers at 1,706, which shows an increase in the number of tigers by about 295. Despite increases in numbers, this is no time believe tigers as a species are in the clear; the tiger, now reduced by as much as 97%, once used to stand tall at no less than 40,000 until the time of India’s independence. A great number of factors are responsible for the decline in tiger numbers, but what’s more important is a solution. The Indian government has put in place a number of measures including the setting up of tiger reserves under Project Tiger, but a few more steps would help this animal steady its numbers.
An extremely important measure and one of the prime reasons for the success of Project Tiger; more tiger reserves in India would keep humans away from fledgling tiger populations. Distance from human populace would have a lasting impact on the security of the tiger population as it would lead to a reduction in the instances of man-tiger conflicts. Cases of tigers attacking humans, when they stray from their natural course, strikes terror in humans and vindictive actions often result in casualties and create a vicious environment against conservation methodology employed by government. Tiger reserves in India are already doing a wonderful job in saving tigers and are also educating people about the animal. Therefore, such measures will have a lasting impact on tiger conservation. Some of the famous tiger reserves in India are: Kanha Tiger Reserve, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Satpura Tiger Reserve and Panna Tiger Reserve, as well as 35 others.
In 2008, the number of tigers in India had dropped to a staggering 1,411, yet this month India’s environment minister announced that tiger figures have almost doubled to 2,226, reaching a level not seen since 2002.
The rising population of tigers in India can partly be attributed to the success that tiger reserves have played in recent years. In 2012, tourists were banned from visiting the main sections of 40 reserves, which prompted conservationists to argue that tigers would be more susceptible to the impacts of logging and poaching. This ban was however overturned later on in 2012 in favour of an approach that would allow tourists to visit these areas but in a more regulated way.
As these figures show, tiger conserves are proving to be hugely popular for an ever increasing group of nature tourists, with some wildlife tours in India increasing by up to 25 per cent each year. Julian Matthews, a spokesperson of the campaign group Travel Operators for Tigers, has cited that in 2010, his charity conducted research showing that a single tiger in a reserve can be worth $750,000 per year to the tourist trade. If this fine balance between tourism and conservation continues, then perhaps an animal that was so close to the cusp of extinction may not be lost for good.

View our blog for more information on tigers:

Top 5 tiger conservation steps India