Central India - A wealth of rarely-visited treasures, both natural and man-made
Central India is one of our favourite regions! It is huge and in its remote and relatively inaccessible vastness, it hides a wealth of treasures, both natural and man-made, that are sparsely visited by tourists primarily due to the lack of publicity – and it shows!
One can walk about completely undisturbed on luxury holidays to India. Untrammelled by the remorselessly frenetic pace of 21st century development, these places retain a wonderfully quiet ‘off-the-beaten-track’ atmosphere, providing an intimate sense of personal discovery that is a treasure in itself. Much of the region is still very rural and several of the villages have haats or markets which are interesting to visit. This region is perfect for those travellers seeking an equal mix of wildlife and culture whilst on a luxury holiday to India.
Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of tigers and tiger reserves, perfect for tiger safaris. Our favourites tend to be Kanha, Pench and Satpura. For the India wildlife safari enthusiast, one can combine several of the reserves which each offer their own fascinating experiences, varying vegetation and wildlife – from tigers to leopards, sloth bears and dhole (wild dog). Not only does central India offer superb unspoilt countryside, but it also has Muslim and Hindu architectural treasures like Orchha, Khajuraho and Mandu. Experience the fascinating tribal cultures of the Gond people in the Chattisgarh region. Through much of the world these aboriginal cultures are crumbling. Our luxury holidays to India are for the true travellers seeking unique cultures, colour and a fascinating people living in a land of great beauty. The vast weekly markets are a swirl of colour; the handcrafts of amazing beauty, and the friendliness and hospitality of the people infectious. We use a mix of small converted palaces of the old feudal rulers and a ‘modern’ house built by a well-known Gond. Perhaps end off at a beautiful palace, such as Ahilya Fort, considered to be one of the world’s top 100 hotels, where the owner is passionate about cooking and has a superb vegetable and herb garden. The cuisine is superb! This region is also home to some of India’s finest handloom fabric traditions. Then we have the fascinating region of Bastar and Kanker, with its extraordinary beauty and the renowned and magnificent Chitrakoot waterfalls for you to enjoy on your luxury holidays to India. This is India as very few people will experience it. We urge you to see this area before the crowds discover it!
Interested in one of our India wildlife safari holidays? Discover more here.
Central India – that rugged heart of the country encompassing most of the states of Madhya Pradesh and Eastern Maharashtra – are amongst the best places to see tigers in India. The Explorations Company have pioneered wildlife tourism in two tiger reserves – Pench and Satpura; and have been involved in conservation and research work in Bandhavgarh over many years.
Take a train south from Delhi or Agra, find a seat on the left hand side as you face the front, and as you steam into the sprawling and dusty commercial town of Gwalior, you will be treated to one of the most awe-inspiring sights anywhere - the looming, beautifully proportioned golden walls of the great fort of Gwalior.
Central India - that huge swathe of India's rugged interior is a veritable cornucopia of astounding natural and man-made treasures - epitomised by Khajuraho and the wild and beautiful country-side within which it is located. Built in the 9th and 10th centuries AD, the lavishly sculpted exteriors of the temples provide a fascinating glimpse into life, fashions and events of that period.
Mandu, often crowned the city of joy was fortified perched along the Vindhyan ranges. It is a romantic ghost city remarkably intact over an area of 12 square km. There is an abundance of mango, tamarind and banyan trees. The city is particularly beautiful immediately after the monsoons when you get to see several waterfalls and the rain turns the entire countryside into a verdant green.
India displays diversity unparalleled to any other country in the world. It is blessed with the highest mountains, the mightiest rivers, vast flatlands, dense forests, sun soaked beaches, a great desert and hundreds of tropical islands. Combined with a culture and people more diverse than its geography, fuelled by 3500 years of uninterrupted history, the country makes for a romantic affair for any traveler that sets foot on it.
In the early years of the 18th Century, the death of the last Great Mughal Aurangzeb, and the subsequent uncertainty and turmoil that followed provided the opportunity for several able and ambitious if unscrupulous military officers to set up in ‘private business’.