25 October 2016
You can live like a Maharaja on this wonderful eight day India tour on board the Palace on Wheels train. This fascinating journey will take you into the heart of Rajasthan where you can explore the city markets of Jaipur, take a dawn safari through a tiger reserve at Sawai Madhopur, see the palaces and forts of Jaisalmer and Jodhpur, ride a camel through sand dunes and visit one of the most iconic structures in the world, the Taj Mahal at Agra. This luxury sleeper train journey is certainly the most comfortable and luxurious way to discover this stunning part of India.
Your adventure begins when you check in at the Palace on Wheels station in Delhi where boarding formalities are undertaken by our tour representative. After a warm and traditional welcome you board the luxurious Palace on Wheels and will be escorted to your cabin and given a brief familiarisation tour by the Khidmatgars with a welcome drink, as you start your week-long journey through Rajasthan. The train departs at 1830 and dinner is served as you head for Jaipur.
Breakfast is served in the comfort of your sleeper cabin before an early morning arrival at Jaipur. This capital city of Rajasthan, popularly known as the Pink City, was founded in 1727 A.D. Travel by air-conditioned coach to Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds, which is a remarkable five storied building along the main street of the old city in pink splendour with delicate honey-combed sandstone windows. This is followed by a visit to Albert Hall and the City Palace, home of the royal family. Across the road visit the Jantar Mantar observatory then ride on an elephant up to the stunning Amber fort for a tour and shopping. Return to the train at the end of this exciting day.
You can almost sense a life in the wilderness as the Palace on Wheels arrives in Sawai Madhopur where you visit the Ranthambhor National Park. This wildlife sanctuary is considered to be the country’s best place for seeing and photographing tigers. Sawai Madhopur is known for its exclusive toys, ethnic ornaments and costumes. After the safari in the park return to your train for lunch and then journey on to Chittorgarh where you visit the old fort, the Victory Tower and the Tower of Fame. You will also have the chance to see the sound and light show at the majestic fort. The Palace on Wheels stays in Chittorgarh station until the early morning before departing for Udaipur.
Today enjoy a city tour of Udaipur. After visits to the Garden of Fountains and the Durbar Museum, have lunch at the Fateh Prakash Hotel, which contains an impressive crystal gallery. In the afternoon see one of the most beautiful sites of Udaipur, as you cross Lake Pichola by boat, past the majestic Lake Palace Hotel idyllically situated in the middle of the lake, then stop at the City Palace, which is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Later your luxury coach will take you back to Palace on Wheels where dinner is waiting to be served.
In the heart of the Thar Desert lies Jaisalmer, founded in 1156 A.D. Here the yellow sandstone fort is an imposing sight, towering magnificently over the city. Discover the painstakingly latticed Havelis or mansions with their grand facades. From here travel by coach back to Palace on Wheels for lunch and a well earned rest. Later go for an exciting camel ride on the sand dunes of Sam. Back on the train tonight enjoy dinner before being taken to watch a cultural show at the Palace Hotel.
After breakfast the Palace on Wheels arrives in Jodhpur, a city ringed by a high stone wall with seven gates and several bastions. This second largest city of Rajasthan is known for its rock-solid Mehrangarh Fort. The grand palaces within - Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana are impressive examples of architectural excellence. Near the fort complex lies the Jaswant Thada, and a group of royal cenotaphs made of white marble. After lunch at a city hotel you will be taken back to the train.
Early in the morning, the Palace on Wheels arrives in Bharatpur, the capital of Maharaja Suraj Mal where you visit the world famous bird sanctuary, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, the nesting place of thousands of Egrets, Siberian Cranes, migratory water fowl and other species. Then return to the train and leave for Agra where you visit the Red Fort followed by lunch at a hotel. A highlight of the tour this afternoon when you are taken to the magnificent Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, which was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal.
Today your luxurious railway journey on board the Palace on Wheels comes to an end where it began, back in the capital city Delhi. After saying farewell to new found friends spend some time touring the old and new parts of the city and seeing some of the sights you couldn't manage to fit in on the first day before extending your holiday by staying at a hotel in the city or going to the airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey home.
Cabin fr £2872pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated