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Ultimate Rajasthan and the Palace on Wheels

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4.3 stars(19 reviews)
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Discover the culture of Rajasthan as we explore India’s Golden Triangle and travel aboard the famous Palace on Wheels

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
14 days From £5,095 per person

2022 Tour code: INJ22

About the tour

Magnificent palaces and forts are waiting to be discovered on this Indian rail adventure aboard the Palace on Wheels. Experience the lifestyle of the Maharajahs as we visit walled cities, marvel at the astonishing Taj Mahal and enjoy tiger-spotting in Ranthambore National Park.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London and Delhi

We fly overnight from London Heathrow to Delhi.

Day 2 - Delhi

We arrive in to Delhi today.

Day 3 - Delhi

We begin making discoveries on today, setting out on a guided tour that starts with a rickshaw ride through the streets of Old Delhi before visiting Jama Masjid. We continue to New Delhi, passing by the President's House and Parliament House on our way to Gandhi Smriti, a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. We also discover Connaught Place on a walking tour.

Day 4 - The Toy Train

We transfer to the train station to board the Shatabdi Express to Kalka. Here, we embark on a scenic journey aboard the UNESCO-listed, narrow-gauge Toy Train to Shimla, travelling from the Shivalik foothills through 102 tunnels, over 864 bridges and around 919 curves. During our ascent, we have time to soak up the awe-inspiring, panoramic views of the Himalayas, making stops at stations such as Dharampur, Kandaghat and Summerhill on the way. Alternatively, you may choose to make the journey by road. The mountain town of Shimla was once the summer capital of the British Raj and enjoys a cooler climate than India's bustling cities.

Day 5 - Shimla

Today is free for you to explore Shimla. You could join an optional tour to Kufri to admire the views over the Himalayas, followed by a high-tea lunch at Wildflower Hall.

Day 6 - Shimla

Today begins with an informative talk from guest speaker Raaja Bhasin. Later, we explore Shimla by car, seeing the Viceregal Lodge, a striking 19th-century Elizabethan-style mansion, and the Sankat Mochan temple. After lunch, we take a stroll along the mall to the town's Gaiety Theatre, the Victorian-Gothic Christ Church and Scandal Point - so called because it was where people would traditionally meet to gossip.

Day 7 - Jaipur

We leave Shimla in the morning, making the journey back down the mountains through stunning scenery to Chandigarh. Transferring to the airport, we fly to Jaipur for the night, the capital of Rajasthan. Founded in 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II, the city is often referred to as the 'Pink City' after the buildings were re-painted in the 19th century to celebrate a visit from Prince Albert. Taking a tour of the city, we see the incredible Amber Fort, the beautiful façade of the Palace of the Winds, which shielded courtly ladies from the streets below, and the ancient City Palace.

Day 8 - The Palace on Wheels

We transfer to our hotel-train, the Palace on Wheels today, starting our enchanting five-night journey in carriages decorated in traditional Rajasthani style. After a vibrant welcome ceremony at the station, we settle into our comfortable cabins, enjoying dinner together in the restaurant car this evening. The train's carpeted floors, intricately patterned walls and comfortable furniture is a fitting accompaniment to the regal architecture of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, and Jaisalmer and helps us immerse our-selves even further into the culture and traditions of this area of India.

Day 9 – Ranthambore National Park

During the night, our train sets off for Ranthambore, arriving at the renowned national park on Day 9. One of the largest of its kind in India, this is one of the best places to see the Bengal Tiger thanks to the conservation efforts of Project Tiger. We head out on a morning game drive in the hope of spotting this majestic creature, as well as a plethora of other native wildlife such as sloth bears, hyenas, macaques, wild boar and even leopards. Afterwards, we re-board the train and travel to Chittorgarh, where we see the majestic hilltop fort, the Tower of Victory, and the intricate Tower of Fame.

Day 10 - Udaipur

The Palace on Wheels reaches Udaipur, a city set within its own lake, where we take a tour by coach. We stop for lunch at a local hotel before a cruise across the serene waters of Lake Pichola, a vast artificial lake created in 1362 AD that's dotted with forested islands and elegant shoreside buildings. On our return to Udaipur, we re-join the train.

Day 11 - Jaisalmer

We arrive in Jaisalmer, a historic walled town in the Thar Desert. We embark on a city tour, exploring the beautiful merchants' houses with their intricately-carved sandstone façades. This afternoon, we enjoy a traditional drive in 4x4's, traversing the sandy desert before stopping to admire the sun setting over the sand dunes. Dinner tonight is accompanied by a cultural performance at a local hotel before we re-board the Palace on Wheels, traveling to Jodhpur.

Day 12 - Jodhpur

We arrive in the 'Blue City' itself today, enjoying a tour that includes the grand Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, an ornate cenotaph of a Rajput king, and the Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum. After soaking up the atmosphere and architecture reminiscent of stately Indian court life, we enjoy lunch at a local hotel. Later, we re-board the train for the journey to Agra.

Day 13 - Agra and the Taj Mahal

The Palace on Wheels stops at Bharatpur where you have the option to visit the famous bird sanctuary. Continuing to Agra, we disembark for the final time. After leaving the Palace on Wheels, we visit Agra Fort, a majestic red sandstone citadel, and the captivating Taj Mahal, an iconic white marble masterpiece. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1632 for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is considered to be the world's finest example of Mughal and Persian architecture. We return to Delhi for the night.

Day 14 - London

We fly back to London Heathrow today.

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Visa requirements
Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

ITC Maurya Hotel, New Delhi

ITC Maurya Hotel, New Delhi

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Maidens Hotel, Delhi

Maidens Hotel, Delhi

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The Oberoi Cecil Hotel, Shimla

The Oberoi Cecil Hotel, Shimla

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Trains

Palace on Wheels
Shatabdi Express
Toy Train

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Extend your holiday

Amritsar by Rail
Goa
Mumbai
Varanasi

Reviews

4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 19 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (9)
  2. 4 stars
    (7)
  3. 3 stars
    (2)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Mrs A Liggett

5 stars

Submitted 21 Dec 2018

The tour was absolutely excellent. The accommodation, the restaurants chosen, the itinerary, were all superb as were the guides everywhere.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr J Walls

4 stars

Submitted 30 Nov 2018

Not as good as my previous 13 holidays with GRJ. However, it was a most interesting holiday but perhaps too much crammed into the Palace oin Wheels part

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr D Alcock

5 stars

Submitted 23 Nov 2018

Hotels and itinery first class.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr M Mitchell

4 stars

Submitted 17 Nov 2018

The average age of our group was about 60 years of age. Every single day we were full on with no down time to speak of and we came back to the UK exhausted.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr K Wills

5 stars

Submitted 16 Nov 2018

Fascinating destinations, well planned, well conducted.,

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr . Taylor

5 stars

Submitted 16 Nov 2018

Absolutely fantastic, the whole experience was great, the organisation was superb, the tour manager was so efficient, yet managed to keep a low profile to allow the group to have a wonderful experience, whilst being immediately on hand for any difficulties / questions. The local guides were exceptional, particularly in the First phase of the tour, he was a wonderful man who obviously enjoyed demonstrating his pride in his country, and explained all of the details perfectly, he along with the tour manager are a credit to your organisation.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

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Ultimate Rajasthan and the Palace on Wheels

Discover the culture of Rajasthan as we explore India’s Golden Triangle and travel aboard the famous Palace on Wheels

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