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India's Palace on Wheels

(Tour code: INJ17)An adventure on one of India's famous hotel trains

Magnificent palaces and forts are waiting to be discovered on this Indian rail adventure aboard the Palace on Wheels train. 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.

Tour Highlights
  • Delhi
  • Toy Train rail journey & the Palace on Wheels
  • Shimla and the Shivalik Himalaya
  • Jaipur, the Palace of the Winds and Amber Fort
  • Ranthambore National Park
  • Chittogarh Fort
  • Udaipur & Lake Pichola
  • Jaisalmer & Jodhpur
  • Agra's Red Fort
  • The Taj Mahal
What’s Included (Full details)
  • First Class Rail
    7 nights on the Palace on Wheels
  • 5* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
  • All Transfers Included
    Selected Porterage

Itinerary & Map

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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.

Delhi
Days 1-2

Fly to Delhi

We depart London Heathrow for our overnight flight to the Indian capital, Delhi. On arrival in the late-morning of Day 2, we transfer to the 5-Star ITC Maurya Hotel for a two-night stay, in the heart of New Delhi close to diplomatic missions, shops and historical landmarks.

Includes:
  • Day 2 - Dinner
  • Scheduled flights
Old Delhi
Day 3

Sightseeing in Delhi

Today is devoted to a fascinating sightseeing tour covering the ancient streets, temples and colourful markets of Old Delhi as well as the leafy avenues and colonial architecture of New Delhi. Our tour includes India Gate, Raj Ghat, the Parliament House, Humayan's tomb and Qutub Minar. We also visit Jama Masjib, India's largest mosque, and pass the vast Red Fort, constructed by the Moghuls in the 17th century.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Tour of Delhi
Toy Train
Day 4

The Toy Train to Shimla

We leave Delhi on the Shatabdi Express to Kalka. Here we board the UNESCO-listed narrow-gauge Toy Train to Shimla. From 2017, we travel in specially chartered carriages, which have an exclusive heritage feel, enjoying complimentary snacks and heightened comfort en-route. Alternatively, you may choose to make the journey by road.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Toy Train to Shimla
Shimla
Days 5-6

Shimla

On Day 5 we explore Shimla by jeep and see sights such as the Viceregal Lodge, a striking 19th century Elizabethan-style mansion. After lunch, we take a leisurely stroll along the Mall to the town's Gaiety Theatre, the Victorian-Gothic Christ Church and Scandal Point. A jeep is available if you would prefer not to walk during the afternoon. Day 6 is free for you to explore Shimla at your leisure.

Includes:
  • Day 5 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 5 - Tour of Shimla
  • Day 6 - Breakfast, Dinner
Dehli Red Fort
Day 7

Return to Delhi

We leave Shimla in the morning and travel by road, for the journey back down the mountains through stunning scenery to Kalka. Here we join the Shatabdi Express to Delhi, for another night at the ITC Maurya Hotel.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Palace on Wheels
Day 8

Delhi and the Palace on Wheels

Today you are free in Delhi until mid-afternoon, when we transfer to our hotel train, the Palace on Wheels, for an enchanting journey through the bygone eras of the Maharajas. We have time to settle into our comfortable cabins before we enjoy dinner together in the restaurant car as the train heads into the night.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Palace on Wheels
Jaipur
Day 9

Jaipur

Our first stop is the capital of Rajasthan, the Pink City of Jaipur. Sightseeing includes the imposing Palace of the Winds, whose ornate façade once enabled the ladies of the royal court to observe life in the street below whilst remaining in 'purdah.' We also visit the magnificent Amber Fort, one of three hilltop forts, and enjoy lunch in the Palace Hotel. During the night the train continues west.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Tour of Jaipur
  • Amber Fort
Ranthambore National Park
Day 10

Tigers and Chittorgarh

We leave the train to visit the Ranthambore National Park, to spot tigers, leopards and other native wildlife before we head to Chittorgarh to see the majestic hilltop fort, the Tower of Victory and the intricate Tower of Fame.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Ranthambore National Park
  • Chittorgarh Hill Fort
Udaipur
Days 11-12

Udaipur and Jaisalmer

The Palace on Wheels reaches Udaipur this morning. We leave the train for lunch at a local hotel before taking a cruise on Lake Pichola, sailing around the small island and the Lake Palace Hotel, originally the Palace of the Maharani of Udaipur. On our return to Udaipur we rejoin the train. On Day 12 we arrive in Jaisalmer, a fairytale walled town in the Thar Desert. We explore the narrow, twisting streets of the town centre, see beautiful merchants' houses with intricately carved sandstone façades and enjoy a camel ride into the surrounding desert. We dine together at a local hotel before the train departs for Jodhpur.

Includes:
  • Day 11 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 11 - Lake Pichola cruise
  • Day 12 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 12 - Jaisalmer tour & Camel Ride
Jodhpur
Day 13

Jodhpur

Jodhpur is known as the 'Blue City' due to the hue of the houses within the old walls. During a morning tour we see the impenetrable walls of the Mehrangarh Fort and Palace with fine sandstone carvings. We enjoy lunch in the Palace Hotel and visit Jaswant Thada, a white marble cenotaph. We rejoin the train and journey towards Agra.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Jodhpur tour
  • Jaswant Thada visit
The Taj Mahal
Day 14

Agra and the Taj Mahal

After a visit by rickshaw to the Bharatpur bird sanctuary, we rejoin the train and travel to Agra. This afternoon we visit Agra Fort, the majestic red sandstone citadel and the captivating Taj Mahal, the iconic masterpiece in white marble. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653, for his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is the world's finest example of Mughal and Persian architecture. We return to the train for our final night on board and a farewell dinner.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Bharatpur bird sanctuary
  • Agra Fort
  • The Taj Mahal
Flying home
Day 15

The journey home

We arrive back in Delhi this morning, having completed our magnificent journey on board the Palace on Wheels and transfer to the airport for our flight to London.

Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Scheduled flights
Raaja Bhasin
Guest Speaker

Raaja Bhasin

On some departures we enjoy a talk from Raaja Bhasin in Shimla, gaining a detailed insight into the town through its people, history and culture. Known for his unique insight into this region's fascinating heritage, Raaja Bhasin is an acclaimed writer and researcher; most recently serving as a historical consultant on Channel 4's 'Indian Summers' series. Born locally, he is considered an authority on Shimla and the wider area of Himachal Pradesh having written five critically acclaimed books, as well as many articles, stories and even a TedTalk relating to the subject. He has been actively involved in many heritage projects, including the Kalka Shimla Railway line which is the route you will be travelling along. Thanks to the efforts of Raaja and his team, this route was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2008 something that, as we journey through the mountains learning about the distinctive and inspiring engineering that made the line possible, we will soon understand why.

 

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