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India's Palace on Wheels

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An adventure on one of India's famous hotel trains, The Palace on Wheels

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
14 days From $5,595 per person

2022 Tour code: GR-INJA-22

About the tour

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.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Delhi

We meet at the 4-Star Oberoi Maidens Hotel for a two-night stay, in the heart of New Delhi close to diplomatic missions, shops and historical landmarks.

Day 2 - Sightseeing in Delhi

Today is devoted to a fascinating sightseeing tour. We start with an engaging rickshaw ride through the streets of Old Delhi, an explosion of sights, sounds, and activity, and visit the Jama Masjib Mosque. We then go on to New Delhi, passing by President House and Parliament House. We visit Gandhi's Smriti, a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, before discovering Connaught Square on a walking tour. Finally, we rest and sample high tea at the Imperial Hotel.

Day 3 - The Toy Train to Shimla

After breakfast at our hotel, we transfer to the train station to board the Shatabdi Express to Kalka. On arrival, we embark on a scenic journey on the UNESCO listed narrow-gauge Toy Train to Shimla. Alternatively, you may choose to make the journey by road. The mountain town of Shimla was 'discovered' by the British in 1817, and was later used as a fashionable retreat from the summer heat thanks to its lovely temperate climate.

Days 4 & 5 - Shimla

Today, we explore Shimla by car and see sights such as the Viceregal Lodge, a striking 19th century Elizabethan-style mansion that was the summer seat of the viceroys of India until the 1940's. After lunch, we take a leisurely stroll along the Mall to the town's Gaiety Theater, the Victorian-Gothic Christ Church and Scandal Point - so called because it was where people would traditionally meet to gossip. 

On Day 5 you are free to explore at leisure. This provides you with a great opportunity to travel further into the Himalayas for majestic views towards the higher, snowcapped mountain peaks of the world's tallest mountain range, followed by a High tea lunch at Wildflower Hall, with walk in gardens. (please note, these experiences are payable locally).

Day 6 - Return to Delhi

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

Day 7 - Delhi and the Palace on Wheels

Today you are free in Delhi until mid-afternoon, where we visit Delhi's National Railway Museum, before transferring 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.

Day 8 - Jaipur

Our first stop is the capital of Rajasthan. Founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Singh II, this lovely city is often referred to as 'the Pink City' after the buildings were painted pink in the 19th century to celebrate a visit by Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert. 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 that dominate the hills above Jaipur, and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. During the night the train continues east.

Day 9 - 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.

Days 10 & 11 - 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 11 we arrive in Jaisalmer, a fairytale walled town in the Thar Desert. We explore the narrow, twisting streets of the town center, see beautiful merchants' houses with intricately carved sandstone façades and enjoy a camel ride into the surrounding desert. We dine together onboard the train after departing for Jodhpur.

Day 12 - 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.

Day 13 - Agra and the Taj Mahal

This morning we arrive in the beautiful city of Agra, where we disembark the Palace on Wheels for the final time. After leaving the train, 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 favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is the world's finest example of Mughal and Persian architecture. This afternoon, we take the Gatimaan Express train to the capital city of Delhi, where we check into our hotel, the ITC Maurya Sheraton Hotel and enjoy a farewell dinner.

Day 14 - Return home

We bid farewell to India today, as you make your way to the airport for your flight home.

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

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 vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

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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