India’s Palace on Wheels
Experience the lifestyle of the Maharajas as we visit walled cities, marvel at the astonishing Taj Mahal and enjoy tiger spotting.
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Magnificent palaces and forts are waiting to be discovered on this Indian rail adventure on board the Palace on Wheels train. You'll arrive in Delhi for a day of sightseeing including traditional markets, landmarks such as the India Gate, and India's largest mosque, Jama Masjib.
Enjoy your train ride to Kalka and transfer to the narrow-gauge Toy Train, which takes you through the Shivalik mountain range to Shimla. You have two days to explore this city full of British influence. Next you'll head back down the mountains toward Delhi to board the Palace on Wheels.
Your first stop on this leg of the journey will be the Pink City of Jaipur, then a visit to Ranthambore National Park, where you can spot native wildlife. In Udaipur can enjoy a cruise on Lake Pichola. Then visit the walled city of Jaisalmer and take a camel ride into the desert.
Next, stop in the Blue City of Jodhpur for a tour of Mehrangarh Fort and Palace before heading to Agra. Here you will visit the Agra Fort, and then top off this magnificent tour with a trip to the Taj Mahal.
Highlights and Inclusions
- All rail and coach travel throughout your tour
- Scheduled return flights in from London to Delhi
- Toyota Innova car transfers in Shimla
- 7 nights' hotel accommodation
- 7 nights' on the Palace on Wheels
- 35 meals, including 13 breakfasts, 9 lunches, including 2 packed lunches, and 13 dinners
- Sightseeing tours of Delhi, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodphur and Shimla
- Guest speaker talk
- Visit to the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve
- Visit to Udaipur and cruise across Lake Pichola
- Visits to the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort
- Visit to the Amber Fort and the Palace of the Winds
- Excursion to Chittorgarh Fort
- The services of a professional Tour Manager from start to finish
Day 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 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 3 - 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 4 - 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 journey on the UNESCO-listed narrow-gauge Toy Train to Shimla. Alternatively, you may choose to make the journey by road.
Days 5 & 6 - 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 Theatre, the Victorian-Gothic Christ Church and Scandal Point - so called because it was where people would traditionally meet to gossip. A car is available if you would prefer not to walk during the afternoon. On Day 6 you are free to explore Shimla 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 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 Chandigarh. Here we join the Shatabdi Express to Delhi, for another night at the Oberoi Maidens Hotel.
Day 8 - Delhi & the Palace on Wheels
Enjoy a free morning today, until this afternoon where we visit Delhi's National Rail Museum, which tells the history of India's railways. After, 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.
Day 9 - 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 and 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 hotel. During the night the train continues east.
Day 10 - Tigers & Chittorgarh
We leave the train to visit the Ranthambore National Park, one of the largest national parks in India, covering 151 square miles of land. It is here that we try and spot tigers, leopards and other native wildlife before we head to Chittorgarh to see the majestic hilltop fort that sprawls across an area of 692 acres, as well as the Tower of Victory and the intricate Tower of Fame.
Day 11 & 12 - Udaipur & Jaisalmer
The Palace on Wheels reaches Udaipur this morning. We leave the train for lunch at a local hotel before taking a cruise on the serene waters of Lake Pichola, an artificial lake created over 650 years ago. We sail around the small island and the Lake Palace Hotel, originally the Palace of the Maharani of Udaipur, a breathtaking white marble building that was originally built in 1746. On our return to Udaipur we rejoin the train. On Day 12 we arrive in Jaisalmer, a fairy-tale 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.
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 'Citadel of the Sun', the Mehrangarh Fort and Palace with fine sandstone carvings, soaking up the atmosphere and architecture of this excellent throwback to stately Indian court life. We enjoy lunch in the Palace Hotel and visit Jaswant Thada, a white marble cenotaph. We rejoin the train and journey towards Agra.
Day 14 - Agra & the Taj Mahal
This morning we arrive into 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 favourite 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 Taj Mahal and enjoy a farewell dinner.
Day 15 - The Journey Home
We bid farewell to India today, as we transfer to the airport for our flight to London.
Rail Your Way
Own your holiday, make it bespoke, especially designed for you. This could be as simple as a variation to one of our existing tours by choosing where and when you want to begin and end your journey. Or something totally unique with your chosen destinations and hotels for the time you want. Rail Your Way allows you to tailor make your holiday so you can have the experience you want.
Ask your rail specialist for details.
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Oberoi Maidens Hotel, New Delhi
For history, heritage and cultural importance, there are few hotels which can match the majestic 4-Star Oberoi Maidens Hotel in New Delhi. One of the first hotels in Delhi, the Maidens Hotel offers comfort and splendour in true colonial style, featuring a white pillared exterior and extensive gardens. Inside, the range of facilities include access to a swimming pool, a restaurant, an outdoor terrace and a bar. Each room has a mini-bar, a television, a hair dryer and WiFi access.
Oberoi Cecil Hotel, Shimla
The wonderful 5-Star Oberoi Cecil Hotel in Shimla is reminiscent of a bygone era, a celebration of colonial elegance and grace. Restored to its original grandeur with wooden floors and period furniture, it boasts fabulous views of the mountains and valleys. A heated swimming pool, billiards rooms and many opportunities for nature walks, make this luxury resort an all season destination. Rooms include satellite television, air conditioning, telephone, minibar, hairdryer and a safe.
Palace on Wheels
The Palace on Wheels is truly a moving hotel. The train has 14 air-conditioned coaches and each sleeper coach has four compartments with en suite facilities and twin lower beds. Your personal attendant or 'Khidmatgar' is available at all times.
Dining is in one of two opulent restaurant cars, the Maharaja and Maharini, serving Indian, International and Chinese cuisine. There is also a comfortable lounge car and bar. The décor and furnishings reflect the colours and traditions of Rajastha
The Shatabdi Express trains are some of the fastest in India and are the pride of Indian Railways. Fully air conditioned and of a far superior standard to most Indian trains, the Shatabdi Express apparently always arrives at the best platform a station has! The average speed on most lines is 68mph (110km/h) although the service between Agra and Delhi can reach speeds of 80mph (130km/h). During our journeys on the Shatabdi Express we travel in air conditioned Chair Class. Complimentary snacks, meals and beverages are generally provided during the journey.
The Shivalik Express, affectionately referred to as the 'Toy Train' travels between the Indian town of Kalka and Shimla, capital city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The Toy Train's ninety-six kilometre narrow-gauge track through the Shivalik foothills of the Himalayas is one of three Indian mountain railways which together constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by British colonists, the Kalka-Shimla Railway opened in 1903. An extraordinary feat of railway engineering, the line negotiates 102 tunnels, more than 864 bridges and around 919 curves. The Toy Train's passengers have plenty of time in which to admire and marvel these features as well as the spectacular mountain panorama that line the route, tackling the 1 in 33 gradient as the train makes its ascent to Shimla demands a leisurely pace.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|6th February 2019||£5,895||Book Now|
|20th February 2019||£5,895||Book Now|
|27th March 2019||£4,995||Book Now|
|16th October 2019||£5,995||Book Now|
|13th November 2019||£5,795||Book Now|
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India's Palace on Wheels: Departs 6th February 2019 (£5,895), 20th February 2019 (£5,895), 27th March 2019 (£4,995), 16th October 2019 (£5,995), 13th November 2019 (£5,795)
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Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Prices are correct at the time of this web page going live; however are subject to confirmation at time of booking.
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