Palace on Wheels
- Luxury rail travel
- Delicious onboard food and excellent service
- Discover the iconic Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal in Jaipur
- Spot tigers in Ranthambore National Park
- 7th-Century fort of Chittorgarh's
- Visit Udaipur's city palace and crystal gallery
- Witness the sandstone havelies in the Thar Desert
- Discover magnificent Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur
- See Agra's spectacular Taj Mahal and sandstone fort
- 8 days from £5,130pp
Departs most Wednesdays from October to April
"Re-live" the royal experience of the Maharajas of Rajasthan by journeying on the Palace On Wheels luxury train. The passenger coaches were originally built for use by the rulers of the princely states of Rajputana, Gujarat, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Viceroy of British India. Since 1996 the Palace on Wheels has been running on broad gauge track and boasts 14 Saloons, designed to reflect the aesthetics of the former royal states of Rajasthan. Each luxurious cabin has wall to wall carpeting, and there is a well stocked bar, two dining cars (The Maharaja and Maharani) and on board service is first class. Over the last 20 years the Palace on Wheels has been rated one of the best ten luxurious rail journeys in the world.
For a visual taste of what you can expect click here.
Day 1 – New Delhi
This rail journey of a lifetime begins at the Delhi Safdarjung Railway station where guests are accorded a warm, traditional welcome before the Palace On Wheels pulls out into the night for a week-long luxury cruise through fascinating Rajasthan.
Day 2 – Jaipur
While in Jaipur tour the Hawa Mahal Palace of Wind and the amazing Jantar Mantar-Astronomical Observatory at leisure. The city palace is also worth a visit, now a museum brimming with royal splendour. Jaipur is also great for shopping and is India’s handicraft capital. Lunch at Amber Fort and a chance to ride the festively decorated elephants is followed by a tour of the fort , a fine example of the splendid fusion between the Rajput and Mugal style of Architecture. The hall of victory Jai Mandir has a stunning ceiling adorned with mirror work. Return back to train to enjoy a sumptuous dinner on board.
Day 3 – Swai Madhopur & Chittorgarh
Early visit the Ranthambhore National Park - a unique juxtaposition of natural and historic richness, standing out conspicuously in the vast, arid area of eastern Rajasthan, 14 Kms from Sawai Madhopur. The 1000 year old Ranthambhore Fort still stands on a high hill and the remains of historic cenotaphs, tombs and a summer palace merge harmoniously in the sprawling forest. Three big lakes- Padam Talav, Malik Talav and Raj Bag- shine like turquoise jewels in the vast area. Ranthambhore has a delicate eco system, with a diverse and dense fauna. The tiger is at the top of the food chain and rules this kingdom but remains solitary by nature. Tiger sightings are always a matter of chance, and there are 24 other species of mammal to spot and 300 different kind of birds. Wildlife include spotted deer, sambhar, wild boar, Indian Gazel, Jungal cat, Panthers, Jackal, Hynas Rarely sloth bears. Return to the Palace On Wheels for breakfast and later lunch as it travels through the lush green countryside before arriving at Chittorgarh. Chittorgarh Fort is considered to be the largest fort in India, built by various Mauriyan rulers during the 5th and 8th Centuries and covers an area of 680 acres. Most of the structures inside the fort are in ruins, but glimpses of this huge home of Rajput still lives on. The fort is accessible through seven ceremonial gates and Rana Kumbha Palace and Padamini Palace inside are considered as masterpieces of Rajput architecture. Padmini Palace had been the residence of beautiful queen Rani Padmini.
Day 4 – Udaipur
Breakfast on board before arriving at the capital of the Sisodia Maharanas. Spend the day sightseeing in Udaipur where Maharana Udai Singh laid the foundation for a new kingdom situated by Lake Pichola. An impressive city palace was lavished with aesthetic and imaginative work of arts at a time when miniature painting was encouraged. Subsequently the princes built the seemingly floating Island Palace, the royal summer retreat, offering a spectacular view of the lake and surrounding mountains. Lunch at Palace Hotel before a visit to the Crystal Gallery at Fateh Prakash Banquet Hall - a museum of antique crystal glass furniture, crockery and chandeliers. Boat Ride and back to train.
Day 5 – Jaisalmer
The golden city of Rajasthan has a charm of its own, founded by its ruler Rawal Jaisal a Bhati Rajput in 1156 AD. The western most citadel of the desert, Jaisalmer has an ancient history linked with its development as an important trading centre, connecting India with Persia, Egypt, Africa and the West. The Bhati Rajput were sole guardians of the city and accumulated much wealth through taxes levied on the passing trade. Jaisalmer boasts a beautiful culture set in harsh, climate conditions. The Sonar Quila Fort, made of yellow sandstone, commands your attention as well as its famous old mansions, better known as havelies. Patwon Ki Haveli, Nathmalgi Ke Haveli and Salim Singh Ji Ki Haveli boast striking architecture, a fine blend of the ancient and the medieval eras. Enjoy shopping and lunch at Moomal Hotel before a desert safari. Travel through sweeping sand dunes and enjoy the romance and solitude at Kuldhara as your camel takes you deep into the Thar Desert. As the sun sets over the rolling golden dunes you will not forget this surreal experience. In winter this is followed by a cultural performance and campfire dinner in the dunes. New Arrangements for this Season include a Rajasthani meal with traditional music; Evening Tea at sunset; Dinner at the Palace Hotel.
Day 6 – Jodhpur
Special welcome on arrival and sightseeing at the mighty fort followed by lunch at the Star Hotel. The city is best known for its indigo-hued homes and buildings and is the former capital of the Marwar. The Mehrangarh Fort was built by Rao Jodha in 1459 and later his successors added new structures. The fort is 120m high and situated on a rocky hill, it formed the backdrop for the lavish and royal history of Rathore. Enjoy the beauty the Perl Palace which has a delicately carved stone screen, the Umaid Vilas displays the Rajput miniature paintings and the Ajit Vilas exhibits musical instruments and royal costumes. Time to shop for local handicraft. Umaid Bhawan Palace is known as the world’s finest and is the largest palace in the Maharaja Umaid Singh empire. Edwardian architect, Henry Vaughan Lanchester, designed and managed the construction of this palace. There are 347 rooms that boast grandness and splendour. The central dome is the heart of the palace standing 110ft high. The royal family still lives in parts of the palace. Lunch at a 5 Star Hotel before returning to the Palace On Wheels. Dinner on board.
Day 7 – Bharatpur & Agra
A royal kingdom where the Jats, rather than the Rajputs, ruled. Bharatpur's Jat History is not that old, with Suraj Mal establishing a firm stronghold in a region contested by both the Rajputs and the Mughals. Suraj Mal exploits are legendary, and the fort, Lohargarh, or Iron Fort, has a history that recounts it with pride. It is the only fort in the state to have bastions of mud that proved helpful by swallowing up the cannon shells and substantially reducing their impact. The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is one of the finest bird sanctuaries in the world. It dDeveloped following a royal edict to create dykes so that water could be canalized to form a hunting preserve for the Maharaja of Bharatpur. Over three hundred species of birds, many of them migrant species, visit from such distant parts of the world as Siberia and China. Visit the world famous Taj Mahal, built in the memory of his beloved empress by emperor Shah Jahan. This marble mausoleum is the greatest gesture of love known to mankind and is breathtakingly, bewitchingly beautiful. The precious stones used in its inlay, and the craftsmen employed for the twenty two years it took to construct, came not only from India, but from all over the World.
Day 8 – Delhi
Breakfast on board. Tour ends at Delhi.
- Travel as described
- Onboard acommodation
- All meals including tea, coffee and mineral water
- Sightseeing tours as described , with deluxe coaches
- Entrance fee (excluding video camera fee) for monuments & palaces
- Entertainment as described
- English speaking guides
Price per person
From £5,130 per person
Download your tour booking form here.