Your dream trip on the “Palace on Wheels” begins in Delhi. You have to report at Safdarjung Railway Station by 16:00 hours for the check-in formalities to board the Palace on Wheels.
For this trip we advise that you let us book a hotel room for you for the night, so that you can arrive one day earlier. You will be given a private guided tour of Old and New Delhi after being assisted with your checkout. Then you will be transported to the Safdarjung Railway Station by 16:00 hours to check in for the Palace on Wheels. In the event that you did not utilize our services to overnight in a hotel, we will collect you from your preferred location within Delhi city limits and transport you to the Safdarjung Railway Station by 1600 hours for check-in.
Guided Tour Old and New Delhi: The second largest city of India embodies a mixture of old and modern culture. Architectural variety, monumental buildings, museums, art galleries, gardens and exotic shows emboss the picture of the 20-Millions-Metropolis at the western end of the Ganges-plain. New Delhi is known to be one of the best planned cities in India. It has a fantastic layout, is expansive and the avenues are well lined with trees that blend beautifully with the fusion of Indo-Saracenic architecture and aspects of British and Indian design. You will definitely be intrigued by this city and will be impressed by landmarks such as the Humayan’s Tomb, where nineteen Mughal Emperors of India are buried and India Gate, a magnificent war memorial. Old Delhi is quite the contrast but also an exciting place to be. Its streets are a web of small busy lanes and your expert tour guide will make your journey through these bustling alleys quite an adventure. You will spend time visiting the legendary markets, along with the Jama Masjid, which is the largest mosque in India and a remarkable symbol of the second largest Muslim population in the world, rivaled only by Indonesia.
Once we have completed the guided tour of Delhi we will head to the Safdarjung Railway station by 16:00 hours for check in to the amazing Palace of Wheels. You will be given a traditional royal garland welcome, with Tikka and a turban on your forehead. Go through the procedures for check-in and then board the Palace on Wheels. Sip on your welcome drink and browse around this luxury train taking a look at its amenities.
The “Palace on Wheels” leaves every Wednesday around 18.30 from the railway station of Safdarjung in Delhi and proceeds on its fascinating, eight-day trip through the desert country Rajasthan. While on board the “Palace on Wheels” you will enjoy the past, glorious world of the Maharajas and the comfort of a five-star Hotel. During dinner on board the luxury train, you become acquainted with your fellow passengers.
1600 Hrs Check-in in the “Palace on Wheels” at the railway station Safdarjung in Delhi
1800 Hrs Departure towards Jaipur
1930 Hrs Dinner and overnight stay in the “Palace on Wheels”
The first destination of the trip is Jaipur, city of the Maharajas (Kings), splendid palaces and impressive forts. Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, was established in 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II and is among the most beautiful cities of India. Jaipur owes the surname “pink city” to the colorfully painted houses in the old city. The buildings of Jaipur were painted pink during the 19th century for the visit of Prince Albert, the husband of the British queen Victoria. In Rajasthan, pink is also the traditional color of hospitality. In Jaipur, you visit the city palace with that “Sawai Singh museum” which houses an impressive collection of furniture, jewelry, miniature paintings, textiles, manuscripts, carpets and weapons out of the period of the Rajput rulers. Further, it goes to the Jantar Mantar, the largest of the six observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh II in different parts of India. Jai Singh II was himself an astronomer; therefore, he designed some of the instruments you will see. The highlight of the tour is the symbol of Jaipur: The “Palace of Winds”, a five-story pageant construction with a honeycombed facade made of red and pink sandstone. This impressive building was made in 1799 for queens so they could watch the royal procession. From here, one has a fantastic view over the entire city. After lunch in the Rambagh-Palace Heritage Hotel, a former Maharaja palace, you travel on to Amber and see the world-famous fort palace with its unique mirror halls.
For a wide selection of stones and gems Jaipur is the perfect place to shop; it is a key international hub for where gems are cut and polished. Jaipur is also famous worldwide for its textiles and hand block printing. Of course, you will want to shop for your authentic Indian souvenirs and so after sightseeing we will make our way to the vibrant and colorful local bazaars of Jaipur. You can take your pick from wide range of gemstones, jewelry, handicrafts, superb blue pottery, traditional clothes of Jaipur and more.
02:00 hrs Arrival in Jaipur
07:30 hrs Refreshing breakfast onboard Palace on Wheels
08:30 hrs De-board the train for an excursion tour to the city
13:00 hrs Lunch at the Taj Rambagh Palace hotel
18:00 hrs Embark the train again for tea and leisure
19:30 hrs Departure for Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambhore National Park)
20:00 hrs Dinner and overnight stay in the train
Sawai Madhopur is named after its founder, Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I. Steeped in history this city counts as one of the most visited places in Rajasthan. It is the gateway to the world-famous Ranthambore National Park, a wild sanctuary with innumerable animal and plant species. Here you witness Chinkara (Indian Gazelle), Spotted Deer and Sambar Deer (also known Swamp Deer), Hyenas, Crocodiles and of course Tigers in the wild. The former hunt district of the Maharaja of Jaipur was declared in 1980 a national park. After the game safari in the Ranthambore National Park, the “Palace on Wheels” leaves for Chittorgarh.
Enjoy an exciting wildlife Jeep safari and then be treated to a delightful breakfast at the jungle lodge after which we get back on board the Palace on Wheels and continue to Chittorgarh a city known distinctively for its classic stories of heroes and heroines, triumphs over its enemies and dedication to religion. Lunch will be served on board.
Visit Chittorgarh Fort, whose preserved palaces and temples still narrate the epic tales of heroes and heroines, conquests and religious devotion. According to its history, the city of Chittorgarh with its imposing fort that sits on a three-mile-long knoll was raided three times. In year 1303, Alauddin Khilji stormed the city, driven by his passionate wish to subdue queen Padmini. Her face had appeared to him in a mirror, and he was stunned by her supernatural beauty. Queen Padmini preferred however the death of the dishonoring and died voluntarily by committing “Jauhar”, the ritual fire death. In 1533, during the rule of Bikramjeet, followed the second attack by the Bahadur Shah, the sultan of Gujarat. Again, a woman, the Bundi-princess Rani Karanavati, committed the “Jauhar”. Her son Udai Singh escaped the city and inherited the throne. In 1567 when the Mughal emperor Akbar marched his troops into Chittorgarh, Udai Singh fled to Udaipur and built a new capital. After, Akbar razed Chittorgarh to the ground and the city was never inhabited again. Still today, one can feel the heroic spirit of the Rajput warriors.
Chittaurgarh Fort which is said to be India’s largest fort is another place of interest that we will visit. It was constructed during the period from the 5th to the 8th century by the Mauriyan leaders. Covering some 680 acres this vast area consists of beautiful palaces, exquisite temples, and striking towers. It is a fantastic tour from beginning to end, starting with your entrance at the fort through seven ceremonial gates. You must make it a point to see the Rana Kumbha palace and Padmini Palace in the fort, which many consider to be the prized- features of Rajput architecture with the Padmini Palace once being the home of Queen Rani Padmini.
05:30 hrs Arrival in Sawai Madhopur
06:00 hrs Starting an early morning jungle safari to the adventurous Ranthambore National Park
09:15 hrs Breakfast at the Jungle Lodge
10:00 hrs Return back to the Palace on Wheels
10:30 hrs Departure for Chittorgarh
13:00 hrs A royal lunch aboard Palace on Wheels
10:00 hrs Arrival in Chittorgarh
16:00 hrs Start of the excursion program to the Chittorgarh Fort
18:00 hrs Evening tea and other refreshments at the cafeteria of Chittorgarh Fort accompanied by a beautiful light and sound show
19:30 hrs Return back to the royal Palace on Wheels
20:00 hrs Dinner in the train
02:00 hrs Onward Journey to Udaipur
Udaipur, on the bank of the spectacular Pichola Lake, is the economic and cultural center of the region Mewar and one of the most romantic cities of Rajasthan. Nestled at the foot of the Aravalli mountain range, Udaipur is designated also as a “Venice of the East” – a popular place for poets, painters and writers. Udaipur is a kaleidoscope of magical palaces, lakes, temple, gardens and small alleys that witness the heroic past. The city that was established in 1568 by Maharaja Udai Singh embodies a harmonious mixture blooming white houses, splendid palaces, blooming gardens, temples and Havelis (mansion). According to the legend, one day the Maharaja during the hunt came across a holy man, who meditated on a hill over the Pichola Lake. The Maharaja followed the advice of the hermit and established the city Udaipur.
In the town of Udaipur we will visit the imposing City Palace the largest in Rajasthan with a wealth of Mughal architectural styles. Inside the palace you will find an exclusive and amazing variety of wall art, traditional miniature paintings, mirror work and artifacts. Added to that inside the museum is the Mor Chowk (peacock courtyard) with elaborate inlays and mosaics of Rajasthan’s beloved bird, the peacock. In Udaipur you will gain a lot of experience bargaining at the shops and stalls for miniature paintings, crafts and textiles. Making your way through the narrow lanes and being amongst a large display of fabulous creations makes your time in Udaipur even more thrilling.
After your fill of a delicious lunch, it is time for one of the most memorable moments of your itinerary in Rajasthan. We will go on a private cruise on the amazing Lake Pichola, where you will pass by the famed Taj Lake Palace Hotel and the unbelievable Jag Mandir Island that rises from its waters.
08:00 hrs Arrival in Udaipur and Breakfast
09:00 hrs Start of the excursion program of Udaipur
13:00 hrs A stately lunch in a heritage hotel
14:00 hrs Memorable Boat ride in picturesque Lake Pichola
15:00 hrs Back to the train
15:30 hrs Departure for Jaisalmer
19:30 hrs On board Dinner
In the heart of the Thar Desert lies Jaisalmer – the “golden city”. Its landmark is the medieval fort made of yellow sandstone that raises itself majestically out of the glittering desert sand. The beginnings of the city date back to the Bhatti-king Rawal Jaisal, who established Jaisalmer in 1156. Jaisalmer fort, with 5000 inhabitants, is the only living fort of the world. This kept the city safe within the fort walls and resisted all attacks during the past centuries. The houses out of the 12th through 15th centuries are decorated with fine carvings and are maintained so well, that it gives the impression of a gigantic museum. A breathtaking drama offers itself at sunset. If the night sinks itself over the desert, the sky inflames in a red golden glow.
Jaisalmer’s great prosperity is a direct result of its vicinity to the earliest camel routes to Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is well known that the merchants in those times flaunted their wealth by building beautiful havelis, with galleries that were ornately decorated and wonderfully painted exteriors of yellow-sandstone, skillfully built by the artisans of that day. Both the inside and outside of these havelis will take you through a fairy tale adventure. The division of Pakistan from India created a new era for this city, many of its residents were left unemployed and had to find alternative sources of income. Some of the havelis that are on the top of the list to see are the Patwaon-Ki-Haveli, Nathmalji-Ki-Haveli and Salim Singh-Ki Haveli of which the Patwon-Ki-Haveli is the most extravagant. This palace was constructed by a wealthy fabric merchant Patwa for five of his sons and is made up of a group of five houses.
After a short rest, you will go to the Sand dunes of Jaisalmer for a camel-Safari. On the back of the desert ships, you cross a piece of the endless expanse of the Thar-desert.
07:30 hrs Breakfast in the train
09:15 hrs Arrival in Jaisalmer
09:30 hrs Disembark the train for the excursion program
13:00 hrs Lunch and Break
16:00 hrs Visit of the Sand dunes including Camel-Safari
19:30 hrs You will be treated to a delicious royal dinner in the sand dunes complimented by a vibrant and colorful folk dance program
23:45 hrs Departure for Jodhpur
Jodhpur, the former capital of the Marwar Empire in the East of the desert Thar, resembles a green oasis with trees, plants and artificially designed lakes. The color of the houses gives Jodhpur the surname “blue city“. Originally, the color blue symbolized the membership to the caste of the Brahmins. The blue color also acts as an aid in the defense of mosquitoes. Already from far away, the historic fort enclosure of Mehrangarh Fort falls in the eyes, which was built on a 360-foot-high sandstone hill. The large palaces in the interior of the fort are impressive examples of architectonic architecture.
Inside the walls of the fort are a maze of courtyards and palaces that house the museum. It is a perfect opportunity to learn from your knowledgeable guides about the great wealth and belligerent lifestyles of the Rajput princes. See a splendid collection of artifacts like; miniatures, trinkets, weaponry, elephant howdahs that are worn in processions, wood-carvings, murals and mirror-work inside the palace complex; all reflections of the amazing abilities of the artisans of Jodhpur. A visit to this fort brings you upfront and personal with the endless beauty of Rajasthan’s best kept and most impressive fort.
Jodhpur, the second largest city of Rajasthan, was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, the chief of the Rathore clan of the Rajputs. The entire city is surrounded by a mighty ten kilometers long stonewall, having eight gates leading to the inner part of the city. After an extensive city tour, a princely lunch waits for you in the Heritage Palace hotel. In the afternoon, the “Palace on Wheels” travels on to Bharatpur, which is a haven for twitchers.
07:00 hrs Arrival in Jodhpur
07:30 hrs Breakfast in the train
09:00 hrs Start of the city tour of Jodhpur
13:30 hrs Lunch in the Heritage Palace Hotel
15:30 hrs Departure for Bharatpur (Keoladeo National Park)
19:30 hrs Dinner and overnight stay in “Palace on Wheels”
Jointly with Deeg and Dholpur, Bharatpur captures an important place in the history of Rajasthan. Its landmark is the Laxmi Vilas Palace that was constructed in 1899 for the younger brother of the Maharaja of Bharatpur. The architecture is a mixture of Mughal and Rajput style. The small city is visited mainly because of the Keoladeo Ghana national park a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. The former hunt zone of the royal family of Bharatpur is today a bird sanctuary where Black-necked and Painted Storks, Comorants, Intermediate Egret, Cotton Pygmy-goose, and more than 250 other species of birds live. As well as birds, you will watch Spotted Deers, Fox, Indian Gazelle, Nilgai (Blue Bull Antelope) in the Keoladeo Ghana national park. With some good fortune, you can observe even the rare Siberian Cranes that are attracted each year to the sanctuary. The marshy area of park is haven for the migratory birds. We’ll explore the 29 square kilometers of park by a rikshaw ride.
After the safari in the Keoladeo Ghana national park, you will travel to Agra, the capital of mighty Mughals.
We will visit the magnificent Agra Fort when we arrive in Agra. The fort includes the regal city of the Mughal emperors and was built on the banks of the Yamuna River in 1565 by the great Emperor Akbar. Its enhancement with sandstone and marble buildings were commissioned by Emperors Jehangir and Shah Jahan. It’s a massive double walled fort elevated more than 20 m in height and stretching 2.5 m in length. The interior walls, a network of fantasy land marble palaces, audience halls, mosques, courtyards and gardens create what is very much a city on the inside of a city. Clearly the fort pales in comparison to its former glory; however the monuments and red sandstone walls give us some insight of the times of an affluent and prosperous Agra, One feature of Agra Fort that will forever linger in your memory is the coveted view of the white marbled “wonder of wonders” the Taj Mahal.
After lunch, you will visit the Taj Mahal, the world’s first wonder. It is the symbol of love, built by Shajahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1630 after the birth of her 14th child. It is difficult to describe the magnificence and splendor of the Taj Mahal. You will be awe struck at its marvelous architecture, its white marble and semi-precious stones that affirm the remarkable skills of the 20,000 artisans who came from the countries of France, Persia, Turkey, and Italy. It took some 17 years for this tribute of endless love to be built.
The mausoleum is a feast for the eye and a pilgrimage site for the hearts of all lovers. Enjoy a super sunset and take some memorable photographs!
After seeing all the wonderful mosaic work on the buildings, wouldn’t it be fantastic if you actually got to see how this stunning work is done? Indeed! You get the opportunity of a lifetime to see the artisans at work, right before your very eyes as they demonstrate how the inlay work on buildings like the Taj Mahal is done. The few remaining craftsmen who brilliantly ply this trade keep this traditional art form alive, blending the beauty of the marble and their creativity to produce some of the most stunning work you will ever see. It is intricate in detail and colorful and you will see hand-made jewel boxes, table-tops, incense stands, paper weights and other hand-made products all uniquely created with a fusion of Persian and Italian styles.
After an exciting day, you will enjoy your dinner on board the Palace on Wheels, sleep and then arrive at the Safdarjung Train Station, New Delhi at 6.00 hrs the next morning, with souvenirs, pictures and most of all life- long memories of your tour on board the Palace on Wheels.
05:00 hrs Arrival in Bharatpur
06:00 hrs Disembark the train for an early morning bird viewing at Keoladeo Ghana National Park
07:30 hrs Breakfast at a Jungle Lodge in Bharatpur
08:45 hrs Departure for Agra
11:00 hrs City tour of Agra
13:30 hrs Lunch Agra in a 5 star hotel
15:00 hrs Admire the magnificent Taj Mahal
13:00 hrs Lunch in Agra
17:00 hrs Stroll through the Mughal period bazaars of Agra
18:30 hrs Enjoy a Light and Sound show in the splendid Red Fort of Agra
19:30 hrs Dinner on board in Palace on Wheels
23:00 hrs Departure back to New Delhi
Your dream trip on the “Palace on Wheels” ends where it began, in Delhi. Enjoy the multi-cultural atmosphere in the heart of India before flying home or opt any of our below given extension tours to enhance your cultural trip to India.
06:00 hrs Arrival in Delhi
07:30 hrs An on-board breakfast followed by check-out and farewell
09:00 hrs End of the trip.
Vacation India services restart here –When you arrive in New Delhi our Vacation India representative and your chauffeur will greet you at the airport. You have the chance to add to your shopping bags if you wish or sightsee some more.
You will continue to have your vehicle and chauffeur with you until it’s time for your (usually late evening) assisted check in at the airport. If you are booked to fly out early in the morning, we would be pleased to arrange accommodation for you overnight so that you can rest!
Or choose any of our Extension Trips to enhance your India Experience!
My sister and I recently came back from our 2 week holiday in India. Thanks to Vacation India (Classic Holidays India) we had a fantastic time. From our first communication until we were dropped off at the airport everything was perfect. We flew from Atlanta to Delhi via Amsterdam and visited Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Pushkar, Jodhpur (our favorite) and Jaisalmer. Our driver, Jai, was with us through out the whole trip. He was fantastic. We had very knowledgeable local guides in every place we visited. Mr. Vikas, the manager at Vacation India was available over the phone 24/7 during our trip…More Feedback
– Maria and Laura, Atlanta (USA)
In 2014 I was working in Delhi and an Indian colleague fixed me up with a day at the Taj Mahal, organised by Vacation India. It all went smoothly from being met at the train station, taken round the Taj Mahal, the Mini Taj and the Red Fort, entertained to tea with Vikas followed by a stroll round the back streets of Agra.
I like to wander round different parts of India on my own each year but advice from Vacation India on where to go and how to get there is always sought and is invaluable. I include a photo of me with some local boys in a temple in wonderful Hampi in Karnataka…More Feedback
– Nicholas Goslett, UK
8-days individual travel to / from New Delhi, 7 nights in hotels of your choiceTravel Route: New Delhi – Jaipur – Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambhore Tiger National Park) – Chittorgarh – Udaipur – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Bharatpur (Keoladeo National Park) – Agra – Delhi
|Season||Hotel Category||Per person in double room|
|October 2015 – March 2016||Not Applicable||price starts from $ 3250|
|April 2016||Not Applicable||price starts from $ 4300|
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