Maharajas-Indian Splendour - (8 Days / 7 Nights)
Day 01 – Delhi – Agra (Saturday)
Board the Maharajas’ Express in Delhi Evening, assemble at Safdarjung Railway station at approximately 2030 hours and complete your registration and check in formalities for the Maharajas’ Express, as you enjoy a welcome drink. The Maharajas’ Express departs Delhi at approximately 2200 hours to Agra. Dinner on board. Overnight on the Maharajas’ Express
Day 02 – Arrive Agra (Sunday)
Arrive into the city of The Taj Mahal – The monument of Love. Besides being famous for one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Agra is also known for its fabulous handicrafts, made of marble and softstone inlay work. The Mughals were great patrons of arts and crafts. Empress Nur Jahan took personal interest and was an accomplished artist herself in zari embroidery work.
Early morning, disembark and proceed to the world famous Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It took the efforts of approx 20,000 craftsmen for 22 years and the passion of Shah Jahan to create this white marble masterpiece. This marble poetry was created by Shah Jahan in fond memories of his beloved queen Mumtaj Mahal. The visit is followed by Champagne breakfast atop Taj Khema gazing at the Taj Mahal. Following breakfast, return to the train.
OR you may choose to take an optional tour to Fatehpur Sikri
OR an optional visit to Itmad-ud-Daulah. Return to the trai n for lunch. After a leisurely lunch onboard proceed to visit the magnificent Agra fort. An era marked by invasions and fortifications, where power was symbolized by grand palaces and grander forts, during such time was built THE AGRA FORT. The mighty towers and overwhelming facades instilling fear and awe in the bravest of the brave. This Agra Fort is a symbol of power, strength and resilience The Agra Fort, also known as the “Lal –Qila”, “Fort Rouge” or “Qila-i-Akbari”, is the highlight of the city of Agra, the then capital of the Mughal Sultanate return to the comfort of the train and continue your journey to Ranthambore National Park.Breakfast at Taj Khema; Lunch and Dinner on board.Overnight on the Maharajas’ Express.
Day 03 – Arrive Ranathambore – Jaipur ( Monday)
On arrival in Sawai Madhopur, early in the morning, get ready for a safari to the Ranthambore National Park. Ranthambore – the private hunting ground of the Maharajas, was declared a National Park in 1973. You may have the chance to see the wildlife that includes tigers, sambar, chital, nilgai, chinkara, wild boar, sloth bear, hyena, jackal and leopard. The safari cannot be compared to that of Africa and you are indeed fortunate if you spot the elusive tiger or the shy leopard.
After breakfast at Vivanta by Taj, Sawai Madhour, return to the train and continue your journey to the Pink City – Jaipur. Jaipur was built by Raja Jai Singh in the 18th century, and is renowned for its magnificent palaces, forts and temples. After Lunch, disembark to visit the Amber Fort. The Amber Fort, set in picturesque and rugged hills is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by Mirja Raja Jai Singh, the fort was made in red sand stone and white marble.
Following lunch, you may choose to participate in one of the optional tours – Enjoy spa facilities at a five star hotel OR proceed on a private shopping tour OR enjoy Golfing at the Rambagh Golf Club OR visit to City Palace and Jantar Mantar (The Observatory).
Following dinner, return to the Railway station and board the train for your onward journey towards Bikaner. Breakfast at Vivanta by Taj, Sawai Madhopur; Lunch on board; Elephant Polo with champagne dinner at a Jai Mahal Palace hotel.
Overnight on the Maharajas’ Express.
Day 04 – Arrive Jaipur – Bikaner (Tuesday)
Continue your journey through the desert as you enter Bikaner region. Bikaner was once a major centre in the cross-desert caravan trade. Also known as Camel Country, Bikaner has the best riding camels in the world. Bikaner’s forts, palaces and temples made in red and yellow sandstone are living reflections of its rich historical and architectural legacy.
Late morning, arrive into the desert citadel of Bikaner and relax on board OR you may choose to embark on one of the optional tours – Visit the Lalgarh Palace Museum displaying some fascinating exhibits on the royal heritage of Bikaner OR an excursion to the Karni Mata Temple in Deshnok also known as “Rat Temple”. This temple complex has hundreds of rats swarming the courtyard. You also have the option to visit the Camel Breeding Farm (opens at 1200 hrs). Lunch onboard. Following lunch, you will disembark and proceed on a visit to the Junagarh Fort, an unassailable fortress built in 1593 AD by Raja Rai Singh. Inside the Fort visit Diwan-i-Khas, Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Hawa Mahal, Badal Mahal and Anup Mahal. Participate in a camel-cart procession followed by sundowner cocktails, barbecue and mesmerizing folk performances on the sand dunes.
After a great evening return to the comfort of your train and embark on your onward journey to Jodhpur. Breakfast and Lunch on board; Sundowner cocktails and Barbecue dinner on sand dunes. Overnight on the Maharajas’ Express.
Day 05 – Arrive Jodhpur – Udaipur (Wednesday)
This morning, the Maharajas’ Express enters the Marwar region. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on board as your train passes through some of the picturesque landscapes of the Thar Desert, arriving into the Blue City of Jodhpur. The morning is at leisure on board OR you may participate in an optional village safari, where you will have the opportunity to visit a Bishnoi village, considered to be the oldest living environmentalists in the world.
You also have an option of availing spa facilities at a five star hotel. Lunch will be on board. After lunch, disembark to explore the erstwhile capital of Marwar – Jodhpur. Jodhpur is famous for its magnificent forts and palaces and, is home to some of the finest architectural wonders. Proceed on a walking tour of the Old Clock Tower market to experience the hustle and bustle of the market. Continue to the magnificent Meherangarh Fort, the fort with the intricate latticed windows, elaborately carved panels and elegantly curved porches. Mehrangarh Fort inherits priceless jewels and a dazzling collection of arms. Enjoy Royal Cocktail evening at Hanwant Mahal with folk dance and music and sumptuous Marwar Culinary delights. Return to the train and continue your journey to Udaipur.Breakfast and Lunch on board; Cocktail dinner at Hanwant Mahal.Overnight on the Maharajas’ Express.
Day 06 – Arrive Udaipur – Balasinor (Thursday )
This morning wake up with a view of the picturesque region of Mewar from your window. Leisurely breakfast onboard while admiring the magnificent landscape of the Aravali Hills.
Udaipur is popularly referred to as the Venice of the East with an enchanting image of white marble palaces, placid lakes and green hills.
Udaipur is one of the India’s greatest destination with the picturesque havelis, ghats and temples along Lake Pichola and the lively bazaars. Begin your day with a visit to the City Palace, the largest palace complex in Rajasthan, with its scalloped arches, fretted balconies, and cupolas.The City Palace has always been a self-sufficient developing centre within itself and shall continue to grow into an ideal prototype of a living palace complex. Later visit the Crystal Gallery.
Following lunch, return to the train for a relaxed afternoon on board OR you have the option of enjoying spa facilities in a five star hotel OR visit the Vintage Car collection of the Royal Family OR you can also opt for a private shopping tour. Later in the afternoon, you may if you wish, proceed for a ‘Walking Tour’ through the Old Market of Udaipur.Return to the Maharajas’ Express and continue journey towards Balasinor.
Breakfast on board. Lunch at Durbar Hall. Dinner on board.Overnight on the Maharajas’ Express.
Day 07 – Arrive Balasinor – Mumbai (Friday)
Arrive into Balasinor. This tiny town called Balasinor in Gujarat is home to the one of the largest dinosaur fossils sites in the world. Paleontologists believe that at least seven species of dinosaurs lived here and researchers have uncovered fossils of about 10,000 dinosaur eggs, making Raiyoli the third largest hatchery in the world. The site was discovered accidentally in 1981 when geologists were conducting a mineral survey of the area. Since then, the finds have attracted scientists and tourists from around the world, triggering off what the Gujarat state calls “dinosaur tourism.” Visit the Dinosaur Fossil Park (One of the largest in the world) followed by a village visit and rounded off by a lunch meeting with the Royal Family to relish their unique cuisine. After lunch return to the comforts of the train and continue towards Mumbai for the last leg of the journey. Breakfast Onboard; Lunch at Garden Palace, Balasinor; dinner onboard.
Day 08 – Disembark in Mumbai (Saturday )
Arrive into Mumbai and bid farewell to the Maharajas’ Express after on board breakfast.