8 day round trip journey from Delhi discovering Rajasthan with luxury train.
Start your tour in Delhi and travel to Jaipur. Climb aboard the legendary Palace on Wheels train for a 6-day odyssey recreating the ambiance and glorious past as you travel through the heart of Rajasthan. You will feel like royalty on board one of the top ten luxury trains in the world as you visit little-seen and well-known attractions, including the famous Taj Mahal.
The Palace on Wheels on its splendid and enchanting royal rail journey through the bygone era of the erstwhile Maharajas. Though times have changed and the winds have shifted, the Palace On Wheels cruises along in royal style, the kind only the Maharajas of yesteryears could have perpetuated and enjoyed.
The exquisite and exclusive Palace On Wheels has luxurious cabins, wall to wall carpeting, a well stocked bar, two dining cars and very personalized service... in fact, almost everything that could promise heaven on earth!
The Palace on Wheels has been rated one of the ten best luxurious train journeys in the world. Originally the train had 12 fully furnished non-air conditioned saloons, once owned by former Maharajas, Governor Generals and Viceroys of the British period. The Palace on Wheels started as a unique holiday concept hauled by a steam engine with its inaugural trip on January 26, 1982.
In 1991, a new air-conditioned meter gauge Palace on Wheels on the lines of the old heritage train was launched. The interiors of the current 14 saloons are authentic replicas of the historic coaches. Each saloon is equipped with twin-bedded cabins, each with channel music, intercom, with attached baths and running hot and cold water and a shower.
Join us on a sightseeing tour of Delhi via air-conditioned vehicle beginning at 9:00 a.m. You may visit sights such as Humayun's Tomb and the impressive Qutub Minar built by Qutub-ud-Din Aibek in 1199 from sandstone and marble. Drive past India Gate (War Memorial Arch), the President's House and Parliament House. Enjoy visits to Birla Temple and Bangla Sahib Gurdwara, the largest Sikh house of worship in Delhi.
Later, transfer to Jaipur. Jaipur is one of the most well planned cities of the world in its time. This capital city of Rajasthan, popularly known as the Pink City, was founded by Maharaja Swai Jai Singh II in 1727 A.D. To explore the city, an air-conditioned coach takes you to Hawa Mahal, also known as the Palace of Winds, which is a remarkable five story building along the main street of the old city in pink splendor with semi-octagonal and delicate honeycombed sandstone windows. This is followed by a visit to Amber Fort, eight kms. away, where rides on caparisoned elephants add to the ambiance. Later, you may enjoy shopping for Jaipur’s famous jewelry, handicrafts, carpets, blue pottery and textiles. After lunch at a Palace Hotel, you are off to the City Palace, home of the erstwhile royal family. Right across the road from the City Palace is the Jantar Mantar, the largest observatory built by the Sawai Jai Singh II.
Begin the day with an expertly guided tour of the City Palace - a vast complex with a museum housing rare manuscripts, paintings, and an armory. Visit the 18th-century royal observatory known as Jantar Mantar and examine a variety of precise astronomical tools. In the afternoon, visit Amber Fort, a 16th- and 17th-century hilltop complex. Explore its exquisite and well-preserved palaces, temples, gardens, and pavilions. After the tour, you will board the luxurious Palace on Wheels, your hotel on wheels.
One can almost sense a life of the wilderness as the Palace on Wheels arrives in Sawai Madhopur, a city named after its founder Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I. After breakfast, visit the Ranthambore National Park, where the ruins of a 10th century fort are located. This wildlife sanctuary is considered to be the country’s best for observing and photographing the activities of the tiger. The park, covering an area of 392 sq.kms. is also home to more than 300 species of birds. The tiger, hyena, ratel, jackal and fox are among those constituting the carnivorous population here. Sawai Madhopur is known for its exclusive toys, ethnic ornaments and costumes. (Please note that the Ranthambore National Park is closed during the month of September, instead guests will be taken to Mansigh Sanctuary.) Upon return to the Palace on Wheels, depart for Chittaurgarh, where you have the opportunity to watch the colorful countryside passing by in the daylight.
After lunch on board you are in Chittaurgarh. Images of love and valor, scars of battles won and lost, the thrice-beseiged Chittaurgarh Fort is all this and more. Let the legends of honor and pride echo in your mind as you proceed to Udaipur.
Arrive this morning in Udaipur, the Lake City, which was founded by Maharana Udai Singh of Mewar in 1559 A.D. after the Sisodia dynasty was driven away by the Mughals. Perhaps the two most beautiful sites of Udaipur are the dream-like marble palaces - the Jag Niwas (Lake Palace) and the Jag Mandir, which appear to rise from the blue waters of Lake Pichola. After lunch at one of the fine hotels, take an exhilirating visit to City Palace. In the evening, visit the crystal gallery and later proceed to Jaisalmer on board Palace on Wheels.
In the heart of the Thar Desert lies Jaisalmer, founded by Rawal Jaisal in 1156 A.D. Here the yellow sandstone fort is an imposing sight, towering magnificently over the city. Discover the painstakingly latticed havelis or mansions with their grand facades. The Nathmalji-ki-haveli, Patwon-ki-haveli and Salim Singh-ki-haveli are fine examples of the stone carver’s skill. Shop at Rajasthali, the only Rajasthan Govt. Emporium, for fine pattu shawls, mirror work, embroidered articles, wooden boxes, trinkets, silver jewelry and curios. After lunch on board, go for an exciting camel ride on the sand dunes of Sam before sipping a refreshing cup of tea. Enjoy dinner and the cultural programs at a hotel in Jaisalmer before the train leaves tonight for Jodhpur.
This morning, the Palace on Wheels arrives in Jodhpur, a city ringed by a high stone wall with seven gates and several bastions. This second largest city of Rajasthan, founded by Rao Jodha in 1459 A.D. is known for its rock-solid Mehrangarh Fort. The grand palaces within - Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana are impressive examples of architectural excellence. Near the fort complex lies Jaswant Thada and a group of royal cenotaphs made of white marble. After lunch at a royal Palace hotel, return to the Palace on Wheels. While in Jodhpur, shop for exquisite handcrafted articles including the famous breeches, embroidered shoes, metal curios, silverware, paintings and tie dyed fabrics.
Early this morning, the train arrives in Bharatpur - the capital of Maharaja Suraj Mal. After breakfast, disembark the train. Pay a visit to the world famous bird sanctuary, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, the nesting place of thousands of egrets, Siberian cranes, migratory water fowl and other species of birds. Later, you will transfer to Agra where you disembark the Palace on Wheels. Check in to your hotel followed by a visit to the Taj Mahal.
The evening is yours to explore the city of the Taj at leisure. A car will be provided if you want to go for a local sight seeing tour.
Visit the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world. This pristine monument of undying love was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Also visit Agra Fort and see other monuments and tombs about town. Agra is known for its splendid marble inlay work like the Pietra Dura work on the Taj, leather goods and jewelry.
Later in the afternoon, transfer to New Delhi where your tour ends.
The first day of departure is from your hotel in Delhi where we pick you up at about 9:00 AM.
The tour includes 5 nights on board the Palace on Wheels and 2 nights (One in Jaipur and one in Agra) at 5 star hotels provided at the time of confirmation of the tour.
How soon should I book?
Our recommendation is to book as soon as you have an idea of when you would be traveling. Lately, the rooms for peak season get sold out 8-10 months before departure, so it will be in your best interest to book early in order to avoid disappointment later.
Is there a waiting list for sold out dates?
Yes, we maintain a waiting list for the sold out departure dates for the Palace on Wheels. You can add yourself to our waiting list by proceeding to our tour booking engine and clicking on the sold-out departure date that you desire.
What are the passport/visa requirements for travel to India?
A passport with validity at least six months beyond your departure from India is required. Also, visas must be obtained prior to arrival in India. Please note that Palace Tours cannot provide visas. If you are a US citizen, please visit https://www.indian-visa.com/ for details on obtaining an Indian Visa. For non-US citizens, please visit www.mea.gov.in, click on “Welcome” and then under "MEA Links" at the right, click on "Missions and Posts Abroad" and then click "Consulate Generals". You can then select your appropriate Consulate General office and link directly to its website, where detailed visa information and application forms can be found. Please budget at least 14 days to receive it from the consulate. When applying for a visa, you may use the following Indian referees:
1) Palace on Wheels, Tourist Reception Centre, Bikaner House, New Delhi 110 011 India
2) Palace Tours, 9 Gopinath Marg, MI Road, Jaipur Rajasthan 302 001 India
When should I plan to arrive in Delhi?
We recommend you arrive in Delhi one to two days prior to the train's date of departure, depending on your itinerary. This will allow enough time for possible flight delays which are common during the winters (December through February) due to climactic conditions such as snow storms or fog in Delhi. This may also allow you time to rest after your long plane flight and afford you some time for sightseeing in Delhi prior to your train journey. International flights typically reach Delhi late at night or in the very early hours of the morning (i.e. from the USA, you should plan to leave on a Sunday evening, which will bring you to Delhi on Monday night/Tuesday morning). The train boards at 16:30 on your date of departure (Wednesday), but does not leave Delhi until approximately 18:00 in the evening.
When should I plan on leaving Delhi?
The train is scheduled to arrive in Delhi on the Wednesday following your departure date at 06:00 a.m. Passengers will be offered breakfast on board. You must disembark the train no later than 07:30 a.m. In case the train is delayed due to fog (from December-February), the earliest flight we recommend for leaving Delhi would be in the late afternoon. If you have an entire day before departing Delhi (i.e. for international flights leaving on Wednesday night / Thursday morning), we recommend checking in at a hotel in the city center and spending time at leisure or sightseeing in Delhi and its environs.
What is the capacity of the train?
There are 52 rooms on the train and they are allocated to single, double and triple occupancies. The number of passengers really depends on the occupancies sold in that departure. There are usually 104 passengers on any fully-booked tour.
Is there a dress code on board?
There is no official dress code on board, but due to the upscale clientele, business casual is preferred (i.e. a collared shirt and trousers for men and a blouse and skirt or trousers for women.) Krutapajamas and sarees are also acceptable.
What clothing is recommended?
• Please carry clothing according to the average local temperatures. • We highly recommend you avoid wearing leather at any time. • Comfortable clothes and sneakers are recommended for sightseeing. Please be aware that when visiting temples, it is recommended to fully cover your legs and shoulders. You will also be required to remove your shoes inside the temples and we suggest you carry the shoes with you (do not leave them at the door). • No special evening attire is required, but you may carry it if you need it for any special personal occasion. • In December and January, a heavy jacket & warm hat are suggested for the visit to the outdoor Tiger Sanctuary at Ranthambore and the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. • We strongly suggest that you carry sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the afternoon sun.
What kind of food is served on the train?
Rajasthani, Chinese, Continental and American food is served on the train. Fixed menus vary daily. Please notify the chef or train manager of any special orders, dietary restrictions or food allergies.
How are the meals served?
There are two restaurants on board the train, the “Maharaja” and “Maharani” which each seat about 40 people. Meals are served in two sittings on a first-come first-served basis. Breakfasts are prepared by your cabin attendants and are served in the lounge area of your coach, or if you prefer, can be served in your cabin.
What kind of outlet sockets are on the train?
The three pin round sockets are available on the train. The voltage is 220 V. A shaver socket is available in the bathroom with 110 V. For a picture, please see “Type D” at http://electricaloutlet.org/type-d.
Is there a laundry/dry cleaning service on the train?
Yes, laundry service is available at an additional charge. However, we recommend you do not utilize the laundry service for expensive/sentimental garments, as the services are unreliable. Irons are available to borrow from your cabin attendant, who will also do your ironing upon request.
Is there internet or telephone accessibility on the train?
There are five laptops available for hire on board the train which will connect to a local wireless network. The wireless network might be available for access from your personal laptop. Please see the train manager for details and rates. You may also utilize the business centers at the hotels you will visit for lunch; a fee will be required by the hotel.
Is the train accessible to wheelchairs / physical challenges?
Wheelchairs are available upon request; kindly advise our office as soon as possible and at least 30 days prior to your departure of the necessity for a wheelchair during the sightseeing portions of the tour. Please know there are no ramps for entering/exiting the train, and the train corridors are too narrow to accommodate the passage of a wheelchair. For those in wheelchairs, the cabin attendants and train staff can assist with entering/exiting the train. During the sightseeing, you will need to provide your own assistance in managing the wheelchair. For those with other physical challenges, please contact our office for advice. There is some extended walking and standing during the sightseeing portions, often over uneven surfaces.
Is smoking allowed on board?
Smoking is not permitted on board the train.
Are there any other facilities available on the train?
There is a bar, lounge, indoor games and a mailbox for outgoing posts.
Are there different types of rooms (suites, standard rooms etc.) on board Palace on Wheels?
All rooms on the Palace on Wheels are the same size and have attached bathrooms / toilets. Passengers in the room do not share the bathrooms with anyone else. The interior decor changes in the coaches but as far as the rooms are concerned, all single, double and triple occupancy rooms are the same size, approximately 9x12 feet, including the closet and private bathroom which measures approximately 4x8 feet. Triple occupancy rooms have a pull-out bunk bed that is suspended above one of the twin beds.
Are rooms pre-assigned or can you choose your own room?
The rooms are assigned on site. If you have any specific room requirements, please contact us at least one month prior to departure so that we can send your request to our India Operations Team. We also suggest that you check in at the railway station by 16:00 in order to make your requests directly to the train staff.
Is there room service available?
Yes, there are two attendants per four passenger rooms. The attendants will be happy to cater to all of your needs at any time.
Is there a safe deposit in each room?
Yes, there is wooden safe deposit box in each room which locks with a key. The closet also locks.
Is there bottled water available in each room?
Yes, please ask your attendant upon arrival and throughout the trip for complimentary bottled mineral water.
Is there a hairdryer in each bathroom? Are toiletries provided?
Yes, there is a hairdryer provided in every bathroom. Basic toiletries of soap, shampoo, and moisturizer are provided, as well as shoe shine and a comb. Other toiletries such as toothpaste, perfumes, and the like can be purchased from your cabin attendant.
Is there a luggage limit?
There is no luggage limit, but two suitcases per person (according to standard airline policy) work best to avoid inconvenience. The luggage will need to be stored in your room, under each bed (approx. 1 ft x 2.5 ft x 6 ft of under-bed space), or in the closet.
What is the weather like?
September and April are warm with the temperature ranging between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. In October, November, late February and March it is typically 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. In December and January it is much cooler, between 45-70 degrees Fahrenheit, and you may experience foggy conditions.
Can you deliver my Palace on Wheels tickets directly to my hotel?
No. The tickets will be available upon your arrival at the railway station on your date of departure. You simply need to present the travel voucher provided by our agency in exchange for the train tickets.
Where is the railway station in Delhi? Will it be busy?
The Safdarjang Railway Station is located in south Delhi, near the diplomatic enclave, approximately 30 minutes’ drive from the city center. Please note that the station is not well-equipped for long periods of waiting, so we recommend enjoying other parts of the city prior to your Palace on Wheels boarding time.
Do I have to stay aboard all seven nights?
You are not required to stay aboard the train for seven nights. However, as the train follows a fixed itinerary, you will be responsible for your own transportation to/from your points of embarkation/disembarkation, for any hotels you use during the journey, for meals taken while separated from the group, etc. There are no refunds for unused portions of the tour. Therefore, should you choose to shorten the journey in any way, you are still required to pay for the full seven-night tour.
What is the time difference between my home and India?
India is at GMT + 5.5 hours. For example, from New York City (GMT - 5), India is 10.5 hours ahead. From Tokyo (GMT + 9), India is 3.5 hours behind.
What expenses will I have during the trip?
Palace on Wheels is a very inclusive experience, so you will not need to pay for any meals, water/tea/coffee, sightseeing, monument entrances or accommodations. You will incur additional cost if you choose to purchase any wine, alcohol, soft drinks, or juices; laundry services; additional toiletries; camera fees at monuments; sightseeing, transfers, or other services in Delhi; gratuities; and/or souvenirs.
How can I settle my expenses on the train?
You are welcome to keep a tab on your room account which you can settle at the end of the trip via Indian rupees, U.S. dollars, or major credit card. If you prefer, you can pay for each good/service at the time provided by Indian rupees.
How much should I expect to tip?
You should plan to tip approximately $200 per room. You are welcome to tip in either US dollars or Indian rupees. Begin the trip on a good note by giving each of your two cabin attendants $25. We strongly urge you not to tip the cabin attendants for each service throughout the journey. At the conclusion of your trip, you might present $75 to each of the attendants. You may desire to increase the final gratuity if the attendant has provided a special personal service to you. The tips to the cabin attendants are pooled and shared among the train staff. Of course, the gratuities are a personal decision that should be extended to reflect your enjoyment of the journey.
Should I tip during the sightseeing portions of the tour as well?
For your sightseeing tour in Delhi, per car, a gratuity of $10 for the driver and $5-$10 for the guide is recommended, but tipping is solely at your discretion. The drivers and guides that accompany you during the rest of the sightseeing have been paid by Palace on Wheels, so there is no need for you to tip them further. However, if you choose to do so, $5 per person per half-day tour is appropriate.
Should I give money to the poor/destitute that I see in town?
We request that you please do not extend monies to the beggars, as this merely encourages this behavior and will increase their harassment of your group for the remainder of your trip. If you wish to make a donation to assist with the poverty in India, our agency will be happy to recommend a charitable organization you may contact.
How can I exchange currency? Are ATM machines available during the trip?
Hard currency can be exchanged at banks, hotels and authorized exchange centers. ATM machines are available in Delhi, but will be difficult if not impossible to locate in the smaller towns you visit with the train. We recommend that you withdraw the full amount of currency needed for the journey prior to embarking the train in Delhi. Traveler’s checks can be cashed at banks and at hotels; you will get the best rates at banks.
What are the still/video camera fees?
Fees for carrying still/video cameras into the monuments vary per site. However, you can approximate $25 for these fees for the entire journey. Camera fees are payable in Indian rupees upon entrance to each monument.
Do I need vaccinations for traveling in India?
No vaccination certificate or inoculations are required to enter India from United States of America, Canada or United Kingdom. If you are coming from Africa it is crucial to have a proof of inoculation against yellow fever. We recommend you discuss with your doctor the option of anti-malaria pills or malaria vaccination, as malaria is common even in India’s big cities during certain times of year. We suggest you speak to your doctor about vaccinations at least three months before departure. Gastrointestinal relief medication might also be wise for tourists. For general health information you can visit http://www.cdc.gov or contact your medical practitioner.
Are doctors available at all times?
We have identified qualified doctors in each destination you visit. These doctors are available in any case you need emergency medical attention. In any case, please let the escort / attendant / anyone in our ground office know immediately if you feel unwell or think you are going to need medical attention.
Is there an emergency contact number?
Yes. Emergency telephone numbers are listed on your travel voucher, which is issued approximately 30 days prior to departure.
It’s my anniversary/birthday! Will you be able to arrange something special for me?
Yes, we will be able to arrange cakes, flowers, champagne, and/or chocolates. These can be delivered in Jaipur on Day Two of your journey. Please contact us at least one month prior to your departure so we can make the necessary arrangements. Charges for this service depend on the specific request. You may also arrange for champagne or wine while on board the train; please discuss this with the bartender upon your embarkation.
May I bring my own wine/alcohol aboard the train?
Unfortunately, this is not permitted. However, the bar is very well stocked and you should have no trouble finding a beverage that suits your tastes.
I have a problem with something that I purchased while shopping during the tour. Can you help me?
Please use your best judgment in your purchases as Palace Tours is NOT responsible or liable for any claims that may arise. Palace Tours will in no way involve itself in following up or negotiating or contacting in any way, any vendor used by Palace on Wheels train for any reason including but not limited to delayed shipment, wrong charge on credit card, wrong shipment, non delivery, etc. We recommend you contact the Rajasthan Small Industries Corporation to file a complaint: Managing Director, Rajasthan Small Industries Corporation Ltd., Udyog Bhawan, Tilak Marg, Jaipur 302 005 India. Palace on Wheels will also provide you with a pre-paid inland letter which you can post during your tour for complaints.
I am taking a domestic flight/onward tour before/after Palace on Wheels. What about my baggage?
There are no reliable baggage storage facilities available at the railway station. We recommend you discuss baggage storage options with your hotel or tour operator in New Delhi. Please take care to check the baggage restrictions for your domestic air carrier, as the baggage limit is often significantly lower than international air travel allowances (i.e. 15 kgs per person).
Is there anything else I should know before I leave?
For more information about Palace on Wheels, please visit www.palaceonwheels.com. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our office. Our staff will be happy to assist you.
Double Rate is the per person rate for two people sharing a room. Triple rate is per person rate for three people sharing a room. For a family of 4 with young children, you will be best accommodated in two double rooms (children pay half price). Side by Side Rooms may be requested. There are no restrictions in separating the parents and children if the party so desires. Another option for booking would be a triple room (with 2 children) and one single room.
Although all of the rooms on Palace on Wheels are the same for both classes, the difference in the Maharaja and Royal classes/rates lie in the hotels booked for each party. Maharaja Class will stay in all 4 star hotels in Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. Royal class will stay in 5 star hotels in Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.
Yes, you will have privately guided tours in Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.
You will visit the Taj Mahal in Agra two times, once on each tour of the city.
Yes, transfers to and from the designated hotel on both your arrival and departure are included in the price of the tour.
You will be staying in only 4 and 5 star hotels on this tour, depending on your booking class.
An example of a 4 star hotel for booking Maharaja Class:
The Jaipur Marriott Hotel - Among the most inviting Jaipur hotels near airport facilities, the Jaipur Marriott is easily accessible to the Pink City. Offering exquisite gourmet experiences - Indian, Italian, deli, live cooking stations and pastries - to suit every palate. Enjoy a day of pampering at the luxurious Quan spa with a signature massage, manicure and pedicure.
An example of a 5 star hotel for booking Royal Class:
The Oberoi Amarvilas - Sanskrit for ‘Eternal Haven’ - is set among lush and serene Mughal inspired pools and terraced gardens. Ancient and traditional Persian and Moorish influences combine with the very best in modern Indian interior design. Amarvilas offers its guests every modern service in luxury and comfort, yet it reflects the exotic grandeur of the monuments around it. The regal Kohinoor Suite has separate living and dining rooms, a private study and the bedroom has a separate dressing area with walk-in closet. Even the bathroom overlooks the Taj Mahal!
No, your guides will not travel with you to each city. Instead, you will have a local guide in each new city.
You will transfer from Delhi to Jaipur and from Agra to Delhi by private car.
You will have a private car, driver and guide in Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.
Unfortunately, we don't offer Visa assistance but we can provide you with all the information that you need for getting a visa to India
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