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Experience the cultural heritage of India on board one of the world’s ten most beautiful luxury trains.
On the "Palace on Wheels", the checkered period of the Maharajas lives again. Listen to the stories of courage and the rich history that whispers to you from the walls of the old fort and grand palaces that you will visit. Experience a week-long journey through a region, whose name sounds after fairy tale and legends – Rajasthan, the Land of the Kings.
Originally, the passenger coaches of the "Palace on Wheels" were used by the rulers of the principalities of Rajasthan, later by the Nizam of Hyderabad and by the general governors of British-India for trips. After India won its independence, the coaches were used no longer, because the usual railroad travelers could not sit in them due to their valuable and traditional furnishings.
Today the "Palace on Wheels" is a collective product of Rajasthan tourism and Indian Railways. On January 26 1982, the tourism development company, Indian Railways, the tourism authority of Rajasthan and the Indian government allowed the use of this luxury train to travelers from around the world providing them with a most unique travel experience. In 1991, the old "Palace on Wheels" was replaced by a narrow-gauge train that attained worldwide large popularity.
The eight- day trip in the princely"Palace on Wheels" will lead you to the pearls of the desert: into the "pink city" Jaipur, to Jaisalmer the "desert jewel", to the majestic fort Jodhpur, to Sawai Madhopur with the Ranthambhore national park, to Chittorgarh, the city of the fairy tales, to Udaipur with its lakes and lake-palaces, to Bharatpur with its unique bird sanctuary Keoladeo Ghana, to the red sandstone city Fatehpur and to Taj Mahal in Agra, the world’s first and most major wonder.
The "Palace on Wheels" consists of 14 air-conditioned coaches with four double-bedded chambers, two restaurants, one kitchen coach and one bar coach. Still today, the coaches carry the names of the principalities of Rajasthan. Every coach is a small gem – the beautifully designed ceilings, the colorful fabrics and the noble furnishing that witness the rich cultural past of Rajasthan.
104 sleeping berths in comfortable two-bed-cabins provide for restful sleep on board the luxury train. By request, a cot is available for a third person or a child. Each compartment is equipped with a shower, water closets, built-in cupboards, hi-fi system and a reading lamp.
Both restaurants - "Maharaja" and "Maharani" - provide dining in a princely ambience. The meals are prepared by "Chefs de Cuisine", and include continental, Chinese, Indian and local Rajasthani Cuisine.
After dinner or while relaxing, you can enjoy the bounteously designed bar with an extensive choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Every elegantly equipped drawing-room coach is equipped with a Lounge, mini bar and kitchenette. Here you can enjoy the British tradition of “Five-o-clock-tea", read a book or chat with your fellow passengers. Service staff in artistic made uniforms, the so named “Khidmatgars”, are available to help you during your entire trip.
In the sight coach with its large panorama windows, you will enjoy the view of the varied landscape of India. For the avid reader, a well-sorted library is available. Over an integrated loudspeaker, music and important announcements are transmitted. For your security, an emergency room is on board. Medical care is possible at every intermediate station.
The "Palace on Wheels" is the most advertised product of the Indian ministry for tourism. Because the train is promoted by the government, we guarantee you an unencumbered and safe trip through the subcontinent.
7 Nights / 8 Days
Delhi - Jaipur - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Sawai Madhopur - Chittogarh - Udaipur - Bharatpur - Agra - Delhi
Day 1 (Wednesday) - Delhi
Your dream trip on the "Palace on Wheels" begins in 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 18-Millions-Metropolis at the western end of the Ganges-plain.
The "Palace on Wheels" leaves every Wednesday around 17.45 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.
Timetable:16:00 hrs Check-in in the "Palace on Wheels" at the railway station Safdarjung in Delhi
17:45 hrs Departure towards Jaipur
20:00 hrs Dinner and overnight stay in the "Palace on Wheels"
Day 2 (Thursday) - Jaipur
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 hotel, a former Maharaja palace, you travel on to Amber and see the world-famous fort palace with its unique mirror halls.
Timetable:00:00 hrs Arrival in Jaipur
07:30 hrs Breakfast in the train
08:30 hrs Start of the Excursion program
13:00 hrs Lunch in the Rambagh Palace hotel
17:00 hrs Departure for Jaisalmer
20:00 hrs Dinner and overnight stay in the train
Day 3 (Friday) - Jaisalmer
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. 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. 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.
Timetable:06:15 hrs Arrival in Jaisalmer
07:30 hrs Breakfast in the train
08:30 hrs Start of the excursion program
13:00 hrs Lunch and Break
17:00 hrs Visit of the Sand dunes including Camel-Safari
19:30 hrs Dinner and Entertainment program
20:00 hrs Departure for Jodhpur
Day 4 (Saturday) - 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 Brahmans. The blue color also acts as an aid in the defense of mosquitoes. Already from far away, the historic fort enclosure of Mehrangarh 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. 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 Umeed Bhavan Palace hotel. In the afternoon, the "Palace on Wheels" travels on to Sawai Madhopur, which is famous for Ranthambore national park.
Timetable:07:30 hrs Breakfast in the train
08:00 hrs Arrival in Jodhpur
08:30 hrs Start of the excursion program
13:00 hrs Lunch in the Umeed Bhawan Palace hotel
15:30 hrs Departure for Sawai Madhopur
20:00 hrs Dinner and overnight stay in “Palace on Wheels"
Day 5 (Sunday) - Sawai Madhopur and Chittorgarh
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 gazelle, deers, hyenas, crocodiles and even tigers in the wild. The former hunt district of the Maharaja of Jaipur was declared in 1980 a national park. After a visit to the Ranthambore National Park, the "Palace on Wheels" leaves for Chittorgarh.
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.
Timetable:04:00 hrs Arrival in Sawai Madhopur
06:30 hrs Breakfast in the train
07:00 hrs Visit of the Ranthambore national park
11:00 hrs Departure for Chittorgarh
12:30 hrs Lunch in the train
15:30 hrs Arrival in Chittorgarh
16:00 hrs Start of the excursion program
20:00 hrs Departure for Udaipur and Dinner in the train
Day 6 (Monday) - Udaipur
Udaipur, at 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.
06:45 hrs Arrival in Udaipur and Breakfast
07:30 hrs Start of the excursion program
20:00 hrs Departure for Bharatpur
20:30 hrs Dinner
Day 7 (Tuesday) - Bharatpur and Agra
Jointly with Deeg and Dholpur, Bharatpur captures an important place in the history of Rajasthan. Its landmark is the Laxmi villas 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. The former hunt zone of the royal family of Bharatpur is today a bird sanctuary where storks and more than 250 other species of birds live. You will find snakes, lizards, exotic fish and monkeys 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.
After the safari in the Keoladeo Ghana national park, you will travel to Fatehpur Sikri, the abandoned city. This former Metropolitan Akbar was built in 1569. Akbar transferred his capital to Fatehpur Sikri, but after 13 years due to water scarcity, the capital was transferred to Lahore in Pakistan, and then again to Agra.
After arrival in Agra, you will lunch at the five-star hotel. Afterwards, 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. The construction of the mausoleum that consists entirely of white marble lasted 22 years. No trip to India is complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful places of the world. The mausoleum is a feast for the eye and a pilgrimage site for the hearts of all lovers.
Timetable:07:00 hrs Arrival in Bharatpur and Breakfast
07:30 hrs Visit of the National Bird Sanctuary
13:00 hrs Lunch in Agra
15:00 hrs City tour of Agra and visit to the Taj Mahal
20:00 hrs Departure to Delhi and Dinner in the train
Day 8 (Wednesday) - 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.
Timetable:06:00 hrs Arrival in Delhi
08:30 hrs Breakfast in the train
09:00 hrs End of the trip
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