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The Maharaja's Express - An Indian Panorama

11 days from £6450 per person

Virtually all would agree that the Maharajas Express is India’s most lavish luxury train and this week-long journey combines the very best of Mughal India with some of Asia’s greatest religious centres. This itinerary follows the ‘Indian Panorama’ routing with a Saturday departure once a month between October and April. Visits are made to Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park, Fatehpur Sikri and Agra before travelling to the citadel at Gwalior and cenotaphs of Orchha. The journey also includes memorable visits to Khajuraho’s temples, the pilgrimage city of Varanasi and Mughal Lucknow. Train accommodation is fully en-suite, includes all meals and group sightseeing.

Route: Delhi - Jaipur - Sawai Madhopur - Agra - Gwalior - Orchha - Khajuraho - Varanasi - Lucknow - Delhi

Itinerary Highlights

Stylish, supremely comfortable and contemporary with a nod to India’s princely past, there is no better way to experience rail travel in India than aboard the Maharajas’ Express.

Delhi’s Chandni Chowk market is an assault on the senses and the perfect introduction to India. Shop for spices and fabric then head to the Jama Masjid – India’s largest mosque.

Varanasi is the holiest city in India. Visit Sarnath where Buddha once preached then explore the chaotic lanes of the old city in time to attend the enchanting evening aarti ceremonies.

Itinerary: The Maharaja's Express - An Indian Panorama

Today depart the UK on the British Airways flight to Delhi. (N)
India’s capital, Delhi is a city of two halves. Old Delhi – the heart of Muslim India between the 17th and 19th centuries – is an historic district of mosques, forts, narrow alleys and crumbling monuments. In contrast New Delhi, with its large government buildings, tree-lined avenues and white-washed bungalows was purpose-built during the 1930s by the British as a colonial capital and remains the epicentre of Indian political power. (N)

Accommodation in Delhi: Claridges Hotel (or similar)

After breakfast visit Old Delhi with your guide and explore the area's dense network of alleyways, homes, bazaars and mosques. Highlights include the bustling Chandni Chowk market with its myriad of shops and stalls, the beautiful Jama Masjid, Red Fort and Rajghat. In the afternoon visit New Delhi which was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and today is home to Rashtrapati Bhawan, the residence of the Indian President, Rajpath and imposing India Gate. Later, transfer to Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station to join the Maharajas Express (Deluxe Cabin) for the seven night ‘Indian Panorama’ journey. You will be able to board from 2045 hours and the train departs for Jaipur at 2200 hours. (B/D)
Arrive into Jaipur and begin your day at Amber Fort which is located a little way outside of the city. Climbing to the 700 year old citadel, explore the palaces, gardens and temples of this Rajput complex, then return to the centre of Jaipur for a champagne lunch at the City Palace. In the afternoon, visit the Sawai Man Singh II Museum within the City Palace complex then return to the train where the afternoon will be at leisure. Optional activities can be arranged, including a spa treatment and golf or a visits to the Jantar Mantar observatory and Hawa Mahal. Later, at 2000 hours, depart for Sawai Madhopur. (B/L/D)
Early this morning arrive into Sawai Madhopur which is located close to the entrance of Ranthambore National Park. Running from the easternmost spur of the Aravallis to the Vindhya Range, Ranthambore supports a wide range of animal life including tiger, leopard, jackal and hyena, sambar, chital, wild boar, nilgai, chinkara and crocodile. Return to the train and continue to the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri which was once the capital of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Later re-board the Maharajas Express, departing for Agra. (B/L/D)
Following an early arrival, visit the Taj Mahal. Arguably the greatest monument to love, the Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz and is an architectural wonder. Afterwards enjoy a champagne breakfast at Taj Khema which overlooks the monument, then return to the train and travel south to Gwalior. Known for its spectacular fort, on arrival explore this monumental complex. From here visit Jai Vilas Palace, still the official residence of the current Maharaja, which houses the extraordinary Durbar Hall where two of the world's largest chandeliers hang. Enjoy high tea at the palace, then return to the train and depart for Orchha. (B/L/D)
This morning disembark the train and visit the village of Orchha which is famous for its numerous palaces, temples and cenotaphs that date from the 16th and 17th centuries. Returning to the train, continue to Khajuraho – the location of some of the most famous temples in India. Built by the Chandela dynasty during the course of the 11th and 12th centuries, fully explore the highly decorated temples of this UNESCO World Heritage Site then return to the Maharajas Express, departing for Varanasi in the evening. (B/L/D)
Arrive in Varanasi and make a quick visit to a silk weaving centre followed by lunch at the Taj Gateway Hotel. Begin the afternoon at the ruined city of Sarnath where Buddha first preached his message of enlightenment 2,500 years ago, then head through Varanasi’s atmospheric old city to the riverside ghats. Reaching Ganges, board small boats to watch the beautiful evening aarti religious ceremonies. Return to the train for dinner and depart for Lucknow. (B/L/D)
After breakfast visit Lucknow, a city rich in Indian culture and British colonial history. A centre of India's independence struggle and linked to the events of 1857, visit the spectacular Bara Imambara, Rumi Darwaza and Residency, site of the dramatic siege and subsequent battles that took place during the uprising of 1857. Return to the Maharajas Express for an afternoon at leisure then enjoy a cultural evening followed by dinner at the residence of Raja of Jahangirabad. Later, depart Lucknow and commence your overnight journey to Delhi. (B/L/D)
Early this morning arrive at Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station. Disembark the Maharajas Express by 0830 hours where you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. The remainder of the day will be at leisure. (B)

Accommodation in Delhi: Claridges Hotel (or similar)

Today you will be met and transferred back to Delhi Airport to catch the British Airways flight non-stop to the UK. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

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      Guide to Price

      The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

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