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Palace on Wheels - A Rail Journey through Northern India

11 days from £5120 per person

This memorable journey aboard the elegant Palace on Wheels encompasses the key highlights of northern India and Rajasthan. Departing weekly each Wednesday from Delhi, the Palace on Wheels winds its way through a colourful region of forts, palaces and desert. From Delhi stops are made in the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, the tiger reserve of Ranthambore, citadel at Chittorgarh and the beautiful lake-side city of Udaipur. From here the train heads west through the Thar Desert to Jaisalmer and Jodhpur before returning via Agra and the Taj Mahal to Delhi. Accommodation on the Palace on Wheels is en-suite and includes all meals. Sightseeing is by group with the other train guests.

Route: Delhi - Jaipur - Sawai Madhopur - Udaipur - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bharatpur - Agra - Delhi

Itinerary Highlights

The pioneering luxury train of India, the Palace on Wheels has been travelling through Rajasthan for over 35 years. Regal and refined, each coach is named after a Rajput state.

Jaisalmer, a remote desert city in western Rajasthan, is home to arguably one of India’s finest forts – a medieval warren of narrow lanes, local temples and beautiful havelis.

Nothing prepares you for the grandeur of Jodhpur’s Meherangarh Fort. This mighty citadel dominates the city and offers unrivalled views of the blue-washed homes below.

Itinerary: Palace on Wheels - A Rail Journey through Northern India

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

Accommodation in Delhi: Le Meridien New Delhi (or similar)

After breakfast commence a morning tour of Old Delhi with your guide to explore the area's dense network of alleyways, homes, bazaars and mosques. Highlights include the famous Chandni Chowk market, beautiful Jama Masjid, Red Fort and Rajghat. In the early afternoon visit New Delhi. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, today this area is home to Rashtrapati Bhawan, the official residence of the Indian President, Rajpath and imposing India Gate. Later, transfer to Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station in time to join the Palace on Wheels (Deluxe Cabin) for the special seven night rail journey around northern India and Rajasthan. The train departs for Jaipur at 1830 hours. (B/D)
Arriving in Jaipur, this morning visit the Albert Hall Museum, spectacular City Palace and UNESCO protected Jantar Mantar – the largest stone observatory in the world. There will also be an opportunity to see the beautiful Hawa Mahal, better known as the ‘Palace of the Winds’. Heading out of the city, after lunch ascend rugged hills to the 700 year old Amber Fort to explore palaces, gardens and temples of this Rajput complex. Return to the city and Jaipur Railway Station and later, at 1800 hours, depart for Sawai Madhopur. (B/L/D)
Early this morning arrive into Sawai Madhopur which is a short drive from the entrance of Ranthambore National Park. Running from the easternmost spur of the Aravallis to the Vindhya Range, visit the reserve in 15-seat canters. Ranthambore supports a wide range of birds and mammals including tiger, leopard, jackal and hyena, sambar, chital, wild boar, nilgai, chinkara and crocodile. Return to the train and continue to Chittorgarh to visit the monumental fort and later re-board the Palace on Wheels, departing for Udaipur. (B/L/D) 
This morning arrive in Udaipur and start the day with a visit to the City Palace. This impressive complex houses several palaces which overlook Lake Pichola and are still owned by the Maharaja of Udaipur. Also visit the Fateh Prakash Palace and its unique Crystal Gallery and grand Durbar Hall. From here enjoy a cruise on Lake Pichola and after lunch time will be available to visit the old town and the Saheliyon-Ki-Bari gardens. Return to the train mid-afternoon and begin the journey to Udaipur. (B/L/D)
Arrive into Jaisalmer – a desert city located in the far west of Rajasthan. The main attraction is the fort which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and spend plenty of time exploring the medieval streets, palaces, temples and havelis of the walled city. After lunch there is an opportunity to visit the Sam Sand Dunes of the Thar Desert before enjoying a cultural show and dinner at a local hotel. Return to the train in the evening and depart for Jodhpur. (B/L/D)
After breakfast arrive into Jodhpur and visit the impressive Meherangarh Fort. Arguably the grandest of Rajasthan’s forts, the complex offers a fascinating insight into the historic life of the city and contains many palaces and temples and an excellent museum. Enjoy spectacular views from the ramparts then visit the nearby cenotaphs of members of the royal family. Spend time this afternoon at the Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum which houses a collection of artefacts personal to the Maharaja of Jodhpur. Return to the train and depart for Bharatpur. (B/L/D)
Following an early arrival, visit the reserve at Bharatpur which is considered to be one of the leading bird sanctuaries in the world and home to numerous different species of local and migratory birds. Return to the rain, travel the short distance to Agra and visit the imposing Agra Fort which was established by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565. After lunch continue to the Taj Mahal, arguably the greatest monument to love, built by Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz and an architectural wonder. Return to the train and, in the evening, begin your journey north to Delhi. (B/L/D)
Early this morning arrive at Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station. Disembark the Palace on Wheels by 0715 hours where you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. The remainder of the day will be at leisure. (B)

Accommodation in Delhi: Le Meridien New Delhi (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

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Train travel as specified
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes
  • Private transfers as specified

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Meals unless specified

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.

Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express Holiday Review

Paddy and I would like to express our thanks to Roseanna and all the team at Medway Leisure Travel (now trading as Pettitts Travel) for making our trip such a memorable and joyful experience.

Everyone involved from beginning to end we're professional and courteous ensuring that everything ran seamlessly like clockwork.

Our 'once in a lifetime' trip was perfect in every way and we were ecstatic with the outcome.

Thankyou once again.

PM & LB - Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express - November 2016

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