Maharajas Express: The Heritage of India

Rail
Duration (in days): 8

From: Mumbai

To: Delhi

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Overview

Immerse yourself in India's rich culture in ultimate luxury with this week-long journey. Witness the magnificent forts of Rajasthan's sun-kissed cities, the extraordinary Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra and the beauty of the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Step aboard this ultra-luxurious train and be transported into a world once inhabited by 19th century Indian royalty, a bygone era of red carpets, lavish luxury and decadent indulgence. Designed to recreate the pageantry and elegance of the personal carriages of the erstwhile Maharajas, the interiors of the train are suffused with nostalgic opulence.

What you can expect on board

The first class amenities, impeccable service and luxurious decor provide an incomparable experience. The Maharajas Express features two fine dining restaurants that each seat 42 persons. There's also an exotic Safari bar and lounge-cum-bar Rajah Club with the finest selection of complimentary house brand spirits.

There are fourteen guest carriages including one truly extraordinary Presidential Suite. Every cabin has large windows, designed so that you can savour every view of magnificent India. All passenger cars come with independent cabin-controlled air conditioning, online water filtration systems, environment friendly toilets, pneumatic suspension, live television, Wi-Fi Internet, CCTV cameras, hair dryer, electronic safe deposit box, bath tubs (in suites and presidential suite) - just about everything that you might expect when travelling like an Indian Maharaja!

 

Itinerary

Day 1: Mumbai

In the afternoon, we'll assemble at 1430 hours at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace & Towers for a traditional welcome and complete your registration and check in formalities for the Maharajas' Express.

The Maharajas' Express starts from Mumbai at 1640 hours approximately and will travel through the land of the Marathas.

Dinner on board.

Overnight on the Maharajas' Express.

Day 2: Ajanta

Today you will reach at Ajanta Caves near Aurangabad. After breakfast onboard proceed towards Ajanta Caves.

The Ajanta caves consist of 30 caves, dating from 200 BC to 650 AD. These caves are situated about 104km from Aurangabad. These Buddhist cave temples and monasteries are cut from the rocks and volcanic lava of the Deccan in the forest ravines of the Sahyadri hills and are set in beautiful sylvan surroundings. They provide a unique combination of architecture, sculpture and paintings but are mainly known for their exquisite frescoes and sculptures, depicting scenes from life of Buddha.

Return onboard for the Maharajas' hospitality and the train will continue for Udaipur.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner onboard.

Overnight on the Maharajas' Express.

Day 3: Udaipur, Rajasthan

This morning wake up with a view of the picturesque region of Mewar from your window, 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. It is one of the India's greatest destinations 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 building is a unique depiction of the architectural and artistic evolution of Mewar through centuries.

Later visit the Crystal Gallery. The Udaipur Collection of crystal is one of the largest and most complete collections of Osler cut glass in existence. In both diversity of objects and in the quality and grandeur of the included pieces, it holds a unique place in the decorative art world. The highlight of the gallery is a jewel studded carpet, embodying peerless class. Experience the Royal hospitality at Durbar Hall and relish sumptuous lunch over a spread of International cuisine.

Following lunch, return to the train for a relaxed afternoon on board or alterntively, enjoy the spa facilities of a nearby five star hotel, or visit the vintage car collection of the Royal Family, or perhaps opt for a private shopping tour. Later in the afternoon, you can take a walking tour through the Old Market of Udaipur.

Return to the Maharajas' Express and continue journey towards Jodhpur.

Breakfast on board; Lunch at Durbar Hall; Dinner on board.

Overnight on the Maharajas' Express.

Day 4: Jodhpur

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 can join 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. Enjoy Royal evening at a Hanwant Mahal with folk dance and music and with cocktail dinner.

Return to the train and continue your journey to Bikaner.

Breakfast and Lunch on board; Cocktail dinner in the evening at Hanwant Mahal.

Overnight on the Maharajas' Express.

Day 5: Bikaner, Rajasthan

Continue your journey through the desert. Enjoy observing the desert while having breakfast onboard as you enter Bikaner region.

Bikaner was once a major centre in the cross-desert caravan trade. Also known as 'Camel Country', it has the best riding camels in the world. Bikaner's forts, palaces and temples made in red and yellow sandstone and 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 join an optional tour:

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 folk performance on the sand dunes that will mesmerize you.

After a great evening return to the comfort of your train and embark on your onward journey to Jaipur.

Breakfast and Lunch on board; Sundowner cocktail and barbecue dinner on sand dunes.

Overnight on the Maharajas' Express.

Day 6: Jaipur, Rajasthan

Arrive into the 'Pink City' of Jaipur.

Jaipur was built by Raja Jai Singh in the 18th century, Jaipur is renowned for its magnificent palaces, forts and temples.

Start your exciting tour of the pink city with a unique and enthralling experience - an Exhibition Elephant Polo Match and experience a Royal welcome at A Jai Mahal Palace hotel. You may choose to watch or participate in the exhibition game. Arrival at the venue to be accompanied by the royal military band and the beating of 'Nagadas'. The match is followed by Champagne lunch at a Jai Mahal Palace hotel.

Following lunch continue on a visit to 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. The rugged forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise with a beautiful fusion of art and architecture. Amber is the classic and romantic fort-palace with a magnificent aura.

On completing the tour of Amber you will have the opportunity to shop for some of the finest jewellery, textiles and blue pottery for which the city is renowned.

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).

Breakfast on board; Elephant Polo with Champagne Lunch at A Jai Mahal Palace hotel, Dinner on board.

Overnight on the Maharajas' Express.

Day 7: Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan and Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh

On arrival in Sawai Madhopur, early in the morning, get ready for a safari to the Ranthambore National Park. 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 Madhopur, return to the train and continue your journey to the fabled deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri. Admire the changing landscape as you savour a hearty lunch.

Arrive into Fatehpur Sikri, Sikri was the first planned city of the Mughals. All the palaces here were built of red sandstone. It is now a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Return to the train to enjoy an 'Indian night'!

Breakfast at Vivanta By Taj, Sawai Madhopur; Lunch and Dinner on board.

Day 8: Agra, Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi

Arrive into the city of The Taj Mahal – The monument of Love. Besides being famous as one of the seven wonders of the world, Agra is also known for its fabulous handicrafts, made of marble and softstone inlay work.

Early morning, disembark and proceed to the world famous Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan in fond memories of her beloved queen Mumtaj Mahal.

The visit is followed by Champagne breakfast atop Taj Khema gazing at the magnificient Taj Mahal.

Following breakfast, return to the train.

Enjoy the lunch on board as you continue the last lap of this wonderful journey to Delhi.

Bid farewell to the Maharajas' Express as your journey comes to an end at approximately 1530 hours on arrival into Safdarjung Station.

Champagne Breakfast at Taj Khema; Lunch on board.

Info

What's included: 

  • Complimentary meals
  • Complimentary house wines, spirits & beers
  • Sightseeing with all entrance fees and still camera fee included
  • Services of an experienced tour director
  • Opportunity to meet Indian royalty
  • Welcome arrangements at the originating station
  • Round the clock services of paramedic on board
  • Air ambulance services in case of emergency
  • 24 hr personalised valet services for cabins/suites
  • Complimentary wi-fi internet on board
  • Choice of optional excursions and luxurious spas at hotels during the leisure time (on payment).
Accommodation

Deluxe Cabin (20)

Maharajas Express | The Heritage of India

  • Cabin size - 112 square feet
  • Each Deluxe Coach consists of 4 twin/double bed cabins with attached bath
  • Each cabin features wardrobe, luggage hold underneath the bed, writing table, LCD television, individual climate control and superb interiors
  • Bathrooms are modern with wash basin, WC, shower cubicle, running hot and cold water

    Junior Suite (18)

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  • Cabin size - 150 square feet
  • Each Junior Suite Coach consists of 3 twin/double bed cabins with attached bath
  • Each cabin features double/twin bed with luggage hold underneath, wardrobe, writing table, flat screen LCDs with live television, audio/video channels, direct dial telephone, internet facility, individual climate control and an electronic safe
  • Bathroom are modern with wash basin, WC, shower cubicle, running hot and cold water

    Suite (4)

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  • Cabin size - 220 square feet
  • Each Suite Coach consists of two suites with separate living and bedroom areas
  • Each cabin features a double bed with luggage hold underneath, wardrobe, flat screen LCDs with live television, audio/ video channels, direct dial telephone, internet facility and individual climate control, with an electronic safe and mini bar
  • Living area with a sofa, writing table
  • Bathroom are modern with wash basin, WC, shower cubicle and a bathtub, running hot and cold water, with bath tub

    Presidential suite (1)

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  • Cabin size – 448 square feet
  • Presidential Suite consists of two bedrooms, two attached baths, a living/dining room
  • Each bedroom features double/twin bed with luggage hold underneath, wardrobe, flat screen LCDs with live television, audio / video channels, direct dial telephone, individual climate control and mood lighting
  • The living/dining room area has a sofa, writing table, mini-bar, and internet facility
  • Each bathroom is modern with wash basin, WC, shower cubicle, a full bath tub with running hot and cold water.
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