The Maharajas’ Express “Indian Splendour” journey is a fabulous way to discover India’s heritage and exquisite architecture. A few highlights: sipping champagne as you admire the legendary Taj Mahal; stalking the elusive tiger in Ranthambore National Park; indulging in traditional barbecue delicacies prepared on the sand dunes. Feel like royalty as you participate in an Elephant Polo Match followed by dinner. Soak up the spectacular regal heritage of Rajasthan, with its landscape of hilltop forts and palaces. This extraordinary journey is full of special touches and delights—not the least of which is the train itself, the Maharajas’ Express.
Click here to read an in-depth review of the Maharajas’ Express by Society VP Angela Walker on our blog, Track 25.
Day 1: Delhi to Agra
Board the Maharajas’ Express in Delhi. After a traditional welcome, complete registration formalities and settle in to your private, spacious cabin. The train sets out for Agra with dinner served on board.
Day 2: Agra
Early this morning, disembark to visit the world famous Taj Mahal. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this incomparable marvel is constructed entirely out of white marble with beautiful inlay work. Witness the interplay of light as the sun rises and casts its golden rays over the pearl white tomb, recreating the magic of the Taj. Later, enjoy champagne breakfast overlooking the Taj Mahal. Free time after breakfast for shopping or optional tour to Fatehpur Sikri, the ruins of Akbar’s “City of Victory,” or Itmad-ud-daulah, a “jewel box” Mughal mausoleum. After lunch visit Agra Fort. Lunch and dinner are served on board .
Day 3: Ranthambore – Jaipur
Head out on an early morning safari in Ranthambore National Park. The park, with nearly 250 square miles of forest, is famous for its tigers, sambar, chital, nilgai, chinkara, wild boar, sloth bear, hyena, jackal and leopard. It is also a bird-watcher’s paradise. (Note: IRT staff and members report very few tiger sightings.) Enjoy lunch on board as your journey continues to Jaipur.
Begin your tour of the Pink City of Jaipur as you drive to Amber Fort for a visit. The Fort is situated on a ridge and surrounded by fortified battlements overlooking the Maota Lake. Tour the royal apartments, Chamber of Mirrors and Hall of Victory. There is time for shopping this afternoon — Jaipur is famous for its fine jewelry and textiles. Complete the day with an Exhibition Elephant Polo Match. You have the option to watch or participate. After the match, enjoy a champagne dinner and return to the train for overnight.
Day 4: Bikaner
Enjoy the desert scenery as the train arrives in Bikaner. This medieval city was once a major center in the cross-desert caravan trade and is popularly known as Camel Country. This morning would be a great time to just enjoy the ambiance of the train. Or you may choose an optional tour. One is to the Lalgarh Museum, displaying some fascinating exhibits on the royal heritage of Bikaner. Another option is to travel to Karni Mata Temple in Deshnok, where rats are worshipped.
Following lunch on the train, proceed to Junagarh Fort, built in 1593 AD by Raja Rai Singh. While the fort is formidable, encircled by a moat, its real beauty lies inside. The Fort Museum is adorned with costumes and jewelry. Late afternoon, experience the royal pageantry as a convoy of decorated, canopied camel carts accompanied by musicians lead you to your evening’s dinner and entertainment. Experience rural Rajasthan, as you are escorted by camel cart through the surrounding village for a “sundowner” cocktail in the Sand Dunes. Sip drinks and savor traditional barbecued delicacies as you enjoy traditional folk artists, whose music and dance mesmerize.
Day 5: Jodhpur
Enjoy breakfast as you arrive in the Blue City of Jodhpur. The morning is at leisure on board. You have the option of visiting a local village.
Following lunch on board, disembark and explore Jodhpur. Proceed on a walking tour of the bustling Old Clock Tower market. Continue to the Meherangarh Fort with its intricate latticed windows, elaborately carved panels and elegantly curved porches. This evening savor dinner in an exclusive venue.
Day 6: Udaipur
Udaipur is an enchanting image of white marble palaces, placid lakes and green hills, sometimes called “The Venice of the East.” Visit the City Palace, the largest palace complex in Rajasthan, with its scalloped arches, fretted balconies, and cupolas. Visit Mor Chowk and see its lavish mosaics of peacocks; Moti Mahal with beautiful mirror work; and Chini Mahal, covered in ornamental tiles. Feast like a king with lunch at Durbar Hall, with international cuisine and hospitality reminiscent of the ancient Mewar glory. Experience a royal lunch.
Return to the train. Optional afternoon walking tour through the Old Market of Udaipur for shopping or visit the Vintage Car Collection of the royal family. Browse through shops selling exquisitely embroidered and printed fabrics, jewelry, paintings, carved wood artifacts and other local crafts. Dinner and overnight on board.
Day 7: Balasinor
Today arrive Balasinor and visit the Dinosaur Fossil Park, one of the largest in the world. This is followed by a village visit. The day continues with a lunch meeting with the royal family to relish their unique cuisine.
Return to the train for a wonderful evening on board, raising a toast to a memorable experience with new friends.
Day 8: Mumbai
After breakfast, disembark in Mumbai. Bid farewell to the Maharajas’ Express as your journey comes to an end.
Tours listed as optional are at additional cost.
2020 Dates:January 26-February 2
February 23-March 1
2021 Dates:January 10-17
Prices are per person.
Service tax of 5% additional.
Deposit required: 30% of total tour cost, nonrefundable. All payments for this tour are required by wire transfer. Any credit card payments for this tour would be 3% additional.
A visa will be required for citizens of most countries.
Medical & evacuation insurance is required for this journey.
All meals, accommodation on board, sightseeing, except optional sightseeing, transfers within the tour, drinks with lunch and dinner, included. Gratuities to the train staff not included.