Royal Rajasthan on wheels Tour India

Duration : 07 Nights / 08 Days

Destinations Covered : Delhi - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Chittorgarh - Sawai Madhopur - Jaipur Khajuraho - Varanasi - Agra - Delhi

Day 1, Sunday : Depart Delhi - Jodhpur

On arrival you will be accorded a warm, traditional welcome before you board the train.
Late afternoon, an Trip to Holiday representative will escort you to New Delhi Safdarjung Railway station from where your journey begins for a week-long luxury cruise through fascinating Rajasthan.
(Note: reporting time at the railway station is 4:00pm).

6:30pm: begin your fascinating journey as your train departs to Jodhpur.
8:00pm: dinner on-board.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight: On Board - Train

Jaswant Dhaka - Jodhpur
Jaswant Dhaka - Jodhpur
Day 2, Monday : Jodhpur - Udaipur

Breakfast on board.
09:15am: arrive in Jodhpur.

Jodhpur, also called the 'Blue City' was once the capital of the former princely state of Marwar. It was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha and is now the second largest city of Rajasthan. Flanked on its western side by the Mehrangarh Fort and on the eastern side by the stately sandstone Palace of Umaid Bhawan, the monuments temples and gardens of Jodhpur depict a multi-faceted grandeur. It is still a marvelously medieval city. While the graceful palaces, forts and temples bring alive the historic grandeur, exquisite handicrafts, folk dances, music and the brightly attired people lend a romantic aura to the city.

Enjoy an orientation tour of Jodhpur city. Visit the magnificent Mehrangarh fort which dominates the town ringed with its massive protective walls. There are seven gates that lead into the fort. Inside the fort is a series of courtyards and palaces.

The palace apartments with marvelously carved panels, latticed windows have evocative names such as Sukh Mahal (Pleasure Palace), Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), the Phool Mahal (Flower Palace) and the Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors). These palaces house a fabulous collection of trappings of Indian royalty including a superb collection of palanquins, elephant howdahs (used when the Maharajas rode their elephants in processions), miniature paintings, musical instruments and costumes.

Continue your tour to Jaswant Thada, located a short distance from the fort, just off the fort road, is a white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. The cenotaph built in 1899, was followed by the royal crematorium and three other cenotaphs that stand nearby.
Lunch will be at a 5 star hotel.

5:10pm: return on-board. Depart for Udaipur.
Dinner on-board.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: On Board - Train

Day 3, Tuesday : Udaipur - Chittorgarh

Breakfast on board.
08:00am: arrive in Udaipur.

Udaipur, the city combines real beauty with a picturesque association of a great and glorious past. It stands in a valley, amidst green hills on the banks of the wide, steel blue Lake Pichola. On little islands in the lake, from the water's edge, raise marble palaces of pure white that glisten like fairy castles. Crowning the ridge in which the city clusters, along the shore of the lake is the palace of the Maharana. Possibly no city in Rajasthan is quite as romantic as Udaipur and is replete with fantastic hill top fortresses, exotic fairy tale palaces and gripping legends of medieval chivalry and heroism. Udaipur rivals any of the world's famous creations of the Mughals with the Rajput love of the whimsical and it's superbly crafted elegance.

Begin your tour with a visit to City Palace! Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies; and the Peacock Courtyard. Also visit the lovely Sahelion ki-Bari Gardens - the Jagdish Temple.
Lunch will be at a 5-star hotel.
Post lunch, visit Crystal Gallery. It has a rare collection of Osler's crystal ordered from England by Maharana Sajjan Singh in 1877.

2:30pm: return on board. Leave for Chittorgarh.
4:45pm: arrive in Chittorgrah.

Chittorgarh Fort
Chittorgarh Fort - Chittorgarh

Visit Chittorgarh Fort. There is no place in Rajasthan with a history more romantic than that of Chittorgarh. The centre of Rajput resistance against Mughal rule; it was here that Sisodia Rajput warriors on many occasions gave their lives preferring death to dishonour and surrender. This city was sacked at least three times before it was finally abandoned and the capital moved to Udaipur. The glory of Chittorgarh is the Tower of Victory-Jaya Stambha erected by Rana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over Mohammed Khilji of Malwa in 1440. Its nine stories are covered with sculptures of Hindu divinities.

6:00pm: evening Tea & Light sound & light show at the fort.
7:30pm: return on-board.
8:00pm: dinner at Panna Hotel cultural program, music & bar-be-que.
Post dinner, return on-board.
10:00pm: leave for Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambore).
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: On Board - Train

Day 4, Wednesday : Chittorgarh - Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambore) - Jaipur

05:30am: arrive in Sawai Madhopur.
Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambore), dominated by a vast 11th-century fortress of the same name, Ranthambore is a 400sq-km park situated in an area of rocky hill country, clothed in dry, deciduous forest, grassland, and scrub, and dotted with several small lakes that can be alive with birds. Some five years ago, the Tigers of Ranthambore were decimated by an outbreak of poaching; fortunately the situation is improving and we once again have a good chance of encountering the largest and most powerful of the world's big cats. Seeing tiger will be a priority, and it requires covering much ground every morning and afternoon, eyes directed at every angle. Besides tigers, large mammals are particularly well represented at Ranthambore, and among the species we might see are Sambar, Spotted Deer, Nilgai, Dorcas Gazelle (Chinkara), the ubiquitous Northern Palm Squirrel, Hanuman Langur, Small Indian and Ruddy mongooses, Wild Boar, and Indian Flying Fox. Leopard and Sloth Bear are also present in the park, though both are seen infrequently. Ranthambore also boasts an exciting array of birds.

06:00am: enjoy game viewing by an open 4x4 jeeps or canter (large safari vehicle). Go in search of the magnificent Royal Bengal Tiger and other wildlife. Visit Jhoomar Baori - It was a hunting loudge of Jaipur ruler Sawai Madho Singh and Jogi Mahal - a former forest guest house from where you can view the picturesque scenery of Padam Talab.

09:15am: leisurely breakfast at Hotel Vinayak.
11:00am: return on-board. Depart for Jaipur.

Jaipur, "The City of Victory", was first intended to be "Sawai Jaipur", named after the boy Prince who commissioned it - Maharaja Jai Singh II - a warrior, astronomer and politician who reigned over the Mughals from 1699 to 1743. Today's Jaipur is pink, visually described as the city shaded with the autumn colors of a sunset.

Although originally the walls were render set and pigmented the color of red sandstone, Jaipur's universal coat of pink only came in 1876 to coincide with the visit of the Prince of Wales (King Edward VII). Almost the entire city was given a coat of pink paint, thus giving it the name "The Pink City.

1:15pm: arrive in Jaipur. Welcome by caparisoned elephants & sweet music of the auspicious 'Shehnai'.
Lunch on board.

Hawa Mahal
Hawa Mahal - Jaipur

Begin your city tour with a visit to Hawa Mahal or Palace on Winds; a remarkable five storied building a one the main street of the old city in pink splendor with semi-octagonal and delicate honey combed sandstone windows. Proceed to the awe inspiring Jantar Mantar Observatory, a stone astrological and astronomical Observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh in the 18th century. The unique Jantar Mantar Observatory, which was built in the 1700's, yet even today still looks futuristic or almost surrealistic. Continue to City Palace Museum, which has a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes, and armoury of Mughals and Rajputs including swords of different shapes and sizes with chiselled handles.

Visit Amber Fort. Make your ascent to the palace fortress on the gaily caparisoned elephant back. Tour the chambers and hallways of the palace which are famous for the excellence of their design and decoration.

6:00pm: return to train for tea & freshen up.
7:00pm: departure for night tour of Jaipur.
8:00pm: enjoy sumptuous dinner at hotel Jai Mahal Palace with cultural dance performance!
10:00pm: return on-board.
10:15pm: depart for Khajuraho.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: On Board - Train

Day 5, Thursday : Khajuraho - Varanasi

Breakfast on board.
11:00am: arrive in Khajuraho.

Khajuraho is world renowned for its temple architecture. The famous sculptures in the sandstone temples of Khajuraho are truly beautiful, executed with a joy, fluidity and lack of inhibition that is rarely to be found in modern India. They are widely acknowledged as some of the most exquisite temple art in India. The 22 temples were built by the Chandela dynasty that died out in the 10th century, are in three distinct groups - the westernmost has a nightly son et lumiere.

Afternoon visit the Western group of temples that constitutes some of the finest examples of Chandela art at its peak. The largest being the Kandhariya Mahadev dedicated to Lord Shiva, followed by a granite temple - Chaunsath Yogini.
Lunch will be on a 5 star hotel.

Post lunch, visit Eastern Group of Temples that comprise of two historic Jain temples - the Adinath Temple lavishly embellished with sculpted figures, and the Parsvanath Temple, the largest Jain temple, sculpted with charming detail.

6:30pm: leave for Varanasi.
Dinner will be on board.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: On Board - Train

Day 6, Friday : Varanasi - Agra

06:00am: arrive in Varanasi.

Varanasi Ghat
Varanasi Ghat
Varanasi is probably the place in India that has the most profound impact on visitors. Formerly known as Benares, it sits on a bend of the Ganges, and its spiritual significance comes from its status as a "crossing place", where Gods and Goddesses can descend to earth. It has been a pilgrimage site since the sixth century BC; Hindus try to visit at least once in their lifetime to pray and bathe in the holy river. The Old City, a maze of tiny alleys, has several temples, including the Golden Temple - which is only accessible to Hindus - and many cows, which have traffic priority! Breakfast on board.

Leave for city orientation tour of the city visiting the holy ghats. The ghats - hundreds of stone steps flanking the riverbank - are an incredible sight, particularly at sunrise when thousands of pilgrims bathe in the spiritually cleansing waters. Funeral pyres smoke on the riverbank, which is lined with colorful temples. The boat ride is one of the best ways witness the ceremonies. Continue to Kashi-Vishwanath Temple (also known as Golden Temple), the most sacred of all shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of the city. More than the Ghats and even the Ganga, the Shivalinga installed in the temple remains the devotional focus of Varansi. It is open only to Hindus. Next visit Bharat Mata Mandir, opened by Mahatma Gandhi and dedicated to 'Mother India'. This simple temple has a perfect relief map of India carved out of marble instead of gods and goddesses.
Lunch will be at a 5-star hotel.

Post lunch, visit Sarnath where Lord Buddha had preached his first sermon and which is now a spiritual place of mainly stupas, shrines and temples. Also visit the museum which houses a collection of valuable ancient scriptures & artifacts related to Buddhism (Sarnath museum is closed on Fridays).

Later in the evening witness a Hindu prayer ceremony "aarthi" on the Ganges River. Embark on a boat to witness the aarti for approximately 20- 30 minutes. The river banks ‘ghats’ and temples are lit with oil-lamp and candles which create a magical effect. Devotees float the oil lamps in the water as an offering to the holy river.

6:00pm: depart Agra.
Dinner will be on board.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: On Board a Train

Day 7, Saturday : Agra - Delhi

05:00am: arrive in Agra.
Agra - Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire - giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Today, a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices of red sandstone and white marble, narrow lanes and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favourite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously. A walk down the narrow bustling streets of the city will introduce the visitor to the wafting aroma of Mughlai cuisine. Breakfast on board.

Agra Fort
Agra Fort

Visit Agra Fort (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
An imposing structure with walls of red sandstone, almost two miles long and contains palaces, audience halls and mosques. The fort presents a good sampling of Islamic and Hindu architectural styles. It was built by the third Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Subsequent additions were made to the fort by his son Jahangir and grandson Shahjahan.
Lunch will be at a 5-star hotel.

Enjoy a visit to Taj Mahal (a UNESCO World heritage site). The Taj Mahal is the mausoleum of Empress Mumtaz Mahal, the beloved spouse of Shah Jahan, who died in 1630. The Taj is remarkable for its perfect proportion and rich pietra dura, with minute details executed with great skill. The building, often styled "a dream in marble" is said to have taken at least 22 years (1631-1653) to build.

6:30pm: light & sound program.
Dinner on board.
11:00pm: Depart for Delhi.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: On Board - Train

Day 8, Sunday : Arrive Delhi

04:00am: arrive at Delhi Cantt railway station.
07:00am: breakfast on board.
07:45am: disembark, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels. The memorable train journey comes to end!!!