Welcome aboard the Maharajas’ Express at 1400hrs . This afternoon, assemble at 1400 hours at The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Mumbai and complete your registration and check in formalities at the hotel for the Maharajas’ Express. Following which, you will proceed to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. On arrival you will board the Maharajas’ Express and will be greeted with a welcome drink.
The Maharajas’ Express departs Mumbai late evening ( 1640 hrs ) and travels from the land of the Marathas to Gujarat. Dinner and Overnight on board.
Early this morning, arrive Vadodara. After breakfast, enjoy a tour of the city’s highlights. Vadodara is a graceful city of palaces, parks, temples and museums. Begin your tour with the World Heritage site of Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, an ancient town full of ruins scattered over the foothills of Pavagadh. The Pavagadh hill is one of the oldest rock formations in India. Visit the magnificent Jami Masjid, an architectural marvel built in 1513 with tall minarets and minutely carved gates. Followed by the Kewda Masjid and the Nagina Masjid. Enjoy lunch at the ancient Jambughoda Palace and enjoy the hospitality of the feudal family who own this vintage estate. Return to the city and proceed on a visit to the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum. Enjoy ‘high tea’ at the magnificent Laxmi Vilas Palace. Designed in Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, the palace built by Maharaja Sayajirao III in 1890 is the residence of the Royal family. Return to the station and board the train for your onward journey. Dinner and Overnight on board.
Arrive Udaipur. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and get ready to spend the day exploring one of the most romantic cities in India. Udaipur is an enchanting image of white marble palaces, placid lakes and green hills. It is an oasis of colour in a stark and arid region. Begin with a visit to 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; Chini Mahal covered in ornamental tiles and the spectacular Zenana Mahal. Feel like a king as you experience the hospitality reminiscent of the days of yore and feast your taste buds over a vast spread of ‘Rajasthani’ delicacies. Proceed on a ‘Walking Tour’ through the Old Market of Udaipur. Return to the luxury of the train and look forward to another exciting journey. Dinner and Overnight on board.
After early breakfast, disembark at Jodhpur, also known as the ‘Blue City’. Enjoy an exciting off the beaten track jeep safari through the arid countryside south of Jodhpur, to the neighbouring rural village of Rohet – the fortified desert home of the descendants of the 16th century Rathore of the Champawat clan and home of the Bishnoi tribe. The Bishnois are passionate environmentalists; a community of nature worshippers in Rajasthan who participate ardently in the preservation of the black buck, an endangered species. Your Village Safari takes you into homes of the local villagers where you will witness traditional folk rituals and see village artisans at work. Continue for lunch to Rohet Garh, the ancestral home of the Rathores since 1622 AD. Post lunch, proceed to the extravagant Mehrangarh Fort. Be amazed by the intricate latticed windows, elaborately carved panels and elegantly curved porches. Tour the palaces and temples built by successive rulers, with priceless jewels and a dazzling collection of arms. Return to the train and continue your journey to glorious Bikaner. Dinner and Overnight on board. Note: The sightseeing might be split into two groups whereby Group-A will proceed on tour as per the above schedule and Group-B will undertake the tour in the reverse i.e. visit Mehrangarh Fort in the morning followed by lunch at Rohet Garh and Village Safari.
Following a leisurely breakfast, set out to explore the desert kingdom of Bikaner. The medieval city of Bikaner was once a major centre in the crossdesert caravan trade. Start your tour by visiting the Junagarh Fort, an unassailable fortress built in 1593 AD by Raja Rai Singh. While the fort is a formidable structure encircled by a moat, its real beauty lies inside. Be overwhelmed by the Diwan-i-Khas, Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Hawa Mahal, Badal Mahal and Anup Mahal. The Fort Museum is fascinating and adorned with over the-top costumes and jewellery. Continue for an extravagant lunch to a majestic palace sprawled like an oasis in the midst of the desert region. In the late afternoon get an up close glimpse into rural India as you are escorted through the surrounding village. Experience the royal pageantry as a convoy of decorated canopied camel carts accompanied by musicians takes you for a Sundowner in the Sand Dunes. Enjoy champagne as traditional folk artists like the Langaas and Kalbeliyas mesmerise you with typical Rajasthani folk tunes and dances. Return to your train and enjoy a sumptuous meal on board. Dinner and Overnight on board.
Today, you will arrive into the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur. The capital city of Jaipur is truly a pristine jewel in the crown of the desert state of Rajasthan. Built by Raja Jai Singh in the 18th century, Jaipur is renowned for its magnificent palaces, forts and temples. Your tour of Jaipur begins with a visit to Amber Fort. Situated on a ridge just outside Jaipur city, this fort palace is surrounded by fortified battlements overlooking the Moat Lake. A short jeep ride takes you up to the fort where you will enjoy a tour of the royal apartments, with striking views of the gorge. Step back into the Mughal era as you enter the Chamber of Mirrors (Sheesh Mahal), and the Hall of Victory. Continue by jeep to the romantic hamlet of Kukas for a unique and enthralling experience – an Exhibition Elephant Polo Match. Your arrival will be accompanied by the royal military band and the beating of ‘Nagadas’ (huge Indian drums). You have the option to watch or participate in an exhibition game. After the match, enjoy a champagne lunch. Following lunch, indulge in some retail therapy as you visit the bustling markets of Jaipur. You will have the opportunity to shop for handicrafts, antiques, jewellery, pottery, carpets, textiles, metalwork and leatherwork. Return to the comfort of the train and get ready for a thrilling ride into the wild. Dinner and Overnight on board.
On arrival in Sawai Madhopur, get ready for a jeep safari to the Ranthambore National Park. Originally the private hunting ground of the Maharajas, Ranthambore was declared a National Park in 1973. It is famous for its open sightings of tigers, sambar, chital, nilgai, chinkara, wild boar, sloth bear, hyena, jackal and leopard. Return to the train for a hearty brunch, following which, you arrive into Agra. Agra, the jewel of India, is home to one of the world’s great architectural wonders – the Taj Mahal. With its spectacular monumental masterpieces and picturesque natural setting, Agra is a legendary city glorified by time. Proceed to the Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565, it overlooks the Taj Mahal and Yamuna River. The maze of courtyards and lavish private chambers reflect the grandeur of the Mughal Empire. Visit the Diwan-e-aam (House of Commons), and royal pavilions like the Macchi Bhavan and the Shah Jahani Mahal. Wander through lavishly decorated halls, courtyards and alcoves glimpsing the Taj Mahal in the distance. Enjoy shopping at Agra, famous for its marble and soapstone inlay. Rejoin the train for your final night on board. Dinner and Overnight on board.
Rise early to witness the magic of sunrise at the world famous Taj Mahal. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was built by Shah Jehan as a mausoleum for his favourite queen Mumtaz. This incomparable marvel is constructed entirely out of white marble and is an architectural masterpiece with beautiful inlay work and marble screens. Approximately 20,000 of India’s most revered craftsmen were recruited to give shape to this poetry in marble. Continue for a romantic Champagne Breakfast on the lush green lawns of Taj Khema, overlooking the Taj Mahal. Be welcomed by colorfully attired dancers and musicians who escort you to the gardens. Following breakfast, return to the train and continue your journey to Delhi. Bid farewell to the Maharajas’ Express and discover imperial Delhi. Savour scrumptious delights over dinner, as your ‘Princely India’ journey comes to an end. The royal journey is over, but the memory will live on forever!