Day 1 (Sunday): Delhi – The Royal Rajasthan On Wheels Welcome to India, or as we say ‘atithi devo bhava’ (the guest is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!
This evening he journey of a lifetime begins at the Delhi Safdarjung Railway station for a week-long luxury cruise through fascinating Rajasthan
Overnight aboard The Royal Rajasthan On Wheels (D)
Day 2 (Monday): JaipurWelcome to the most colorful city of Rajasthan – Jajipur.
We shall visit the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, a five-storied structure of pink sandstone with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down unseen by the world through its 593 stone screens.
This morning we visit Amber Fort, the former capital of the royal Jaipurs. Few fail to be moved by the dramatic Rajput grandeur of this hilltop fortress-palace 11 km north of Jaipur. Set on the dry wrinkled Aravali Hills, and surrounded by fortified battlements, the palace straddles two sepia-hued tundra hills overlooking Maota Lake, and its sprawling crenellated walls lattice the surrounding hills.
We will ride up to this hilltop palace on a caparisoned, painted elephant, passing through the ancient main gate where Maharajas of Jaipur have entered for four hundred years. Our guide will elaborate on the history of this architectural masterpiece with its mirror-studded alcoves, dazzling mosaics and water-cooled swings that delight today’s visitors as they did their former royal residents.
Following lunch, a tour Of City Palace & Observatory. The City Palace in the heart of the old city is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The centre of the palace is a seven storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine vies over the gardens and the city. The palace lies in the heart of the city and occupies the whole central grid. The fortified wall has seven gates and was built for protection from invading armies and animals that lived in jungles which surrounded the wall that time. Next, we visit the Solar Observatory - an astronomical treasure house, with solar device that give accurate predictions till date. The Palace Of Winds, a five-storied structure of pink sandstone has semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city.
Day 3 (Tuesday): JaisalmerThis morning, we visit the residential portions of the fort where one third of the population of the old city lives. The design of houses remains, as they were a couple of century’s back and so are the lifestyle of people occupying them. This is because most of the families continue to work for generations for the rural (though only titular now) hence there is a sense of continuity. The houses are arranged in narrow lanes and have small windows from where the shy child or the girl peeps. This is the city believed to be the home of the most handsome men and women in Rajasthan.
Day 6 (Friday): Udaipur Welcome to Udaipur, the famed “City of sunrise”. Founded in 1567 by Maharana Udai Singh, from the lineage of the legendary Sisodias of Mewar - the decedents of the sun God. A city where the sun truly never set, where tradition and a strict code of heroism were happily united with a love of fine living. A city that has come to be an oasis of romance in the warrior state of Rajasthan
After a leisurely lunch at a deluxe hotel, we proceed on a tour of this "Lake City". Udaipur is a cool oasis in the dry heart of Rajasthan. It is probably the most romantic city in a state where every city has some romantic or exotic tale to tell. The huge city palace towering over the Lake Pichola is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Though it is a conglomeration of buildings built by successive rulers, it manages to retain a surprising uniformity of design and affords very fine view of the lake and the city from the upper terraces. The Jagadish temple next to the city palace enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu and his vehicle- a mighty bird called garuda - in a brass image. The temple is a very fine example of Indo-Aryan Art.
Overnight aboard The Royal Rajasthan On Wheels (B, L, D)
Day 7 (Saturday): Bharatpur & AgraEarly this morning we arrive at Bharatpur. We will visit the 29-square kilometer Keoladeo Ghana National Park, which is one of the world’s most famous and interesting wetland areas. A haven for winter migrants and an important rookery for summer breeders, the range of bird activity is stunning. Among the approximately 385 species found here are waterfowl, waders, birds of prey, owls, woodpeckers, flycatchers, minivets, shrikes and babblers to name just a very few. The birdwatching can be done in boats, on cycle rickshaws, or by foot in the sanctuary.
Following lunch, we would proceed to visit the Taj Mahal, perhaps the most photographed monument in the world. However, there is a degree of enigma about the Taj. Once you hear about a building so much and once you see so many pictures of a building your expectations are real high; and this is the enigma about the Taj Mahal. No matter how many pictures you have seen or no matter how high your expectations are the Taj never lets you down - the unparalleled glory and beauty of the building surpasses beyond all human imaginations. At sun set we visit the Taj Mahal to witness this spectacular monument built for love. Besides perfect symmetry in every aspect of its construction, the inlay work of semi precious stones into marble in pietra dura style is absolutely remarkable.
Overnight aboard The Royal Rajasthan On Wheels (B, L, D)
Day 8 (Sunday): Delhi / Depart This morning, we arrive at Delhi Safdarjung Railway station. Following breakfast we will bid goodbye to our train and will take the pleasant memories of the past week with us.
Day 4 (Wednesday): JodhpurAfter a leisurely breakfast we proceed on a guided tour of Jodhpur. Our tour includes the massive fort. In olden days this must have been impregnable since its rocky base is scraped straight down making it nearly impossible to ascend. Once inside, royal palaces abound with fascinating history and priceless jewels, on to the armoury and Jaswant Tara - the Royal Crematorium.
Rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Jodhpur is a veritable shopper's paradise with entire streets and localities in the walled city devoted to single commodities. The city is famous for bandhani and lahariya, block printed textiles, silver jewellery, antique furniture, wood and metal handicrafts. Carpets and durries can be found on the Umaid Bhawan Palace road. Jodhpur is home to many talented and skilled craftsmen like textile dyers, metal engravers and die-makers and probably the last of the tailors of the classic Jodhpur breeches
Day 5 (Thursday): Ranthambore & ChittaurgarhThis morning arrive at Ranthambore, easily accessible, this popular park is one of India's best places for viewing tigers and their prey.
This morning we will enjoy our excursion to the Jungle in open top vehicle. Ranthambhore is known to have India's Friendliest tigers Assured of protection; these nocturnal creatures are seen often in the day. Sprawled on the Aravalli and Vindhya ranges of Rajasthan, Ranthambhore National Park encompasses an area of 410 Sq. km. in which lives a healthy population of about 40 tigers. A large number of deer inhabit the area and leopards are occasionally sighted. The Pandam Taloa lake, located adjacent to the Jogi Mahal hunting lodge, is the park's favorite water source. Smaller pools at Raj Bagh and Milak also attract a variety of wild life The best way to explore Ranthambore is in open top vans as the park is well connected by arterial roads and tracks. Some of the popular sighting areas are Nal Ghati , Lahpur , ,Bakuala , Anantpur and the Kachida valley . Mammals: Tiger, Panther, Hyena, Jackal, Jungle Cat, Caracal, Sloth Bear, Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Chinkara, Indian hare mongoose. Birds: Bonelli's eagle, crested serpent eagle, great Indian horned owl, grey partridge sandgrouse, quail, spurfowl, common peafowl, tree pie, paradise flycatcher, pheasant tailed jacana, painted stork, black stork, spoonbill, green pigeon, ducks. We will return to our train, and, continue our journey. Following lunch on board, we will reach Chittaurgarh for our visit. The main tourist attraction of the town of Chittorgarh is its fort, which is located on a steep hill beside the modern township. A zigzag ascent of about 1 km through seven gates leads the tourist to its main western gate or Rampol. On the way, one can see two chhatris or memorials of Jaimal and Kalla marking the spots where they fell while defending the fort during the siege of 1568. The main gate on the eastern side of the fort is known as the Surajpol. Though most of the monuments in the fort are in ruins, yet they reflect the glory of its great rulers.