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Maharaja Express - Royal India

Duration: 07 Days/ 06 Nights
Destinations covered: Delhi - Agra - Ranthambore - Jaipur - Bikaner - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Vadodara - Mumbai

India Gate, Delhi

Day 01 / Sunday: Board the Maharajas' Express in Delhi – Onto Agra
Welcome aboard the Maharajas' Express.

The epic journey kicks off at the Safardjung Railway station. On arrival, proceed towards the Maharajas' Express and complete the pre-boarding formalities as you enjoy a welcome drink.

The Maharajas' Express departs Delhi this morning to Agra.

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on board. On arrival in Agra, enjoy a tour of the spectacular monuments of the city.
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.

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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.

Imagine dining outdoors on a hillock overlooking the magnificent Taj Mahal. On the lush green lawns of the Taj Khema is a tableland overlooking the Taj Mahal where colourful 'khemas' (decorated tents) are set up for a romantic Champagne Lunch. You will be welcomed by a procession of colourfully attired dancers who entice you to join them in their whirling melee as they escort you to the gardens. Musicians will entertain you with traditional melodies, adding to the magnificence of the venue.

Continue on a visit to the world famous Taj Mahal, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan as the mausoleum for his favourite queen Mumtaz Mahal. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this incomparable marvel is constructed entirely out of white marble and is an architectural masterpiece with beautiful inlay work and marble screens. The construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1631 and ended by 1653. Approximately 20,000 of India's most revered craftsmen were recruited to give shape to this poetry in marble.
Enjoy some free time for shopping. Agra is famous for its marble and soapstone inlay work, as well as embroidered fabrics, leather goods, brassware, carpets and jewellery.

Return to the comfort of the train and get ready for a thrilling ride into the wild.
Dinner and Overnight on board.

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Ranthambhore National Park

Day 02 / Monday: Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambore) – Jaipur
On arrival in Sawai Madhopur, get ready for an exciting jeep safari to the 'Ranthambore National Park'. The park encompasses nearly 400 square kilometres of dry, deciduous forest. The park derives its name from the huge 1000 year old Rajput fortress of Ranthambore which sits 215 m high in the forest and is a must visit. Originally the private hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur, Ranthambore was declared a National Park in 1973. The Park is famous for its open sightings of tigers, sambar, chital, nilgai, chinkara, wild boar, sloth bear, hyena, jackal and leopard. It is also every bird watcher's paradise.

Return to the train for a hearty brunch; relax and unwind as your journey continues to Jaipur.

Nestled in the rugged Aravali Hills, the picturesque capital city of Jaipur is the pristine jewel in the crown of the desert state of Rajasthan. Built by Raja Jai Singh in the 18th century, it is surrounded by rugged hills and dotted by magnificent palaces, massive forts and exquisite temples. Ambling camels and brightly dressed locals reflect Jaipur's desert heritage, while the swarming markets display a profusion of handlooms and crafts. Enjoy your visit to this city of love, legends and lore.

Indulge in a bit of retail therapy as you visit the bustling markets of Jaipur. Being every shopper's paradise, Jaipur is the perfect place to shop for handicrafts, antiques, jewellery, pottery, carpets, textiles, metalwork and leatherwork.

Continue to visit the fabulous 'Amber Fort', situated on a ridge just outside Jaipur city. This hilltop castle is surrounded by fortified battlements and overlooks the Moat Lake. A short jeep ride takes you up to the hilltop. Once inside you can enjoy a tour of the royal apartments, which open on to striking views of the gorge. Step back into the Mughal era as you enter the Chamber of Mirrors (Sheesh Mahal), Zenana (women's quarters) and the Hall of Victory.

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Carry on by jeep to the romantic hamlet of Kukas situated amidst the Aravali hills for a unique and enthralling experience – an Exhibition Elephant Polo Match with Champagne and Dinner. In the land of Maharajas', the game of Elephant Polo was one of the ultimate royal experiences. As in yesteryears, the arrival of the guests is accompanied by the royal military band and the beating of 'Nagadas' (huge Indian drums). Horses and camels add to the royal welcome, before the start of the game. You will have the option to watch or alternatively participate in an exhibition game. Guests are divided into two teams of three each. To add to the ambience, the players wear distinctively colored turbans that identify the teams. Each 'chukkar' (round) lasts for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. After the match, enjoy a sumptuous dinner.

Return to the station and board the train for your onward journey.
Overnight on board.

Camel Safari, Bikaner

Day 03 / Tuesday: Bikaner
Early this morning, you will arrive into Bikaner.

Following a leisurely breakfast, set out to explore the desert kingdom of Bikaner.

North of Rajasthan, the medieval city of Bikaner was once a major centre in the cross-desert caravan trade. Popularly known as the camel country, the city is renowned for the best riding camels in the world. Bikaner's forts, palaces and temples are splendid creations made in red and yellow sandstone and are living reflections of its rich historical and architectural legacy.

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Your excursion starts off by visiting Junagarh Fort, an unassailable fortress which has never been conquered. Built in 1593 A.D. by Raja Rai Singh, the fort is a formidable structure encircled by a moat. But the real beauty of this fort lies inside. Be overwhelmed by the Diwan-i-Khas, the Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), which is decorated with paintings and carved marble panels, the Hawa Mahal, the Badal Mahal and the 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, embark upon an experience of a lifetime! 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.

Rejoin the train and continue your journey to Jodhpur.
Dinner and Overnight on board.

Day 04 / Wednesday: Jodhpur
After a decadent early breakfast, disembark at Jodhpur, also known as the 'Blue City'.

Jodhpur, the erstwhile ancient capital of Marwar, is situated on the edge of the Thar Desert, set like a jewel amidst the golden sands of the barren desert. It is a perfect starting point for exploring the other wonders of the Thar Desert. Famous for its magnificent forts and palaces reflecting the architectural splendors of the Rajput era, the city is home to the finest Rajput buildings. They include the Mehrangarh Fort; Jaswant Thada and the charming Umaid Bhawan Palace.

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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. Now a leading Heritage Hotel, the sprawling lawns and manicured gardens invite a multitude of birds and dancing peacocks making it a haven of absolute peace and tranquillity. Its serene environs have inspired and drawn writers and celebrities from around the world.

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 Udaipur.
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.

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Boat Ride at Udaipur Lake

Day 05 / Thursday Udaipur
Wake to the magnificent scenery of the Aravali Hills as you arrive into Udaipur. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and get ready to spend the day exploring one of the most romantic cities in India.

Renowned as the Venice of the East, 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. Picturesque havelis, ghats and temples along Lake Pichola and the lively bazaars make Udaipur one of India's greatest destinations.

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.
Following lunch, proceed on a 'Walking Tour' through the Old Market of Udaipur. Browse through the shops selling exquisitely embroidered and printed fabrics, jewellery, paintings and carved wood artefacts and other local crafts.

Return to the luxury of the train and look forward to another exciting journey.
Dinner and Overnight on board.

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Day 06 / Friday Vadodara
Early this morning, you will arrive into Vadodara. Relish a sumptuous breakfast, following which, you will disembark and enjoy a tour of the city highlights.

Vadodara is a graceful city of palaces, parks, temples and museums and considered by many as the de facto cultural capital of Gujarat. Once the capital of the Gaekwads, the former rulers of Vadodara, it is also known as Baroda and rises from the banks of River Vishwamitri.

Begin your tour with a visit to 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.

For a sumptuous lunch, travel back more than a century to 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. A must for every art lover, it exhibits a royal collection of work by the important 19th century painter Raja Ravi Verma. It also displays 19th and 20th centuries European paintings of old masters like Raphael, Titian and Murillo.

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. Witness the grandeur of its ornate Durbar Hall, the Venetian mosaic floor, Belgium stained glass windows and sculptures of bronze and marble by Fellici.
Return to the station and board the train for your onward journey.
Dinner and Overnight on board.

Day 07 / Saturday: Disembark in Mumbai
Early this morning, after breakfast, you will disembark in the financial capital city of Mumbai. Bid farewell to the Maharajas' Express and proceed on a tour unraveling the mysteries of this metropolis. Feast your taste buds over a scrumptious lunch as your 'Royal India' journey comes to an end. The royal journey is over, but the memory of which, will live on forever!

Our tour concludes: Caper assists you with your transfer to the airport for boarding onward flight,
thanks you for your patronage and looks forward to serving you again in the near future.

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