Tailor-made Tour 9 days from £8745 per person

tour enquiry

  Places Visited: Delhi, Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra, Orchha, Khajuraho, Sarnath, Varanasi

The crème de la crème of Maharajas' Express train journeys is our favourite as it touches all the culturally and historically significant places of north India.

Designed to recreate the elegance and opulent style of the Indian Maharajas, The Maharajas Express Luxury Trains are suffused with nostalgia, be it in its décor, white-glove service, gourmet food or the lavish amenities that blend discreetly with modern comforts sought by discerning travellers. So, if you are ready to explore India at its best, join us on board these luxurious trains, winner of the 'World's Leading Luxury Train Award’ for seven consecutive years running and 'Asia’s Leading Luxury Train Award'.

Facilities include spacious guest cabins, which are appointed with private en-suite shower rooms, independently controlled air-conditioning, WiFi, direct dial telephone, writing desk, live television, electronic safe, and ample storage space to accommodate your wardrobe for the entire journey. Services go on to include a spa carriage with personalised treatments, and there's even a laundry service. The larger suites additionally offer a bathtub, while the Presidential Suite, which occupies an entire carriage, has two double bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an independent living area with a complimentary bar.

The real luxury, of course, is the 24-hour private butler service that comes with every cabin to ensure your every comfort. Gourmet meals are freshly prepared on board by celebrated chefs using the impressive onboard larders and fresh ingredients sourced en route and served in its two restaurants with complimentary house wines and beers.  The paid wine cellar and bar also deserve close scrutiny! You’re not short of entertainment either, with a cocktail hour each evening and a club lounge equipped with a library, electronic games, DVDs, etc.

Local specialist guides conduct sightseeing excursions in the places visited, but if you want to relax at a spa or do a spot of shopping, that too can be arranged.

 

Holiday Types

Cultural Holidays Wildlife Holidays River Cruising Holidays Luxury Train Holidays Family Holidays Honeymoons Beach Holidays Adventure Holidays

 

Suggested itinerary

Day 1
Delhi

On arrival at New Delhi Airport, you will be met and escorted to your luxurious hotel in the heart of New Delhi. Depending on the international flight chosen, you may have the remainder of the day or night at leisure time to relax and adjust to your new time zone.

Delhi, India’s capital, is a compelling mix of the ancient and modern. It holds the vestiges of at least seven great centres, with crumbling Afghan mausolea adorning traffic roundabouts; millennia-old fort walls stand next to eight-lane expressways; and Sufi shrines the huddle beside concrete flyovers.

More amazing still is the fact that so many cultural transmissions from Delhi’s past eras endure. Five-star hotels host recitals by ghazal singers, sarod players and kathak dancers whose arts have been painstakingly preserved since the days of the Mughals. Echoes of the British Raj abound, too, from the 1930s elegance of the Imperial Hotel to the uniforms of the sentries strutting down Raj Path.

The most evocative place to get one’s bearings has to be the Jama Masjid, the magnificent sandstone and white-marble ‘Friday Mosque’ constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in Old Delhi. Climb one of its minarets for a matchless view over the surrounding roofscape to the ramparts of the Red Fort, where the Mughals held court in a hidden world of cusp-arched pavilions and pillared audience halls. You may want to make the most of the city’s clean, efficient metro to travel across town to the National Museum, with its priceless collection of antiquities, or go onto Delhi’s southern fringes, where the exquisitely carved Qutub Minar has dominated the skyline since 1202 AD.

Accommodation Options

Day 2
Delhi - Jaipur

This morning you will be escorted from your Delhi hotel to the Railway Station, where you will be welcomed onboard the Maharajas Express to a music, song and dance fanfare. After settling in, the train departs for the Pink City of Jaipur. Arrive in Jaipur whilst enjoying lunch onboard, before being driven to the outskirts of Jaipur to the ancient capital of Amber to explore the fabulous Amber Fort, a sprawling complex of courtyards and halls perched high up at a vantage point on a hillock. Overnight on board the train for your first night in your beautiful cabin.

Following an early breakfast at your hotel, you will be collected from your hotel at 7 am and escorted to Safdarung Railways station, where you will be welcomed onboard the Maharajas Express to a fanfare of music, song and dance. After settling in, the train departs at 8:30 for the Pink City of Jaipur.

Lunch will be served on board in the elegant restaurants before arrival in The Pink City of Jaipur shortly after 3 pm, where you proceed for an escorted tour of the walled city of Jaipur, founded in 1727 by Sawai Jai Singh II. 

Rising from a craggy escarpment to the north of the city, Amber is the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of Rajput fortress palaces, enclosing a wonderland of sumptuously decorated halls, pavilions, ornamental entranceways and gardens, all enlivened by intricate mirrorwork and mosaic. Built in red sandstone and white marble by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by Mirja Raja Jai Singh, the rugged, forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise with a beautiful fusion of art and architecture.

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. Before leaving the Fort, our guide will help you explore the village below the fort, where an ancient, beautiful old stepwell offers a worthwhile detour or the nearby stands Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, where you can admire fine antique fabrics and watch block printers in action.

Accommodation Options

Day 3
Jaipur

After a sumptuous breakfast, spend the morning visiting the City Palace Galleries. Return to the train for lunch onboard and spend the afternoon either relaxing onboard or choose one of the optional excursions on offer. End the day with dinner at one of its most iconic landmark hotel, Rambagh Palace. Overnight on board the train.

One of India's earliest examples of planned cities in India, Jaipur's wide Avenues and sheltered walkways were designed to facilitate ease of living, movement and commerce.  Your visit will include The City Palace with its beautiful halls and galleries, including the iconic Palace of Winds, and admire some of its most precious collections of historical arms, silver coins, elegant textiles, and other glorious antiquities.  

The day ends with a sumptuous dinner at the world-famous Rambagh Palace Hotel. Built in 1835, the place remained the official residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur until 1957, when it was converted into a luxury hotel. Even today, it retains much of its original royal splendour and showcases the living style of the Maharaja at its most elegant.

Accommodation Options

Day 4
Ranthambore National Park, Fatehpur Sikri

This morning your butler will awaken you with tea and toast before you head out for an early morning game drive into the Ranthambore National Park. The first of India's many National Parks and an outstanding example of conservation aiming to protect the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger. You return to the train for a much-needed breakfast on board as the train hurtles toward your next excursion, the remarkable abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri. Your dinner will be on board the train as you arrive into Agra.

Ranthambore National Park was created in the 1970s to spearhead 'The Save the Tiger Project' and remains a shining example of conservation. As a result of this and several subsequent National Parks, India's Tiger population in the wild has grown from under 1,000 in 1970 to over 4,500 today.   

The park lies on the margins of the Aravalli range of hills amid a tract of dry deciduous forests and grassland and offers the perfect terrain for these magnificent animals. Close to the park entrance sits a long flight of stone steps that winds up to the ramparts of a medieval fort, affording fine views over the reserve and its much-photographed lake. On your search for the Tiger, you will also get to see several other animals, including Sambar deer, Chital, Hyena and wild Boar and the elusive Nilgai, a blue-hued cow.  Around eighty Tigers currently survive in reserve, and your chances of spotting one here are better than average.

On return to the train, you enjoy a sumptuous breakfast as the train travels towards Emperor Akbar's spectacular former capital, which he abandoned shortly after, as local wells ran dry.  It remains beautifully preserved, in much the same condition that it was over 300 years ago.

 

 

Accommodation Options

Day 5
Agra

This morning your butler will awaken you with tea and toast before you head out to visit The Taj Mahal at sunrise. One of the world's great architectural wonders and the Jewel of India, and among the first to be awarded the UNESCO World Heritage status. You will have breakfast locally at a rooftop restaurant overlooking The Taj Mahal before returning to the train for an afternoon at leisure, or choose from one of the optional activities on offer. You may wish to consider a spa or beauty treatment on board before dinner or spend time socialising in the bar.

Today's early morning visit focuses on the Taj Mahal, the Jewel of India and one of the world's great architectural wonders.  Among the first to be awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, the mausoleum was built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal, the beloved wife of Emperor Shah Jahan in 1632. Crafted entirely of white marble and decorated in elaborate geometric forms, screens cut out of solid marble and delicate pietre dure inlay work showcasing elaborate plants, flowers and fruit, so admired by the Empress, the Taj Mahal is so perfect in its geometry and artistically accomplished that it took 22 years and over 20,000 craftsmen to complete.

You will have plenty of time at the Taj Mahal before heading for breakfast at a nearby rooftop restaurant from where you can continue gazing at its magnificence. 

Later, you return to the train for lunch and an afternoon at leisure to gaze at the countryside, read or choose from an array of optional onboard activities as the train heads for Central India.

You may wish to consider a Spa or beauty treatment on board before dinner or spend time socialising in the bar. Overnight, I will be on board the train.

Accommodation Options

Day 6
Orchha, Khajuraho

The train arrives in Orchha, a small and sleepy little town on the banks of the Betwa River with a collection of UNESCO-listed palaces, a fort, and fascinating temples. Head out early to visit Orchha Fort and take a village tour by tuk-tuk. Re-board the train and enjoy a relaxed breakfast as the train continues to Khajuraho to visit the famous 950 AD magnificent temples of exceptional stone construction and sensuous erotic carvings that adorn the exterior walls. You later have a choice of activities before returning to the train for dinner.

Often considered the unexpected highlight of the tour, Orchha is little more than a sleepy town on the banks of the Betwa River, but it once served as the capital of the Bundela Dynasty, which has left a superb collection of architectural delights in the form of deserted palaces, temples, havelis and cenotaphs. The defining landmark, however, is a line of huge chhatris, or memorial shrines, whose great towers soar in a line along the riverbank, and a wander around Orchha can feel like a genuine walk into the past.

You disembark at Orchha at 7 am and take a short Tuk Tuk ride into the hinterland to experience village life before proceeding to the 16th-century Orchha Fort. You return to the train for a relaxed breakfast as it continues its journey to Khajuraho.

On arrival, you tour the magnificent temples of Khajuraho, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its architecture, exquisite sensual carvings and engravings depicting the Kamasutra and the full range of human emotions and relationships. The temples were built between 950 and 1050 AD in a truly inspired burst of creativity.

You can choose optional activities in the evening, from a dance performance at the nearby Kandariya Shilpgram Academy to enjoy the Spa and pool facilities at a Hotel or the Sound and Light Show at the temple complex. These can be pre-booked on board the train. You dine and overnight onboard the train.

Accommodation Options

Day 7
Varanasi , Sarnath

You'll enjoy a more leisurely breakfast on board the train this morning whilst watching the countryside go by. Arrive in Varanasi mid-morning and proceed for lunch at the Taj Ganges Hotel. Visit Sarnath where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon to preach his message on the path to nirvana following his enlightenment, and an artisanal silk weaving centre. Later in the evening, there will be an opportunity to cruise the holy water of the Ganges to watch the evening arti on the Ghats leading down to the water. You return to the train for dinner.

You'll enjoy a more leisurely breakfast on board the train before arriving in to Varanasi, the holiest of Hinduism’s seven sacred cities. Standing on the banks of the Ganges, this is one the oldest cities in the world, with traces of habitation, have been unearthed dating back to around 1,200 BC. Countless pilgrims travel to Varanasi for a dip in the holy waters of the Ganges and pray in the numerous shrines that line the waterfront for redemption and liberation from the cycle of rebirth. Rituals begin before dawn and continue through the day to a crescendo in the evening with a spectacular prayer with Chanting, drumming and the ringing of temple bells.

Visit Sarnath, where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon to preach his message on the path to nirvana following his enlightenment. Modern-day Sarnath is a green and peaceful place where you will find ancient Buddhist ruins, monasteries, and an excellent museum with some of the most haunting carvings of the Buddha.

You return to the train for your last dinner and night on board.

Accommodation Options

Day 8
Delhi

Following breakfast on board, it will be time to pack in readiness for your arrival at Delhi's Safdarjung Railways Station around midday. You will be collected from the station and taken to your hotel for the night. The remainder of the day will be at leisure. Overnight in Delhi

Back in pre-colonial times it was common for Delhi’s Mughal aristocrats and wealthy merchants to host recitals of Urdu poetry, music and dance in the courtyards of their mansions, or ‘havelis’. You can sample the magic of these bygone ‘mehfils’ at a beautifully restored heritage hotel called Dharampura Haveli in the lanes of Old Delhi, where performances of traditional Kathak are staged three nights each week by dancers in swirling pleated skirts and glittering jewellery. Watch the show over a candle-lit meal in the groundfloor restaurant, or from one of the balconies above – a magical experience.

Accommodation Options

Day 9
Delhi - UK

Today you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the international airport for your return flight to the UK

Accommodation Options

Tailor-made Tour 9 days from £8745 per person


What's included


✓   7 nights’ luxury accommodation aboard the Maharaja's Express and two nights at a five-star hotel in Delhi
✓   All internal transportation and transfers in private chauffeur driven vehicles
✓   English-speaking guides
✓   Entrance fees to sites and monuments listed in tour itinerary

✓  Meal Plan: Full Board a la carte service onboard the train and Bed & Breakfast in Delhi

✓   International Flights: We will be happy to organise international flights departing Heathrow, in economy or business class at a supplementary cost. Flight duration 8 hours.

Places and Experiences in this tour

Similar Tours

Hari

Alex

Agomoni

Plan your Next Adventure

With the Summer almost upon us, now is the time to begin planning your next summer adventures in Asia. Our Travel Specialists are ready to take your call and discuss the adventure you have been dreaming of.

Make an enquiry

Or call us on 0208 566 3739

TransIndus Brochures 2024-25

Order Brochures