There is no better way to experience India’s golden triangle than on-board a train, and a very special train at that! Climb aboard “India’s palace on wheels” (one of India’s most famous and luxurious hotel trains) and embark upon an enthralling journey though majestic forts, grandiose palaces and historic cities. Explore the resplendent life of the erstwhile Indian Maharajas by going on a jungle trip to see the regal Indian tiger in the wild then complete your adventure through India’s Golden Triangle on the Shatabdi Express, the fastest trains of India.
Delhi will be your starting point so be prepared for an assault on the senses. Experience the exotic smells, a cacophony of noises and a tumultuous kaleidoscope of colours in this vibrant and historic city. Packed to the brim with iconic monuments you will be spoilt for choice. Take your pick from such beauties as the India Gate, Raj Ghat, the Parliament House, Humayan’s tomb, Qutub Minar and Jama Masjib (India’s largest mosque.) You will also pass the vast Red Fort which was constructed by the Moghuls in the 17th century.
The pace doesn’t stop there as the next day you will travel by the Shatabdi Express to Kalka. There you will board a UNESCO-listed narrow-gauge Toy Train to Shimla seated in specially chartered carriages, which have a distinct heritage feel!
Whilst in Shimla (which you will explore by jeep) you will see sights such as the Viceregal Lodge, (a striking 19th century Elizabethan-style mansion) the town’s Gaiety Theater, the Victorian-Gothic Christ Church and Scandal Point.
Then it’s onto the magnificent Rajasthan, and its capital – the Pink City of Jaipur. Sightseeing includes the imposing Palace of the Winds, whose lace like façade of 953 windows enabled the ladies of the royal court to watch the drama of the streets below whilst not being seen.
Palace of the Winds
During the night the train continues west to Ranthambore National Park where you will endeavor to spot the illustrious ‘Royal Bengal Tiger’ along with leopard’s panthers, crocodiles and other native wildlife. Chittorgarh is the next stop where you will see the majestic hilltop fort, the Tower of Victory and the intricate Tower of Fame.
The Palace on Wheels then reaches Udaipur where you can feast one’s eyes upon the Lake Palace Hotel (originally the Palace of the Maharani of Udaipur.) whilst partaking in a cruise along Lake Pichola.
Lake Palace Hotel
The next day you will arrive in Jaisalmer, a fairytale walled town in the Thar Desert. Explore the narrow, twisting streets of the town centre, see beautiful merchants’ houses with intricately carved sandstone façades and enjoy a camel ride into the surrounding desert.
The train then departs for Jodhpur – known as the ‘Blue City,’ due to the hue of the houses within the old walls. See the impenetrable walls of the Mehrangarh Fort and Palace with fine sandstone carvings then visit Jaswant Thada, a white marble cenotaph.
And last but certainly not least, no visit to India would ever be complete without a trip to witness the sheer majesty of the Taj Mahal. A vision in white marble, built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653, the Taj Mahal is the world’s finest example of Mughal and Persian architecture. Finally the Agra Fort will be your last stop. This majestic red sandstone citadel is yet another iconic masterpiece.
This magnificent trip of a lifetime on board “India’s palace on wheels” is sure to leave memories that will last a lifetime!
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