India’s Famous Hotel Train Adventure

The renowned Palace on Wheels train invites you onboard to witness the remarkable Rajput state of Rajasthan. Along the way, discover desert forts, historic cities and ornate palaces and perhaps glimpse a tiger or two in Ranthambore National Park, all from the comfort of one of the world’s great trains.

15 Days from £4,895 per person


  • Delhi including a sightseeing tour
  • Toy Train rail journey and The Palace on Wheels
  • Shimla and the Shivalik Himalaya
  • Jaipur, the Palace of the Winds and Amber Fort
  • Tiger ‘safari’ in Ranthambore National Park and Chittorgarh Fort
  • Udaipur and Lake Pichola
  • Jaisalmer including a guided tour
  • Jodhpur including a guided tour
  • Agra’s Red Fort
  • The Taj Mahal

  • Scheduled return flights in Economy Class from London Heathrow to Delhi
  • Rail travel in India (Executive Chair Class Delhi to Kalka, Shivalik and Heritage classes on the Toy Train)
  • 6 nights’ hotel accommodation with breakfast each day
  • 7 nights’ on the Palace on Wheels train in twin-bed sleepers (all meals and excursions included)
  • 9 lunches and 1 packed lunch, 11 dinners and 1 packed dinner
  • Sightseeing tours of Delhi, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodphur and Shimla
  • Visit to the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and Bharatpur Bird Reserve
  • Cruise on Udaipur’s lake, visit to the Taj Mahal and a journey on the UNESCO World Heritage Toy Train
  • Transfers in India
  • Porterage is included throughout your holiday in India. As soon as you arrive in India, there will rarely be an occasion where you will need to handle your suitcases. At railway stations porters will take your luggage from the coach to the train prior to departure. They will also take your luggage from the train to the coach on arrival at your destination. At hotels, porters will ensure your luggage is taken from the coach to your room on arrival, and from your room to the coach on departure
  • Flight taxes and charges
  • Off-train tipping – tipping of staff on the Palace on Wheels is at your discretion
  • The services of a professional British Tour Manager throughout

Days 1 & 2

Fly to Delhi

We depart London Heathrow for our overnight flight to the Indian capital, Delhi. On arrival in the late-morning of Day 2, we transfer to the 5-star Claridges Hotel for a two-night stay, in the heart of New Delhi close to diplomatic missions, shops and historical landmarks.


Day 2 – Dinner
Scheduled flights

Day 3

Sightseeing in Delhi

Today is devoted to a fascinating sightseeing tour covering the ancient streets, temples and colourful markets of Old Delhi as well as the leafy avenues and colonial architecture of New Delhi. Our tour includes India Gate, Raj Ghat, the Parliament House, Humayan’s tomb and Qutub Minar. We also visit Jama Masjib, India’s largest mosque, and pass the imposing Red Fort, constructed by the Moghuls in the 17th century.


Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tour of Delhi

Day 4

The Toy Train to Shimla

We leave Delhi on the Shatabdi Express for the train journey to Kalka. Here we change for the narrow-gauge Toy Train, recently awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, which takes us on a wonderful journey into the Shivalik mountain range to Shimla at over 7,000 feet (2,134m). We travel on a special charter train in exclusive Shivalik and Heritage carriages. Shimla was chosen by the British as their retreat from the summer heat, and not only is the main street called the Mall, but many of the buildings in the town are very British in style. We spend three nights at the fabulous 5-star Oberoi Cecil Hotel.


Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Toy Train to Shimla

Days 5 & 6


On Day 5 we explore Shimla by jeep and see sights such as the Viceregal Lodge, a striking 19th century Elizabethan-style mansion. After lunch, we take a leisurely stroll along the Mall to the town’s Gaiety Theatre, the Victorian-Gothic Christ Church and Scandal Point. A jeep is available if you would prefer not to walk during the afternoon. Day 6 is free for you to explore Shimla at your leisure.


Day 5 – Breakfast, lunch
Day 5 – Tour of Shimla
Day 6 – Breakfast, dinner

Day 7

Return to Delhi

We leave Shimla in the morning by Toy Train in heritage carriages, for the journey back down the mountains through stunning scenery to Kalka. Here we join the Shatabdi Express to Delhi, where we spend another night at The Claridges Hotel.


Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Toy Train to Delhi

Day 8

Delhi and the Palace on Wheels

Today you are free in Delhi until mid-afternoon, when we transfer to our hotel train, the Palace on Wheels, for an enchanting journey through the bygone eras of the Maharajas. We have time to settle into our comfortable cabins before we enjoy dinner together in the restaurant car as the train heads into the night.


Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Palace on Wheels

Day 9


Our first stop is the capital of Rajasthan, the Pink City of Jaipur. Sightseeing includes the imposing Palace of the Winds, whose ornate façade once enabled the ladies of the royal court to observe life in the street below whilst remaining in “purdah”. We also visit the magnificent Amber Fort, one of three hilltop forts, and enjoy lunch in the Palace Hotel. During the night the train continues west


Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tour of Jaipur
Amber Fort

Day 10

Tigers and Chittorgarh

We leave the train to visit the Ranthambore National Park, to spot tigers, leopards and other native wildlife before we head to Chittorgarh to see the majestic hilltop fort, the Tower of Victory and the intricate Tower of Fame.


Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ranthambore National Park
Chittorgarh Hill Fort

Day 11


The Palace on Wheels reaches Udaipur this morning. We leave the train and have lunch at a local hotel before taking a cruise on Lake Pichola, sailing around the small island and the Lake Palace Hotel, originally the Palace of the Maharani of Udaipur. On our return to Udaipur we rejoin the train


Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lake Pichola cruise

Day 12


After breakfast we visit Jaisalmer, a fairy-tale walled town in the Thar Desert. We 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. We dine together at a local hotel before the train departs for Jodhpur.


Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Jaisalmer tour
Camel ride

Day 13


Jodhpur is known as the ‘Blue City’ due to the hue of the houses within the old walls. During a morning tour we see the impenetrable walls of the Mehrangarh Fort and Palace with fine sandstone carvings. We enjoy lunch in the Palace Hotel and visit Jaswant Thada, a white marble cenotaph. We rejoin the train and journey to Agra, arriving on Day 14.


Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Jodhpur tour
Jaswant Thada visit

Day 14

Agra and the Taj Mahal

After a visit by rickshaw to the Bharatpur bird sanctuary, one of the best places for bird watching in India, we rejoin the train and travel to Agra. This afternoon we visit Agra Fort, the majestic red sandstone citadel and the captivating Taj Mahal, the iconic masterpiece in white marble. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653, for his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is the world’s finest example of Mughal and Persian architecture. We return to the train for our final night on board and our farewell dinner.


Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Bharatpur bird sanctuary
Agra Fort
The Taj Mahal

Day 15

The journey home

We arrive back in Delhi this morning, having completed our journey on board the Palace on Wheels and transfer to the airport for our flight home to London Heathrow.

Meals, where shown, are included in the price of your holiday


Scheduled flights

Can there be a more civilised way to travel than by rail?

Viewing an ever-changing landscape from the comfort of your seat is surely the finest way to travel. When travelling by train, your journey is an integral and delightful part of your holiday experience. What you see from your seat is as much part of the holiday as arriving at the destination.


The Palace on Wheels truly is a moving hotel. The train has 14 air-conditioned coaches and each sleeper coach has four compartments with en suite facilities and twin lower beds. Your personal attendant or ‘Khidmatgar’ is available at all times.

Dining is in one of two opulent restaurant cars, the Maharaja and Maharini, serving Indian, International and Chinese cuisine. There is also a comfortable lounge car and bar. The décor and furnishings reflect the colours and traditions of Rajasthan.


The Shatabdi Express trains are some of the fastest in India and are the pride of Indian Railways. Fully air conditioned and of a far superior standard to most Indian trains, the Shatabdi Express apparently always arrives at the best platform a station has!

The average speed on most lines is 68mph (110km/h) although the service between Agra and Delhi can reach speeds of 80mph (130km/h). During our journeys on the Shatabdi Express we travel in air conditioned Chair Class. Complimentary snacks, meals and beverages are generally provided during the journey.


The Shivalik Express, affectionately referred to as the ‘Toy Train’ travels between the Indian town of Kalka and Shimla, capital city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The Toy Train’s ninety-six kilometre narrow-gauge track through the Shivalik foothills of the Himalayas is one of three Indian mountain railways which together constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Built by British colonists, the Kalka-Shimla Railway opened in 1903. An extraordinary feat of railway engineering, the line negotiates 102 tunnels, more than 864 bridges and around 919 curves. The Toy Train’s passengers have plenty of time in which to admire and marvel these features as well as the spectacular mountain panorama that line the route, tackling the 1 in 33 gradient as the train makes its ascent to Shimla demands a leisurely pace.

We know how important hotels are to the overall enjoyment of a holiday. That’s why we carefully select hotels based on their individual style, warm welcome and excellent service. We also know what a difference the location of the hotel can make to your time in each destination; therefore we choose hotels that are centrally located, or close to the railway station. In fact, most of the hotels we choose are ideally located for both the station and the destination’s main sights.

If you’re interested in upgrading your room, check the OPTIONAL EXTRAS section for the room upgrades we are able to offer online. If your hotel and/or required upgrade is not included in this section, please call one of our Tour Advisors for all available options.


The Palace On Wheels


India’s capital is an international metropolis, one of the oldest existing cities in the world symbolising old and new India. Historic Delhi is said to consist of seven successive cities, with British-built New Delhi making an eighth. New Delhi was built by the British to be the capital of their empire’s key possession.
New Delhi is an impressive spacious city with tree-lined boulevards along the Rajpath, stretching from India Gate, a war memorial reminiscent of Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, to the Presidential Palace. Delhi’s tallest monument, Qutb-Minar, is an architectural marvel of ancient India. It can be seen from most parts of Delhi, among one of the tallest and famous minarets in the world, with a diameter of 14.32 metres and height of 72.5 metres

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