PALACE ON WHEELS
To see and explore the wonders of INDIA (including the Taj Mahal) your Love Chef takes off on a journey with the PALACE ON WHEELS, one of the original luxury trains and well organized tours along the way. The food, the crew and the itinerary are all TOP NOTCH!!
Day 1 -- Board the Palace on Wheels after a sightseeing tour of Delhi
Wednesday: Join us on a sightseeing tour of Delhi via air-conditioned coach beginning at 9:00 A.M. You may visit sites such as Humayun's Tomb and the impressive sandstone and marble Qutub Minar built by Qutub-ud-Din Aibek in 1199. Drive past India Gate (War Memorial Arch), the President's House and Parliament House. Enjoy visits to Birta Temple and Bangla Sahib Gurdvana, the largest Sikh house of worship in Delhi. Later you are dropped off at Saldarjang train station around 4:30 this afternoon to embark on the journey of a lifetime...a week-long luxury cruise through fascinating Rajasthan on board the Palace on Wheels...
Day 2 -- Explore the Pink City -- Jaipur
Thursday: The first stop of Palace on Wheels is Jaipur, one of the most well planned cities of the world in its time. This capital city of Rajasthan, popularly known as the Pink City, was founded by Maharaja Swai Jai Singh II in 1727 A.D. To explore the city, an air-conditioned coach takes you to Hawa Mahal, also known as the Palace of Winds, which is a remarkable five storied building along the main street of the old city in pink splendor with semi-octagonal and delicate honeycombed sandstone windows. This is followed by a visit to Amber Fort, eight kms. away, where rides of caparisoned elephants add to the ambiance. Later, you may enjoy shopping for Jaipur's famous jewelry, handicrafts, carpets, blue pottery and textiles. After lunch at a Palace Hotel, you are off to the City Palace, home of the erstwhile royal family. Right across the road from the City Palace is the Jantar Mantar, the largest observatory built by Sawa Jai Singh II. The luxury coaches take you back to Palace on Wheels where dinner is served on board.
Day 3 -- In search of tiger at Ranthambore National Park
Friday: One can almost sense a life of the wilderness as the Palace on Wheels arrives in Sawai Madhopur, a city named after its founder Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I. After breakfast, visit the Ranthamborie National Park, where the ruins of a 10th century fort are located. This wildlife sanctuary is considered to be the country's best for observing and photographing the activities of the tiger. The park, covering an area of 392 sq.kms. is also home to more than 300 species of birds. The tiger, hyena, ratel, jackal and fox are among those constituting the carnivorous population here. Sawai Madhopur is known for its exclusive toys, ethnic ornaments and costumes.
Upon return to the Palace on Wheels, depart for Chittaugarh, where you have the opportunity to watch the colorful countryside passing by in the daylight.
After lunch on board you are in Chittaurgarh. Images of love and valor of battles won and lost, the thrice besieged Chittaurgarh Fort is all this and more. Let the legends of honor and pride echo in your mind as you proceed to Udaipur.
Day 4 -- Beauty and romance are in the air in Udaipur
Saturday: Arrive this morning in Udaipur, the Lake City, which was founded by Maharana Udai Singh of Mewar in 1559 A.D. after the Sisodia dynasty was driven away by the Mughals. Perhaps the two most beautiful sites of Udaipur are the dreamlike marble palaces -- the Jag Niwas (Lake Palace) and the Jag Mandir, which appear to rise from the blue waters of Lake Pichola. After lunch at one of the fine hotels, take an exhilarating visit to City Palace in the evening, visit the crystal gallery and later proceed to Jalsalmer on board Palace on Wheels.
Day 5 -- Jaisalmer, a jewel in the Thar Desert
Sunday: In the heart of the Thar Desert lies Jaisalmer, founded by Rawal Jaisal in 1156 A.D. Here the yellow sandstone fort is an imposing sight, towering magnificently over the city. Discover the painstakingly latticed havelis or mansions with their grand facades. The Nathmaiji-ki-haveli, Patwon-ki-haveli and Salim Singh-ki-haveli are fine examples of the stone carver's skill. Shops at Rajasthali, the only Rajasthal Govt. Emporium, for the pattu shawls, mirror work, embroidered articles, wooden boxes, trinkets, silver jewelry and curios. After lunch on board, go for an exciting camel ride on the sand dunes of Sam before sipping a refreshing cup of tea. Enjoy dinner and the cultural programs at a hotel in Jaisalmer before the train leaves tonight for Jodhpur.
Day 6 -- Explore the history of the Rajoutana Empire in Jodhpur
Monday: This morning, the Palace on Wheels arrives in Jodhpur, a city ringed by a high stone wall with seven gates and several bastions. This second largest city of Rajasthan, founded by Rao Jodha in 1459 A.D. is known for its rock-solid Mehrangarh Fort. The grand palaces within -- Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana are impressive examples of architectural excellence. Near the fort complex lies Jaswant Thada and a group of royal cenotaphs made of white marble. After lunch at a royal Palace Hotel, return to the Palace on Wheels. While in Jodhpur, shop for exquisite handcrafted articles including the famous breeches, embroidered shoes, metal curios, silverware, paintings and the dyed fabrics.
Day 7 -- Visit the Taj Mahal and the Bharatpur Sanctuary
Tuesday: Early this morning the train arrives in Bharatpur, the capital of Maharaja Suraj Mal. After breakfast pay a visit to the world famous bird sanctuary, Kaeladeo Ghana National Park the nesting place of thousands of egrets, Siberian cranes, migratory water fowl and other species of birds. From Bharatpour you board the train again and arrive at the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world. This pristine monument of undying love was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Also visit Agra Fort and see other monuments and tombs about town. Agra is known for its splendid marble inlay work like the Pietra Duna work on the Taj, leather goods and jewelry. Enjoy dinner on board as the train departs for Delhi.
Day 8 -- Your journey ends in Delhi
Wednesday: After a good night's sleep, arrive at Safdarjang railway station at 6:00 A.M. and let the pleasant memories of the past week linger on your mind for a long, long time. Enjoy breakfast on board. Disembark the train at 7:30 A.M.