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Palace on Wheels Destinations

Rajasthan, the “Land of Kings”, is a magnificent land with kingdoms, majestic forts and palaces, diverse cultures, varied landscapes and vibrant colors. Experience this land of regal splendor with Palace on Wheels, the contemporary royal travel experience. Your royal vacation begins from Delhi and takes you through various erstwhile princely states of Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Bharatpur. After experiencing multi-faceted Rajasthan, you will be ushered to an exciting new exploration at Agra. The entire expedition has been meticulously planned to take you back into history.

Delhi:The city of glory

Delhi, the capital of India, has always been a favourite among foreign travelers, not only due to its ancient architectural marvels and rich cultural heritage and history, but also because of the way the traditional and the contemporary co-exist in perfect harmony in this exciting city. On the one hand, you have a rich repertoire of architectural marvels like the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Lotus Temple, Qutub Minar etc. and on the other, upscale marketplaces like Connaught Place, Greater Kailash and Khan Market offering a glittering nightlife with an array of discs, pubs and lounges.

A plethora of shopping destinations and malls offering national and international brands make the city truly metropolitan. In recent years Gurgaon and Noida have emerged as favourites among tourists from all over India and the world, thanks to their connectivity to the airport and railways stations and also to the fact that they are home to adventure parks and picnic spots like World of Wonders (Noida), 32 Milestone (Gurgaon) and chic shopping malls.

Jaipur, the vibrant capital of Rajasthan, sits on a dry lake bed and is surrounded by the rugged Aravali hills, topped by majestic forts. This buzzing and bustling metropolis is a feast for the senses. It takes its name from Maharaja Jai Singh II, prince, soldier and astronomer, who ascended the throne at the age of 13 in the early 1700s. He conceived and designed his new capital with exquisite buildings of rose-colored terracotta and broad tree-lined avenues exhibiting an astonishing model of city planning. Popularly known as the ‘Pink City’, Jaipur is well-known for forts and palaces like the Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, Amber fort, Jantar Mantar and City Palace Complex.

Today, the city is a place where the old rubs elbows with the new. A walk through the colorful bazaars has you dodging buses, cars and camels in equal measure. The city is a paradise for shoppers as well as for history lovers! The markets have exquisite handicrafts, textiles and jewelry on offer; and, every corner of the city brings you a wonderful surprise in the form of an architectural marvel that gives you a glimpse into a bygone era and a different world.

Amber Fort: On the itinerary is a tour of the impressive Amber Fort, situated on a ridge just outside Jaipur City. At the foot of the hill you will mount your caparisoned elephant for the slow but steady climb up to the main gate, making your entrance in the time-honored fashion. The Fort, completed in the early 18th century, took over 100 years to build and now, although deserted, offers a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the Mughal ruling families.

Sawai Madhopur:The Tiger's den

To hear the tiger roar, come to Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur. The former hunting ground of maharajas, Ranthambore offers a great opportunity to spot the elusive tigers in their natural habitat. The 392 sq km park comprises of dry deciduous forests sprawling forests over an undulating terrain of the Aravali and Vindhyan ranges. The park is one of the finest tiger reserves in the country. Apart from the majestic predator, you can get to see the blue bull, black buck, spotted deer or cheetal, wild boar, a large variety of bird species and, if very lucky, the rarely seen leopard. It's a true delight for wildlife lovers.

Ranthambore's royal past manifests itself in the well-preserved imposing fort, built in 994 A.D., atop a steep creek 200 meters above sea level. This is a history lover’s paradise as ruined pavilions, walls, chhatris, and splendid monuments are interspersed within the majestic fort. Other famous excursion spots in and around Sawai Madhopur include Khandar Fort, Mansarovar lake, Bhoori Pahaari Sand dunes, Chauth Mata Manidr, Shree Mahavirji & Kali Devi temple, etc.

Safari: Your itinerary includes an early morning safari into the sanctuary aboard open Canter trucks. The entry point to the park takes visitors to the foot of the Ranthambore fort and the forest rest house (the Jogi Palace). There are three lakes in front and around Jogi Palace where sometimes tigers have been seen hunting or resting in the water. Drives around these lakes are a wildlife photographer's dream as wildlife abounds in this area and the chances of spotting a tiger are high.

Chittaurgarh:The epitome of valor

Chittorgarh - the name itself evokes the spirit of valor, bravery and sacrifice of the Rajput people; and the bards of Rajasthan sing the legendary tales till today. The pride, glory and the royal past is still alive in the imposing fort, spectacular chhatris and awe inspiring palace of this town.

The main reason for visiting Chittorgarh is its massive hilltop fort, which is a depiction of Rajput culture and values. Perched on a height of 180 mt high hill, it sprawls over 700 acres and reverberates with the tales of heroism and sacrifice that the Rajputs are famous for. This ancient capital of Mewar is the symbol of excellence of guerrilla warfare and for the nobleness of Rajput sacrifice. Stand on the ramparts of the fort and let the stones of this ancient citadel whisper to you tales of glorious battles and legendary heroes. Shivers will run down your spine as you hear about the brave Rajput women and children that preferred to throw themselves into a blazing fire rather than fall into the hands of the enemy, as their men folk rode out to a certain death on the battlefield.

The Vijay Stambh (Victory Tower) is another imposing 37 meter high structure worth visiting. This nine-storied building is covered with exquisite sculptures of Hindu deities and depicts episodes from the two great epics - the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Other attractions in Chittorgarh include Kirti Stambh (Tower of Fame), Rana Kumbha's palace, Padmini's Palace, Kumbha Shyam Temple, Kalika Mata Temple, and the Government Museum.

Udaipur:The city of dawn

The picturesque town of Udaipur beckons the traveler with its poetic allure. The city, framed by the Aravali range and abounding with artificial lakes, appears like a shimmering, transcendental mirage. This “City of Lakes”, one of the most romantic cities in Rajasthan was established in 1568 by Maharana Udai Singh of Mewar when the Mughal Emperor, Akbar sacked Chittor. Udaipur’s many artificial lakes and a number of beautiful palaces, forts and gardens that stand by them, give the city its unique quality. Pichola is the most prominent lake around which many palaces and beautiful buildings stand. The other important tourist attractions in Udaipur worth visiting are the Jagdish Temple, City Palace, Fateh Sagar and Shilpgram.

Visit the magnificent City Palace, which is simply enormous - an assemblage of not one but four separate palaces covering some four acres of area, on the bank of the Lake Pichola, and exceeding all other palaces for colossal grandeur. Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies; and the Peacock Courtyard. Then continue on to the Garden of Maidens 'Sahelion-ki-bari' and the Folk Art Museum, to view the interesting collection of puppets & paintings. Then, you will enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Pichola at sunset to visit the Jagmandir Island - in the middle of the romantic Lake Pichola. The island commands a magnificent view of the City Palace, Lake Palace and Sajjangarh Fort.

Jaisalmer:The golden city

Rising from the heart of the Thar Desert, etched in yellow sandstone, this citadel city - Jaisalmer is like a resplendent jewel shimmering above the hard sand. The city is famous for its golden hued fort, the Sonar Kila, which houses the entire township within its ramparts. Remote Jaisalmer is India's most exotic and unusual town. It grew as a result of its strategic position on the trading route between India and Central Asia bringing great wealth to the city. This tiny jewel in the desert was once the capital of the Bhatti Rajputs and still has remnants of ancient caravan sarais. The city has an enchanting cob-web of narrow lanes dotted with some lovely havelis, three beautifully carved Jain temples and five interconnected palaces. Just outside the fort is the main marketplace - Manak Chowk.

No trip to Jaisalmer is complete without a trip to the most picturesque dunes of Sam. The ripples on the wind-caressed dunes create an enchanting mirage. Various cultural programs are organized against the backdrop of these fascinating sand dunes; and, exciting camel safaris give you the real feel of the desert on camel back.

Visit the city's magnificent havelis or merchant's houses, each richly decorated and carved from golden yellow sandstone - Patwon-ki-haveli (House of the Brocade Merchants) is the largest and most elaborate of the famous havelis of Jaisalmer. The Nathmalji-ki-haveli (The Mansion of Nathmalji), the last of the great havelis was built in the late 19th century. End the morning with a visit to Gadisar Lake the large natural oasis that attracted Rawal Jaisal to this site. Later, you will visit the Jaisalmer Fort, built in 1156 by Rawal Jaisal. This is the second oldest fort of Rajasthan after Chittor, and one fourth of the population lives inside the Fort. You will also experience a camel ride to visit the Royal Cenotaphs of the Rawals in Barra Bagh, where the rural were cremated. This is also the best spot from which to watch the spectacular desert sunset, and photograph the fort.

Jodhpur:The city of grandeur and great heroes

Jodhpur topped “Lonely Planet’s” list of most extraordinary places to stay in 2014…and it is extraordinary! It is popularly known as the “Blue City” for its houses painted a vivid blue, that surround the massive Mehrangarh Fort located on a sheer rocky ridge right in the middle of the town. The city is also known as the 'Sun City' for the bright and sunny weather it enjoys all year. Located at the edge of the Thar Desert, Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan. The city was the bastion of the ancient Marwar kingdom and founded by Rao Jodha, the leader of the Rathore clan, in 1459 A.D. The city is famous for its bazaars, which offer a rich collection of exquisite handicrafts. The old city of Jodhpur is surrounded by a 10 km-long wall and, to enjoy the true flavours of the city you just need to wind through the jumble of streets, smile at the unusually fascinating folk wearing multihued costumes, and try on the colorful turbans worn by the men folk. Mehrangarh fort, Jaswant Thada, and Umaid Bhawan Palace are the prime attractions here.

The indigo-colored houses in the old town can best be seen from the walls of the mighty Meherangarh, which looms high above the buzzing city. Meherangarh Fort, the “Citadel of the Sun”, made with burnished red sandstone and situated on a steep hill, is a must-see destination of Jodhpur. This is one of the largest and best preserved forts in India which has breathtaking numerous palaces which are lively examples of skilled Jodhpuri sculptures and architecture.

Bharatpur:A rare retreat for migratory birds

It is said that, “Good things come in small packages”, and this holds completely true for the Keoladeo Ghana National Park in Bharatpur. This World Heritage-listed bird sanctuary is one of the smallest national parks in India, but is has an astonishing number of bird species within its 29 sq km. There are some 375 bird species within the park…and for the avid bird-watcher, it is possible to see as many as 100 of them in 24 hours. These include waders, thrushes, rubythroats and sleeping nightjars, eagles and harriers. Up till a few years ago, the majestic Siberian Crane was also a regular visitor but sadly, not any more. But, one can spot the sarus crane, demoiselle crane and common crane. One may also spot porcupines, wild boar and palm civets.

This sanctuary is the creation of the Maharaja of Bharatpur who, in the late 19th century recognized the area's potential and augmented the water supply by diverting water from a nearby irrigation canal. He also constructed small dams, dykes and shooting buttes & in a few years the new ecosystem so flourished that it was able to support thousands of water birds. The Maharaja celebrated his success in style, with extravagant shooting parties for the dignitaries of princely India. Their exploits are recorded to this day on a sandstone inscription in the park. There are many good paths & trails through the dense park, but a ride with your expert rickshaw driver will be a rewarding experience as he has been trained to recognize the different species of birds.

The town of Bharatpur has become a major tourist destination for bird lovers from the world over owing to this bird sanctuary - the finest in Asia. If history fascinates you, visit the Bharatpur palace and take in the remnants of the royal past, a rich repository of ancient exhibits dating back to the early 15th century.

The best time to visit Bharatpur's Keoladeo Ghana National Park is from October to late February when many migratory birds can be seen, such as the bar-headed geese from Ladakh and pied-crested cuckoo from East Africa. You can enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride through the park to spot the birds that take refuge in its shallow lakes & woodlands. Also on offer is a tour of the wetlands by boat. This is perhaps the most enchanting way to view birds from up close.

Agra:The city of Taj

Agra possesses the most precious jewel in India's crown - the eternal, the glorious and the splendid Taj Mahal. One of the wonders of the world, it attracts thousands of tourists every year. With its glorious past, the Mughal city of Agra has lots more to offer a discerning traveler besides the mystics and splendors of the Taj Mahal, like Itmad-Ud-Daulah Tomb and Agra fort. To the lover of art and to the traveler seeking the wonders of the world, Agra is the ultimate destination. The architectural splendor of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces in Agra are a vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal Empire for nearly a hundred years from 1564.

Nevertheless, many tourists visit Agra to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is the mausoleum of Empress Mumtaz Mahal, the beloved spouse of Shah Jahan, who died in 1630. The mausoleum is phenomenal not in the beauty alone that shines forth, but in the deep planning and design that went into its making, and the ethereal idea of immortalizing love. The Taj complex comprises a forecourt, a lofty entrance, a charming formal Mughal garden with canals and a central tank with a series of fountains, the tomb proper, and an attached mosque on the west and its symmetrical counterpart on the east. The Taj is remarkable for its perfect proportion and the delicate carvings in marble vie with gorgeous pietra dura for attention. The building, often called "a dream in marble" is said to have taken at least 22 years (1631-1653) to build.

Another fascinating sight is the The Agra Fort. Built by three generations of Mughal Emperors starting with Akbar the Great in 1565 AD, it is a masterpiece of design and construction. It housed both the residential Palaces of the Royal family, and the military quarters.

Official Sales Agent(GSA) for the Palace on Wheels help you to plan your Palace on Wheels journey, we find it useful to discuss your requirements over the phone. This allows us to evaluate your travel needs and select the luxury train journey that is best for you.
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