| Many books have been written
about the romance and fun of the railway in the Subcontinent
for there are few places in the world where the excitement
of train travel is still so alive. Using the best available
trains, you will be conveyed across the vast Indian plains via
the Mughal city of Agra, the Scindia stronghold of Gwalior,
the erotic temple sculptures at Khajuraho and Varanasi, India's
holiest city, before finally pulling into Calcutta's bustling
The noise of station vendors and the frequent sound of steam
engines add to the richness of one of the world's most comprehensive
railway systems. This tour combines the luxury of fine hotels
with the comparative simplicity of the railway carriage. We
look forward to welcoming you aboard!.
Day 01 :
Arrive at New Delhi - Morning arrive at New Delhi.
Transfer to your Hotel. In the afternoon time permitting,
there will be brief tour of the tree-lined avenues of New
Delhi, visiting the Rajpath and the government buildings
designed by Lutyens and Baker in the 1920's. Birla House,
where Mahatma Gandhi the Father of the Nation lived and was
finally was assassinated. It now houses many belongings of
Gandhiji and photographs depicting his life. Visit to the Laxmi
Narayan Temple, popularly known as the Birla Mandir, is a
large Hindu temple built in 1938. People of all faiths can
enter and worship, but one must walk barefoot into the courtyard
and further on. A visit to the Bahai Temple situated atop
the Kalkaji Hill. This distinctive lotus shaped marvel, surrounded
by a landscaped garden, has been dubbed the Taj Mahal of the
Day 02 :
To Agra - Early in the morning you board the Shatabdi
Express to Agra, where you transfer to the Hotel for 2 nights.
This morning you visit the impressive Agra Fort with its elegant
sandstone and white marble palaces and the incomparable Taj
Mahal, the climax of the Mughal architectural achievement
and a testament to an emperor's undying love. The afternoon
is at leisure for optional excursions to the tomb of Akbar
at Sikandra or to Itimad-ud-Daulah across the Jamuna River.
Day 03 :
At Agra - Today you visit the deserted city Fatehpur
Sikri, once the capital of the great Mughal emperor, akbar.
The city that was larger than London in its heyday, remains
in near perfect condition and allows a fascinating insight
into life at the Mughal court in the 16th. century. On your
return to Agra, you will have the afternoon at leisure.
Day 04 To Gwalior - Your train journey today is abroad teh
Taj Express which brings you to the fort city of Gwalior,
home of the famous Scindia dynasty. You stay at the Usha Kiran
Palace, formerly the guest house of the royal family. After
lunch there is a tour of the spectacular fort with its riot
of colorful tile work and outstanding stonework.
Day 05 :
To Orcha and Khajuraho - The Shatabdi Express is once
more your train for the journey to Jhansi. On arrival you
are met and driven to the delightful village of Orcha. Making
your base at the atmospheric Sheesh Mahal where simple lunch
will be served, you are free to wander around exploring and
absorbing the magnificence of this one-time center of the
Bundela kings. During the afternoon, proceed to Khajuraho,
where you will stay at the Taj Chandela Hotel for 2 nights.
Day 06 :
At Khajuraho - Today you will see the famous Chandela
dynasty temples built in the 10th. and 11th. centuries and
noted for their spectacular sculpture and erotic carving.
The afternoon is at leisure with time to visit the nearby
deserted Rajgarh Palace or relax by the pool at your hotel.
Day 07 :
To Varanasi - A midday flight brings you to Varanasi,
where you stay at the Taj Ganges Hotel. The afternoon will
be at leisure.Benaras - as it is also called, is one of the
oldest cities of the world and a microcosm of Indian life.
Since it was also an ancient centre of learning, the Banars
Hindu Univesity is worth a visit as are the silver and gold
brocade shops, for which Banaras is world famous.
Day 08 :
At Varanasi - An early morning boat tide on the Ganges
allows you an opportunity to witness the 2,000 year old rites
of worship unfolding in their daily ritual on the ghats or
river steps. After exploring the maze of streets in the old
city you will proceed to Sarnath, where Buddha preached his
first sermon and a new religion was born. This evening you
transfer to the Mughal Sarai railway station, some distance
outside the city, to board the mail train to Kolkatta.
Day 09 :
Arrive at Kolkatta - Your journey across the north
of India ends in the bustle of Howrah station where you are
met and transferred to the Taj Bengal Hotel for a stay of
2 nights. In the afternoon you visit the imposing Victoria
memorial and enjoy an orientation tour of this remarkable
Day 10 :
At Kolkatta - Today you will visit what are considered
to be one of India's finest botanical gardens, set amid lakes,
lawns and boasting rare trees whilst spraw3ling along the
west bank of the Hooghly. You will travel to the gardens in
the traditional way, by ferry. This evening enjoy farewell
drinks at the renowned Tollygunge Club.
Day 11 :
Leave Kolkatta - Today is at leisure allowing you
to explore the city's many facets either in small groups or
individually. There is a life and pulse here that reveals
the inner soul and strength of this extraordinary city. Alternatively
you may prefer to relax in the unhurried atmosphere of your
outstanding hotel or visit Mother Theresa's orphanage.
In the afternoon you will have a transfer to the airport
for your homebound flight.
Note: Due to very limited capacity, it is unlikely that first
class sleepers will be available on train from Varanasi to Kolkatta. Second class, air-conditioned berths will be confirmed
for you. Trains in India cannot be compared with trains in
the west but are an integral part of travel in the Subcontinent.