The Maharaja Train
We fly from Heathrow on the 23rd February 2012. Here is an excerpt from their brochure
It is widely acknowledged that travelling by train is a superb way to experience the vast, intriguing and surprising country that is India. The Indian Maharaja, using the newly restored carriages of the Deccan Odyssey train, now offers one of the world’s most extraordinary and unique travel experiences. India is not only an incredible, unique country and civilization; it’s also a mind-boggling potpourri of sights, sounds, colours and experiences: a culture-shock of astonishing contrasts. Whatever your opinions or preconceptions, it is without a doubt one of the world’s ‘must-see’ destinations.
Our tour includes a visit to the Taj Mahal at sunrise, when its white marble is bathed in a soft golden glow – an extraordinary experience! Built to house the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, Emperor Jahan’s wife, it took 20,000 men 22 years to complete. The end result is more than just an astonishing world monument, it has come to symbolise the pure and enduring love between a man and wife. For many this will certainly be the highlight of the tour – but India is nothing if not surprising and the sights of the palaces and forts of Rajasthan, the tigers of Ranthambore, as well as the remnants of British colonial influence in so many facets of Indian life make this tour an endlessly fascinating journey of discovery.
The Indian Maharaja also travels through what is arguably India’s most colourful and best-known state of Rajasthan. Fringed by deserts, populated by a fiercely proud and warrior-like people and with more forts and palaces than anywhere else in the country, no other region more clearly illustrates the ancient and modern paradoxes of India. We see the sights of its capital city of Jaipur, known the Pink City because of the hue of its walls and so many of its buildings. We visit the Maharajah’s City Palace plus the great Amber Fort, one of the masterpieces of Rajput architecture, guarding the northern approaches to the city. We also visit Udaipur, the City of Lakes, with the magnificent unashamed luxury of its amazing marble lake palaces.
But India is not all history and architecture – genuine Indian cuisine is far more varied and interesting than what we are used to at home. From a simple hot chapatti fresh from the oven, to the delicate spices of a Murg Jardaloo, a trip to India will change your view of Indian cookery – and don’t worry, many dishes are quite mild! Plus the Indians themselves are supremely hospitable people who will go out of their way to ensure visitors enjoy their stay. From the flawless grandeur of the Taj Mahal to the mighty fortresses of Rajasthan, and from the reminders of past glories of the Raj in Delhi to the teeming markets of Jaipur and the shimmering Lake Palace of Udaipur, our luxurious train journey on the Indian Maharaja encompasses the very best of India and you will return home with some truly once-in-a-lifetime memories.