Offering one of the world’s most spectacular rail journeys, The Maharajas’ Express is certainly fit for royalty: The plush, wood-paneled cabins and green leather accents hark back to the golden age of rail travel.
All of the cars are named after precious stones, a charming nod to India’s jewelry-making heritage, and you’ll be captivated by the views from each car’s enormous windows.
Your Indian odyssey begins in Delhi, where you’ll stay in The Imperial, a regal hotel with Victorian and Art Deco architecture. Head out on a private city tour, where you will take in the craziness of the Chandni Chowk market and marvel at the 16th-century Red Fort.
Later, board The Maharajas’ Express and leave Delhi behind, as you journey to Agra while enjoying a decadent dinner with wine pairings under hand-painted frescoes in the restaurant carriage. Rise with the sun the next day and watch the Taj Mahal’s white-marble facade turn a warm shade of orange in the sunshine.
Enjoy a champagne breakfast at Hotel Taj Khema, famed for its exceptional views of the Taj Mahal. Next, you’ll visit Ranthambore National Park and find yourself surrounded by dense jungle. Search for tigers, crocodiles and wild boars with your safari guide.
Back onboard, travel through the night and wake up in Jaipur, also known as the Pink City. Discover the vibrant region with a guided All aboard The Maharajas’ Express tour through the eclectic markets, elaborate palaces and historic sites. Be sure to visit the historic Gem Palace and bring a piece of jewelry home with you.
The next day you’ll be on the outskirts of the desert, where a spectacular evening awaits: Amble through the sand dunes in an authentic camel cart for a torchlit barbecue dinner under the night sky.
After dinner, you’ll cross through the desert to Jodhpur. The bright-blue roofs of the buildings create a striking mosaic with the 15th-century walls looming over the city. Visit the Old Clock Tower Market and pick up some spices.
Next, you’ll head to the supremely romantic city of Udaipur. Enjoy lunch in the exclusive Fateh Prakash Palace before heading out on a lake cruise to see the famous floating hotel, Taj Lake Palace.
Your final stop is in Mumbai, the birthplace of Bollywood. You’ll leave the train and stay at the landmark Taj Mahal Palace — a veritable treasure chest of antiques, stunning works of art, sparkling chandeliers and smooth marble.
Spend your final day touring the city’s famous sites, from palm-fringed cricket grounds to ancient cave temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. by Samantha Coles