Luxury trains in India offer you a short rendezvous with Indian culture. Rajasthan on Wheels is one such train which promises to uphold the rich legacy of Rajput rulers with a dash of modernity. The seven-day tour on wheels will begin in Delhi and roll across prominent cities of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The train has luxurious cabins stacked with modern amenities, huge beds adorned with vibrant velvet and silk bed covers, life size mirrors and fine artwork to accentuate walls. Two restaurant-cum-bars Sheesh Mahal and Swarn Mahal serve Rajasthani, Continental and Chinese delicacies. Spoil yourself with exquisite wines onboard. Rejuvenate in spa, socialize with your co-passengers in huge lounge and get set to take home some pleasant memories. Here's a brief look at the royal itinerary.
Day One — The train leaves Safdarjung Station, Delhi at 9pm. After traditional welcome with garlands, you'll be escorted to respective cabins. Taste the elegance of ancient Rajputana, there's a lot in store!
Day Two — Destination, Ranthambore National Park. Leopards, Fishing Cats hyena, jackal, nilgai, sambar, wild pig, desert fox are also seen on a prowl here, although the Lord of the forest here is Tiger!Ranthambore hosts a lot of birdies too. Pigeons, sparrows, parakeets, larks, weaver birds, wagtails, thrushes are found in abundance.Reptiles such as lizards, python, rat snakes, tortoise, cobras, turtle throng the sanctuary. Royal Bengal tigers dominate the jungle area. You undertake take a jeep safari ride with a naturalist for a closer view of the animals.Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served onboard. You have to take small breaks from the call of wild for feasting on sumptuous meals.
Day Three — Post breakfast, you'll be escorted to Udaipur's City Palace, marked with huge arches and towering balcony. The City of Lakes will enchant you with Garden of Maids- of- Honor, designed for royal ladies. A boat cruise on Lake Pichola is a must. Keep clicking to capture the picturesque landscape.
Day Four — The City Palace, Jaipur, brings to you well-carved arches, courtyard, gateways, gardens decked with bright hued flowers. Museums display royal costumes, arms and ammunitions.
Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory is up next on cards.Amber Fort stands apart with Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors), sprawling lawns and courtyard.
Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds made of pink sandstone housed royal females, who kept in touch with the outer world through a massive facade with countless windows.
Day Five — Agra, the land of Taj. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the marble marvel on the banks of Yamuna features among the Seven Wonders of the World.
Fatehpur Sikri, built by Akbar served as the capital of Mughal Empire for ten years. After exploring superb craftsmanship of Mughal dynasty, you'll be served dinner onboard.
Day Six — Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh awaits you. The sculpture of the temples show ancient Hindu designs, humans in sensual postures. The temples at Khajuraho are dedicated to Lord Vishnu. What makes this piece of architecture unique is the design and layout. Built of shiny colored sandstones, the ancient sculptures leave a mark on modern minds.
Day Seven — Destination, Varanasi — one of the top Hindu pilgrimage hot spot! Take a boat ride on River Ganges to spot thousands taking a dip in Holy water to cleanse their sins.
Also recommended is Sarnath, a holy place for Buddhists. Lord Buddha is believed to have delivered his first sermon here
Day Seven — Arrival at Delhi.The Rajasthan on Wheels sets on royal voyage from October to March. Summers are hot and sultry, hence winters are preferred to explore the gems of Indian heritage.