The Great Indian Rail Journey

Destination: India
Price From: £2995.00


As captivating as it can be confusing, India can be a difficult place to navigate. Accompanied by experienced guides, we can sit back and enjoy the ride as we traverse the jungles, deserts and plateaux of Northern India. Six railway journeys, including a steam train on one of Indias UNESCO World Heritage Mountain Railways, take us from Delhi into the jewelled palaces of the Golden Triangle, ‘jungle book’ national park of Ranthambore and Himalayan foothills of spiritual Shimla – covering off ancient forts, colourful bazaars and tiger safaris along the way.


Day 1 – UK – In flight

Titans VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Delhi.

UK – In flight

Day 2 – Delhi

A city where rickshaws run riot and air-conditioned super malls jostle for space with street-food sellers, Indias hypnotic capital can be a shock to the senses. With more feet on the ground than Austria and Switzerland combined, our first day is spent putting our own feet up and relaxing after the flight. Spend a leisurely day by the hotel pool, meeting this evening for dinner.

The Suryaa New Delhi (5-star)

Day 3 – Delhi

Spend the day discovering Old and New Delhi on a guided tour. We embrace the colour and clamour of Old Delhi first, weaving our way through the rainbow-coloured sari sellers, electronic stalls and makeshift restaurants that spill onto the pavements of Chandni Chowk – Delhis biggest market. Old Delhi dates back to the Mughal empire and we witness the majesty of the Shahs in the intricate marble of Jama Masjid – India’s largest and more impressive mosque, and the soaring sandstone battlements of the Red Fort. Established by the British, New Delhi is a mix of modern and colonial – with elegant pockets of tree-lined boulevards and blinding-white Georgian colonnades. We drive past the presidential palace of Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate – built to commemorate Indian soldiers who died in WWI; stopping to visit Raj Ghat – the final resting place of Gandhi, and UNESCO-listed Qutab Minar – a 13th-century minaret and masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art.

The Suryaa New Delhi (5-star)

Day 4 – Delhi – Jaipur

Today we leave for one of the points of Rajasthans famous Golden Triangle, the Pink City of Jaipur, aboard the Ajmer Shatabdi Express – a superfast air-conditioned train. The jewel in Rajasthans already bejewelled crown, the pink-hued archways, bustling bazaars and carved palaces of Jaipur were the setting for the film ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’. Arriving mid-morning, the rest of the day is free. Theres an optional excursion to learn kite flying and enjoy a delicious high tea afterwards.

Hilton Jaipur (5-star)

Day 5 – Jaipur

Todays tour starts outside Jaipur at the UNESCO-listed Amber Fort – the ancient capital of the Rajput empire. Seemingly carved out of the desert sandstone hillside, the palace complex rises majestically above a mirrored lake. Within the creamy coloured ramparts, we explore a maze of marble-inlaid halls, emerald-green gardens and sunken royal courtyards. Back in Jaipur, we visit the extraordinary Jantar Mantar. Built in the 1720s, architectural and astronomical accuracy combine to reveal 18 huge stone sculptures, including a 27m-high sundial that can calculate the time to within two seconds. Not bad for a 300-year-old clock. We also drive past Hawa Mahal, The Palace of the Winds. Built in 1799 so that royal women could watch street processions while in purdah, like tiers on a wedding cake, layer after layer of intricately carved windows create Jaipurs most recognisable site.

Hilton Jaipur (5-star)

Day 6 – Jaipur – Ranthambore

Travelling by air-conditioned intercity express train, we leave Jaipur late morning for Sawai Modhopur – the gateway to Ranthambore National Park. Slowly being reclaimed by the jungle, the 1,000-year-old crumbling forts and tangled vines provide an Indiana Jones-esque backdrop for spotting Indias elusive Bengal tigers. The rest of the day is free to relax by the pool ahead of tomorrows safaris. There are two optional excursions: a guided nature walk; or a visit to Dastkar to see the stunning handicrafts made by the women of the village in order to support their families.

Jungle Vilas, Ranthambore (4-star)

Day 7 – Ranthambore

Today we go on a morning and afternoon safari drive in open-sided vehicles. The promise of tigers and leopards are the big cat draw of Ranthambore, we also keep a close watch for the parks other residents amongst the scattered ruins and lakes – including hyena, sambar, wild boar, water buffalo and crocodile.

Jungle Vilas, Ranthambore (4-star)

Day 8 – Ranthambore – Agra

This morning we board the Shatabdi train to Bharatpur and drive into Agra – the final apex of the Golden Triangle. After a traditional thali lunch, we take a guided tour of the city. Agra is best known for the Taj Mahal, and while it remains the star of the show, the former capital of the Mughal empire has more imperial treasures in its trove. We begin at the UNESCO-listed Agra Fort. Begun in 1565 by the great Mughal emperor Akbar, this vast red sandstone fort was finished over successive reigns by his grandson and great-grandson. A proper family home, the finished result is 2.5km long and 21m high. In comparison to its indomitable size, we also visit the nearby tomb of I’timd-ud-Daulah (known as the ‘Baby Taj’) – a royal tomb built in the same style as the Taj Mahal but a fraction of the size. Theres an optional excursion this evening to watch the Mohabbat the Taj show.

Tajview, Agra (5-star)

Day 9 – Agra – Delhi

An almost impossible image to live up to, those preparing themselves to be disappointed by the Taj Mahal neednt worry. Arriving by sunrise to watch the marble walls change from flaming orange to coral and then white, this architectural masterpiece – built by Shah Jahan between 1560-82 in memory of his favourite wife – is spellbinding. Not to mention, a lesson in true love. We grab our photos and take a guided tour before the crowds get too busy. After breakfast back at the hotel, we drive back to Delhi to catch tomorrow’s train to Amritsar.

The Suryaa New Delhi (5-star)

Day 10 – Delhi – Amritsar

Whizzing through changing landscapes, from rocky deserts to woven countryside, we take the train north into Indias Punjab region close to the border of Pakistan. Established by the Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das, the glittering temples of Amritsar are a holy pilgrimage city for Sikhs. The afternoon is at leisure at the hotel or there’s an optional excursion to the Partition Museum.

Taj Swarna, Amritsar (5-star)