Gems of India
Group | Individual | Regular | (Every Wednesday)
4 Days /3 Nights
US$ 3,850 Onwards
Location map >
Dates & Prices
Gems of India route is yet another Golden Triangle tour package offered by the Maharajas' Express. The itinerary takes you to the three of the most fascinating tour destinations in India - Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.
Explore the master creations of men along with a dash of wildlife at the Ranthambore National Park. Also included in the Maharaja Express itinerary is the local sightseeing, shopping and optional spa breaks at select destinations.
And all this while, live a maharaja life inside India's most luxurious train with elegant décor, gourmet dining, and state of the art amenities adds unparalleled finesse to this royal train journey.
About Maharajas' Express Train
"Return to the Days of Kings - Live Life Maharajas"
A train that can be rightly referred to as a personification of style, luxury, lavishness and grandeur - Maharajas' Express enjoys the status of being India's most opulent luxury train. What it offers is far more than just a train journey - it lets you explore India' most exotic and colorful locations like the battle scarred forts, the palaces of breathtaking grandeur and whimsical charm, wildlife parks and sanctuaries surrounded by barren mountains and the raw natural beauty of lakes and water bodies. All in all, a journey aboard Maharajas' Express offers a kaleidoscopic fiesta that lures you with its magical richness and stunning variety.
The luxury train that was flagged off in 2010 offers an insight to the breathtaking landscapes and the rich culture and heritage India is blessed with. The train travels across some of the most captivating landscapes in India, covering some of the most well-known tourist destinations including Delhi, Mumbai, Agra, Jaipur, Ranthambore etc. The medley of beautiful landscape, charismatic culture, diverse traditions and mystical history of India comes alive in the 5 Maharajas' Express journeys, which Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)has recently launched - Heritage of India, Treasures of India, Gems of India, Indian Panorama and The Indian Splendor.
The embodiment of ultimate luxury train travel - the Maharaja Express is often compared to the Orient Express of Europe. Owned by the IRCTC, this luxury train offers a royal ride and features state of the art amenities including uninterrupted internet, Plasma televisions, DVD players, individual climate control, electronic safes, gourmet dining at its fancy restaurants and bars with an exclusive collection of beverages.
Traveling via the Maharajas' express is nothing less than traveling like the Kings and Queens of the bygone era. Taking the guests to the world of grace, elegance and romance, Maharaja Express Luxury train journey makes your imagination stir by the constantly changing stunning landscape outside. Enriching your travel casket with a sequence of unforgettable moments, this royal Indian train makes you come to this colorful country again and again.
Description Of The Train:
Cabin Configration :
5 Deluxe Cars
2 Suite Cars
1 Bar car and 1 Lounge Car
1 Kitchen Car
1 Executive Managers & Tour Managers Coach
6 Junior Suite Cars
1 Presidential Suite Car
2 Restaurant Cars
1 Staff Coach
2 Generator Coaches
Carrying Capacity :
Day 1 - Wednesday - Depart New Delhi
Welcome on board at Delhi with the ceremonial greetings at the Safdarjung station at 21:00 hrs with traditional garlanding. After check in, you would be escorted to the respective cabins. Feel the difference of the World in the moving Palace which empowers luxury and tradition hand to hand.
Day 2 - Thursday - Arrival Sawai Madhopur Sawai Madhopur - Udaipur
Early morning proceed for safari at Ranthambore National Park. Ranthambore is most famous for its large tiger population. As tourism in the park increased, so did the population of neighboring villages. This lead to increasing amounts of fatal human-tiger interactions and poaching. The Indian Government started Project Tiger in 1972 with an allotted area of 60 m2. It was later expanded to become what is now called, the Ranthambore National Park. Besides tigers, the reserve has thriving bird population with more than 270 different species of birds here.
In 2005, there were 26 tigers living in Ranthambore. This was significantly lower than the recorded tiger population of the reserve in 1982, which then stood at 44. In 2008, more than 14 tiger cubs were recorded. This was largely attributed to sustained efforts by forest officials to curb poaching. Villagers in the region were being given incentives to stay out of the park and surveillance cameras were also fitted across the reserve. The Indian government also committed US$153 million for the efforts. These efforts have been successful with Ranthambore having enough tigers to participate in the Sariska Tiger Reserve relocation efforts.
Back to train for Breakfast.
After the Lunch you will proceed for afternoon safari at Ranthambore National Park. After the safaris return backtrain for onboard journey.
Day 3 - Friday - Jaipur
Morning after breakfast, you will proceed to visit City Palace, which is an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens and courtyards, decorative art and carved doorways. The palace museum houses collections of rare manuscripts, armoury, costumes, carpets and miniature paintings. Jaipur's Jantar Mantar is the most famous of five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh in India. Jai Singh was a great admirer of progresses and research made in the fields of science and technology, but he was passionate about astronomy. There is a very interesting story behind the construction of this observatory, considered as the largest stone observatory in the world. Sawai Jai Singh sent his emissaries to all parts of the world before commencing the construction of this observatory. The emissaries returned with many manuals on astronomy containing cutting-edge technological information. One of these manuals was a copy of La Hire's "Tables". The king ordered the observatory to be built according to the details contained in this manual. When the construction ended, for the astonishment of the king and others, the observatory was 20 seconds more accurate than the one mentioned in "Table.
In the afternoon after lunch proceed for capital of Amber to see the fabulous Amber Fort. Maharaja Mansingh, Mughal Emperor Akbar’s most successful General, started the construction of Amber Fort in the 17th century. Before the City Palace was constructed in Jaipur, Amber was the seat of power. The fort is surrounded by fortified battlements and overlooks the Moat Lake. Ruins and remains are spread over the Aravalli hills and sprawling crenulated walls lattice the surrounding area. Jeeps will spare you the trouble of reaching up to the fortress. Once on top, stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls. Many of the rooms have delightful wall paintings, with precious stones and mirrors inlaid in the walls. Most fascinating, perhaps, is the Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors) where a single lamplight is reflected in the many mirrors, lighting up the room. En-route to Amber Fort you will stop and see the `Palace of Winds’, otherwise known as Hawa Mahal. It is really an elaborate facade behind which the ladies of the court used to watch the daily goings on in the street below. It is extremely intricate in its pink sandstone carving. The cool wind blows through its facade of windows and latticed screens through which the queens of the court once viewed the streets of the city. After the sightseeing tour proceed to the train for onboard journey
Day 5 - Sunday - Arrive Bharatpur - Bharatpur - Agra
Upon arrival at Bharatpur, proceed to Agra en-route visiting Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted red sandstone city, built by the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century. It was abandoned soon after it was built when the local wells went dry and it remains today in much the same condition that it was over 300 years ago. It is complete with palaces and mosques and used to be a town larger than London when it was originally constructed. Now it is an extraordinary place to wander around with its buildings in near perfect condition.
Arrive Agra and visit Red Fort. After lunch, move on to pay a visit to Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world. A pristine monument of undying love; It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Agra is also known for its splendid marble inlay work like the Pietra Dura work on the Taj, leather goods and jewellery.
Later return back to the train, have your dinner on board.
Day 6 - Monday - Arrive Khajuraho
Today morning after breakfast at the Train, later proceed to visit the Chandela Temple Complex. The tour of Khajuraho this morning concentrates on the famous erotic temples, which represent some of the finest examples of temple architecture in Northern India. The remote location of Khajuraho meant that the temples were unharmed by Muslim invaders and as a result, the intricately fine carvings are in very good condition and are said to represent life in heaven.
They were built during the mighty Chandela dynasty; the majority was constructed in a sudden burst of creative and religious energy, between the mid-10th and 11th centuries. After ruling for about 500 years the Chandela dynasty fell to the might of Islam and consequently the religious centre of Khajuraho was abandoned. The temples remain as a reminder of a society that believed in the full enjoyment of life, with all the senses being a path to nirvana. Of the eighty-five original temples only 22 remain, but many are in very good condition.
You visit the Kandariya Mahadeva, the Chatrabhuj, Parswanath and Ghantai Temples, each remarkable for its beautiful design and architecture.
Later return to the train, onboard journey.
Day 7 - Tuesday - Arrive Varanasi
Very early in the morning you will take a boat ride along the bathing ghats on the Holy River Ganges. At sunrise the Hindu faithful flock to the river to cleanse themselves of their sins. You see the cremation ghats and the Deswameedha ghats. To die in Varanasi is to end the Hindu cycle of re-birth, thereby making it a popular place to end one's life. After sunrise you will visit some of the temples in the surrounding area.
After buffet breakfast at the hotel, visit "Bharat Kala Bhavan" which lies within the sprawling grounds of Banaras Hindu University. Its outstanding collection of sculpture, paintings and textiles began with the private collection of the enlightened Rai Krishnadasa. The sculpture collection includes terracotta and clay objects, stone and bronze and cast metal objects. Ancient terracotta varying from ritual icons to toys to utilitarian objects date to the Indus Valley Civilization, Mauryan, Sunga and Gupta period. In the afternoon, you will proceed for an excursion to Sarnath, a major Buddhist center in the world. After achieving enlightenment at Bodhgaya, Buddha, the 'Awakened One', delivered his first sermon here. It was the sixth century then, when he also set in motion the wheel of law, the Dharmachakra. This dwelling place of the rishis, it was also known as 'Rishipatana' (the place of the Rishis or sages). Buddha gave his first sermon in the Deer Park where he initiated his first five disciples into Buddhist monkshood. Buddhism found its roots in Sarnath, the birthplace of this way of life.
Later return to the train for onboard journey.
Day 8 - Wednesday - Arrive Delhi
Upon arrival at Delhi railway station, deboard from the train.
* Subject to change
Gems of India Departure Dates for Season 2015-16 & 2016-17
Wed, 2nd & Wed, 30th
Please note :-
• Government of India service tax of 3.61% shall be levied on the tariff.
• US$ 15 per pax per trip shall be charged against the payment of commercial taxes in addition to the tariff.
• 10% surcharge will be levied on the tariff for the trips falling during Christmas and New Year.
Inclusions and Exclusions
A brief look at the inclusions and exclusions in the tariff of Maharajas Express train.
Dates & Prices
10% of the tariff for the children upto 5 years of age.
Half fare for children between 5 and 12 years of age.
(Age proof of children is to be furnished, which is required at the time of issuance of tickets)
The Tariff includes :
• Deluxe cabin with attached bath
• All meals, including tea, coffee and mineral water
• Safari into the Jungles of Ranthambore by Canter
• Jeep or Elephant ride at Amber Fort of Jaipur
• Cultural program followed by dinner at Jaipur
• Transport for sightseeing with Deluxe Coaches
• Entrance fee to monuments and museums
• English speaking guides
The Tariff does not include:
• Liquor, tips, laundry, telephone calls, video camera fees, Business Car
• Facilities, Spa Car Facilities and other items of personal nature
In case of FITs:
• 50% of ticket value at the time of confirming the booking.
• Remaining 50% of ticket value 60 days prior to departure.
In case of Group:
• 50% of ticket value at the time of confirming the booking.
• Remaining 50% of ticket value 75 days prior to departure.
• Cancellation must be advised by Fax/E-mail/Letter to The Luxury Trains. On cancellation, refund will be made.
• Certain amount of the ticket value will be deducted as follows.
In case of FITs
• 5% of ticket value 60 days or more prior to departure.
• 20% of ticket value between 45 to 59 days prior to departure.
• 50% of ticket value between 30 to 44 days prior to departure.
• 100% of ticket value between 30 days prior to departure.
In case of Group
• 20% of ticket value 89 days prior to departure.
• 50% of ticket value between 88 to 31 days.
• 100% of ticket value between 30 days prior to departure.
* Train tariff / Tour Itinerary subject to change without notice.
"Live like a Maharaja in Most Royal and Spectacular Rail Carriages"
Molded in the spectacular past, Maharajas Express' cabins have been designed to recreate the magic and elegance of the personal state carriages of Maharajas of the colonial era. Offering comfort and luxury at its best, the cabins are adorned with architecturally impressive paintings, royal carpets, Maharaja-style beds and subtle lights. Equipped with state-of-the-art-amenities and tastefully decorated with rich tapestry and furnishings, the cabins are categorized as Deluxe Cabins, Junior Suites, Suites and the grand Presidential Suite and can accommodate up to 88 passengers on each journey
Delux Cabin, Maharajas Express'
Approximately 112 square feet wide, a deluxe cabin consists of four twin/ double bed cabins with attached bath.
Features: A spacious wardrobe. Luggage hold underneath the bed. A writing table. LCD television. Individual climate control. Bathroom with wash basin, WC, shower cubicle, running hot and cold water. ..read more
Junior Suites, Maharajas Express'
Approximately 150 square feet wide, a junior suite consists of three twin/double bed cabins with a writing table and attached bath.
A spacious wardrobe. Luggage hold underneath the bed. A writing table. LCD television. Individual climate control. Bathroom with wash basin, WC, shower cubicle, running hot and cold water. ..read more
Suites, Maharajas Express'
Spreading over an area of 220 square feet, a suite comes with a double bed with separate living and bedroom areas, attached bath with bath tub.
Features: A double bed with luggage holder underneath. A spacious wardrobe. Flat screen LCDs with live television. Audio/ video channels. Direct dial telephone. Internet facility. Individual climate control. An electronic safe. Mini bar. Living area has a sofa and a writing table.
. ..read more
Presidential Suite, Maharajas Express'
Spreading over an entire carriage, the Presidential measures 448 square feet and consists of two bedrooms, two attached bath (one with bath tub) and a living cum dining room.
Features: Each bedroom with double/twin bed with luggage hold underneath. A spacious wardrobe. Flat screen LCDs with live television and audio / video channels. Direct dial telephone. Individual climate control and mood lighting. Living cum dining room area with have a sofa, writing table, mini-bar, and internet facility. Bathrooms with wash basin, WC, shower cubicle, a full bath tub with running hot and cold water...read more
1. Akshardham Temple
Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi epitomizes 10,000 years of Indian culture in all its breathtaking grandeur, beauty, wisdom and bliss. It brilliantly showcases the essence of India's ancient architecture, traditions and timeless spiritual messages. The Akshardham experience is an enlightening journey through India's glorious art, values and contributions for the progress, happiness and harmony of mankind. The Swaminarayan Akshardham complex was built in only five years through the blessings of HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) and the colossal devotional efforts of 11,000 artisans and thousands of BAPS volunteers. Heralded by the Guinness World Record as the World's Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple, the complex was inaugurated on 6 November, 2005.
2. Bahai Temple
This temple is built in the shape of a lotus flower and is the last of seven Major Bahai's temples built around the world. Completed in1986 it is set among the lush green landscaped gardens. The structure is made up of pure white marble. The architect Furiburz Sabha chose the lotus as the symbol common to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam. Adherents of any faith are free to visit the temple and pray or meditate. Around the blooming petals there are nine pools of water, which light up, in natural light. It looks spectacular at dusk when it is flood lit.
3. Birla Mandir
Laxmi Narayan Temple, also known as Birla Mandir, is one of Delhi's major temples and a major tourist attraction. Built by the industrialst G.D. Birla in 1938, this beautiful temple is located to the west of Connaught Place. The temple is dedicated to Laxmi (the goddess of prosperity) and Narayana (The preserver). The temple was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on the condition that people of all castes will be allowed to enter the temple.
4. Dilli Haat
The DILLI HAAT provides the ambience of a traditional Rural Haat or village market, but one suited for more contemporary needs. Here one sees a synthesis of crafts, food and cultural activity. This Food and Craft Bazar is a treasure house of Indian culture, handicrafts and ethnic cuisine, A unique bazaar, in the heart of the city, it displays the richness of Indian culture on a permanent basis. Step inside the complex for an altogether delightful experience by either buying inimitable ethnic wares, savouring the delicacies of different states or by simply relaxing in the evening with the entire family. DILLI HAAT transports you to the magical world of Indian art and heritage presented through a fascinating panorama of craft, cuisine and cultural activities. While the village haat is a mobile, flexible arrangement, here it is crafts persons who are mobile. The DILLI HAAT boasts of craft stalls selling native, utilitarian and ethnic products from all over the country.
5. Humayun's Tomb
This magnificent garden tomb is the first substantial example of Mughal architecture in India. It was built in 1565 A.D. nine years after the death of Humayun, by his senior widow Bega Begam. Inside the walled enclosure the most notable features are the garden squares (chaharbagh) with pathways water channels, centrally located well proportional mausoleum topped by double dome.The tomb was declared a UNESCO "World Heritage Site" in 1993. There are several graves of Mughal rulers located inside the walled enclosure and from here in 1857 A.D; Lieutenant Hudson had captured the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II.
6. India Gate
At the centre of New Delhi stands the 42 m high India Gate, an "Arc-de-Triomphe" like archway in the middle of a crossroad. Almost similar to its French counterpart, it commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the World War I. The memorial bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919. The foundation stone of India Gate was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and it was designed by Edwin Lutyens. The monument was dedicated to the nation 10 years later by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin. Another memorial, Amar Jawan Jyoti was added much later, after India got its independence. The eternal flame burns day and night under the arch to remind the nation of soldiers who laid down their lives in the Indo-Pakistan War of December 1971.
7. Jama Masjid
This great mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It was begun in 1644 and ended up being the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. The highly decorative mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble.
8. Purana Quila
One does not have to go far to see the old fort or Purana Quila standing stoically amidst wild greenery.Built on the site of the most ancient of the numerous cities of Delhi, Indraprastha, Purana Quila is roughly rectangular in shape having a circuit of nearly two kilometers. The thick ramparts crowned by merlons have three gateways provided with bastions on either side. It was surrounded by a wide moat, connected to river Yamuna, which used to flow on the east of the fort. The northern gate way, called the Talaqui darwaza or the forbidden gateway, combines the typically Islamic pointed arch with Hindu Chhatris and brackets; whereas the southern gateway called the Humayun Darwaza also had a similar plan. The massive gateway and walls of Purana Quila were built by Humayun and the foundation laid for the new capital, Dinpanah. The work was carried forward by Sher Shah Suri,who displaced Humayun, Purana Quila is the venue for the spectacular sound and light show held every evening.
9. Qutab Minar
Qutab Minar is a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi's last Hindu kingdom. An inscription over its eastern gate provocatively informs that it was built with material obtained from demolishing '27 Hindu temples'. A 7 m-high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque. It is said that if you can encircle it with your hands while standing with your back to it your wish will be fulfilled.
The origins of Qutab Minar are shrouded in controversy. Some believe it was erected as a tower of victory to signify the beginning of the Muslim rule in India. Others say it served as a minaret to the muezzins to call the faithful to prayer.
No one can, however, dispute that the tower is not only one of the finest monuments in India, but also in the world. Qutab-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced the construction of the Qutab Minar in 1200 AD, but could only finish the basement. His successor, Iltutmish, added three more storeys, and in 1368, Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed the fifth and the last storey.
The development of architectural styles from Aibak to Tughlak is quite evident in the minar. The relief work and even the materials used for construction differ. The 238 feet Qutab Minar is 47 feet at the base and tapers to nine feet at the apex. The tower is ornamented by bands of inscriptions and by four projecting balconies supported by elaborately decorated brackets. Even though in ruins, the Quwwat Ui Islam (Light of Islam) Mosque in the Qutab complex is one of the most magnificent structures in the world. Qutab-ud-din Aibak started its construction in 1193 and the mosque was completed in 1197.
Iltutmish in 1230 and Alla-ud-din Khilji in 1315 made additions to the building. The main mosque comprises of an inner and outer courtyard,decorated with shafts and surrounded by pillar. Most of these shafts are from the 27 Hindu temples, which were plundered to construct the mosque. It is, therefore, not surprising that the Muslim mosque has typical Hindu ornamentation. Close to the mosque is one of Delhi's most curious antiques, the Iron Pillar.
10. Red Fort
The Red sandstone walls of the massive Red Fort (Lal Qila) rise 33-m above the clamour of Old Delhi as a reminder of the magnificent power and pomp of the Mughal emperors. The walls, built in 1638, were designed to keep out invaders, now they mainly keep out the noise and confusion of the city. The main gate, Lahore Gate, is one of the emotional and symbolic focal points of the modern Indian nation and attracts a major crowd on each Independence Day. An evening sound and light show re-creates events in India's history connected with the fort.
11. Safdarjung Tomb
Safdarjung's Tomb is the last enclosed garden tomb in Delhi in the tradition of Humayun's Tomb, though it if far less grand in scale. It was built in 1753- 54 as mausoleum of Safdarjung, the viceroy of Awadh under the Mughal Emperor, Mohammed Shah. It has several smaller pavilions with evocative names like Jangli Mahal, (Palace in the woods), Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) and Badshah Pasand (King's favourite). The complex also has a madarsa. The archaeological Survey of India maintains a library over the main gateway.
TRAVEL BY ROAD ...
AIRFARES AND TRAVELLING BY AIR ...
BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE ...
First Class 40 Kgs.
Executive Class 35 Kgs.
Economy Class (Y,B,M & H) 20 Kgs.
Economy Class (K,Q,V,W,G,L,U,S,T,X, N & E) 15 Kgs.
Infants not entitled to a seat (All economy classes) Nil
Local festivals may fall on the date of travel and it is possible that the visits to places of interest are modified by the local government or authorities for which we cannot be held responsible. The program would be amended accordingly so that none of the visits included are missed on an alternative provided.
(Wildlife Safari/ Boat ride/ Desert & Rural Safari/ Bicycle & Rickshaw Ride/ Animal Rides)
Boats: To take part in any boat ride, you need to be of average mobility to be able to climb on and off all these boats unaided; able to disembark onto makeshift docks without handrails, or onto muddy and slippery riverbanks.
Canters: These are large, open trucks with wooden bench seats in the back and used for safaris on sharing basis in the national parks.
Elephant ride at Amber Fort (Jaipur): Elephant rides can either be taken to the fort or from the fort based on the directives received from the Rajasthan State Tourism Board and are booked on first come-first serve basis. As such for Elephant ride at Amber Fort, an early departure from the hotel is recommended. Also note Elephant ride to or from the Fort is subject to same being operational and may be stopped due to various reasons by Rajasthan State Tourism Board
Important: At all times, our Tour Managers, Local Guides, and Representatives will assist and brief guests about these activities but cannot guarantee the uninterrupted services during their stay in Indian Subcontinent. All guests must bear full responsibilities for such activities releasing Indior Tours, its associates, its directors, its agents of any claim. It would be in your interest to buy a suitable insurance to cover all risks associated with such travel.
SUGGESTED CLOTHING ...
In order not to encourage begging, we suggest that you should not distribute anything during your visits (candy, money, toys, pens etc.).Should you wish to made donations in cash or kind, please consult your guide who would provide you with the best advice.
We suggest that you spend your money to buy locally produced things made my local craftsmen and take them to the country of your origin and contribute to the local economy thus providing work to those in need.
PRICE AND OTHER CONDITION OF SALE ...
RECOMMENDED TIPS ...
(Indicative only because it is at the discretion of each / not to spare but only tickets ) :
CANCELLATION FEES ...