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"The past is never dead. It's not even past." -- William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun

The Palace on Wheels

Delhi › Jaipur › Sawai Madhopur › Udaipur › Jaisalmer › Jodhpur › Bharatpur › Agra › Delhi

Monday January 31, 2011
We arrived at the Indira Gandhi International airport at around 3 AM, Delhi time, and checked into The Claridges in New Delhi. Later that day we began to explore the city: perfectly safe but like all parts of India we were pursued by people trying to sell us things or take us on tours. Margaret, Miriam, and Jon took the Delhi subway which is modern and efficient, although the first car is reserved for women to allow them to get away from unwanted advances. Later that day, we took a tuk-tuk around the city, stopped at a rug store, Art of India and visited the Lodi Garden where Iskander Lodi is buried.

The next two days we had a car, driver, and guide to take us to the sights of Old and New Delhi: the Red Fort, Shah Jahan's Jama Masjid mosque, Humayun's Tomb and the Qutub Minar tower.

Day 1 - Wednesday - On board
The Palace on Wheels leaves not from the main railway station but from the Delhi Safdarjung Railway station where guests are welcomed in traditional Indian style before the royal train pulls out into the night for a week-long journey through the heart of Indian tourism, Rajasthan, the home of the Princely States of the Hindu Rajputs.

Jaipur is the first stop of Palace on Wheels that enjoys the reputation of the best-planned cities of the world in the bygone era. Known as the Pink City, Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, in 1727 A.D.

Day 3 - Friday - Sawai Madhopur

Sawai Madhopur the next destination of Palace on wheels is the place where we hoped to see tigers in the Ranthambore National Park but did not.

Day 3 - Friday - Chittaurgarh
After lunch proceed to Chittaurgarh, India's Camelot, the heart of the Rajput chivalric mythology: the thrice-besieged, Chittaur Fort (garh).

Udaipur, the City of Lakes is adorned by the beautiful palaces, temples and lakes.

Jaisalmer lies in the heart of the Great Indian Desert, Thar Desert.

Day 6 - Monday - Jodhpur
Jodhpur is the blue city, where lies the rock-solid Mehrangarh Fort. It is the second largest city of Rajasthan encircled by a high stone wall with seven gates and several bastions.

Day 7 - Tuesday - Bharatpur / Agra

Bharatpur is a bird sanctuary. Agra was the seat of power of Akbar and the location of his grandson Shah Jahan's memorial to his wife, the great Taj Mahal.

Day 8 - Wednesday - Delhi
The train arrives back at Delhi Safdarjung Railway station in the morning and it's off the train.

Originally published: Saturday, February 12, 2011; most-recently modified: Friday, June 07, 2019