Board the Maharajas' Express in Delhi. The Maharajas' Express departs Delhi in the morning and travels to Agra.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast. After breakfast visit Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565, it is a maze of courtyards and lavish private chambers which reflect the grandeur of the Mughal Empire. Visit the Diwan-e-aam (House of Commons) and royal pavilions like the Shah Jahani Mahal. Wander through lavishly decorated halls, courtyards and alcoves glimpsing the Taj Mahal in the distance. Head to the Taj Khema, a tableland overlooking the Taj Mahal where colourful 'khemas' (decorated tents) are set up for a romantic Champagne Lunch. Continue on a visit to the Taj Mahal. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was built by Shah Jehan as a mausoleum for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. This incomparable marvel is constructed entirely out of white marble and is an architectural masterpiece with beautiful inlay work. Enjoy shopping at Agra, famous for its marble and soapstone inlay work. Rejoin the train and continue your eventful journey to princely Gwalior. Dinner and Overnight on board.
Early this morning, you will arrive into Gwalior. Following breakfast, enjoy a visit to Gwalior city. Gwalior's tradition as a royal capital continued until the formation of present day India, with the Scindias having their dynastic seat here. The magnificent mementos of a glorious past have been preserved with care, giving Gwalior an appeal which is unique and timeless. Enjoy a visit to the magnificent Gwalior Fort, the city's most famous landmark that contains within its wall several interesting temples and ruined palaces - the marvellous Man Mandir Palace, Gujari Mahal, Sas Bahu Ka Mandir and Suraj Kund. Continue for lunch to the Usha Kiran Palace. Enter this 120-year-old palace, which has played host to the King of England and is now a heritage hotel. Following lunch, explore the Jai Vilas Palace and Scindia Museum. Located in the new town, the Palace belongs to the Scindia family. Although the current Maharaja still lives in a portion of the palace, a large part of it is now a museum. The Scindia Museum displays royal memorabilia and a remarkable collection of artefacts from around the world. The crystal staircase, arched ceiling with stunning gold leaf work, two of the world's largest chandeliers, each weighing over three tons are extremely noteworthy items found within the palace. Revisit the Usha Kiran Palace for Cocktails. Dinner and overnight on board.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and get ready to spend the day exploring the erotic architecture of the temples of Khajuraho. Enroute you will enjoy a stop at the bejewelled town of Orchha. On arrival in Orchha, disembark and venture on tour of the quaint domain of the Bundela Kings. Visit the Jahangiri Mahal which is an excellent example of the Rajput Bundela architecture. Marvel the multi layered palace with its 132 chambers. A striking feature of the palace are the sandstone walls embellished with lapis lazuli tiles and ornate jail screens. Catch a glimpse of some rituals being performed as you pass the beautiful temple of Chaturbhuj which is a unique blend of fort and temple architecture. Not to be missed are the beautiful chhatris better known as cenotaphs of the Orchha rulers lying along the Betwa River. Return to the train and continue onwards to the temple city of Khajuraho. Admire the rich landscape as you have lunch on board. Located in Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is renowned for its architecture and exquisite sculptures. Built between 950 and 1050 AD in a truly inspired burst of creativity, the temples are superb examples of Indo-Aryan architecture. Proceed on a tour of the magnificent temples of Khajuraho, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the Western group which constitutes some of the finest examples of Chandela art at its peak. Visit the Kandariya Mahadev Temple and the Chaunsath Yogini Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and the 64 Yoginis respectively. Continue to the Eastern group of temples. Visit the exquisite Jain Temples and admire some of the finest sculpture and carvings. Following lunch, familiarise yourself with the local culture and the rural lifestyle of the villagers on a guided Village Walk. Dinner and Overnight on board.
Very early this morning, you will arrive into Umaria. Prepare yourself for an exciting drive to the Bandhavgarh National Park. With the highest known density of tigers, it was the former hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Rewa. Animals such as deers, langurs, sloth bears and exotic birds can also be found here. Watch them in their natural surroundings and we ensure the thrill more than makes up for the early wake up call. Following brunch, you will return to Umaria and continue the journey. Dinner and Overnight on board.
Rise early and arrive into the legendary city of Varanasi. Following an early morning tea / coffee, get ready to witness a spectacular sunrise over the sacred Ganges. One of the oldest living cities in the world, Varanasi (also known as Kashi or Benares) has a spiritual legacy of over 3000 years. Continue for a walk through the twisting alleys absorbing the hustle and bustle of the Old City. After breakfast, visit the world famous Varanasi Silk Weaving Centre. Following lunch, visit the ancient ruins of Sarnath, where Buddha delivered his first sermon expounding the principles of Buddhism. Visit the ruins, stupa and the Ashoka Pillar, whose four back-to-back lions have been adopted as India's national emblem. Dinner and Overnight on board.
Enjoy traversing through the lush green agricultural belt of Uttar Pradesh as you relish your breakfast on board. Late morning, the Maharajas' Express slowly pulls into the fabled 'City of Nawabs', Lucknow.This morning you will explore the dramatic ruins of Imperialistic Lucknow as you visit The Residency, started by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulla and completed by Nawab Sadat Ali for the British resident in 1800. Unravel the history of the Mutiny of 1857 at the Residency as you explore her ruins and visit the main Residency building which houses an interesting Museum displaying the original model of the Residency, old lithographs, photographs, paintings, documents and period-objects.Experience the imperialistic splendour and mystical elegance of the Nawabs of Awadh as you visit their architectural wonders like the famous 'Rumi Darwaza", a beautifully ornamented gateway; the spectacular Bada Imambara considered to be the largest vaulted apartment in the world comprising of ornamental gateways,corridors and galleries. Following lunch, you will return to the train and may join the Nawabi evening later. For those who wish to explore further, the bustling markets of this royal city will not disappoint.This evening you will be transported into the glorious era of the Nawabs of Avadh as you experience the traditional hospitality typical to the Royal Houses, celebrating an 'Indian Evening'. The mesmerising music, exquisite courtesan dance and the Royal Culinary Delights from the Nawabi kitchens - all combine to bring alive the elegance and charm of the Nawabi era.Then return to the train and continue on your onward journey. Nawabi Evening Dinner at a Private residence.
Early this morning the train pulls into New Delhi. Following breakfast on board you will disembark. Bid farewell to the Maharajas' Express as your 'Classical India' journey comes to an end. The royal journey is over, but the memory of which, will live on forever!