An extraordinary journey by luxury train travel through the heart of India
Ten nights from £2,799 per person
Selected departures September to November 2013
It is widely acknowledged that travelling by train is a superb way to experience the vast, intriguing and surprising country that is India. The Indian Maharaja, using the newly restored carriages of the Deccan Odyssey train, now offers one of the world’s most extraordinary and unique travel experiences. This incredible train really is one of the world’s great travel experiences with 21 coaches of sheer luxury; it carries just 96 guests from Delhi to Mumbai. On boarding you will go straight to the beautifully styled passenger coaches each of which has just four deluxe twin or double cabins with private bathroom (see photographs overleaf). With fine bed linen and tasteful wood panelling you will already be immersed in the atmosphere of a bygone age and for the ultimate in attentive service each carriage even has its own butler.
India is not only an incredible, unique country and civilization; it’s also a mind-boggling potpourri of sights, sounds, colours and experiences: a culture-shock of astonishing contrasts. Whatever your opinions or preconceptions, it is without a doubt one of the world’s ‘must-see’ destinations. Our tour includes a visit to the Taj Mahal at sunset, when its white marble is bathed in a soft golden glow – an extraordinary experience! Built to house the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, Emperor Jahan’s wife, it took 20,000 men 22 years to complete. The end result is more than just an astonishing world monument, it has come to symbolise the pure and enduring love between a man and wife. For many this will certainly be the highlight of the tour – but India is nothing if not surprising and the sights of the palaces and forts of Rajasthan, the tigers of Ranthambore, as well as the remnants of British colonial influence in so many facets of Indian life make this tour an endlessly fascinating journey of discovery.
The Indian Maharaja also travels through what is arguably India’s most colourful and best-known state of Rajasthan. Fringed by deserts, populated by a fiercely proud and warrior-like people and with more forts and palaces than anywhere else in the country, no other region more clearly illustrates the ancient and modern paradoxes of India. We see the sights of its capital city of Jaipur, known the Pink City because of the hue of its walls and so many of its buildings. We visit the Maharajah’s City Palace plus the great Amber Fort, one of the masterpieces of Rajput architecture, guarding the northern approaches to the city. We also visit Udaipur, the City of Lakes, with the magnificent unashamed luxury of its amazing marble lake palaces.
Fully Escorted Price Includes:
- Return scheduled direct flights from Heathrow
- Enjoy your own exclusive deluxe en-suite compartment on one of India’s most luxurious private trains
- Experience the delights of exquisite Indian or International cuisine on board prepared by chefs from Taj Hotels-one of the world’s finest hospitality companies
- Stay in hand-picked 5-star luxury hotels in Delhi and Mumbai
- Visit all the major sights of Old and New Delhi, including poignant reminders of the Raj
- See the magnificent Taj Mahal and gaze in awe at the simple purity of its white marble and the exquisite craftmanship of its inlay work
- Visit the Pink City of Jaipur, with a guided tour of its City Palace, Astronomical Observatory and the Palace of the Winds
- Marvel at the extraordinary location and beauty of Amber Fort
- Enjoy a guided tour of the 400-year old deserted Moghul city of Fatehpur Sikri
- Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Ellora and Ajanta Caves, with India’s best ancient cave-paintings
- Game drives in the tiger reserve of Ranthambore National Park
- Discover the amazing beauty of Udaipur and its many royal palaces
- Enjoy a specially arranged Gala Dinner in the City Palace in Jaipur
- All meals included whilst on the Indian Maharaja train
- Escorted by an experienced Tour Manager
Not included: Indian Visa
All holders of British Passports will require a visa to travel to India. A Single entry tourist visa costs £30 per person, plus a £10.20 service charge and can be applied for in person or by post. The duration of the visa issued is generally three months and the visa is valid from the date of issue. We therefore recommend applying for the visa approximately two months before departure, to ensure it covers the full duration of your stay in India.
Personal applications: to apply for an Indian visa please visit http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk where you can apply, pay online and schedule an appointment to submit your application in person at your nearest centre, dependant on your home address.
Postal applications: you must either apply and pay online, print off the completed application form, payment confirmation and submit by post; or alternatively, you may apply online, print off the completed application and submit along with payment by postal order. Personal cheques are NOT accepted. In both cases you must submit your passport along with a self addressed stamped envelope and two 2"x2" photos to the address below. Handwritten applications are no longer accepted.
Indian Visa Application Centre
Please note passports are required to be valid for a minimum of 190 days at the time of application for the visa and not at the time of travel/return from India. You can travel as long as both the passport and the visa are valid.
Full details of costs, application form and addresses can be found on http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 0905 7570045 (calls cost 95p per minute). Visa fees are subject to change without notice and non-refundable
The majority of the questions will be personal to you; however, we have listed below some frequently asked questions concerning the completing of the application form. Everything on the form marked with a red asterix is a mandatory field.
1 UK referee is required. Friends and family are acceptable, but can not be at the same address as the applicant.
1 Indian referee is required and this is detailed below.
Udyog Vihar Phase 3
TEL: 0091 124 612 0100
Processing times vary from application to application at the sole discretion of the High Commission of India and its Consulates in the UK, and some applications may take longer than others to get processed. Here are some estimates of processing times under normal circumstances:
Applications submitted in London, Birmingham and Edinburgh will take minimum 2 to 3 working days to be processed. Applications submitted in Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow will take a minimum of 5 to 7 working days. (The same are for UK nationals only, though would vary from case to case)
Applications in the following cases may take longer (minimum 7-8 weeks or more) to be processed:
- Non-UK passport holders residing in the UK for less than two years (minimum 15 working days)
- Nationals or origin of Pakistan (Minimum 7-8 weeks)
- Nationals of Sri Lanka, China, Bangladesh, Afghanistan (Minimum 15 working days)
- Where clearance from India is mandatory
In addition, if the High Commission or the Consulate General requires an applicant to attend an interview, the India Visa Application Centre will contact the applicant and inform the date and time of the interview accordingly.
Please note VFS is not involved in the process of assessment of visa applications, or their grant or refusal. The assessment of visa applications is carried out by the High Commission of India or its Consulates, and the grant or refusal of India visas is at their sole discretion. The processing of your application is subject to the procedures and timescales of the Indian High Commission and Consulates, over which we have no control.
Postal applications need a minimum of 10 -15 working days to be processed. This does not include the period they are in transit to and from the High Commission or the Consulate General. Application once sent in post can not be withdrawn unless there is an emergency for which documentary evidence shall be required. VF Services UK Ltd, shall not bear responsibility for any delays in postal transit or loss in transit owing to third party involved. We hope this information will be of use to you and assure you of our best attention at all times.
Whilst the travelling schedule shall pose no problems for people of any age in normal physical health, we would point out that in visiting a number of historical sites, paths may be uneven and uphill and we often enjoy walking tours of the main sights. Therefore this holiday may not be suitable for clients of greatly impaired mobility. In the tropics temperatures and humidity levels will also be quite high for most of the year. Please consult your GP regarding the appropriate inoculations required for India at least a month before departure.
To make the most of your trip, we recommend you check the Foreign Office website at www.fco.gov.uk/travel