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  • A Royal Indian Odyssey

A Royal Indian Odyssey

15 Day Escorted Rail Journey

India, Indian Subcontinent
39 Meals Included
13 Excursions
Challenging Pace

From Delhi to Mumbai, this epic journey through royal Rajasthan delves into the history of India's Maharajas, discovers magnificent forts, opulent palaces and breathtaking scenery along colonial railways deep into the heart of this majestic country.

2023 Dossier

2024 Dossier

Tour Highlights

  • Delight in the magnificent Taj Mahal, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World
  • Enjoy city tours of Delhi, Agra, the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Mumbai
  • Embark on four scenic train journeys through India's colourful landscapes
  • Marvel at the incredible Agra, Amber and Mehrangarh Forts
  • Admire the temples and sacred lake at Pushkar
  • Visit the pilgrimage site of Ranakpur Temple
  • Boat ride from the Gateway of India to explore the ancient caves of Elephanta Island
  • Travel on Deogarh's metre gauge train
Number of nights


Day 1
UK to Delhi

Depart London on your scheduled overnight flight to Delhi.

Day 2

Lunch & Dinner

On arrival in Delhi, you will be met by your local guide and transferred to the hotel. After lunch and some time to settle in, a short tour of the beautifully planned city of New Delhi will follow. Offering a taste of its imperial glory, you'll drive past the India Gate, President's House, Parliament Building and visit the Birla Temple, made purely out of 2,000 tons of Rajasthani white marble.

Day 3

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

A full day tour of Delhi commences after breakfast, beginning with the historic Old Delhi in the morning. Lying side by side, Old Delhi dates back to the Mughal period, whilst New Delhi was built just over a hundred years ago. Travelling through the narrow and crowded streets on a rickshaw will transport you back in time, passing vibrant food markets of Old Delhi where breadmakers bake deliciously scented naan from the tandoor ovens and chai wallahs brew their sweet tea. A visit to the regal Red Fort gives you a sense of the lavish life once led by the former rulers before stopping for lunch at a local restaurant. Your tour will continue on to New Delhi to see the Mahatma Gandhi memorial and the 12th century Qutab Minar. Built on the foundations of Jain and Hindu temples, the complex was built in 1193 after the defeat of Delhi's last Hindu kingdom and displays fine examples of Indo-Islamic architecture as well as the tallest stone tower in India.

Day 4
Delhi to Agra

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Waking early, it's time to board the Taj Express* to Agra. This train journey swiftly leaves behind the hustle and bustle of Delhi and arrives into Agra with time for lunch before your afternoon excursions. Despite being a small city, Agra was once the capital of the mighty Mughal dynasty whose strength manifested itself in the huge forts and buildings built to maintain its power. During the afternoon, you will visit the vast red sandstone Agra Fort. The colossal walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built by the Mughals in 1573 and boasts gigantic pavilions, grand palaces and spectacular courtyards.

Day 5
Agra to Jaipur

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

This magical day starts with an early morning tour of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal. Words do not do this remarkable palace justice; it really must be seen to appreciate its stupendous beauty. Taking 17 years and 20,000 men to build, the heartbroken Mughal Emperor Shahjahan dedicated this stunning white marble monument of love to his deceased wife to enshrine her mortal remains. After breakfast back at the hotel, visit Fatehpur Sikri. Built in 1569, it is the ancient capital of Akbar and known as the 'abandoned city' as the area suffered from water shortages making it an unsuitable residence. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant with some time to spare in the afternoon before proceeding to the railway station to catch your train to Jaipur which includes dinner onboard, arriving in Jaipur later that evening.

Day 6

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Begin your first day in Jaipur with a visit to the spectacular Amber Fort, the ancient capital of the royal family until 1728, located just 11km from Jaipur. Spanning over four huge courtyards, you will travel to the centre of the fort by Jeep, passing snake charmers, harems of the Maharajah and the Palace of Mirrors along the way which all make for a truly unforgettable morning. An afternoon city tour of Jaipur takes in the major sights including the home of the royal family of Jaipur - The City Palace and the Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory. Lastly, marvel at the hundreds of tiny windows on the facade of the Hawa Mahal, known to many as the Palace of Winds, where it is said that the women of the royal family could once watch the streets below without being seen. Return to the hotel for lunch Stop for lunch at a local restaurant and some time to walk through the colourful bazaars before enjoying dinner at a local restaurant returning to the hotel for dinner.

Day 7
Jaipur to Pushkar and Jodhpur

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Depart your hotel after breakfast and travel onwards by train to Amer, then transfer to Pushkar, an important Hindu pilgrimage site. The town has hundreds of temples, the most famous being Brahma Temple, said to be one of the few temples in the world dedicated to this deity. The town winds around a vast lake where Hindus come and use one of the 52 ghats to enter and bathe in the holy water during religious ceremonies and festivals. Continue by coach to Jodhpur in time for dinner at your hotel.

Day 8

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Situated on the edge of the Thar desert, Jodhpur is the birthplace of the last Maharaja of India. You'll begin your day-long tour with a visit to the Mehrangarh Fort, a beautiful fort founded in the 15th century by the Rathore Rajputs that appears to rise from bluff-coloured sandstone within the hill itself making it hard to tell where the land ends and the building begins. Strolling through stately palace apartments you'll get a real feel for life as a royal in an Indian court. Later visit Jaswant Thada, the traditional cremation ground of the rulers of Jodhpur with grandiose white marble memorials amongst ornamental gardens.

Day 9
Jodhpur to Deogarh

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Leaving Jodhpur, en-route to Deogarh you will visit the world famous Ranakpur temple complex. Acclaimed for their intricate and superb architectural style, the temples are the largest of the Jain cult and form one of the five major pilgrimage sites. Wholly constructed in marble with more than 1,400 exquisitely carved supportive pillars, they contain numerous beautifully and delicately carved sculptures and are definitely a highlight of any trip to this area. There'll be a break for lunch in a local restaurant before continuing the journey to Deogarh, arriving in time for dinner at the hotel.

Day 10
Deogarh to Udaipur

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Begin your day with a trip on Deogarh's metre-gauge train for a journey around the picturesque local area, passing waterfalls and thick jungle, soaking up the ambience of a bygone era. After lunch in a you'll continue on to Udaipur.

Day 11

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Affectionately known as 'The Venice of the East', magical Udaipur is a city of romance with beautiful lakes and fantastical palaces all bordered by lush, forested hills. This morning you will visit the huge City Palace, lining the eastern shore of Lake Pichola, with its balconies gazing out towards the stunning Lake Palace seemingly floating on the waters of the shimmering lake. Next make a stop at the celebrated Jagdish temple, the largest in the city and whose 79-foot sculpted spire dominates the skyline. Here you can appreciate the three-storied temple that is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Universe.

Day 12
Udaipur to Ahmedabad

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Leaving Rajasthan behind the tour travels onwards to Ahmedabad where you'll explore the city on a varied sightseeing tour, visiting Sabarmati Ashram, the former home and retreat of Mahatma Gandhi as well as the Science City, Swaminarayan Temple and Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, famous for its intricately carved ten stone latticework windows.

Day 13
Ahmedabad to Mumbai

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

This morning board the double-decker express train to Mumbai which arrives in the afternoon. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to explore the surrounding area before dinner with your group.

Day 14

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

An early morning start to commence your full day tour of Mumbai awaits you. Your first stop is the iconic stone arch landmark known as the Gateway of India to board a motorboat to Elephanta Island, explore the ancient caves dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Back in Mumbai, you will delight in admiring such sites as the grand Jain Temple before meandering through the picturesque Hanging Gardens which offer beautiful views of the city and sea before arriving at the beach at Chowpatty. Continue to the museum of Mani Bhavan where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during his visits to Mumbai between 1917-1943 and finally explore the beautiful Kamala Nehru Park. Enjoy a final dinner together with your group.

Day 15
Mumbai to UK


After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK or transfer to your chosen extension.

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This tour can be booked by calling 0330 818 8907

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The hotels listed below are provided for guidance only and final confirmation of your accommodation will be sent to you approximately 10 days before you travel
Metropolitan Hotel and Spa
2 nights
Delhi, India
More details
Ramada Plaza Agra
1 nights
Agra, India
More details
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Tour Reviews

Melvyn Nancarrow

05 Mar 20

4 star standard level varied from very good to average

Trevor Shurmer

03 Mar 20

Excellent choice of hotels, nothing to fault. Your tour manager made the check in a smooth as practicable.

Maria Gammidge

15 Feb 20

Really enjoyed the choice of different hotels, especially the Heritage Hotel!

Lynda Stares

01 Jan 20

All very good, some excellent

S Churchward

06 Dec 19

Mr Singh our guide made the holiday for us he was knowledgeable, helpful and had a good sense of humour which bought the whole group together. He went the extra mile to make the holiday a great experience, the best holiday we have ever had. Thank you and well done.

Glenys Slater

29 Nov 19

Some excellent hotels with good facilities. Buffet style food appreciated. Drinks to purchase were reasonable. All hotels were clean, staff all very helpful and kind. Issues were dealt with swiftly and efficiently. Only one issue, in one hotel, we had used the pool in the afternoon, and needed to shower to go out for an evening visit, but hot water was turned off. Just perhaps mention this to the hotel on the relevant t days of evening trips. All hotels provided excellent range of in room accessories such as shampoo etc. Nothing was too much trouble.

David Wells

20 Oct 19

All hotels were of a high standard with excellent service. Food was good with plenty of choices. Cleanliness was of a high standard.

Keith Bloomfield

09 Jun 19

Some hotels did not provide a mini-bar in the room. No complaints otherwise.

T Aldridge

08 Feb 19

The tour guide (moon) was first class and his assistant deserves a mention as he was tirelessly hardworking.

Ruth Reilly

03 Feb 19

This was a well organised tour with a wonderful itinerary. We were fortunate to have a first rate local guide and driver. The holiday exceeded my expectations and was extremely good value for money

Jean Cassatt

13 Dec 18

Fantastic the only one that let down the tour was the Park Hotel in Mumbai - no hot water in room

Chris Pinder-Packard

20 Oct 18

Excellent value for money

David Marsden

18 Jun 18

All the hotels were good except the Just Rajputana in Udaipur.We arrived to a powere outage..which is no ones fault...but the hotel was totally unprepared and the generator was not working.The standard of the hotel was very poor and not up to four star standard.The cleanliness left a lot to be desired,and the staff were very mediocre.

Jane Sargeant

21 May 18

All excellent . Pool at Fern Mumbai not suitable for female guests felt very uncomfortable.

Antonio Fileccia

23 Mar 18

Most of the Hotels were very good, but the last hotel -The Raddison - while good - was in a slum area of Mumbai and was not at all pleasent and unsafe to venture out of at night. Also it took over an hour to reach from central Mumbai. On 2 occassions we had a very early start and had to have a packed breakfast provided by each Hotel. Almost all of the tour group agreed that both of the breakfasts were very poor and some serious thought as to alternatives need to be looked at.

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Extend Your Tour

A Royal Indian Odyssey with Maldives Beach Stay

5 Day Extension



Important Information

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250.00pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

A visa is required for entry into India. British Citizen Passport Holders will need to obtain a tourist visa. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The Travel Visa Company can only apply for this 120 days before your proposed travel date. When calling the Travel Visa Company they will advise you of any changes to the fees or the procedure, they will also advise you of all information they will require in order to apply for the visa. Alternatively you can visit The Indian Visa Application Centre in London: 142-148 Goswell Road, London, EC1B 7DU. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months before you enter India. Visa requirements are subject to change and obtaining a visa is the responsibility of the traveller and not Mercury Holidays. We recommend you check with your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy prior to departure for the most up to date guidelines regarding visas and passport validity.

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

Flights are operated with Virgin Atlantic, departing London Heathrow. Each passenger is entitled to hold luggage plus 1 item of hand luggage. Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check- in. Check-In should be at least 3 hours before departure. IMPORTANT: Please note that final flight details will be confirmed on your final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check - in. Check-In should be at least 3 hours before departure.

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 35. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

This is an escorted tour, meaning that you will have the services of an English speaking guide during each excursion ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

The currency in India is the Rupee or Rs. The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of India. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in India should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. There are restrictions on taking Indian rupees into India. Visitors, including tourists, are not permitted to take any amount of Indian currency into the country. You can take cash or travellers' cheques (in pounds sterling or another foreign currency) and/or a bank card with you and exchange or withdraw rupees once in India.

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £200-£300 per person will be sufficient for the duration of the tour. Tipping is not compulsory and is at your discretion. Should you wish to tip, this will be collected by your guide at the end of your tour for your convenience. It is asked that if you do not tip in the local currency, please do not give coins as these are difficult to exchange.

The order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions or for operational purposes. For this reason, we have indicated approximate times only. Your local guide will inform you of any schedule changes as they are informed of them. Some road construction and/or weather conditions may lengthen the driving times. Our intention is to adhere to the day-to-day itinerary as printed; however order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions.

On your arrival in Delhi you will be met by a representative from our local agent, Jayasree Travels and Tours, holding a sign displaying: “Mercury Holidays”. The Mercury Holidays/India Travel Service representative will show you to your transfer vehicle. Your guide will be able to answer any queries.

If you need to contact Jayasree Travels and Tours during your stay the details are: Jayasree Travels and Tours Address: F 341-Ground Floor Lado Sarai New Delhi 110030 Telephone Number: 0091 471 2505067 Emergency contact information: Please find below the emergency contact details for Jayasree Travel and Tours: Contact Telephone number Ms Jayasree Vikraman 0091 974 700 5888 Mrs Samitha Azhar 0091 974 471 3380 Mr Biju Unnikrishnan 0091 952 618 8860 Mr Harish Kumar 0091 952 618 8859 Mr Amit Bhardwaj 0091 995 898 8719