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Escorted Tours

Indias Palace on Wheels including

See the Highlights of Kerala

  • UK
  • Delhi
  • Palace on Wheels
  • Jaipur
  • Ranthambore
  • Udaipur
  • Jaisalmer
  • Jodhpur
  • Bharatpur
  • Delhi
  • Highlights of Kerala
  • UK

4 NIGHTS from £529pp

Tour Highlights
  • Authentic Keralan Houseboat Trip
  • Thekkady Hill Station Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Periyar Lake
  • Cochin City Tour
  • Embark on a 7-night journey on the iconic Palace on Wheels train
  • Witness the architectural splendour of the Taj Mahal
  • Look out for the regal Bengal tiger on a safari through the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve
  • Royal welcome in Jaipur and an elephant ride to the impressive Amber Fort
  • Explore Chittorgarh, Ranthambore, Jaisalmer, Agra and Mehrangarh Forts
  • Full-day rickshaw tour of Old and New Delhi
  • Journey by camel into the Thar Desert
  • Birdwatching excursion

Extension from £529pp

Tour + Extension from £3824pp

To book call us on 0800 781 4893

See the Highlights of Kerala

Why not continue your trip beyond Sri Lanka with a mini tour of the beautiful Indian state of Kerala from 529pp. This 4 night extension includes a tour of Cochin, one of India's major ports and trading centres and an overnight trip on an authentic Keralan Houseboat.

Tour Itinerary

UK to Delhi

Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Delhi.


On arrival in Delhi, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After lunch, you will visit the ISKCON temple of Krishna consciousness, which will undertake a short tour before the rest of the day is at leisure. Return to your hotel for tonight's welcome dinner.

  • Lunch & Dinner

A city built over centuries by different rulers and dynasties, each leaving a distinctive stamp, Delhi offers a captivating combination of historic monuments and modern landmarks. Explore both Old and New Delhi on a full-day tour of the city, setting off this morning through the narrow, bustling streets of Old Delhi on a rickshaw. Experience your first taste of Delhi as you embark on a short tour through the carefully planned streets of New Delhi, driving past India Gate, the President's house and Parliament Building before exploring the shrines of the vast Birla Temple. Make your way to the towering, red walls of the Red Fort and explore the intricately etched hallways of this former home of the ruler Shah Jahan, better known as the mastermind behind the Taj Mahal. Visit Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India, then enjoy lunch before crossing over into New Delhi and visiting the Mahatma Gandhi memorial and the 12th century minaret of Qutab Minar.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Palace on Wheels

Check out of your hotel in the late morning with time for some souvenir shopping. After lunch at a local restaurant, transfer to Safdarjung Railway Station where you'll board the Palace on Wheels, your home on the tracks for the next 7 days. Enjoy a traditional welcome and check-in, with time for photos with the traditionally uniformed staff, then refresh yourself with a complimentary welcome drink in the lounge before your early evening departure. Dinner will be on board as the train journeys past the night lights of rural India.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Jaipur (Palace on Wheels)

Step off the train to a royal welcome in Jaipur as you are welcomed by Shehnai music and garlands and whisked away to Hawa Mahal. Known as 'The Palace of the Winds', the 953 windows of this pink palace once shielded the faces of the royal ladies of the household so they could observe street processions unseen. Continue onward to ancient Jantar Mantar and the world's largest sun dial, located in its courtyard. After a short break for some shopping, ride festively adorned elephants up the steep ramparts which lead to the Amber Fort, where you'll have lunch on the fort premises. After lunch, discover the charms of this well-preserved landmark as you explore its courtyards, concubines' chambers, detailed inlays and mirrored ceilings. Drive back into the city, taking in the rich collection of artefacts in the Albert House Museum and the fine white marble of Birla Mandir temple before returning to your train and travelling through the night.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Ranthambore (Palace on Wheels)

Disembark in Ranthambore early this morning for your drive to Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. Journey through the reserve, overlooked by the 10th century hilltop Ranthambore Fort at its centre, as you look out for leopards, hyenas, sloth bears and the majestic tigers which roam its lands. Enjoy lunch on board your train as you travel to Chittorgarh, where you'll take a late afternoon excursion to India's largest fort. Delve into this enormous complex of palaces and towers, dotted with 22 bodies of water, before taking in a night-time light show at the fort. Return to your train for dinner, staying parked at the Chittogarh station for the night.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Udaipur (Palace on Wheels)

Depart Chittorgarh in the early morning for the journey to Udaipur, where today's excursion takes you to the verdant gardens and lotus pool of Saheliyon Ki-Bari, anoramic lake views from the balconies and towers of Udaipur City Palace, and the rare crystal collection of a former Maharana at the Crystal Gallery. After lunch, a spectacular boat ride around the Lake Palace Hotel, sitting atop a small island in the middle of Lake Pichola, allows you to view this former royal summer escape from the water. Return to your train as it departs for your next destination in Rajasthan.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Jaisalmer (Palace on Wheels)

After breakfast, make your way to Gadsisar Lake in Jaisalmer, a water conservation tank built in 1400AD, and wander the temples and shrines that dot its shores. Next, explore the immense Jaisalmer Fort, its walls adorned with delicately carved figures, and look out for its lively bazaar and inhabitants (local people still live inside the fort) as you stroll through its interior. Continue on to the city's 'havelis' for a chance to see these lavish, historic houses of wealthy, former merchants. After lunch, travel to the rolling expanse of the Sam Sand Dunes in the Thar Desert for a camel ride into the sunset. Return to the train for a chance to refresh yourself before a night of traditional music, dancing and performances over dinner at the Gorbandh Palace Hotel. Depart Jaisalmer later this evening on an overnight journey to Jodhpur.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Jodhpur (Palace on Wheels)

Admire the sweeping views from Jaswant Thada as today's tour starts at this splendid marble memorial set against a dramatic mountain backdrop. A short walk takes you to the nearby Mehrangarh Fort, sitting on a hill that soars above Old Jodhpur. Gaze out over the indigo houses that surround the fort and gave rise to the city's nickname, 'The Blue City', before entering the fort through a series of defensive gateways. Explore palatial apartments, wide courtyards and a museum collection then continue on to the museum located in the Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel, which houses the personal artefacts of Jodhpur's former Maharaja. Depart Jodhpur in the late afternoon as you travel towards Bharatpur.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Bharatpur (Palace on Wheels)

Take an early morning bus ride from Bharatpur Railway station to the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and embark on a rickshaw ride through one of the world's best birdwatching sites, as over 375 bird species swoop, glide and nest around you. Return to the train for breakfast as you depart for Agra, where you'll disembark at midday. Explore the maze of courtyards and buildings within the expansive Agra Fort before visiting one of the world's most amazing architectural wonders - the Taj Mahal. Soak in the beauty of the marbled domes and minarets of this testament to Emperor Shah Jahan's love for his late wife. Return to the railway station for dinner and your last night on board the Palace on Wheels.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Your rail journey comes to an end as your early checkout takes place after breakfast. Check into your hotel in Delhi and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Why not do some last-minute shopping in Chandni Chowk, one of the oldest and busiest markets in India, or retreat to the peaceful greenery of Lodhi Gardens, making the most of this chance to explore the city at your own pace.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Delhi to the UK

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

  • Breakfast
Delhi to Kochi (Cochin)

Depart Delhi in the morning for your flight to Cochin in India's beautiful southern state of Kerala, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

  • Breakfast
Cochin to Alleppey

Today you will board a traditional houseboat which will be both your transport and accommodation. This leisurely cruise takes you through the winding backwaters of Kerala, meandering through the beautiful lagoons, rivers and canals whilst enjoying the local food and stunning rural scenery of the surrounding villages.

  • Breakfast
Alleppey to Thekkady

Disembarking your houseboat after breakfast, your tour continues with a drive through the spectacular countryside. Journey on to Thekkady, a stunning area located high in the Cardamom hills containing tea gardens, rubber, coffee and pepper plantations. Following lunch, a visit to a plantation and spice market await you.

  • Breakfast
Thekkady to Cochin

A highlight of Thekkady is the Periyar National Park, India's largest wildlife sanctuary. Board a boat at Periyar Lake where you can view various species of wildlife and enjoy picturesque scenery. Proceed to Cochin for a city tour to see the impressive Chinese fishing nets, before taking a ride through the village roads in a tuk-tuk. You will see the Mattanchery Duch Palace and St. Francis, the oldest European church in India.

  • Breakfast
Cochin to the UK

Depart after breakfast for your return flight to the UK.

  • Breakfast

Important Information


A visa is required for entry into India. British Citizen Passport Holders will need to obtain an e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for travel to India. 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 cost of the visa is approximately £96 per person. The Travel Visa Company can only apply for this 30 days before your proposed travel date and takes around 10 working days to issue. It is only valid for a 30 day single entry stay from the date of arrival. 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.


You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Direct is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:

Age in YearsUp to 6465 - 7475 - 85
Up to 17 days cover£39£75£129
For all persons 86 years and over, please contact us for insurance prices. 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 Direct 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.


If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp 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.

Flight Information

All flights are operated by Sri Lankan Airlines. Each passenger is entitled to 20kg of hold luggage & hand luggage of 5kg not exceeding 56cm x 36cm x 23cm in size. Flight times are for guidance only & subject to change. These timings are for the Jewels of Sri Lanka tour only and may vary. If you have booked an optional add on please contact our reservations department for more information.

Health and Vaccinations

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;,,, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

Physical Accessibility

This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves climbing of steep stairs and getting on and off coaches, trains and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

Group Size

There is no minimum number of travellers for this extension however the main tour passenger numbers will apply for the main part of the tour. If in the unlikely event there are less than the required number of people booked on your main tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

Tour Guide

This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip. You will also be joined by a local guide in each of the cities which you visit, ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

Currency Information

The currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of Sri Lanka. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in these destinations, should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. Therefore, it is very important that you budget carefully.

The currency in Kerala is the Indian Rupee (RS). The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of Kerala. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in these destinations, should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. Therefore, it is very important that you budget carefully.

Personal Expenses

Tipping is common practice and seen as a way of life in Sri Lanka. It is customary to tip both your driver and guide 200 rupees (approximately £1) per person per day.

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 £100 - £200 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKExtension PriceTour PriceTotal PriceBook Now
2018 Dates
23 Sep 201808 Oct 2018£529£3295£3824SOLD OUT
11 Nov 201824 Nov 2018£529£4079£4608Book Now
2019 Dates
27 Jan 201911 Feb 2019£529£3879£4408Book Now
10 Feb 201925 Feb 2019£529£4079£4608Book Now
10 Mar 201925 Mar 2019£529£4079£4608Book Now
31 Mar 201915 Apr 2019£559£3295£3854Book Now

Included in the Price

  • Fully Escorted Tour with local English Speaking Guides throughout
  • Scheduled Flights from the UK.
  • All internal travel including air-conditioned/heated transportation.
  • Accommodation, meals as specified and entry fees to all sights.
  • All airport taxes and security charges.

Additional Expenses

  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Any meals not specified in your itinerary
Travelling Alone?

We have 2 rooms available on every tour date for single occupancy use, however a single supplement must be paid on the add-on part of the tour.

Colombo Airport Closure 2017

Please note Colombo Airport will be switching to nighttime operation in order to carry out refurbishment in early 2017. As a result, an extra night may need to be spent in Colombo on selected dates prior to flying to Kerala. Your full itinerary and whether you are affected will be confirmed to you in writing post booking.

What to expect

Fact File
Min/Max temperature

20 °C / 40 °C

What to pack
  • Insect repellent and sun cream
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Waterproof lightweight jacket
  • Sunglasses and Hat
  • Ruck sack
  • Binoculars
  • Camera and charger
  • Loo paper for public WCs
  • Long sleeve shirt and long trousers
  • Swimwear
  • Anti-bacterial hand sanitiser
  • Personal toiletries and first aid kit containing travel pills, rehydration powder, plasters, stomach settlers, antiseptic creams, aspirin etc
  • An electric plug converter - The voltage in India is 220 Volts with plugs and sockets having either grounded 3 pin connections or ungrounded 2 pin connections.
  • Should you plan to use your own hairdryer, travel iron, video camera, battery charger, electric shaver etc, it is advisable to bring a multi-adaptor.
Tour Dossiers
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Other Extensions

Tour Route
  • UK
  • Delhi
  • Palace on Wheels
  • Jaipur
  • Ranthambore
  • Udaipur
  • Jaisalmer
  • Jodhpur
  • Bharatpur
  • Delhi
  • Amritsar
  • UK

Visit Amritsar, the cultural and spiritual centre of the Sikh religion, located in the heart of Punjab. Famous for its traditional handicraft and handloom products the city is also home to the magnificent Golden Temple, Sikhism's holiest shrine and one of India's most serene and humbling sights.

2 nights
from £449pp
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