Travel through Rajasthan as you visit the best of Northern India by land and train, including Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur.

Starting at: $11,450 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The ethereal Taj Mahal  A cabin aboard Royal Rajasthan on Wheels  Mehrangarh Fort, overlooking the blue city of Jodhphur  Interior view of the Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhphur  Fresco in Jodhpur  The City Palace overlooking Lake Pichola, Udaipur  Courtyard of the City Palace, Udaipur  Architectural details, City Palace courtyard, Udaipur  The elusive Bengal tiger, Ranthambore National Park  Amber Palace, perched on the hill in Jaipur  Detail of architecture at Jaipur's Amber Palace  Amber Fort courtyard, Jaipur  The courtyard of the City Palace Museum in Jaipur  The newly restored Palace of the Winds in Jaipur  Ancient observatory in Jaipur  The legendary Taj Mahal in Agra  Red Fort, Agra  Architectural detail from the Red Fort, Agra  White Throated Kingfisher, Keoladeo Ghana National Park  Egret, Keoladeo Ghana National Park  The dining car of Royal Rajasthan on Wheels  Hospitality in the bar car

Journey Through India's Rajasthan

Featuring the Palace on Wheels Train

13 days from $11,450

Travel through Rajasthan as you visit the best of Northern India by land and train, including Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

All my Smithsonian Journeys have been excellent, but Northern India's Royal Rajasthan belongs in a class by itself: a challenging, endlessly fascinating trip that visits ancient histories and cultures.

- John T.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Lalit Hotel

Jaipur, India

The Lalit Hotel, located near the City Palace complex, offers 231 rooms and suites, which feature a modern design with a blend of traditional local architecture and appointed with Rajasthani artwork. The hotel offers a spa, which features steam baths, hydrotherapy rooms and a wide variety of massage treatments. The on-site gym is fully equipped with aerobic and fitness equipment and there is a large outdoor pool. Spacious rooms offer complimentary WiFi, coffee/tea maker, bathrobes and slippers, and hairdryer. Laundry service is available. There are four dining options at the hotel – an all-day restaurant (24/7 Restaurant) with Western and Asian cuisines, and a Pan Indian restaurant (Baluchi). In addition, the Lalit Boulangerie offers baked goods and sweets, and The Circle bar offers cocktails and light fare.

Number of nights: 2

Taj Mahal Hotel

New Delhi, India

The hotel is a city landmark, located close to the seat of government in the exclusive residential area of Lutyens’ Delhi. The hotel is a showcase of artifacts with the lobby’s domes and panels perfectly complementing marble fountain streams. The contemporary, air-conditioned rooms offer guest amenities that include international direct dial phones, complimentary wireless internet access, a mini-bar, a personal safe, robes, hairdryer, and a satellite color television with music channels. The hotel amenities include a beauty salon, currency exchange, a doctor-on-call, laundry and dry cleaning service, a health club, a spa, a pool, and a business center. There are three restaurants that serve Chinese, Japanese, and Indian cuisine, plus the Machan restaurant, which serves a variety of Southeast Asian, Indian, and contemporary western cuisine including salads and sandwiches. There is also a café, a lounge, and 24-hour room service. 

Number of nights: 2

The Trident Hotel

Agra, India

The Trident Hotel is the perfect base to experience Agra.  Beautifully landscaped gardens and water fountains welcome guests to this charming hotel.  Built in local stone, reminiscent of the Mughal era, the hotel features 135 rooms and suites, which overlook the central courtyard and gardens.  All of the rooms feature flat screen LCD televisions, tea and coffee making facilities, a personal bar, safe, en suite bath with shower and hair dryer.  There is a selection of dining options.  The hotel offers a business center, gym and swimming pool.

Number of nights: 2

Sawai Madhopur Lodge

Ranthambore National Park, India

Formerly a hunting lodge for the Maharaja of Jaipur, tents were pitched among the twelve acres of lush gardens and the royal family camped here often. The original art deco styled lodge still houses the original dining hall, bar, and lounge, but the tents have made way for luxurious rooms and suites. Located just 20 minutes from Ranthambore National Park, the historic hotel has an elegant restaurant, a poolside bar, and an inside lounge/bar. Hotel amenities include an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center. Each of the 36 spacious guestrooms has air-conditioning, an electronic safe, a minibar, satellite television, coffee and tea making facilities, direct-dial telephone, robes and slippers, and the bathroom has a separate shower and large soaking tub. Complimentary high-speed internet access is available in the public areas and the guestrooms. 

Number of nights: 1

Radisson Blu Hotel Delhi (Day Room)

Delhi, India

The five-star Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi is conveniently located just 15 minutes from the Delhi International airport and close to Gurgaon, a popular business, and shopping district. Each of the hotel’s 261 spacious air-conditioned rooms has an LCD television, minibar, coffee/tea making facilities, and complimentary internet access. The bathroom features a mist-free mirror, glass-wall with electric blinds, and a rain shower. There are five on-site restaurants and bars and 24-hour room service. Hotel services include a business center, gym, pool, and rejuvenating treatments in the spa.

Tour Extension

Varanasi Post-Program Option 5 Days, 4 Nights

Enjoy a four-night extension to explore the sacred sites of Varanasi. Situated on the banks of the Ganges River, enjoy a cruise on the river and witness the Hindu rituals that are part of everyday life. Visit the ancient Buddhist monuments of Sarnath and learn about Baranas Hindu University.

Activity Level

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active


Expectations: Most trips will feature long touring days, many full-day excursions, and a full and active itinerary with a faster pace and longer distances. Some tours may have activities with higher intensity and more active choices/options. Excursions require standing and walking for extended periods of time over more difficult terrain (cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, limited or no access to elevators, muddy/slippery walking/hiking trails), and walking to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Specific itineraries may feature hiking, use of local transportation, extended overnight train travel, extensive use of Zodiac crafts or other smaller ship conveyances, or multiple internal plane rides. Some itineraries may require early morning departures and later evening returns. Travelers may be in remote and/or rugged regions, and may be touring at higher altitudes with steep ascents/descents. Leisure time may be limited (sometimes only in the later evenings). Certain tours feature more active excursions (such as moderate hiking, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, bicycling, rafting, or kayaking), though another choice may be offered for an alternate skill level. Walking/hiking tours may feature up to six-mile walks/hikes.  

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion. 

Train

Palace on Wheels

Experience Rajasthan, the land of Mughal kingdoms, varied landscapes, and vibrant colors, in a truly royal fashion aboard the Palace on Wheels. Modeled after the personal railway coaches of the royal maharajas, the train captures the essence of a bygone era, incorporating the contemporary amenities that make this the perfect way to travel the breadth of Northern India. The Palace on Wheels offers brilliant interiors, sumptuous meals, superior wines, and friendly, personalized service. The 14 air-conditioned cabins are named after royal palaces and are appointed with carved wooden furniture, fine bedding and draperies, WiFi/Internet access, satellite TV, spa, and en suite facilities. Guests dine on specialties from India, the Continent, and China in the train’s attractive dining compartments.

 The dining car of Royal Rajasthan on Wheels  A cabin aboard Royal Rajasthan on Wheels  Deluxe Cabin  Hospitality in the bar car  Super Deluxe Cabin

Palace on Wheels

Experience Rajasthan, the land of Mughal kingdoms, varied landscapes, and vibrant colors, in a truly royal fashion aboard the Palace on Wheels. Modeled after the personal railway coaches of the royal maharajas, the train captures the essence of a bygone era, incorporating the contemporary amenities that make this the perfect way to travel the breadth of Northern India. The Palace on Wheels offers brilliant interiors, sumptuous meals, superior wines, and friendly, personalized service. The 14 air-conditioned cabins are named after royal palaces and are appointed with carved wooden furniture, fine bedding and draperies, WiFi/Internet access, satellite TV, spa, and en suite facilities. Guests dine on specialties from India, the Continent, and China in the train’s attractive dining compartments.

 The dining car of Royal Rajasthan on Wheels  A cabin aboard Royal Rajasthan on Wheels  Deluxe Cabin  Hospitality in the bar car  Super Deluxe Cabin
Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

All my Smithsonian Journeys have been excellent, but Northern India's Royal Rajasthan belongs in a class by itself: a challenging, endlessly fascinating trip that visits ancient histories and cultures.

- John T.
Reading List
India
By: Stanley Wolpert
This new edition brings Stanley Wolpert's brilliantly succinct and accessible introduction to India completely up to date for a new generation of readers, travelers, and students. In crisp detail, Wolpert gives a panoramic overview of the continent on which the world's most fascinating ancient civilization gave birth to one of its most complex modern democratic nations. India now includes new sections on the country's current global economic development, the recent national elections, and on its international relations, including those with Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka, and the United States, India's new strategic global partner.
Taj Mahal (Wonders of the World)
By: Giles Tillotson
An enduring monument of haunting beauty, the Taj Mahal seems a symbol of stability itself. The familiar view of the glowing marble mausoleum from the gateway entrance offers the very picture of permanence. And yet this extraordinary edifice presents a shifting image to observers across time and cultures. The meaning of the Taj Mahal, the perceptions and responses it prompts, ideas about the building and the history that shape them: these form the subject of Giles Tillotson’s book. More than a richly illustrated history―though it is that as well―this book is an eloquent meditation on the place of the Taj Mahal in the cultural imagination of India and the wider world.Since its completion in 1648, the mausoleum commissioned by the fifth Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, has come to symbolize many things: the undying love of a man for his wife, the perfection of Mughal architecture, the ideal synthesis of various strands of subcontinental aesthetics, even an icon of modern India itself. Exploring different perspectives brought to the magnificent structure―by a Mughal court poet, an English Romantic traveler, a colonial administrator, an architectural historian, or a contemporary Bollywood filmmaker―this book is an incomparable guide through the varied and changing ideas inspired by the Taj Mahal, from its construction to our day. In Tillotson’s expert hands, the story of a seventeenth-century structure in the city of Agra reveals itself as a story about our own place and time.
Mirrorwork: 50 Years of Indian Writing 1947-1997
By: Brand: Picador
This unique anthology presents thirty-two selections by Indian authors writing in English over the past half-century. Selected by Salman Rushdie and Elizabeth West, these novel excerpts, stories, and memoirs illuminate wonderful writing by authors often overlooked in the West. Chronologically arranged to reveal the development of Indian literature in English, this volume includes works by Jawaharlal Nehru, Nayantara Sahgal, Saadat Hasan Manto, G.V. Desani, Nirad C. Chaudhuri, Kamala Markandaya, Mulk Raj Anand, R.K. Narayan, Ved Mehta, Anita Desai, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Satyajit Ray, Salman Rushdie, Padma Perera, Upamanyu Chatterjee, Rohinton Mistry, Bapsi Sidhwa, I. Allan Sealy, Shashi Tharoor, Sara Suleri, Firdaus Kanga, Anjana Appachana, Amit Chaudhuri, Amitav Ghosh, Githa Hariharan, Gita Mehta, Vikram Seth, Vikram Chandra, Ardashir Vakil, Mukul Kesavan, Arundhati Roy, and Kiran Desai.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Delhi, Agra & Jaipur
By: DK Travel
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Delhi, Agra & Jaipur is your in-depth guide to the very best of this region of India. Explore the must-see sights, from Humayun's Tomb to the world-famous Taj Mahal. Learn about the great pantheon of Hindu gods. Experience the local wildlife, temples, bazaars, museums and attractions. Whether in the bustling center of Delhi or the dusty, provincial town of Alwar, you will find something to fascinate you in this region, which encompasses both old and new.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Delhi, Agra & Jaipur:   • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.    • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.    • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.    • Free, color pull-out map (print edition) of Delhi marked with sights, a selected sight and street index, public transit map, practical information on getting around, and a distance chart for measuring walking distances .    • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.    • Area maps marked with sights .    • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.    • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Delhi, Agra & Jaipur truly shows you this region as no one else can.
Lonely Planet Hindi, Urdu & Bengali Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Shahara Ahmed, Richard Delacy
Lonely Planet's Hindi, Urdu & Bengali Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Get more from your multi-country trip with easy-to-find phrases for Hindi, Urdu & Bengali. Ask for directions in dynamic Delhi, book a river trip through Bangladeshi countryside, or haggle like a local at street bazaars; all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now! Coverage Includes: Hindi, Urdu & Bengali.Organized by language, this one-stop resource makes travelling through multiple countries simple. With each language you can: Feel at ease with essential tips on culture, manners, idioms and multiple meanings Order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods with the menu decoder Save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips Never get stuck for words with the 400-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary Be prepared for common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology Meet friends with conversation starter phrases Get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides Inside Lonely Planet's Hindi, Urdu & Bengali Phrasebook & Dictionary: Full-color throughout User-friendly layout organized by travel scenario categories Survival phrases inside front cover for at-a-glance on-the-fly cues Language map for quick reference Covers Basics - time, dates, numbers, pronunciations, reading tips, grammar rules, common language difficulties Practical - sightseeing, banking, post office, internet, phones, repairs, bargaining, accommodations, directions, border crossing, transport Social - meeting people, interests, feelings, opinions, going out, romance, culture, weather Safe Travel - emergencies, police, doctor, chemist, dentist, symptoms, conditions Food - ordering, at-the-market, at- the-bar, dishes, ingredients The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet's Hindi, Urdu & Bengali Phrasebook & Dictionary, a pocket-sized, comprehensive multi-language guide, provides on-the-go language assistance; great for language students and travellers looking to interact with locals and immerse themselves in local culture. Looking for more? Check out Lonely Planet's India phrasebook for coverage of 15 languages spoken in India. Check out our Fast Talk Phrasebook mobile app for on-the-go language needs. (Available languages: German, Latin Spanish, European Spanish, French, and Italian.) Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Richard Delacy, Shahara Ahmed About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet is the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, and has been connecting travellers and locals for over 25 years with phrasebooks for 120 languages, more than any other publisher! With an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community, Lonely Planet enables curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves. The world awaits!
Lonely Planet India Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Shahara Ahmed, Quentin Frayne, Jodie Martire
Lonely Planet: The world's #1 phrasebook publisher* Lonely Planet India Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Get more from your trip with easy-to-find phrases for eating like a Maharaja, joining in with some of the multitude of festivals and celebrations throughout the country, and bargaining your way through the thousands of colourful markets; all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now! Coverage Includes: Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Marathi, Marwari (Rajasthani), Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Organised by language, this one-stop resource makes travelling through multiple countries simple. With each language you can: Feel at ease with essential tips on culture, manners, idioms and multiple meanings Order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods with the menu decoder Save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips Never get stuck for words with the 400-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary Be prepared for common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology Meet friends with conversation starter phrases Get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides Inside Lonely Planet India Phrasebook & Dictionary: Full-colour throughout User-friendly layout organised by travel scenario categories Survival phrases inside front cover for at-a-glance on-the-fly cues Language map for quick reference Covers Basics - time, dates, numbers, pronunciations, reading tips, grammar rules, common language difficulties Practical - sightseeing, banking, post office, internet, phones, repairs, bargaining, accommodation, directions, border crossing, transport Social - meeting people, interests, feelings, opinions, going out, romance, culture, weather Safe Travel - emergencies, police, doctor, chemist, dentist, symptoms, conditions Food - ordering, at-the-market, at- the-bar, dishes, ingredients The Perfect Choice:Lonely Planet India Phrasebook & Dictionary, a pocket-sized, comprehensive multi-language guide, provides on-the-go language assistance; great for language students and travellers looking to interact with locals and immerse themselves in local culture. Looking for just a few of the languages covered in this phrasebook? Check out Lonely Planet's individual phrasebooks for Hindi, Urdu & Bengali. Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Shahara Ahmed, Madhu Thaker, Richard Delacy, Hari Prasad Nadig, Omkar N Koul, Bert Naik, Amrit Parmar, Aruna Magier and PAEN Language Services. About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet is the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, and has been connecting travellers and locals for over 25 years with phrasebooks for 120 languages, more than any other publisher! With an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community, Lonely Planet enables curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves. The world awaits! *#1 phrasebook publisher. Source: Nielsen Bookscan UK, US & AUS
A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi
By: Aman Sethi
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A Traveller's History of India
By: Sinharaja Tammita-Delgoda
India, named after the river Indus, is heir to one of the worlds oldest and richest civilizations and the origin of many ideas, philosophies, and movements that have shaped the destiny of humankind. This handy title covers the whole scope of Indias past and present history. Maps and line drawings.
Capital: The Eruption of Delhi
By: Rana Dasgupta
**Winner of the 2017 Ryszard Kapuściński Award for Literary Reportage**    **Short-listed for the Orwell Prize and for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize**An extraordinary portrait of the fastest-growing city in the world—and the rise of a new global eliteSince the opening up of India’s economy in 1991, wealth has poured into the country, and especially into Delhi. Capital bears witness to the astonishing metamorphosis of India’s capital city, charting its emergence from a rural backwater to the center of India’s new elites. No other place on earth better embodies the breakneck, radically disruptive nature of the global economy’s growth over the past twenty years. In a series of extraordinary meetings with a wide swath of the population—from Delhi’s forgotten poor to its rich tech entrepreneurs— Commonwealth Writers’ Prize winner Rana Dasgupta presents an intimate portrait of the people living, suffering, and striving for more in this tumultuous city of extremes, as well as an uncanny glimpse of our shared global future.
In Spite of the Gods: The Rise of Modern India
By: Edward Luce
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India: A Short History
By: Andrew Robinson
India’s unfolding story, from the ancient Hindu dynasties to the coming of Islam, from the Mughal Empire to the present day  India has always been a land of great contradictions. To Alexander the Great, the country was a place of clever naked philosophers and massive armies mounted on elephants – which eventually forced his army to retreat. To ancient Rome, it was a source of luxuries, mainly spices and textiles, paid for in gold―hence the enormous numbers of Roman gold coins excavated in India. At the height of the Mughal empire in 1700, India boasted 24 percent of the world economy―a share virtually equal to Europe’s 25 percent. But then its economy declined. Colonial India was known for its extremes of wealth and poverty, epitomized by the Taj Mahal and famines, maharajas and untouchables, and also for its spirituality: many-armed Hindu gods and Buddhist philosophy, Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore.India: A Short History places as much emphasis on individuals, ideas and cultures as on the rise and fall of kingdoms, political parties and economies. Anyone curious about a great civilization, and its future, will find this an ideal introduction, at times controversial, written by an author who has been strongly engaged with India for more than three decades. 12 illustrations in black and white
India: Land of Tigers & Temples
By: Axel Gomille
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Kaleidoscope City: A Year in Varanasi
By: Piers Moore Ede
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May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons: A Journey Among the Women of India
By: Elisabeth Bumiller
"The most stimulating and thought-provoking book on India in a long time..Bumiller has made India new and immediate again."THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLDIn a chronicle rich in diversity, detail, and empathy, Elisabeth Bumiller illuminates the many women's lives she shared--from wealthy sophisticates in New Delhi, to villagers in the dusty northern plains, to movie stars in Bombay, intellectuals in Calcutta, and health workers in the south--and the contradictions she encountered, during her three and a half years in India as a reporter for THE WASHINGTON POST. In their fascinating, and often tragic stories, Bumiller found a strength even in powerlessness, and a universality that raises questions for women around the world.
The Idea of India
By: Sunil Khilnani
The key book on India in the postnuclear era, with a new Introduction by the author.Our appreciation of the importance of India can only increase in light of the recent revelations of its nuclear capabilities. Sunil Khilnani's exciting, timely study addresses the paradoxes and ironies of this, the world's largest democracy. Throughout his penetrating, provocative work, he illuminates this fundamental issue: Can the original idea of India survive its own successes?
Darsan: Seeing the Divine Image in India
By: Diana Eck
The role of the visual is essential to Hindu tradition and culture, but many attempts to understand India's divine images have been laden with misperceptions. Darsan, a Sanskrit word that means "seeing," is an aid to our vision, a book of ideas to help us read, think, and look at Hindu images with appreciation and imagination.
The Hindu Temple: An Introduction to Its Meaning and Forms
By: George Michell
For more than 1500 years, from the Indian subcontinent to the islands of the Indonesian archipelago, the temple has embodied and symbolized the Hindu worldview at its deepest level and inspired the greatest architectural and artistic achievements in Hindu Asia. In The Hindu Temple, considered the standard introduction to the subject, George Michell explains the cultural, religious, and architectural significance of the temple. He illustrates his points with a profusion of photographs, building plans, and drawings of architectural details, making the book a useful guide for travelers to Asia as well as an illuminating text for students of architecture, religion, and Asian civilizations.Michell's discussion of the meaning and forms of the temple in Hindu society encompasses the awe-inspiring rock-cut temples at Ellora and Elephanta, the soaring superstructures and extraordinary sexual exhibitionism of the sculptures at Khajuraho, and the colossal mortuary temple of Angkor Vat, as well as the tiny iconic shrines that many Hindus wear around their necks and the simple shrines found under trees or near ponds.
Along The Ganges (Armchair Traveller)
By: Ilija Trojanow
Ilija Trojanow travelled along the Ganges, from the source, where it breaks free from the eternal ice in the Himalayas, to the great cities, by boat, by bus, on overcrowded trains. He visited the great Hindu festivals and talked to those who warn of ecological disasters resulting from gigantic dams.
Around India in 80 Trains
By: Monisha Rajesh
In 1991, Monisha Rajesh's family uprooted from Sheffield to Madras in the hope of making India their home. Two years later, fed up with soap-eating rats, severed human heads and the creepy colonel across the road, they returned to England with a bitter taste in their mouths.Two decades on, she turns to a map of the Indian Railways and takes a page out of Jules Verne's classic tale, embarking on an adventure around India in 80 trains, covering 40,000km - the circumference of the Earth. She hopes that 80 train journeys up, down and across India will lift the veil on a country that has become a stranger to her.Along the way, Monisha discovers that the Indian Railways - featuring luxury trains, toy trains, Mumbai's infamous commuter trains, and even a hospital on wheels - have more than a few stories to tell, not to mention a colourful cast of characters. And with a self-confessed 'militant devout atheist' in tow, her personal journey around a country built on religion isn't quite what she bargained for...
An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth: A Critical Edition
By: M. K. Gandhi
The first critical, annotated edition of M. K. Gandhi’s most famous written work, published seventy years after his death In the mid-1920s, prompted by a “small, still voice” that encouraged him to lay bare what was known only to him and his God, M. K. Gandhi began writing and publishing his autobiography. Drafted during a period of intensive fasting and “in-dwelling” at his ashram in Ahmedebad, his story of the soul portrayed the deeper, more inward experiences that made him externally an innovator in the struggles against violence, racism, and colonialism. The book, written in Gujarati and translated into English by Mahadev Desai, would become an international classic, hailed as one of the "100 Best Spiritual Books of the 20th Century."   This first critical edition of this seminal work by leading Gandhi scholar Tridip Suhrud offers an unprecedented window into the original Gujarati text. Including both alternative English translations and illuminating notes, as well as a deeply researched introduction, it will bring renewed critical attention to one of the world’s most widely read books.
Slowly Down the Ganges
By: Eric Newby
On his forty-fourth birthday Eric Newby, a self-confessed river lover, sets out on a 1200-mile journey down the Ganges River from Hardwar to the Bay of Bengal, accompanied by his wife Wanda. Things do not start smoothly as they run aground 63 times in the first six days, but gradually India's holiest river, The Pure, The Eternal, The Creator of Happiness, lives up to its many names and captures them in its spell.Traveling in a variety of boats, most of them unsuitable, as well as by bus and bullock cart, the Newbys become intimately acquainted with the river's shifting moods and colorful history. Slowly Down the Ganges brims over with engaging characters and entertaining anecdotes, recounted in Newby's inimitable style. Best of all, he brilliantly captures the sights and sounds, the frustrations and rewards, the sheer enchantment of travel in India.
India: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions)
By: Chandrahas Choudhury, Anita Desai
The latest book in the acclaimed series of literary travel guides brings together a delightful sampling of short fiction from one of the world’s most diverse, multicultural, and storied civilizations. India: A Traveler’s Literary Companion features 14 short stories from some of India’s best writers, collectively offering an insightful portrait of the beauty and complexity of Indian landscape, culture, and society. Travel to the Taj Mahal with Kunal Basu, as the humble accountant of his story becomes, in another incarnation, the architect of one of the world’s most resplendent monuments. Let Vikram Chandra leads readers by the hand into the ghettos of Mumbai (Bombay), where a small-time thug fences some gold bars he has stolen and then decides to find out what pleasures his money can buy. Journey with Bibhutibhushan Bandhopadhyay’s silver-tongued salesman of medicated oil as he travels the trains around Calcutta, the city he loves more than anything else. And Nazir Mansuri’s Melvillian “The Whale” transports readers to a small fishing village on the west coast of India, where an embittered sailor makes every whale he sees the object of his fury. Stories from nine languages and more than a dozen distinct cultures and regions — from north, south, east, west, and even from India’s remote northeast — are brought together in this vibrant collection.
Midnight's Children: A Novel (Modern Library 100 Best Novels)
By: Salman Rushdie
The iconic masterpiece of India that introduced the world to “a glittering novelist—one with startling imaginative and intellectual resources, a master of perpetual storytelling” (The New Yorker)WINNER OF THE BEST OF THE BOOKERS • SOON TO BE A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time • The twenty-fifth anniversary edition, featuring a new introduction by the author Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of India’s independence. Greeted by fireworks displays, cheering crowds, and Prime Minister Nehru himself, Saleem grows up to learn the ominous consequences of this coincidence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of national affairs; his health and well-being are inextricably bound to those of his nation; his life is inseparable, at times indistinguishable, from the history of his country. Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India’s 1,000 other “midnight’s children,” all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts. This novel is at once a fascinating family saga and an astonishing evocation of a vast land and its people–a brilliant incarnation of the universal human comedy. Twenty-five years after its publication, Midnight’ s Children stands apart as both an epochal work of fiction and a brilliant performance by one of the great literary voices of our time.
The White Tiger: A Novel
By: Aravind Adiga
A stunning literary debut critics have likened to Richard Wright’s Native Son, The White Tiger follows a darkly comic Bangalore driver through the poverty and corruption of modern India’s caste society. “This is the authentic voice of the Third World, like you've never heard it before” (John Burdett, Bangkok 8).The white tiger of this novel is Balram Halwai, a poor Indian villager whose great ambition leads him to the zenith of Indian business culture, the world of the Bangalore entrepreneur. On the occasion of the president of China’s impending trip to Bangalore, Balram writes a letter to him describing his transformation and his experience as driver and servant to a wealthy Indian family, which he thinks exemplifies the contradictions and complications of Indian society. Recalling The Death of Vishnu and Bangkok 8 in ambition, scope, The White Tiger is narrative genius with a mischief and personality all its own. Amoral, irreverent, deeply endearing, and utterly contemporary, this novel is an international publishing sensation—and a startling, provocative debut.
The Tiger: Soul of India
By: Valmik Thapar
From time immemorial, the tiger, India s national animal, has been represented in various art forms. Valmik Thapar delves deep into the cult of the tiger to show how the animal resides in the very soul of the country s cultural beliefs, myths, and legends. Exploring the close relationship between man and tiger forged over thousands of years, this book reveals almost every facet of this amazing animal: from 10,000-year-old cave paintings in Madhya Pradesh to Mohenjodaro seals, Mughal miniature paintings, and contemporary art to wild tigers today. Focusing on various depictions of the animal on stone, wood, metal, paper, and more Thapar reveals how the tiger was vital to the life of people across India. With close to 250 photographs showcasing the tiger in various art forms, this book for the fi rst time enables the pursuit of research in different cultural facets of tiger imagery. Alongside art forms, there are spectacular pictures of wild tigers the source of inspiration for countless generations. A testimony to the power and beauty of this majestic animal, this book The Tiger Soul of India VALMIK THAPAR reveals everything you ever wanted to know about the cultural history of the tiger from a man who spent 35 years following the tiger s footsteps.
India Wildlife: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Animals (A Pocket Naturalist Guide)
By: James Kavanagh, Waterford Press
India's diverse habitats, from the towering Himalayas in the north to the interior jungles and deserts to the coastal beaches, harbor an equally diverse assemblage of wildlife ranging from tigers and lions, to elephants, rhinos, flying lizards, pangolins and dugongs. India Wildlife is a beautifully illustrated guide highlighting over 120 familiar and unique species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and butterflies and includes an ecoregion map featuring prominent wildlife-viewing areas. Researched by the leading conservation group, Wildlife SOS, India, this guide is a one-of-a-kind reference guide for travelers to this beautiful country. Laminated for durability and weighing less than one ounce, this guide is a portable, packable source of information on the country's wildlife. Made in the USA.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Smithsonian Journeys includes an on-tour Provided Insurance Plan through Travel Guard with the price of your tour. This travel insurance plan includes On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only, not including U.S. Territories). Travel must be more than 100 miles from the Insured’s primary residence.

In addition, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment from unforeseen events, such as missed flight connections, lost luggage, and cancelled plans. There are many plans you can consider. For your convenience, you may visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1.800.208.6142 to learn more.

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engages travelers in the wide-ranging mission of the Smithsonian. Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world around them. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian's 19 museums, national zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • The expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Tour Manager, and local guides throughout the tour.
  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy).
  • Meals, including special Welcome and Farewell Receptions, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner).
  • Complimentary house wine, beer, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner.
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in the itinerary.
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list.
  • Baggage handling and transfers abroad on the designated program departure and arrival dates.
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted.
  • On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only).
  • Personal listening devices
  • Gratuities for all on tour staff, local guides and drivers, and train personnel.
  • Bottled water on excursions

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Airfare and air and departure taxes.
  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required.
  • Transfers and baggage handling abroad for those not traveling on the designated program departure and arrival dates.
  • Personal items such as room service; email, telephone, and fax charges; laundry; gratuities for non-group services; and other items of a personal nature.
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operators in making additional travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • Other items not specifically mentioned as included. 
  • Optional Travelers’ Protection Plan: Unexpected events before or during a trip may leave you with canceled plans, lost luggage, or unforeseen medical expenses. This optional plan offers an affordable package of benefits and services that can provide coverage and assistance for the unexpected. Visit TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys to learn more.
  • Wi-Fi in program hotels and/or aboard ship. *Pricing and availability subject to local conditions at the time of use.
  • Personal items such as room service, email, telephone, and fax charges, or other items of a personal nature 

Registration

Space is reserved in the order of receipt of phone or web reservations.

To submit a request for a reservation, please order using our secure online process, or call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Reservations Specialist, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour. You will be notified of your status when your request has been received and processed. Please note: No new registrations can be accepted within 30 days of most tours. Some tours are more restrictive; please see individual tour pages for these exceptions.

To complete your request, the following is necessary:

Required Information
For all international departures, passport information including the following, in accordance with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program as well as by our international travel partners: your full name as it appears on your passport, date of birth, and gender (for further information, please visit www.tsa.gov). In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, or if you use a different passport than originally cited, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Payments
Deposit of $1,000 per person, per tour, payable by check or major credit card to the tour operator is required to reserve a space on a tour. Deposits are applied to payment of the program price.

Balance due upon invoicing at least 120 days prior to the program. If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration
Due to the nature of tour operators and supplier payment schedules, any registration received within 120 days of departure is considered a "late registration" and must be subject to special confirmation. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card or by check and sent by overnight mail to the tour operator before confirmation is possible.

Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full.

Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the program within the designated late registration period for that program.

For additional information, please call a Reservations Specialist at 855-330-1542, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) or visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Contact.

A Note About Costs

Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change. Should actual enrollments fall significantly below minimum numbers, a surcharge may be added. Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.). Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

Wait List

If the tour of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a waitlist by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Per person cancellation fees are based on date of notice to Smithsonian Journeys:

  • Cancellation within 7 days of booking (prior to final payment date): full refund.
  • Cancellation after 7 days of booking: $1,000 per person cancellation fee (entire deposit).
  • Final payment due: 120 days before departure.
  • Cancellation made within 120 days prior to departure: no refund.
  • Cancellation by the Smithsonian: full refund.
  • No refund for unused portions of the tour, including but not limited to, missed meals, hotel nights, and sightseeing.

Air Service

For tour packages that include round-trip international airfare, rates are based on economy class from designated departure cities as shown. Airfares from other cities are available upon request. Airline upgrades at additional cost may be available on request for the international portion of your flight. Since international and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time, we recommend that if you choose to make your own airline reservations, you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or those with high penalties for changes. Neither Smithsonian Journeys nor the tour operator has any liability for any loss resulting from tour cancellations or changes in international gateways, travel dates, or airline schedule changes. If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense. For tour packages that include round-trip international airfare, we will be happy to help with arrangements. Please note that seat assignment on your international flight is usually done at airport check-in. The tour operator is unable to guarantee any seat assignments.

When planning our tours that include international round-trip airfare, the tour operator contracts with those airlines that they feel provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates that enable us to offer you the best possible travel value. Please note that frequent flyer mileage credits are issued at the discretion of the airline(s) and may not be available for the flights on your tour. If you prefer to make your own airline reservations, “land only” pricing is available on most of our tours.

Individual Arrivals and Group Transfers
A designated group flight is not included on most tours. However, transportation from the arrival airport to the ship/hotel is included in your tour cost if you arrive in time to meet the scheduled group transfer. Your first tour bulletin will thoroughly explain the details of the options available for your individual flights.

Air Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour
We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Tours also can be canceled due to low enrollments. Neither Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased independently in conjunction with a tour.

Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Smithsonian Journeys includes an on-tour Provided Insurance Plan, through Travel Guard, with the price of your tour. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.

Travel Documents

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours in this catalog. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, we will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation. You are responsible for obtaining these documents. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

Physical and Medical Considerations

Please note that these tours require that participants be in good physical condition. You must be capable, without assistance, of walking a minimum of two miles over uneven terrain and of climbing stairs that may not have handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of travelers on long days of touring. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in a tour, please call us at 855-330-1542. Some tours have additional notes regarding physical and medical considerations, which are noted on the Tour Information link.

Itinerary or Program Modifications

Smithsonian strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute hotels. Every effort will be made to carry out the program as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary is sent. Please note that weather conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise programs. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule.

Accommodations

Smithsonian chooses hotels based on a combination of their location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and programs in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used. In most cases, hotels have elevators and meeting rooms for Smithsonian lectures. Program prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates
Hotel rooms are always reserved for single travelers; however the number of single rooms available on a tour may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you register early. Please note that a single supplement will apply for a single room. If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room, we will do our best to find someone of the same gender and smoking preference to share with you. If you are matched with a non-smoking roommate, it is mutually agreed that you cannot smoke in your hotel room. When a roommate cannot be found, the single supplement will be charged.

Children

All tours, except family programs, are designed for adults. Some may be suitable for older children. Regardless of age, children must pay full price unless otherwise noted, and a parent or guardian must accompany those under 18.

Special Travel Arrangements
Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel. Please note that the tour operator can assist you in making post-tour arrangements only. We regret that we are unable to help with pre-tour arrangements.

Photography
Participants on tour may be photographed for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution. Photographs may be printed in publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys. Travelers who prefer that their image not be used must advise the tour manager at the beginning of the tour.

Smoking Policy
For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals. On certain cruises, there is no smoking aboard the ship. Your pre-tour bulletins will provide further information.

Preparing for Your Journey

Prior to departure, you will receive Tour Bulletins containing both general and tour specific information to help you prepare for your travel experience. These bulletins will include:

  • Passport and visa instructions
  • Flight information
  • Weather, clothing, and packing suggestions
  • A suggested reading list
  • General information about the countries you will visit, e.g. the food, customs, medical precautions, and currency.
  • Information about your Smithsonian Journeys Expert and tour staff
  • Baggage tag(s) and name badge(s)
  • Final itinerary
  • Participant list  

RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

Read Carefully: Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer
Smithsonian Journeys are managed by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer its members a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator acts only as an agent for the respective suppliers by making arrangements for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator shall be held liable for personal injury, death, property damage or accident, delay or irregularity arising out of any act or omission of these suppliers. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of tour participants.

The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time, when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant, subject only to the requirement that the recoverable portion of the total amount paid that corresponds to the cost of unused services and accommodations be refunded, if any. If your tour does not include airfare, your Tour Bulletins will provide information about when participants are recommended to purchase airline tickets. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator accept no liability for the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets to/from the tour departure city if a tour is canceled or otherwise modified subsequent to the participant’s purchase of those tickets. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant.

Dates, schedules, program details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication of the brochure or catalog, are subject to change and revision.

AS A CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE OF ANY APPLICATION, EACH APPLICANT MUST AGREE TO THE STATEMENT SET FORTH BELOW:

The undersigned has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this tour, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation as set forth in the tour brochure(s), and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour brochure(s). The undersigned further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the tour, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release the Smithsonian Institution, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, the United States, and the tour operator and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of tour staff or other related persons or entities. In addition, by registering for this tour, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour.

By registering for a Smithsonian Journey, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer and the Terms and Conditions herein.