Experience the magic of India during an 11-day photography expedition that will take you from Delhi to Agra aboard the magnificent Palace on Wheels. Capture this enchanting land on photo shoots in rural villages, at the Taj Mahal, and amid evocative dunes. Focus on birdlife at a wildlife sanctuary, search for tigers in Ranthambhore National Park and snap action shots of dancers during a private performance. Take to the water in Udaipur as you enjoy a boat ride along the serene Lake Pichola and explore the many magnificent palaces along the way. Please note that each departure follows a similar itinerary to the one shown below but will include a different festival or celebration.

Trip highlights

Enjoy the spectacular sight of the Taj Mahal at sunset and sunrise and capture this iconic shot with the help of National Geographic Photographers who will join you for the duration of the trip.

Set sail on along the serene Lake Pichola in Udaipur and discover the fairy-tale marble palaces that sit on the banks.

Search for tigers in Ranthambhore National Park, and for rare birds and other wildlife in Keoladeo National Park.

Photograph camels at sunset among the sweeping dunes of the Thar Desert.

Itinerary - 11 Days

1 Delhi, India

Arrive in India’s capital territory of Delhi and check into our hotel where you will meet your guides and fellow travellers.

Accommodation: Taj Mahal Hotel

2 Delhi

Set out and explore New Delhi during a photo tour with our experts. Discover the history of the district that was established by the British in 1911 and fill your viewfinder with architectural details of the India Gate and Parliament buildings.

Head on to Old Delhi, an interesting patchwork of eight different cities built by a succession of rulers and a centre of Muslim India between the 13th and 19th centuries. Enjoy an authentic bicycle rickshaw ride through the old city’s busy, narrow lands and stop off at a local spice market for an utterly authentic experience.

Frame the golden spiked minarets of Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India and the final architectural achievement of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Visit the Lodi Gardens, one of Delhi’s loveliest green spaces and site of important Sayyid- and Lodi-era tombs. Muhammad Shah’s tomb was built in 1450 and is the precursor to the famous mogul tombs of Humayun and the Taj Mahal. This evening, gather for a welcome reception and dinner. (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Taj Mahal Hotel

3 Jaipur

Travel from Delhi to Jaipur in Rajasthan, known as the "Pink City" for its rose-coloured buildings, Jaipur is protected by high fortifications and multiple gates.

During the afternoon, explore this historic city on your own terms and join an optional photo excursion to a traditional fruit and flower market. Alternatively, spend time in the beautiful gardens of the Jai Mahal Palace Hotel, a masterpiece of Indo-Saracenic architecture dating back to 1745. (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Taj Mahal Hotel

4 Jaipur

Start your day in Jaipur by heading out with your camera on a photo shoot to capture locals in the garden of the Jai Mahal Palace. After breakfast, visit Hawa Mahal, or Palace of Winds, a stunning five-story sandstone building designed to allow ladies of the court to watch life on the streets below.

Continue to Amber Fort, a 16th- and 17th-century hilltop complex that offers a treasures trove of photographic inspiration. Document its exquisite and well-preserved palaces, temples, gardens, and pavilions. In the afternoon, take a guided tour of the 18th-century royal observatory known as the Jantar Mantar, and examine a variety of precise astronomical tools. In the evening, settle into your cabin aboard the Palace on Wheels. (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Palace on Wheels

5 Ranthambhore National Park/Chittaurgarh

Explore the magnificent Ranthambhore National Park, where you may be lucky enough to spot wildlife such as the elusive tiger, as well as hyenas, wild boar, spotted deer, and sambar.

After lunch, head back on the train as we journey to the city of Chittaurgarh where you can discover more about the turbulent history of siege, valor, and sacrifice at Chittaurgarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India, and enjoy a photo walk in the village within the fort walls. (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Palace on Wheels

6 Udaipur

Udaipur is known as the City of Lakes is most celebrated for the fairy-tale marble palaces that appear to rise from the waters of Lake Pichola. During the morning, take a scenic boat ride on Lake Pichola that provides the perfect photo opportunity to capture the luminous white marble facade of Jag Niwas, now the Taj Lake Palace, and its shimmering reflection on the water.

Head into the City Palace and get lost amongst the labyrinths of courtyards that make up this grand palace. Incredible photographic opportunities abound at this palace complex, the largest in Rajasthan, which blends medieval, European, and Chinese architecture and is richly decorated with inlaid mirror-work, mosaics, and frescoes. Later, explore the narrow streets of the old city by rickshaw, and stop to photograph a local market before visiting the 17th-century Jagdish Temple, adorned with fantastic carvings. (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Palace on Wheels

7 Jaisalmer

Continue on your train journey into the heart of the Thar Desert to magical Jaisalmer, founded by Rawal Jaisal in A.D. 1156. Rising above the city, the imposing turrets and bastions of the golden sandstone fort conceal a lively town within. Capture the magnificent fort and discover the havelis, once the mansions of wealthy merchants, decorated with elaborate facades.

In the evening, capture camels at sunset in the desert dunes whilst enjoying Savor, a traditional tea and learn about the lifestyle of people living in the desert. Enjoy an outdoor dinner and special photo shoot with folk dancers and music unique to the Thar Desert region. (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Palace on Wheels

8 Jodhpur

Explore the rich history of Jodhpur as we visit the Mehrangarh Fort that was built in the 15th century and sits 120 meters high. Capture the beautiful scenes below in the city and explore the museum that houses a spectacular collection of miniature paintings, ivory artefacts, and weapons.

Later, in the heart of the old city, hone your portraiture skills during a photo shoot with local Rajasthani men displaying traditional handlebar moustaches. Enjoy lunch at a royal palace hotel before returning to the Palace on Wheels for the final leg of our rail journey. (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Palace on Wheels

9 Keoladeo Ghana National Park/Agra

Your train journey about the Palace on Wheels comes to an end as you disembark the rain in Bharatpur after an early breakfast and head into the wetlands of Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a renowned bird sanctuary. Get ready to capture egrets, flamingos, and many other bird species and wildlife.

Later, during a photo walk around Bharatpur village, meet with and photograph local residents engaged in daily life. En route to Agra, stop at Fatehpur Sikri, the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1569 to 1585, where elegant carved sandstone palaces remain incredibly well-preserved. (B/L/D)

Accommodation: ITC Mughal

10 Agra

Wake up early to capture the Taj Mahal as it sparkles in the dawn's light. Often described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love, the Taj Mahal is one of the world’s most iconic landmarks.

Pay a visit to a marble inlay workshop to see how the intricate stonework on the Taj Mahal was created. This evening, return to the Taj for a sunset photo shoot before gathering for a festive farewell dinner with a traditional sitar musician. (B/L/D)

Accommodation: ITC Mughal

11 Agra/Delhi

As your India expedition comes to an end, wake early and cross the Yamuna River to photograph the Taj Mahal at sunrise from the beautiful Mehtab Bagh gardens. At a specially arranged photo shoot, capture the Taj's reflection on the water with models in the foreground. Then drive to Delhi and relax in day rooms at The Taj Mahal Hotel. Later, transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B/L/D)

Accommodation: Day rooms at Taj Mahal Hotel

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