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Rail journeys in India

Take a rail journey in India and wake aboard a sleeper train in buzzing New Delhi. Sail along the Ganges and ride the iconic toy train to Shimla. Meet the locals as we travel across this vast country by rail and other transport.
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Small group tours to India with rail journeys

Cover vast parts of India by train, from the Northern Sikh city of Amritsar to Kerala’s beautiful backwaters. Discover Mughal treasures, search for Bengal tigers and wander through jungle-lined foothills along the way.

Admire the scenic landscapes with a ride on the iconic Toy Train to Shimla. From Shimla, walk up to the Jakhu or ‘monkey’ Temple, watch out for monkey mischief! See the old hill stations of the British Raj and take the Toy Train to Ooty, crossing forested hills and girder bridges.

Our rail journeys in India are great for people who like their holidays packed with action with time to relax too. Our expert local guides will immerse you in this vast country and you’ll share your experience with a small group averaging just 12 people.

Our most popular rail journeys in India

Indian Rail Odyssey

India Rail Journeys Trip code RIN
21 Days From £2099 without flights

Kolkata to Amritsar

India Rail Journeys Trip code RBA
Best seller
15 Days From £1345 without flights

South India Explorer

India Discovery Trip code QDS
17 Days From £1250 without flights

Best rail journey destinations in India

1. Stop off in the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur

Spend time in Jaipur, the famed 'Pink City' and capital of the desert state of Rajasthan'. India’s first planned city, the usual urban chaos is replaced with wide streets and formal gardens. Admire the pink and red sandstone towers that are the face of the Hawa Mahal or ‘Palace of the Winds’ - named because it has 953 windows through which the breeze flows to keep the palace cool. See the opulent splendour of the City Palace with its stunning complex of gardens, courtyards, armoury and museum. The palace is a rich fusion of Mughal and Rajasthani design. Explore the markets and winding streets before hopping aboard the overnight express to Mumbai as part of our Indian Rail Odyssey.
 

2. Ride the Toy Train to Shimla 

Climb from the plains just north of Chandigarh on the remarkable Toy Train to the ‘Queen of the Hills’, Shimla. One of India’s most incredible feats of engineering, the route covers 103 tunnels and 87 bridges. On the many twists and turns you are offered panoramic views of the picturesque Shivalik Hills as well as the Himalayas. The train crossed exotic river valleys and serene waterfalls. This journey is one of the highlights on our Kolkata to Amritsar tour.
 

3. Ride the Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Climb aboard the blue and cream carriages to take a short circular journey on the Toy Train to Ooty. Crossing forested hills and girder bridges, the train harks back to a golden age of engineering and climbs the steepest track in Asia. Relax and enjoy the picturesque views of surrounding rocky terrain, ravines, tea plantations and thickly forested hills. Enjoy this journey as part of our South India Explorer tour.

What to expect on a rail journey in India

Will we only be travelling by train on a rail tour of India?
To make sure you get the most out of your experience, we choose the most appropriate mode of transport for the local area you are travelling in. This includes: bus, boat, public bus, taxi, train and rickshaw.

What is the accommodation like on a rail tour in India?
During our rail tours in India we spend from one to three nights on an overnight sleeper train. These are a great way to travel between cities without losing a precious day and with the added bonus of meeting local travellers. Depending on the tour you choose, other accommodation includes a simple, comfortable or premium hotel or a simple homestay.

What should I pack for a rail journey in India?
In general, lightweight clothing is needed during the day but bring some warm clothes for winter mornings and evenings and mountain regions. A windproof jacket, warm layers (including thermals), gloves and hat are recommended during the winter and waterproofs may be useful in October and November. Comfortable shoes and sandals are also recommended. You are expected to carry your own luggage so don’t overload yourself and a soft bag can be easier to store on sleeper trains. A daypack is handy too.

How much activity is there on a rail holiday in India?
Our rail holidays in India are graded from Moderate to Full-On. Our Moderate tours ideal if you want holiday that combines exciting experiences and activities with plenty of time to relax and unwind. Our Full-On tours are great for people who like their holidays packed with activities and experiences. These tours move quickly from place to place with lots of early starts and long days.

What will the group be like on a rail journey in India? 
As with any holiday group, every one is different, so it’s impossible to tell, but an ‘average’ group consists of roughly half couples and half solo travellers. There's usually a real mix of ages, and typically half male and half female. If you'd like to know more about the group make up on a particular departure, speak to one of our sales consultants. They'll be able to share the rough demographics of the group, and split of solos and couples.

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