Asset 5 arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up articleAsset 31 Asset 2 Asset 7 Asset 6 Asset 7 Asset 15 Asset 16 cartAsset 51 cart-filledAsset 52 checkAsset 50 Asset 3 chevron-up chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up close comment-new comment-filledAsset 11 double-caret-down double-chevron-downAsset 55 double-chevron-upAsset 56 email-new email-filledAsset 14 Asset 2 fullscreen-close fullscreen-open gallery gallery-filledAsset 15 Globe gridAsset 17 grid-filledAsset 18 headphones-new headphones-filledAsset 19 heart-filled heart-open interactiveAsset 73 linkAsset 48 loadingAsset 45 Artboard 1 minus mutedAsset 29 muted-filledAsset 30 ng-border Asset 8 pauseAsset 40 pause-filledAsset 39 Asset 12 Asset 13 playAsset 33 play-filledAsset 32 plus NG_AD_Iconography_111317_JY_v2 Asset 3 replay Asset 11 Asset 10 Asset 4 SearchIcon shareAsset 34
India by Rail Photography Expedition
tripDetail_slider_img1 MOBILE

11 days

from $19,227 AUD trip_detail hint icon

($13,195 USD)

Prices are per person, based on twin share occupancy. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange. The expedition price will be finalised at time of booking.

trip_detail module icon Train

trip_detail module Light icon Light-Moderate trip_detail hint icon

Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include walking tours, visits to sites, safari drives, and easy hikes; and some days will have more physical activities such as longer hikes, kayaking, snorkeling, or biking.

Premium trip_detail hint icon

Premium expeditions are led by a National Geographic expert, an expedition team, or top guides, and tap into National Geographic's worldwide resources to allow for in-depth exploration and special access to sites and experts in the field. Itineraries are fully planned, with some free time. Accommodations are high-end or best available. Ground transportation and most meals and activities are included in the trip price.

Enquire Now

Expedition Overview

trip_detail expedition map image
EXPEDITION OVERVIEW
  • Capture sunrise and sunset over the Taj Mahal, and go on photo shoots at five other UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • Document the fairy-tale marble palaces of Udaipur's Lake Pichola during a scenic boat ride.
  • Photograph camels at sunset among the sweeping dunes of the Thar Desert.
  • Search for tigers in Ranthambhore National Park, and for rare birds and other wildlife in Keoladeo National Park.
EXPERTS ON THIS TRIP

A National Geographic expert will accompany each expedition to share insights and a rare behind-the-scenes perspective. Listed here are some of the experts that will be joining departures on this trip.

Itinerary

In India, everyday life plays out in bright colors, a vivid juxtaposition of ancient and modern against a backdrop of intricate architecture. Traveling aboard the Palace on Wheelstrain, document this enchanting land on photo shoots in rural villages, at the Taj Mahal, and amid evocative dunes. Focus on birdlife at a wildlife sanctuary, and snap action shots of dancers at a private performance.

Each departure follows a similar itinerary to the one shown below but will include a different festival or celebration.

Day 1: Delhi, India

Arrive in Delhi at any time and check in to our hotel.

Day 2: Delhi

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Set out on a photo tour of New Delhi, the capital established by the British in 1911, and fill your viewfinder with architectural details of the India Gate and Parliament buildings. Then delve into Old Delhi, a patchwork of eight different cities built by a succession of rulers and a center of Muslim India between the 13th and 19th centuries. Take a bicycle rickshaw ride through the old city's busy, narrow lanes, and stop at a local spice market to capture the colorful bustle. 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.

Day 3: Jaipur

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Travel from Delhi to Jaipur in Rajasthan. Known as the "Pink City" for its rose-colored buildings, Jaipur is protected by high fortifications and multiple gates. The afternoon is free to explore the city on your own. If you wish, join a photo excursion to a traditional fruit and flower market, or relax and enjoy the beautiful gardens of the Jai Mahal Palace Hotel, a masterpiece of Indo-Saracenic architecture dating back to 1745.

Day 4: Jaipur

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Begin the day with a morning photo shoot, capturing vibrant images of local men and women in traditional dress in the gardens 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. Zoom in on the delicate latticework and honeycombed windows. 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. Later this 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.

Day 5: Ranthambhore National Park/Chittaurgarh

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

With your camera in hand, set out on a morning game drive in Ranthambhore National Park in search of the elusive tiger, as well as hyenas, wild boar, spotted deer, and sambar. After lunch back on the train, arrive in the city of Chittaurgarh. Trace a 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 with in the fort walls.

Day 6: Udaipur

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Known as the City of Lakes, Udaipur is most celebrated for the fairy-tale marble palaces that appear to rise from the waters of Lake Pichola. This morning, a scenic boat ride on Lake Pichola provides an opportunity to capture the luminous white marble facade of Jag Niwas, now the Taj Lake Palace, and its shimmering reflection on the water. Venture into a spectacular labyrinth of courtyards within the City Palace, a soaring creation of marble and granite perched on the lake's edge. 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.

Day 7: Jaisalmer

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Today the train carries us 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. Photograph the magnificent fort and discover the havelis, once the mansions of wealthy merchants, decorated with elaborate facades. Cap off our day photographing camels at sunset in the desert dunes. 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.

Day 8: Jodhpur

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Jodhpur's blue-hued old city lies at the foot of the massive Mehrangarh Fort, perched on a rocky outcrop some 120 meters high. Visit the 15th-century fort and learn about its colorful history. Shoot sweeping panoramas of the city below, and explore the museum that houses a spectacular collection of miniature paintings, ivory artifacts, 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.

Day 9: Keoladeo Ghana National Park/Agra

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Disembark the train in Bharatpur after an early breakfast and head into the wetlands of Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a renowned bird sanctuary. Keep your camera ready while searching for 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.

Day 10: Agra

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Rise early this morning to photograph the Taj Mahal as it sparkles in the dawn's light. Constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, the Taj Mahal is often described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love. 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.

Day 11: Agra/Delhi

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Rise 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.

EXTENSIONS

Day 1: Agra/Delhi

Drive from Agra to Delhi as scheduled in the main expedition. Relax at the hotel in Delhi this evening.

trip_detail extensions image 1

Day 2: Delhi/Khajuraho

Fly this morning to Khajuraho. Visit the intricately carved temples of the Chandela Rajputs, who ruled the area from the 10th to 12th centuries.

trip_detail extensions image 1

Day 3: Khajuraho/ Varanasi

Spend the morning exploring the eastern group of the Khajuraho temples before taking an early afternoon flight to Varanasi. Situated on the banks of the Ganges River, Varanasi is a pilgrimage site for Hindus and a center for learning. Transfer to the hotel and enjoy free time to relax before this evening’s dinner.

trip_detail extensions image 1

Day 4: Varanasi

Begin the day with a sunrise boat cruise on the sacred Ganges River to observe morning rituals and prayers. Visit Sarnath, where Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment and delivered his first sermon in Deer Park. Discover the old city by rickshaw and see the evening Aarti before one last dinner together.

trip_detail extensions image 1

Day 5: Varanasi/Delhi

This morning, visit one of India’s leading academic institutions, Banaras Hindu University, established in 1916 to promote the study of Sanskrit literature and preserve Hindu culture. Visit Bharat Kala Bhawan, a museum on the university campus with a fine collection of miniature paintings and sculptures from the 1st to 15th centuries. Transfer to the airport for an afternoon flight to Delhi. Relax in day rooms at the hotel before boarding your return flight home.

trip_detail extensions image 1

What to Expect

This trip has an activity rating of light\/moderate; travelers should be in good health, comfortable walking or standing for extended periods, and prepared for multiple hours of activity on some days. Excursions may include navigating uneven terrain, climbing stairs without handrails, and walking on paths with steep ascents\/descents. Those who are prone to motion sickness may be uncomfortable on the train or during drives on bumpy roads.

Accommodations
Throughout the trip, we stay in high-end hotels with many amenities. During our five nights on the train, we stay in deluxe cabins measuring 12.6 x 7.7 feet with twin beds that can be converted to a double bed.

Expedition Team
A National Geographic expert and an expedition leader will accompany this trip, and local guides join us along the way.

ACCOMMODATIONS

We stay in world-class hotels in Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. During our five nights on the train, we stay in Deluxe twin-bedded cabins measuring 12.6 x 7.7 feet. The twin beds can be joined to form one double bed on request.

PRICES & DATES

  • date Feb 3-13, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $19,227 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $24,836 AUD Per Person

  • date Feb 17-27, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $19,227 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $24,836 AUD Per Person

  • date Mar 23-Apr 2, 2020
  • double occupancy
    (from)
    $19,227 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    (from)
    $24,836 AUD Per Person

Prices are per person based on double or single occupancy (unless otherwise noted) and do not include international airfare to/from your destination or internal flights during the expedition. Internal flights for the optional extension are $675 per person.

The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange and subject to change. See the terms and conditions for this trip for more information.

  • Transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary
  • All gratuities

What's Not Included

  • Airfare to and from destination, as well as internal airfare where applicable
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Alcoholic beverages
Jay Dickman
Photographer
"

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jay Dickman's career has spanned a multitude of experiences. As a photojournalist for more than 40 years, Jay has covered topics as diverse as the Salvadoran civil war, Olympics and Super Bowls, national political conventions, and the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Among his more than 25 assignments for National Geographic, he lived in a Stone Age village in Papua New Guinea and spent a week under the Arctic ice in a nuclear attack submarine. Jay has been joining National Geographic Expeditions for over a decade and has traveled to all seven continents. A popular photography instructor, he has also published a best-selling guide called Perfect Digital Photography, as well as numerous articles for National Geographic, LIFE, Sports Illustrated, Time, and Forbes.

"
  • Mar 23-Apr 2, 2020
Ashima Narain
Photographer Filmmaker
"

Photographer and filmmaker Ashima Narain is the former photo editor for National Geographic Traveler (India). She has covered a diverse range of topics that have sent her wading through mudflats in search of flamingos in Mumbai, hiding out in bear caves, climbing sail masts mid-sea, and documenting the conditions of sari weavers in the holy city of Varanasi. In 2017, she became the first female photographer in India to be named a Sony Artisan and TIME included her on a list of 34 women photographers from around the world to follow. Ashima is represented by the National Geographic Image Collection, and she was a judge on the first ever photography-based reality show on the National Geographic Channel (Mission Covershot). Her images have been published in National Geographic Traveler, Vanity Fair, Vogue, GQ, Marie Claire, and Elle. Ashima’s work is also commissioned by corporations and development agencies, including the worldwide #ShowUs campaign for Dove, Getty Images, and GirlGaze to help create a more inclusive vision of beauty, as well as Disney’s Dream Big Princess campaign to help raise a million dollars for the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up. From her ancestral home in the narrow gullies of Chandni Chowk of Old Delhi to her current home base in Mumbai, Ashima has traveled extensively throughout India. She documented the Maharajas of Jodhpur and Udaipur in their luxurious palaces for a book called Dining with the Maharajas; shot the forts of Chittaurgarh and Jaisalmer for a guidebook on India; and photographed from Agra and Jaipur to the Keoladeo Ghana National Park and beyond. Ashima enjoys sharing her insights on photography with travelers.

"
  • Feb 17-27, 2020
Chris Rainier
Photographer
"

Acclaimed documentary photographer Chris Rainier specializes in highlighting endangered cultures and traditional languages around the globe. In 2002, he received the Lowell Thomas Award from The Explorers Club for his efforts in cultural preservation, and was elected in 2014 as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London. Rainier has been a National Geographic Fellow as well as co-founder and co-director of National Geographic’s Enduring Voices Project and director of the All Roads Photography Program, both designed to support indigenous groups desiring to document their traditional cultures and create sustainable solutions to preserve the planet in the 21st century. Chris also served as a cultural editor and photographer for National Geographic Traveler magazine for over 18 years. Today he directs The Cultural Sanctuaries Foundation, whose mission is to create legally protected cultural zones around the globe that protect both traditional knowledge as well as the local biodiversity. In the early 1980s, Chris served as the last assistant for famed photographer Ansel Adams. The two worked together to amplify the use of art photography as a social tool, ultimately helping to preserve threatened wilderness areas and national parks. Rainier has deep passion for teaching photography, and for the past 20 years has been leading photographic expeditions for National Geographic around the world.

"
  • Feb 3-13, 2020