After pickup from your hotel in Delhi by private vehicle, your driver will take you to the gates of Rashtrapati Bhavan – the presidential residence -- to watch the 30-minute Changing of Guard ceremony. When you arrive, show your photo ID at the entrance to the estate’s forecourt, and view the President’s Body Guard (PBG) and their equestrian display amid a public audience of up to 200.
The PBG soldiers, established in 1773, belong to the Senior Regiment of the Indian Army, whose cavalry carry out ceremonial duties for the president. Watch the military guards, adorned in full regalia, as they advance from behind the Jaipur column astride their stallions. Consider the physical prowess of these elite troops as they perform exacting maneuvers, carrying lance and saber in tune to the music of the Army Brass Band.
As you observe this British-influenced military tradition, you’ll see the elite infantry regiments of the Army Guard Battalion march in and replace the old guard. The morning ceremony ends with another equestrian display by the PBG before they ride away toward Rashtrapati Bhavan while the brass band plays the National Anthem.
Afterward, hop back in your private vehicle and head to one of two museums for a self-guided tour. Your driver will take you to the National Museum or the National Rail Museum, depending on which option you select. You’ll have approximately 2 hours to spend at either museum until your driver returns you to your Delhi hotel. Please see Itinerary for more information on each option.
Option 1: The National Museum
At the National Museum, one of India’s largest museums, admire a range of Indian artifacts from prehistoric times to the modern era. This collection was permanently established at the National Museum after it was viewed at the Royal Academy in London, followed by an exhibit at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the mid-1940s.
Altogether, the museum has 200,000 works of art, both of Indian and foreign origin, covering a span of more than 5,000 years. With the aid of an audio tour and informative panels about the displays, walk through the museum and enjoy exhibits that include jewelry, paintings, manuscripts and armor, as well as a Buddhist art section renowned for its sacred relics.
Option 2: The National Rail Museum
Set amid 10 acres of sprawling park, the National Rail Museum isn’t just for train buffs! Head indoors for an informative display of fascinating objects, including signaling equipment, antique train furniture and historical photographs of the Indian Railway. Read the displays' accompanying annotations and learn about India’s rail heritage as you admire the line-up of 19th-century steam engines parked outside.
See the Prince of Wales Saloon, built in 1875 for the prince’s visit, and peer through the windows of the Maharaja of Mysore's Saloon for a look at the brocade-covered chairs and elegant rosewood bed. Don’t miss the well-preserved steam locomotive, the Fairy Queen, or the 1914 fire engine. Children will enjoy a ride aboard the toy train around the museum yard!