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Indian Luxury Trains
 
 * Parveen Komal *
 
 India has always been a hotspot in the dictionary of world tourism. Each and every state in India has unique features which attract lot of International tourists every year. Indian railways has a major role in promoting tourism as it is the main and cheapest mode of transport in the country. As part of promoting tourism, they offer royal train journeys through the landscapes of various parts of India. These royal coaches target the foreign tourists by providing them a lifestyle of regal times and an opportunity to relish the culture, architecture and tradition of India. The luxurious trains in India are The Palace on Wheels, The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, The Maharajas’ Express, The Golden Chariot, The Royal Orient Train, The Indian Maharaja-Deccan Odyssey and The Fairy Queen. These royal trains are highly expensive and they operate on fixed schedules.

Luxury Trains in India

Indian Luxury Trains

Palace on Wheels

The Palace on Wheels was ceremoniously flagged off on January 26, India’s Republic Day, in 1982 and this was the first luxury train launched in India. It was a grand success and following its success, other luxury tourist trains have been started on other routes by Indian railways. The majestic coaches of this train were designed drawing inspiration from the personal royal coaches of the Maharajas of Rajputana, Gujarat, Hyderabad Nizams and British rulers. 14 royal coaches, named after former Rajput states, include air-conditioned cabins with twin beds having facilities like DTH television, music, intercom, and attached toilets with running hot and cold water, bar with International choices, lounge with a library, TV and DVD player. It boasts of two royal restaurants, “The Maharaja” and “The Maharani”, designed with a Rajasthani ambience, serving Continental, Chinese, Indian and Rajasthani cuisine. The eight- day long Rajputana style journey starts from New Delhi and rails through the Rajput kingdom around Rajasthan with halts in Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur, and finally Agra, the land of an epic romance.

Palace on Wheels

Palace on Wheels

Palace on Wheels

Palace on Wheels

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

Inspired from Palace on wheels, this royal splendor was launched in 2009 by Indian railways. The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is another regal delight where you will indulge completely in royal lifestyle with the magnificent interiors, princely meals and expensive wines and personalized service by the Khidmatgars. The 13 deluxe coaches named after the majestic palaces of Rajasthan has deluxe and super deluxe saloons giving princely comfort, two restaurant lounges, Sheesh Mahal and Swarna Mahal, to dine royally, created in themes of crystal and gold respectively. It has a fine spa, a bar and interiors decorated with royal souvenirs. Facilities like Wi-Fi, automatic temperature control, TV, channel music, game station, library with dailies and magazines, laundry and locker facilities are also available. Royal Rajasthan also begins the journey from Delhi and goes through Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Sawai Madhopur, Jaipur, Khajuraho, Varanasi and along Taj Mahal in Agra. In the 7 days/8 nights journey, tourists explore the majestic palaces, forts and ancient monuments across Rajasthan and Delhi. Moreover, it takes you to the ancient city Khajuraho and the famous pilgrim center, Varanasi.

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

Royal Orient Train

Another Rajasthani saga in luxurious delight is the Royal Orient. Apart from the Rajasthani palaces, it also takes you through Gujarat, exploring the Sabarmathi Ashram and the wild life in Gir. The comfort and facilities are similar to Palace on wheels except that it is designed following a blue scheme to differentiate it from the Palace on Wheels. The Indian culture and heritage has been best showcased in the interiors whereas luxury is given in palatial style. The Royal Orient starts from Delhi and offers a 7-day/ 8-nights imperial tour through Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Junagarh, Veraval, Sasangir, Dilwara, Palitana, Sarkhej, Ahmadabad and Jaipur. It stops and allows you to explore all heritage tourist locations in this route.

The Golden Chariot

The Golden Chariot- Pride of the South runs between Bangalore and Goa and connects the important tourist spots between them. This is another luxurious delight for the tourists and a chance to live in the rich interiors designed based on the royal architectural style of the dynasties of Karnataka. The coaches are colored purple and gold, and named after the dynasties that ruled Karnataka. Apart from the cabins and two restaurants, Nala and Ruchi, this train has a conference coach and a gym coach where an Ayurvedic center, a spa and a gymnasium are set. Lounge bar is set up in another coach where one can relax and enjoy fine spirits and wines at the same time watch performances of local artisans. This lounge is modeled after the Mysore palace interiors and named as Madira. The Golden Chariot offers two types of packages. One is a 7 days/8 nights tour starting from Bangalore, then to Kabini, Bandipur, Mysore, Hassan, Belur, Halebidu, Shravanabelagola, Hospet, Hampi, Badami, Pattadakkal, Goa and back to Bangalore and the second route is the same as the first but the check out is done at Goa and it is a 6 nights / 7 days tour.

The Golden Chariot

The Golden Chariot

The Golden Chariot

The Golden Chariot

Deccan Odyssey

Imagine an imperial style journey through the land of Marathas in a 5 star train and that is Deccan Odyssey. This was introduced to promote tourism in Konkan route. The luxurious blue train of India welcomes you to a world of royal sojourn. Aboard this luxury train, there are 11 passenger carriages, two presidential suite cars, a conference car, two restaurant cars, a spa car and a bar car, all regally decorated and designed. The two restaurants namely, Peshwa-1 and Peshwa-2 serve all culinary delights from across the world. Handpicked handicrafts and souvenirs can be shopped on board. The journey starts from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and travels to Sindhudurg Nagari, Goa, Kolhapur, Ellora caves, Aurangabad, Chandrapur, Ajanta caves, Nashik, Ellora caves and back to Mumbai.

Deccan Odyssey

Deccan Odyssey

Deccan Odyssey

Deccan Odyssey

Maharajas’ Express

Maharajas’ Express was awarded ‘Asia’s leading luxury train’ in World Travel awards recently. This train is the most luxurious, latest and the most expensive train in India giving the best hospitality as given to a Maharaja. The interiors have beautifully depicted the elegance and opulence of the palaces of Maharajas of the bygone era. Royal bedroom cabins are equipped with twin beds or a double bed in four options:5 deluxe cabins, 6 junior suites, 2 suites, and a majestic presidential suite. Twin dine restaurants, Mayur Mahal and Rang Mahal are furnished gracefully. Safari Bar, Rajah Club and Treasure Chest are other coaches designed for travelers keeping in mind the need for relaxation, comfort and space. Amenities available on the train include LCD TVs, climate control, Internet, panoramic windows, en suite bathrooms etc. The rich heritage of India can be explored in four distinct itineraries.

  • Celestial India (7 days/7 nights): Delhi-Agra-Gwalior-Orchha-Khajuraho-Bandhavgarh National Park-Varanasi-Lucknow-Delhi.
  • Classical India (7 days/6 nights): Delhi-Agra-Gwalior-Orchha-Khajuraho-Bandhavgarh National Park-Varanasi-Lucknow-Delhi.
  • Princely India (7 days/7 nights): Mumbai-Vadodara-Udaipur-Jodhpur-Bikaner-Jaipur-Sawai Madhopur-Fatehpur Sikri-Agra-Delhi
  • Royal India (7 days/6 nights): Delhi-Agra-Sawai Madhopur-Jaipur-Bikaner-Jodhpur-Udaipur-Vadodara-Mumbai

Maharajas’ Express

Maharajas’ Express

Maharajas’ Express

Maharajas’ Express

Fairy Queen

Tourists can travel in world’s oldest running steam locomotive only in India, between Delhi and Alwar. Built in 1855, it can accommodate only 60 passengers in an AC chair car coach, which runs twice in a month on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays from October to March. The engine is the most attractive part of the train as it looks like one in fairy tales. It has a well-designed lounge in the front from where travelers can enjoy the frontal view of the fairy engine and the beautiful countryside of Rajasthan. Fairy Queen has a well-maintained pantry to cater the culinary delights for the guests. The fairy engine first takes you to the beautiful Alwar where you can stay overnight in a luxurious resort and the next day to the Sariska Wild life sanctuary, Kankwari fort and palace.

Fairy Queen Express

Fairy Queen Express

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