Since we can remember, India has enjoyed a reputation of being a destination of luxury. Here, a mere meal can escalate to the degree of being divine, a sombre journey has the potential to become a saga of sophistication, and a stay can re-define ideas of elegant living.
And this obsession, with a larger-than-life luxury, is celebrated in real, everyday schedules, as well. With a legacy of luxury, as old as eternity, the luxury trains from the stable of Indian Railways and IRCTC turn a simple journey into a tryst with regal living. These trains are truly the epitome of Indian luxury and sophistication done to perfection.
- The Maharaja Express –
If you thought that a train journey can never offer sophisticated journey experience, think again, India’s Maharaja Express is the answer to Europe’s Oriental Express. The new age Maharaja Express is the property of IRCTC since 2010. The idea at work here is the same that defined the kingly life in India during the reigns of kings and the British Raj. From décor, dining to facilities, this train has everything done in the perfect royal style.
Wi-Fi connection, satellite TV, DVD viewing, air conditioning are just a few of the services that you will enjoy during the week long journey covering five different itineraries. Two of these focus on the Delhi-Rajasthan circuit while the other cover wider routes across India touching the most regal destinations.
From on-the-train luxury to off-the-train guided tours, this train is one of the best tourist trains in the world.
- Palace on Wheels –
This was the original luxury tourist train of India. The inspiration came from the personal coaches that served the kings of Rajasthan, Nizams of Hyderabad, and of course, the Viceroys of the British Raj.
The coaches of these trains, the ‘Chambers’ or the ‘Saloons,’ bring a slice of royal life for the passengers. From personal attendants, air conditioning, satellite TV and internet connections, five-star toilet and room facilities are the essential part of the itinerary on board.
The Palace on Wheels along with the Maharaja Express has helped the tourism in Rajasthan flourish. The universal and timeless charm of these trains has made them a top seller in the Indian Railways repertoire.
- The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels –
These trains exclusively cater to the tourists in Rajasthan looking for extra orbital experience. All the facilities, that define the luxury class train journeys, are present here, as well. The itinerary takes the passengers to the most colourful wildlife sites and iconic palaces of Rajasthan. The journey fittingly ends in Agra. Since the launch of the trains in 2009, passengers have shown great appreciation and favours to the journeys.
- The Deccan Odyssey –
Indian luxury is not only about Rajasthan or the Raj. In 2004, the Maharashtra Tourism, along with the Taj Group’s help, launched the Deccan Odyssey itineraries. These trains offer a five-star luxury travel extravaganza covering various routes across western and south-western parts of the country.
From 3 nights’ stay to a full week’s sojourn, passengers can avail various itineraries based on travel routes. Gujarat, Maharashtra, parts of Karnataka as well as parts of Agra are covered by these routes. Wildlife to cultural tourism, spiritual to the historical journey – Deccan Odyssey will take you to themed holidays with unmatched luxury.
- The Golden Chariot –
In 2008, Karnataka Tourism launched their flagship luxury trains, the Golden Chariot. The name comes from the iconic wheel of the temple in Hampi. These trains offer the quintessential luxury facilities like spa treatment, internet connectivity, etc.
The coaches are named after ancient kingdoms and the entire design and décor, just like all other luxury trains, revolve around the theme of India’s royalty. Passengers are taken to various historical and cultural sites in Karnataka and given guided tours.
- The Kolkata Metro –
Indian Railways counts the Kolkata Metro service as a luxury service. And quite rightly so! The metro rails are the most preferred way of travelling in the busy city that saves time, effort, and of course, money. No wonder, all other metros are now following Kolkata Metro’s footstep for better intra-city transport ease.
Whether it’s vacation of a lifetime or a way of daily commute, the luxury trains of India make life easier in more than one way.