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Luxury Train Tour in India

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The Railway System is a modern-day miracle. Since 1853, when the first carriage train ran between Bombay and Thane, just 21 miles away, it has kept a vastly diverse sub-continent of varying landscapes and topographies, connected and running.

With 23 million rides in a single day (that’s more than the entire population of Australia!), it is the largest carrier in the world. From the mighty Himalayas to the shores of the southernmost tip of India in Kanyakumari (Kerala), the Indian Railway has played as important a role as Indian nationalism in uniting the nation.

The Kings, Queens and Maharajas of the Princely States of India (there were some 562 princely states in India) travelled with royal pomp and glory. Their royal train caravans were extravagant affairs.

Luxury trains in India are modelled after the royal caravans of India the Maharajas of Rajasthan, the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Viceroy of India and other princes of Hindustan.

In this article, we will give you a run-down of the best luxury trains in India, along with information about their routes, the destinations they cover and the list of facilities on and off-board offered by these luxury trains.

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7 Must-Have Train Journeys In India

1- Palace on Wheels: Majestic Rajasthan Sojourn


Palace on Wheels

Launched in 1982 by the Indian Railways, the path-breaking “Palace on Wheels” is India’s first and still one of its most iconic luxury train services that operates in Rajasthan and also covers the “Golden Triangle” tourist region (Agra, Delhi and Jaipur). Since then, it has set the benchmark for tourism-centered luxury train services in India.

Aboard the Palace on Wheels, you will find opulent royal suites, deluxe cabins, two post restaurants (offerings global and Indian cuisine), a splendid spa (offering high-class therapies), personal butlers and the amenities that you get at a 5-star hotel.

DESTINATIONS COVERED BY PALACE ON WHEELS

(September to October)

It takes you on a 7-night and 8-days royal expedition that begins in Delhi, followed by stopovers at the “Pink City” Jaipur (Capital of Rajasthan), Sawai Madhopur (seat of the Ranthambore National Park famous for its Tiger Safaris), Chittorgarh, “Golden City” Jaisalmer, “Blue City” Jodhpur and Bharatpur (famous for the Bharatpur National Park).

For more details check out our exclusive Palace on Wheels Page here to avail special packages and discounts. 


2- Maharajas’ Express: Regal Passage through India


Maharajas' Express

The Maharaja Express began its services in 2010 and is modelled after the Palace on Wheels and covers a broader region that includes the Golden Triangle as well as the tourist attractions in Central and North-West India.

It has won the “World’s Leading Luxury Train” Award six consecutive times from 2012 to 2018. It has also won the Conde Nast Traveler’s “Reader Choice Travel Award” multiple times.

The Maharaja Express boasts luxurious cabins, personal butlers, several bars, multiple specialty restaurants, and guided tours at all stopovers/destinations.

At the Maharaja Express, you can choose from 4 different routes (all of which feature varying itineraries).

DESTINATIONS COVERED BY MAHARAJAS’ EXPRESS

(October to April) 

HERITAGE OF INDIA (6 Nights/ 7 Days) : (Mumbai – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Agra – Delhi)

Prices for a Deluxe Cabin on SINGLE OCCUPANCY start at $8,130 for 1 person with an additional $6,100 for DOUBLE OCCUPANCY (2 persons).

For suites, prices start at $14,490, and for a Junior Suite at $10,390.

 

TREASURES OF INDIA (3 Nights/ 4 Days):  (Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi )

Prices for a Deluxe Cabin on SINGLE OCCUPANCY start at $4,890 for 1 person with an additional $3,670 for DOUBLE OCCUPANCY (2 persons).

For suites, prices start at $7,980, and for a Junior Suite at $5,200.

INDIAN PANORAMA (6 Nights/ 7 Days):  (Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Orccha – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Delhi)

Prices for a Deluxe Cabin on SINGLE OCCUPANCY start at $7,750 for 1 person with an additional $5,820 for DOUBLE OCCUPANCY (2 persons).

For suites, prices start at $14,490, and for a Junior Suite at $9,940.

  

INDIAN SPLENDOR (6 Nights/ 7 Days):  (Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur- Bikaner – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Mumbai )

Prices for a Deluxe Cabin on SINGLE OCCUPANCY start at $7,750 for 1 person with an additional $5,820 for DOUBLE OCCUPANCY (2 persons).

For suites, prices start at $14,490, and for a Junior Suite at $9,940.

For more details check out our exclusive Maharajas’ Express Page here .


3- Deccan Odyssey: South India Extravaganza

 

Deccan Odyssey

The Deccan Odyssey offers the same high-end uber-luxurious train experience to the Deccan Plateau region comprising the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Gujrat.

It offers 6 different pan-Indian routes/itineraries (8 Days/7 Nights) where you can choose from destinations of your choice. These include the following regions:

DESTINATIONS COVERED BY THE DECCAN ODYSSEY

(September to May) 

MAHARASTRA SPLENDOR: Maharashtra-focused route.

Begins in MAHARASHTRA in MUMBAI, -“the Wine-Capital of India” NASHIK- the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of AJANTA & ELLORA, “beach capital of India” GOA, – KOHLAPUR – ends in Mumbai again.

INDIAN ODYSSEY:  Combines Delhi, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Great if you want to kill 3 birds with on shot.

Delhi – Sawai Madhopur in RAJASTHAN at the RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK- JAIPUR – UDAIPUR – TAJ MAHAL – MAHARASHTRA

JEWEL OF THE DECCAN:  Central and South India-focused route.

MUMBAI – AJANTA AND ELLORA CAVES  –  HAMPI (KARNATAKA) -HYDERABAD.

MAHARASHTRA WILD TRAIL JOURNEY:  wildlife-centric itinerary.

MUMBAI – AJANTA & ELLORA CAVES  – PENCH National Park, TADOBA National Park – NASHIK.

HIDDEN TREASURE OF GUJARAT:  Gujarat-oriented itinerary.

MUMBAI  – VADODARA  –  SOMNATH  – SASAN GIR  – the “White Desert of India” RANN OF KUCH.

INDIAN SOJOURN:

MAHARASHTRA (Mumbai) – GUJARAT (Vadodara) –  RAJASTHAN (Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ranthambore National Park) –  AGRA (Taj Mahal) and DELHI. 

To avail the best discounts on Deccan Odyssey, check out our exclusive page. 


4- Golden Chariot: Treasures of the South

 

Golden Chariot

The name Golden Chariot comes from the famous Vithala Temple at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the temple town of HAMPI.

Operated by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation, the Golden Chariot train service is focused on the southern Indian state of Karnataka which is renowned for its ancient heritage, glorious temples and religious significance. 

It covers a range of other popular tourist destinations in South India like Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. The Golden Chariot operates from October to March and offers 3 different itineraries covering these destinations. These are as under.

DESTINATIONS COVERED BY THE GOLDEN CHARIOT

(September to March) 

PRIDE OF KARNATAKA (6 Nights/ 7 Days)

Bengaluru/Capital of Karnataka  – Mysore “City of Palaces”Chikmagalur (Hill station) – Hampi – Badami (beach) – Goa.

 

Prices for a Deluxe Cabin on SINGLE OCCUPANCY start at $4,750 for 1 person with an additional $3,560 for DOUBLE OCCUPANCY (2 persons).

 

JEWELS OF SOUTH (6 Nights/ 7 Days)

 

Bengaluru  – Mysore Mahabalipuram (Temple Town/UNESCO World Heritage Site), Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu/ The Great Living Chola Temples), Kochi (Kerala), Alleppey (Keralan Backwaters).

Prices for a Deluxe Cabin on SINGLE OCCUPANCY start at $4,740 for 1 person with an additional $3,560 for DOUBLE OCCUPANCY (2 persons).

GLIMPSES OF KARNATAKA (6 Nights/ 7 Days)

Bangalore  – Mysore  – Hampi.

Prices for a Deluxe Cabin on SINGLE OCCUPANCY start at $3,160 for 1 person with an additional $2,370 for DOUBLE OCCUPANCY (2 persons).

For more details check out our exclusive GOLDEN CHARIOT offers here

5- Royal Rajasthan on Wheels: The Regal Odyssey

 

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels was launched by the Indian Railways in 2009 in tandem with the Tourism Development Corporation of Rajasthan. It follows a route similar to the Palace on the Wheels. 

It offers 29 deluxe and super deluxe cabins. Amenities on-board include personal butlers, 5-star hospitality, two specialty restaurants cum bar lounges, a salon and a mini Gym. 

DESTINATIONS COVERED BY ROYAL RAJASTHAN ON WHEELS

(September to April)

Day 1: New Delhi. Day 2: Jaipur. Day 3: Ranthambore National Park/ Sawai Madhopur. Day 4: Chittor Fort. Day 5: Jaisalmer. Day 6: Jodhpur. Day 7: Taj Mahal.

Prices for Single Occupancy (Deluxe Cabin) start at $ 6,055 and from $ 9,100 for Double Occupancy (two persons).

6 – Royal Orient: Timeless Treasures of Western India

  

Royal Orient

The Royal Orient luxury train offers eight days and seven nights journeys on a route that runs between the Western State of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Like the Royal Rajasthan on Wheel, it is also modelled after the Palace on Wheels. 

It began it service in 1994-95 and is a joint collaboration of the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat and the Indian Railways. It offers 13 coaches, each of which is named after a kingdom of the Rajputana (Rajasthan, parts of Gujarat). 

DESTINATIONS COVERED BY ROYAL ORIENT

(September to April)

 

Delhi  – Chittorgarh – Jaipur – Udaipur – Amdavad – Mehsana – Junagarh – Veraval – Sasan Gir (Gir National Park, home of Asiatic Lions) – Mandvi – Dilwara – Palitana – Sarkhhej 


7- Fairy Queen Express: Steam Express

 

Fairy Queen

The Fairy Queen Express has been listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest steam locomotive. It has been in regular service since 1855.

Restored by the Indian Government in 1997, it operates as a heritage train between the nation’s capital New Delhi and Alwar in Rajasthan. It operates on a single-day itinerary between these two cities on every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the months of October to March. 

It boasts a 60 seater air-conditioned chair car specially designed with large glass windows to give you splendid views of the region. Amenities on board include on-board catering, a pantry car, an exquisite lounger, and a restaurant. 

Prices for Fairy Queen Express start at $2,200 for a one-way trip between Delhi and Alwar, and $ 5,500 for a full package (which includes sightseeing/stay at Sariska). 

Frequently Asked Questions About Luxury Train Tour India

Which is the most luxurious train ride in India?

The Maharaja Express is considered to be the priciest and most luxurious train ride in India, followed by the Palace on Wheels.

What is the cost of a luxury train ticket in India?

 

Prices vary across different luxury train services and itineraries they offer.

Typically, prices start at $ 1,669 per night (per cabin) at Palace on Wheels.

On the Maharajas’ Express, per tour prices begin at $7,750 for 1 person with an additional $5,820 for DOUBLE OCCUPANCY (2 persons), and at $4,750 for 1 person at the Golden Chariot with an additional $3,560 for DOUBLE OCCUPANCY (2 persons.

Note: Please note that prices may vary and be subject to change. Be sure to check out the official links or our exclusive pages for each luxury train service. 

Which is the cheapest luxury train in India?

The Single-Day Fairy Queen Express (the world’s oldest steam locomotive train in regular use since 1855) which operates between New Delhi and Alwar (Rajasthan) is one of the cheapest luxury heritage train services you can avail on a budget. It gives you a vintage royal-era caravan experience with splendid onboard service.

Which is the most beautiful luxury train in India?

The Palace on Wheels (India’s first and still one of its greatest) is renowned for its royal aesthetics and splendid opulence.

However, the Maharajas’ Express is also a worthy competitor that boasts world-class amenities, onboard facilities and an internal décor becoming of a Maharaja’s lodging.

How many tourist trains are there in India?

There are over a dozen tourist trains in India offering luxury train journeys. These trains cover all the major tourist destinations and run mostly in the peak tourist season (October-March). 

We recommend seven of the best luxury train services among them. These include the Palace on Wheels, the Maharajas’ Express, the Golden Chariot, the Deccan Odyssey, Royal Rajasthan on Wheel, the Royal Orient and the Fairy Queen Express.

 

Which routes have the most scenic train journeys?

The Palace on the Wheels which takes you through the Golden Triangle Region is believed to have the most scenic routes in all of India. 

Which is the latest tourist train in India?

 

Launched in 2010, the Maharajas’ Express is the latest uber-luxury tourist train in India. One of its competitors, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels was launched in 2009.

The Palace on Wheels which was launched in 1982 is India’s first luxury train.

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