Compare Luxury Trains

INDIA –The Land of Maharajas

Over centuries the legendary stories of wealth and powerful kings of India have fascinated the world. The term “Maharaja” has been used to describe an extremely rich & powerful Hindu King who has a huge army at disposal and to whom number of smaller kingdoms had to pay regular monetary tribute. The wife of the Maharaja was called a “Maharani”. The court of Queen Victoria & later British Raj further romanticized this title for purpose of ensuring loyalty to the British Crown. The Marketing of former Palaces in Rajasthan, now converted into luxury spa hotels, have further added to this aura.

History of Luxury Trains in India

To facilitate the guests who wants to visit famous forts & palaces in desert state of Rajasthan, the Indian Railways in collaboration with Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation, launched a train tour using private saloon carriage of former Maharajas, Nizams and British Viceroy, in 1984. A bygone era was recreated, for perhaps first time in India, where the concept of butler service on a commercial Tour was introduced with fixed day group excursions. This train tour was called Palace On Wheels, which is soon rated amongst the top ten journeys in the world. However, these carriages had to be replaced by A/C saloons, running on metre gauge tracks and the original saloons that were formally used are preserved at the Rail Museum, New Delhi. The present Air conditioned Carriages of Palace on Wheels train running on broad gauge tracks were introduced in 1996 and each saloon is named after a former royal province of the State of Rajasthan, bearing the royal crest on the outside with the interior work related to that particular region.

Since then, number of other luxury trains have been introduced in India and From Oct 2012 there will be Five Maharaja Type Luxury Trains, operating on twelve different tour circuits across the country, which includes, Maharajas Express, Palace On Wheels, The Indian Maharaja Deccan Odyssey, Golden Chariot and Royal Rajasthan on Wheels.

The Maharajas' Express

It can be argued that, with recent launch of ultra luxurious Maharajas Express, it can only be rightfully promoted as the Maharaja train. For the first time in India, a luxury train offers saloons with hydraulic suspension technology & cabins with individual temperature control panels. Your in-house pouring brands are also included in the package costs. Further, the unique opportunity of Champagne breakfast overlooking the Taj Mahal & an exclusive exhibition Elephant Polo Match in Jaipur, can only be an experience truly reserved for the Maharajas.

The Maharajas Express operates on FIVE different tour circuits of North & Central India, including The Indian Splendour, Heritage of India, The Indian Panorama, Treasures of India & Gems of India. There are two dining cars & two bar lounges; and guests have an option to book Deluxe Cabins/Junior Suite/Suite & Presidential suites on journeys of three & seven Nights duration. Each cabin/suite have facility of direct dial telephone, electronic safe & LCD TV. Till last season, the The Maharajas Express train was being operated by a different joint venture companies, but, since Jan 2012 it is now being operated itself by the train owning Government Agency of IRCTC.

Cost on twin share starts from price range of US$ 1195 per person /night onwards........ Read More..

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

This luxury version of Palace on Wheels train was launched in December 2009 by same Rajasthan State Government Agency of RTDC on a slightly different tour circuit with more spacious cabins. On-board facilities include Two Restro-Bar Lounge saloons and ayurvedic spa.

The total train tour is for 7 nights, but you have option to book for minimum 5 Nights part journey & pay accordingly.

The guests have choice to travel in Deluxe OR Super Deluxe cabins and cost on twin share starts from price of US$ 590 per person/night onwards.......Read More..

Golden Chariot Train & Southern Splendour

Owned by Karnataka State Government Agency of KSTDC & managed/operated by Maple Group of Hotels, the Golden Chariot Train is operating on two different circuits of South India; viz Pride of South covering Mysore/Goa & The Southern Splendour covering Tamil Nadu/Kerala. There are Deluxe Cabins with option to book twin/double/twin bedded Cabins. The total train tour is for 7 nights, but you have option to book for minimum 3 Nights part journey & pay accordingly. Other on-board facilities include Two dining cars, One Bar Lounge, Ayurvedic Spa, Mini Gymnasium. The golden chariot train was first launched in Feb 2009 and new circuit of Southern Splendour was added in Nov 2010.

Cost on twin share basis starts from price range of US$ 545 per person/night onwards.....Read More..

The Deccan Odyssey

Operated on Mumbai/Goa/Ajanta Ellora circuit on limited dates, the train is owned by Maharashtra State Government Agency of MTDC. The same Deccan Odyssey train also operates on a different Delhi/Mumbai route as The Indian Maharaja. The guests have option to travel in Deluxe Cabins or Presidential suites and may book to travel part 3 Nights journey on this 7 Nights Train tour. On-board facilities include Two Dining cars, One Bar Lounge, One Conference saloon, business center facility; Ayurvedic spa & Mini gymnasium. The on-board services are managed by internationally famous Taj Group of Hotels.

The Train Tour cost on twin share starts from price range of US$ 500 per person/night.....Read More..

Some common features in all Indian Luxury Trains

- Travel in Private AC sleeping Chambers with attached bathroom
- Freshly cooked Meals served in on-board Dining Saloons OR in luxury hotels
- Package costs includes pre-arranged group sightseeing tours & excursions with facility ofEnglish speaking guides ,in each tourist town visited
- Concept of personalized service combined with professional touch.
- Operate on a seasonal basis between September to April (no service from May to August)

Comparison of all Luxury Train Tours in India)

TRAIN TOUR NAME Principal Train Tour Operator (Duration ) Cabin Options Destination Covered Depart Day (from)
Palace on Wheels RTDC (7 Nights) Deluxe Cabins Forts & Palaces of Rajasthan with Taj Mahal Wednesday (New Delhi)
Maharajas Express -Heritage of India Journey IRCTC (7 nights) Deluxe Cabins ; Jr. Suite, Suite ;& Presidential Suite Taj Mahal with Rajasthan & Dinosaur Fossils Saturday (New Delhi)
Maharajas Express Train– Indian Splendour Journey -do- (7 nights) -do- Ajanta Frescoes with Rajasthan & Taj Mahal Saturday (Mumbai)
Maharajas Express Train – Indian Panorama Journey -do- (7 nights) -do- Best of Central India with Taj Mahal & Rajasthan Saturday (New Delhi )
Maharajas Express Train –Gems of India Journey -do- (3 nights) -do- Taj Mahal with Jaipur & Tiger Reserve Wednesday (New Delhi )
Maharajas Express Train–Treasures of India Journey -do- (3 nights) -do- -do- Sunday (New Delhi )
Royal Rajasthan on Wheels RTDC (7 Nights) Deluxe & Super Deluxe Cabins Best of Rajasthan with Central India & Taj Mahal Sunday (New Delhi)
The Indian Maharaja Deccan Odyssey Train Tour from Mumbai/Delhi Thomas Cook/TCI (7 Nights) Deluxe Cabins on Silver/Gold Plan ; and Presidential Suite on Platinum Plan Ajanta Ellora Cave frescoes with Rajasthan & the Taj Mahal Wednesday (Mumbai)
The Indian Maharaja Train Tour from Delhi/Mumbai -do- (7 Nights) -do- Taj Mahal with Rajasthan & Ajanta Ellora Wednesday (New Delhi)
Golden Chariot Train-Pride of South KSTDC (7 nights) Deluxe Cabins Best of Karnataka World Heritage Sites with Goa Monday (Bangalore)
Southern Splendour Golden Chariot Train -do- (7 nights) -do- Best of South India temples with Pondicherry & Kerala Monday (Bangalore)
Deccan Odyssey Train Tour MTDC (7 Nights) Deluxe Cabins and Presidential Suite Konkan coast with Goa & Ajanta-Ellora Wednesday (Mumbai)
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