The vastness, glory and charms of Indian railways is second to none. If we can make plans to travel from northern most part to southern most part of India without thinking twice, it is only because of the second largest railway system in the world, i.e. Indian railways. It beautifully connect the whole of India ranging from metros to the most secluded village in north eastern India. With a whooping 19000 trains running everyday across 8000 stations travelling across 65000 km of railway track, Indian railways ensure that India stands united and connected despite geographical and cultural diversities.
In addition to the regular trains, Indian railways has also introduced some special segment of trains to enhance rail tourism for Indian citizens and to give a glimpse of true Indian hospitality to foreign tourists.
1. Palace on Wheels
True to its name, this luxury train is made to help you experience the royal life of Rajasthan. A train than holds historic charm but is well-equipped will all the modern amenities to take you to a week long journey that you are sure to cherish all your life.
With an array of facilities ranging central air-conditioning, soothing four channel music, interconnected telephone system in the train, a separate pantry and lounge in each coach, attached bathroom, spa, gym and smiling attendants serving you round the clock, you can be the new-age prince and princess for the week. In addition, the train features two specialty restaurants – “Maharaja” and “Maharani” that serve exotic Indian, continental and Rajasthani cuisine. It also includes a well-stocked bar.
The train contains a total of 14 coaches each names after different Rajput states — Kota, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Alwar, Sirohi, Kishangarh, Bundi, Dungarpur, Bharatpur, Jhalawar and Dholpur.
The train covers majority of the distance during the night, giving you ample time to roam around and discover the beauty, grandeur and rich heritage by covering the itinerary of Delhi – Jaipur – Sawai Madhopur – Chittaurgarh – Udaipur – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Bharatpur – Agra – Delhi.
Of course, all these luxury doesn’t come cheap. However, if you can afford it, it is definitely something worth spending in.
2. Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
Indian railways in association with Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation have launched this train on the line of Palace on Wheels but only with added luxury and added facilities.
The train covers the itinerary of Delhi – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Chittaurgarh – Sawai Madhopur – Jaipur – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Agra – Delhi.
3. Deccan Odyssey
Specifically designed for luxury, Deccan Odyssey is among the finest train journeys that takes you through a splendid tour of entire India. If you are thrilled with the journey of Palace of Wheels but sad due to its fixed itinerary, Deccan Odyssey comes to your rescue that provides the unforgettable journey through a number of itineraries covering different parts of the country. In addition to beautifully decorated trains, and amazing food, other facilities on board includes channel music, intercom, CD/MP3 player, money exchange, bar, spa, gymnasium and much more
Different itineraries of Deccan Odyssey:
- Mumbai – Aurangabad – Chandrapur -Jalgaon – Nasik Road – Kolhapur – Madgaon – Mumbai
- Mumbai – Viswamitri – Palitana – Virawal – Virangam – Patan – Gandhi Nagar – Delhi
- Delhi – Sawai Madhopur – Agra – Jaipur – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Vadodara – Viswamitri – Mumbai
- Delhi – Sawai Madhopur – Jaipur – Agra – Vidisha – Jalgaon – Aurangabad – Mumbai
- Delhi – Agra – Bharatpur – Sawai Madhopur – Jaipur – Delhi
- Mumbai – Jalgaon – Vidisha – Sawai Madhopur – Jaipur – Bharatpur – Agra – Delhi
4. Maharaja Express
If you thought, POW is all a train journey can offer, you are in for a surprise. With Maharaja Express, luxury knew no bounds. A luxury train offering from Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd., New Delhi, it provides luxury and grandeur like you can never imaging. Starting from featuring the most spacious cabins to offering personal valet attached to each cabin, it clearly offers facilities no other trains have.
TV, Wi-fi internet, direct dialing telephones with international call facilities, individual temperature control system in each cabin, environment friendly toilets, CCTV in public areas for enhanced safety are just few of the long array of facilities the train provides. Each room has hair dryers, electronic safe deposit boxes, bath tubs and mini bars (only in suites and presidential suites).
Coming to food, the two restaurants Mayur Mahal and Rang Mahal, takes you to journey of culinary delight like never before. The finest selection of wines and liquors available at Safari Bar or the Rajah Club can give the perfect start to your evening.
With the option of choosing from four categories of accommodation, which include 20 Deluxe Cabins, 18 Junior Suites, 4 Suites and one Presidential Suite. the train can house a total of 88 guests. A journey of Maharaja express can take you through a tour of Indian heritage and culture and let you live a life f bygone era.
Itineraries of Maharaja Express:
- Delhi – Agra – Sawai Madhopur – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Mumbai.
- Mumbai – Bhusawal – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Bikaner – Jaipur – Sawai Madhopur – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Delhi.
- Delhi – Jaipur – Sawai Madhopur – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Gwalior – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Lucknow – Delhi
- Delhi – Agra – Sawai Madhopur – Jaipur – Delhi