Luxury Train Journeys Around India

If you’re looking for a way to travel in India and see all that it has to offer in a grand way, then you’re in for a treat! I mean, who doesn’t like to live like royalty, even if it’s just for a few days? Well, the Indian Railways and IRCTC has brought to you just that- luxury trains to show you everything India has to offer, in the grandest way possible. You’ll get the best of royalty through their plush interiors, majestic ambience, lavish and mind-boggling gastronomical fare, stringent security arrangements- basically everything fit for royalty. So here are a few luxury train journeys around India:

1. Maharajas’ Express

This is the best of the best! It’s one of the top 5 luxury trains around the world. This half-a-mile train boasts of professionals who are there to meet your every need- butler services, stocked bars, quality hospitality, lavish suites, and much more! If you decide to take this train, be rest assured that you’ll experience the richness of India like no other!

Fun Fact: Maharajas’ Express was voted the “World’s Leading Luxury Train” for the years 2012-2014 consecutively!

Operation time: October to April.

Routes: 

  • The Heritage of India: Mumbai – Ajanta – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Agra – Delhi.
  • Gems of India: Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi.
  • The Indian Panorama: Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Fatehpur – Sikri – Agra – Gwalior – Orchha – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Lucknow – Delhi.
  • Indian Splendour: Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Balasinor – Mumbai.
  • Treasures of India: Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi.

Duration: Depends on which tour you take.

Check out their Website.

2. Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

If you’re looking for supreme comfort and a journey that leaves an everlasting effect, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is the trip for you. The 14 cabins of the train are modelled after various famous palaces of the country. Also, it contains multi-cuisine restaurants, spas and bars on the train itself and other mindblowing things! So if you’re looking for a laid back and royal experience, trust the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels to live up to its name!

Operational time: October to March.

Routes: This train stops in all the major tourist spots in Rajasthan. Tours to the city and the historical places are included in the trip. So, the major stops include:

  • Jodhpur – Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada.
  • Udaipur  Forts, palaces, and hotels of Udaipur.
  • Chittorgarh  Vijay Stambha, Gaumukh Reservoir, Rana Kumbha Palace.
  • Sawai Madhopur  Ranthambhore Palace and Ranthambore National Park, Amareshwar Mahadeo Temple.
  • Jaipur – City Palace, Hawa Mahal.
  • Khajuraho – Khajuraho Temples.
  • Varanasi – Ganga Ghats, Sarnath.
  • Agra – Taj Mahal.

Duration: 7 nights and 8 days.

Check out their Website.

3. Palace on wheels

This train was refurbished and relaunched in 2009 to promote tourism. When you board the train, you’ll get a feel for the history and culture of India because of its plush interiors, striking wallpapers, well-stocked bars, gracious hospitality and a glimpse of the local culture by the use of local handicrafts and paintings. You’ll feel like you stepped into the palace of an 8th-century king, the moment you step foot on the train!

Fun fact: It was voted as the 4th best luxury train in the world.

Operational time: September to April.

Routes: There are 7 stoppages, where you’ll be taken on a tour of those stoppages.

  • Delhi – India Gate, Lotus Temple, Qutab Minar, Humayun’s Tomb.
  • Jaipur – Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Rajasthali, City Palace, Jantar Mantar.
  • Sawai Madhopur & Chittorgarh – Ranthambore National Park, Chittorgarh Fort.
  • Udaipur – Jag Niwas, Lake Pichhola.
  • Jaisalmer – Yellow Sandstone Fort, ancient mansions.
  • Jodhpur – Mehrangarh Fort, grand palaces, shopping tour in Jodhpur.
  • Bharatpur – Keoladeo Ghana National Park.
  • Agra – Fatehpur-Sikri, the Taj Mahal.

Duration: 7 nights and 8 days.

Check out their Website.

4. The Deccan Odyssey

This train has been inspired by how the royals used to travel, and it is evident by the palace-like interiors! Also, you’ll get an amazing multi-cuisine restaurant, lounges, a conference car, a spa, and other things that will make it a journey of a lifetime!

Operational time: October to April.

Routes: 

  • Maharashtra Splendor: Mumbai – Nasik – Ellora Cave – Ajanta Caves – Kolhapur – Goa – Ratnagiri – Mumbai.
  • Indian Odyssey: Delhi – Sawai Madhopur – Agra – Jaipur – Udaipur – Vadodara – Ellora Caves – Mumbai.
  • Hidden Treasures of Gujarat: Mumbai – Vadodara – Palitana – Sasan Gir – Somnath – Little Rann of Kutch – Modhera – Patan – Nashik – Mumbai.
  • Indian Sojourn: Mumbai – Vadodara – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Agra – Sawai Madhopur – Jaipur – Delhi.
  • Jewels of the Deccan: Mumbai – Bijapur – Aihole – Pattadakal – Hampi – Hyderabad – Ellora Caves – Ajanta Caves – Mumbai.
  • Maharashtra Wild Trail: Mumbai – Aurangabad – Ramtek – Tadoba – Ajanta – Nashik – Mumbai.

Duration: 7 nights and 8 days.

Check out their Website.

5. Golden Chariot

If you’re thinking of touring South India in style, then the Golden Chariot is the perfect choice for you! An impeccable hospitality defines this train. It was launched in 2008 and has since been providing the best and the most royal tour of South India ever. The chambers in the train have royal interiors, bars, multi-cuisine restaurants, mini-gym, Ayurveda spa, and more 5-star amenities.

Fun fact: It was awarded as “Asia’s Leading Luxury Train” in the year 2013.

Operational time: October to March.

Routes: 

  • Pride of the South: Bangalore – Kabini – Mysore – Hassan – Hampi – Badami – Goa – Bangalore.
  • Southern Splendour: Bangalore – Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Thanjavur – Madurai – Thiruvananthapuram – Alleppey – Kochi – Bangalore.

Duration: 7 nights and 8 days.

Check out their Website.

6. Royal Orient Train

The unimaginable opulence of this train will blow your mind. Simply put, this is one of the best trains to have the most royal journey of your life. A 5-star hotel like amenities- well-trained professionals, multi-cuisine restaurant, the “watering hole” bar, spacious baths, a library, and what not!

Operational time: Throughout the year.

Routes: 

  • Delhi – Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, India Gate.
  • Chittorgarh/Udaipur – Chittorgarh Fort, City Palace, boating in Lake Pichhola, Shilpgram and Royal Gardens.
  • Junagarh/Veraval – Ashokan Rock EDICT of 3rd Century BC, Darbar Hall Museum, Mausoleum of Nawab.
  • Mahabat Khanji, Somnath Temple on the shore of the Arabian Sea.
  • Sasan Gir National Park – Lion Sanctuary.
  • Dilwara – St. Paul’s church and Mandir Beach.
  • Palitana – Jain Temple atop Shatrunjaya Hills.
  • Ahmedabad – Gandhi Ashram, Calico Museum of Textiles, Sidi Aayyad’s Mosque.
  • Jaipur – Amar Fort and elephant ride, Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar (observatory).

Duration: 7 nights and 8 days.

Check out their Website.

7. Fairy Queen Express

This is one of the oldest trains to be providing luxury train services in India. It’s a steam locomotive, built in around 1855. There’s something very charming about this train, as it rambles to Alwar, in Rajasthan.

Fun fact: It has its name in the Guinness Book of World Records and has a National Tourism Award to its name.

Operational time: October to March (on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month).

Route: Delhi – Alwar – Sariska- Alwar – Delhi.

Stoppages include:

  • Sariska– Lake Palace, Sariska National Park.
  • Alwar– Alwar Museum.

Duration: 1 night and 2 days.

Check out their Website.

8. Darjeeling toy train

This journey won’t take you days. It’s a mountainous journey through the breathtaking locales of Darjeeling, West Bengal. Also, you’ll get the best view of the mighty Kanchenjunga from this train! Another plus point is the weather, which will definitely be your best friend during the journey!

Operational time: Throughout the year. There are plenty of rides scheduled throughout the day, so it wouldn’t be a problem.

Route: Darjeeling to Ghum, and back.

There’s a 10-minute stoppage at Bastia Loop.

Duration: 2 hour round trip.

Check out their Website.

9. The Indian Maharaja

World class facilities while touring Maharashtra- what else can you need, right? You’ll be mesmerised by the beauty of the surroundings as you cruise through the scenic Western Ghats. The trip takes you to various states including Rajasthan and Agra. This truly is an awe-inspiring journey.

Duration: 7 nights and 8 days.

So here were the best of the best of train journeys that you can enjoy in India. These luxury train journeys in India not only give you a glimpse of how beautiful India can get, but also of the rich heritage, culture, and hospitality of Indians. Maybe, once you get aboard the train, you won’t ever wish to get down! So what are you waiting for? Start booking tickets! Happy travelling!

Contributor: Archi Sengupta. 

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