Maharajas’ Express: A palatial way to explore India

Lena Attwood 08 January 2013 0 comment

Inviting you to a world of exotic forts, royal palaces, age-old monuments, inspiring landscapes, sun-kissed sand dunes, mystic cities, and diverse wildlife is India’s latest luxury train – the Maharajas’ Express. From the royal interiors of the train to the select destinations, everything aboard this luxury train soothes your mind, calms your souls and yet excites your wild streak.

An Exterior view of Maharajas' Express train

An Exterior view of Maharajas' Express train

Conceived by the Indian Railways in 2010, the train flaunts the rich architectural heritage of the Kings of the bygone era. Where history is at your doorstep and luxury is at your command, a journey on board the Maharajas’ Express offers all luxurious comforts and amenities to the guests. A masterpiece in every sense of the word, it is adorned with two very finely decorated dining restaurants, a relaxing lounge, a well-stocked bar and majestic cabins designed to recreate the magic and elegance of the personal state carriages of Maharajas of the colonial era. The train carriages are fitted with panoramic windows to offer the vista of rolling landscape as train travels through some of the most fascinating landscapes and countryside of India. Sylvan parquets, intricate carvings and palette of soft hues characterize the interiors of the train. All cabins have individual temperature control, LCD television sets, DVD players, direct dial telephones, internet, even live television and electronic safe-deposit box. One of the many highlights of a trip aboard the luxurious Maharajas’ Express is the food with something to delight every appetite from berry compote pancake with fresh watermelon juice for breakfast, to filet mignon, smoked beef saltimbocca or prawn tikka for dinner. From Italian, French, Mediterranean to Mexican and Indian, every cuisine has got a place on the la carte menu of the two restaurants – Rang Mahal and Mayur Mahal aboard this train.

Rang Mahal Restaurant - Maharajas' Express

Rang Mahal Restaurant - Maharajas' Express

The train travels across some of the most captivating landscapes in India, covering well-known tourist destinations including Delhi, Mumbai, Agra, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Khajuraho, Udaipur, Varanasi and more. The medley of beautiful landscape, charismatic culture, diverse traditions and mystical history of India comes alive in the 5 exclusive Maharajas’ Express journeys, which have been recently launched by Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) this year – Heritage of India, Treasures of India, Gems of India, Indian Panorama and The Indian Splendour.

Out of the 29 sites in India inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, the Maharajas’ Express journeys cover six of them, namely: Taj Mahal (Agra, Uttar Pradesh), Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh), Agra Fort (Agra, Uttar Pradesh), Jantar Mantar (Jaipur, Rajasthan), Khajuraho Temples (Madhya Pradesh), and Ajanta Caves (Maharashtra). Amidst all this sheer extravaganza and opulence, Maharajas’ Express lets its guests explore India’ most exotic and colorful locations of the Indian sub-continent like the battle scarred forts, the palaces of breathtaking grandeur and whimsical charm, wildlife parks and sanctuaries surrounded by barren mountains and the raw natural beauty of lakes and water bodies. The off-train excursions have been carefully planned keeping in mind the comfort and luxury of the guests. None of the journeys have been overloaded with trivial destinations to keep to trip enjoyable and invigorating. The peerless wonders included in the journeys on offer are eloquent reminders of the rich heritage that India is blessed with!

Champagne breakfast overlooking Taj Mahal

Champagne breakfast overlooking Taj Mahal

All in all, a journey aboard this luxury train offers a kaleidoscopic fiesta that lures you with its magical richness and stunning variety. No wonder the train has already bagged two major awards to its credit – 1st Runner up in the Conde Nast readers choice travel award 2011 and CNBC travel award 2010 under category of “Best Luxury train”.

All these luxuries and amenities come at a cost, which is a whopping USD 3580 per person per journey. The price can go up to USD 22000 for the grand presidential suite, which spans over an entire carriage!

Lena Attwood

A committed wanderer, a passionate photographer and an ardent admirer of Indian literature; Lena Attwood has journeyed extensively through Asia, India in particular, building up an impressive photographic portfolio of her memorable journeys in this wonderland. Her interest in Indian history, culture and tourism lead her to shift to Mumbai in 1990 and ever since then, she has been visiting various places in India and writing about the same.

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