Luxury rail journeys have come a long way in India since the introduction of Palace on Wheels train in 1982. Nowadays, there is an array of luxurious tourist trains offering extravagant journeys across select destinations and regions for enchanting Indian holidays. It’s an excellent way to explore the country without having to compromise on comfort. These luxury tourist trains offer every indulgence imaginable right down to customized cutlery.
Palace on Wheels
The Palace on Wheels has been rated one of the ten best luxurious train journeys in the world. Originally the train had 12 fully furnished non-air conditioned saloons, once owned by the former Maharajas, Governor Generals and Viceroys of the British period.
The interiors of the current 14 saloons are authentic replicas of the historic coaches. Each saloon is equipped with twin-bedded cabins, each with channel music, intercom, with attached bathroom and running hot and cold water and a shower. The modern conveniences have been thoughtfully provided, sofas to sink into, strategically placed lights to read by, wonderfully appointed beds with comfortable furnishings, inbuilt wardrobes and huge plate glass windows to watch the countryside roll past.
Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is a more luxurious version of Palace on Wheels. The train has 14 coaches consisting of 38 Deluxe Cabins and 2 Super Deluxe Cabins. There are attached bathrooms with each cabin with running hot and cold water and shower facilities. The train has two resto-bars – serving Indian, Continental & Chinese cuisines. It also has a dedicated coach providing spa facilities. The train travels overnight and during the day there is sightseeing in large air-conditioned coaches, with one guide per coach. Many of the meals are in well-known hotels, the rest on board the train. Other facilities include free internet service with wi-fi, a board room, business room, fitness centre, a small library, a locker.
The Deccan Odyssey
The Deccan Odyssey has been benchmarked against the best luxury trains in the world. Everything in the train reflects the ways of the Indian Royalty. This luxurious train transports its guests on a remarkable sojourn of serene beaches, magnificent forts and palaces.
The train has 44 guest cabins and 2 Presidential Suites. There are attached bathrooms with each cabin with running hot and cold water and shower facilities. The train has two restaurants – serving Indian and Continental cuisines – and a lounge bar. Other facilities include a board room, free internet service, library, steam bath, beauty parlour and Ayurveda centre.
The Indian Maharaja
This is a new luxury train journey using Deccan Odyssey train. The train has 44 guest cabins and 2 Presidential Suites. There are attached bathrooms with each cabin with running hot and cold water and shower facilities. The train has two restaurants – serving Indian and Continental cuisines – and a lounge bar. Other facilities include a board room, free internet service, library, steam bath, beauty parlour, Ayurveda center.
The Golden Chariot
Golden Chariot train has been named after the famous Stone Chariot of Hampi, a World Heritage Site. The train has 26 twin beds cabins, 17 double bed cabins and 1 special cabin for physically challenged passenger. Every cabin is equipped with television, DVD, wardrobe, vanity/writing desk and private bathroom with amenities and accessories. There is a comfortable lounge bar with plush interiors modelled after the Mysore Palace. There are two restaurants – Nala and Ruchi – which serve a spread of vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines. The Train also has fully equipped gymnasium and 2 massage rooms.
The Maharaja Express features five carriages for Deluxe Cabins, six for Junior Suites, two for Suites and one for grand Presidential Suite. Every cabin has large panoramic windows so that you can savour every bit of magnificent India. All passenger cabins come with individual temperature controls, LCD televisions, DVD players, direct dial telephone and internet. Every cabin also has its own electronic safe deposit box.
The Maharaja Express also has two fine dining restaurants and a lounge with its own bar, game tables and comfortable club arm-chairs.
The train offers four different routings which are basically two itineraries doing onward and return journeys. The sightseeing for passengers in Deluxe Cabins and Junior Suite is in a shared Deluxe Coach, while Suite passengers have private cars and Presidential Suite has a limousine.