Isn’t this the dream plan for a compulsive traveller, who wants maximum bang for his time. What if you can sleep peacefully with a sense of security, add a dash of luxury to it (actually dollops of it !) and have a dedicated concierge desk to take care of your travel plans. Yes, I am talking about the most awesome travel experience you can imagine, while touring the beautiful landscapes of India and marvel at the wonders, this country has to offer.
India runs maximum number of luxury trains in the world and it is a big draw for foreign as well as domestic tourists, who want to experience culture, history and royalty all rolled in one. It is particularly a big hit amongst foreigners, primarily because of following reasons :-
– Avoiding airport chaos and maddening traffic. Imagine no checkins, no potholes to negotiate with !
– Sample Indian cuisine, prepared in most hygienic conditions. It changes dramatically with each state or may I cay district!
– Travelling with private guides and avoid all ques. Pre-booked excursion tickets, no haggling anywhere.
– Experiencing service, which is reminiscent of royalty era.
– Connecting with kindred travellers. Always fun to swap stories.
Here is everything you need to know about some of the luxury trains operating in India, routes, cost, best time to go and much more ! Functioning like any hotel, these trains take various routes across India and make stops at popular tourist sites where the traveler can soak in the luxury of a hotel and the history of a nation all at once.
Palace On Wheels
Live life king size, quite literally in these personal carriages inspired by the former Maharajas, Nizams and viceroys. It is one of the most authentic way to experience the royal hues and vibrant culture of Rajasthan along with a visit to World Heritage Taj Mahal in Agra.
Route: The tour covers all the major destinations in Rajasthan that exhibit the best of architectural and cultural. Delhi – Jaipur – Sawai Madhopur – Chittorgarh- Udaipur – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur -Bharatpur – Agra – Delhi
Experience: Resplendent fortresses, spectacular palaces and havelis, rich cultural heritage, national park and wildlife sanctuary.
Best Time to Go: It is a 7 night tour that operates weekly from Delhi between the months of September to April every year.
Cost: USD 3010- USD 4025, depending on the season. Cost is per person on double occupancy basis and includes all meals, tours and transfers.
The Golden Chariot
A sojourn through well known & off beat destinations of South India in luxurious fashion, the journey can be described as an adventure in comfort as you discover through the cradle of timeless Historical Heritage Sites, Resplendent Palaces, Wildlife and Golden Beaches. Aboard your very own kingdom in the golden chariot.
Route: There are two routes
1.) Splendor of the South :- Journey begins at Bangalore and takes you to the historical Temple cities, pristine beaches with sandy shores and finally to the backwaters of India. Bangalore – Chennai – Mamallapuram – Pondicherry – Tiruchirapalli & Thanjavur – Madurai – Kanyakumari – Thiruvananthapuram – Backwaters & Kochi / Allepey – Bangalore
2.) Pride of the South :- Journey begins at Bangalore and takes you to the wildlife sanctuary, heritage sites and creamy beaches of Goa. Bangalore – Kabini – Srirangapatnam – Mysore Sravanabelagola – Belur – Halebid – Hampi – Badami – Pattadkal – Goa
Experience: Golden Chariot travels to an array of World Heritage Sites, wildlife sanctuary, spectacular palaces and cultural sites in South Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. Pride of the South takes you to Goa as well.
Best Time to Go: Ideal time to visit is during the winter months(October- January) , even though the train runs until April. It is a 7 night – 8 day tour.
Cost: Starting from 3000 USD per person.
Royal Rajasthan On Wheels
Oozing with luxury in every bit, Royal Rajasthan On Wheels takes you to witness the complete breadth of tourist attractions, from Rajasthan to Varanasi. It shows you amazing architecture of Rajathan, scintillating game view at Ranthambor, holy city of hindus in Varanasi and seventh wonder of world in Agra. That’s the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels luxury train journey: a torrid romance with the Indian rail.
Route: The tour starts from Jodhpur and come back to the city after going through in order: Delhi-Jodhpur- Udaipur-Chittorgarh-Sawai Madhopur-Jaipur-Khajuraho-Varanasi-Agra-Delhi
Experience: Forts, Palaces, National Parks, Temples, Holy Ghats and of course Taj Mahal in the most luxurious fashion possible.
Best Time to Go: Between the month of October-March
Cost: Starting from USD 4375 per person
A sheer luxury sight to behold, Deccan Odyssey offers a glimpse of the erstwhile Maratha rulers in India. Get transported to a remarkable land shining in legions grandeur – serene beaches, magnificent forts – palaces and experience divine tales etched in colossal rocks with the perfect mix of the bygone era to the present – all reflected in this mesmerising magnificence on wheels.
Route: Maharashtra Splendor, a journey of 8 days and 7 nights on-board the luxury Deccan Odyssey Train, offers you a chance to visit the prime destinations of the Maharashtra state along with the very popular beach state of Goa. Mumbai- Aurangabad,- Tadoba- Ajanta Caves- Nashik- Kolhapur- Goa- Mumbai
Experience : the wondrous cave temples of Ajanta & Ellora (UNESCO world heritage site), two game drives through Tadoba Tiger Reserve, Visit the New Palace, witness the “Mardani Kehl” martial art of the Marathas, a Wine Tour of Nashik, Taste spicy Goan cuisine and visit a 400 year old Portuguese villa, a slice of living history.
Cost: Starting from 5075 USD
So sit back and enjoy this regal ride !