Written By Yukti Lunawat.
Train journeys are always enriching and memorable but the experience reaches a whole new level when the heritage of India is explored in luxurious trains that boasts the country’s royal past and grandeur.
India has had a history of luxury trains running across the country. These give a very opulent experience. Each of such trains have something new and different to offer. Each train provides a different experience.
Here is a list of 9 luxury trains in India. Read on to find out more about India’s Luxury Trains!
1. The Deccan Odyssey
The Deccan Odyssey came on the tracks on 16th November 2004, when it was inaugurated after multiple changes to its design.
The Taj Group of Hotels also joined hands to provide a 5-star experience to its guests, but this time on wheels. It is a brainchild of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).
It took inspiration from the travelling style of kings and rulers of ancient India, but the designs are more modern now.
The amenities they offer is nothing short of a 5-star experience. They provide regal class cabins, multi-cuisine restaurants, a sitting lounge, a high-tech conference car and a rejuvenating health spa.
It strives to make every day a memorable experience for travellers. The high-tech facilities make the journey all the more unique and exclusive.
Itineraries of the Deccan Odyssey
It has an itinerary for 6 different routes. The 6 routes are named the Maharashtra Splendor, , Jewels of the Deccan, Maharashtra Wild Trail, Hidden Treasures of Gujarat, Indian Odyssey and Indian Sojourn.
The Deccan Odyssey operates from October to April and the duration for all 6 routes is 7 nights, 8 days. It takes you to some of the most fascinating destinations in India.
Day 1– Mumbai, Day 2– Nashik, Day 3– Aurangabad – Ellora Cave, Day 4– Jalgaon – Ajanta Caves, Day 5– Kolhapur, Day 6– Goa, Day 7– Sindhudurg, Day 8– Mumbai.
Jewels of the Deccan:
Day 1– Mumbai, Day 2– Bijapur, Day 3– Aihole – Pattadakal, Day 4– Hampi, Day 5– Hyderabad, Day 6– Aurangabad – Ellora Caves, Day 7– Ajanta Caves, Day 8– Mumbai.
Maharashtra Wild Trail:
Day 1– Mumbai, Day 2– Aurangabad – Ellora Caves, Day 3– Aurangabad, Day 4– Ramtek (Pench National Park), Day 5– Tadoba, Day 6– Jalgaon – Ajanta Caves, Day 7– Nashik, Day 8– Mumbai.
Hidden Treasures of Gujarat:
Day 1– Mumbai, Day 2– Vadodara, Day 3– Palitana, Day 4– Sasan Gir (Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary) – Somnath, Day 5– Little Rann of Kutch, Day 6– Modhera – Patan, Day 7– Nashik, Day 8– Mumbai.
Day 1– Delhi, Day 2– Sawai Madhopur – Ranthambore National Park, Day 3– Agra, Day 4– Jaipur, Day 5– Udaipur, Day 6– Vadodara, Day 7– Aurangabad – Ellora Caves, Day 8– Mumbai.
Day 1– Mumbai, Day 2– Vadodara, Day 3– Udaipur, Day 4– Jodhpur, Day 5– Agra, Day 6– Sawai Madhopur – Ranthambore National Park, Day 7– Jaipur, Day 8– New Delhi.
Deccan Odyssey Tariff 2021-2022 & 2022-2023
2. Palace On Wheels
It is also known as ‘India’s Original Luxury Train’. It is voted as the fourth best luxury train in the world. The basic concept of this luxury train is travelling overnight in comfortable AC sleeping coaches and group sightseeing during the day in AC buses.
These were prominent features of this train even when it was the first of its kind and they still hold true. During the British reign, rulers of princely states of Rajputana, Gujarat, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Viceroy of British India used to travel in these coaches.
In 1981-82, the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation and Indian Railways launched a special heritage tourist train for providing a unique memorable experience to the tourists visiting Rajasthan.
In September 2017, new train carriages were introduced on the Palace on Wheels luxury train, that are more spacious in size & now guests have the option to book Deluxe or Super Deluxe Cabins.
The train might be from ancient times, but it provides all modern amenities like wi-fi, mini pantry, music channel, a safe, wall to wall carpeting, etc. each cabin has a personal attendant, called khidmatgar. There are Two Resto-Bar lounges and an ayurvedic spa facility on the train.
Itinerary of the Palace On Wheels
It is an 8-day tour that starts from New Delhi, every Wednesday.
Day 1– Delhi, Day 2– Jaipur, Day 3– Sawai Madhopur – Chittaurgarh, Day 4– Udaipur, Day 5– Jaisalmer, Day 6– Jodhpur, Day 7– Bharatpur – Agra Cantonment, Day 8– New Delhi.
Single- INR 48,620 – 64,600 per person per night.
Double- INR 37,400 – 48,620 per person per night.
Super Deluxe Suite- INR 1,00,980 – 1,34,640 per suite per night.
3. Golden Chariot
If you wish to see Southern India in a luxurious style, you should take a ride on the Golden Chariot. It gives an experience of a thrilling adventure across Karnataka with KSTDC specially designed with upbeat activities in mind for the Next Generation. It connects famous tourist spots in Karnataka, Goa, Tamil Nadu, as well as Pondicherry.
The Golden Chariot has 44 cabins in 11 coaches that are named after dynasties that ruled the region: Kadamba, Hoysala, Rashtrakuta, Ganga, Chalukya, Bahamani, Adil Shahi, Sangama, Satavahana, Yadukula and Vijayanagar.
It has two restaurants, a lounge bar, a conference room, a gym and spa facilities. It also provides an internet connection via a USB stick and satellite antenna that provides live television service in the cabins. It was also awarded as ‘Asia’s Leading Luxury Train’ in the year 2013.
Itineraries of the Golden Chariot
The Golden Chariot offers two travel itineraries – Pride of the South and Splendor of the South. The train runs from October to March and every trip is 7 nights, 8 days.
Pride of the South:
Day 1– Bengaluru, Day 2– Mysore, Day 3– Nagarhole National Park, Day 4– Hassan, Belur and Halebidu, Day 5– Hospet and Hampi, Day 6– Aihole, Pattadakal and Badami, Day 7– Goa, Day 8– Bengaluru.
Splendor of the South:
Day 1– Bengaluru, Day 2– Chennai, Day 3– Pondicherry, Day 4– Thanjavur, Day 5– Madurai, Day 6– Thiruvananthapuram, Day 7– Alleypey and Kochi, Day 8– Bengaluru.
For Indian nationals only
Single occupancy: INR 93,372 per person per night, Total (6 Nights) – INR 5,60,230
Double occupancy: INR 53,355 per person per night, Total (6 Nights) – INR 3,20,130
For International travellers
Single occupancy: USD 1,225 per person per night, Total (6 Nights) – USD 7,350.
Double occupancy: USD 700 per person per night, Total (6 Nights) – USD 4,200
4. Mahaparinirvan Express- Buddhist Circuit Special Train
Mahaparinirvan Express is a popular IRCTC Buddhist tourist train. It takes its passengers on a journey full of teaching and learnings from the Buddhist scriptures. The train has got its name from Buddha’s final teachings, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra.
This special train is a revamped version of the Rajdhani Express and offers various types of cabins choices for the traveller to enjoy the journey in. Mahaparinirvan Express starts its journey from Safdarjung Railway Station, New Delhi after which it reaches Gaya the next morning.
After exploring the Mahabodhi temple, Niranjana river and other sites in Gaya the train heads to Rajgir and Nalanda. Kushinagar, where Buddha preached his first sermon is the next stop after Rajgir and Nalanada.
After Kushinagar, the train reaches Varanasi and then to Buddha’s birthplace Lumbini after which it gears up to take its tourists to the town of Sravasti. From Sravasti, the train heads to Agra to treat it’s onboaders to the view of the magnificient Taj Mahal and then makes its final stop at Delhi.
Itinerary of the Mahaparinirvan Express – Buddhist Circuit Train Tour
Day 1– Delhi – Gaya, Day 2– Gaya – Bodhgaya, Day 3– Bodhgaya – Nalanda – Rajgir – Gaya – Varanasi, Day 4– Varanasi – Sarnath – Gorakhpur, Day 5– Nautanwa – Lumbini, Day 6– Lumbini – Kushinagar – Gorakhpur, Day 7– Balrampur – Sravasti – Balrampur – Agra, Day 8– Agra – Delhi.
Note: As this trip includes a day’s tour in Nepal, foreign nationals would require to procure a Nepali visa which can be easily obtained at the border. Also, foreign tourists needs to ensure having multiple entry Indian visas so that the return to India is smooth and hassle free.
For Indian Nationals Only
AC – First Class – INR 12,580 per person per night, Total (7 Nights)- INR 88,060.
AC – Two Tier – INR 10,290 per person per night, Total (7 Nights)- INR 72,030.
For International Travellers
AC – First Class – INR 165 per person per night, Total (7 Nights)- USD 1,155.
AC – Two Tier – USD 135 per person per night, Total (7 Nights)- USD 945.
5. Royal Orient Train
The Royal Orient Train is the oldest luxury train in India and is entrusted with an abundance that stimulates the sense of royalty. This luxury train’s theme is like that of Palace on Wheels.
The train started as a joint venture between the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat and the Indian Railways in 1994-95. They are also set to give their passengers the true taste of luxury and grandeur.
The highlight of this train is its royal richness, which provides the essence of the Raj culture. Journey by this train is an amalgamation of chivalry and unimaginable opulence.
The cabins are designed in a palatial way. The hospitality professionals are very well-trained. They also have a multi-cuisine restaurant with a bar. Spacious baths, library, and other services that you would normally expect at any 5-star hotel are available on wheels.
Sightseeing tours and desert safaris add to the unique and memorable experience.
Itinerary of the Royal Orient Train
The train offers a journey of 7 nights/8 days.
Day 1– Delhi, Day 2– Chittaurgarh – Udaipur, Day 3– Junagarh – Veraval, Day 4– Sasangir – Dilwara, Day 5– Palitana – Sarkhej, Day 6– Ahmedabad, Day 7– Jaipur.
Price– INR 9,000 to INR 24,000 per day.
6. Heritage On Wheels
Heritage on Wheels is one of the oldest luxury trains in India. It takes you through the rich culture and traditions of Rajasthan.
If you wish to live like a queen or a king, you should get on board this train. You will travel back in time, not in a time machine, but this time on wheels!
Some of the popular attractions that one can see when travelling on the Heritage on Wheels are Bikaner, Tal Shekhawati and Jaipur. In Bikaner, it covers Junagarh Fort, Haat, Camel Safari, Lalgarh Palace, National Research Centre.
You will go to Laxmangarh Fort, Goenka Haveli, Sikar, Churu, Mandawa, Nawalgarh when in Tal Chhapar & Shekhawati. Some of the famous tourist attractions such as Hawa Mahal, Amber Palace, City Palace, Jantar Mantar in Jaipur will also be part of your royal experience.
Even though Heritage on Wheels is one of the most expensive luxury trains in India, the kind of experience, grandeur and hospitality it offers to its guests is worth every penny.
Itinerary of the Heritage On Wheels
The tour is for 4 Nights/5 Days.
Day 1– Delhi, Day 2– Bikaner, Day 3– Jaipur, Day 4– Dholpur – Agra, Day 5– Delhi
Single- INR 36,627 or USD 500 Per Night
Double – INR 21,976 USD 300 Per Person Per Night
Triple – INR 18,313 USD 250 Per Person Per Night
7. Maharaja’s Express
Not everyone is royalty, but everyone can definitely experience it. Maharajas’ Express is known to recreate the lifestyle of the Royal Era. This Indian Luxury Train has four cabins – the Deluxe Cabin, the Presidential Suite, the Suite and the Junior Suite.
It also offers shorter trips to places across Rajasthan. Indian Maharaja Train has 14 Guest Carriages named Moti (Pearl), Manik (Ruby), Heera (Diamond), Panna (Emerald), Neelam (Blue Sapphire), etc.
Anyone who travels on this train will be able to experience the rich cultural diversification of our country, India. The journey will be something that every traveller will cherish for a lifetime.
Maharajas’ Express is all about giving luxurious facilities to its passengers. They provide highly professional butler services, spacious cabins, jewel-studded beds with attached bathrooms.
It also has amenities like Wi-Fi, Telephone, LCD, DVD players, basic toiletries in Bathrooms, Electronic safety Deposit and much more. They have also received various prestigious awards for their gracious hospitality.
Itineraries of the Maharaja’s Express
It has an itinerary for 4 different routes. The 4 routes are named the Indian Splendor, , Indian Panorama, Heritage Of India and Treasures of India.
Indian Splendor: (6 nights/7 days)
Day 1– Delhi, Day 2– Agra, Day 3– Jaipur, Day 4– Bikaner, Day 5– Jodhpur, Day 6– Udaipur, Day 7– Mumbai.
Indian Panorama: (6 nights/7 days)
Day 1– Delhi – Jaipur, Day 2– Jaipur, Day 3– Ranthambore – Fatehpur Sikri, Day 4– Agra, Day 5– Orchha – Khajuraho, Day 6– Varanasi, Day 7– Delhi.
Heritage Of India: (6 nights/7 days)
Day 1– Mumbai, Day 2– Udaipur, Day 3– Jodhpur, Day 4– Bikaner, Day 5– Jaipur, Day 6– Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambore National Park) – Agra, Day 7– Agra – Delhi.
Treasures of India: (3 nights/4 days)
Day 1– Delhi – Agra, Day 2– Agra – Ranthambore, Day 3– Jaipur, Day 4– Delhi.
8. Fairy Queen Express
The Fairy Queen is the oldest working Steam Locomotive in the world. It was built in 1855. It has its own charm as it rambles through to Alwar in Rajasthan.
With a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records and a recipient of the National Tourism Award, Fairy Queen easily makes it to the list of most luxurious trains in India.
It was certified as the world’s oldest working locomotive by the Guinness Book of World Records. With many such laurels to its name, one should definitely take a ride on this train.
The Steam Express is a 60-seater air-conditioned chair car. It has been designed with large glass windows which give a frontal view of the Locomotive.
If you wish to enjoy the scenic beauty en route, you can comfortably sit in the beautiful lounge and make the most of the view. There is a well-stocked up and maintained pantry for onboard catering. The guests can enjoy a host of cultural events that are organized in the evening.
Itinerary of the Fairy Queen Express
The tour package is for 1 Night/2 Days.
It runs from October to March and takes you through popular places like the Lake Palace, Sariska National Park and Alwar Museum.
Day 1– Delhi Cantonment Railway Station – Alwar Station (Overnight stay at a hotel), Day 2– Visit To Sariska National Park – Return To Hotel – Alwar Station – Delhi.
Price: INR 12,375
9. Royal Rajasthan On Wheels
The most expensive luxury train in India is also the best train to explore India on. The journey of this royal train is for 7 day/8 nights and starts from Safdarjung railway station, New Delhi.
The express then travels to Jodhpur on Day 2, Udaipur and Chittaurgarh on Day 3, Ranthambore National Park and Jaipur on Day 4, Khajuraho on Day 5, Varanasi and Sarnath on Day 6, Agra on Day 7 and then finally reaches Delhi on Day 8. In this journey all the popular and spectacular sights of Rajasthan is covered along with experiencing the royal luxury of Rajasthan.
There are 14 luxury cabins on Royal Rajasthan on wheels. The cabins are divided as Deluxe cabins and Super Deluxe cabins and they have all the amenities that can be imagined off. There is also a royal spa for tourists to be able to enjoy and relax through the entire spellbinding journey.
Itinerary of the Royal Rajasthan On Wheels
The tour package is of 7 Nights/8 Days.
Day 1– New Delhi, Day 2– Jodhpur, Day 3– Udaipur – Chittaurgarh, Day 4- Sawai Madhopur – Jaipur, Day 5- Khajuraho, Day 6– Varanasi, Day 7– Agra, Day 8– New Delhi.
Deluxe Cabin On Single Ocupancy: INR 3,63,300 (Indian Nationals), USD 6,055 (Foreign Nationals).
Deluxe Cabin on Double Occupancy: INR 5,46,000 (Indian Nationals), USD 9,100 (Foreign Nationals).
Super Deluxe Cabin On Single Occupancy: INR 7,56,000 (Indian Nationals), USD 12,600 (Foreign Nationals).
Super Deluxe Cabin On Double Occupancy: INR 7,56,000 (Indian Nationals), USD 12,600 (Foreign Nationals).
If you are bored of the traditional beach or hill-station holidays and want a different experience altogether, you should explore these luxury trains. They have been a part of our heritage, tradition and history. You will not regret spending time on the wheels.
They offer every luxury, adventure and experience that you would normally expect on a holiday. The hospitality that is provided here will surpass your expectations, time and again.
If you wish to ‘live life king size’ in the true sense, get on the train and don’t be surprised when you take back a suitcase (rather a coach) full of memories!
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