India’s Heritage Trains – Merging Luxury With Travel
If you want to explore India, the most convenient and pleasant way is to travel by one of the several luxurious trains of the Indian Railways. All of these beautiful and elegant trains promise the passengers a world class facility and a variety of services. Popularly named as Heritage Train, touring in one of them will provide you with an opportunity to experience the luxurious life which was once enjoyed only by the erstwhile maharajas of India.
Palace on Wheels
Travelling by this train is like taking a step back in time. Being the oldest luxury train of India, it reminds its travelers the princely life of former kings of Rajasthan. Rated as one of the ten best luxurious trains worldwide, the Palace on Wheels boasts of two high class restaurants and a sophisticated bar area. The train’s interiors are decorated with traditional Rajasthani style art highlighted with hand crafted curtains and chandeliers in all of the 14 carriages.
Departing from Delhi the train travels through Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur and Agra; the entire trip lasting for 7 nights.
Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels made its first journey in the year 2009. Though the train’s route and duration are identical to the Palace on Wheels, this train is different because it offers unabashed lavishness.
Main attractions are the super deluxe suites in addition to 13 deluxe cabins. Besides these there are two restaurant lounges, spas and wireless internet connections. The interiors of the train are stunningly beautiful with rich color schemes in accordance to the colorful names of the cabins.
The magnificent Deccan Odyssey treats its passengers with a combination of alluring beaches and forts of Maharashtra. During the 7 night journey, you will visit places like Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Goa, Kolhapur, Pune, Nashik, and Aurangabad.
Designed to reflect Indian royalty, the Deccan Odyssey is fully decorated in ornate style. The interiors of its 13 carriages are inspired by the historical forts of the Deccan Plateau and other popular tourist spots visited by the train along its journey. This train also houses spacious presidential suites, gymnasiums, spas, fine dining restaurants, business facilities and bars.
Deccan Odyssey – The Indian Maharaja
The Indian Maharaja is a new and improved version of the Deccan Odyssey. Running since the year 2009, it follows a new route travelling from Mumbai through Rajasthan going up to Agra and finally Delhi in 7 nights.
This train has 21 coaches including two presidential suites. It also has a conference car besides two restaurant cars where Indian and continental dishes are served. A library, Ayurvedic massage centre, steam bath centre, lounge bars, gym and beauty parlor completes the opulent picture.
The Golden Chariot, started in 2008, got its name from the stone chariot of Hampi. Its carriages are named after the dynasties which ruled Karnataka. The train has two restaurants in addition to a gym, lounge bar, conference space and a spa. The best attractions of this train are the performances of local artists inside the train’s Madira Lounge Bar, interiors of which have been designed depicting the Mysore Palace.
Departing from Bangalore the train travels to Mysore, Kabini and Nagarhole National Park, Bandipur, Hassan, Hampi, Gadag, Badami and finally Goa in 7 nights.
The Maharaja’s Express is the newest amongst all. Commencing from January 2010, it is boasted to be the most costly luxurious train of India. Moreover, it is also the first luxury train to travel across the entire country. You can choose from one of the following tours:
1. The Princely India Tour ( Mumbai, Vadodara, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Agra and Delhi in 7 nights )
2. The Royal India Tour ( route same as above but in reverse order )
3. The Classical India Tour ( Delhi, Agra, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Bandavgarh National Park, Varanasi, Gaya and Kolkata in 6 nights )
4. The Celestial India Tour ( route same as above but in reverse order )
The train has a total of 23 coaches, with four distinct configurations. It houses deluxe carriages, suite carriages, junior suite carriages and a presidential suite. The presence of two fine dining restaurants, bar, an observation lounge with another bar, game tables and club; define the epitome of luxury. The other unique feature of this train is that it has a state of the art suspension system for a smoother ride along with climate control facilities and direct telephones from each cabin.
Each of these heritage trains is well equipped with facilities that are usually available at luxurious heritage hotels. Moreover, you will be travelling through the night to the different cities while explore them at daytime. The cost of travel is all inclusive i.e. you pay at the beginning of the journey and then just sit back and enjoy the accommodation, meals, sightseeing, cultural entertainment. Though service and alcohol charges needs to be paid separately.