Luxury and Grandeur Guaranteed: The Luxury Trains in India

Embark on a Journey through India's Most Luxurious Trains, Unveiling the Rich Tapestry of Culture and History in Unprecedented Comfort.

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Travelling back in time and seeing the magnificent luxury and grandeur of a nation, if fascinates and attracts someone, then luxury trains in India may easily exceed anyone’s expectations. There are seven luxury trains in India, managed by Indian Railways and the IRCTC: The Maharajas Express, The Palace on Wheels, The Deccan Odyssey, The Golden Chariot, The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels (modelled on Palace on Wheels and follows a similar route through Rajasthan), The Royal Orient Train, The Fairy Queen Express and the Heritage on Wheels. These top luxury trains in India cater to travellers who want to explore India’s rich cultural heritage in style, luxury, comfort and elegance. Their opulence can be seen in their mind-boggling interiors, magnificent ambience, exquisite gastronomical fare, significant security systems, and virtually anything else anyone can think of. Travelling on these trains provides unparalleled comfort onboard and allows travellers to visit some of India’s most renowned tourist destinations. It is indispensable to join these luxury train journeys in India to discover India in ways that would otherwise be impossible.

The Maharajas Express: The Maharajas’ Express is the best of all Indian luxury trains and one of the five most extravagant and luxurious trains in the world. This half-mile-long train boasts professionals trained to provide the greatest level of hospitality, fully stocked bars, exquisite suites, butler services, and other amenities, and it is one of India’s most expensive trains. Tourists on board get to enjoy the country’s hidden scenic beauty, cultural tradition, demographic treasures and richness in the most prestigious way imaginable. It has been rated ‘World’s Leading Luxury Train’ consecutively in year 2012, 2013, and 2014.

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Routes:

  • The Heritage of India: Mumbai–Ajanta–Udaipur–Jodhpur–Bikaner–Jaipur– Ranthambore–Agra–Delhi
  • Gems of India: Delhi–Agra–Ranthambore–Jaipur–Delhi
  • The Indian Panorama: Delhi–Jaipur–Ranthambore–Fatehpur Sikri–Agra– Gwalior–Orchha–Khajuraho–Varanasi–Lucknow–Delhi
  • Indian Splendour: Delhi–Agra–Ranthambore–Jaipur–Bikaner–Jodhpur– Udaipur–Balasinor–Mumbai
  • Treasures of India: Delhi–Agra–Ranthambore–Jaipur–Delhi

Operations Month 

The Maharajas’ Express runs from October to April in a year and covers the five routes stated above.

Palace on Wheels: Palace on Wheels is another luxury train ride in India that was renovated and re-launched in 2009 to boost tourism. Luxurious cabins, magnificent wallpapers, a well-stocked bar, considerate hospitality and local culture portrayed and displayed via the artful use of paintings and handicrafts – it’s very much like a castle on wheels that recreates the bygone era of kings and royal palaces! It’s no surprise that it has been voted as the fourth best luxurious and deluxe train of the world. This is one of India’s best royal trains and undoubtedly the most ideal choice if someone is planning a premium and luxurious trip to Rajasthan.

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Route: Delhi–Jaipur–Sawai Madhopur–Chittorgarh–Udaipur–Jaisalmer–Jodhpur –Bharatpur–Agra–Delhi

Operations Month

From September through April, Palace on Wheels is open for service. The seven-night, eight-day voyage includes seven stoppages where guests are taken on city excursions. This train’s main attractions include:

  • Delhi: India Gate, Lotus Temple, Qutab Minar, Humayun’s Tomb
  • Jaipur: Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Rajasthali, City Palace, Jantar Mantar
  • Sawai Madhopur & Chittorgarh: Ranthambore National Park, Chittorgarh Fort
  • Udaipur: Jag Niwas, Lake Pichhola
  • Jaisalmer: Yellow Sandstone Fort, ancient mansions
  • Jodhpur: Mehrangarh Fort, grand palaces, shopping tour in Jodhpur
  • Bharatpur: Keoladeo Ghana National Park
  • Agra: Fatehpur-Sikri, the Taj Mahal

The Deccan Odyssey: The Deccan Odyssey is a 5-star hotel on wheels that takes visitors to some fascinating locations in India, inspired by the travel ways and style of the kings and emperors during different royal eras of ancient India. It is one of the best luxury trains in India and worldwide, featuring royal treatment for passengers, palace-like cabin decoration and interiors, multi-cuisine restaurants, lounges, a conference car, an onboard spa, and other cutting-edge amenities for passengers and travellers.

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Image from Deccan Odyssey India

Routes:

  • Maharashtra Splendor: Mumbai–Nasik–Ellora Cave–Ajanta Caves– Kolhapur–Goa–Ratnagiri–Mumbai
  • Indian Odyssey: Delhi–Sawai Madhopur–Agra–Jaipur–Udaipur– Vadodara–Ellora Caves–Mumbai
  • Hidden Treasures of Gujarat: Mumbai–Vadodara–Palitana–Sasan Gir– Somnath–Little Rann of Kutch–Modhera–Patan–Nashik–Mumbai
  • Indian Sojourn: Mumbai–Vadodara–Udaipur–Jodhpur–Agra–Sawai Madhopur–Jaipur–Delhi
  • Jewels of the Deccan: Mumbai–Bijapur–Aihole–Pattadakal–Hampi– Hyderabad–Ellora Caves–Ajanta Caves–Mumbai
  • Maharashtra Wild Trail: Mumbai–Aurangabad–Ramtek–Tadoba– Ajanta–Nashik–Mumbai

Operations Month

The Deccan Odyssey runs from October to April, with a duration of all six excursions spanning seven nights and eight days.

Golden Chariot: The Golden Chariot is one of India’s finest luxury trains, taking visitors to some of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. The Golden Chariot, which opened in 2008, is highly renowned for its exceptional service. The train features AC cabins with royal, elegant furnishings and interiors, bars, restaurants serving a wide range of cuisines, a tiny gym, an Ayurveda spa, and other 5-star amenities. Tourists regard it as one of India’s best luxury trains, and it has also been awarded as ‘Asia’s Leading Luxury Train’ in 2013.

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Image from Golden Chariot

Routes

  • Pride of the South: Bangalore–Kabini–Mysore–Hassan–Hampi–Badami–Goa–Bangalore
  • Southern Splendour: Bangalore–Chennai–Mahabalipuram–Pondicherry– Thanjavur–Madurai–Thiruvananthapuram–Alleppey–Kochi–Bangalore

Operations Months

The Golden Chariot runs from October to March, with duration of both routes extending to seven nights and eight days.

Royal Orient Train: To have an unforgettable experience, tourists need to embark on a graceful and royal journey with the Royal Orient Train and have a lovely experience travelling to major tourist locations onboard with one of India’s top luxury trains. Travelling by luxury train in India is an experience of incredible splendour and total chivalry. It is without a doubt India’s unrivalled royal train. The Royal Orient Train offers palatial-style comfortable accommodations, well-trained hospitality professionals, a multi-cuisine restaurant with the ‘Watering Hole’ Bar, spacious baths, a library and practically all facilities that come to mind while visualising oneself in a five-star hotel.

Routes

Delhi–Chittorgarh/Udaipur-Junagarh/Veraval-Sasan Gir/Dilwara–Palitana- Sarkhej-Ahmedabad- Jaipur- Delhi

Operations Month

The Royal Orient Train operates all year and lasts seven nights and eight days. On the way, one can see and view the following city attractions:

  • Delhi : Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Jama Masjid and India Gate
  • Chittorgarh/Udaipur : Chittorgarh Fort, City Palace, boating in Lake Pichhola, Shilpgram, and Royal Gardens
  • Junagarh/Veraval: Ashokan Rock Edict, Darbar Hall Museum, Mausoleum of Nawab Mahabat Khanji, Somnath Temple on the shore of the Arabian Sea
  • Sasan Gir National Park: Lion Sanctuary
  • Dilwara: St. Paul’s Church and Mandir Beach
  • Palitana: Jain Temple atop Shatrunjaya Hills
  • Ahmedabad: Gandhi Ashram, Calico Museum of Textiles, Sidi Sayyad’s Mosque
  • Jaipur: Amar Fort and elephant ride, Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar (observatory)

Fairy Queen Express: Last but not least, the Fairy Queen Express is one of India’s oldest trains, offering luxury rail experiences and train journeys. Fairy Queen, powered by the oldest serving steam locomotive built around 1855, has its own charm as it rambles across Rajasthan to Alwar. With a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records and a National Tourism Award, Fairy Queen easily ranks amongst one of India’s finest and most extravagant trains.

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Route

Delhi–Alwar–Sariska-Alwar–Delhi

Operations Month

From October through March, on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. The journey lasts one night and two days. Attractions at its two stoppages, Sariska and Alwar, include:

  • Sariska: Lake Palace, Sariska National Park
  • Alwar: Alwar Museum

The Heritage on Wheels: The Heritage on Wheels, one of India’s oldest luxury trains, shows the traditions and culture of Rajasthan that have been passed down from generation to generation in the most luxurious way conceivable. With interiors that never fail to carry the onboard passengers back to the golden days of the state, the Heritage on Wheels is one of India’s most expensive and premium trains. With local restaurants serving authentic and continental cuisine on the train’s floors and rooms that never fail to emanate the Royal vibes and emotions, this is one of those trains that everyone should experience at least once in their life. This luxury train in India is sure to offer a spectacular experience, treating passengers as if they were queens or kings.

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Route

Jaipur –Bikaner–Tal Chhapar and Shekhawati – Jaipur

Popular sights to view when going on the Heritage on Wheels for three nights and four days include:

  • Bikaner: Junagarh Fort, Haat, Camel Safari, Lalgarh Palace and National Research Centre
  • Tal Chhapar & Shekhawati: Laxmangarh Fort, Goenka Haveli, Sikar, Churu, Mandawa and Nawalgarh
  • Jaipur: Hawa Mahal, Amber Palace, City Palace and Jantar Mantar

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