Experience India like you’ve never done before from the comfort of a luxurious cabin on wheels. All aboard!
Words AMIT GAIKWAD Photographs KRISHNA PRABAKAR T
Arriving in style. That’s what luxury trains promise. Certainly, this has got to be one of the most exciting ways to travel and experience India. These high-end hotels on the rails have just the right blend of charm from a bygone era with extravagant touches of luxury and everything modern to match your taste and style.
THE PALACE ON WHEELS
Back with a bang, The Palace on Wheels was recently voted the fourth most luxurious train in the world. True to its name, its coaches come with everything you would expect in a palace – great service, spacious cabins, grand interiors dressed up in elegant wallpaper, and a well-stocked bar. The train sets off for Rajasthan from New Delhi and takes you on a scenic route through Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur, and Agra before finishing its journey back in New Delhi.
Considered by many to be the best among the luxury trains in India, the Maharajas’ Express was introduced by the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation. The train only offers services between the busy months of October to April. You can pick from four routes, which include experiences such as a visit to the Taj Mahal, an exciting safari drive through Ranthambore National Park, and a boat ride on Lake Pichola followed by a visit to the City Palace and Crystal Gallery in Udaipur.
Inspired by the Palace on Wheels model, the Deccan Odyssey was launched to boost tourism in Maharashtra. From World Heritage sites and forts and palaces to an array of cultural experiences, you can select one of six great rail journeys crafted for you.
THE GOLDEN CHARIOT
Launched way back in 2008, The Golden Chariot still remains a favourite when it comes to experiencing offbeat locales in South India. The two unique itineraries (Pride of South and Southern Splendour offer a glimpse into the culture of the southern states Karnataka, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Your itinerary takes you past beautiful temples and palaces, little-known beaches, teeming wildlife sanctuaries and the calming backwaters of South India.