Trip Ideas

5 Luxury Trains In India That Are Fit For Royalty

India, sometimes known as the “Golden Sparrow”, has a rich legacy of luxury. Being the birthplace of the Koh-i-Noor diamond, India is also home to many incredible wonders. Among these wonders are the luxury trains in India.

These trains gratify visitors from all over the world with royal pleasures taking them on a journey through the inspiring heritage. The magnificence of these luxury trains is apparent from their royal décor, ostentatious interiors, and pampering hospitality.

Introducing you to the 5 finest luxury trains in India, we have Maharajas’ Express, Palace on Wheels, The Deccan Odyssey, Golden Chariot and Fairy Queen Express. Offering an experience for a lifetime, luxury train tours let you explore India like a royal.

Here’s a step-by-step blow down of these 5 luxury trains in India!

1. Maharajas’ Express

Maharajas’ Express
Maharajas’ Express sure is classy! (Photographer: Simon Pielow) | Luxury Trains In India

Winner of the “World’s Leading Luxury Train” award 5 times in a row from 2012 to 2016, Maharajas’ Express is a royal asset to India. Like its name, the train recreates the way Maharajas (“great kings”) used to travel. It offers seven sojourns to different parts of the country.

The 14-cabin train accommodates 88 passengers at one go. Equipped with private washrooms, individual climate control, spacious wardrobes, direct dial phones, live television, DVD players, CCTV cameras, electronic smoke detection systems, free WI-FI, etc. The décor imitates the royal homes of the Maharajas. Moreover, the sense of pure luxury is enhanced with the dining cars, a gym, an onboard doctor, excellent lounges and bars, shops, and much more!

As one of the best luxury trains in India and also the world, it is a royal pleasure any traveler to India must try once in their lives!

Maharajas’ Express itineraries:

  • 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)
  • Southern Jewels (Trivandrum — Chettinad — Mahabalipuram — Mysore — Hampi — Goa — Mumbai)
  • Southern Splendour (Mumbai — Goa — Hampi — Mysore — Cochin — Kumarakom — Trivandrum)

Maharajas’ Express runs from October to April and plies on 5 different routes.

2. Palace On Wheels

The pioneer of all luxury trains in India, the Palace on Wheels is a nominee for the “World leading Luxury Train” award. The royal ride started as the personal railway coaches of the erstwhile rulers of the princely states of Rajputana, Gujarat and the Nizam of Hyderabad. The 23-coaches of the train are each named after a former Rajputana state.

Two restaurants, namely “The Maharaja” and “The Maharani” are the highlights of this extravagant train. 14 saloons and a spa are always at your service whenever you feel a little low. It is truly a lavish feeling to be on board on the Palace on Wheels!

Palace on Wheels itinerary: Delhi — Jaipur — Sawai Madhopur — Chittorgarh — Udaipur — Jaisalmer — Jodhpur — Bharatpur — Agra — Delhi

Palace on Wheels runs from September to April. The 7 nights, 8 days journey includes 7 stops, where tourist are taken for city tours.

Key attractions covered by this train 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 Pichola
  • 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

3. The Deccan Odyssey

Have you ever thought of a moving 5-star hotel? Odds are that you might not have. But the Government of Maharashtra and Ministry of Railways came up with a very unique—and very special—concept.

The Deccan Odyssey is a complete 5-star hotel in itself. Equipped with a well-stocked bar, 2 restaurants, a business center, modern amenities, and a sauna, this train is sure to spellbind you. Choose from six options available and embark for the sojourn of a lifetime.

The Deccan Odyssey itineraries:

  • 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)

The Deccan Odyssey runs from October to April. The duration for all 6 routes is 7 nights, 8 days.

4. Golden Chariot

Golden Chariot Train
Ride like kings with the Golden Chariot. (Photographer: Simon Pielow) | Luxury Trains In India

Awarded as “Asia’s Leading Luxury Train” in 2013, Golden Chariot takes you to the offbeat places of South India.

Coaches of this plush train are attractive and charismatic due to their opulent interiors. One can easily observe a glance of artistic quintessence of South Indian reigns from a bygone era. To preserve the regal panache of the train expedition, all the cabins have been named after states from the South such as Ganga, Rashtrakota, Bhahamani, Yudukula, and Adilshahi etc.

Once inside, you will find everything for your comfort. From a private bathtub to an LED TV, bar, gym, spa and almost everything that you can imagine.

Golden Chariot itineraries:

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

The Golden Chariot runs from October to March, and the duration for both the routes is 7 nights, 8 days.

5. Fairy Queen Express

A British firm manufactured India’s remarkable Fairy Queen Train. This train was renowned as having the oldest working engine in the world—but it has now been replaced. Although it has a single air condition carriage it can accommodate 60 people at once. One can get an opportunity to embark on a short and sweet journey for 2 days.

Superfine cloth material is used to cover the seats. These seats are arranged in pairs, on either side of a wide corridor. The train consists of a huge glass window at the facade meaning you can actually see the engine too. A picturesque lounge offers fabulous sights of the landscape. A pantry car is also available to satisfy hunger anytime onboard.

Fairy Queen Express itinerary: Delhi — Alwar — Sariska — Alwar — Delhi

Fairy Queen Express runs from October to March on 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month. The duration of the journey is 1 night, 2 days.

Attractions at its two stoppages, Sariska and Alwar, are:

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

What are your experiences of these luxury trains in India? Or perhaps you know of some more? Feel free to share and comment below!

Suggested next reading: How To Survive On The Trans Mongolian Railway

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