Mahamana Express, India’s newest superfast luxury train makes its maiden journey between Vadodara and Varanasi. Inaugurated by Indian PM Narendra Modi, the modern, 'luxurious' train sets a new benchmark of enhanced comfort for passengers on long journeys. The Indian Railways’ Mahamana Express is equipped with "world-class interior and aesthetics" along with large number of "passenger-friendly amenities". A part of the Make in India Initiative, the train coaches have been refurbished and retrofitted at Coach Rehabilitation Workshop in Bhopal.
Operating on the route between Varanasi and Vadodara, the weekly train which will depart from Varanasi on Fridays and from Vadodara on Wednesdays. The 1,531 km-journey will be covered at an average speed of 55.7 km per hour, in 27 hours and 30 minutes.
Crossing over four states: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, the train will halt at 9 stations that are - Chheoki in Uttar Pradesh, Itarsi, Jabalpur, Katni and Satna in Madhya Pradesh, Amalner and Bhusawal in Maharashtra, and Bahruch in Gujarat.

The luxury coaches of Mahamana Express are 1 First-AC coach, 2 AC II-tier coaches, 8 sleeper-class coaches, 4 general second-class coaches, a pantry car and luggage van coaches.
The train has unique features that include ergonomically-designed seats and ladders for climbing to upper berths. There are swanky snack tables for side berths, windows powered with Venetian blinds and roller blinds, LED lights across the coaches as berth indicators and reading lights, fire extinguishers in all coaches and other comforts.
The bathrooms are designed lavishly. Platform washbasins, bigger mirrors, taps which allow controlled discharge of water, an exhaust fans, dustbins are some highlights. Some other facilities in the train include electrically operated chimney in pantry car and stainless steel panelling in luggage compartment.
The Mahamana Express, gets its name from the former Hindu Mahasabha president Madan Mohan Malviya. The other two superfast luxury trains, launched previously, run on the routes of Varanasi-New Delhi and Bhopal-Khajuraho.
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India has been attracting travelers for centuries. Traders, historians, refuges or rulers, India has been visited by many. There is so much to see, do and experience that days and even years of it may not seem to satiate yourself.

If history appeals you then India has so much to tell that you will never be short of facts and lessons. If adventure is your call, then you must visit, as there are thrilling exploits in the water, mountains, forests etc. Cultural extravaganza is one of the major highlights of a visit to India. Luxury hospitality is a way of life here, and guests are treated to the like of Gods.

If you are still not convinced, we tell you the top reasons why India should be your next travel destination.

1. People

Indians are a friendly lot. The 1.7 billion people will welcome you like nowhere else. According to Indian tradition; the guest is the God (Atithi Devo Bhava). Hospitality is unquestionable here. In places where commercial hotels do not exist, people are ready to open their houses for travelers, share their traditional meal and guide them towards their next destination. These friendly lot open their hearts to visitors. You can share tales, learn and do other things.

2. Food

Food in India is a way of life. Every region has its own specialty and you will never fell short of options. Indian food can be a little spicy. But, this should not stop you from tasting the parathe, Hyderabadi biryani, Tirunelveli halwa, Mysore pak, Ladakh’s yak cheese, Mumbai’s vada pav, Kerala’s dosa and others. The cuisine of India is unique because of their matchless palate of ingredients like coconut, variety of sea food, rice, spices and others. No matter whether you are a vegetarian, non-vegetarian, or vegan or have food preferences, there will be a lot of things for you to taste and enjoy in India.

3. Taj Mahal-the Wonder of the World

One of the biggest draws to India has to be the magnificent Taj Mahal. It is one of the top wonders of the world and is instantly recognized by people around the world. And if you do get the chance to visit the building, you will be amazed by the beautiful architectural wonder. Therefore, it’s something that should be added to your list of must-sees when visiting the beautiful country.

4. Toy Trains and Luxury Trains

India has 5 major toy trains traversing on mountains routes. These scenic train rides are truly unforgettable. Kalka-Shimla, Darjeeling, Matheran, Nilgiri, and Kangra. These trains have been named UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As if this was less, India also has some of the finest luxury trains in the world including highly popular Palace on Wheels, Deccan Odyssey, Golden Chariot and Maharajas’ Express. Recreating the way royalty used to travel in India, these trains offer guest royal pleasures and incredible journeys through Indian history and culture.

5. Rivers that open doors to heaven

Indian civilization has a great association with rivers. Worshipped as Goddesses, these rivers are said to open doors of heaven. The mighty rivers Ganga, Brahmaputra, Indus, Narmada, Godavari, and Kshipra are some of the popular names.  It is said bathing in the holy waters clear the sins of a lifetime. Varanasi, Haridwar and Rishikesh, on the banks of river Ganges are some sacred places where you must definitely go. You will understand the meaning of life and other secrets of the universe.

6. Beaches for every mood

India has a vast coastline which results in beaches for every mood. There are beaches for parties, for adventures, for solitude, for romance and whatever your heart desires. This is not all, the beaches have golden sands, silvery sand, even black sands, hard rocks, and red rocks strewn with shells. Goa is the most well-known beach heaven. Andaman Islands, Kerala, Karnataka, Lakshadweep islands, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry are some of the other places to visit. Radhanagar Beach in Andaman has been voted the best beach in Asia. Enjoy the play of waves, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, adventures and soak in the blessings of the sun. You will never have such a vast range of options of beaches anywhere else in the world.

7. World's highest mountains

World’s highest mountain range, the Himalayas acts like a crown on the head of the country. Though Mt Everest, the highest mountain in the world is easily from Nepal, one can enjoy its beauty. The 3rd highest mountain, Mt Kanchenjunga is located in India. There are amazing snowcapped mountains to view and capture on treks. The Nanda Devi, Saltoro Kangri, Saser Kangri, Mamostong Kangri, Rimo, Hardeol being others. Trekking to these peaks is exhilarating.

8. Desert escapades

Thar Desert is located on the western borders of the country. India is perfect for desert escapades. Go on safaris on camels, enjoy sand dune bashing and relive Arabian fairytales. The desert has a way to teach you lessons about life. The difficult landscape has nurtured kindness, hospitably and simplicity in the lives of the people surviving in the desert. Escape the cities and spend few days in the desert. You will feel newfound appreciation for life.

9. Adventure

Name an adventure activity and you would find it here. India offers a wide variety of adventure sports right from trekking to rafting and paragliding etc. North India, the Himalayas offer great trekking opportunities. South India has beaches and therefore water adventures. The Western Ghats are perfect for relaxed trekking as it has lush beauty and a number of waterfalls. Forest offer thrilling wildlife exploits sky diving. India is truly a paradise for adventure travelers.

Skiing, snowboarding, trekking, paragliding, zorbing and camping are the popular sports in the mountains. Water sports of snorkeling, scuba-diving, surfing, parasailing, jet skiing, river rafting, etc. Extreme sports of paragliding, bungee jumping and skydiving are also available.

10. Religion and Spirituality

India is a secular state. You can find almost all religions here. You can find ancient temples, historic churches, mosques of ancient Mughal dynasties, the Golden temple of Sikhs, monolith statues of Buddha and so on. There are many unique temples here. Do you know that there is a temple that is dedicated to a motorbike in India or one dedicated to a soldier? Uniqueness and interesting things can be found on a daily basis in India, do not miss it.

11. History

As old as human civilization, India is a lesson on history. There are relics of all ages in the country. If we try to compile recorded history, even then it’s so vast. Each region had an era of Maharajas, dynasties, conquest, architectural brilliance and so much more. India should be your next travel destination because history still lives in the country.

12. Yoga

Yoga and spiritual learning is a major draw for visitors in India. There are several ashrams where you can stay and learn the science of Yoga. Learn about the physical postures and sequences (asana), particularly in traditional ashrams, asana is only one aspect of a wider whole. In this case one can expect a greater emphasis on meditation, breathing and cleansing techniques, along with devotional practices such as mantra chanting, tuition in philosophy, and karma yoga (community service).

Rishikesh is considered to be the city where yoga originated. The city on the banks of River Ganga is the perfect location to be benefited with the ancient science.

13. Ayurveda

Ayurveda is an ancient health system that has its roots linked to the Vedic culture of India. The science of life, Ayurveda aims to promote good health of an individual by maintaining a balance between the mind, body, and soul. Ayurveda, the oldest healthcare system in the world, works for the physical, mental and spiritual growth of people. With time, this science of life and longevity has attained much importance in the medical world.

While people can find Ayurveda in every corner of India, Kerala possesses a unique bond with Ayurveda, and practices this health system with utmost dedication. Serene and tranquil environment perfectly complements these practices and add to its positive results.

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14. Festivals

There are a lot of unique and vibrant festivals in the country. Holi is a festival of play of colors, sweets and music. Kerala’s Onam would present snake boat race, kathakali performance and flower decorations. Tamil Nadu’s Pongal is famous for the bull fight. North India’s Holi is a colorful festival. You can enjoy fireworks on Diwali. Several thousand people march towards Arabian Sea to dissolve their idols of elephant God on Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai and so on. Every festival is very colorful and you can even participate in their celebrations.

15. Shopping

Shopping is one of the major reasons why India should be your travel destination. In one bazaar (market) you can find anything from raw food, clothes, and household items to art and crafts. With a little bit of bargaining and you can have amazing deals.

There are numerous types of shopping centres in India. There is flea market, multi-million dollar malls, street shopping, market on boats and others. The things that you can find in India are numerous and unique. You can find handicrafts, antiques, unique food items and a lot more here. You should be versed in haggling to deal with the street shop owners.

16. Wildlife safari

There are a lot of national parks in this country. The best part of each national park is the safari. There are various kinds of safaris like elephant safari, jeep safari, boat safaris and others. You can spot a lot of interesting animals like tiger, lion, Indian sloth and many others along with various avifauna species. If you are visiting in the summer season, you can find animals with their cubs. You can also take up boat safari for enjoy some bird sanctuaries.

17. River and backwater cruises

India is unique and here you can enjoy the unique opportunity of river and backwater cruises. Rivers in India, mainly Brahmaputra, Ganga and Mandovi River in Goa organize river cruises.

Houseboat cruises on the backwaters in Kerala are really unforgettable and wonderful. The houseboats in Kerala differ in terms of size and cater to specific needs of the guests. The present day houseboats are perfect for leisure trips. They come equipped with a range of modern facilities and take care of even the smallest needs of the guests. 

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18. Architecture

If incredible architecture is what holds your heart, then come to India, You will be amazed by the temples, forts, caves and various other buildings in India. The most famous edifice is, of course, the mighty Taj Mahal, which is also named as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Each region in the country has stunning and unique architecture. Havelis, forts and palaces of Rajasthan, the Chettinad Mansions, the Dravidian architecture, Islamic designs etc.

19. Tea

Did you know that India produces some of the world’s best tea varieties? Yes, that’s right. Jorhat in Assam is one of the world’s largest exporters of tea. The Darjeeling region is world-famous for its tea plantations, which are both gorgeous and offer delicious tea! Nilgiri tea produced in Ooty, Coonoor are not far behind on the list of tea destinations.

And, of course, the sweet Chai Tea, which has become a worldwide known tea. You might have tried it, but I promise that it’s even better here in India, it is a daily ritual among many Indians.

20. Live like a King in their Homes

Live like a king in their homes. Many royal residences, ancient family homes, forts and places soaked in history have been converted into luxury holiday homes. These heritage hotels let guests savor a piece of history during their stay. Several royal forts, havelis, and holiday homes all around the country were converted into hotels and resorts. As time wheeled in the direction of development and luxury, these accommodation options gained popularity and gradually became some of the best haunts for luxury and history seekers.

21. Nightlife

When it comes to nightlife, India makes its mark on the international list. Parties, gambling, bustling pubs, clubs, night markets and so much more. Places like Goa, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Delhi, etc. comes to life as the sun sets. Partake in the nighttime activities. Have drinks, dance to the tunes of music the entire night or spend your time wooing your lady luck at the casinos.

22. Untold Luxury

Luxury is a specialty of Indian holidays. Guests are treated as divine beings and you can be assured to enjoy a vacation of untold luxury. 5 star properties are available in every region of India. These hotels are known for lavish rooms, royal restaurants, pampering spa saloons, and other pleasures. If you are still thinking why India should be your next travel destination, then we say it’s for untold luxuries at a cost that is not extremely heavy on your pocket.

23. Spices

Spices grow abundantly in India. The weather is prefect for growing all spices. The first recorded travelers, traders and conquest in India were done for the spices. Kerala is known for its spice plantations where you can learn about the harvesting, their benefits and also buy some to take as souvenirs. These spices not only add flavor to food but are used for medicinal purposes.

24. Performing Arts & Music

Music and dance has been a part of Indian culture since centuries. There are many different and diverse forms. The classical dance and music is inspired from mythology. The folk music and dance are different in the mountains, different in rural Punjab or Bengal and in South India. Devotional, entertaining or limited for festivals, you must India and witness these spectacular forms of arts and music.

25. Spectacular Natural Beauty

Last but not the least, India is blessed with spectacular beauty. You must make India your next travel destination because, in one country you can experience snow covered mountains, lush hills, a desert, a cold desert, beaches, backwaters, forest, a salt desert and so much more. Imagine a valley full of flowers or an eerie landscape of while desert as far as the eye can see, a network of waters. The natural beauty possessed by India is so far one of the best in the world.

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A UNESCO World heritage track, the Kalka-Shimla rail ride is in for a new upgrade. The already mesmerizing train ride from Kalka to Shimla is going to become even more picturesque. The Northern Railway has plans to add see-through Vistadome coach on this track. According to the railway official it is atill at the drawing board stage but will be manufactured at the Kalka Railway Workshop. The fare of this coach, however, has not been decided yet.

Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Ambala, Dinesh Kumar said, “As per the plan, we will initially manufacture one coach. It will have large glass windows and glass ceiling and it will give an amazing experience to the tourists travelling in the coach.” He added, “It [coach] will be introduced on trial basis. Manufacturing of more such coaches would depend on the success of this coach. It will be done later as the manufacturing is completed. But, it would be available for booking on requests”

The officials have planned to manufacture an 18-seater coach. The official said, “We have recently sent a revised drawing of the coach to the railways headquarters. We are waiting for the approval of the drawings.” Kumar further informed that it is not possible to say that will the coach get complete and get attached to the trains.

Officials of the Northern Railways stated that in total, there are 8 regular trains currently running on the Kalka-Shimla railway route. Two special luxury trains have also been designed for tourists and will be booked on request.  “We hope that it would attract more tourists. The Kalka-Shimla route records a large number of domestic and foreign tourists. Once this coach is started, the passengers will have a memorable journey,” said the railway official.
The prospect of travelling to India creates a sea of emotions in the mind of the first-time traveler. Initial enthusiasm gradually gives way to cautionary disapproval, before being overtaken by utter fascination. There are many who have nurtured a desire to visit this country of more than a billion people. Monuments, scenic vistas, Yoga – the list is finite, but the charms associated with them are not.

In any case, if you happen to be visiting India for the first time, there are certain tips which you should follow. These travel tips for first time traveler to India enable a visitor to acclimatize faster wile experiencing the best that this wonderful country has to offer.

Travel Tips for First Time Traveler to India

• Adapt and adopt!

One of the things you can take for granted upon your arrival in India is experiencing a culture shock. Rather than resisting it, try to familiarize yourself with the new surroundings. Read up on various aspects of Indian culture before your arrival. Remember, this is a different country with different ideals and values, so keep an open mind, and things will seem less complicated.

• Being steady is the key!

India is a vast country, and any attempt in trying to explore it in its entirety will only end up in you being fatigued. Take it steady! There is plenty for you to see, and each sight will bring with it myriad experiences. Plan your itinerary in a way that leaves you satisfied, rather than wearied. Most of all, you can always come back to India, so what’s the hurry?

• Watch what you wear!

India is a conservative society, much of which can be attributed to its historical prejudices and patriarchal customs. That is the reason why, a first-time traveler to India would be well-advised to cover up! Dress in a way that reveals less skin. This way, you will be spared the ever-present “gaze,” while blending in with the rest of the population. Men and women would both be well –advised to cover themselves fully before entering any religious institution.

• Stay alert, be safe!

When in India, you need to be on the constant lookout for touts and scammers who are out to get your money and take you for a ride. It’s important to stay alert, and turn down such offers assertively without appearing rude. However, you have to accept the fact that being a foreigner, you will be paying more than the natives. Stop worrying about a few extra dollars. It’s not worth it!

• Health is wealth!

First time visit to India? Be prepared for a stomach ache! Unlike the locals who have developed a resistance to germs, foreigners are quite immune to falling ill here. Its advisable to always carry a hand sanitizer and toilet paper with you at all times. Watch the water you drink, the food you eat, especially stuff like salads. Prior to your departure, get all your vaccinations, they really help.  

• Catch a train!

India is famous for two things – its population and trains! In India, opt for a train ride than a flight because not only is this hugely economical, but it will also provide you insights regarding the life of the common man. Almost every major destination in India is well-connected by trains. However, make sure that you books your tickets in advance, because in India, people love their trains!

• Away from the city!

Its important, during your trip to India, and especially as a first-time traveler, to get away from the bustling metropolises and the hullaballoo of the cities for a short while. Doing this is necessary for purposes of rejuvenation and relaxation. Besides, the hill stations in India possess a wealth of culture, heritage and culture waiting to be explored! So, head to the hills!  

• Tackle the haggle!

Of course, as an outsider, you will be paying a tad more than the locals. However, while shopping, you must learn the art of bargaining with the shopkeepers. Always remember, in India, every price is negotiable. While availing an auto, always discuss the price with the driver before hopping in. Not doing so could land you in an unpleasant situation.

• Mix with the locals!

Any first time traveler to India would attest to the fact that the crowds in India can be very daunting. However, once you start interacting and approaching them under various pretexts, you will discover a different side of them. Moreover, India’s culture resides in the soul of its people, and you can never fully appreciate that fact without mingling amongst them. However, as with anything else, stay alert and safe while doing so at all times!

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Ever thought of enjoying comforts like individual LCD screens, cuisine options by celebrity chefs, tea/coffee vending machines, on-board a normal train in India? Come June, and all this is going to become a reality. Indian Railways is all set launch, the Tejas Express, a new premium train service on the Mumbai – Goa Route. The train is going to have executive class as well as chair cars with 22 new added features including better aesthetics, smoke and fire detectors, suppression systems etc.

Tejas Express Train

The 20 coaches of Tejas Express are going to have automatic doors and secured gangways. This feature was never installed in any train of the Indian Railways. In the present, such automatic doors are found only in metro trains. Similarly, corridors between the coaches and the gangways are not closed from the sides.

The authorities had said that a train like Tejas express will be made within the promised budget. After the Mumbai-Goa run in June, a similar train will then ply on the Delhi-Chandigarh route. A senior Railway officer informed that as this is going to be a new premium class train, Tejas has modern comfort like snack tables, tea and coffee vending machines, magazines and so on. Special features in the toilets are sensorised taps, hand driers, and bio-vacuum toilets in water level indicators.

Seats of Tejas Express coaches is equipped with LCD screens.(PTi Photo)
Seats of Tejas Express coaches is equipped with LCD screens.(PTi Photo)
Another highlights of Tejas Express are toilet engagement boards, Wi-Fi facility and best of meals with cuisine designed by celebrity chefs. The color scheme of the train’s exterior as well as the interiors is going to be the same. The official further added that the LCD screens are especially for the entertainment process but will also be used for broadcasting safety instructions and passenger-related information.

Catering service on-board the train is going to be a part of fare of Tejas, similarly like Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains. The coaches are also going to have electronic passenger reservation charts, integrated braille displays, and digital destination boards. The government’s main focus is offer comfortable rail journeys to passengers during inter-city journeys.

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When you step into the Maharajas’ Express, you enter a world of unsurpassed glory and splendor. Bestowed the "World's Leading Luxury Train" award at the World Travel Awards for five consecutive years from 2012 to 2016, it has recreated the concept of luxury travel. While showering its guests’ in opulence, it provides a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of India. This is the best way to discover India! This Indian luxury train now has come up with two scintillating journeys into the Southern region of India.

A Southern Odyssey with Luxury on Wheels on-board the Maharajas Express

Magnificence of the South

Maharajas’ Express – an initiative of Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), now adds two new royal journeys to its itinerary in the form of The Southern Jewels and The Southern Sojourn. South India, besides being blessed with abundant natural beauty, is a land immersed in history, art and culture. It is a veritable storehouse of treasures waiting to be explored, and the introduction of this initiative enables visitors to do just that.

Following are the two new train journeys of Maharajas’ Express:

The Southern Jewels

Maharajas Express - Southern Jewel presents an itinerary of eight days, during which it lets you explore some of the most alluring destinations of the region including, Chettinad, Thanjavur, Mahabalipuram, Mysore, Hampi and Goa at the Konkan coast. All this while, the guests are pampered in every way.

Some of the defining features presented by this tour are the spectacular mansions of Chettinad, incredible ruins of Hampi, UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mahabalipuram, the fabulous churches of Old Goa etc. While the interiors are adorned with magnificence, the on-board facilities cater to every kind of whims and fancies of the guest.

Embarkation and Disembarkation (The Southern Jewels)
  • Duration: 7 nights / 8 days
  • Destinations covered:- Trivandrum – Chettinad – Mahabalipuram –Mysore – Hampi – Goa - Mumbai
  • Check-in venue: Vivanta by Taj Hotel, Trivandrum
  • Departure station: Kochuveli Railway station, Trivandrum
  • Arrival station: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai

The Southern Sojourn

Maharajas Express - Southern Sojourn is a well-planned journey spread over a period of eight days, during which the magnificence of South India is brought to you in all its glory. The tour covers destinations like Goa, Hampi, Mysore, Cochin and Kumarakom.

While the ruins of Hampi will leave you utterly fascinated, the churches of Goa will throw you in a spiritual trance. Some of the other sights to behold are Chinese fishing nets in Cochin, canoe cruising in Kumarakom and Mysore Palace – the symbol of opulence.

Embarkation and Disembarkation (The Southern Sojourn)
  • Duration: 7 nights / 8 days
  • Destinations Covered: Mumbai – Goa – Hampi – Mysore – Cochin – Kumarakom - Trivandrum
  • Check-in venue: The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower
  • Departure Station: Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai
  • Arrival Station: Kochuveli Railway station, Trivandrum


About Maharajas’ Express

Maharajas’ Express made its debut journey in the year 2010, and has been conferred with the winner of the world’s “Leading Luxury Train” at The World Travel Awards repeatedly for five years in a row (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016). The train immerses its guests with the choicest of comforts and endears itself to them with its incredible hospitality.

The opulence and grandeur of Indian architecture flows freely in the décor and the interiors of the Maharajas’ Express. Its cabins are furnished with linen, excellent upholstery, semi-precious stones, wall-to-wall carpeting, rich tapestry and antiques passed down from previous generations. Regardless of whether you stay in a Presidential Suite, Junior Suite, Deluxe Cabin or Suite, you will always find yourself amid unparalleled luxury. The various amenities provided onboard like twin or king-size bed, toiletries and private bathrooms only embellish the overall experience of a guest. All the rooms are equipped with facilities like Wi-Fi Internet, electronic safety deposit, channel music, DVD players, Direct Dial Telephone and LCD TV, among others.

The two restaurants of the train – Mayur Mahal and Rang Mahal, redefine the dining experience. Relaxing and unwinding is done best at The Rajah Club – a luxurious lounge, and the Safari Bar – the bar car. Some of the other facilities provided onboard like spa, gym, souvenir shop, an observation car, on-board doctor etc., reinforces its claim of being “royalty on wheels.”

How to book Maharajas' Express Train Journey

Tickets for the train journeys could be booked from the website IndianLuxuryTrains.Com, a venture of Indian Holiday Pvt. Ltd, the official PSA-IA (IRCTC Affiliate) for booking  Maharajas' Express train tickets.

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In the coming March month, the luxurious Tejas train is going to be launched between Surat and Mumbai. This has come as a good news for people who travel between Surat in Gujarat and Mumbai in Maharashtra. The announcement regarding the same was made by The Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu on Sunday. The message was given at the time of foundation stone-laying ceremonies of 4 projects in northern and central Gujarat along with the launch of Disha mobile application.

Luxury Train Tejas to Link Surat and Mumbai

While attending the event at the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI), Prabhu said, “I have come to Surat for the first time and can’t go without offering a gift to Surtis. Indian Railways will run high-end Tejas train between Surat and Mumbai. Operating at speeds above 130 kmph, it will offer on-board services such as entertainment, local cuisine, Wi-Fi, etc. through a single service provider to ensure accountability and improved customer satisfaction.”

Adding, he said, “Commuters travelling in Tejas from Surat will reach Mumbai in less than two-and-a-half-hours. The coaches of Tejas will have television screens at the back of the chairs.” He further said, “Gujarat has been the most neglected state when it comes to budgetary allocation of the Indian Railways. From 2009-2014, Gujarat received only Rs 588 crore for capital expenditure. In our regime, the allocation in 2015-16 was increased to Rs 2,467 crore, which was 319 per cent higher than previous eight years. This time around, the expenditure in Gujarat has been pegged at Rs 13,025 crore.”