Your guide to luxury travel and vacation ideas around the world. A luxury travel blog by Indian Luxury Trains (ILT) curated by Nikhil Chandra.

Luxury Trains in India

Beginners Guide to Luxury Trains in India

History of luxury train traveling in India dated back to the days of British Raj and introduction of railways in India. Back then, Maharajas of India fell head over heel in love with James Watt's creation. As royalty, the princely rulers expected to be surrounded by the trappings of their status even when on the move.

Born into royalty and adorned with rubies and jewels, maharajas of India were certainly a breed apart from their counterparts. Vying with each other to create the most luxurious carriages, the maharajas installed salons and billiard rooms, private suites, and even air conditioning - made from electric fans that blew air over blocks of ice.

If one maharaja gifted his son a personal narrow gauge toy train to celebrate his birthday, others were content in miniature rail carriages made of silver to ferry cuisines and drinks on the sprawling dining table during royal feasts.

Ever since the introduction of Palace on Wheels in 1982, modern luxury rail journey has come a long way in India. Nowadays, an array of luxury trains operates on different routes and offers a manifestation of kaleidoscope of India.

Each of these opulent luxury train tours have been designed to provide best of the traditional and the contemporary.

What make luxury trains in India different from the maddening rush of high speed railway and bumpy and crammed ride on car/buses is that they are about a unhurried and gracious voyage.

5 Reasons you should go for luxury trains for tours in India:
  1. They evoke an association with the heritage history and indulgence of a bygone age of the kings and emperors of India
  2. They offer leisurely rides opposed to the rush and crowd of other modes of traveling in India
  3. You could actually see the 'real India' as these trains travel through spectacular natural scenery and country side
  4. Sightseeing, dining, porter, guide and transportation during the entire length of journey is covered in the tariff that means no touts and no tension
  5. You sleep in comfort of your cabin, a butler is at your service round the clock, dining is served in aesthetically appointed dining cars and there are bar and lounges where you could relax and socialize

Palace on Wheels
Introduced in 1982 to promote tourism in Rajasthan, Palace on Wheels remains the most revered luxury trains in India. Taking its cue from the personal carriages used by the erstwhile maharajas of Rajasthan, Palace on Wheels recreates the romance and opulence of a bygone era.

Palace on Wheels has 14 aesthetically appointed carriages each named after a princely state of Rajasthan. The motif of each cabin is manifestation of the unique culture and heritage of that particular princely state.

Besides, Palace on Wheels is equipped with world class amenities which include restaurants and bar offering gourmet dining experience. Other facilities on the train include personal butler, television, telephones, lounge, souvenir shop and a spa salon to add to the luxury and pampering of the guests.

Average rating: 4.5, based on 3 reviews


Price Range: from $390 to $770 per person per night

Itinerary: Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur, and Agra.
Duration: 8 day and 7 nights
Website: http://www.palacesonwheels.com

The Indian Maharaja
Offering extravagant journey across select destinations in West and North India, the Indian Maharaja Train is this year's winner of the coveted World Travel Award for Asia's Best Luxury Train.

Offer enchanting voyage across some of the most alluring landscapes and destinations which include an array of World Heritage Sites in India and cultural excursions, the luxury rail journey on board the Indian Maharaja is a passage through time in the lap of sheer opulence.

Embark on a luxury train journey drenched in opulence with interiors reminiscent of elegance of imperial past and state of the art amenities to match the comfort and luxury of 5 star hotels. Impeccable service and tastefully selected destinations and off-train excursion make for an unforgettable holiday on board the Indian Maharaja.

Price Range: from $595 to $1590 per person per night
Itinerary: Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Udaipur, Ellora Caves, Ajanta Caves and Mumbai.
Duration: 8 days and 7 nights.
Website: http://www.the-indian-maharaja.com/

Maharajas Express
One of the most expensive luxury trains around, Maharajas Express is touted to be the India's answer to the Orient Express of the West. The unparalleled finesse, contemporary amenities, impeccable service and quaint décor add to an ethereal odyssey on board this luxury train in India.

Maharajas Express offer 6 times the luxury unseen previously in any luxury tourist train services anywhere in the world. The lavish presidential suite of the train offers a stately accommodation to match the opulence worthy of erstwhile Maharajas of India.

There are 14 guest carriages featuring 43 cabins in total and which includes 20 deluxe cabins, 18 junior suites, 4 suites and 1 truly classy Presidential Suite spanning over whole carriage.

The train also offers 5 itineraries to let you choose the best way to discover and explore an array of forts, palaces, wildlife reserves and World Heritage Sites.

High standard of dining is served in 2 elegant dining cars and a bar coach with tasteful selection of finest labels of wines and liquors is also available where guests could relax and socialize.

The facilities that set apart Maharajas' Express include electronic safe, RFID door locks, attached bathroom with showers or bath tub, telephone and live television and fire extinguishers in each guest cabin.


Price Range: from $3850 to $23700 per person per journey

Indian Splendor: Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Balasinor and Mumbai.
Duration: 7 days and 6 nights.

The Indian Panorama: Delhi, Agra, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Bandhavgarh, Varanasi, Lucknow and Delhi.
Duration: 7 days and 6 nights.

Treasures of India: Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur and Delhi.
Duration: 4 days and 3 nights.

Heritage of India Itinerary: Mumbai, Ajanta, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Agra, and Delhi.
Duration: 8 days and 7 nights.

Gems of India: Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur and Delhi.
Duration: 4 days and 3 nights.

Website: http://www.maharajas-express-india.com/

Deccan Odyssey
This luxury train chugs across fascinating destinations in Deccan Plateau in the state of Maharashtra to showcase the rich heritage and myriad colors of this Maratha state.  Visit to an array of World Heritage Sites, cultural excursions, voyage through Konkan coast and finally the sun and sand paradise of Goa makes for an incredible itinerary

The train with its aesthetically appointed 11 guest cabins, restaurant and bar facility and amenities such as fitness center and spa saloon recreate a stately ambiance and round the clock hospitality ensure that you get a taste of royalty as you uncover the remarkable mélange of Indian kaleidoscope.

Itinerary: Mumbai, Sindhudurg, Goa, Kolhapur, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Ajanta-Ellora and then back to Mumbai.
Duration: 8 days and 7 nights.
Website: http://www.deccan-odyssey-india.com/

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
Launched on the cues of immense success of Palace on Wheels train, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels provide journey through time and places in the 'Land of Maharajas' Rajasthan along with a halt in Agra, Varanasi and Khajuraho to flaunt the magnificent architectural marvels and ancient spirituality of India.

Gourmet cuisines, round the clock valet, spa salon, fitness center, LCD television and telephones along with impeccable service on board and red carpet welcome maintained throughout the itinerary ensures that you get to savor a truly royal journey in sheer opulence.

Itinerary: New Delhi, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Sawai Madhopur, Jaipur, Khajuraho, Varanasi, Agra and New Delhi.
Duration: 8 days and 7 nights.
Website: http://www.royalsrajasthanonwheels.com/

The Golden Chariot
Uncover the amazing diversity and gems of South India as you embark on two meticulously crafted journeys on board this Indian luxury train. While Pride of the South journey cuts across destinations in Karnataka, Southern Splendor lets you uncover and explore the treasure troves of South India on the whole.

Named after the famous Stone Chariots in Hampi, the Golden Chariot is the only luxury train offering enchanting journeys across destinations in South India.

Destinations covered by this train include Bangalore, Kabini, Hospet, Mamallapuram, Pondicherry, Alappuzha, Thanjavur and Kochi among others.

Several World Heritage Sites, a dash of wildlife, temple and monuments and charming beaches and backwaters ensure that you have the time of your life as the vibrant culture and diversity of South India comes alive with the Golden Chariot train travel in India.

Pride of the South Itinerary: Bangalore, Mysore, Hampi, Belur, Kabini, Badami, Goa and Bangalore.
Duration: 8 days and 7 nights.

Splendor of the South Itinerary: Bangalore, Chennai, Mamallapuram, Pondicherry, Tiruchirapalli, Thanjavur, Madurai, Thiruvananthapuram, Poovar, Kochi and Kerala Backwaters.
Duration: 8 days and 7 nights.
Website: http://www.the-golden-chariot.com/

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