Important note: Earlier this tour was known as Princely India Tour but now it has been tweaked to add Ajanta and Ellora Caves and renamed Heritage of India
Table of content for Maharajas Express Heritage of India tour itinerary
Before moving any further with the details of the Heritage of India tour on board Maharajas Express, let us embark on a short detour into the history of this train. The pomp and idiosyncrasies of the maharajas of India is hardly a secret. When James Watt revolutionized transportation by inventing steam engine and British bought it to colonial India, it was not a surprise that Maharajas of India fell head over heel in love with them.
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.
|A mesmerizing view of the James Watt's creation with Taj Mahal forming the background|
The latest in the line of luxury trains in India, the Maharajas Express is inspired from this same tradition of elegant and opulent traveling. From the moment your journey begins to the moment it concludes, it’s like stepping into a reverie from which you seldom want to wake up.
Heritage of India Journey is one of the 4 itineraries offered by the Maharajas Express. Beginning from Mumbai and arriving 166 hours later in Delhi, this 7 nights and 8 days itinerary is a journey unlike any other which you’d have undertook.
A royal sojourn on board Maharajas Express begins as soon as you enter the premises of the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, one of the most luxurious heritage hotels in India. All the formalities and check in procedures take place at the hotel itself even as you sip over your welcome drink. Following this you will be taken to Chatrapathi Shivaji terminus to board the train.
A traditional red-carpet welcome with the brass band recreating the scene of royal procession and ladies dabbing your forehead with vermillion mark and neck with garlands, every move is designed to resemble a paper cut scene from royal entourage of the Maharajas of yore. Follow your valet and step aboard and enter into a different world anon – a world characterized by grace and elegance.
Redolent with the romance and nostalgia of a bygone era, interiors of the train are arguably considered to be the most luxurious and spacious in its class. With facilities and indulgence previously unseen and unheard of in the carriages of train, to say that Maharajas Express is redefining the art of elegant traveling in sheer luxury would not be an overstatement.
The first evening of your Heritage of India tour gives you ample time to acquaint yourself with this alternate reality of train traveling in India. Today is for refreshments, getting to know each other, marvel at the refinement of the interiors and wonder at the spaciousness and décor of the restaurants and bar. Eat, drink and retire into the pampering of the plush cabins for tomorrow is a day of excursion.
The train will chug along in the late evening towards Aurangabad in Maharashtra where the World Heritage site of Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves are located. Every ‘tomorrow is another day’, literally when you are on board Maharajas Express. So sleep well and rewind yourself for the 8 day of epic journey where somewhere along the way you rediscover yourself.
Contributed by Nikhil Chandra