Experience royalty in India’s luxury trains

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What better way to travel around India than feeling like a Maharaja in the comfort of a luxury train? There are several high-end rail operators in India to choose from, all offering a comfort matching the expectations of the most demanding travellers.

The Maharajas’ Express goes through many iconic tourist hubs such as Delhi, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra and Gwalior. This palatial train has a capacity of 88 passengers and boasts cabins furnished with royal-inspired decor. Each suite is adorned with rich tapestries and embellished with semi-precious stones and antiques. Packages available on The Maharajas’ Express includes the eight-day Indian Splendour tour, with highlights of the trip being a champagne breakfast overlooking the Taj Mahal, a tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park, and a Royal Lunch in Udaipur in Rajasthan. The service runs from October to April.

The Deccan Odyssey is another amazing luxury service. The train’s interior design reflects the various eras of the Deccan Sultanates. Two gourmet restaurants serve up specialty dishes from every region the locomotive passes through. Socialising on The Deccan Odyssey is also easy, with an elegantly designed bar called The Gateway stocked up to help facilitate conversations. Itineraries available include among others the eight-day trip ‘Hidden Treasures of Gujarat’.

The Palace on Wheels is another high-end rail service that is certainly true to its name, boasting fourteen beautifully appointed wagons, each offering four twin- bed cabins with attached baths and large windows to enjoy the amazing countryside. On board there is a comfortable bar and lounge area, as well as two separate restaurants that serve delicious Indian, and in particular Rajasthani, recipes but also Chinese and European dishes. For those who are interested to enjoy the journey, the train starts from Safdarjung Railway Station in New Delhi every Wednesday night and travels for a week through Rajasthan. Stops along the way include the iconic tourist sites of Jaipur, Ranthambore, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Agra.

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Photo: The Maharaja Express’s lush dining room