The top 5 most luxurious train journeys in India, for those who like the good life
From April 17, the Belmond Royal Scotsman luxury train is launching a luxury spa called the Bamford Haybarn Spa. This will be the first spa carriage in Europe and will go on a round-trip from Edinburgh.
This luxury-on-wheels train takes one through the pine-clad mountains of the scottish highlands and also boasts world class cuisine.
But India, too is not far behind when it comes to luxury on rails. Here are the top five luxury trains in India.
1) Maharajas Express
This half-a-mile long train is not only considered one of the best luxury trains in India, but was also been voted the ‘World’s Leading Luxury Train’ in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The train which plies from October to April, takes you to famous tourist destinations of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, through Uttar Pradesh and on to Mumbai, while allowing you to bask in lavish suites, well-stocked bars and the best hospitality.
- The Heritage of India (Mumbai – Ajanta – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Agra – Delhi) costs Rs 4,58,280 approx, each, for a four-day journey
- Gems of India (Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi) costs Rs 2,57,950 (approx) each, for a four-day journey
- The Indian Panorama (Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Fatehpur – Sikri – Agra – Gwalior – Orchha – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Lucknow – Delhi) costs Rs4,00,660 (approx) each for a eight-day journey
- Indian Splendour (Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Balasinor – Mumbai) costs Rs4,00,660 (approx) each for an eight-day journey
- Treasures of India (Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi) costs Rs2,57,950 (approx) each for a four-day journey
2) Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
This luxury train with 14 cabins plies from October to March and covers famous tourist destinations like Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Sawai Madhopur, Jaipur, Khajuraho, Varanasi and Agra. The cabins look like the rooms of a royal palace. Complete with spa services and multi-cuisine restaurants the 7-night, 8-day journey costs about Rs5,67,000.
3) Palace on Wheels
This is India’s oldest and first pan-country super luxury train and was started back in 1982. This train, which has 14 salons named after provinces in Rajasthan and two exquisite restaurents called the Maharaja Restaurant and Maharani Restaurant, has been voted the fourth most luxirious train in the world.
Plying through Delhi, Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh , Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur and Agra. The impeccable and exquisite hospitality costs Rs2,00,000 per head for each journey.
4) The Deccan Odyssey
This 5-star hotel on wheels is themed as the travelling style of kings and queens from different eras. Decked with multi-cuisine restaurants, lounges, a conference car, and an onboard spa, this luxury train winds its way through five different routes and costs Rs3,71,900 for a 7-night/8-day journey.
- 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)
5) Golden Chariot
Plying through the famous sourthern torist destinations of India, the Golden Chariot was launched in 2008. Apart from multi-cuisine restaurants, this train boasts a gym and an ayurvedic spa. It was awarded Asia’s Leading Luxury Train’ in 2013. Plying from October to March, it costs Rs3,50,000 per head for 7-night, 8-day trip. It plies through two different routes.
- Pride of the South (Bengaluru – Kabini – Mysore – Hassan – Hampi – Badami – Goa – Bengaluru)
- Southern Splendour (Bengaluru – Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Thanjavur – Madurai – Thiruvananthapuram – Alleppey – Kochi – Bengaluru)
Last year the Indian Railways collaborated with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation and launched the Tiger Express, a semi-luxirious train on World Environment Day to give nature lovers an experience of the best wildlife of Madhya Pradesh.