If you have ever read the book, “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie or seen its movie adaptation, you would know why people are left spellbound by luxury trains. Orient express happens to be the most popular luxury train in the world, starting its journey from London.
However, India has its fair share of luxury trains too, maintained mainly by the Indian Railways and the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation.
Luxury trains are exactly what they sound like: trains that are chock full of all sorts of amenities, designed to portray grandeur at its finest. Each luxury train is carefully crafted to portray the regal history which India has always had, especially more so in the past. The only thing that makes exploring the rich magnificence of Indian history more enjoyable is doing so in a luxury train fit for it.
Below we have compiled a list of seven of these luxury trains coursing across the country which will make you wanderlust not only over the destination, but also over the journey.
1. Golden Chariot
First on our list is the Golden Chariot which offers an exemplary tour of South India.
The train starts and ends at Bengaluru, offering three different routes. Each route offers a glimpse into the rich cultural and architectural heritage that Karnataka has to offer. Quite a few of these destinations are also offbeat, giving you the lesser known of the excellence.
· Pride of Karnataka: 6 nights, 7 days
Bengaluru – Bandipur – Mysore – Halebidu - Chikamgaluru – Hampi – Pattadakal & Aihole – Goa – Bengaluru
· Jewels of South: 6 nights, 7 days
Bengaluru – Mysore – Hampi - Mahabalipuram – Thanjavur and Chettinad – Cochin – Kumarakom –Bengaluru
· Glimpses of Karnataka: 3 nights, 4 days
Bengaluru – Bandipur – Mysore – Hampi – Bengaluru
2. Buddha Express Special Tourist Train
This is one of the lesser known luxury trains. The Buddha Express Special Tourist Train offers a tour of all the prominent Buddhist destinations in the country, such as Bodhgaya and Sarnath.
Though this train ranks a little low on the luxurious scale compared to all the other entries on this list, it makes up for it by offering a one of a kind Buddhism themed tour. The train starts its journey in New Delhi.
· Buddhist Circuit Package: 7 Nights / 8 Days
Delhi-Bodhgaya-Varanasi -Nautanwa-Lumbini -Kushinagar to Gorakhpur -Balrampur to Agra -Delhi
3. Maharajas’ Express
This may be the star of our list. The Maharajas’ Express had won the "World's Leading Luxury Train" award at the World Travel Awards for seven consecutive years from 2012 to 2018, along a list of many other awards.
It has deluxe cabins and suites, which are no less than that suitable for a king. The dining car and bar are all embellished with regalia depicting the royalty of incredible India. The routes are coursing through the big names of tourist destinations, namely, Agra, Jaipur, Varanasi, Jodhpur and so on. The train starts at either Mumbai or Delhi. Since the trains begin and end at different cities, try booking hourly hotels at either if you don’t happen to reside in the particular city.
· Indian Panorama: 6 Nights/7 Days
Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore and Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Orchha and Khajuraho – Varanasi – Delhi
· Indian Splendour: 6 Nights/7 Days
Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Mumbai
· Heritage of India: 6 Nights/7 Days
Mumbai – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore and Fatehpur Sikri – Agra and Delhi
· Treasures of India: 3 Nights/4 Days
Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi
4. Palace On Wheels
Another luxurious train that takes its passengers across the states of Rajasthan and occasionally Uttar Pradesh, and guides them through a scintillating exploration of various historical monuments and sites of importance, including the Ranthambore National Park.
· Heritage Palace on Wheels Golden Triangle Tour: 3 Nights / 4 Days
Delhi-Jaipur-Ranthambore National Park-Delhi
· Heritage Palace On Wheels Desert Triangle Tour: 4 Nights / 5 Days
· Palace on Wheels : 7 Nights / 8 Days
Delhi- Jaipur-Swai Madhopur-Chittorgarh-Udaipur-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Bharatpur-Agra-Delhi
5. Royal Orient Train
This luxury train offers a spectacular tour of the important historically rich sites in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The highlight of the train is its royal richness, providing an opportunity to feel and taste the Raj culture.
Royal Orient Train was developed on the theme of Palace on wheels. Like the other trains on this list, sumptuous meals are provided on and off board, with lavish cabins with personal lavatories and the most regal dining cars.
· Royal Orient Luxury Train: 8 days/ 7 nights
Delhi, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Junagarh, Veraval, Somnath, Sasan Gir National Park, Ahmedpur, Mandvi, Palitana, Sarkhej, Ahmedabad, Jaipur.
6. The Deccan Odyssey
The Deccan Odyssey is yet another highly luxurious train which offers carefully handpicked routes of exploration for various heritage sitesm palaces, and places of interests, across the Deccan this time.
The grandeur of the train reflects the life of the kings of the 16th Century. Deccan Odyssey is quite the luxury on wheels, redefining train travelling in India.
· Indian Sojourn: 7 Nights / 8 Days
Destinations : Mumbai-Vadodara-Udaipur-Jodhpur-Agra-Sawai Madhopur-Jaipur-Delhi
· Maharashtra Splendor Journey: 7 Nights / 8 Days
Mumbai – Nashik - Aurangabad (Ellora Caves) - Ajanta Caves - Kolhapur - Goa - Sindhudurg – Mumbai
· Indian Odyssey Journey: 7 Nights / 8 Days
Delhi- Sawai Madhopur - Ranthambore National Park- Agra- Jaipur- Udaipur- Vadodara- Aurangabad- Ellora Caves- Mumbai
· Jewels of the Deccan Journey: 7 Nights / 8 Days
Mumbai - Bijapur - Aihole - Pattadakal - Hampi - Hyderabad - Ellora Caves - Ajanta Caves – Mumbai
· Maharashtra Wild Trail Journey: 7 Nights / 8 Days
Mumbai – Aurangabad (Ellora Caves) – Pench (Ramtek) – Tadoba – Ajanta – Nashik – Mumbai
· Hidden Treasures of Gujarat Journey: 7 Nights / 8 Days
Mumbai - Vadodara - Palitana - Sasan Gir & Somnath - Little Rann of Kutch - Modhera & Patan - Nashik – Mumbai
7. The Majestic Tourist Train
The last of our luxurious trains is the Majestic Tourist train. Staying true to its name, the train guides you through majestic tours of Rajasthan in two options, offering you the utmost comfort, excellent amenities and outstanding hospitality onboard.
· Majestic Rajasthan Tour: 4 Nights / 5 Days
Destinations : Delhi - Mandawa - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Jaipur – Delhi
· Majestic Rajasthan with Taj Mahal: 4 Nights / 5 Days
Destinations : Delhi – Agra – Jaipur – Jodhpur – Jaisalmer – Delhi
With that we end our list of luxury trains in India. Keep in mind that these trains and their packages do not include accommodation before or after the journey so make use of our hourly hotel options to make the most out of your trip and budget.