India: Travel Like a Maharaja

Jai Ho! We’ve been dreaming of a day soon where we can slurp up some curry in India. In the meantime, we’ll plan on arranging our trip on… The Maharajas’ Express, India’s first cross-country luxury train! Making its inaugural journey from Mumbai to Delhi this March 2010, it’ll mark a major departure in luxury train travel and a landmark event in Indian tourism, offering guests never before traveled routes and unforgettable off-train excursions and experiences.

In the grand tradition of the Maharajas of India – who preferred steam engines and railway trains to the motor car, and even installed their own royal thrones in opulent coaches embellished with ivory and gold – the Maharajas’ Express is India’s only train offering a Presidential Suite spread over an entire carriage that caters to the well-heeled traveler, offering a royal experience as they traverse the dynamic Indian landscape. As the first Pan-India luxury train, the purpose-built Maharajas’ Express will cut across state borders to offer distinct, exciting itineraries that provide travelers with unique experiences. Check these babies out!

Princely India (Mumbai to Delhi)

This 8-day, 7-night journey travels through the heart of “royal India,” from Mumbai through to Vadodara, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park, the Taj Mahal in Agra and on to Delhi.

Classical India (Delhi to Kolkata)

This 7-day, 6-night groundbreaking journey traverses inaccessible destinations that typically require flying to and from Delhi to visit each place. The journey starts in Delhi, and travels through Agra, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Bandhavgarh, Varanasi, Gaya and Kolkata, uncovering India’s spiritual centers and temples throughout.

Both itineraries can be taken in reverse via the “Royal India” (Delhi to Mumbai) and “Celestial India” (Kolkata to Delhi) routes.

Maharajas’ Express’ off-train excursions – including lunch at a magnificent private palace in Jambughoda, a champagne brunch overlooking the Taj Mahal and an elephant polo match in Dera Amer – will expose spectacular parts of Indian geography and culture that are difficult for a luxury traveler to experience by plane, car or current train services.

Rates begin at $800 per person, per day based on two sharing a Deluxe Cabin.  A Junior Suite is $900, a Suite is $1,400 and the Presidential Suite is $2,500.  I know, I know… it’s not cheap, but it will be a trip of a lifetime!  And… these rates also include accommodation, all meals and soft drinks, house brands of wine, beer and spirits, all sightseeing and entrance fees, guides and entertainment. Also included are a wide range of fantastic excursions and events including elephant polo, temple tours and Champagne breakfast.

The train has a total passenger capacity of 84 and features 20 Deluxe Cabins, 18 Junior Suites, 4 Suites and a Presidential Suite, located exclusively in one carriage.  Each cabin features state-of-the-art panoramic windows from which to enjoy India’s magnificent sights, as well as individual temperature controls, air-cushioned suspension, large LCD TVs, DVD players, in-house movies, and environmentally-friendly washrooms.

The Deluxe Cabin is the world’s most spacious rail cabin of its kind – 9’5” by 7’9” with a bathroom measuring 7’9” by 4’9”. There is a choice of twin or double beds. Junior Suites are 13’6” by 7’9”, while the Suites are 21’8” x 7’9”.

Travelers may also convene in the lavishly-appointed Observation Lounge, with its own bar, game table and club armchairs, or the Bar Carriage, offering an extensive collection of finest of wines and spirits. Dining options onboard the Maharajas’ Express include two fine-dining restaurants, each seating 42 people.  House brand wines and beer are served complimentary.

Let me guess… now you’re craving curry and a game of elephant polo too?

We knew it!

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