IRCTC Maharaja Train
Maharajas' Express Blog
  • October 30, 2013

Gems of India


“Luxury travel has achieved a new milestone in excellence with the Maharajas’ Express. The Maharajas’ Express is the nonpareil in leisure travel. Within three years of its introduction, the train has been bestowed with two prestigious international awards for excellence in service and offering, including this years World Travel Award in the category Worlds Leading Luxury train. It outshone its rivals Rovos Rail of Africa and the Orient Express of Europe.

When the British came to India, they brought the railways with them. The Maharajas’ Express traces its lineage to the mighty Maharajas of yesteryears. The Maharajas’ Express reiterates the romance of the rail and traces it back to a grander, more gracious lifestyle. The opulence and extravagance of Indias legendary rulers is encapsulated in this state of the art offering.

The Maharajas always exhibited a passion for trains. It was the train that redefined a new level of colonial grandeur and brought it to the Maharajas courts. Gold and ivory, teak and mahogany embellished the Maharajas carriages. The Maharaja of Gwalior, set his dining table with a model train made of sterling silver which chugged around at the table serving cigars and liqueur. They sought to outdo each other in the possession of trains. They brought their own state carriages to be used on the occasion of a royal visit or a hunt.

With Indias independence the Maharajas lost their glory. Many of the grand trains were decommissioned and retired but a few were restored to their former magnificence. The trains in their avtar now form part of Indias Luxury fleet of trains.

The Maharajas’ Express train packages are designed to capture the extravagant idiosyncrasies of the Maharajas. They hark back to a bygone era of red carpets and high teas.

At almost a kilometer long, the Maharajas’ Express takes 84 passengers and has two restaurants, two bars and a truly classical presidential suite. Wooded paneled interiors with brass fixtures and plush seating transport you into a world of fantasy. The Rang Mahal Restaurant boasts a gorgeous hand painted fresco ceiling with floral motifs. The service in the finest china embellished with gold and the exquisite gold cutlery is monogrammed with the letter M. The other dining car, the Mayur Mahal (Peacock Palace) has a motif of peacock feathers reflected in a mirrored mosaic tiled ceiling.

The Maharajas’ Express dining and cuisine options are a class apart from the rest of the luxury trains. The cuisine options include lactose free cuisine, ovo lacto vegetarian meal, Jain meal, vegan, kosher, gluten free and vegetarian meal. The guest can choose either from the International or the Indian cuisine. The food reflects the generosity and opulence of royalty and there is something there for everyone.

The Rajah Club car is a perfect venue to meet up with fellow passengers and exchange anecdotes and tall tales at the end of the day. The highly polished interiors of the bar house aperitifs, nightcaps and the finest range of wines and liqueurs. The other is a lounge come observation bar called Safari bar with library where one can browse a riveting selection of books. The souvenir shop offers memorabilia related to the journey.

With the Gems of India journey you experience the luxury of the golden triangle Delhi- Agra Ranthambhor- Jaipur- Delhi. It takes you to the poetic opulence of the Taj Mahal, the wild and rugged grandeur of Ranthambhor where you can spot the elusive tiger, and the regal heritage of Jaipur.

A red carpet awaits you at the Safdarjung Railway station in New Delhi. It is sprinkled with rose petals. Brightly coloured gold and ruby uniforms adorn turbaned attendants who welcome you to this fascinating train. Guests are offered marigold garlands by girls in richly colored sarees, their jewels glinting in the moonlight. Soft music envelops the station and we depart to the strains of the Shehnai- a traditional wind instrument player on upicious occasions.
Onboard the train its as if the world of the Maharajas has been frozen in time. The cabins feature en -suite bathrooms and five star amenities, services such as 24 hrs butler service, round the clock paramedic and after dinner chocolates placed in the room before you turn in. The staff regards you as royalty, catering to your every whim like rolling out the red carpet in welcome or fetching champagne in the middle of the night.

Each car has its own personal valet who looks out for you at you at regular intervals and caters to your every whim. He carefully watches his brood of Maharajas with alacrity.
After the registration the valet takes you to the allotted cabins. The cabins on the Maharajas’ Express are the most lavishly adorned of all the luxury trains. Extreme and lavish comfort is supplemented by state of the art safety features such as electronic smoke detection systems, CCTV, Pneumatic Suspension for superior ride comfort, that conform to international standards. The facilities in all the cabins of the train include live television, Wi-Fi internet, Direct dial international telephone facility, DVD player, LCD screen, wardrobe, personal safe , cabin controlled air conditioning , and en suite bathroom facilities such as shower cubicle with hot and cold running water , WC and basin. The personal valet attached to every car is a god sent.

As the train departs from Delhi in the evening, guests are greeted with a smile and ushered in for a sit down five course dinner. The chef personally visits each table to ensure customer satisfaction.
As you settle into your suite you watch the world slip by like a Maharaja surveying his kingdom.

As the train rolls into Agra , the first morning begins in a shroud of mist. You sit sipping coffee with your valets in attendance. The journey starts with a visit to one of the most visited monuments of the world the Taj Mahal. The beauty of this poetry in marble is simply divine. You raise a toast to the nonpareil with a champagne breakfast at the Taj Khema. You return to the luxury of the Maharajas’ Express. En-route you have the opportunity to witness some of the Pietra Dura marble inlay work that is native to the region. The optional activities include a spa at a five star hotel or a visit to Itmad ud-Daula.

Post lunch, the visit to Agra fort, reflects the rich heritage of the Indian forts. Islamic influences are apparent as are the indigenous Hindu elements in the lotus and animal motifs. After the visit to Agra fort You can choose from the optional activities such as a spa at a five star hotel, a visit to Itmad-ud-daula , a private shopping tour or a visit to Fatehpur Sikhri.

After a sumptuous dinner on board you leave for Sawai Madhopur. The Maharajas were also keen hunters. The Royals and the British wiped out a substantial amount of the Indian tiger population. Now we have reserves where the Maharajas hunting grounds existed. One of these reserves is Ranthambore National Park where we will go in quest of the thirty odd remaining tigers. At Ranthambore, you proceed on the enthralling Game Drive at the Ranthambore National Park. There is always the chance that you might spot the elusive tiger. The park is also home to the sambar, chital, nilgai, chinkara, sloth bear, hyena, jackals and leopards. Ranthambore leaves you speechless and you want to include it in your memoirs. You meet up with fellow passengers at the Safari and Rajah bars to exchange anecdotes.

After a relaxed brunch on board you proceed to the regal city of Jaipur. Girls carrying flower necklaces are bedecked with beads, exhibit a veiled and mysterious charm. You proceed to the Amber Fort. Jaipurs Amber fort is immense and imposing, baked in the famed Indian sun. The fort features huge sandalwood doors inlaid with ivory, and enticing Islamic motifs. Optional activities include spa at a five star hotel, or a private shopping tour, or golfing at the Rambagh club or a visit to the City palace and Jantar Mantar. While returning from the Amber Fort, you have the opportunity of visiting a local center for polishing and cutting semi precious and precious stones which is a local specialty.Jaipur was made famous by the late Maharani Gayatri Devi the third wife of Maharaja Man Singh 11. Her skill as her polo player and her unique beauty made her the cultural icon of Jaipur. You are treated to a special Elephant Polo Match that is an exciting, once in a lifetime affair. Post dinner the Maharajas’ Express leaves for Delhi. Next morning you disembark savoring every moment of your splendid journey. After all its not every day that you get treated like the royalty.

Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Ltd

(A Govt. of India Enterprise)

B-148, 11th Floor, Statesman House, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi, Delhi 110001

© 2017 The Maharajas' Express World's Leading Luxury Train