Maharajas' Express Blog

Indian Panorama Journey with Maharajas Express

the-indian-panorama“Originating and terminating in New Delhi, the capital of incredible India, the Indian Panorama journey covers a captivating visit to the Taj Mahal, the epitome of love, a spiritual sojourn to the holy city of Varanasi on the banks of the sacred and legendary Ganges; visits to the enticing group of temples at Khajuraho , a UNESCO world heritage site, the imperial splendor of Lucknow while relishing Awadhi cuisine at the palace of the Raja of Jehangirabad, the wilderness of the Ranthambore National Park to spot the elusive tiger. This meticulously planned tour brings out the best in Indian diversity, heritage and culture. The journey offers eight days of enthralling adventure into this land of fantasy.

The Maharajas’ Express reinvents the romance of the rail from its rich and legendary past. The Maharajas’ Express revives the luxury of Indias legendary rulers. Indian Maharaja always exhibited a passion for trains. In Gwalior, the Maharaja had his dining table adorned with a model train made of sterling silver that ferried liqueur and cigars across the table to the guests. The Maharajas’ Express immortalizes the heydays of the Maharajas.

You are welcomed at the Delhi Safdarjung station in traditional style, fit for royalty. A red carpet decorated with rose and other flower petals is laid out just for you. Welcoming turbaned attendants bow in greeting . Girls in bright Indian attire embellish their guests with rose and marigold garlands. A small band of musicians play the Shehnai a traditional musical instrument played on the auspicious occasions, to welcome the guests. The whole place is decorated with buntings, scarves and flowers.

At almost a kilometer long, the Maharajas’ Express accommodates 84 passengers in 14 guests carriages having 04 classes of accommodation, two exquisite dining cars, two lounges cum bar cars including a truly classical presidential suite.

After the registration your nominated valet takes you to the allotted cabins. Once you are settled you are taken for a familiarization tour of the train. The train offers a selection of cabins consisting of Deluxe cabin, Junior Suite, Suite and Presidential Suite. The cabins on the Indian luxury train Maharajas’ Express are the largest and richly adorned among all the Luxury trains. The finely crafted interiors are 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, complimentary Wi-Fi internet, Direct dial international telephone facility, DVD player, LCD screen, wardrobe, personal safe , cabin controlled air conditioning , and en suite bathroom, featuring shower cubicle with hot and cold running water , WC and basin. Each car of the train is attended by personal valets who watch their brood of “”Maharajas with great alacrity.
As you watch the villages, town, cities and the beautiful landscape roll by outside the window, you are transported from one wonderful destination to the other in total comfort.

The passengers are invited to the two bars for a welcome drink. The bars are an ideal setting for a friendly chat or to exchange anecdotes about the day. The Rajah Bar is a lounge bar and the Safari bar is a thematic bar. The bars are a perfect venue to chill and unwind with the finest range of wines and spirits. For those who would rather be left alone, there is a collection of books to browse through. Board games are provided for those who wish to spend time with friends and family watching the landscape pass by. The Safari bar serves as a venue for festive events and can also be set up for corporate meetings. The Maharajas’ Express brings one back to the grand old days of train travel with its wood paneled interiors, plush seating, and extravagant brass fixtures. Its as if the era of the Maharajas has been encapsulated in the 21st century Maharajas’ Express”.

At dinner you can choose from two fine and thematic restaurants the Mayur Mahal and the Rang Mahal. Rang Mahal literally means the Palace of Colors. The Rang mahal has a beautiful floral motif hand painted on the ceiling. The Mayur Mahal is named after Indias national bird- the Peacock. It has the most exquisite peacock feather patterned dicor and a mirrored tile ceiling. The restaurants boast of the finest gold plated bone china crockery, lead free crystal glassware and gold plated cutlery. Both restaurants serve International and Indian Cuisine that would delight the savviest gourmets. The opulent dicor of the restaurants transports you to a world of regal plentitude.
After a sumptuous dinner the train leaves for the majestic city of Jaipur. Girls carrying flower garlands are bedecked with beads and exhibit a veiled and mysterious charm. After a satiating breakfast on board, 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. Jaipur was made famous by the late Maharani Gayatri Devi the third wife of Maharaja Man Singh II. 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. Here we experience a taste of Maharani Gayatri Devis favorite pastime. The match is followed by lunch at the City Palace. Post lunch you visit the Sawai Mansingh II Museum within the City Palace Complex. The experiences leave you enriched and euphoric to be part of the Indian milieu.

You return to the splendor of the Maharajas’ Express or you may participate in optional activities such as a Spa visit at a 5 Star Hotel, or a Shopping tour, or Golfing at the Rambagh Club, or a visit to Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal and Birla Mandir. While returning from the Amber fort you have the splendid opportunity to visit a local center for polishing and cutting semi-precious stones. The trip is informative and relaxing. After an elaborate dinner on board the train leaves for Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore.

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 . On day three 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 return to the comfort of the Maharajas’ Express and proceed for a light and refreshing brunch. After brunch you proceed to Fatehpur Sikri. The fabled, magnificent, fortified Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri is a UNESCO world heritage site. The city is an amalgam of rich architectural styles Hindu, Mughal and Jain. Immerse yourself in Mughal history by visiting the complex of monuments and temples including one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid. Other prime attractions include the palace of Jodha Bai, Bibal bhavan,Karwan Serai, Panch Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas and Diwan i Am .After a thorough exploration of the mysteriously deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri, you return to the Maharajas’ Express for a delectable dinner.

On day four, you roll into Agra. You view the Taj Mahal bathed in morning dew, in all its glory. This opulent mausoleum has become the tourist emblem of India. We raise a toast to the magnificent Taj with a champagne breakfast at the Taj Khema. You return to the gracious setting of the Maharajas’ Express. En route you have the option of witnessing the Pietra Dura Marble Inlay work which is native the region. The Taj leaves an indelible stamp on your memory. The train proceeds to the regal city of Gwalior. After a relaxing lunch on board, you proceed to the Gwalior Fort, Saas Bahu temple, and Jain Cave Sculptures. Alternatively you may choose to avail the Spa facilities at the Hotel Usha Kiran Palace. As the evening sets in we proceed for a visit to the Jai Vilas Palace Museum, where among other things you will get an opportunity see one of the largest chandeliers and the fabled silver train in motion. Post High Tea at the Jai Vilas Palace lawns, you leave Gwalior with bagfuls of memories of this enthralling venue.

Day five takes you to the land of poetry in stone. After breakfast and lunch on board you arrive at the fascinating town of Khajuraho and visit the stone temples. The temples of Khujuraho are Indias unique gift to the world. Life with all its nuances and moods has been captured in stone. It is a living testimony to the craftsmanship, artistry and breadth of creative vision of the Chandela Rajputs. A riveting day at the temples is crowned with dances of India show at the Kendriya Shilgram or an optional visit to the Spa facility at a hotel. You return for dinner on board the luxurious Maharajas’ Express. The train then departs for the ancient and mythological city of Varanasi. You carry Khajuraho within you , forever.

On Day six, after an invigorating breakfast on board , you arrive at Varanasi. Varanasi is known as Benaras and Kashi and is one of the oldest living cities in the world. You visit a silk weaving center and explore this magical craft. Lunch is hosted at the Taj Gateway Hotel. You proceed for a visit to the Sarnath ruins and Museum. All the ancient buildings in Sarnath were destroyed by the Turks. What remains among the ruins is the Dharmekh Stupa where Buddha is said to have preached his first sermon. The guests go for a soul cleansing ride down the legendary river Ganges. The highlight of this awesome event is the evening Arti. You are mesmerized by the images of fire shadows dancing on the dark and mystical river. You return to the regal Maharajas’ Express and after a delightful dinner on aboard, proceed to Lucknow.

After breakfast on board, day seven in spent in Lucknow. The city with its old world elegance is simply fascinating. You visit the Bara Imambara , Chota Imambara , Residency and Rumi Darwaza. This is followed by a sumptuous lunch on board the majestic Maharajas’ Express. En-route you visit a center for Chikankari- the local embroidery that originated in Lucknow. The day is crowned by a dinner with royalty at the amazing residence of the Raja of Jehangirabad. You learn all about tehzeeb or old world etiquette. You then return to Delhi fulfilled and replenished.

You disembark the train at Delhi with a tapestry of delightful memories and anecdotes about this wondrous Odyssey into the heart of India.

At every railway station where the Maharajas’ Express halts, there are red carpets and exuberant bands playing traditional tunes. All the excursions are meticulously arranged and the guests travelling in suite and presidential suite get luxury cars with language guides for sightseeing. Another reason why you choose Maharajas’ Express over others is the all inclusive tariff. The tariff covers fine dining, exclusive accommodation on board, transportation, informative guided sightseeing tours, entrance fee at the museums visited, complimentary house pours of wine and spirits, complimentary Wi-Fi, round the clock services of paramedic, 24×7 butler service and porter fee.
Within three years of its introduction this luxury train has already been bestowed with two international honors for its excellence in service and comfort. The prestigious World Travel Award in the category Worlds Leading Luxury Train in 2012 and 2013, outstripping the likes of the Orient Express in Europe and the Rovos Rail of Africa. Maharajas’ Express is the new hallmark in luxury holiday worldwide with it quality and excellence service making your dream holidays a reality.”