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Maharajas' Express Blog
  • May 18, 2018

Surprises galore on The Maharajas’ Express!

The large bouquet of Indian aesthetics is borne out by the multitude of art forms that emanate from the highly varied cultures that coexist in this vast country. From music to the spoken word, to intricate dances like Kathak (which originates from the storytelling traditions of northern India), each region has a kind of artistic patois that resonates with the deep roots of the region, and many times also reflects the influences of cultures as far off as central Asia and Europe.

With a view to explore as many of these different art forms as possible, all the while maintaining the utmost comfort for the guests, the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation curated the Indian Panorama journey. An idyllic and fun-filled trip covering multiple states of India, this is one of the best ways to explore Indian culture while being ensconced in the luxury of the Maharajas’ Express.

Just for example, at Lucknow, the discerning travelers of the Maharajas’ Express are treated to an exclusive performance by the practitioners of Kathak, who are adept at telling mythological stories in an energetic and exhilarating revue.

All Around Agenda, Adorned By Ancient Arts

The 8 days on the Indian Panorama journey that are spent aboard the Maharajas’ Express yield a treasure trove of memories and experiences that only grow more valuable as time passes. Starting from the national capital, Delhi, the plush train puffs its way to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. A royal treatment awaits guests, complete with options to take a spa or pick up some examples of local craftsmanship as souvenirs while on a private shopping tour. The next day sees lush green forests roll by and includes a safari at Ranthambore, followed by a visit to Akbar’s palace at Fatehpur Sikri. One of the brightest gems of the tour comes up next at Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh: the Indian Wonder of the World, Taj Mahal! This ‘monument to love’ mesmerizes the senses, and the Maharajas’ Express proceeds into Madhya Pradesh, to unwind at Gwalior, with high tea at the Jai Vilas Palace Museum. Keeping the level of luxury stratospheric is the highest aspiration of the staff and management, and manifests itself in the amenities and services provided aboard the train.

After being stationed overnight at Gwalior, the Indian Panorama stays true to its name and the Maharajas’ Express pans the view for the guests to the location of the world famous Khajuraho Temples. There are plenty of activities and events to immerse yourselves in, ranging from dance shows to audio visual exhibitions. After engaging the senses in ancient architecture, present rituals that have carried over since those times are glimpsed at Varanasi, including the Worship of Fire on the banks of the Ganga. With the guests retiring for the night, the Maharajas’ Express hums along to Lucknow.

Lucknow – A City Of Noble Tastes And Indulgences

Each of the stops briefly noted earlier deserve paeans on their intrinsic value, and Lucknow is no exception. Steeped in history that has seen changes in rulers, religions and cultures, Lucknow has incorporated them all into a unique blend that is its own style. A colorful part of this style is the dance form called Kathak.

Kathak is one of eight Indian classical dance forms, and is easily recognized by the near-universal use of metal bells stringed around the ankles of the dancers. The melodious harmony between the movements of the dancers, the sounds of the jingling anklets (termed ghunghroos) beating in tandem with the percussive instruments, makes for an experience that is pleasing to the eye and the ear. Coming from religious roots of being a way to please Krishna, one of the most beloved gods in Hinduism, Kathak evolved into a major art in Varanasi, the previous stop of the Maharajas’ Express.

As guests of the award-winning Maharajas’ Express, you are one of the privileged audience to a special Kathak performance at Lucknow which is spellbinding, to say the least. Everything from the facial cues to the complex foot movements lends itself to the charm of Kathak, and that is why this event is one of the highlights of the tour.

Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Ltd

(A Govt. of India Enterprise)

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