A new rail romance

A new rail romance

What mixes old-world charm with new-age opulence better than a luxury train journey? Indulge in an idyllic week-long journey, ensconced in the comforts of a luxury saloon, while India rolls past.

Also See The Carriages

Apart from the famed Palace on Wheels, there are two new luxury trains, offering lovers of old-style travel more destinations and choices of routes.

Last month, Thomas Cook began the charter of The Indian Maharaja. Its seven-night itinerary takes you to the Taj Mahal, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and National Park, Lake Pichola, Jag Mandir Palace, and more.

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In January, Cox and Kings will unveil the Maharajas’ Express, a pan-Indian luxury train with 23 coaches that can accommodate 84 passengers. You can travel like royalty in any of its five deluxe carriages or suite carriages. But if you want to indulge yourself a little more, then the presidential suite is the carriage to check into. There are two restaurants in the train that serve gourmet food—both international and Indian cuisine. Though it’s not mandatory, your dinner jacket would be appreciated. And if you are the sort who gets withdrawal symptoms if you’re away from email and TV, worry not. The trains are fitted with Internet connectivity and satellite television. In the evenings, you can amble over to the observation lounge and play cards with fellow passengers, shop in the boutique or enjoy the view outside while sipping your favourite sundowner.

Other than a tour that goes from Mumbai to Delhi via Rajasthan, the Maharajas’ Express also offers a six-night itinerary that will follow the Delhi-Agra-Gwalior-Khajuraho- Bandhavgarh-Varanasi-Gaya-Kolkata route.

Prices start at $800 (approx. Rs37,000) per day per person. The presidential suite is $2,500. Christmas and New Year departures cost more.