The luxury train travel concept evolved during the British Raj when India’s status-obsessed Maharajas commissioned special carriages on the newly constructed railways. Opulently decorated with Belgian crystal chandeliers, French tapestries and Persian carpets, these rolling palaces became emblematic of the wealth and ostentation of the Princely States.

Modern-day visitors can enjoy the experience in comparably elegant luxury trains operating in India. Aside from the supreme level of comfort, the main advantage of travelling in such a style is that you get to see and experience much more of the destination in comparatively a short time, moving from place to place in the night while you sleep in the comfort of your luxurious, air-conditioned cabins with ensuite facilities, lavish amenities white-glove service, gourmet cuisine. Your sightseeing at each port of call is conducted in air-conditioned vehicles by experienced English-speaking guides.

One of the most exciting, luxurious and efficient ways to explore India, these journeys offer a kaleidoscope view of the country, pulling together its magical richness and stunning variety without ever needing to pack or unpack a bag.  Their appeal is not reserved for those celebrating a much-loved special occasion but for those who enjoy efficiency or are short of time. Several trains and routes are possible, and here is our selection of the very best.


The Palace on Wheels

Launched in the early 1980s, the pioneering Palace on Wheels luxury train of the first of its kind remains the most popular, covering a route that ticks off a fantastic number of stops in just a week. While some of the furnishings are beginning to show slight signs of age, this doesn’t detract from the overall experience, delivered by a highly trained, unfailingly courteous staff and a genuine experience of India. 

The Seven-night PoW route begins in Delhi every Wednesday and proceeds to Jaipur and the tiger reserve of Ranthambore. From there, you head south to the region’s largest fort, Chittaurgarh, then to Udaipur before crossing the Thar Desert to Jaisalmer. The Blue City, Jodhpur, is next, followed by the world-famous bird reserve at Keoladeo and Agra, where you visit the Taj Mahal.

Palace on Wheels Tour Itinerary

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The Maharajas Express

The Maharajas Express hardly needs an introduction; its reputation proceeds any mention and is by far the best-known and considered one of the top two luxury train journeys in India. Its 14 state carriages recreate a world of grace, elegance and romance for travellers, taking inspiration for its regal decor from its namesake Maharajas and delivering a world-class service onboard as well as the daily excursions. 

Its four select journeys combine the best-known historical highlights and wildlife of northern India, venturing into parts of  Rajasthan, the Golden Triangle, and North India.  Pick the journey of your choice ranging from a whistlestop 4-day journey to longer, 7-night itineraries covering destinations from Mumbai to Lucknow.

Check out the four different routes.

1) Maharajas Express -Indian Panorama

2) Maharajas Express - Indian Splendour

3) Maharajas Express - Heritage of India

4) Maharajas Express - Treasures of India


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The Deccan Odyssey

The newest crop differentiates itself by focusing principally on less accessible parts of central India but also offers a couple of routes incorporating the highlights of Rajasthan and the Golden Triangle. The one we most often recommend approaches the region from the south via Mumbai and showcases the unique landscapes, wildlife and historic sites of the state in regal style, including the great cave temples of Ellora and Ajanta and opportunities to spot tigers in the wild in the Pench National Park.

Departing every Saturday from Mumbai or Delhi, the 7-night - the 8-day journeys offer a mix of destinations. Check out the itineraries below or speak with our team to find out more.

1) Maharashtra Splendour

2) Heritage Odyssey

3) Indian Odyssey

4) Cultural Odyssey

5) Maharashtra Wild Trail 

6) Indian Sojourn


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The Golden Chariot 

The Golden Chariot, the only luxury train to operate in Southern India, beautifully connects some of the important and historically and architecturally significant sites of the region in the most efficient way and with the utmost comfort in your beautifully appointed cabins. 

An onboard fitness centre combines traditional Ayurvedic spa therapies with modern workout equipment while the two restaurants and a bar offer a variety of carefully prepared food and drink, including a range of wines, beer, and spirits. 

Operating every Saturday out of Bangalore, the Golden Chariot offers three exciting journeys into different parts of the south Indian peninsula, venturing into Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. 

1) Glimpses of Karnataka

2) Pride of Karnataka

3) Jewels of the South

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Plan your Next Adventure

With the Summer almost upon us, now is the time to begin planning your next summer adventures in Asia. Our Travel Specialists are ready to take your call and discuss the adventure you have been dreaming of.

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