Indian luxury trains are the most sought after by connoisseurs of luxury travel around the world. Unlike Blue train and Orient Express that dominate the luxury rail segment in west, much of the contribution has come from India with 6 luxury trains operating in current scenario. Luxury train tours are a booming travel trend for those who are not afraid of shelling out moolah for attaining the experience of royal pampering and elegant living.
The history of luxury train travelling traces its roots to the era of erstwhile Indian maharajas who were believed to have travelled in overtly luxurious rail carriages. Taking cue from the personal rail carriages of erstwhile Indian monarchs, Rajasthan Tourism and Development Corporation in association with Indian railways launched Palace on Wheels train in 1982. The train has been designed with replica carriages of erstwhile Rajput princes, Nizams of Hyderabad and Viceroys of India and traverses the course of former princely states of Rajasthan during the course of its 8 days and 7 nights journey.
The seamless fusion of Rajputana décor, state of the art amenities and traditional India hospitality is apparent in every aspect of the train. The weeklong journey on board Palace on Wheels train whisks you into the Rajputana heartland and let you discover the royal and cultural facet of Rajasthan along with the exploration of wildlife treasure troves.
Following the overwhelming success of Palace on Wheels, many state tourism boards followed in the footsteps of Rajasthan Tourism and Development Corporation and came up with their own version of Palace on Wheels train. The popularity of this luxury tourist train reached the corridors of private players too which resulted in chartering of Deccan Odyssey train by Travel Corporation of India (TCI).
Besides Rajasthan, luxury trains in India allow guests to explore the natural and cultural treasure troves of western and southern region of India. While Deccan Odyssey offers jaunt into Maratha heartland with two days halt in Goa, Golden Chariot with its two journeys- Pride of the South and Splendor of the South- offers whirlwind tour across historically significant and naturally rich destinations in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The two itineraries of Indian Maharaja train- Delhi to Mumbai and Mumbai to Delhi- are a medley of vibrant colors of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.