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Luxury Train in India - The Buzzword for Luxury Travel

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. 

Although the six luxury trains operating in India differ in terms of destinations but all of them strive hard towards meeting a similar goal. The goal is to provide elegant stay with sightseeing of some of the best tourist destinations in India. Hence it would not be an overstatement to say that a new age of opulent and elegant train travelling has arrived in India with the rise of luxury rail tour segment.
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Top 10 Forts in India : The Living Legends

Top 10 Forts in India : The Living Legends

“I am the mirror… Standing like a meditative Yogi, I am making you witness the royalty, valor, love, struggle and grandness of the ancient and medieval era of India…”.

India is dotted with numerous forts which can be aptly referred to as the living legends. Each of these forts are replete with saga of romance, chivalry, valor and inevitable deceit and intrigues of court politics.

Some of the forts are brilliant specimen of architecture designed and constructed by the humans. In the forts built during the medieval period, the influence of various art forms from around the world can be well witnessed.

If you have an inclination towards these grand structures, you can go through our list below where we have meticulously chosen top 10 forts in India from a long list:

Red Fort, Delhi

Red Fort,Delhi
Red Fort in Delhi
A red sandstone structure which presents India before the world, Red Fort in Delhi is rightly been called the pride of the city and of India too.

Inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this magnificent red citadel is but just a ghost of its former glory days. Red Fort in Delhi was built by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in the 17th century AD.

It took around 10 years to complete and is originally referred to as ‘Quila-e-Mubarak’ as royal family used to live there. Inside the fort, there are public and private halls, mosques, gardens and alongside this runs the river Yamuna.

[ Read more about Red Fort, Delhi]

Amber Fort, Jaipur

Amber Fort
Amber Fort in Jaipur
A beautiful gemstone in the royal crown of Rajasthan, Jaipur charms the guests with its fleet of palaces and forts. One of the most visited and beguiling of Jaipur forts is the Amber Fort, situated in a serene backdrop of the Aravali Hill.

When you reach the fort, you will get a warm welcome by the silent wavelets of the Maota Lake. The blend of Hindu, Rajput and Mughal architectural style adorn the fort and make the guests let them loose to its grandeur of presentation.

The intricate marble, glass, metal and wood carvings can be well witnessed in this beautiful fort built by Raja Man Singh I.

[Read more about Amber Fort]

Agra Fort, Agra 

Red Rort
Red Fort In Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Though the city of Agra is most famous for its iconic Taj Mahal, but there are several other architectural wonders that still make it one of the best destination for a cultural tour to India.

The red giant structure of Agra fort speaks volumes about the Mughal dynasty, their rise and fall in the country of India. While you enter inside this fort, a beautifully manicured lawn gives you a green carpet welcome.

There are different palaces inside this red citadel most of which were built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. This chivalric king also had spent his last years in a high towering palace of Red Fort from where Taj Mahal can be seen clearly.

[Read more about the Agra Fort]

Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan

Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan
Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan
Each corner of the state of Rajasthan speaks of the royal lifestyle of the Rajput rulers and Jaisalmer is certainly not an exception to that.

In this city of Rajasthan which seems to be an embodiment of the Arabian Night fables, the Jaisalmer Fort is standing in a cliff top that becomes visible from a distance.

This yellow sandstone fort glitters like a golden crown when the sun rays hits its outer wall. Simplicity in grandness is seen in its décor and architecture and it is also crowned as one of the largest forts in the world.

[Read more about Jaisalmer Fort]

 Daulatabad Fort, Aurangabad

Daulatabad Fort,Aurangabad
Daulatabad Fort, Aurangabad
Though the sand of time has left its imprints behind the Daulatabad Fort, it is still can be called one of the best documents containing the history of the city.

The fort overlooks the green views of the vegetation around and is certainly a photographer’s paradise. With its vintage look, it never ceases to amaze the visitors.

 It’s been ruled by many dynasties and their remains can be still seen in this almost forgotten fort of Aurangabad.

[Read more about Daulatabad Fort]

Golkonda Fort, Hyderabad

Golkonda Fort, Hyderabad
Situated just 11 kilometers away from the city of Hyderabad, Golkonda Fort is not that famous among the tourists as the Red Fort in Delhi or the Agra fort. But still, it is one of the best places to visit which will mounts up to your expectations while you are in a cultural tour to India.

It was originally built by Kakatiya Dynasty which was later ruled by Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah Wali. During Qutub Shah’s reign, the fort went through a number of reconstructions. Away from the hustle-bustle of city life, this fort is standing silently in a cliff top and singing the saga of its royal days.

[Read more about Golkonda Fort]

Junagarh Fort, Bikaner

Junagarh Fort,B Rajasthan
Junagarh Fort, Bikaner
It is a well preserved forts situated at the center of the city of Bikaner in Rajasthan. It is a massive structure with a fleet of art galleries, corridors and courtyards which beautifully display the history, culture and traditions of the city.

A scattering of color can be well witnessed in the halls and rooms of this fortress. Built in the year 1589 AD, this fort was being rules by as many as 20 rulers of Bikaner till 1920 AD.

Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh

Gwalior Fort
Gwalior Fort in  Madhya Pradesh
It is another well preserved and maintained fort in India which has colorful artworks inscribed in its inner and outer walls and pillars. It is so massive and alluring, that India Postal Service has issued a postal stamp with the photo of this fort.

The Mughal Emperor Babur once described is as “the pearl in the necklace of the forts of Hind”. From the fort, you can also savor the panoramic view of the old Gwalior. Gwalior Fort also occupies a unique place in the human civilization as the place which has the first ever recorded the use of zero.

[Read more about Gwalior Fort]

Jhansi Fort, Jhansi

Jhansi Fort,Uttar Pradesh
Jhansi Fort, Jhansi
Built by Bir Singh Ju Deo, the king of Orcha in the year 1613, this Indian fort is situated in a rocky hill called Bangra in Jhansi.

The fort has ten gates including the Khandero Gate, Datia Darwaza, Unnao Gate, Jharna Gate, Laxmi Gate, Sagar Gate, Orcha Gate, Sainyar Gate, and Chand Gate.

The fort still speaks about the life of the courageous queen of Jhansi, Rani Laxmi Bai.

[ Read More About Jhansi Fort ]

Chittorgarh Fort, Chittorgarh

Chittorgarh Fort,Rajasthan
Chittorgarh Fort in Chittorgarh
If Chittorgarh is the pride of Rajasthan, then Chittorgarh Fort must be its icon. Stretches in a huge area, the fort bears witness to a time when royal people preferred to die before submitting themselves to the enemies.

The folklore about the gallantry of Rani Padmini can be still heard when you visit this fort. There are several palaces, temples and public and private halls inside the fort which grab the attention of millions of travelers every year.

[Read more about Chittorgarh Fort]

Interested in forts and palaces tours, check out these packages at Indianholiday.com

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Bewitching Summer Holiday Destinations in India

The Sun God is in full rage in India making the summer season a boiling and scorching time for the people. For people in the west, this is the best time to visit India as they can enjoy a host of activities during this time. The hill stations, golden sandy beaches and the valleys of Kashmir offer the global travelers suitable reasons to plan their summer holiday in India. Scattered through the length and breadth of the country, these hotspots are frequented by the renowned luxury hotels that turn the days of summer in a merriment time to play, enjoy, relax and unwind. According to the taste of the traveler, the destinations can be selected as some are popular for offering best of yoga, spa and meditation retreats, where as others offer a perfect adventure break to the globetrotters. Collected from the vast array of summer destinations in India, we have prepared the following list in no particular order so that the travelers can chose their preferred destination and enjoy a peerless holiday in this country of color, culture, myths and mysteries.

Dal Lake, Kashmir
Dal Lake, Kashmir
The Kashmir valley, which is also called the ‘Heaven on Earth’ become all the more alluring in the summer season. The greenery of woodland all around this majestic place sets the tune for a perfect summer hideaway in India. The sparkling rivers, regal Chinar trees, flowering meadows and cloud kissing mountain peaks create a celestial charm that reaches the soul of the travelers. The art, culture and handicraft items of Kashmir are world famous; thus during your trip to Kashmir, don’t forget to take a roam to the local markets that are well studded with unique decorative items. Moreover, a shikara ride in the famous Dal Lake is a must to do thing while travelling in Kashmir.

Leh & Ladakh
Nun Mountain,Ladakh
Nun Mountain  in Ladakh
Give your tired soul a breath of the diving by planning a summer tour to Leh & Ladakh, one of the most beautiful valleys on the face of earth. A roadway journey to this enchanting place gives you a feeling as if you are journeying to the celestial path of self-enlightenment. The interplay of mountain peaks, clouds, green forests and sparkling rivers elevate the charm to its zenith where everything is seductive and beautiful. The Buddhist Stupas and Monasteries can be seen in a short distance, many of which have hundreds of years old history.

Darjeeling Hills
Darjeeling Hill
Most popular for its tea production, the name of Darjeeling suddenly created a picture before our eyes where greenery is all bestowed. A Himalayan city situated in the India state of West Bengal, Darjeeling is considered to be one of the best summer destinations in India. Hidden in the thick cloak of fog, the city is all surrounded by the green vegetation. Though the monsoon can appear at any point of time in this hilly region, but you will love to enjoy the splashes of rain water in your face during your stay here. You can either choose to stay in a bungalow or in a luxury hotel while exploring the charming valley of Darjeeling.

Nilgiri Hill, Ooty
Nilgiri Hill, Ooty
Situated amid the smoky bluish hue of the Nilgiri Hills popularly known as the Blue Mountains, the city of Ooty attracts thousands of travelers every year from around the world. The temperature of Ooty remains around 20 C in summer which tempts the vacationers to plan their trip to Ooty. The lake, forestry and hills, all are present there to welcome you in the serene kaleidoscope of this south Indian hill station. The flower gardens scattered all around this enchanting city colors the streets and bungalows in varied hues. The tea estates are also there around it which adds on more serenity to the city life.

Trekking In Shimla
No matter whether you are looking for a trekking holiday, a family vacation or a romantic trip, Shimla is the answer to all your vacation needs. Situated in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, the lofty mountains and flower strewn valleys have made Shimla one of the most sought after summer holiday destinations in India. Summer days in Shimla become more exciting with various adventure sports that challenge the travelers to be little more fearless.

Apart from the above mentioned places, the country offers host of other destinations that can be best suited for planning an exclusive summer holiday in India.

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