India's railways, which stretch over 71,000 miles in total and
serve a staggering 18 million travellers a day, are some of the
most iconic in the world. There's good reason for it. The train
system, which dates back to the days of the British Empire, is
still the best way to access some of the country's most remote (and
beautiful) corners. While the stations are busy and vibrant on
their own terms, the views from the trains are what's really
unmissable: whether you're travelling through the deserts of
Rajasthan, between India's major cities, or amongst the lush
jungles of the south, you'll want to take in the scenery.
Luxury trains are one of the
best ways to explore India © Maharajas'
We've selected four of the best train journeys in India, all of
which combine convenience, luxurious accommodations, and incredible
Palace on Wheels
Those who've seen "The Darjeeling Limited," the 2007 film by
celebrated director Wes Anderson, will recognise his colourful
scenes whilst travelling with the Palace on Wheels. The 14-coach train is home to
lavish accommodations, including fully air-conditioned deluxe
suites with carpeting, hot and cold water, and showers to ensure
you'll be fresh and comfortable throughout the duration of the
trip. Two onboard restaurants serve Rajasthani and international
cuisine, while the luxury bar is a perfect place to relax in the
evening. The eight-day train takes travellers from Delhi through
Jaipur to the palace cities of Rajasthan before ending in
The Palace on Wheels brings
visitors close to the wonders of Jaipur © Guillermo
The most luxurious train service in all of India, the Maharajas'
Express travels within northwest and central India (based
primarily in Rajasthan) and covers a total of 12 destinations.
Guests can embark on different itineraries, like the Indian
Splendor Tour (which visits stops as diverse as Mumbai, Jodhpur,
and Agra) while the service also offers express four-day trips.
Guests walk the red carpet when they first board, and that level of
luxury persists throughout: interiors are plush, with some suites
expansive enough to fit bathtubs and private dining rooms.
Fittingly, the train comes equipped with a club, bar, and two
restaurants to keep onboard options diverse.
The Maharajas' Express offers
lavish accommodations © Simon Pielow
The Indian Maharaja - Deccan Odyssey
Travelling across the massive expansive of Maharashtra, the
populous west Indian state that comprises Mumbai, Pune, and a
number of other cities, the Indian Maharaja - Deccan Odyssey journey is
one to remember. Named for the sweeping Deccan Plateau, the journey
takes visitors through incredible scenery, and across some of the
country's most important cities: from Mumbai and Jaipur to Agra,
Delhi, and Udaipur. In addition to two restaurants, the train hosts
a library, bar, Ayurvedic massage centre, gym, beauty parlour, and
The Indian Maharaja - Deccan
Odyssey journey provides incredible views of Rajasthan and beyond ©
The high-end arm of India's own railway service, the Shatabdi Express provides fast and comfortable
accommodations between some of the country's largest cities - its
tracks stretch across the country. The Executive Class leaves Delhi
at 6 AM and arrives at Agra just two hours later, which is ideal
for those looking to visit the Taj Mahal before the crowds set in.
The Shatabdi Express also offers a wonderful opportunity to take in
the verdant stretches of Ranthambhore National Park.
The Shatabdi Express is one of
the best ways to get to the Taj Mahal ©
If you're interested in the best train journeys in India -
or exploring more of Rajasthan - you can view our Essence
of Rajasthan itinerary for more information.