A Complete Comparison of the Famous Luxury Trains in India
There is no need for introducing you to luxury trains. In general, it is a star-hotel styled train, which takes you to a series of destinations. At each destination, you would take up road excursion to enjoy sightseeing and other activities.
India has main luxury trains in its menu namely, the Palace on Wheels, Maharajas’ Express, Deccan Odyssey. Every year, thousands of people visit India for the sole purpose of experiencing luxury trains. The regal cars, red carpet service, silverware, panoramic sights and the long list of amenities keep the train at the top among the luxury experiences to enjoy in India.
Since, there are more than one option, it is important to choose one at a time. How to choose the best one among the four options? We help you in this process by comparing and contrasting the four luxury trains to provide you with all detailed information to make an informed decision.
Specialty of the train
Palace on Wheels is the oldest luxury train, which focused on re-creating the carriages used by the royal families in the past. Most of the cabins were actually the royal carriages, which were renovated and added more amenities. Palace on Wheels holds the top position among the four trains in the country.
Maharajas’ Express is the world’s leading luxury train in the list and thus, it holds many ultra-modern amenities with individual temperature control and other facilities, which are impossible in the others.
On the other hand, Golden Chariot is the only train, which covers many southern cities of the country.
Palace on Wheels has two styles of accommodations namely the standard deluxe cabin and super deluxe room. The standard cabin has a twin bed with basic facilities and the super deluxe room has double beds with special bathroom features and others. The train has 14 carriages in total.
Maharajas’ Express has one basic cabin, three styles of premium rooms and one iconic presidential suite, which has two bedrooms. The presidential suite travelers are given private vehicles, private guides and others facilities.
Golden Chariot has only one style of accommodation, which comes with either twin beds or double beds.
Deccan Odyssey has two styles of accommodations. There are four presidential suites and the remaining are either twin bedded standard cabin or double bedded standard cabin.
None of the four trains runs throughout the year. None of the four trains does not run between May and August. This is due to the peak monsoon season, which is the worst time for tourism, sightseeing and others. September and April are considered as lean tourism months. December and January are the peak months.
Each of the above trains have two restaurants, with same menu and service. The menu of the trains varies from each other and with season. All the trains provides different meal options like vegan diet, gluten free diet, cholesterol diet and others.
The requirement should be mentioned during the ticket booking. From time to time, chefs might present specialty dishes based on the delicacy ingredient procured at each destination, which differs from each train.
In the lounge room, drinking is permitted. In Maharajas’ Express, local Indian liquor brands are free to consume whereas international brands would be charged. Other trains’ tariff does not include liquor at all.
When it comes to options in cuisines, Maharajas’ Express stands top with eight different meal options, which includes vegetarian, vegan, non-veg meal, kosher meal, lactose free meal, gluten free meal, Jain meal and others.
Butler service, spa and gym are found in all the four trains. In Palace on Wheels and Maharajas’ Express, private guides are available for premium travelers. Beyond theses, Palace on Wheels provide indoor games, wheelchair assistance, Wi-Fi services, conference room, newspaper, magazine, security case, on-board medical assistance, souvenir shop and others.
Maharajas’ Express holds game room, arm chair with panoramic windows, LCD TV, internet facility, private temperature control, electronic safe, satellite phone, hair dryer, wardrobe, smoke detector, air ambulance service, mini bar (only in presidential suite), on-board water filtration system and others.
Golden Chariot provides LCD TV, DVD player, centralized air conditioner, conference car, indoor games, wheelchair assistant, internet facilities, newspapers, paramedic availability, souvenir shop and others.
Deccan Odyssey provides indoor games, wheelchair assistance, creches, attenders, porters, internet facilities, wedding hall, conference food, newspaper, magazines, security safe and others.
Smoking is prohibited in all the cabins of all the four trains. Even the bathrooms of the trains are filled with smoke detectors and thus, it is prohibited to smoke anywhere in the train. If you are interested in smoking, contact any staff or the butler, who would arrange required facilities.
Palace on Wheels price $4,550 during peak season and $3,500 during lean season per head for basic cabin accommodation.
Maharajas’ Express has standard Price of $3,850 for three night and four days trip and, $5,900 for seven nights and eight days trips per head for basic accommodation.
The cost of ticket per head for Golden Chariot is $5,000 and cost of ticket for basic accommodation trip in Deccan Odyssey is $6,500 per head.
Each train welcomes its passenger in a unique way. Maharajas’ Express provides red carpet welcome, with traditional music, garland, welcome drink and a set of traditional Indian dress to every traveler based on his/her age and gender.
Palace on Wheels also provides a similar welcome ceremony and presents a small welcome kit with turban, a respectable head wear for men.
Deccan Odyssey welcomes with welcome drink and Golden Chariot provides Indian dresses as welcome gift based on the age and gender of the travelers.
Maharajas’ Express have seven different itineraries. Out of the seven, two itineraries focuses on the southern states of the country. Rest of the itineraries focuses on Rajasthan and the attractions around it or attractions between Mumbai and Delhi. There are two types of itineraries based on the span, namely, three-night trip and seven-night trip.
- The Heritage Of India ( 6 Nights & 7 Days ): Mumbai – Ajanta – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Agra – Delhi
- The Indian Splendor ( 6 Nights & 7 Days ): Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Balasinor – Mumbai
- Treasures of India ( 3 Nights & 4 Days ): Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi
- The Indian Panorama ( 6 Nights & 7 Days ): Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Gwalior – Orchha – Khajuraho- Varanasi – Lucknow – Delhi
Palace on Wheels
Palace on Wheels is famous for its iconic signature trip, which is mimicked by most of the luxury trains in the country. The trip starts and ends in Delhi, covering Rajasthan and Agra. This is the classic luxury train trip route. If you were new to India and looking for a classic trip, this would be a flawless option.
Deccan Odyssey has seven itinerary of equal length, seven nights and eight days. Each itinerary focuses on certain state or theme of vacation like Gujarat, Maharashtra, wildlife attractions, Deccan plateau and others.
- Indian Odyssey ( 7 Nights & 8 Days ): Delhi – Sawai Madhopur – Agra – Jaipur – Udaipur – Vadodara – Ellora Caves- Mumbai
- Maharashtra Splendor ( 7 Nights & 8 Days ): Mumbai – Nashik – Ellora Caves – Ajanta Caves – Kolhapur – Goa – Ratnagiri – Mumbai
- Maharashtra Wild Trail ( 7 Nights & 8 Days ): Mumbai – Ellora Caves – Aurangabad – Pench -Tadoba – Ajanta – Nashik – Mumbai
- Jewels of the Deccan ( 7 Nights & 8 Days ): Mumbai – Bijapur – Aihole and Pattadakal – Hampi – Hyderabad – Ellora Caves – Ajanta Caves – Mumbai
- Hidden Treasures of Gujarat ( 7 Nights & 8 Days ): Mumbai – Vadodara – Palitana – Sasan Gir – Somnath- Little Rann of Kutch – Modhera – Patan – Nashik – Mumbai
- Indian Sojourn ( 7 Nights & 8 Days ): Mumbai – Vadodara – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Agra – Sawai Madhopur – Jaipur – Delhi
- Pride of the South ( 7 Nights & 8 Days ): Bangalore – Kabini – Bandipur – Mysore – Hassan – Hospet – Badami – Goa – Bangalore
- Splendor of the South ( 7 Nights & 8 Days ): Bangalore – Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Auroville – Pondicherry – Trichy – Tanjore – Madurai – Kanyakumari – Kovalam – Kerala – Cochin – Bangalore
Note: Currently Golden Chariot Train is not Operating
All the trains have official sites, which can be used for booking tickets. Many tour operators also provide similar services. Booking and cancellation policies varies from one train to another. If you are choosing travel agents, it is very essential to choose agents, which are approved by government of India and ministry of tourism, like Travelogy India. Do not fall for fake sites, which promises easy booking of tickets or other facilities. Choose reliable ones like https://www.orientrailjourneys.com/
How to Book Luxury Trains?
You would be certain that when it comes to luxury, all the trains seem to have almost similar facilities and amenities. Thus, it is best to choose the luxury train of your choice in regards to the routes provided by the train and the time of the visit. Expert advice would be to trial all the trains, one at a time, as each one is as unique as a snowflake.
You may also read related articles:
- Comparison Between Palace on Wheels and Maharajas Express Train
- Glance Over Indian Luxury Trains
- Experience Exotic Train Journeys in Worldwide
- Types of Train That You Ought to Ride in India
Note: Currently Golden Chariot Train is not Operating