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Palace On Wheels Vs. Maharajas’ Express – A Comparison Of Luxury Trains

  • Admin
  • 28 Aug 2023
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When it comes to exploring India in a luxurious manner, the options are very clear. If you are looking for a regal experience, you obviously should try the luxury trains of the country. When it comes to the luxury train to choose, people always stick with the best two options, the Palace on Wheels and Maharajas’ Express. This does not mean that there are no other luxury trains worth trying.

Other luxury trains in India are Golden Chariot, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels and Deccan Odyssey.

Note: Currently Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is not Operating

Read more: List of Luxury Trains in the World

Back to the topic, which one should you choose? Is it better to stick with the pioneer Palace on Wheels or choose the new train on the tracks, Maharajas’ Express? This is not a simple answer to just say the name of one train.

Here is a detailed comparison between the Palace On Wheels and Maharajas' Express trains, which will allow you to take an informed decision.

Pioneer Vs Modern

As mentioned before, Palace on Wheels is the pioneer to luxury train in the country. It started in 1982, and has been on the tracks for several decades creating memory to millions of tourists. This does not mean that the train is outdated. It has all modern amenities and technology to make your life easier during travel.


Maharajas’ Express, on the other hand, is the country’s most recent luxury train. It started its journey in 2010. This is a venture of the Indian Railways in creating a better and modern train.

Read more : What is Maharajas' Express Train?


Palace on Wheels has one signature itinerary that covers many important destinations in Rajasthan and Agra. This itinerary is the cliché and standard one. If you are visiting India for the very first time, this is the best way to get a holistic view of the country. The itinerary focuses on showcasing culture, tradition, architecture, nature and lifestyle of the country in one tour.

Checkout : Palace on Wheels Itinerary for Rajasthan

Read more: Destinations Covered by Palace on Wheels

When it comes to Maharajas’ Express, it is always aiming at giving more than usual. There are five tailored itineraries covering important destinations in central India and north-west part of the country. The train focuses on covering both cliché destinations and hidden gems of the country.

The itineraries of the train are

Also Read : What Are The Facilities Offered By Maharajas' Express To Their Travellers?

Each itinerary provides a different style of vacation. It combines heritage, royalty, wildlife, architecture, art, culture and most importantly, the hospitality of the land.

Must Read : Major Attractions of Rajasthan through Maharajas Express Train


When comparing the cost of both the train, the Palace on Wheels is the least expensive one. So here let’s have a look at the fare of Palace on Wheels train for 8 days journey is around USD 3,500 only.

However, if you are choosing an itinerary of shorter duration with Maharajas’ Express, you can cut down your cost. Moreover, the cost of the ticket depends on the month of travel, type of accommodation, optional tours and so on. The starting fare of Maharajas Express for 3 night 4 days around USD 2910 per person.

You can also check here: Maharajas' Express Price in INR

Length Of Itinerary

Palace on Wheels has only one itinerary, which runs for seven nights and eight days. Each tour starts on a Wednesday in Delhi and ends on the next Wednesday in Delhi.

Select here: Palace On Wheels Departure Dates

Maharajas’ Express has varying styles of itineraries of the varying time period. Some of the itineraries are week-long and some are just three nights and four days itineraries. If you are looking for a short trip to India, Maharaja’s Express is the best option.

Select here: Maharajas' Express Departure Dates

Read More: Experience Royal Journey with Best Two Indian Luxury Trains

Styles Of Accommodation

The Palace on Wheels has only two types of accommodations. The Deluxe Cabin is the least luxurious one and the Super Deluxe is the most luxurious one.


Maharajas’ Express has four types of accommodations. The Presidential Suite is the most luxurious one and it is followed by Suites Cabins, Junior Suites and Deluxe Cabins.

Check Here : Maharajas Express Cabins and Suites

Read more: How Many Coaches are there in Maharajas Express?

Amenities And Facilities

When it comes to basic luxury amenities like restaurant, bar, lounge room, butler, porter service, TV, well-equipped bathroom, laundry service, electronic safe and others, both the trains have almost the same amenities.

Check Here :

Read more: What Are The Some Interesting Facts About The Palace on Wheels Train?

However, Maharajas’ Express has some premium amenities that are not found in most of the trains in the country like pneumatic suspension for better sleeping, RFID door locks, CCTV camera for safety, water filter plant in the train, Swarovski crystal glassware, gold platted cutlery and so on.

Check Here:

Read more: How to Enjoy Food in Maharajas Express Restaurants

Highlights Of The Itineraries

Palace on Wheels focuses on sightseeing, nature, shopping tours and other cliché tourism activities. Maharajas’ Express on the other hand, focuses less on sightseeing and more on enjoying exotic activities. It all depends on the destination. In a given destination, both the trains have almost similar activities.

Must Read : Palace On Wheels Route Map and Direction

However, since the Maharajas’ Express has higher number of destinations due to numerous itineraries, the style and range of activities varies.

Must Read : Maharajas' Express Route Map

You can experience royalty in every activity with Maharajas’ Express and Palace on Wheels focuses on exploring the city as a local and enjoying the culture of the land.

Read More: How to Book Maharajas Express Train ?

Awards And Recognition

Palace on Wheels was recognized as the fourth-best luxury train by Conde Nast Magazine. It has received many PATA awards for heritage and culture. The train also was included in many documentaries by outstanding media like BBC, National Geography, MTV and others. The Maharajas’ Express has not received as much media exposure as Palace on Wheels.

However, it has received its own share of awards like the prestigious World Travel Award for six years continuously since 2012. The train is also tagged as one of the most luxurious trains in the world.

Check Here : Maharajas Express Awards and Achievements

Optional Tours

Palace on Wheels always sticks with its flaw-less classic tour. Optional tours are very rare with this train.

Read more: Dream it, Book it, Experience it - Palace on Wheels Train

However, Maharajas' Express provides many optional excursions during the itinerary to cover any exotic route or activities, which might be available only during a certain season. During tourism season, many tours would also be added to the current list of tours.

Must Read : 15 Most Interesting Facts to Know Before Boarding the Maharajas Express Train

Start And End Destination

Palace on Wheels tour starts and ends only in Delhi railway station. Tourists are expected to be in the station on time to board the train. Maharajas' Express train’s tours start either in Delhi or Mumbai. Thus, some people find Maharajas’ Express to be a little flexible than Palace on Wheels.

Passenger Capacity

Palace on Wheels can accommodate 82 passengers per trip and Maharajas’ Express can accommodate only 88 passengers per trip. Still, the demand for both the trains is sky-high and it is best to book the tickets at-least three months in prior to the departure date.

Must Read : Maharajas' Express - Royal Interior of The Luxury Train

Child Policy

Children below the age of 5 can travel with 10% charge of the ticket in Palace on Wheels. Children below the age of 5 can travel free of charge in Maharajas’ Express when accompanied by an adult.

Children between age 5 and 12 are charged 50% of the ticket fare in both the trains.

Cancellation Fee

In Palace on Wheels, 10% of the ticket is deducted is cancelled before 90 days. 20% of the cost is deducted if cancelled between 89 and 35 days and if cancelled less than 34 days, no refund is provided.

In Maharajas' Express, if the tickets are cancelled 60 days before the departure date, 25% of the cost is taken as penalty. If cancelled between 59 days and 45 days, 50% of the ticket is deducted. If cancelled less than 44 days from departure date, no refund is provided.

Check here : Maharajas Express Cancellation Policy


No one would argue that Palace on Wheels and Maharajas’ Express are very similar to each other. Both are two different, very unique trains, which could show India from a different angle, entirely.

However, it is difficult to express one train as inferior or superior to another in the general clause. Based on your budget, time of travel, style of vacation, requirements of amenities and others, the choice varies. It is up to you to make an informed decision.

Read here : Book Your Tickets for Maharajas’ Express For 2019, 2020, 2021

Right before you take any decision, it is important to read about terms and conditions, inclusion of tariff and exclusion, booking conditions, cancellation policy and other terms of each train travel. Read about the itineraries in detail.

Read more: 10 Interesting Tips for Booking Luxury Trains in India

Learn about the activities each day. This helps you picture the vacation you are about to have on the train. This will, in turn, help you choose the train of your choice.

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