Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Maharaja Express IndiaL: Luxury Train Travel in India aboard the Maharajas' Express

India, the Land of the Maharajas, welcomes you to lead the very royal lives its erstwhile rulers led. And what better way to experience a week of unparalleled luxury than travel in a virtual palace running on wheels. Yes, luxury train travel has come a long way in India and are at par, if not above, with their international counterparts – the Royal Scotsman, the Orient Express and the likes. Maharaja's Express in particular is one luxury train that hardly needs a fancy introduction

The names of the carriages of the Maharajas' Express have been named after the legendary jewels of the various Maharajas.


An Experience Unforgettable
As if 2 World Travel Awards, several nominations in World's Leading Luxury Train category and numerous other awards were not already enough, Maharaja's Express can be introduced as one of the most popular luxury trains running on Indian rails. The train was incepted in 2010 by the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) with a view to provide unmatched luxury to guests looking for the Maharaja experience. Since the keyword here was always "Maharaja", everything that was befitting an Indian monarch was somehow incorporated into the train and its journey. King size beds that were studded with jewels, cabins that would put Five Star hotel suites to shame, hospitality that even the Rajahs of yore would envy. It is all these things and more that makes the Maharaja's Express not just a journey. It is a lifestyle – 7 days of godly bliss.

A train almost half a mile long redefines luxury and comfort. It recreates the Lifestyle of a princely era.

Only fittingly, the 14 guest carriages of the Maharaja's Express are each named after a precious stone. The Presidential Suite, the only of its kind in the world, spans an entire carriage and is aptly called the Navratna. The train has a four-cabin configuration – Presidential Suite, Suite, Junior Suite and Deluxe Cabin. All cabins and suites feature large panoramic windows to run the beautiful imagery of varying landscapes whizzing by. Facilities such as Live Television, Wi-Fi Internet and individual climate control transform your cabin into a cocoon of comfort.

The on board services is provided in collaboration with M/s. Select Holiday Resorts Pvt. Ltd, a hospitality chain operating 5 star hotels and partner for the off-train excursions is M/s. Creative Travels Pvt. Ltd, a leading destination management company.


Deluxe Cabin
Cabin area 112 sqft, twin/double bed cabins with attached bath.


Junior Suite
Cabin 150 sqft, twin/double bed cabins with a writing table and attached bath.


Suite
Cabin area 220 sqft, double bed with separate living and bedroom areas, attached bath with bath tub.


Presidential Suite
Cabin area 448 sqft, two bedrooms, two attached bath (one with bath tub), a living cum dining room.

Categories of Cabin available on Maharajas' Express
Room Category Twin Double Total Cabins/Suits Passenger Capacity
Delux Cabin 15 5 20 40
Junior Suite 12 6 18 36
Suite 4 4 8
Presidential Suite(has a double
and a twin room) 1 4
Total 43 88
Mayur Mahal and Rang Mahal (Restaurant Cars)
Fine dining has a new dimension added altogether as you wine and dine like royalty does. 2 theme restaurants, Mayur Mahal and Rang Mahal, serve culinary masterpieces in multiple cuisines. Both restaurants can accommodate 42 guests each, at a time. Each restaurant has been beautified with a unique theme décor and has an ambiance that is the perfect foil to the sumptuous food to be had.

The Rajah Club and Safari Bar (Lounge and Bar Cars)
The majestic Safari bar houses the choicest of wines, champagnes and beer – Indian and foreign – served with delectable snacks. The adjoining Rajah Club is where you can kick back with a book, sipping a single malt. There is a mini library, bar game tables and snuggling arm chairs that create the perfect ambiance for lounging around

Train Map

Maharajas' Express Journeys
Gems of India (Tour Duration: 3 Nights / 4 Days)
Gems of India offers a whirlwind tour through the golden triangle circuit of India- Delhi, Agra and Jaipur along with a halt at the tiger abode 'Ranthambore National Park'.

Tour Highlights
Tour of Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world and Agra fort, a UNESCO world heritage site Shopping and spa sessions in Agra Morning game safari in the Ranthambore National ParkCity excursion of Jaipur Exhibition Elephant Polo in Jaipur

Treasures of India (Tour Duration: 3 Nights / 4 Days)
A fascinating ride across the golden triangle circuit of India- Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The itinerary of this luxury train also includes excursion to the Ranthambore National Park.

Tour Highlights
Visit to Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri Jeep Safari in the Ranthambore National Park Sightseeing tour of Jaipur, visit to the Exhibition Elephant Polo Shopping at local Bazaars of the Pink city and enjoying Spa session

Heritage of India (Tour Duration: 7 Nights / 8 Days)
A perfect opportunity for those who wish to see the royal and cultural heritage of India, the Heritage of India tour itinerary extensively covers the destinations in the western part of India. The luxury train itinerary covers Ajanta, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri.

Tour Highlights
Visit to Ajanta CavesSightseeing tour of City Palace complex, Udaipur City excursion and cultural performances in Jodhpur Visit to Camel breeding farms in Bikaner Visit to Amer Fort and elephant ride in JaipurGolf game or Spa session at City Palace, Jaipur Jeep Safari through The Ranthambore National Park Visit to Fatehpur Sikri, a UNESCO world heritage site Visit to Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world A lavish breakfast accompanied with Champagne at Taj Khema

Indian Panorama (Tour Duration: 7 Nights / 8 Days)
Beginning and culminating in Delhi, the Indian Panorama tour itinerary offers a glimpse of the Indian architecture, culture and spirituality in a journey lasting up to 8 days. The luxury train itinerary includes a visit to Jaipur, Ranthambore, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra, Gwalior, Orchha, Khajuraho, Varanasi, Lucknow.

Tour Highlights
Visit to Amber Fort followed by an Exhibition Elephant Polo Shopping in the local bazaars and spa session at City Palace Safari trip to the Ranthambore National Park Exploring Fatehpur Sikri Visit to Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the World Visit to Gwalior FortHigh-tea at Jal Vilas Palace Visit to Jahangiri Mahal in OrchhaExploring World-renowned Khajuraho temples, a world heritage siteVisit to Sarnath, a Buddhist heritageEnjoy shopping at Varanasi Silk Center and and evening 'Aarti' on the banks

Indian Splendor (Tour Duration: 7 Nights / 8 Days)
A meticulously designed itinerary that includes a visit to the former princely states of Rajasthan and Gujarat along with a halt in Agra. The inclusion of Agra is justified as it was the seat of the Mughal emperors.

Tour Highlights
Sightseeing tour of Agra (Taj Majal, Fathepur Sikri, Itmad-ud-DaulahShopping tour in the cityJungle Safari in the Ranthambore National ParkShopping, local sightseeing and an Exhibition Elephant Polo in Jaipur Visiting cattle breeding farm in Bikaner Enjoying cultural performances sightseeing and a lavish in Bikaner Cultural performance in Rohet, Bishnoi Sightseeing of Jodhpur Sightseeing and Shopping in Udaipur Excursion of Dinosaur Fossil Park, Balasinor

Maharaja Express India: Maharajas´ Express General Information

Please find below some general information to assist you with your planning for your journey aboard the Maharajas´ Express -

Guest Cabins
There are 43 guest cabins - 20 deluxe, 18 junior suites, 4 suites and 1 presidential suite - which can accommodate up to 88 passengers on each journey. Accommodation is available as twin cabin and double and each cabin can accommodate 2 passengers except for presidential suite which can accommodate up to a maximum of 4 passengers.

Dining and Bar
There are two restaurants on board the train, each with a seating capacity of 42 passengers at a time. The restaurants - Peacock and Rang Mahal - serve cuisines from around the world including traditional Indian, Chinese, Continental and authentic Mewari cuisines. Guests could also order house brands of wine, spirits and beers along with an array of well known brands from around the world. Whereas the dining is table d´hote, guest will have to pay extra for drinks other than house brands. A well stocked bar named Safari is an ideal place to get to know your fellow traveler over light drinks and snacks in a laid back ambience.

Lounge, Observation Car and Treasure Chest
Maharajas Club is the plush Observation car with relaxing chairs where guest can observe the landscape spool by. It is also equipped with a library, personal bar and a souvenir shop and a great place to socialize and collect memorabilia.

Maharajas Transport
Transportation comes complimentary for off train excursions at each destination. Whereas the guests in Deluxe Cabins and Junior suites are accommodated in deluxe coaches for sightseeing, the guests in Suites and Presidential suites are provided with cars. All the vehicles have complimentary kits which include candies, shoe uppers, tissues, bottle coolers and other things.

Pre and Post Hotel Accommodation
Pre and post accommodation is not complimentary with the train ticket price. It is recommended that you take minimum one day pre and post accommodation with your rail journey. For more information regarding pre and post tour accommodation, please refer to our website or contact us for further details.

International and Domestic Flights
Maharajas Express journeys either originate from Delhi or Mumbai. Both cities are well connected through air internationally. Also, these cities are well connected through road and rails. The price of your flight journey is not included in the price of train. It is recommended that you book your plane ticket with us to avail of special package offer and exclusive price. For further details refer to our website or contact us.

Personal Travel Insurance
It is strongly recommended that you have adequate travel insurance in case of any eventuality from the country of your origin/domicile. You may refer to our booking cancellation policy for further details. Also, Maharajas Express train is fully insured for natural calamities or any such eventualities such as fire, flood, earthquake and theft. All passengers are also covered under an umbrella insurance cover.

Pre and Post Tours
If you are looking forward to explore the Indian subcontinent before or after your journey on board Maharajas Express, you may do so with us. Please refer to our website or contact us for further details.

Smoking Policy
As per Indian Law - Smoking in India is prohibited in all public places include public transport, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, educational institutions and parks etc.

Child Policy
Children below 5 years shall be allowed free

Single child (5 years - 12 years) - 50% of the adult fare

Please note that the train does not have the facility for interconnecting cabins except in the Presidential Suite car.

All applicable taxes will be charged extra.

Internet
High speed internet access is available on board the train. However, the internet signals can vary in the moving train but does improve when the train is at a halt.

Extensions
Enhance your India visit experience by prolonging your stay after Maharajas´ Express. Mention your requirement and the destination you would like to travel to after or before the train jounrey.

Inclusions
All the 5 journeys offered by Maharajas Express train are all inclusive of accommodation in twin-sharing or double sharing cabins, on board meals, in house brand of wines & spirits, butler service and guided off train excursions.

Exclusions
Taxes, insurance, gratuities, telephone calls, laundry, video & still camera, alcoholic beverages outside the train, arrival and departure fees are excluded from the price of Maharajas´ Express journeys.

Baggage Allowance
It is recommended to carry luggage as per the international airline rules. Soft-topped luggage is highly recommended as it acquire less space.

Special Dietary Requirement
If you have some special prerequisites in respect to food, kindly mention at the time of booking so that the on-board staff can accommodate your culinary requests.

Porters
In order to assist your luggage, porters have been appointed at the point of embarkation and disembarkation.

Butlers
Each guest carriage on board the train has been appointed with a personal butler to entertain the guests 24 x 7.

Wheelchair Access/Disabled Persons
Unfortunately, there is no facility available for the disabled passengers on board Maharajas´ Express. It is recommended that guests with restricted mobility should be accompanied by an able-bodied passenger.

Electricity
The voltage available on board this luxury train is 110/220 volts. International adapters are also provided on the train.

Off Train Excursions
70 to 80% of your off train excursions include long distance walking, therefore it is advised to pack comfortable walking shoes. During getting off and on the train, you might come across rough surfaces and unpaved sidewalks.

Guides
During the off train excursions, you will be accompanied by professional English speaking guides. If there is any special requirement of language speaking guide, kindly inform us at the time of booking.

Credit Cards
All credit cards, Master Cards, Visa and Amex are accepted on board. Surcharge is applied on all the transactions made using credit or debit card.

Visas
All the foreigner passengers are expected to keep valid travel documents and a valid visa (approved by Indian Missions abroad) handy. In case of unavailability, false or expired documents, foreign nationals will be deported.

Foreign nationals having Tourist Visas with a stay stipulation of 180 or 90 days with multiple entry facilities need to have a gap of at least two months between the visits. However, if there is lesser gap, special permissions are needed to be sought from the Head of Mission.

Travel Documents
After receiving full payment, you will be issued travel documents. These documents will be provided to each passenger with their names, 14 days prior to the journey. The confirmation documents are important to be carried along with you in the trip.

Clothing and travel accessories
Summers: lightweight cotton and linens.

Winters: lightweight to heavy woolens, shawls and cottons.

Wildlife safari: Earth shaded, light clothes and wraps. Avoid bright colors.

On board: Smart casuals, suitable walking shoes and nightwear. Don't forget to carry sunscreens, caps/hats and comfortable footwear.

Currency and Money Exchange
Information about Indian currency: One Rupee= 100 Paisa

Notes are available for: Rs 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000.

Coins are available for Rs 1, 2, 5 and 10.

Special services are provided regarding currency exchange, you can contact Guest Relations Manager on board for the same.

Special Meals/ Dietary requirements / Medical Conditions
Passengers are requested to inform the authorities about their special dietary requirements and medical conditions at the time of booking; doing so will help Maharaja Express staff serve better.

It is advised to carry your medicines if you have dust allergy, because you will be experiencing this during wildlife safaris.

Bed and Bath Linen
In order to maintain hygiene, guests are requested to be cooperative with the staff and let them change bed and bath linens every day.

Hot Water
For hot running water, switch on the geysers 20 minutes before the usage.

Safe
All cabins in the train are equipped with electronic safes.

You can keep your travel documents, passport, cash etc in the safe. It is advisable that you have all your personal effects insured.

Hair dryers
All the washrooms on board have hair dryers.

Off Train Excursions
It is to put in notice that the off train excursions may include long walks in rocky or steeped paths. If a passenger has walking disabilities, he/she must inform the officials prior the journey.

However if a passenger or a group causes delays or feels incapable for the excursions, his/ her participation will be refused. Maharaja express reserve the rights for the same. There will be no refunds for any unused part of the tour.

Luggage Allowance
Maharaja Express provides sufficient luggage storage facilities. Luggage can be stored under the bed and a separate cabin. It is advisable to carry along a small lock to keep your belongings safe.

The size under the twin bed is 915mm x 690 mm x 330 mm. And under the double bed is 1370 mm x 940 mm x 330 mm.

Telephone calls
Telephone facilities are available on board. External call charges are additional and are not included in the cost of the journey.

Train Manager
You may contact train manager for any special request, query or problem. He will be available on board 24x7.

Placement of train on platforms
As the passengers de-board the train, it goes ahead for fueling and watering. Hence, it is advised to follow the schedules. You can contact the train manager if you'd like to return earlier or stay back, he shall check the availability of the train and get back to you.

Expectations from the guests
It is expected that passengers adhere to the schedule. IRTC is punctual and works on its timings, if any service or train is missed, that is because of the irresponsibility of the passenger, and there is no alternative provided for that reason.

However, if you are planning to skip an excursion and visit a relative, you must keep the Train Manager in notice. Also, if a passenger or group skips the limits and continues to cause inconvenience to others will be asked to leave the tour.

Crew
The crew of Maharajas Express is a priceless asset. The team is well experienced and works hard on providing unmatched hospitality to the guests.

Paramedic on Board
In case of medical emergency, there is a paramedic available on board the train

Health
There are no specific medical prerequisites for India travel. However, if you are a native of a Yellow Fever endemic country, you must be in possession of a Yellow Fever Vaccination certificate conforming to international health regulations.

Laundry
Laundry service on board Maharajas´ Express is made available at select destinations. Kindly contact your carriage butler for the same.

Cell Phones
It is advised to keep your cell phones on the silent mode so that you won´t create uproar for the fellow passengers and also during your visit to certain monuments and places. The reception of cell phones varies on the moving train but improves when the train is at a halt.

Telephone Calls
All the guest cabins have a telephone facility. The tariff of the train journey does not include the cost of external calls.

On-Board Safe
Each cabin is equipped with an electronic safe. After so much of precaution, the train's management will not be responsible for any loss of valuables.

Crew
All the staff members of the Maharajas´ Express train are highly qualified to accommodate the different needs of the guests. All staff members are well-versed with spoken English.

Minimum Passenger Requirement
All the 5 journeys offered by the Maharajas´ Express train require a certain number of passengers to operate. If that number is not met, you´ll be either given a new journey date or refund. 30 days of advance indication will be given in such situations.

Special Excursions/Events
For special events, signature excursions and guest lecturers, an additional supplement will be charged on certain departures.

Charters
The Maharajas´ Express train can be chartered to corporate executives, individuals and agencies for holding conferences, marriages and other events.

Maharaja Express India: Maharajas' Express Facilities


Maharajas' Express Facilities
Travel as once did the Maharajas of India, with your own butlers and all the elegance of a bygone era – getting high on spirits in the exclusive Safari Bar served in imported hand cut crystal glasses, or over range of world cuisine and Indian delicacies served on fine Limoges plates and gold & silver plated cutlery in one of two exclusive restaurants.
Yet unlike the days of maharajas, state of the art amenities such as Wi-Fi in rooms, plasma TVs with satellite channels, DVD players and individual climate control will ensure premium luxury that even the maharajas would envy.


Dining Car
Gracefully appointed Mayur Mahal (Peacock Restaurant) and Rang Mahal (Haveli Restaurant) serve an eclectic mix of delectable cuisines in a relaxing ambience. Each car can accommodate 42 persons at a time. These minimally furnished and quaintly decorated cabins have been designed keeping in mind the need for comfort and space of the guests.



Bar
Safari Bar is a well stocked bar with a variety of finest labels of wines and spirits from around the world in an enchantingly decadent setting of a royal safari. Reclaim yourself with choice from a menu having crème de la crème of wines and spirits along with innovative cocktails.



Lounge
Rajah Club with en-suite bar is equipped with games tables and club arm-chairs to pamper and relax the guests in a laid back atmosphere. Rajah Club with en-suite bar is equipped with games tables and club arm-chairs to pamper and relax the guests in a laid back atmosphere.



Bedroom Cabins
There are 14 passenger cabins aboard the Maharajas' Express; 5 deluxe cabins, 6 junior suites, 2 suites, and the majestic presidential suite. All the cabins come equipped with either twin beds or a double bed along with direct dial phones, LCD TVs, DVD players, internet, individual temperature control and electronic safe. An en-suite bathroom with shower is also available with the cabins.

Lounge, Observation Car and Treasure Chest
Maharajas Club is the plush Observation car with relaxing chairs where guest can observe the landscape spool by. It is also equipped with a library, personal bar and a souvenir shop and a great place to socialize and collect memorabilia.

Maharajas Transport
Transportation comes complimentary for off train excursions at each destination. Whereas the guests in Deluxe Cabins and Junior suites are accommodated in deluxe coaches for sightseeing, the guests in Suites and Presidential suites are provided with cars. All the vehicles have complimentary kits which include candies, shoe uppers, tissues, bottle coolers and other things.

Internet
High speed internet access is available on board the train. However, the internet signals can vary in the moving train but does improve when the train is at a halt.

Porters
In order to assist your luggage, porters have been appointed at the point of embarkation and disembarkation.

Butlers
Each guest carriage on board the train has been appointed with a personal butler to entertain the guests 24 x 7.

Electricity
The voltage available on board this luxury train is 110/220 volts. International adapters are also provided on the train.

Guides
During the off train excursions, you will be accompanied by professional English speaking guides. If there is any special requirement of language speaking guide, kindly inform us at the time of booking.

Telephone calls
Telephone facilities are available on board. External call charges are additional and are not included in the cost of the journey.

Bed and Bath Linen
In order to maintain hygiene, guests are requested to be cooperative with the staff and let them change bed and bath linens every day.

Hot Water
For hot running water, switch on the geysers 20 minutes before the usage.

Safe
All cabins in the train are equipped with electronic safes. You can keep your travel documents, passport, cash etc in the safe. It is advisable that you have all your personal effects insured.

Hair dryers
All the washrooms on board have hair dryers.

Maharaja Express India: Maharajas' Express Cabins

The Maharajas Express has a total of 14 guest carriages which have got its names after various precious stones such as Moti (Pearl), Heera (diamond), Neelam (Blue Sapphire), Feeroza (Turquoise), Monga (Coral), Pukhraj (Sapphire) and so on. In these carriages are fitted luxury cabins that are segregated in four categories - Deluxe Cabin, Junior Suite, Suite and Presidential Suite. Out of these, the Presidential Suite, called Navratna spreads itself in an entire carriage is inclusive of two bedrooms, a separate living area, a dining room and a modern private bathroom with a bath tub. These cabins and suites have the capacity of accommodating 88 guests.
The tasteful and royal décor has taken its inspiration from the carriages of the erstwhile royalty of the country which is unmatched for. The cabins are adorned with rich tapestry, linen, upholstery, wall-to-wall carpeting, semi-precious stones and antiques. During your journey, enjoy the beautiful scenery whizzing by from the huge panoramic windows. While having a traditional royal décor, the spacious cabins offer every modern-day facility at par with the International standards. Every cabin is well-appointed with services and amenities like LCD TV, Direct Dial Telephone, choice of twin or king-size bed, Channel music, electronic safety deposit, private bathrooms with plus toiletries, DVD players and much more.
During your stay in these luxury cabins, you can enjoy the impeccable services of the well-mannered, dedicated and courteous staff.

Maharaja's Express India: Maharajas' Express History

Luxury train traveling in India has come a long way since the introduction of Palace on Wheels train in 1982 for promotion of tourism in Rajasthan. The most recent and unarguably the most luxurious tourist train in India with finesse at par with the Orient Express of the West, Maharajas Express has redefined the art of elegant train traveling in India. A fascinating voyage across some of the finest destinations in India let you discover the true spirit of this incredible nation.

One of the most expensive and luxurious luxury train rides in the world, the salons of the Maharaja Express train draws inspiration from the private saloons of the erstwhile Maharajas of India. Even before the inception of rail traveling in India, Maharajahs of India had a keen fascination with these moving wonders on wheels invented by James Watt.

Many Maharajahs of India ruling various princely states took the initiative to build their own lines whereas many had their heir apparent built miles of narrow gauge lines where they could play with their personal toy trains. Even as Maharaja of Vadodara built his then son and the present Maharaja of Vadodara a fully functional toy train, Maharaja of Gwalior used to proudly flaunt his silver model train chugging along the center of his banqueting table to the dignitaries and officers of East India Company.

In the era of Raj, many Maharajahs had their own personal carriages draped in luxury used for occasions such as state visits, nuptial sojourn and hunting trips. Many had been built and designed in art deco style. Sylvan inlays, exquisite carvings and elegant tapestries along with exquisite mirror and jewel work exuded an unmistakable élan. All this and more spoke volumes about the splendor and pomp of the Maharajahs of erstwhile princely states of India.

Current salons of the train are designed to recreate the same old panache of the personal carriages of Indian Maharajahs. Each of the cabins including the dining coupes is suffused with nostalgia of past grandeur. Quaint décor fused together with the contemporary amenities create an aura of sheer opulence and 5 Star pampering inside the cabins of Maharaja Express.

The journeys of Maharajas Express have even been compared to that of legendary Orient Express of the West in refinement and luxury. From every modern amenity which money can buy to eco-friendly technologies and services, every aspect of an elegant train journey has been looked into with meticulous diligence.

A truly world class train journey is promised in each of the 5 itineraries offered by the train. With each destination as vivid as the confounding colors of India and tours encompassing palaces, fortresses, World Heritage Sites, cultural sightseeing and spirituality of India, the royal colors of India and its rich heritage sprinkled across vast geography do come alive in each of these pre-crafted journeys.