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Monday, July 25, 2016

Maharaja Express: For Rs 4.6 Lakh, Travel Like A King, On India's Most Luxurious Train

By SALEHA HASEEB | INNLIVE

The Maharaja Express, one of the most expensive and luxurious trains in the world that draws inspiration from the private saloons of the erstwhile Maharajas of India, is planning to offer a Maharaja experience to its travellers, literally.

IRCTC, an Indian Railways PSU, is making a list of scions of royal families to invite them to travel in the train so that it can offer people a journey with them. The move, ahead of the six-month travel season starting October, is to attract more passengers.

The list is likely to include Arvind Singh of Mewar, Yaduveera Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar of Mysore, Yuvraj Mandhatasinh Jadeja of Rajkot, Princess Rajyashree Kumari of Bikaner, Gaj Singh II of Jodhpur and Jaipur royal family’s Padmanabh Singh, among others. “The idea is ‘travel with Maharajas on Maharaja Express. It is like a royal family travelling on a royal train and people get to experience travelling with the royals,” said a senior railway officer.

Guests may get an opportunity to have a free-wheeling interaction with the royals like brief talks over high tea or while dining. There may be tailored sessions on life and events related to the dynasty. Maharaja Express occupants have been mainly foreign tourists and NRIs, who come in large groups to enjoy the five-star luxury on wheels. Designed to recreate the elegance and pageantry of the personal carriages of erstwhile Maharajas, the interiors of this luxury train in India are suffused with nostalgia.

The Maharaja Express has 14 guest carriages, each named after a precious stone. The Presidential Suite, the only one of its kind in the world, spans an entire carriage and is called Navratna. The train has a four-cabin configuration: Presidential Suite, Suite, Junior Suite and Deluxe Cabin.

Flagged off in 2010, the palace on wheels offers five fascinating journeys crisscrossing vibrant destinations, significant attractions and a vista of breathtaking landscapes, culture and heritage.

The journey, however, comes at a heavy price. For an eight-night, seven-day trip, a passenger has to shell out Rs 4.6 lakh for a Deluxe cabin, Rs 6.6 lakh for a Junior Suite, Rs 9.2 lakh for Suite and Rs 16 lakh for Presidential Suite. Restaurants Mayur Mahal and Rang Mahal serve culinary masterpieces. Bars offer all kinds of liquor.
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