India by Rail


It’s only operated since March, but it has been named to the World’s Top 25 Trains by the Society of International Railway Travelers. We speak of India’s latest luxe train, Maharajas’ Express, truly a special way to see a special country.

   Remarkably, India has four trains on the Top 25 list. But then, rail travel in India is huge. There is an enormous rail network, and the trains reach even the remotest destinations. The Maharajas’ Express has 19 cars and its itineraries cover fabled destinations such as Varanasi and the Ganges River, Bandhavgarh National Park, Agra and Khajuraho.

   Maharajas’ Express Classical India journey is the definitive way to see the architectural and spiritual jewels of the nation. Seven days and six nights may sound like a lot on a train, but I assure you it’s not. (In fact, when I did the classic cross-Europe journey on the Orient-Express, I did not want it to end.) The stops make it interesting and diverse. Some of the highlights: Varanasi, the city on the banks of the Ganges River that is as spiritual as it is chaotic (this is where the burning ghats are, so the activity on the river banks is, as you can imagine, intense); Lucknow, where travelers enjoy an Indian evening in the private residence of the Maharaja of Kotwara, Muzaffar Ali; and tiger tracking in the Bandhavgarh National Park.

   From $6,265 per person for 2011 departures.

The opulent Mayur Mahal Restaurant

A suite, with traditional fretwork and textiles

A Junior Suite has all the little luxuries.

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