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The Maharaja Express, Golden Chariot set to roll, Buddha Pilgrimage Circuit too

By Priti Prakash | PUBLISHED: 18, Jul 2022, 16:40 pm IST | UPDATED: 18, Jul 2022, 16:50 pm IST

The Maharaja Express, Golden Chariot set to roll, Buddha Pilgrimage Circuit too New Delhi: If you haven’t seen the Oriental Express in Europe, Golden Eagle, Rovos Rail or The Rocky Mountaineer, nothing to worry really. Here in India we have our own where you can enjoy luxury train journeys at your own convenience. There’ s good news for travel enthusiasts looking for a royal, grand and majestic journey to witness rustic and local flavors.  IRCTC has restarted Maharaja Luxury Express train for Rajasthan and Golden Chariot in Karnataka after a the lull of the pandemic. A chance to witness luxury travelling with discounts is a sure shot temptation for an exciting getaway.

In a PATA initiative IRCTC luxury train officials informed that the twin projects are eyeing a good number of travelers as travelling opens up. With covid protocols like masking, sanitized coaches and staff, vaccination and medical help at demand and protocol as per government guidelines the trains are set to roll out from October 2022. The season that lasts till March 2023 has already seen 730 bookings domestically and internationally.

Maharaja Luxury Express

Maharaja Express is a flagship luxury train of IRCTC and is the newest luxury train in the country. The 23 carriage long train houses four different types of accommodation viz. Deluxe Cabins, Junior Suite Cabins, Suites and Presidential Suite named after semi precious and precious gemstones.

The Luxury Express traverses 3 routes starting from Delhi & Mumbai winding their way through the historic cities of Jaipur, Udaipur, Agra, Ranthambore, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Fatehpur Sikri, Khajurao & Orcha, informs Amresh Kumar, Joint General Manager, Tourism & Marketing, Maharaja Express & Golden Chariot. Informing further about the offers he said, 'The train tours are of approximately 3 /4 days to 6/7 days duration in different categories named Treasures of India, Indian Splendor, and Heritage of India etc.' Depending upon the chosen itinerary and cabin category, the fare of The Maharajas’ Express starts from US$3850 to US$ 23700 on double occupancy per person. For more details one can visit Maharajas' Express official website www.the-maharajas.com.

The highlights of the train are Cultural immersions, visits to forts and palaces, guided tours to World Heritage Sites, excursions into National Parks, organising folk dances at select destinations performed by local artists along with traditional Indian hospitality. The other specialties are gourmet dining onboard with plates of fine Limoges, edged with gold, Swarovski hand-cut crystal glasses and the cutlery monogrammed with the letter M. 84 persons can dine at a time. A first hand look at the train at:   
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1s_F5RIpRAATVfOI3tPNs9vspifzTTxxL/view?usp=sharing

Discounts are good. Special 35% discount on published tariff for Indian nationals on Direct/Online booking & Pay for one & your companion pays 50% only offer for the seasons 2021-22 and 2022-23.

The Golden Chariot

The Golden Chariot that starts in 9 October 2022 connects important tourist spots in the Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala as well as Tamil Nadu depending on the selected itinerary chosen to showcase the architecture, culture and history of this region. It is named after the Stone Chariot in the Vitthala Temple at Hampi and is operating between the months of October–April. To give a feel of history the carriages are named after various dynasties that ruled South India over several centuries like Hoysala, Sangama, Ganga, Chalukya, Vijaynagara, Kadamba etc.

This luxury train owned by KSTDC & run by IRCTC offers 3 nights/4 days and 6 nights/7 days trips to cities of ones choice depending on their interests, time and pocket. A 3 nights 4 day tour of Glimpses of Karnataka’s Delux cabin will cost $3000 whereas a Single Supplement costs $2250 which means the cost in Rupees will be 2,37,000 & Rs 1,77,750 respectively. The rates for 6 days/7 nights of Pride of Karnataka & Jewels of South differ accordingly. Prices can be checked on the Golden Chariot website www.goldenchariot.org  

Amresh Kumar informed, 'Each carriage has four cabins with mix of twin & double beds, 2 ultra modern but stately restaurants and a Bar serving wine, beer and spirts.' The train also has a Spa & Fitness Centre whose USP is a combination of traditional ayurvedic spa therapies & modern workout machines. For a glimpse of the train visit:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/18S1rXWNm3l8hTbUzwZOD7oPmdW1mK3F-/view

Buddhist Circuit Train…Pilgrimage Circuit

Spread far and wide across India & Nepal, covering all the important Buddhist destinations in one trip may be challenging.  But with The Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train, passengers can visit these sacred sites through one train journey.

Informing about the Buddhist Tourist circuit Dr Achyut Singh, Joint Director, Tourism & Marketing Buddhist Circuit Tourism Train said, ‘Buddhist tourist train covers all the places which had a significant impact on Buddha’s life and teachings’. Board the Buddhist train from Safdarjung Railway Station as it heads for religious and traditional Gaya. It offers7 nights/8 days journey which takes you to Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Nalanda, Sarnath & Ganga ghat arti. Earlier called the Mahaparinirvan Express, it will take you to Kushinagar and finally to Taj Mahal. For the 500 million Buddhist in world and 20 million living in India who wish to visit Buddha’s places at least once in their lifetime, this is the best bet. It has 4 departures this time.

Dr Achyut Singh informed, 'The Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train by IRCTC has special features like deluxe coaches for accommodation, two multi-cuisine restaurants, a separate seating area, a mini-library, a state-of-the-art kitchen, and even a foot massager onboard. 160 passengers can travel at a time.'

This too is offering discounts. A special promo offer, 'Pay For One & Your Companion Pays 50% Only' is currently available for Indian Nationals (including NRI, PIO, OCI). For more details, please visit www.irctcbuddhisttrain.com/special-offers