The Maharajas' Express is a luxury tourist train owned and operated by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation. It runs on 5 circuits covering more than 12 destinations across North-West and Central India, mainly centered on Rajasthan between the months of October and April.
The Maharajas' Express was voted "The World's Leading Luxury Train" four times in a row at The World Travel Awards in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. It is the most expensive luxury train in the World. Maharajas' Express also received the first runner up award in the Specialist Train Operators Category at Conde Nast Travelers Reader Choice Travel Award in 2011.
The luxury train service was started in March 2010. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) and Cox and Kings India Ltd., had signed a joint venture to set up a company called Royale Indian Rail Tours Ltd. (RIRTL) to oversee the functioning and management of the Maharaja Express. This joint venture was terminated on 12 August 2011 and the train is now being operated exclusively by IRCTC.
The Maharajas' Express train has been equipped with modern amenities to offer comfortable on board experiences to the guest, such as pneumatic suspension, live television, wifi, attached bathroom, dining cars, bar, lounge and souvenir shop. Larger cabins have roll-top baths and spacious sitting rooms.
The train comprises 23 carriages which include accommodation, dining, bar, lounge, generator and store cars. Accommodation is available in 14 guest carriages with total passenger capacity of 84. The train also has a lounge called the Rajah Club with a private bar, two dining cars and a dedicated bar car. An on-board souvenir boutique offers memorabilia for passengers.The train is also equipped with a water filtration plant.
14 carriages with 43 individual cabins provide seating and sleeping capacity for 88 guests. There are 20 Deluxe Cabins, 18 Junior Suites, 4 Suites and a Presidential Suite offering 5-star equivalent accommodation. Both the Suites and the Presidential suite has a bathtub in the toilet, in addition to the bath cubicle.
LCD televisions, eco-friendly toilets, direct dial phones, DVD player, internet, individual climate control and electronic safes are available in each guest cabin.
There are 5 carriages in the category of Deluxe Cabins, a total of 20 cabins accommodating 40 passengers (there are 12 Twin bed cabins and 8 double bed cabins). There are a total of 18 cabins in the category of Junior Suites, accommodating 36 passengers (there are 12 Twin bed Cabins and 6 Double bed cabins). Additionally, there are four Suites available, having large separate sitting and sleeping areas. A Presidential suite built on an entire rail carriage, incorporating a separate sitting-cum-dining room, a master bedroom and bathroom with shower and bathtub, a twin bedroom and bathroom with shower. The Maharajas' Express Presidential Suite is the first such a rail carriage of its kind in the world for commercial use.
The train has two dining cars designed for full five dining service, each with a seating capacity of 42 guests at a time so that all the guests dine together. The train has a state of the art kitchen car designed to provide a range of cuisines. The restaurants are named Rang Mahal and Mayur Mahal. Mayur Mahal (the Peacock restaurant) has peacock feather theme in its décor. Restaurant menus include traditional Indian cuisines along with Continental, Chinese and International cuisines.
A dedicated bar carriage, the Rajah Club, offers wines, liqueurs, spirits and beers along with snacks and starters and a lounge cum bar called the Safari bar equipped with a multilingual library and board games offers a casual lounge experience. The tariff includes drinks on board, the drinks served in the bar are IMFL ( Indian Manufactured foreign Liquor)
In the year 2012, IRCTC introduced five new journeys of the Maharajas' Express, of which two are short-term Golden Triangle (Delhi, Jaipur and Agra) tours and rest three are week-long pan-Indian voyages.
Duration: 7 Nights / 8 Days
Destinations Covered: Mumbai – Ajanta – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Agra - Delhi
Duration: 3 nights / 4 days
Destinations Covered: Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi.
Duration: 3 Nights / 4 Days
Destinations Covered: Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi
Duration: 7 Nights / 8 Days
Destinations Covered: Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Gwalior – Orchha – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Lucknow – Delhi
Duration: 7 Nights OR 8 Days
Destinations Covered: Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Balasinor – MumbaiVoted World Leading Luxury Train at World Travel Award 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016
1st Runner up in the Specialist Train Operators Category at Condé Nast Travellers Reader Choice Awards 2011
Adjudged Best Luxury Train at CNBC Travel Awards 2010