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Deccan Odyssey may restart ops: Here are the other luxury trains you can travel in
The Indian Express | 21 hours ago | 10-11-2022 | 07:40 pm
The Indian Express
21 hours ago | 10-11-2022 | 07:40 pm

Deccan Odyssey, a luxury train launched to promote Maharashtra tourism, may start ferrying tourists again next year. The luxury train had halted operations for over 30 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Deccan Odyssey, which is operated by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), takes visitors on seven night-eight day trips across Maharashtra.Here’s a list of the major luxury trains in India:The train’s royal origins give it its name ‘Palace on Wheels’.  Its carriages once seated the rulers of princely states of Rajputana, Gujarat, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Viceroy of British India. These luxurious coaches lay abandoned post Independence till 1981-82, when the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation and Indian Railways launched a special heritage train for tourists visiting Rajasthan.Modifications and infrastructural changes were made to the coaches without losing the royal aesthetics and keeping the interiors intact.A Broad Guage version of the Palace On Wheels was introduced in 1996, where all the cabins had private attached bathrooms.In September 2017, new spacious train carriages were hitched to the Palace on Wheels giving travellers the option to book either Deluxe or Super Deluxe Cabins.This luxury train was introduced by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC). The first proposal to launch a deluxe train tour in Maharashtra was made in 2001 and, accordingly, the MTDC and Indian Railways signed an MoU in the same year to turn this proposal into a reality.In 2003, the ‘Blue Limousine On Wheels’, as it is named, was ready. On January 19, 2004, the inaugural journey of the train set off from CST Mumbai.The Taj Group of Hotels collaborated with Deccan Odyssey to offer a 5-star hotel facility onboard to guests. Each of the 21 coaches of Deccan Odyssey are designed to give the traveller a taste of the elegant travelling style of the Maharajas of the bygone era.* Maharashtra Splendor: Mumbai (CST) – Nashik – Aurangabad (Ellora Caves) – Ajanta Caves – Kolhapur – Goa – Sindhudurg – Mumbai* Indian Odyssey: Delhi – Sawai Madhopur – Ranthambore National Park – Agra – Jaipur – Udaipur – Vadodara – Aurangabad – Ellora Caves – Mumbai* Jewels Of The Deccan: Mumbai (CST) – Bijapur – Aihole – Pattadakal – Hampi – Hyderabad – Ellora Caves – Ajanta Caves – Mumbai* Maharashtra Wild Trail: Mumbai (CST) – Aurangabad (Ellora Caves) – Pench (Ramtek) – Tadoba – Ajanta – Nashik – Mumbai)* Indian Sojourn: Mumbai (CST) – Vadodara – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Agra – Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambore) – Jaipur – Delhi* Hidden Treasures of Gujarat: Mumbai (CST) – Vadodara – Palitana – Sasan Gir & Somnath – Little Rann of Kutch – Modhera & Patan – Nashik – MumbaiAn MoU signed between the Karnataka State Tourism and Development Corporation (KSTDC) and Indian Railways in 2002 resulted in the Golden Chariot, south India’s first luxury train. The luxury train was named after the famous stone chariot in Hampi.Then president Pratibha Patil on February 2, 2008 gave a ceremonial presidential flag-off to the Golden Chariot at Yeshwanthpur Railway Station. On March 10, 2008, Golden Chariot chugged on its maiden voyage from Bengaluru to Goa, making its way through the picturesque destinations of Karnataka.The Maple Group was at the helm of hospitality services on board.It took almost 900 layouts by engineers to finalise the design of the train, and 200 carpenters to bring to fruition their ideas for the train to reflect the aesthetics of Dravidian cultural. “Purple and gold were chosen owing to their respective significance. While deep purple symbolises elegance and refinement, gold represents the golden jubilee celebrations of the state,” reads a description on the Golden Chariot official website.* Pride of Karnataka (6 nights, 7 days): Bengaluru – Bandipur – Mysore – Halebidu – Chikmagalur – Hampi – Badami – Goa – Bengaluru* Jewels of South: Bengaluru – Mysore – Hampi – Mahabalipuram – Thanjavur, and Chettinad Kumarakom – Cochin – Bengaluru* Glimpses of Karnataka (3 nights, 4 days): Bengaluru – Bandipur – Mysore – Hampi – Bengaluru* Majestic Karnataka (2 nights, 3 days): Bangalore – Mysuru – Hampi – Goa* Sojourn of India (3 nights 4 days)The Maharajas Express made its maiden voyage called ‘Gems of India’ on October 17, 2012. The train draws inspiration from the private saloons of the erstwhile Maharajas’ of India. The three-night-four-day journey, touring the ‘Golden Triangle’ covering Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, first began at New Delhi’s Safdarjung Railway Station. The itinerary later expanded to include seven nights and eight days.The routes also now include The Indian Panorama, The Indian Splendour, The Heritage of India and Treasures of India (details below).* Indian Splendour (6 nights, 7 days): Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Mumbai* Heritage of India (6 nights, 7 days): Mumbai – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore and Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Delhi* Indian Panorama (6 nights/7 days): Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore and Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Orchha and Khajuraho – Varanasi – Delhi* Treasures of India (3 nights, 4 days): Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi

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