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  • 7 Super Luxury Trains In India That Are Worth Spending A Fortune In 2024

28 May 2024

If the fantasy of traveling back in time and experiencing the grand royalty interests and intrigues you, then luxury trains in India might well exceed your expectations. Managed by Indian Railways and the IRCTC, there are a total of 7 luxury trains in India – namely Maharajas’ Express, Palace on Wheels, The Deccan Odyssey, Golden Chariot, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, Royal Orient Train, and Fairy Queen Express.

These elite luxury trains of India cater to tourists who wish to explore the rich cultural heritage of India in the lap of luxury. Their grandeur is evident from mind-boggling interiors, majestic ambiance, lavish gastronomical fare, stringent security arrangements, and almost everything you can imagine.

Journeys in these trains offer matchless comfort onboard and allow travelers to explore some of the most popular tourist destinations of India. Take these luxury train tours in India to explore India in ways, not possible otherwise.

7 Best Luxury Trains In India

While you’re looking for an exclusive luxury experience, these best trains in India will take you on a whole different level. Each train will certainly provide you with some of the best experiences that you will simply cherish throughout your journey. Here is a list which has all the essential details like luxury trains in India fare and more! Don’t believe us? Scroll down to know more!

1. Maharajas’ Express

Enjoy the royal treatment on board the Maharajas’ Express

Image Source

Best among all Indian luxury trains, Maharajas’ Express is also one of the 5 most luxurious trains in the world. This half-a-mile long train boasts of professionals prepared to meet the highest quality of hospitality, fully stocked bars, lavish suites, butler services, and whatnot, and is one of the most expensive trains in India !

Tourists onboard get to experience the richness of the country in the most distinguished way possible on this most premium train in India . Just for the record, it was voted ‘World’s Leading Luxury Train’ for the years 2012, 2013, and 2014, consecutively.

  • The Heritage of India (Mumbai – Ajanta – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Agra – Delhi)
  • Gems of India (Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi)
  • The Indian Panorama (Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Fatehpur – Sikri – Agra – Gwalior – Orchha – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Lucknow – Delhi)
  • Indian Splendour (Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Balasinor – Mumbai)
  • Treasures of India (Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi)

Maharajas’ Express is operational from October to April and plies on 5 different routes as mentioned above. The duration and ticket costs for these routes are as follows:

Gems of India and Treasures of India – 4-day journeys for INR 3,08,280 (Single Supplement) Indian Splendour and The Indian Panorama – 7 days journey for INR 4,88,880 (Single Supplement) Heritage of India – 7 days journey for INR 5,12,400 (Single Supplement) Food – Vegetarian food and eggs are served here

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2. Palace On Wheels

Interiors of deluxe room in ‘Palace On Wheels’

Palace on Wheels is another on the list of luxury train rides in India that was refurbished and re-launched in 2009 to promote tourism. Luxurious cabins, exquisite wallpapers, well-stocked bar, gracious hospitality, and local culture displayed by the artistic use of paintings and handicrafts – it is very much like a palace on wheels that recreates the bygone era of kings and their royal palaces! No wonder why it was voted as 4th best luxurious train in the world. This is one of the best royal trains in India . If you are planning a luxurious trip to Rajasthan, this is the best bet!

Route: Delhi – Jaipur – Sawai Madhopur – Chittorgarh – Udaipur – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Bharatpur – Agra – Delhi

Months of operation for Palace on Wheels are from September to April. The 7 nights, 8 days journey includes 7 stoppages, where tourists are taken for city tours. Key attractions covered by this train are:

  • Delhi – India Gate, Lotus Temple, Qutab Minar, Humayun’s Tomb
  • Jaipur – Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Rajasthali, City Palace, Jantar Mantar
  • Sawai Madhopur & Chittorgarh – Ranthambore National Park, Chittorgarh Fort
  • Udaipur – Jag Niwas, Lake Pichhola
  • Jaisalmer – Yellow Sandstone Fort, ancient mansions
  • Jodhpur – Mehrangarh Fort, grand palaces, shopping tour in Jodhpur
  • Bharatpur – Keoladeo Ghana National Park
  • Agra – Fatehpur-Sikri, the Taj Mahal

Starting fares: For international travelers: US$1328 + Service tax (per person per night) For Indian travelers: INR 1,04,240 + Service tax (per person per night) Food – Vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are available in Chinese, Continental, and Indian cuisines

3. The Deccan Odyssey

A beautiful cabin of Deccan Odyssey - one of the luxury trains in India

Inspired by the traveling style of the kings and rulers during different royal eras of ancient India, Deccan Odyssey is a 5-star hotel on wheels that takes you to some fascinating destinations of India. Royal treatment for passengers, palace-like interiors of the cabins, multi-cuisine restaurants, lounges, a conference car, an onboard spa, and other state-of-the-art amenities make it one of the best luxury trains in India and in the world as well.

  • Maharashtra Splendor (Mumbai – Nasik – Ellora Cave – Ajanta Caves – Kolhapur – Goa – Ratnagiri – Mumbai)
  • Indian Odyssey (Delhi – Sawai Madhopur – Agra – Jaipur – Udaipur – Vadodara – Ellora Caves – Mumbai)
  • Hidden Treasures of Gujarat (Mumbai – Vadodara – Palitana – Sasan Gir – Somnath – Little Rann of Kutch – Modhera – Patan – Nashik – Mumbai)
  • Indian Sojourn (Mumbai – Vadodara – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Agra – Sawai Madhopur – Jaipur – Delhi)
  • Jewels of the Deccan (Mumbai – Bijapur – Aihole – Pattadakal – Hampi – Hyderabad – Ellora Caves – Ajanta Caves – Mumbai)
  • Maharashtra Wild Trail (Mumbai – Aurangabad – Ramtek – Tadoba – Ajanta – Nashik – Mumbai)

The Deccan Odyssey operates from October to April and the duration for all 6 routes is 7 nights, 8 days.

Starting fares: For international travelers: US$ 8,330 + 5% Service tax For Indian travelers: INR 6,94,613 + 5% Service tax Food – Vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are available in Indian and continental cuisines

Suggested Read: Seven Sisters Of India

4. Golden Chariot

The Golden Chariot - Indian luxury train

The Golden Chariot is one of the superb luxury trains in India that takes you to some of the most famous tourist places in South India. Launched in 2008, the Golden Chariot is well known for its impeccable hospitality. The train has AC chambers with royal interiors, bars, restaurants serving multi-variety cuisines, a mini gym, Ayurveda spa, and other 5-star facilities, making it one of the special trains in Southern railway. Regarded by tourists as one of the best luxury trains of India, it was also awarded as ‘Asia’s Leading Luxury Train’ in the year 2013.

  • Pride of the South (Bangalore – Kabini – Mysore – Hassan – Hampi – Badami – Goa – Bangalore)
  • Southern Splendour (Bangalore – Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry – Thanjavur – Madurai – Thiruvananthapuram – Alleppey – Kochi – Bangalore)

The Golden Chariot runs from October to March , and the duration for both routes is 7 nights, 8 days.

The Golden Chariot train price in India per cabin on twin sharing basis for Jewels Of South: For international travelers : US$8,715 + Service tax For Indian travelers : INR 7,32,060 + Service tax

Starting fares per cabin on twin sharing basis for Glimpses of Karnataka: For international travelers: US$5,807 + 4.5% Service tax For Indian travelers: INR 4,87,746 + 4.5% Service tax Food – Vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are available

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5. Royal Orient Train

Deluxe hall coach of Royal Orient Train, one of the luxury trains in India

Embark on a royal journey by the Royal Orient Train and enjoy a delightful experience of traveling to famous tourist destinations onboard one of the best luxury trains in India . Journey by luxury train in India is a combination of absolute chivalry and unimaginable opulence. It is definitely an unmatchable royal train in India .

The palatial-style comfortable cabins, well-trained hospitality professionals, multi-cuisine restaurant with the “Watering Hole” Bar, spacious baths, a library, and almost all facilities that come to your mind while imagining yourself in a 5-star hotel – Royal Orient Train has them for planning luxurious train trips.

Route: Delhi – Chittorgarh/Udaipur -Junagarh/Veraval- Sasan Gir/Dilwara – Palitana- Sarkhej- Ahmedabad- Jaipur- Delhi

The Royal Orient Train runs all year round, and the duration is 7 nights, 8 days. City attractions one can see en route are:

  • Delhi – Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, India Gate
  • Chittorgarh/Udaipur – Chittorgarh Fort, City Palace, boating in Lake Pichhola, Shilpgram, and Royal Gardens
  • Junagarh/Veraval – Ashokan Rock EDICT of 3rd Century BC, Darbar Hall Museum, Mausoleum of Nawab
  • Mahabat Khanji, Somnath Temple on the shore of the Arabian Sea
  • Sasan Gir National Park – Lion Sanctuary
  • Dilwara – St. Paul’s church and Mandir Beach
  • Palitana – Jain Temple atop Shatrunjaya Hills
  • Ahmedabad – Gandhi Ashram, Calico Museum of Textiles, Sidi Sayyad’s Mosque
  • Jaipur – Amar Fort and elephant ride, Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar (observatory)

Starting fares per cabin per person for one night on twin sharing basis from October-March: For international travelers: US$200 + Service tax For Indian travelers: INR 7,480 + Service tax Starting fares per cabin per person for one night on twin sharing basis from April-September: For international travelers: US$150 + Service tax For Indian travelers: N.A. Food – N.A.

Please Note:  The fares mentioned above are estimates. Please refer the main website for prices and bookings.

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6. Fairy Queen Express

Fairy Queen Express rambling through the lush green hills

Last but not the least, the Fairy Queen Express is one of the oldest trains providing luxury train journeys in India. Powered by the oldest serving steam locomotive built in around 1855, Fairy Queen has its own charm as it rambles through to Alwar in Rajasthan. With a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records and a recipient of National Tourism Award, Fairy Queen easily makes it to the list of most luxurious trains in India.

Route: Delhi – Alwar – Sariska- Alwar – Delhi

Runs from October to March on 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month. Duration of the journey is 1 night, 2 days. Attractions at its two stoppages – Sariska and Alwar – are:

  • Sariska – Lake Palace, Sariska National Park
  • Alwar – Alwar Museum

Starting fares for full package (Two-way train journey + sightseeing / stay at Sariska for an adult) INR 15,200 + Government taxes/Service taxes Food – Many options are available

Please Note: Routes, schedules, boarding, and deboarding points, and tariffs for the luxury train tours in India mentioned in this article are subject to change in accordance with directives of the Government of India with prior information.

7. Heritage On Wheels

Heritage on wheels is one of the luxury trains in India

Image Courtesy: architecturaldigest

One of the oldest luxury trains in India , the Heritage on Wheels showcases the traditions and culture of Rajasthan that have been passed from one generation to another in the finest manner possible. Adorning interiors that never fails to teleport a traveler to the golden days of the state, the Heritage on Wheels is one of the most expensive trains in India. With the floors of this train being covered by local restaurant that serves authentic and continental cuisine, and the rooms that never fail to reek of the Royal vibes, this is one of those trains that one should definitely experience at least once in their lifetime. Making travelers feel like a queen or a king, this luxury train in India will surely offer a memorable experience.

Route: Jaipur – Bikaner – Tal Chhapar and Shekhawati – Jaipur – Depart

Some of the popular attractions that one see when traveling on the Heritage on Wheels for 3 nights and 4 days are:

  • Bikaner : Junagarh Fort, Haat, Camel Safari, Lalgarh Palace, National Research Centre
  • Tal Chhapar & Shekhawati : Laxmangarh Fort, Goenka Haveli, Sikar, Churu, Mandawa, Nawalgarh
  • Jaipur : Hawa Mahal, Amber Palace, City Palace, Jantar Mantar

Starting fares: For single occupancy: $500 per person, per night For double occupancy: $300 per person, per night For triple occupancy: $250 per person, per night Food – Many options are available in Indian, Continental, and Chinese cuisines

Further Read: 23 Types of People You Meet While Traveling In An Indian Train

So next time you plan to travel, make sure you take a journey in these luxury trains of India to know what’s so surreal about it. After all, experiences have the best answers. So, go through this luxury trains in India list and plan a trip to India for an amazing luxurious experience in these trains and have the time of your life with the journeys stored herein!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Luxury Trains In India

How many luxury trains are there in India?

There are 7 luxury trains in India. You can choose the best one for you according to your preferences.

Which is the cheapest luxury train in India?

Maharaja’s Express is the cheapest luxury train in India. You can check the updated price at IRCTC website.

Which is the most luxurious train in the world?

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is the most luxurious train in the world. Other famous luxury trains of the world are The Golden Eagle, Blue Train, The Ghan, and Rovos Rail.

Which country has best railway system?

Japan has the best railway system. The United States has the maximum connectivity, followed by China, India, and Russia.

What is the most famous train in the world?

20th Century Limited and Trans-Siberian Express are the most famous train in the world. The Flying Scotsman, Frontier Mail, The Grand Trunk Express, The Mallard, etc. are the other famous trains.

Which is the best train in India?

Here is a list of some of the best trains in India: 1. Palace On Wheels 2. Maharaja Express 3. Deccan Odyssey 4. The Golden Chariot 5. Lifeline Express 6. Mahaparinirvan Express 7. Royal Rajasthan On Wheels 8. Thar Express 9. Maitree Express 10. Royal Orient Train 11. Red Ribbon Express 12. Fairy Express

How much does a journey in Maharaja Express cost?

The approximate price-range of various tours in Maharaja Express are: 1. The Indian Splendor (7 days/ 6 nights) - INR 4,24,400 - INR 16,82,000/per person 2. The Heritage Of India (7 days/ 6 nights) - INR 4,50,000 - INR 16,82,000/per person 3. The Indian Panorama (7 days/ 6 nights) - INR 4,24,400 - INR 16,82,000/per person 4. Treasures of India (4 days/ 3 nights) - INR 2,72,000 - INR 9,15,500/per person

Which is the fastest train in India?

New Delhi Bhopal Shatabdi Express is the fastest train in India, with a maximum speed of 150 km/h (93 mph).

Which is the slowest train in India?

Mettupalayam Ooty Nilgiri Passenger is the slowest train in India.

Which are the longest train routes in India?

Below is the list of trains with longest train routes in India: 1. Vivek Express (4,273 kms) – Dibrugarh to Kanyakumari 2. Trivandrum (3,931 Kms) – Silchar Superfast Express 3. Himsagar Express (3,797 Kms) – Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra to Kanyakumari 4. Navyug Express (3,690 Kms) – Mangalore Central to Jammu Tawi 5. Ten Jammu Express (3,642 km) – Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu) to Jammu 6. Amritsar Kochuveli Express (3,597 Kms) – Amritsar to Kochuveli (Trivandrum) 7. Humsafar Express (3,570 Kms) - Agartala to Bengaluru Cantonment 8. New Tinsukia Weekly SF Express (3611 Kms) – KSR Bengaluru to New Tinsukia Junction 9. Dehradun Kochuveli Superfast Express (3459 Kms) – Dehradun to Kochuveli (Trivandrum) 10. Raptisagar Express (3437 Kms) – Ernakulam (Kochi) to Barauni

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Rediscover the age of decadence and romance. Step inside the Palace on Wheels and discover the elegance and pomp of a bygone era. This moving palace crisscrosses through the land of Maharajas Rajasthan. Traveling in utmost luxury and pampering no less a maharaja for the royal treatment is the byword of this luxury train journey. Discover the vibrant colors of Rajasthan in a journey like no other as you travel on board the Palace on Wheels.




Introduced in 1982, Palace on Wheels marked the beginning of royal train journeys in India. The train is a microcosm of the opulence and romance of a bygone era of Rajput princes.

More Detail About Train

Route Map


7 Nights / 8 Days

Economy Class, Deluxe Cabins, Super Deluxe Suites

Photogallery & video

Start planning for your next journey with a glimpse into the world of luxury train travel with Palace on Wheels.

Ms. Andrea Wood & Ms. Camilyn Petersen

Palace on Wheels - Luxury Train Travel in India

Serving as an inspiration for royal heritage travel in India, the iconic train is India’s first luxury train and offers matchless experiences. Providing a wonderful opportunity to explore Rajasthan like never before, Palace on Wheels was the preferred choice of the Nizams of Hyderabad and the Maharajas of Rajasthan to travel in style. Furthermore, this heritage luxury train promises an exciting sojourn, excellent transport facility, world-class hospitality and an exclusively crafted journey.

Palace on Wheels, a joint venture of Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation and the Indian Railways, bestows avid travelers an experience of voyaging in the lap of luxury. A pioneer amongst the Indian luxury trains, this royal wagon has won many accolades. From a personal butler to cater all your needs to the latest amenities, you will find them all on board to pamper yourself to the core.

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Welcome to luxury train travel in India! Embark on a voyage across the magnificent landscapes and territories of India. Sail into an age of romance and royalty, discover the soul of this incredible country. From world heritage sites, forts and palaces to an array of cultural experiences crafted exclusively for you. Select from 6 great rail journeys in India on board the Deccan Odyssey and rediscover the art of elegant train traveling.



India’s very own Blue Train, the Deccan Odyssey luxury train in India, is equipped with state-of-the-art amenities to offer a lavish and pampering ride to the guests.



With 6 tastefully crafted journeys, the Deccan Odyssey travels to some of the most prominent destinations across India in Maharashtra, Rajasthan & Gujarat.


Heritage, spirituality, golden triangle, forts & palaces, sand dunes, wildlife and an array of world heritage sites; the Deccan Odyssey journey is truly enlightening.


The Deccan Odyssey luxury train tours are packages without baggage. All 6 journeys come inclusive of accommodation, dining, sightseeing and more.

Get ready for an experience of a lifetime, planning a journey into the world of luxury train travel with Deccan Odyssey.


Deccan Odyssey - Luxury Train in India

Introduced in 2005 with the aim of promoting tourism in Maharashtra, Deccan Odyssey is a collaboration between the Indian Railway and the State Government of Maharashtra. This luxurious train covers the tourist spots of Maharashtra and lets travelers get a glimpse of the state’s rich cultural heritage. There are 6 journeys of the Deccan Odyssey train; each with a unique name.

Deccan Odyssey offers all the luxuries to the passengers in the centrally air-conditioned train. The well-furnished Deluxe Cabins and Suite Cabins with attached bathrooms are equipped with state-of-the-art amenities and provide lavish rides to the passengers. Other onboard facilities include Dining Car, Saloon, Bar Lounge, Mini Gymnasium, Conference Hall, and Ayurvedic Spa. This royal ride is like a five-star hotel with all the comforts of the wheel. Some striking features of the Deccan Odyssey include 21 coaches containing 12 passenger cars, one conference car, 2 dining cars, 2 generators, luggage cars, 2 staff cars, 1 spa car, and 1 bar car.

All 6 journeys come inclusive of luxury accommodation, dining, sightseeing, and more. It is a perfect way to rediscover the art of elegant train traveling.

Destinations Covered By Deccan Odyssey Luxury Train

During the Deccan Odyssey train journey you will get the opportunity to explore the popular tourist attractions of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka. You will get glimpses of lush paddy fields, quaint villages, beautiful countryside, and breathtaking landscapes during the train travel. The 6 distinct journeys offered by Deccan Odyssey Train are namely –

  • Indian Odyssey
  • Indian Sojourn
  • Maharashtra Splendor
  • Cultural Odyssey
  • Heritage Odyssey
  • Maharashtra Wild Trail

This luxury train is a pride of the Central Indian Railway and takes its guests to Jaipur, Kolhapur, Daulatabad, Nasik, Ajanta Caves, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, and Kutch. During the train journey, delight in the mystic beauty of these tourist destinations. Enjoy the enchanting beauty of Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Goa, and Pune. Other popular places to explore during the Deccan Odyssey train journey include Mumbai, Agra, Sawai Madhopur, Delhi, Badami, Shirdi, Vadodara, Bijapur, and Ahmedabad.

Travel through the majestic and lustrous Western Ghats, Deccan Plateau, and Konkan region. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ancient temples, historical monuments, and national parks. Enjoy the exhilarating wildlife safari at Pench National Park, Tadoba National Park, and Gir Forest. Marvel at the Ajanta Ellora caves and ruins of Hampi. Savor the lip-smacking cuisines of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and the best seafood in Goa. The journey becomes even more enthralling as the Deccan Odyssey Luxury Train journey is a perfect amalgamation of the cultural heritage and luxuries of travel.

How to Book Deccan Odyssey Luxury Trains?

You can book a Deccan Odyssey Train with us at Indian Luxury Trains without hassle. Our tariff includes onboard accommodation, sightseeing tours, scrumptious meals, and entry fees for monuments or palaces. You can check the booking policies that can assist you in planning your journey onboard the Deccan Odyssey. Discover India’s best popular states while enjoying all the comforts and luxuries with our Deccan Odyssey Luxury Train journey.

Let your true self emerge as you discover the best of Southern splendor with our amazing deals and offers on Deccan Odyssey Luxury Train. Get the opportunity to meet new people and gain life experiences. Also, experience the culture, beauty, and history of Central India in its purest form. We provide an easy-to-quick approach to reserve your seats on the Deccan Odyssey train.

Finalize your departure dates and proceed with booking on our website. Keep in mind that the train is operational from September to May only. So plan accordingly. Deccan Odyssey train has 6 meticulously crafted journeys of 7 nights and 8 days. All the journeys start from Mumbai except Indian Odyssey, which starts from Delhi and ends in Mumbai.

Choose the journey from the list of Deccan Odyssey Luxury trains and then fill out the inquiry form available on our website. Complete the information about the passenger name, journey date, and number of cabins. Once you fill in your details, you will soon receive a call from our train travel expert, who will guide you with all the information and assist you with completing the booking.

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Luxury Trains in India not just take you to places, but they get you there in style. Presenting a seamless fusion of the romance of a bygone era with contemporary finesse, luxury train journeys in India offer unparalleled ways to explore the true essence of Indian culture. These elite trains cater to tourists who wish to experience the rich cultural heritage in the lap of opulence.

This luxury train comes with massive grandeur, mind-blowing interiors, stringent security, and lavish affairs. Embark your journey with matchless comfort onboard with Indian Luxury Trains (ILT). Indian Luxury Trains (ILT) is India’s first luxury train travel portal that brings together all luxury trains operating across India on a single platform.

Maharaja Express

Maharaja Express

The Golden Chariot

The Golden Chariot

Deccan Odyssey

Deccan Odyssey

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My Experience

Overall, the trip was a great experience. The tours and the guides were excellent. You could perhaps not charge for soft drinks and beer..... charge a one-time fee and include these items. It will make you look good and not cheap.

Maharajas Express

"Really the Maharajas Express is covering the most prominent tourist destinations such as India's capital Delhi, City of Nawabs "Lucknow", flim city "Mumbai", Agra's “Taj Mahal, Khajuraho, Jaipur etc. It could become an exciting tour."

Brilliant Staff & Experience

Each and every staff gave us exemplary service! The Chef and his crew were absolutely fantastic, and so were the tour guides.

Luxury Train Travel in India - A Magnificent Journey into India's Resplendent Panorama

Step onboard the Luxury Trains in India, and enter a world overflowing in opulence, while exuding an aura which transports you back to the days of Maharajas. Discover the various charms of India even as you experience the magnificent hospitality and lose yourself in the arms of comfort onboard….

India’s tryst with luxury rail journeys commenced with the introduction of Palace on Wheels train in 1982, and since then, luxury trains have achieved one milestone after another. As the guest, relaxed in his personal cabin, takes a sip of a heady cocktail and stares outside at the breathtaking scenery greeting his eyes, he realizes the incredibility of it all.

Indian Luxury Trains (ILT) holds the distinction of being India’s first luxury train travel portal which brings together all luxury trains operating across India on a single platform. The luxury trains of India, namely Maharajas’ Express, Palace on Wheels, Deccan Odyssey, The Golden Chariot, The Fairy Queen, Maha Parinirvan Express and Palace on Wheels let you embark on a fascinating journey to discover the heritage of India. When it comes to experiencing luxury train travels in India, you can be rest assured that we deliver outstanding service and travel expertise to our customers. Besides, this is the one-stop window for getting access to information like latest news, reviews, details of train facilities, schedules, tariff, journeys, photos and videos. Moreover, we also assist you with your bookings and other formalities through our authorized agents and affiliates. Our expertly crafted tour packages take you to the most enchanting destinations, while being surrounded by the choicest of comforts.

Luxury Trains in India

The renowned luxury trains of India, namely Palace on Wheels, Deccan Odyssey, The Golden Chariot, and Maharajas’ Express, welcome you to embark on a beguiling journey to discover the rich heritage of India.

A grand version of a blue limousine, the Deccan Odyssey train includes all the flavors, traditions, and authenticity of India. With its royal carriages, take a closer look at the lives of local people at several Indian destinations. Begin your rail journey to explore the royal palaces, historical monuments, sandy beaches, ancient caves, and other religious sites.

History –  Maharashtra Tourism Rail Corporation (MTDC) after taking inspiration from the royal carriages used by Indian royals, brought Deccan Odyssey to life. MTDC Deccan Odyssey took its first journey on 16 January 2004 and since then, this deluxe train has never failed to impress its guests with top-notch services and warm hospitality.

Journeys –   Maharashtra Splendor ,  Indian Odyssey ,  Indian Sojourn ,  Hidden Treasures of Gujarat ,  Jewels of the Deccan , and  Maharashtra Wild Trail

Destinations Covered –  The Deccan Odyssey train route covers major Indian destinations with its 6 carefully designed itineraries covering destinations in and around Mumbai, cities in North and South India, places in the Deccan plateau, Indian Wildlife, and the best of Gujarat.

Duration –  All the Deccan Odyssey journeys will take 7 Nights/ 8 Days to complete.

Awards & Recognitions –  In 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, Deccan Odyssey won the World Travel Awards under the category ‘Asia’s Leading Luxury Train’. It also won the ‘TTJ Jury Choice Award’ under the category of Excellence and Innovation in 2016. And in 2017, it was awarded the ‘TTJ Jury Choice Award’ under the category of Excellence and Innovation.

A famous luxury train journey in India, The Golden Chariot offers you the opportunity to live through Karnataka’s 1,600 years of history. So, get on this rail journey and unveil the hidden treasures, empires, and lost kingdoms on a ride on this rail journey. A blend of rich culture, palatial architecture, and 19intricately designed coaches, this luxury train will pamper you with world-class services.

History –  The idea of the luxury rail came into development by an MOU signed by Karnataka State Tourism and Development Corporation and the Ministry of Indian Railways in the year 2002. The name Golden Chariot was given after the iconic stone chariots of Hampi, the ruined temple complexes from the Vijayanagara Empire.

Journeys –  Pride of Karnataka ,  Jewels of South , and  Glimpses of Karnataka

Destinations Covered –  The Golden Chariot train route takes you to the famous destinations of Southern India and some of the places covered on this journey are Bengaluru, Mysore, Hampi, and Mahabalipuram.

Duration –  While the Golden Chariot train journey ‘Glimpses of Karnataka’ is completed in 3 Nights/ 4 Days, the ‘Jewels of South’ and ‘Pride of Karnataka’ is terminated in 6 Nights/7 Days.

Awards & Recognitions –  In 2017, this luxury train was awarded 7th time with the World Trade Awards (WTA) under the title of ‘Asia’s Leading Luxury Train’. It was also recognized by the TTJ Jury Choice Award for Excellence and North India Travel Award for Best Luxury Train in India 2015.

Maharajas’ Express

Maharajas’ Express takes you back to the bygone era whilst maintaining all modern comforts. Designed to recreate the elegance of the carriages used by former Maharajas, the interiors of Maharajas’ Express provide a nostalgic aura. Set off on a luxurious journey in one of the cheapest luxury trains in India and explore the best of India.

History –  Maharajas’ Express was officially launched in March 2010. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) and Cox and Kings India Ltd., made a mutual investment to establish a company named Royale Indian Rail Tours Ltd. (RIRTL) to manage the Maharaja Express train.

Journeys –   Treasures of India ,  The Indian Splendor ,  The Indian Panorama , and  The Heritage of India

Destinations Covered –  This luxury rail travel will take you to India’s historical destinations such as Mumbai, Delhi, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Agra, Khajuraho, Varanasi, Orchha, Gwalior, Bikaner, and more.

Duration –  While Treasures of India Maharajas’ Express takes only 3 nights/4 days to complete, Heritage of India Maharajas Express, Indian Panorama Maharajas Express, and Indian Splendour Maharajas Express ends in 6 nights/7 days.

Awards & Recognitions –  In 2010, Maharajas’ Express won the ‘Best Luxury Train’ at CNBC Awaaz Travel Award. It was the 1st runner up in the Specialist Train Operators Category awarded at Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Travel Award 2011. In 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, this Indian luxury rail was awarded the World Travel Award under the ‘World’s Leading Luxury Train’. Lastly, Maharajas’ Express acquired the Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Award in 2015 and 2016.

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5 Luxury Trains in India That Redefine Happy Journeys

Neha Mathur

Last updated: Apr 26, 2024

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Author Recommends

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While on board the Golden Chariot, don't miss capturing the World Heritage Sites enroute

india tourist train

Indulge in the finest Rajasthani cuisine aboard the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

india tourist train

Be greeted in red-carpet style on the Palace on Wheels. "Khamaghani" means 'Welcome'.

india tourist train

While on tour in the Mahajas' Express, visit heritage palaces, forts and monuments - best of India's heritage properties

Train journeys have come a long way from the times when we carried our own boriya-bistar , heard the usual “ chai garam, garam chai ” sounds of the tea vendor, and drank water from a surahi . Today, in the time of super-fast express trains, let’s explore the most luxurious trains in India that let you travel like royalty. These uber-luxury trains are not just a means of transport, but journeys where you’re in no hurry to reach the destination.

1. The Deccan Odyssey


The very site of the royal blue train makes you feel like you are climbing aboard a noble chariot, going out for an inspection of the conquered lands. This 5 star indulgence on wheels boasts of opulently designed cabins that will leave you awestruck with their grandeur. The train takes you across various routes starting from Mumbai and Delhi, covering some stunning cities and landmarks. Managed by the Taj Group of Hotels, this train is designed to reflect the lives of Maharajas in the 16 th century. An initiative of Maharashtra Tourism, the Deccan Odyssey is the perfect amalgamation of transport and luxury. There is plenty to do aboard the train, from multi-cuisine restaurants serving food presented by expert chefs, to a spa for relaxing massages, along with many other state-of-the-art facilities.

Start From: Mumbai or Delhi

Approximate Tariff: Starting at INR 4.27 Lakh*

Book Your Flight to Mumbai

Read More:   Mother's Day Gift Ideas

2. Maharajas’ Express


Awarded the “World’s Leading Luxury Train” title for 6 consecutive years by the World Travel Awards, The Maharajas’ Express is luxury beyond imagination. Choose from eight grand tours of India, witnessing palaces, forts and heritage properties. The princely train is built with the idea of exploring India’s heritage while on board a palace. The presidential suite on the train would give any premium five star hotel a run for its money, with private lounges, bedrooms, lavish washrooms and a plush dining area.

Start From: Delhi (North), Trivandrum (South)

Approximate Tariff: Starting at INR 3.97 Lakh*

Book Your Flight to Delhi

Read More:   10 Tourist Attractions in Kerala that You Must Visit

3. The Golden Chariot


An initiative by the Karnataka State Tourism Board, The Golden Chariot travels to a number of World Heritage Sites, making its way through the most beautiful natural wonders the country has to offer. These elegantly designed trains are equipped with facilities fit for kings, offer breakfast in bed and mesmerise you with the scenic routes. The aesthetic interiors complement the picturesque terrains through which the train travels. Each of the 11 guest cabins, named after ruling dynasties, are intricately designed with elegant Mysore style furniture. An Ayurveda spa centre, in house fine-dining restaurants, and tastefully maintained ambience of the lounges are just sweet cherries on top of this very delicious cake.

Start From: Bangalore

Approximate Tariff: Starting at INR 16,000 per night*

Book Your Flight to Bangalore

Read More:   Luxury Weekend Getaways: Explore India’s Best UNESCO Sites in Style

4. Royal Rajasthan on Wheels


As the name rightly suggests, the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels takes you through the rich heritage of Rajasthan. Experience the Rajput culture of valour and hospitality, and travel through many stunning palaces and fortresses built in the Rajputana region. Upon boarding the train, you are greeted with a grand musical red-carpet welcome, and the warmth of hospitality that one expects from Rajasthani culture. The private cabins are no less than princely abodes, with tastefully decorated interiors, imagery from Rajputana history, all the modern facilities of a luxury hotel, and fine-dining experiences showcasing the most delectable gems from the region.

Start From: Delhi

Approximate Tariff: Starting at INR 3.78 Lakhs*

Read More about Rajasthan: Rajasthan: A Quick and Handy Travel Guide          

5. Palace on Wheels

The original luxury train in India, The Palace on Wheels showed Indians what luxury is all about. With a recent face-lift, the train was once used as transportation by the Nizams of Hyderabad and the kings of princely states of Rajputana, Gujarat and others. This was the first heritage luxury train put together by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation, and introduced the charm of royal travel to Indians and foreign visitors. Today, this premium train has retained its regal extravagance, and takes travellers through the heart of Rajasthan.

Start From: Jaipur

Approximate Tariff: Starting at INR 3.63 Lakh*

Book Your Flights to Jaipur

Book yourself an exclusive train experience at any of these luxury trains, and travel through India like royalty! 

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Neha Mathur Follow  

A writer. A reader. An observer. A traveler. In no particular order. The path to self discovery has taken Neha from India to Italy, from Bahrain to Dubai and back to India. Her journey has only just begun.

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Sean R | on 08 July 2018

My special lady friend wants to take me in a luxury train for my 50th bday, late 2019. Her parents, who now are in their 70s, live in Canada, near her. They emigrated from Calcutta when they were married. I live in the US. Suggestions? Hopefully romantic, but she makes Everything romantic, even if it isn’t already. Thank you.

Indian Train Tours | on 14 March 2018

Very interesting and informative blog. Thanks for posting this information. Like this Indian Train Tours also offers the Indian Train Tour booking and online reservation. If you are living out of India like England, Italy, Denmark, You can book online Indian Train easily with Indian Train Tours. Visit the given link to know more info:


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Guide to India's Mahaparinirvan Express Buddhist Circuit Train

A Special Train Tour that Visits India's Important Buddhist Sites

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The Mahaparinirvan Express is a special tourist train that takes passengers on a spiritual tour through Buddhist India, where Buddhism originated more than 2,500 years ago.

The train gets its name from the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, which contains the Buddha's final explanation of his teachings. Its sacred journey includes visits to the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites of Lumbini (where the Buddha was born), Bodhgaya (where he became enlightened), Sarnath (where he first preached), and Kushinagar (where he passed away and achieved nirvana).

Train Features

The Mahaparinirvan Express is operated by Indian Railways using carriages from a Rajdhani Express train. It has a dedicated dining carriage, hygienic kitchen that prepares passenger meals, and bathroom cubicles with showers. The train is comfortable but far from opulent, unlike India's luxury tourist trains , but then again pilgrimages aren't normally associated with luxury! Passengers are greeted with garlands, provided with luggage assistance, and given a welcome gift of a Buddhist guidebook. Security guards are present on the train, and tours are fully guided.

2020-21 and 2021-22 Departures

The train departs from Delhi , one or two Saturdays per month from September until March.

  • Departure dates for 2020-21 are November 21, December 19, January 16, February 13, February 27, March 13.
  • Departure dates for 2021-22 are September 25, October 9, October 23, November 6, November 20, December 4, December 8, January 1, January 15, January 29, February 12, February 26, March 12, March 26.

Journey Duration

The tour runs for seven nights/eight days. However, it's possible to travel only on selected parts of the route as long as your booking is for a minimum three nights.

Route and Itinerary

The itinerary is as follows:

  • Day One - Afternoon departure from Safdarjang Railway Station in Delhi to Gaya.
  • Day Two - Visit Bodhgaya temples by bus and stay the night at a hotel in Bodhgaya.
  • Day Three - Visit Rajgir and Nalanda by bus, and then board to the train to Varanasi at Gaya.
  • Day Four - Arrive at Varanasi , visit Sarnath (the tallest statue of Lord Buddha in India is in Sarnath), and attend the evening Ganga aarti ceremony alongside the Ganges River in Varanasi. Board the train to Nautanwa at Varanasi.
  • Day Five - Visit Lumbini in Nepal by bus, and stay the night at a hotel there.
  • Day Six - Visit Kushinagar by bus, and then proceed to Gorakhpur railway station for departure to Balrampur.
  • Day Seven - Visit Sravasti by bus, and return to Balrampur. for departure to Agra.
  • Day Eight - Visit the Taj Mahal in Agra and Fatehpur Sikri ). Return to Delhi by 6 p.m.

Cost and Classes of Travel

Three classes of travel are offered: air-conditioned first class (1AC), air-conditioned first class coupe, and air-conditioned two-tier (2AC). 1AC has four beds (two upper and two lower) in an enclosed compartment with lockable door, while there are only two beds (one upper and one lower) in the coupe. 2AC has four beds (two upper and two lower) in an open compartment with no door. If you're unsure about what the different classes of travel mean, this guide to accommodations on Indian Railways trains provides an explanation.

For 2020-21 departures, the fare in 1AC is $165 per person, per night, or $1,155 for the full tour. 2AC costs $135 per person, per night, or $945 for the full tour. The 1AC Coupe is $165 per person, per night, or $1,305 for the full tour.

A 10% discount is available for Indian citizens. A 50% discount on companion fare is also offered on certain departure dates for foreigners and Indians.

The cost includes the train journey, food, road transfers by air-conditioned vehicle, sightseeing, monument entrance fees, tour escort, insurance, and hotel stay in air-conditioned rooms where required.

Positives and Negatives

The tour is well-organized to international standards. However, something to be aware of is that there are a couple of long journeys by road. Passengers may find this uncomfortable due to lack of proper facilities, such as toilets, along the way. However, effort will be made to provide breaks at appropriate places. Rooms are also made available during the day at decent hotels, for passengers to freshen up and have breakfast.

On board, the train is kept very clean and the staff are courteous. Bed linen is changed every day, and the diverse dinner menu includes Asian and western cuisine. Special dietary requirements are catered for.

Overall, the Mahaparinirvan Express provides a convenient way to visit India's Buddhist sites. It attracts spiritual-seekers and pilgrims from all around the world.

Bookings and More Information

You can get more information or make reservations for travel on the Mahaparinirvan Express by visiting the Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation's Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train website.

Visas for Nepal

As the journey includes a day trip to Nepal, those who aren't Indian nationals will need a Nepali visa. This can easily be obtained at the border . Two passport-sized photographs are required. Foreign tourists with Indian visas must make sure that these are double or multiple entry visas, so that return to India will be allowed.

Mahaparinirvan Express Odisha Special

Indian Railways added a new service, the Mahaparinirvan Express Odisha Special, in 2012. It included pilgrimage sites in Odisha , as well as important sites in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. However, it has unfortunately been canceled due to lack of interest and poor advertising.

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A Complete Guide to Traveling India by Train (for Solo Travelers)

Last Updated on June 7, 2023 by Christine Kaaloa

guide to indian train travel, indian train travel,

Train travel in India… traveling India, I take trains a lot. In this post, I share essential tips for traveling India by train, how to travel India safely as a female solo traveler and how to book Indian train travel on your own.

Firstly, let me say– I love traveling India by train!!!  But it’s  not for everyone.

When I did my video on Indian Trains with India Railways, I shared three train rides,   spanning 32 hours of both, day and overnight train schedules, traveling AC3 and CC class. In reality I’ve taken more rides than that and find trains in India can be convenient, comfortable (and uncomfortable) and ultimately, part of the adventure of traveling India.

Table of Contents: A Complete Guide to Traveling India by Train (for Solo Travelers)

  • 1 A complete guide for traveling India by train
  • 2.0.1 2S Second Class Seating
  • 2.0.2  Sleeper Class
  • 2.0.3 Third Class (AC-3 class)
  • 2.0.4 Chair Car class (CC A/C class)
  • 2.0.5 First and second class (AC-1  & AC-2)
  • 4.1 Best trains for travelers 
  • 4.2 Is taking an Overnight Train in India safe?
  • 4.3 India train travel tips, safety and etiquette
  • 4.4 Dealing with Crowds at Train Stations
  • 4.5 Misconceptions about Indian Trains
  • 4.6 Should you Buy Indian Train Food?
  • 4.7 Toilets on Indian Trains
  • 4.8 Train Etiquette on Indian Trains
  • 4.9 Where do you store you luggage on Indian trains
  • 5.1 Book train tickets online with India Railways
  • 6.1 Book your India Train tickets through an Indian Travel Agent
  • 6.2 Buying your tickets at the train station
  • 7.0.1 Tatkal Tickets
  • 7.0.2 Foreign Tourist Quota
  • 7.0.3 Reserved Against Cancellation |RAC
  • 7.0.4 Wait List | WL
  • 8.1.1 What do you think of Indian train travel? Will it be your next adventure? 
  • 9 Train travel in India : Book your train tickets in advance
  • 10 Best travel insurance for India

A complete guide for traveling India by train

Types of indian train classes.

A Look inside an Indian Train

Indian Train Travel  Essentials

Booking Train Tickets in India

What if your train is sold out?

2s second class seating.

 These are the cheapest seats offered by India Railways as it is a sitting class. For travelers, this means you are as local as local can be and are on a strict budget. Seats are cushioned and three seats per row. There are no sleeping facilities.

 Sleeper Class

Every time I take a sleeper train , I never regret it. Passengers are simple and no fuss. Cab is either open air and fan vs an AC (so I’m never cold). There’s no bedding, however the berths have cushioned padding. Three berths per side and 6 berths per cabin. By morning, a lot of passengers have already gotten off.    This is a preferred choice for a lot of budget backpackers. It’s not as bad as people think.  Fare: The cheapest and simplest of the sleeper classes, usually around 100 to 600 rupees.

Tip:  The top berth is the best. This is because you can go to sleep as early or wake up as late as you want and you won’t be bothered by others. You can actually just hang out on your perch with on your laptop and surf the internet (given you got an Indian SIM and turned your mobile into a WiFi hotspot ).  Avoid booking the bottom berth seat. This is the sitting berth and your sleep depends upon other your fellow passengers’ sleeping habits.

Third Class (AC-3 class)

AC-3 class is a step above a Sleeper class, except that there’s air conditioning and they give you sheets and blankets for your birth. Fare: I paid around 750- 800 for my seat and up for a seat.  Tip: Same tips apply as with the Sleeper. Fare: Almost double that of a Sleeper class.

Chair Car class (CC A/C class)

CC A/C Chair Car is feels like an air-conditioned seater for business class. During the day, you’ll see Indian men with laptops working or making business calls.  Three seats per row and two rows facing each other over a long table.  Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains (fast speed and air conditioned) are slightly more expensive, but rides come with a simple meal, a drink and a complimentary paper.

First and second class (AC-1  & AC-2)

I’ve never gotten to first or second class frankly. But first class is like paying the cost of airfare. But you’ll get your own lockable cabin of either 2-4 berths depending upon whether you’re a couple or family. The cabin comes with its own wash basin. Second class is a little less expensive and has curtains and lamps per berth privacy.

Read How India books Cheap Tickets.

Inside an Indian Train: 3 different tourist classes (Video)

I take you inside traveling three different Indian train classes !

Essential Tips for Taking Trains in India

Best trains for travelers .

Best trains:   Anything from 1st class to 3AC (ceiling fan and open air), Rajasthani and Shatabdi are fast speed trains with air conditioning and some classes include meals.  They’re a little pricier due to the comfort.   Favorite train for backpackers are t he Sleeper class trains. They’re not as posh, but many backpackers like that they are cheap and decent accommodations. You are sitting with locals but comfortably.  I appreciate the open air, which keeps the air from getting stagnant.

Is taking an Overnight Train in India safe?

 At some point you may find yourself booking overnight trains to make the most efficient use of your time. Overnight trains can run at irregular hours, leaving or arriving at either late at night or early in the morning.  Depending upon the class you may arrive late to your berth to find someone sleeping in it (you need to wake them up and ask them to move. Traveling Indians know when they are wrong– they figure they’ll just keep your berth warm for you until you are ready to use it ).

If you’re booking an overnight train, avoid the bottom berth if you want to go to bed early or sleep until late. This is the seat/berth that everyone sits on and your sleeping times will be determined by other passengers who either want to stay up late or wake up early.  However, usually by around 10am, the overnight train has few passengers as many have gotten off on stops in the morning.

I have never encountered issues with overnight Indian trains.

India train travel tips, safety and etiquette

• Dress conservatively if you don’t want to be leered at. Keep in mind, as a foreign traveler you will stand out. Indians from metropolitan cities are used to seeing foreigners, but small town villagers are more likely to stare.

• Mind your luggage and be polite. Indians are friendly. It is easy to strike up a conversation. If you are a woman striking up a conversation with a man, be a little guarded. Many are friendly but some may take your friendliness as a come-on and a signal of your availability. By all means, do not give your phone number out to them. I did this once thinking of friendship and I got calls every day! Sometimes more than once.

• Some travelers advise taking a backpack chain to fasten your luggage to the berth or window. A lot of passengers get on and off at stops and it’s easy for luggage to get lifted in the shuffle.

Read Indian Sleeper Class and Train Etiquette

Dealing with Crowds at Train Stations

An initial culture shock when I first traveled India were the crowds and you notice them more in the train stations as they wait for trains. It can feel overwhelming– like a homeless shelter with anywhere from urban to village folks with bags, luggage and families waiting or camping out on the station floors. This is acceptable in India.

It is still best to buy your ticket in advance so you don’t have to stand in crowded lines.  The train also has resting rooms with bathroom facilities on the tracks and they tend to be sex segregated to protect women. Some bathrooms have an attendant who will collect money so make sure to have a bit of pocket change.

If I have time, I like to pick up a cold drink and some snacks for the train. Once you get on the train, your food options are limited.

Misconceptions about Indian Trains

There’s a popular misconception that Indian trains are smelly, especially during the summer heats and packed crowds. Personally, the only smelly part of a train I’ve found are the toilets and that is because they lack water for rinsing or flushing. I generally avoid them if I can.  Otherwise, I find the smells normal to a country with spices in foods and in the air. I typically travel in 3AC or Sleeper trains where there’s an open air window you cannot close and powerful overhead fans which keep the air circulating naturally. The 2AC trains are air conditioned so it tends to keep everyone chilled to frozen (just joking although the temperature change can make it feel so).

Should you Buy Indian Train Food?

Packed meals on trains are less than glamorous and don’t expect it to be as tasty, as street food or a restaurant. These cars generally have a chai guy going around and someone who sells chaat or a snack, but it’s still always best to take your own snacks and water.  Your options are very limited on the train.  It is always best to bring your own food on the trains. Options are limited and train food .

Toilets on Indian Trains

If you haven’t used a squat toilet yet, be prepared: All Indian trains have a squat toilet with a hole emptying onto the train tracks (in fact, you can see the tracks moving below, as you pee). Some classes might have a western toilet, but there is never any running water or toilet paper. Any tissues used are disposed of outside or straight onto train tracks through the facility.

Tip: Always pack biodegradable baby wipes, toilet paper and your hand sanitizer.  For women who are still learning to squat, I recommend buying a female urinary device. You can learn more about my first experience here .

Train Etiquette on Indian Trains

How to know when it’s time to sleep or wake? Here’s some tips on train etiquette for India train travel .

Where do you store you luggage on Indian trains

Luggage is stored under the seats. Keep in mind if you are in a cabin with a full family, there may be much luggage under the seats and occasionally on some of the top berths. I try to travel as light as possible so this is not an issue. Some travelers recommend chains to secure their luggage to keep it from being stolen or accidentally taken. I’ve not had a problem so far, but I always travel with my luggage in eye shot or next to me. I keep my valuables in a daypack which I keep with me always (I make it my pillow when I sleep). But especially for overnight travel, when folks leave they take luggage with them and the train makes several local stops along the way.

 How to Book Train Tickets for your trip to India

There are many ways to get around India , and Indian Railways is a popular way for long distance travel for Indians. Alternately, the other ways to cover long distance travel in India is via airplane and government or VIP long distance bus .

Book train tickets online with India Railways

As of May 2016, the Indian Railways (aka IRCTC ) allowed foreigners to book train tickets in advance online. However, that doesn’t mean it works. There’s always been a bit of a snag in the past as foreign credit cards are not accepted by IRCTC and you need an Indian phone number !

In the past, the workaround was to open an account on the IRTC website and then open an account on and then attempt to merge the two together, booking through Cleartrip . Both sites are frequently used by Indians to book travel; they show you the bus, airplane and train schedules.  Read more here on my India Travel Tips .

I’ll show you an easier way: Boom!

Book your train tickets in advance from abroad

Book your india train tickets through an indian travel agent.

Booking train travel is easiest when you’re  in India, in-person and you’re booking through a local tourist agent . Often the commission fees you’re paying feels so small and less than an online credit card fee. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of trying to understand India Railways system, its codes or what timetables will work best, a travel agent is a no-brainer. They’re especially good at telling you your options if trains are booked or full.  I use Indian travel agents to book my onward travel most of the time.

Buying your tickets at the train station

You can book train tickets through the train station or an international railway handler (like I did at Fairely Place in Kolkata ). They both are a united agency for India Railways and they’ll help you book your tickets in person, as well as handle things like Wait List, RAC and Foreign Tourist Quota tickets. It’s advised to start out early to beat the queue.

Tatkal, Wait List , Reserved Against Cancellation and Foreign Tourist Quotas are three options if you find your train is booked.

Tatkal Tickets

Tatkal tickets are withheld tickets that get released at 10 am one day before departure. 10 to 500 rupees are added to each ticket price. Tip: Usually travel agents can help you book these.

Foreign Tourist Quota

Like tatkal tickets, India Railways reserves a small quota of tickets for foreign travelers, so if trains are booked and you need to be somewhere, you might try using the foreign tourist quota.

More info>> How to Get a Foreign Tourist Quota ticket

Reserved Against Cancellation |RAC

Reserved Against Cancellation  (RAC) tickets are tickets India Railways puts aside in the case a passenger cancels at the last minute.  On the day of departure, you’ll need to go to the train station and watch the reservation list. Even if there is no cancellation, you might still be able to get on the train, albeit standing class.

Wait List | WL

Wait List  (WL) means you’re waiting for a seat and if there is no cancellation you’ll be refunded.

Sample Train Itineraries and timetables

Most first time travelers to India plan their itinerary thinking they can jump around India in a day via the train system. I always recommend giving your transit route a day and a half of a cushion. India is large and the routes can take longer than you think. Not to mention, occasionally train schedules can be delayed and it’s possible a train could break down.  These are all things to factor into India travel.

Below are train routes I traveled (in my video below ) and the travel time it takes to get around in a large country such as India:

+ AC-3  Kolkata to NJP (enroute to Darjeeling) | 11 hours overnight| 3rd class sleeper train | Uttar Banga Express : Sealdah to New Jalgaipuri Junction + AC-3  Kolkata to Varanasi  | 13.5 hours overnight | 3rd class sleeper train| Vibhuti Express: Howrah to Varanasi Station . (Delhi to Varanasi will similarly be an overnight train as well). + CC   Delhi to Ajmer (enroute to Pushar)  | 7 hours day time  | business class train|Ajmer Shatabdi: New Delhi (NDRLS) to Ajmer Station

Traveling India  Series ( Video playlist): Tips & City Guides for Solo Travelers

Check my “How I Travel India” playlist.  I’ve already covered the inside of Indian trains, how to get a tourist quota, how to get your Sim card.  These are all filmed as I travel through India alone, so you can see the degree of difficulty or not.   I love India but I am certainly not invulnerable to trip difficulties or culture shock.


Trip planning for India ? Start here.

Planning your first trip to India? Start here . What to Pack for India Backpacking? Check here .  Read about how to Get an Indian SIM , do you need a female urinary device? ,  getting an Indian Tourist Visa for U.S. Citizens

Learn the India trip essentials from India scams, dress etiquette, itineraries , accommodations , food insights , how to take the bus, dealing with sexual harassment and indian trains , and staying at ashrams .

What do you think of Indian train travel? Will it be your next adventure? 

Related posts on india:.

First Time Trip Planning for India

Traveling by Indian bus: is it safe for solo travelers? Travel Must Haves for India How to Travel Solo in India Packing tips for India

guide to indian trains, indian trains, indian train guide, how to use the indian train, travel tips indian train

Train travel in India : Book your train tickets in advance

Best travel insurance for india.

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Train travel in India has got to be one of the best experiences of journeying the subcontinent. Nothing quite beats sitting by a window, fresh chai in hand, enjoying the scenes of life that pass by. But, the Indian railways system is renowned for being overly complex and sometimes  complicated – so we’re here to help set you up with everything you need to know to enjoy travelling by train in India to the full! 

This post contains compensated  affiliate links, please find out more in our disclosure . Thank you for supporting Soul Travel!

How to Master Indian Train Travel for Foreign Visitors

I tend to subscribe to the belief that you haven’t been to India (let alone experienced India), until you’ve taken a long ride on Indian Railways. The view of this beautiful country is best from a bunk in an overnight train sleeper coach, watching the landscapes roll by and chatting to new-found friends.

There are few better feelings on a journey around India than sitting at a window seat, masala chai in hand, simply watching the varied landscapes of India change, merge and blend before your eyes, or standing near a train doorway early in the morning after an overnight journey feeling the cool fresh breeze on your face.

Travelling by train in India is safe, efficient, comfortable (depending on which class you pick – read below!) and our number one way to get around India. Head over here for some of our must-not-miss favourite train journeys in India !

The third largest employer in the world, mover of 25 million passengers ever day, and owner of the longest railway platform in the word (amongst other trivia), travelling by Indian Railways is an experience not to be missed during your trip to India. 

Train travel in India is many things: But being ‘turn-up-and-go’ is definitely not one of them, and especially not for foreigners travelling in India (although fortunately this is changing – more below). 

Good things come to those who persevere, however and I truly believe that you won’t regret the time and effort put into planning your Indian train journeys. Many Indians depend on train travel to get around the country and the railways are still referred to as India’s lifeline. Given that a population of 1.2 billion people depend on them to get around, you can begin understand why the ticketing system is a little complex. 

Over my trips to India and living here over the last seven years I’ve learnt a lot about how to travel by Indian railways – by trial as much as by error – so much so that locals seem to come up to me on station platforms and ask me for directions! I’m happy to share all my tips with you in this post, along with how train travel in India has changed post Covid-19 .

Planning Train Travel in India 

The first step towards planning your trip to India is working out an approximate itinerary .

This doesn’t mean you have to book all your hotels etc, but do have an idea of which places you want to go to and how long you will have in each place. This will help you pin down which dates you need your Indian Railways tickets for so that you can start to look into specific trains.

You may then need to re-orgnise your itinerary based on availability of trains, or which places are well connected to each other by rail (for example – Jaipur and Udaipur are well connected by train, but there’s no train from Udaipur to Jodhpur (or vice versa). 

The most important point is that you want to book your trains as early as possible – they open up for sale 120 days in advance and ideally you want to be booking your train tickets for your Indian rail journeys 3-4 months out if you can,  especially  if there are holidays such as Christmas, New Year, Diwali etc occurring around that time. 

Not all trains run every day. Some express trains run only certain days of the week. When researching trains you might find information like the below: 

Here you can see some of the many trains that run from Varanasi to Delhi, which days of the week they run on (letters are for days of the week), how long they take and which classes they have. If you want to research train options between cities, a google search will bring up plenty of sites with this info such as 

Types of Train in India

There are many different types of train in India – even for long distances and know upfront that  not all trains are equal.  Some trains move at twice the speed of others, calling at 20% of the stations. Depending on which train you choose, a journey between two places can take five hours or ten hours – so be careful with which train you book! 

Here are some of the main types of trains that you may come across during your travels in India: 

Overnight Trains:

  • Rajdhani Express – The RollsRoyce of Indian express trains (ok, well maybe more like a Volkswagen). These are the fastest and most reliable intercity express trains that run between Delhi and state capitals. They’re a great way to get from Delhi – Mumbai or Delhi – Kolkata (or vice versa) quickly and comfortably. The Rajdhani’s always have priority on the tracks and meals are included on these trains. Rajdhanis are fully air conditioned, but don’t expect red carpets or chandeliers; the interiors are similar to any other air conditioned Indian Railways train. These are also the most expensive trains.  Recommended.
  • Garib Rath  – Distinguishable by its olive green and mustard yellow outside livery, the Garib Rath is an all economy Air Conditioned express train, designed to be an affordable option for those who could not afford air conditioned train travel. Runs 1-2 times per week and there are several routes including south from Mumbai to Kerala (which we travelled on and found very comfortable).  Recommended.
  • Duronto Express – Duronto means non-stop in Bengali, and these trains were introduced in 2009 as India’s first step towards high speed rail services. They were introduced to be point-to point services with no stops in between (although now some do stop it seems). Generally a great option for long distance travel.  Recommended.
  • SuperFast Express  – Possibly the type of train you’ll find yourself on most for inter-city / town travel, sometimes all AC ( referred to as AC SuperFast), or sometimes a mix of Sleeper + AC Classes (SuperFast). These trains are relatively fast and a good way to travel. Recommended.
  • Express – A step down from SuperFast Expresses (and indeed the Express name may be aspirational only) these trains tend to stop at more stations and take longer. Generally these are fine too, and may be your only option for less common routes, but are prone to more delays than the above categories of trains.
  • Mail Trains / Passenger – the slowest trains, stopping at yet more stations, taking more time, and prone to more delays. Only recommended if this type of train is your only option. 

Daytime Trains:

  • Tejas Express – A (relatively) new addition to train travel on selected routes in India, the Tejas Express trains are India’s latest high-speed train travel offering. These trains are new, modern, and are fully air conditioned with automatic closing doors and tv’s in the back of seats in Executive AC class. A novelty for travelling by train in India, but not recommended for those who relish the chance to sit by an open window or door. Given the high ticket price, these trains often have seats left when others are fully booked.
  • Shatabdi Express  – These are daytime express trains with seating only (all the above trains have sleeper berths) and cover popular shorter routes like Delhi to Agra, Amritsar and Jaipur. These are good trains which usually run on time and we highly recommend them. All AC.  Recommended.
  • Jan Shatabdi –  Like the Shatabdi trains above but with the addition of non-AC chair car class. Slightly slower and cheaper than Shatabdis.  Recommended.
  • Local Trains –  These come in a range of forms to the local suburban trains of Mumbai and Kolkata, to state local trains which run between towns and usually offer “General” unreserved seating only. They are usually very busy in cities. Avoid these unless you really want to take the “scenic” route! 

If you want to travel as quickly as possible, research the fastest train for your route. In general the SuperFast trains sell out quickest, I’ve never had any problems getting a Rajdhani ticket, but the cost is about 30% higher than a SuperFast for the same route. 

Some trains are also famous for being late. I used not to believe this, until someone warned me about a particular train and it was 11 hours (yes you read that right) late. So I am now a member of the official India train geek society and check the average punctuality score for trains before booking them – (another useful site for checking train routes and status) has an “on time score”!

How to Book Indian Railways Train Tickets

There are many ways to book your Indian train tickets. Here are some of the best options: 

Booking Indian Train Tickets From Overseas

This has always been much harder (and at times impossible) than booking Indian train tickets inside India. The issues include not having an Indian phone number, foreign credit cards not being accepted, and no access to the foreign tourist quota. Fortunately – times are a changing, and it’s now easier than it’s every been to nab your Indian train tickets before you even set foot in the motherland! 

Option #1 – The stress-free way with Raj from Train Ticket Please

I used to enjoy booking my own train tickets with my IRCTC account, but on my return to India in October 2021 after Covid, I found that I could no longer use my UK bank cards to pay for my tickets. Most other foreign travellers have reported the same issue, with foreign (non-Indian) bank cards from most countries being rejected.

Enter my saviour and agent, Raj, from Train Ticket Please, who now books all of my tickets, along with arranging ground transportation, domestic flights, drivers and guides. Raj books trains all over India for a small service cost, meaning you don’t have to spend out hours – or days – trying to work out how to register, create an account and book your own tickets on the Indian Railways website, and it’s just done for you!

If you’re short on time and want the least hassle, I recommend booking via him. Contact via Whatsapp: +91 89621 29008 or Email: [email protected] mentioning ‘SOUL TRAVEL’.

Option #2 – Do it yourself with 12Go.Asia

12Go.Asia is one of the leading platforms for booking transport in Asia, and is one of the only international websites to offer Indian train bookings  without having to register for an IRCTC account first.  Which makes it the easiest and quickest option for booking trains in India, and ideal for if you only want to take a couple of journeys / are only in India for a couple of weeks. They don’t have every single journey online yet, but they do have most of the ones you’d want to take as a visitor to India, between the main towns and cities. 

Search and Book Indian trains on 12go here!

How I suggest using 12Go.Asia for booking trains:  

  • Conduct a general search on or to check the trains running between your destinations
  • Note the train number, station that they leave from and station they arrive at. Most cities have multiple stations and you need to enter the specific departure and arrival station to get the right train results. 
  • While booking you can request your preference of upper or lower berth and normally there will be different classes available – see our notes below for recommendations on what to book. 
  • Enter your details and pay by international credit card. Bookings are on a request basis so they are not confirmed until you receive the confirmation from 12go.Asia. There’s an option to let them know if you are flexible to travel a day before / after.  Search train journeys in India now ! 

Search & Book Popular Train Journeys in India on 12go

Jaisalmer –> Jodhpur

Jaipur –> Ajmer (Pushkar)

Delhi –> Jodhpur

Agra –> Jaipur

Delhi –> Agra

Mumbai –> Goa (Madgaon)

Goa –> Cochin (Ernakulam)

Delhi –> Varanasi

Delhi –> Haridwar (for Rishikesh)

Option #3 – Sign up for an IRCTC Account & (try to) Book Directly

This option is high risk if you don’t have access to an Indian bank card/credit card – you may go through all the steps to book tickets only to find that your payment cannot be accepted. If in doubt, use one of the previous 2 options.

As of 2022, sadly Cleartrip is no longer offering train bookings via your IRCTC account (which used to be my workaround).

This is the traditional way of booking train tickets and used to be possible, but is now unlikely to work with foreign cards, unless you get lucky. It’s a high investment of time with limited chance of success, so I urge you to use other options especially if it’s just for a couple of journeys. But, if you’re really determined and have Indian friends who are happy to let you use their payment cards, proceed as follows:

Step 1: Sign up for an IRCTC Account. 

The first step is to sign up for an IRCTC account . IRCTC stands for Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Cooperation and is the Government body that oversees all railways in India. As of November 2017 you can now get an IRCTC account with a foreign mobile number (include your country code when signing up). Unfortunately, the “OTP” (One Time Passcode) which is sent via SMS/Text and which you need to validate your account doesn’t always arrive to international numbers. If that happens, your best bet is to try to book with or email Raj at [email protected] as above quoting “Soul Travel”.

With your foreigner account you will also be able to book tickets from the  Foreigner Tourist Quota (more on what that is below) but note that that the quota is only available for 1AC and 2AC classes. Make a note of your ID and password somewhere safe as you’ll need it for whenever you make a booking! 

As a non-Indian national (using a foreign phone number to register) you will need to pay an activation fee of 100 Rupees after activation, on your first login to your account  before you’ll be able to make any bookings. 

There is now a maximum number of train bookings (single journeys) you can make per month per IRCTC id which is six . For additional bookings over six per month per person/ID you’ll need to use an agent or buy at the station. 

Step 2. Booking Tickets with an IRCTC Account on IRCTC website 

Once you have a validated IRCTC Account, you can log in, choose your train, class of travel and preferred bunk (upper / middle / lower – note that you’re not guaranteed to get it), etc.

Login, search for trains between your chosen destinations and preferred class of travel (we recommend searching for train options as above first so you can enter the exact start and end station).

Availability on trains opens up 120 days prior to departure. Many trains get booked up weeks if not months in advance, so this is where having an account well in advance helps. If your train is still available, simply book a confirmed ticket, note your booking number (called a PNR) and away you go! If not, read on…

Step 3. Things to know when booking tickets yourself on IRCTC

When searching for trains you might see statuses like “RAC” “Waitlist” and “Available”. Here’s what they mean: 

Available –  Pretty self explanatory –  you can book a ticket with a confirmed seat. Lucky you! 

RAC  – Reserved against Cancellation. Indian Railways know that not everyone will show up for their train, so they do what they can to make sure the train runs full and “overbook” using RAC tickets (similar to what airlines do really).

With an RAC ticket you CAN board the train  but you are not guaranteed a seat/berth number at the time of booking and may have to share a berth if everyone shows up for the train. Usually, as ticket quotas are released one day prior / up to four hours before the departure of the train, you will be allocated a berth. I have seen some cases where trains were full and some RAC passengers had to sit for long journeys sharing berths, but this is unusual and RAC passengers normally get berths fine.

You should board the class of travel that you paid for – ie if you booked an RAC ticket at the AC3 fare, you should board an AC3 coach. We advise booking RAC for the most popular class such as AC3 tier as there is normally much more of this on a train than say first class. You can see how many people are on RAC tickets already by the number given – eg RAC 23 means there are 23 people on RAC tickets already in front of you. Obviously, the lower the number the better your chances.

WL or Waitlist – That means your train is officially closed to guaranteed bookings. Once the general quota sells out for a train and all RAC tickets have been booked, the train moves on to Waitlist status. You can book a Waitlist ticket but that means you are not confirmed a place on the train and you cannot (officially…) board a train with a Waitlist ticket. 

See more on what we suggest you do if you are issued a Waitlist ticket below! 

Pin this for Later! 

Option #3 – Use a Local Travel Agent

I recommend Raj at Train Ticket Please ([email protected], quote “Soul Travel”), however you can also use other agents you find along your travels – such as through your accommodation, guide or through travel agents in tourist destinations. They will charge a small fee for booking tickets.

TIP: If going with travel agent shops in tourist destinations, check the price and availability of trains yourself on IRCTC first to know availability and pricing. It’s normal to pay a small fee (around 100rs) for booking, but be aware of agents trying to increase ticket prices, or trying to tell you to book first class tickets when there are lower classes available, if you don’t want them.

Travel agents have been known to claim that certain trains are full, or only have First Class tickets left in order to increase their revenue – which is why I recommend using Raj at Train Ticket Please (email above),, or another agent you know/trust.

Option #4 – Buy Your Ticket at a Railway Station in India

Once you are in India, you can turn up at any Railway Station in India and book trains in person (payment is by cash only).

Most Railway stations have someone who speaks English (at a smaller station, ask for the station manager) – and larger Railway stations have ticket windows that are dedicated to train bookings for foreigners. There is also a foreigner quota that is available only in person (or now on IRCTC too but only for certain classes and if you have registered with a foreign mobile number). Try and go to the station to book your tickets at the earliest chance possible, as the trains sell out. Beware anyone trying to point you away from the ticket office and towards their own travel agency (New Delhi is infamous for this!).

Logistics of Train Travel in India

You’ve booked your tickets, congrats! You’re half way there 😉

Now here’s how you go about making sure you get on your train.

To get to the right place on the right train you are going to need: Your train number, compartment number and berth number.

Example: 13015 (Train), B3 (Coach / “Bogie”), 23 (Berth).

How to Find your Platform 

Indian Railways stations vary hugely across the country – some have really great, clear signage and others hardly any. If you’re getting on your train at the start of the route, you should have some time, but if you’re getting on at an intermediate station, you need to make sure you are in the right place as trains are very long and at worst only stop for 2 minutes . 

Make a note of your Train Number (5 digits eg 13015)  as some stations will show trains by numbers rather than destinations. If there is no board with train departures (normally to be found in the main station entrance, waiting room, or on the Footbridge), you can ask the station manager or other railway official. Porters (who wear red shirts) are often a great source of information too – it can be worth paying them to carry your bags and get you to the right place. 

How to Find your Coach on the Train

Once you’ve found your platform, you need to find where to stand on your platform. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT as Indian trains are very long and you need to be in the right place. Normally you will see numbers along the platform on signs such as “10”, “11” etc. These do not correspond to the coach number but are indicators of where the different coaches will stop. Eg B2 may stop at 10, B3 may stop at 11 etc. In northern India I found that there are often electronic indicators along the platform (with red lights) indicating which coach will stop where. However in Southern India I didn’t see these, and there were only signs with (1, 2, 3 etc on). So you then need to work out which number your coach will stop by:

  • There are usually announcements in the local language, Hindi, and in ENGLISH so listen out for those. 
  • Ask a station official
  • Use an app/the internet to check the train composition – google your train number + train composition (or use – where the below screenshot is from) you should get something like the below which shows which number your coach stops by. Most of India’s railway stations now have free, super fast wifi courtesy of Google… 
  • As a last resort, stand in the middle of the platform (not either end) and get ready to run as the train comes in! Each coach has a sign in the middle near the top with the coach number on it (eg A1, B2), plus you can easily see which coach are AC vs non AC by the sealed vs unsealed windows. 

How to Find out your Seat + Coach

If you booked a confirmed ticket, you will find your seat plus coach on the ticket. It will give you your coach (called “bogie” in Indian English) number (eg A1, B2, S1) and your seat / berth number (eg 56). 

Note that reservations charts are not finalised until 4 hours before the train departs from its starting point. 

If you are issued a waitlist ticket that then confirms, you can check your seat and coach number in two ways. The easiest way is to use an App (I use one called “Confirmtkt”) where you enter your “PNR” (your ticket number) and it will return you your ticket status, coach and seat/berth number.

You can also send a text message from your mobile phone to 139 with just your PNR (ticket number) on it, and you’ll get an auto reply which looks something like this. Again, this can change up to 4 hours prior to departure, when charting is done, so the best time to do this is within 4 hours of departure of your train. You should get a reply that looks something like this, telling you your coach and berth/seat number.

Classes of Travel on Indian Trains

Train travel in India is famous for having a total of 9 different classes of travel. Worry not though, you won’t have a choice of all 9 on any given train. The choices are essentially First Class / 1AC, 2AC (Two-Tier AC), 3AC (Three-Tier AC), and Sleeper (Non AC). Classes like 2nd (non AC chair cars) or General Class are not recommended for long journeys and are very basic. On Shatabdi express trains there are also Chair Cars (CC – Air Conditioned) and Executive Chair Cars (EC – First Class Air Conditioned).

The main difference between the Air Conditioned Sleeper Classes (from what I’ve experienced – trains can be different) are as follows:

First (1AC) gets you a locking compartment with 2 or 4 of you. It’s not possible to choose the 2 or 4, it’s down to pot luck on the day. Slightly thicker pillows are included but apart from the locking compartment door the rest is the same as 2 or 3AC – in that toilets and washbasins are at the end of of each coach. First is not particularly fancy and costs double the price of 2AC. I was not a fan of my one and only experience in first, mainly as I ended up in a compartment of snorers ( you can read about that one here ).  

On some special Radjhani Express trains, meals are included. It can however be a good option if waiting lists on all other classes are very long and you need to get somewhere. It’s also the class that Indian Ministers and important persons tend to travel. So if you fancy some networking…

2AC  / Two Tier AC (Recommended).  The layout is open plan within the coach and comes with bays of 2 bunks opposite 2 bunks, and a further 2 sideways against the side of the coach. The main advantage of 2AC is that the upper bunk is less high (as the bunks are only 2 high vs the 3 high in 3AC) and there are curtains around each bay of bunks (not individual bunks unless you get the side bunks) to provide some privacy. Bedding (sheet, blanket and pillow) is provided. Toilets are at the end of each coach.

Tip – In 2AC my favourite bunk is side upper. You have a curtain giving you perfect privacy! 

3AC  / Three Tier AC (Recommended).  Same open plan layout as 2AC but with 3 bunks facing 3 (so the top one is a bit of a climb), and there are no curtains. This is the class I travelled in for 90% of my train journeys and I found it to be comfortable. (Solo) women should try and get the top bunk . Bedding is included and it’s pretty clean. In all Air Conditioned classes the windows are of course sealed against the dirt which keeps them warmer in winter / cooler in summer and cleaner.

Tip – In 3AC I always go for the top bunk as for women that is the best option. However it can get pretty chilly as you’re right next to the fan! I recommend bringing an extra scarf or hoodie to help keep you cosy. It’s also quite high up so not recommended if you don’t feel comfortable doing a few acrobatics to get up/down. Unlike in 2AC I don’t recommend the side bunks for single women as everyone gets to have a good look at you as they walk up/down the train.

3 Tier Economy AC / 3E (NOT Recommended). As of 2022, a new sub-type of 3 tier AC has started being introduced, known as 3-Tier AC Economy, 3 Economy, or 3E. This is intended to allow more people to travel in AC classes at a lower price point, however is very cramped and not recommended as it’s more cramped than 3 tier AC (already a lot of people) and more cramped than non AC sleeper (see below. 3E class basically fits in an extra set of berths in each coach compared to   the other classes.

Sleeper (Non AC Sleeper) is basically the same layout of 3AC, but a third of the price, and a lot dirtier. Windows are open so the coaches get hot in summer and cold in winter. Bedding is not provided so bring your own. Everyone warned me about not going in Sleeper class as a foreigner (especially as a solo female). I don’t take sleeper for overnight journeys, however I have taken it for daytime journeys, for which it can be fine and is certainly much better for photography as the windows can be opened. Sleeper can be very hot/cold depending on season. If it’s your first time in India then I recommend starting off in the AC Classes and not sleeper.

Another reason to stay out of (non-AC) sleeper class is that it is subsidised by the Indian government to keep costs low for those who struggle to pay for sleeper class and long-distance railway travel. Sleeper class is hugely in demand and oversubscribed, so for these reasons too I suggest visitors should purchase higher classes of travel, leaving more room in sleeper for those who need it.

2nd Class & General Class  – AVOID these unless you are going for a short hop without your luggage and really want to travel backpacker style. These are coaches with wooden benches for sitting which can be fine in winter for a short journey – I’ve travelled in Goa & Kerala in 2nd Class (which is divided between reserved and un-reserved) for 1-2 hour journeys but definitely wouldn’t attempt it in summer or for longer.

General class is unreserved and can be truly appalling, especially in poorer states of India such as Uttar Pradesh. Anyone who does not have a confirmed reservation has to get in here – do NOT attempt this . (I’ve been in General class once for a 1 hour trip and those travelling in General class do not need tourists joining them, it’s crowded enough!)

What to do When your Train is Full (and all the others)

Worry not. Not just yet anyway. There are some options that do not involve flying or taking the bus to help you get a train ticket when your train (and all others) appear to be full.

Buy A Tatkal Ticket

Tatkal is the name of the service which is a quota of emergency travel tickets that is released at 10am the day before departure of the train for AC Classes (11am for non AC Classes). Make sure you get there ahead of time as there will be a queue! You (or your travel agent or other trusted envoy) need to be at the station before that time to get a spot in the line and fill out a form. You can then likely get a ticket for your desired train, albeit at an extra 30% of the normal price as a “Tatkal Premium”.

It used to be the case that Tatkal tickets could only be booked in person at the station but I have now done this several times via Cleartrip. It’s been really helpful and I’ve managed to get a number of train tickets this way, even though they ended up being a bit more expensive. 

Book a Waitlist Ticket

During my travels in India I’ve had several waitlist tickets, with most of them getting confirmed a few hours before the train left. Once a train is ‘full’ – i.e. standard non Tatkal tickets sold out – then the waitlist will open up and you can book a Waitlist ticket (see above). Then you have Waitlist spots 1 up to a few hundred depending on the popularity of the train. I’ve been on Waitlist 6 and had my spot confirmed, and even up to Waitlist 20. Last year I noticed that waitlists are getting longer and longer as it seems more tickets are being held back to Tatkal to help improve IRCTC’s revenue management…

Often, spots aren’t released until the day of travel (as how many waitlist spots will be confirmed is dependent not only on cancellations but how many tickets are sold in Tatkal (see above). So this can add some uncertainty to your journey.  If you need to travel on that day, it’s better to pay the extra for a confirmed Tatkal ticket.

At the latest, you will find out 4 hours before departure if your seats have been confirmed as this is when the reservation charts are finalised. 

Getting on a Train with a Waitlist Ticket

If you have an RAC ticket you can board the train. If you have a Waitlist Ticket that isn’t confirmed, you’re not allowed to…. But last year we were in that situation and needed to get to Goa on time!

When our tickets from Kerala to Goa were not confirmed we pondered what to do. Tatkal for the next day had already closed, so we decided our best chance was to try and get on the train anyway and negotiate once on board (we bought a “General” ticket from the ticket office before boarding)

We had booked 2AC tickets so we boarded the train at the 2AC compartment. Seeing as it was nighttime and we didn’t know which berths were unoccupied, we stood in the vestibule for a good hour before the TC (Ticket Checker – the one wearing a suit with a big pile of papers on a clipboard) appeared. Ravi then showed him our general tickets and told him of our plight (drawing on me as a clueless foreigner) and eventually we were given two nice berths in 2AC for the remainder of the journey. Seeing as our ticket had been refunded, we paid the TC in cash. Our TC was extremely kind and honest and took less than what we had spent on the original ticket, but normally you can expect to pay a little extra for this kind of “service” (we suggest you negotiate). 

So would I recommend this approach? Not necessarily. If I would have been travelling alone and without an Indian I would have felt pretty uncomfortable standing in the corridor with my luggage for so long, attracting a few looks. You may also encounter unscrupulous Ticket Checkers who will demand a big payment as technically speaking, you are boarding the train without a valid ticket for that class. However, if you really need to be somewhere and don’t mind chancing it, this could be your best bet! Also, you’re not depriving anyone of their seat this way, you’ll only be given a berth if one is empty (so there is a small chance you might have to stand!). 

Get Creative with your “From” Station!

On queueing up to buy a Tatkal ticket from Bikaner to Haridwar, a friendly local stepped in to enquire where I wanted to go. Suspecting “come to my travel agency” stories, I told him anyway and he suggested that I didn’t need to pay extra for a Tatkal ticket, but I could instead buy a ticket from a place called Luni in Rajasthan but “getting on at Bikaner”.

Luni was a small station in the middle of nowhere that not many people travelled from, before Bikaner on the line. But because there are quotas from each station that a train calls at, there were still standard price tickets for sale to my destination as opposed to paying several hundred rupees extra for Tatkal. The ticket office sold this to me without questioning and the ticket inspector on the train seemed quite happy. You can only buy tickets with a different “getting on point” in person.

Safety Tips for Travel on Indian Railways

One of the questions we are asked most often by travellers visiting India is if travelling by train is safe. The straightforward answer: YES! 

The longer answer: Yes train travel in India is generally very safe and most travellers have good experiences. Indian Railways generally has a good safety record and there are always police / guards on each train should you ever need help. The Railways Minister is also incredibly reactive on twitter! They can be reached at @RailMinIndia

There are a couple of things to be aware of to help make your journey even safer: 

  • The main scams around rail travel are around ticketing. Famously, several travel agents pretend to be the “official foreign tourist ticket office” at New Delhi Railway station (ignore them), and touts have been known to single out tourists on platforms, ask for their train # or ticket and then tell them that their train has been cancelled, their ticket is not valid. Sometimes the scams are elaborate but they all revolve around trying to get you to buy a new ticket through them. Just ignore people who approach you at stations – the official ticket checkers will be walking through the trains once you are on and you’ll see all passengers showing their ticket. 
  • Train travel in India is safe for solo women, but we recommend you get the top bunk whenever you can for some additional privacy and make sure you are well covered while sleeping – no shorts, vest tops and you can forget the idea of changing into your silk pyjamas… 
  • Doors are often open during train journeys – this makes for great photo opportunities but please be careful. Trains go fast and often pass next to poles on the track so do not lean out far or while the train is travelling at speed – hold on at all times if you do stand in the doorway. 
  • I’ve read a lot of advice saying to bring a padlock and chain for your luggage, but have personally never used this. I always make sure to keep my small day pack on my top bunk with me (i use it as a pillow, but have also had to leave it unattended on my top bunk when needing the washroom) and keep my main bag with clothes etc down under the seat. I use a cross body purse which never leaves my person with passport, phone and money in. If your bag is full of valuables or you are feeling especially worried about your belongings then by all means bring a padlock and chain. If travelling non-ac sleeper, I’d probably use a chain as sleeper gets more crowded. 

Dispelling Myths about India Train Travel 

Travelling by train in India gets a lot of attention and interest, unsurprisingly! But there are a few myths out there that we’d like to dispel 🙂 

  • Not all Indian Trains are late. It’s true that trains can and do run late, but for us that has been the exception rather than the rule. In general if you book the better trains and follow our advice, you’d be unlucky to experience several late trains. 
  • People don’t sit on the roof of trains in India. This used to be the case, but back in the 80s and 90s. Indian trains actually travel pretty fast – you’ll see that it would be pretty much impossible to stay on top! 
  • Not everybody is out to get you on Indian trains. Many articles warn against leaving your luggage unlocked, keeping your eyes out, not moving without your hand sanitiser, not touching the food, etc etc. Fine, there have been cases where people have had things stolen or got sick, but the overwhelming majority of experiences on Indian trains are good! 

Got an additional myth we should add to this list? Let us know your India train stories in the comments below!

What to Pack for Train Travel in India

I recommend a few essentials that will help make your train trips in India more comfortable! 

  • Headphones. Sometimes you just want to retreat to yourself – you don’t need fancy headphones, your regular ones will do fine! 
  • An Eyemask – People are often switching lights on and off, so one of these will help you sleep, although personally when I travel alone in the train I don’t use one as I want to be able to see what’s going on if I need to quickly. 
  • Hand Sanitiser – Toilets don’t always have soap so this is a must
  • A Sleeping Sheet /  Sleeping Bag Liner – If you’re in AC Classes on Sleeper Trains, sheets, a pillow and a blanket are provided. The sheets are usually very clean (they are boil washed after each trip), but if you like to have something of your own that feels familiar to sleep in, we recommend bringing one along. 
  • A Power Pack – power points are few and far between on the overnight trains, with most passengers vying to charge their phones! Bring a power pack and make sure it’s charged before your journey (so your phone doesn’t die before your alarm for your stop! 😉 )
  • A secure cross-body bag  (purse) to keep your valuables (passport, phone, money) on you at all times.
  • A good book! Phone and internet coverage can be spotty, and after a while you may run out of things to talk about. Train journeys are a great time to catch up on reading. 

More India Train Travel Tips! 

Food on Indian Trains – You can eat some amazing food on Indian trains! Food vendors generally get on and off trains with local specialities according to the region you are travelling through, but are remarkably unpredictable as to when they’ll appear, so it’s best to bring some of your own snacks, too. Multiple chai wallahs can walk down the coach in quick succession, only to vanish again for another few hours. Some trains also have pantry cars and food is sold by catering staff walking up and down the train.

The best chai and food is usually sold by vendors getting on the train at stations. Expect samosas in northern India, vada pav in Maharashtra, idli in south India, and wherever you go, there’s always plenty of staple ‘train biryani’.

Many foreigners are reluctant to eat train-food – with different advice being given out about whether it’s a sensible decision to eat or not. Personally I’ve eaten it many many times and had no stomach issues, but if you’ve just arrived in India or have a sensitive tum, you can give it a miss. I recommend you take provisions with you in case there’s not food around when you’re hungry 🙂 

You can even order food to your seat now, too using various services – pick a restaurant you like at an upcoming station and tuck in! 

Make sure you Wake Up for your Stop! 

Don’t expect anyone to come and wake you up for your stop – set an alarm and keep it where you can hear it – as the railway staff don’t wake people up, and you need to be at the door waiting for your stop if it’s a station where the train only stops for a couple of minutes.

The Indian (Squat) Toilets are Usually Cleaner…

In most coaches there’s a choice between “western” and Indian toilets. I usually always go for the Indian squat variety as they tend to be cleaner! The Western style ones tend to have dirty footprints on the seat (go figure). Toilet paper is not provided so if you’re not happy with water, bring tissues (these go straight on to the track unfortunately so use water if you can). I recommend bringing hand sanitiser or liquid soap too as the soap often seems to run out or was never there to begin with…

Stay up to date with the status of your ticket (and train). 

Train punctuality is getting better – the days of trains being 10 hours late (such as I’ve experienced a few years back) are mostly gone. More common is for trains to get an hour or two late, often in winter due to fog in north India, or during monsoon when there’s heavy rains. You can check the ‘running status’ of your train on this website. If a train says it’s about an hour late, it’s best still to go to the station on time, as trains often make up late time in the middle of their route.

Plan the rest of your Journey

Due to the long distances, trains often arrive or leave in the middle of the night or the early hours of the morning. Whenever this happens I recommend having pre-arranged transportation / a pickup waiting for you to/from your hotel – we definitely don’t recommend taking a rickshaw in the middle of the night to solo travellers. You can give your train number to anyone picking you up to keep on track if your train is delayed 🙂 . 

Chat with your  neighbours!

My favourite place for making new friends in India… is on long train journeys! There’s not much to do and locals are often curious about foreigners travelling – many love to speak English with foreigners and you’ll learn so much about travel habits and culture in English through engaging in friendly conversation.

Remember it’s about the Journey, not the Destination. 

One thing’s for sure if you travel by train in India – you’ll go back home with stories to tell. Train travel can be hot, crowded, delayed, but it can also be the most wonderful way to experience this beautiful country, meet its people and experience all of India’s perfect contradictions. So relax, go with the flow and watch scenes of India unfold!

India Train Travel FAQ’s

Can i book train tickets as a foreigner outside of india how.

Yes! There are a couple of options. You can either register for an IRCTC account with a foreign mobile number and buy tickets directly there, or the much easier option is to book tickets directly here online . 12go offer the most popular routes in India and accept foreign credit cards with no need to create an Indian Railways account. See our “How to book tickets” section above in the guide for full details.

What’s the Best Class to Travel on Indian Trains?

Should i eat the food on indian trains.

Many travellers (including us) eat food on Indian trains and have absolutely no problems, while others have got sick or upset stomachs. If you’ve just arrived in India and haven’t got used to the food yet, we recommend taking it easy and bringing food from your hotel / a restaurant for the journey. Otherwise, tuck in!

Is it true that Indian Railways are Always Late?

On my first trip to India, someone told me that the lateness of trains is measured not in hours but quarter, half or full day late! There’s no denying that some trains do get (very) delayed in India, but i’ve found this to be the exception not the rule. Many trains run on time, especially the higher-tier express trains. Fog can cause delays in northern India during winter months, whereas monsoon rains in southern India can cause delays and cancellations too. Just ensure you have some extra food for your journey and leave plenty of buffer time in your planning.

Is Train Travel in India safe for (solo) Women?

Have you travelled in India by train? Got extra tips to share from your experiences? Let us know in the comments below!

Planning (solo) female travel by train in India? Read my safe train travel tips for women here!

Read More about Travel in India on Soul Travel: 

First Time India: How to Prepare and What to Expect

Agra Travel Guide – Experiencing Agra Beyond the Taj

What to Wear in India  

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15 Cheapest Luxury Trains in India with Price 2024

India is a country of exotic beauty, and travelling by train offers a fantastic experience. The list is a compilation of the top luxury trains in India with their price.

If you plan to take a trip by train next time, this guide will help you select the most expensive to semi-luxury and cheapest luxurious train on your budget. So, Enjoy the most beautiful track on your trip.

Luxury Trains in India

List of Top 15 Cheapest Luxury Trains in India

1. the deccan odyssey: super luxurious train in india.

Based on the concept of Palace On Wheels, the Deccan Odyssey is the newer counterpart of luxurious trains in India. This  train  is rightly termed “luxury on wheels” because it showcases the Maharaja-style train travelling to tourists. 

It has 21 luxuriously furnished coaches with 40 deluxe cabins for accommodation. It also has four presidential suites, one Conference car, restaurants, a well-stocked bar, a library, a spa and massage cabin, and a mini gym.

This royal train in India runs on six routes. The various routes offer visits to national parks, beaches, deserts, historical sites, etc. Each tour package includes famous sites on the way. The tours of beautiful cities like Jodhpur, Aurangabad, Nasik, etc., are additional benefits.

  • The Deccan Odyssey train is Operated by: Indian Railways.
  • The Deccan Odyssey train trip Duration: 7 nights 8 days (approx).

The Deccan Odyssey Package tour booking price

  • For Indian travellers : Rupees 5,12,400 for Single Occupancy and Double is 7,35,000. The Presidential Suite is 11,09,850 rupees, and the twin sharing is 11,09,850 rupees.
  • For international travellers: USD 5,049.79 (approx) per person.

The Deccan Odyssey Features and Facilities

  • Beauty parlour
  • Restaurants and bar
  • 40 air-conditioned deluxe cabins
  • Two presidential suites
  • Internet connectivity
  • Butler services
  • Services also available for disabled guests
  • Attached bathrooms
  • Duration: 7 nights and 8 days trip (approx)

Inside The Deccan Odyssey- Travel across India in supreme Luxury

The Deccan Odyssey train Routes

  • Maharashtra Splendor : Mumbai – 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
  • Hidden Treasures of Gujarat : Mumbai – Vadodara – Palitana – Sasan Gir & Somnath – Little Rann of Kutch – Modhera & Patan – Nashik – Mumbai
  • Indian Sojourn : Mumbai – Vadodara – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Agra – Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambore) – Jaipur – Delhi
  • Jewels of the Deccan : Mumbai – Bijapur – Aihole – Pattadakal – Hampi – Hyderabad – Ellora Caves – Ajanta Caves – Mumbai
  • Maharashtra Wild Trail : Mumbai – Aurangabad (Ellora Caves) – Pench (Ramtek) – Tadoba – Ajanta – Nashik – Mumbai

The Deccan Odyssey Routes

The Deccan Odyssey Awards & Recognition

  • The Deccan Odyssey won the “Asia’s Leading Luxury Train” award from the World Travel Awards in 2010 to 2012 and from 2014 to 2019.
  • The train received the “North India Travel” award for being the best luxurious train in India in 2015.
  •  “TTJ Jury Choice Award” was received for innovation & excellence in 2016.
  • Deccan Odyssey received the “Travel and Lifestyle Leadership Award” for the Best Traveler Experience category in 2017.
  • The train got the title of “Asia’s Leading Luxury Train” from the World Travel Awards in 2018.

2. The Maharaja Express: World’s Leading Luxury Train

The Maharajas’ Express is an extravagant tourist train that moves across North-West and Central India, primarily in Rajasthan. This luxury train won the title of “The World’s Leading Luxury Train” consecutively seven times from 2012 to 2018. Its inception was in 2010 through joint efforts of IRCTC and Cox and Kings India Ltd.

The entire train is furnished luxuriously with a ready Wi-Fi connection across all 43 guest chambers. Apart from the 14 carriages for accommodation, additional dining cars, a Rajah Club lounge, a library, a souvenir shop, a generator, and store cars.

Since 2012, it has run on four routes. Each route has its charm and heritage. The tour package includes sightseeing at famous places on the route.

  • The Maharajas’ Express trains Operated by: IRCTC
  • The Maharajas’ Express train tour Duration: Depends upon the tour package

Maharaja Express

The Maharajas’ Express Package Tour price

  • For Indian travelers: INR 5,56,000 to 10,10,900 (approx) per person
  • For international travelers: USD 7,571.19 to 13,767.96 (approx) per person

The Maharaja Express Features and Facilities

  • Private Bath
  • Centralised air conditioning
  • Interiors fusing classical Indian royalty and modern sophistication
  • additional dining cars
  • Rajah Club lounge
  • Souvenir shop 
  • Padded beds
  • Direct-dial phones
  • Electronic safe
  • LCD television with satellite connection
  • Writing Desk

The Maharaja Express train Routes

  • The Heritage of India: Mumbai – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore and Fatehpur Sikri – Agra and Delhi
  • Gems of India: Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi
  • The Indian Panorama: Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore and Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Orchha, and Khajuraho – Varanasi – Delhi 
  • Indian Splendour: Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Mumbai
  • Treasures of India: Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi

Maharaja express Route

The Maharajas’ Express Awards & Recognition

  • In 2010, Maharajas Express was awarded the “Best Luxury Train” award from CNBC Awaaz Travel Award. 
  • In 2011, the train was the first runner-up for “Specialist Train Operators” by Conde Nast Traveler Readers. 
  • In 2013, Royal India awarded Maharajas’ Express with the “Excellence in Luxury Award.”
  • The train received “Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards” from Seven Stars for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016.
  • From 2012 to 2018, Maharaja Express was awarded the “World Travel Award.”

3. The Golden Chariot Train: Best Luxurious Train ride

The Golden Chariot is a luxury train launched by Indian Railways for touring the state of Karnataka. It’s built on the model of Palace on Wheels from Rajasthan. It mainly represents the historical influences of the Vijaynagara Kings of South India.

It comprises 11 coaches labelled after the ruling dynasties of southern India viz Kadamba, Hoysala, Rashtrakuta, Ganga, Chalukya, Bahamani, Adil Shahi, Sangama, Satavahana, Yadukula, and Vijayanagar.

There are 44 fully air-conditioned cabins for accommodation within these coaches. It operates two restaurants inside named Nala and Ruchi. The interiors of these are decorated in ancient temple style.

They offer a wide variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food from Indian cuisine. The train also has a lounge and spa cars for customer service. The tour arranges sightseeing of the lesser-explored historical destinations of South India, such as the world heritage site of Hampi and Badami ruins.

  • The Golden Chariot Trains Operated by: Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC)
  • The Golden Chariot Train trip Duration: Depends on the tour plan

Golden Chariot Indian Rail Luxury Train Restaurant and Bedroom

The Golden Chariot Train Package tour cost

  • For Indian travellers: INR 3,03,525 (approx) per person
  • For international travellers: USD 4,133.04 (approx) per person

The Golden Chariot Train Features and Facilities

  • Interiors depicting ancient temple-style
  • Eleven coaches were named after the South Indian ruling dynasties 
  • Two restaurants (Nala and Ruchi)

The Golden Chariot Train Routes and Itinerary

  • Pride of Karnataka: Bengaluru – Bandipur – Mysore – Halebidu – Chikamgaluru – Hampi – Pattadakal & Aihole – Goa – Bengaluru
  • Jewels of South: Bengaluru – Mysore – Hampi – Mahabalipuram – Thanjavur and Chettinad – Cochin – Kumarakom -Bengaluru
  • Glimpses of Karnataka: Bengaluru – Bandipur – Mysore – Hampi – Bengaluru

Golden Chariot Route

The Golden Chariot Train Awards & Recognition

  • The Golden Chariot Train was entitled to the “Asia’s Leading Luxury Train” award by World Travel Awards.
  • Vanity Fair Magazine awarded the “One of the Seven Beast Luxury Rail Journeys in the World” award. Golden Chariot received this award four years of its commencement.

4. Palace on Wheels: Asia’s Leading Luxury Train

The Palace on Wheels is a luxurious tourist train for people to experience the royal lifestyle. It started in 1982 as a private train for important figures in British India.

It was primarily used by the rulers of the princely states and the viceroy of India. In August 2009, Rajasthan Tourism joined hands with Indian Railways to re-launch this train for tourists.

The train follows a week-long journey from New Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bharatpur, Agra, and then back to New Delhi. With 23 coaches, it can accommodate 104 passengers at once.

Each coach has four Saloons (chambers) lined with luxurious and aesthetic decorations, setting the royal mood appropriately. Multi-cuisine food items are available for the guests from the two restaurants, Maharaja and The Maharani.

The train also has a lounge bar and spa facilities. The train is fully air-conditioned and offers Wi-Fi connectivity as well.

Palace on Wheels is the most luxurious and best tourist train in India. Explore India’s heritage sites in Style with luxury.

  • Palace on Wheels Route length: 3000 km
  • Palace on Wheels train Operated by: Indian Railways
  • Palace on Wheels Train tour Duration: 7 days and 8 nights (approx) (New Delhi-New Delhi)

Take A Ride On The Palace On Wheels Through Rajasthan

The Palace on Wheels Package tour cost

  • For Indian travelers: INR 2,61,800 to 7,06,860 (approx) per person
  • For international travelers: USD 3,564.87 to 9,623.82 (approx) per person

Palace on Wheels Features and Facilities

  • Television sets
  • Individual pantry
  • Luxury Bathrooms
  • Rich fabric upholstery
  • Hospitable and traditionally clad staff
  • Personal attendants in all coaches
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Four saloons in each coach
  • Aesthetic and luxurious decoration
  • Multi-cuisine items (from Maharaja and The Maharani restaurant) 

Palace on Wheels Train Route

Jaipur – Sawai Madhopur – Chittaurgarh – Udaipur – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Bharatpur – Agra – Delhi 

Palace on Wheels Awards & Recognition

  • World Travel Award (WTA) appreciated the brilliant and royal accommodation facility provided by Palace on Wheels.
  • Palace on Wheels was awarded the “PATA Gold Awards” by the Pacific Asia Travel Association in 1987.
  • In a survey by Conde Nast (a popular travel magazine), Palace on Wheels was given the fourth position among the best luxury trains worldwide.
  • The train was recognised as “Best in Asia” in 2009.
  • Palace on Wheels was entitled to the” Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA)” award for being “Tourist Train of the Year” in 2018.

5. Desert Queen: Culture and Essence of Gujarat and Rajasthan

The Desert Queen train, running through Rajasthan’s deserts, provides visitors with a unique topography. It’s different from the excessive greenery found in other states. You can experience a desert safari by train.

Travellers can see several xerophytic vegetation, such as cactus. Dunes adorn the route throughout, and you can also spot camels there. Settlements are scarce all over this extended area due to extreme weather conditions. The drastic difference between the general natural habitat of India makes this track the most fantastic rail route in the country.

Inside Desert Queen

The Desert Queen train is a tourist and “semi-luxury.” train in India. The train has two types of travel classes: Air-Conditioned First Class and Air-Conditioned Two-Tier Sleeper Class.

  • The Desert Queen rail Route length: 921 km
  • The Desert Queen trip Duration: 4 nights five days (approx) (Delhi – Jaisalmer)
  • The Desert Queen train Operated by: IRCTC

The Desert Queen train Package Tour price

In AC First Class: 

  • For Indian travellers: INR 44,000.0 (approx) per person
  • For international travellers: USD 598.89 (approx) per person

In AC Two Tier: 

  • For Indian travellers: INR 36,600 (approx) per person
  • For international travellers: USD 498.06 (approx) per person

Desert Queen Features and Facilities

  • A desert safari
  • Luxury wine
  • Experience the look of royal and ancient forts of Rajasthan with well-furnished interiors.
  • Air-Conditioned First Class travel
  • Two-Tier Air-Conditioned Sleeper Class travel

6. Fairy Queen Express: Cheapest luxury train in India

Fairy Queen is a steam locomotive that runs periodically from Delhi to Alwar. It was built in the year 1855. Guinness Book of World Records announced it as the oldest steam locomotive in the world, built by British manufacturers Kitson and Company during the British era. 

It was first used for transport in West Bengal and is today identified as a National Treasure of India. The Fairy Queen Express won a National Tourism Award in 1999. It’s the cheapest luxury train in India.

The train hoists two coaches with a generator and pantry car and operates only from October to March. It starts from the national capital, Delhi and moves towards Rajasthan. The train mainly tours the districts of Alwar and Sariska and ends the journey in Delhi. The Sariska National Park is the main attraction of the tour.

  • Fairy Queen Express tour Duration: 1 night two days (Delhi – Alwar) 
  • Fairy Queen Express rail Route length: 143 km
  • Fairy Queen Express train Operated by: Indian Railways

Fairy Queen Express With Oldest Running Steam Locomotive

Fairy Queen Express booking Ticket price

Fairy Queen train ticket price for one way between Delhi & Alwar with stay ( Sariska )and sightseeing is 5500 rupees without sightseeing and stay is 2200 rupees.                   

Fairy Queen Express Features and Facilities

  • Two coaches
  • Well-maintained pantry car
  • Generator facility
  • Enjoy the front view of the locomotive from a large glass window in the coach.
  • Air conditioning chair car
  • Beautiful lounge
  • On-board catering
  • Overnight stay at Sariska Palace
  • The organisation of many cultural programs at Sariska Palace Hotel
  • Fairy Queen Express is in operation only from October to March

Fairy Queen Express Awards & Recognition

  • In 1998, the Guinness Book of Records recognised the Fairy Queen Express as the oldest and regularly operating steam locomotive. 
  • In 1999, the train was awarded the “National Tourism Award” by Atal Bihari Vajpayee (the then prime minister) for its unique and innovative tourism initiative.

7. Royal Orient Train: The World’s Most Luxurious Train

This royal express starts and ends in Delhi. It’s responsible for giving its passengers a royal-like tour of Rajasthan and Gujarat. It starts from Delhi and travels through Chittorgarh, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Junagarh, Veraval, Sasan Gir, Mandvi, Palitana, and Sarkhej.

The train has 13 coaches, all named after former Rajput clans. The cabins of these coaches are furnished like royal palace rooms and provide five-star facilities to guests. 

There are two restaurants present on the train. They provide traditional Indian foods as well as Continental foods. It also has a well-equipped bar named the “Watering Hole”. It operates weekly from September to April.

  • Royal Orient Train trip Duration: 7 nights 8 days (Delhi – Delhi)
  • Royal Orient Train Operated by: Indian Railways

Inside Royal Orient Train

Royal Orient Train package tour cost

  • For Indian travelers: INR 1,47,784 to 2,51,493 (approx) per person
  • For international travelers: USD 2,011.49 to 3,423.11 (approx) per person

Royal Orient Train Features and Facilities

  • 13 blue coaches named after Rajput clans
  • Royal and furnished cabins
  • Five-star facilities
  • Well equipped bar
  • Two restaurants
  • Indian and continental cuisine
  • Attached are washrooms with hot and cold water
  • Two attendants in each saloon
  • Lounge with colour TV and CD player
  • Music speaker in each cabin
  • Royal Orient is in operation from September to April

8. Heritage On Wheels: Experience Indian heritage

Another luxury train from Rajasthan follows the lesser-known track of the state. Heritage on Wheels starts from Jaipur, tours Shekhawati and Bikaner, and ends at Jaipur again. The trip offers a relaxing view of desert sand and dunes extending over significant areas.

The itinerary allows travellers to experience the authentic culture of Rajasthan. This tour shows places that tourists do not very commonly visit. Camel safari is included in the tour package.

The train has 14 carriages that have been furnished according to the taste of royalty and heritage. It can accommodate 104 people on each trip. The restaurants, Maharaja and Maharani, serve Indian, Chinese, and Continental cuisines. The lounge has a bar and a small library for guests to relax and converse while enjoying the journey.

  • Heritage On Wheels Operated by: Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation& Indian Railways
  • Heritage On Wheels tour Duration: 3 nights 4 days (approx) (Jaipur – Jaipur)

Heritage On Wheels

Heritage On Wheels Tour Package price

  • For Indian travellers: INR 6,500 to 12,500 (approx) per person
  • For international travellers: USD 88.47 to 170.13 (approx) per person

9. Royal Rajasthan on Wheels: World’s Most Exciting Luxury Rail Journey

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is another luxury train of Rajasthan modelled on Palace on Wheels, started by Indian Railways in January 2009. It comes with 14 luxurious cabins. These are named after the ancient royal palaces of Rajasthan, such as Hawa Mahal and Phool Mahal. 

Each comes furnished with a Wi-Fi connection, Satellite TV, music system, and Individual temperature control and is decorated with a particular colour theme. Some themes are ruby, sapphire, pearl, etc.

The two dining cars on wheels in Royal Rajasthan are named Swarn Mahal and Sheesh Mahal. Their names decorate both cars. Here, highly efficient staff serves Indian cuisine to the guests. Along with this, a spa and souvenir shop is also on board.

  • Royal Rajasthan on Wheels trip Duration: 8 days and seven nights (approx)
  • Royal Rajasthan on Wheels rail Operated by: Indian Railways

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels train package Ticket price

  • For Indian travellers: INR 2,82,852 (approx) per person
  • For international travellers: USD 3,849.70 (approx) per person

The Train Route: New Delhi – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Chittaurgarh – Jaipur – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Sarnath – Agra – Delhi

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels Features and Facilities

  • 14 luxury cabins named after Rajasthani royal palaces
  • Deluxe cabins
  • Super deluxe suites 
  • Satellite TV
  • Music system
  • Temperature control facility
  • Two dining cars (Swarn Mahal and Sheesh Mahal)
  • Efficient staff
  • Souvenir shop
  • Attendants to carry luggage
  • Personal attendants in each coach
  • Rajasthani, Chinese and continental cuisine
  • Newspaper and Magazine
  • Bar and lounge
  • Books, board games, mailbox, safe, etc
  • Laundry service

10. Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train: Footsteps of Lord Buddha

IRCTC launched the Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train in October 2019. Buddhist Circuit Train, also known as Mahaparinirvan Express. The route starts at Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station. From there, it takes you to all the notable Buddhist-related places in India. It ends its route at the same point it began.

It passes through Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar. Accommodation is provided in two classes, AC1 and AC2. Both the interior and exterior are nicely decorated to give a luxury vibe. There are two dining cars with a kitchen car, one separate staff car, and two power cars on board. The train is fully air-conditioned.

For the train to start its journey, a minimum of 175 passengers is required. The ticket includes hotel fares, monument entry fares, guides, and meals. Children below the age of five get a free ride.

  • Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train tour Duration: 8 days and seven nights
  • Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train Operated by: IRCTC

Inside Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train

Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train Tour package price

 In AC First Coupe: 

  • For Indian travellers: INR 95,022 (approx) per person
  • For international travellers: USD 1,293.04 (approx) per person
  • For Indian travellers: INR 84,100 (approx) per person
  • For international travellers: USD 1,144.54 (approx) per person

In AC-2 Tier: 

  • For Indian travellers: INR 69,537 (approx) per person
  • For international travellers: USD 946.26 (approx) per person

Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train Features and Facilities

  • Air conditioning
  • Two dining cars
  • A kitchen car in both the dining cars
  • A separate vehicle for staff
  • Two power cars
  • Touchless taps
  • Bio-vacuum toilets and adjustable reading lights
  • Leather interiors
  • Packaged drinking water
  • Tea and coffee
  • Luggage assistance

Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train Awards & Recognition

In 2009, the Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train was entitled to the “National Tourism Award” from the Ministry of Tourism. 

11. Majestic Tourist Train

IRCTC launched the Majestic Tourist Train a few years back. The train comes with all the facilities a passenger can desire. Two packages are provided by Majestic Tourist Train- Majestic Rajasthan and Majestic Rajasthan with Taj Mahal. It includes many destinations in Rajasthan like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Mandawa, Jaisalmer, etc.

The first-class AC coach has four compartments with sliding doors for security and the second-class AC coach has a sitting area but no sliding doors. Both coaches have berths with bed bunks.

Majestic Tourist Train has two restaurants with a seating capacity of 64 guests each. The restaurants serve Indian and international food. The train provides many luxury facilities such as safety lockers, shower cubicles, a mini library, foot massages, etc.

Majestic Rajasthan

As the name suggests, the train will take its passengers through different destinations in Rajasthan. The journey starts and ends in Delhi. The first stop for Majestic Rajasthan is in Mandawa, where you can enjoy ancient Havelis and forts.

Majestic Rajasthan with Taj Mahal

Majestic Rajasthan with Taj provides an extension for Golden Triangle Tour India. The journey starts from Delhi and covers Agra. So guests can enjoy the grandeur and charm of the Taj Mahal in Agra. They explore the streets of Agra and savour local sweets and delicacies.

  • Majestic Tourist Train Operated by: IRCTC
  • Majestic Tourist Train Trip Duration: 5 days and 4 nights

Majestic Tourist Train Package Tour Price

Majestic tourist train features and facilities.

  • Private security guard in each coach
  • CCTV cameras
  • Hot and cold water shower
  • Medical support
  • Shower cubicles
  • Safety locker
  • Separate sitting area
  • Mini library
  • Foot massagers
  • International and Indian meal

Majestic Tourist Train Routes

Majestic Rajasthan: Delhi-Agra-Jaipur-Jodhpur-Jaisalmer-Delhi

Majestic Rajasthan with Taj Mahal: Delhi-Mandawa-Jaisalmer- Jodhpur-Jaipur-Delhi

12. Ramayana Express

Ramayana Express is a special train for tourists run by the railways. Tourists who want a pilgrimage destination associated with Lord Ram board the train. The train has ten coaches- 5 non-AC sleeper classes and five three-tier AC coaches. Passengers board the Ramayana Express from Ghaziabad, Delhi, Lucknow, Moradabad, and Bareilly.

Passengers will get pure vegetarian food on the train. SL class travellers will be provided a facility to wash and change at Dharamshala or hotels. Non-Ac buses are arranged for transfers and sightseeing purposes. A tour manager from IRCTC will accompany the passengers during the complete tour.

During the days of Navratri, travellers will get food with no garlic or onion. Ramayana Express will provide fruits, potato chaat, sabudana khichdi, and curd during Navratri.

Places covered in this journey:

  • Ram Janmbhoomi and Hanuman Garhi at Ayodhya
  • Bharat Mandir at Nandigram
  • Shringi Rishi Mandir at Shringverpur
  • Ramghat and Sati Anusuiya Mandir at Chitrakoot
  • Hanuman Janm Sthal at Hampi
  • Sita Mata Mandir at Sitamarhi and Janakpur
  • Tulsi Manas Mandir and Sankat Mochan Mandir at Varanasi
  • Sita Samahit Sthal at Sitamarhi
  • Triveni Sangam
  • Hanuman Mandir and Bharadwaj Ashram at Prayag
  • Panchvati at Nasik
  • Anjanadri Hill
  • Jyotirlinga Shiva Mandir at Rameshwaram
  • Ramayana Express Train Operated by: IRCTC
  • Ramayana Express Train Trip Duration: 16 days and 17 nights 

Ramayana Express Train Package Tour cost

Ramayana express features and facilities.

  • Vegetarian meal 
  • Night accommodation and clean up facility at AC hotels and Dharamshalas
  • Transfer and sightseeing vehicles
  • A tour manager by IRCTC throughout the journey
  • Security guard
  • Tour escorts at every tourist destination
  • Travel insurance is included in the package
  • Necessary health facilities
  • Additional tour of Sri Lanka
  • AC class coaches

Ramayana Express Train Routes

Delhi – Ayodhya – Sitamarhi – Janakpur – Buxar – Varanasi – Prayagra – Chitrakoot – Nasik – Hampi – Rameshwaram – Kachipuram – Bhadrachalam – Delhi

13. Cheapest Luxury Trains in India – Vande Bharat Express

The Vande Bharat Express is India’s fastest train to date. This semi-luxury train can attain a 183 km/hr or 114 mph speed. However, its service speed is restricted to 160 km/hr or 99 mph. 

Along with its high speed, this train is also known for its luxurious services at a reasonable price. There are two coach types – Executive class and Chair car. The entire train is air conditioned and connected with fast Wi-Fi service for passengers to use.

Unlike regular Indian trains, the Vande Bharat Express has automatic sliding doors and bio-vacuum toilets. The seats are manufactured for utmost comfort. The headrests can be adjusted according to the customer’s preference.

There are also armrests and footrests for ease of travel. The onboard catering service offers a variety of delicious meals, snacks and beverages. Passengers can choose between vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

The Vande Bharat Express began operations in 2019 on the Delhi – Varanasi route. Currently, it runs on 15 routes, with new routes in development.

  • Vande Bharat Express Trains Operated By: IRCTC
  • Vande Bharat Express Trains tour duration: Depends upon the route
  • Vande Bharat Express Train Fair: The cost varies between Rs 1000 to Rs 3000 depending on the distance travelled and coach type.

Vande Bharat express

Vande Bharat Express Trains Features and Facilities

  • Centralized air conditioning
  • Automatic sliding doors
  • GPS-based passenger information system
  • Bio-vacuum toilets
  • Comfortable seats
  • Reading lights on each seat

Vande Bharat Express Train Routes and Itinerary

  • New Delhi – Varanasi Vande Bharat Express
  • New Delhi – Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra (Jammu and Kashmir) Vande Bharat Express
  • Mumbai Central – Gandhinagar Capital Vande Bharat Express
  • New Delhi – Amb Andaura (Himachal Pradesh) Vande Bharat Express
  • MGR Chennai Central – Mysuru Vande Bharat Express
  • Bilaspur – Nagpur Vande Bharat Express
  • Howrah – New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat Express
  • Visakhapatnam – Secunderabad Vande Bharat Express
  • Mumbai CSMT – Solapur Vande Bharat Express
  • Mumbai CSMT – Sainagar Shirdi Vande Bharat Express
  • Rani Kamalapati (Habibganj, Bhopal) – Hazrat Nizamuddin (Delhi) Vande Bharat Express
  • Secunderabad – Tirupati Vande Bharat Express
  • MGR Chennai Central – Coimbatore Vande Bharat Express
  • Delhi Cantonment – Ajmer Vande Bharat Express
  • Thiruvananthapuram – Kasaragod Vande Bharat Express

Vande Bharat Express Train Awards and Recognition

  • Vande Bharat Express received the Golden Peacock Innovative Product / Service Award in 2019.
  • It was awarded ‘Most Innovative and Unique Tourism Product’ by the National Tourism Award in 2019.
  • TIME Magazine featured Vande Bharat Express on its 100 Greatest Places of 2019.
  • Vande Bharat Express received Asia’s Greatest Brands and Leaders Award in 2019.

14. Maitree Express: India and Bangladesh Friendship train (semi-luxury)

The Maitree Express travels between India and Bangladesh five times a week. It’s the first train between the two neighbouring countries in 43 years. The train starts from Kolkata and travels to Dhaka.

It’s operated on the Barisal track route. It was launched in August 2018 to improve the foreign relations between India and Bangladesh. Hence, the train was named Maitree, which means “Friendship” in Bengali.

It’s a fully air-conditioned express train running on diesel locomotives, an AC 1st class and an AC chair car coach. The ticket booking process is not a usual one.

The tickets for Maitree Express are not available on the website of IRCTC. Tickets are available only at the booking counters of Chitpur Station in Kolkata on showing a valid Bangladeshi visa and passport. Due to high demand, book the tickets at least a week before the journey.

  • Operated by: Eastern Railways & Bangladesh Railway
  • Duration: 8 hours 50 minutes

Maitree ExpressMaitree Express

With the rapid development of Indian Railways, many more special trains might be available in upcoming years. These trains add to your travelling experience. A trip with these trains will make the journey more memorable than the destination. Keep a look for the next time you are travelling.

Maitree Express Features and Facilities

  • First-class AC coach
  • AC chair car coach

15. Rajdhani Express (semi-luxury)

Rajdhani Express is a train service by Indian Railways that connects major cities of different states to the “Rajdhani” or capital of India, Delhi. It’s a semi-luxurious superfast passenger train and India’s most famous train. Its maiden journey was from Delhi NCR to Howrah Junction on March 3, 1969, completed its journey of 1450 km at a record time of 17 hours.

The train is fully air-conditioned and divided into three coaches: AC First Class, AC 2-Tier, and AC 3-Tier. Passengers are served high-quality breakfast, lunch, and dinner, depending on the duration of their journey. The cost of all these facilities is included in the ticket. The train currently runs on 24 different routes.

  • Rajdhani Express train Operated by: Indian Railways
  • Rajdhani Express train trip Duration: Depends on the destination

Rajdhani Express train ticket price

  • Fair for Ac 3-Tier: Rs 2080 – Rs 2778
  • Fair for Ac 2-Tier: Rs 2885 – Rs 4153
  • Fair for Ac first class: Rs 4825

Rajdhani Express train routes:

  • Dibrugarh Town Rajdhani Express: New Delhi – Assam
  • Bilaspur Rajdhani: New Delhi – Chhattisgarh
  • Madgaon Rajdhani: Hazrat Nizamuddin (Delhi) – Goa
  • Swarna Jayanti Rajdhani: New Delhi – Gujarat
  • Jammu Tawi Rajdhani: New Delhi – Jammu and Kashmir
  • Ranchi Rajdhani: New Delhi – Jharkhand 
  • Bengaluru Rajdhani: Hazrat Nizamuddin (Delhi) – Karnataka 
  • Thiruvananthapuram Rajdhani: Hazrat Nizamuddin (Delhi) – Kerala
  • August Kranti Rajdhani: Hazrat Nizamuddin (Delhi) – Maharashtra 
  • Mumbai CSMT Rajdhani: Hazrat Nizamuddin (Delhi) – Maharashtra 
  • Bhubaneswar Rajdhani: New Delhi – Odisha
  • Chennai Rajdhani: Hazrat Nizamuddin (Delhi) – Tamil Nadu
  • Secunderabad Rajdhani: Hazrat Nizamuddin (Delhi) – Telangana
  • Howrah Rajdhani: New Delhi – West Bengal 
  • Sealdah Rajdhani: New Delhi – West Bengal 

Rajdhani Express Features and Facilities

  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner facilities
  • Free Wi-Fi on some trains
  • Power ports for laptops and mobile phones
  • Baggage facility

Rajdhani Express Menu

Which is the best luxury train in India?

The Maharaja Express is the best luxury train in India. Everything required is on board. The grand interior and amenities will make the tourists feel like a Maharaja (king).

How many luxurious trains are in India?

Currently, nine luxury trains are running in India. Among these, five of them cross Rajasthan on their route.

What is the price of a luxury train in India?

The ticket price of luxury trains in India can vary anywhere between 1,00,000 INR to 5,00,000 INR.

Which is the cheapest luxury train in India?

Fairy Queen Express has the cheapest ticket price of rupees 6,800 out of all other luxurious trains in India.

How many luxury and semi-luxury trains are there in India?

There are 15 luxury and semi-luxury trains in India.

History of Luxury Trains in India

In 1982, the journey of luxury trains began in India with Palace On Wheels. The train was introduced to promote Rajasthan tourism among foreign tourists. The original idea of a luxury train came from the concept of George Mortimer Pullman’s Pullman Sleeping Car in 1864.

The British built railway tracks in India. Post-independence, the Indian government wanted a touch of Indian culture for its railways. Thus, luxury trains were introduced to showcase the extravaganza of Indian royalties – the Rajputs.

Indian Railways IRCTC to start a special Bharat Darshan Tourist train

IR CTC launched a special Bharat Darshan Tourist train on 8th October 2021. The train will explore the beauty of historical and religious sites in the Northern part of India. Bharat Darshan Tourist Train will start from Rewa (MP) to Mathura, Agra, Haridwar, Amritsar, Vaishno Devi, and Rishikesh.

10 Most luxurious trains in the world

The top 10 luxurious trains in the world are

  • Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
  • Golden Eagle
  • The Rocky Mountaineer
  • The Canadian
  • Belmond Royal Scotsman
  • The Transcantabrico Gran Lujo
  • Maharajas’ Express

What is the most luxurious train in India?

The Maharaja Express is the best 5-star luxurious train in India. The charges are INR 556,000 to INR 1,010,900 (approx) per person for Indian travellers. Ticket price for international travellers ranges from 7,571.19 to USD 13,767.96 (approx) per person.

Maharaja Express has bagged the title of “World’s leading luxury train” by the World Travel Awards (WTA) from 2012 to 2018. 

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HI TRAVELLER …Myself Ruma Dey Baidya. I’ve been backpacking for the last 20+ years. Photography and travelling have been my passion since my childhood. Whenever I got an opportunity, I never missed it. I am not a solo backpacker, so I always try group travel. I prefer budget travel, and it also helps me to save expenses. We know that memories are not constant, so I decided to document them and created this travel diary. This website [ TheHolidayStory ] is dedicated to those who passionate about travel like me. Please feel free for any information related to my blog. I am always happy to reply. Mail id – ruma[@]

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Here are some of the top scenic train routes in India.

29 Jun, 2024

Kumar Utkarsh

Shimla-Kalka Railway: The journey features steep gradients, tunnels, and over 800 bridges with views of pine forests.

Matheran hill railway: the matheran hill railway is asia's only toy train on a narrow gauge, running from neral to matheran., nilgiri mountain railway : this unesco world heritage site runs from mettupalayam to ooty, climbing through the nilgiri hills., konkan railway: it's particularly scenic during the monsoon when the landscape is lush green., kashmir valley railway: the journey offers a glimpse into the scenic beauty of the himalayas., darjeeling himalayan railway: it winds through the darjeeling hills, offering stunning views of tea gardens., araku valley train: it's known for its scenic beauty, especially during the journey from visakhapatnam to araku valley..

Thanks For Reading!

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  • Indian Railways

7 Most Luxurious Tourist Train Run by Indian Railways

All the luxury tourist trains are either run by or in association with Indian Railways, There are five luxury tourist trains in India, which are voted as some of the best luxurious train in the world in 2010. These luxurious trains include Palaces On Wheels,Maharaja Express, Fairy Queen, Heritage on Wheels and The Indian Maharaja.

Maharaja Express

The-Maharajas- Express

Maharaja Express, operated by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation is the most expensive luxury train in the World. The Maharajas Express runs on 5 circuits mainly centered on Rajasthan and also connects tourist destinations of North West and Central India.

Routes and Itineraries:

– Heritage of India Mumbai – Ajanta – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Agra – Delhi

– Treasures of India Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi

– Gems of India Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi

– Indian Panorama Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Gwalior – Orchha – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Lucknow – Delhi

– The Indian Splendour Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Balasinor – Mumbai

Palace on Wheels


Palace on Wheels is run by Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation with the association of the Indian Railways, The train has a 7 nights and 8 days itinerary that covers most of the tourist places the state to promote tourism in Rajasthan.

Route New Delhi > Jaipur > Sawai Madhopur and Chittaurgarh > Udaipur > Jaisalmer > Jodhpur >  Bharatpur and Agra  > New Delhi

Golden Chariot

The -Golden-Chariot

Golden Chariot offers luxury travel experiences to offbeat destinations of South India and covers all important tourist spots in Karnataka, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu with Pondicherry. The Golden Chariot luxury tourist train is operated by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation.

Routes and Itineraries

– Pride of the South Bangalore > Mysore > Nagarhole National Park > Hassan > Belur Halebidu > Hospet Hampi > Aihole Pattadakal and Badami > Goa > Bengaluru

– Splendor of the South Bangalore > Chennai > Pondicherry > Tanjavur > Madurai > Thiruvananthapuram > Alleppey and Kochi > Bengaluru

Deccan Odyssey


Deccan Odyssey offers luxury travel experience on the route western and south India to boost tourism on the Maharashtra. The Deccan Odyssey is a joint venture of the Maharashtra Government and the Ministry of Indian Railways and one of the five special luxury train of India,ride through the Konkan regions,Deccan Plateau and majestic Western Ghats. This majestic train journey of Deccan Odyssey offers 6 different itineraries for a lifetime experiences in different regions of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

– Maharashtra Splendor Mumbai to Goa via Nashik > Ajanta Ellora Caves > Kolhapur > Sindhudurg

– Indian Odyssey New Delhi to Sawai Madhopur > Agra > Jaipur > Udaipur > Vadodara > Ellora Caves then Mumbai

– Indian Sojourn Mumbai up to New Delhi

– Jewels Of The Deccan Mumbai to Bijapur > Aihole Pattadakal > Hampi > Hyderabad > Ellora Ajanta Caves

– Hidden Treasures Of Gujarat Mumbai > Vadodara > Palitana > Gir > Little Rann of Kutch > Modhera > Nashik

– Maharashtra A Wild Trail Mumbai CST > Ellora Caves > Aurangabad > Pench > Tadoba > Ajanta Caves > Nashik

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels


Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is run by Indian Railways and follows the same route of Palace on Wheels through Rajasthan and major tourist attractions covered also includes Taj Mahal,Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Agra Fort and Khajuraho. The train package offers 7 nights and 8 days itinerary to important tourist, wildlife and heritage sites across Rajasthan.

Route: New Delhi > Jodhpur > Udaipur and Chittaurgarh > Ranthambore National Park and Jaipur > Khajuraho > Varanasi and Sarnath > Agra > Delhi

Fairy Queen


Fairy Queen steam locomotive luxury train runs between New Delhi and Alwar to boost tourism in Rajasthan. The train covers 143 kilometres distance from New Delhi to Alwar in Rajasthan, carrying 60 passengers with a maximum speed of 40 kilometres per hour.

Route: Delhi > Sariska Tiger Reserve > Alwar

Royal Orient


The Royal Orient luxury train runs between Gujarat and Rajasthan to explore the Royalty of Rajputana with a taste of royal luxury. The train covers all the important tourist locations in the two states.

Route: Delhi Cantonment railway station >  Chittorgarh > Jaipur > Udaipur > Ahmedabad > Mehsana > Junagarh > Veraval > Sasan gir > Mandvi > Palitana > Sarkhej

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IRCTC's Dakshin Bharat Yatra: Indian Railways to operate Bharat Gaurav Tourist train - Check destinations, fare, itinerary and more

IRCTC Latest Update, Indian Railways News: Good news for devotees! Indian Railways is set to operate Bharat Gaurav Tourist train for the upcoming 'Dakshin Bharat Yatra.' This rail tour package will cover multiple places across South India. The 12-night and 13-day journey will commence on July 13, 2024, from Gorakhpur railway station. The tour will conclude on July 25, 2024.

The boarding and de-boarding facilities are available at several railway stations including Gorakhpur, Kaptanganj, Thawe, Siwan, Chhapra, Banaras, Prayagraj, Rae Bareli, Lucknow, Kanpur, Orai, Jhansi, Lalitpur and Bina. During the tour, the passengers will be able to visit various places in Rameshwaram, Madurai, Kanyakumari, and Tirupati.

IRCTC Dakshin Bharat Yatra: Places To Visit

  • Tirupati: Tirupati Balaji Temple, Padmavati Temple, Shree Kaal Hasti Temple
  • Rameshwaram: Rameshwaram Temple, Dhanushkodi, Vibhishan Temple, Kalaam Memorial (House), Ramnath Swami Temple.
  • Kundal Nagar: Meenakashi Temple
  • Kanyakumari: Local Sightseen
  • Markapur Road: Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga Temple

IRCTC Dakshin Bharat Yatra: Train Seat availability

Irctc dakshin bharat yatra: ticket fare, about bharat gaurav tourist train.

irctc's dakshin bharat yatra: indian railways to operate bharat gaurav tourist train - check destinations, fare, itinerary and more

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IRCTC to connect India, Nepal through tourist train under Bharat Gaurav

Irctc will be india's first agency to connect two countries through tourist train under the bharat gaurav scheme of indian railways as the train will depart on the shri ramayana yatra circuit.


According to IRCTC, the train with a capacity of 600 persons, will cover major cities including Ayodhya, Buxar, Janakpur, Sitamarhi, Kashi, Prayag, Chitrakoot, Nasik, Hampi, Rameshwaram, Kanchipuram and Bhadrachalam.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Tourist activity slowly picking up in Nepal as Covid restrictions are eased

Tourist activity slowly picking up in Nepal as Covid restrictions are eased

SC collegium recommends Justice Munishwar Bhandari as Madras High Court CJ

SC collegium recommends Justice Munishwar Bhandari as Madras High Court CJ

Indian Railways cancels 222 trains today, diverts 19: Check full list here

Indian Railways cancels 222 trains today, diverts 19: Check full list here

IRCTC launches low-cost 'religious tour package' from Lucknow to Nepal

IRCTC launches low-cost 'religious tour package' from Lucknow to Nepal

Nepal govt to close its border points for 72 hrs prior to local elections

Nepal govt to close its border points for 72 hrs prior to local elections

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First Published: Jun 09 2022 | 10:28 AM IST

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How to reach Kollam in Kerala from Delhi?

Times of India TIMESOFINDIA.COM / Created : Jul 3, 2024, 23:14 IST

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Discover the historical allure, culinary delights, and monsoon charm of Kollam by visiting Portuguese and Dutch forts and immersing yourself in this coastal paradise's unique atmosphere.

Discover the historical allure, culinary delights, and monsoon charm of Kollam by visiting Portuguese and Dutch forts and immersing yourself in this coastal paradise's unique atmosphere. Read less

How to reach Kollam in Kerala from Delhi?

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India’s first Vande Bharat sleeper train: All you need to know

India may get its first vande bharat sleeper train by independence day. here's all you need to know..

Listen to Story

Details on India’s first Vande Bharat sleeper train. (Image Courtesy: @IndianTechGuide/Twitter)

  • First Vande Bharat sleeper train's trail run expected to begin in August
  • The train will likely run from Delhi to Mumbai
  • It is expected that it will have 16 coaches

India is likely to get its first Vande Bharat sleeper train this year. According to several media reports, in a significant development, the trial runs of the Vande Bharat sleeper train are expected to start from August 15, 2024. The train will likely run from Delhi to Mumbai, as the route is busy and the demand for reservations remains high.

ðŸšè India’s first Vande Bharat sleeper train is expected to start operations before August 15. The train will initially operate between Delhi and Mumbai via Gujarat. — Indian Tech & Infra (@IndianTechGuide) June 26, 2024

Further, the reports suggest that the manufacturing of the sleeper train is in its final stages in Bengaluru. The train will likely have 16 coaches; among them, 10 will be reserved for the third AC, 4 will be reserved for the second AC, and one coach will be reserved for the first AC. The train will also have two Seating cum Luggage Rake (SLR) coaches.

The train is expected to run at a speed of 130 km/h in the first phase. Later on, the speed of the train will gradually be increased from 160 km/h to 220 km/h.

According to reports, Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw recently said that the completion work of the trainset for the Vande Bharat sleeper train is in full swing and the first train will be on track within two months. He added that the trainset is being manufactured by BEML Ltd at its rail unit in Bangalore. Published By: Karan Yadav Published On: Jun 26, 2024 READ | Ticketless passengers overcrowd Vande Bharat Express in Lucknow. Railways reacts READ | Congress claims low bookings on Vande Bharat trains, Railway Minister reacts



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    IRCTC Tourism is Offering Affordable Online Package Booking for Encouraging Tourism in India. The Ministry of Tourism Provide Best Travel and Tour Packages. Book Now! Contact Us. 1800110139 0755 - 6698100 / 4090400 tourism[at]irctc[dot]com. Login; Flights; ... Then choose from a range of land, air, and rail tour packages and book your dream ...

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    Indian railway ticket bookings open 120 days before the date of travel. This means you can book your train tickets up to four months before your planned travel date. Additionally, some long-distance trains have a quota for foreign tourists, which allows them to book tickets up to 365 days in advance, subject to availability.

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    The Gatimaan Express from Delhi to Agra. The Gatimaan Express at Agra - India's fastest train journey. Contributed by Soujanya from Similar to a shatabdi express, The Gatimaan Express is one of the first high-speed trains in India, and is the currently second fastest train in operation in India.

  8. Buddha Express OFFICIAL WEBSITE

    Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Ltd (Ministry of Railways, Government of India) Corporate Office:M-13, Punj House, Connaught Place, New Delhi - 110 001 . buddhisttrain[at]irctc[dot]com +91 8287930574 / 8287930031

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    But IRCTC tourism has a wide array of inexpensive train trips, Deluxe train vacations, train travel planner, train vacation packages, tourist train rides, etc. So, to experience the best train trip in India, you just need to make a choice, book the package on the official tourism website and your dream holiday will turn into a reality.

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    Maharajas Express. Pay for one and your companion pays 50% only. Royal trains in India offering indian train tours, train tours in india, rajasthan tourism, luxury trains of india, travel by palace on wheels india, the royal orient travel, the fairy queen tours, travel by train in india, Royal Indian Trains, New Delhi.

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    Rail Tourism - Get the best deals on Train Tour & Holiday Packages on For customized Rail tour packages call us on +919212777224. ... Heritage Tour of India by Train Duration: 16 Nights - 17 Days Delhi - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi - Kathmandu - Delhi;

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    This rail tour package will cover multiple places across South India. The 12-night and 13-day journey will commence on July 13, 2024, from Gorakhpur railway station. The tour will conclude on July ...

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  29. India's first Vande Bharat sleeper train: All you need to know

    India is likely to get its first Vande Bharat sleeper train this year. According to several media reports, in a significant development, the trial runs of the Vande Bharat sleeper train are expected to start from August 15, 2024. The train will likely run from Delhi to Mumbai, as the route is busy and the demand for reservations remains high.

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