One of the first things that strike first time visitors to India is the formality with which we conduct our lives. This is understandable, because we have been an aristocratic society since ancient times, ruled by kings and queens (maharaja and maharani in Hindi) who developed elaborate customs and rituals that upheld royal traditions. The remnants of those traditions still carry on in a few places in India, notably Rajasthan and south India.
The splendor in which the royalty lived has been recreated with a modern facelift by the Maharajas’ Express Train, literally meaning the Kings’ Railway. Outfitted with the best conveniences under the hood, the train service is an exclusive way to experience leisure and take in the sights of India.
India’s Golden Triangle – Agra, Ranthambore and Jaipur
There are 6 distinct trip packages that this highly decorated tourist train offers to the discerning traveler. The shortest one is a 4 day / 3 night sojourn which has been named ‘Treasures of India’. This name suits the itinerary well, considering that on the very first day, you get to see the cenotaph that occupies pride of place in the Seven Wonders of the World: the iconic Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal is the crowning glory of Mughal architecture, and has to be seen to be believed. This marble monument was built as a testament of love by the Mughal emperor (or maharaja) Shah Jahan, which means ‘ruler of the world’. Apart from its architectural finesse, the history behind it is also viewable in the entrance and surrounding greenery, as it stands on the banks of the river Yamuna.
From the crowded streets of Agra where you tour the Taj Mahal, the Maharajas’ Express Train takes you into the erstwhile hunting retreats of Ranthambore, where the majestic tiger, India’s national animal, can be spotted – but only if you’re lucky! The open safari vehicles cause an adrenaline rush when the giant cat strolls by, with nothing to prevent it from taking a swipe at you! Fear is definitely a factor here, but we are only kidding – the park rangers and drivers are skilled in keeping their distance so as not to arouse the wrath of this apex predator.
Next stop on the Maharajas Express Train route is the Pink City – Jaipur. The pride of Rajasthan (as well as its capital city), Jaipur has the historical Amber Fort standing at its border. Vibrant festivals and colorful performances are scheduled for you when you visit Jaipur as a guest onboard the Maharajas’ Express. Indeed, the high level of respect accorded to kings and queens in the past is recreated, especially for you! A small example is the Kalbelia dance performance on the last night of this 3 night journey, performed by classically trained Rajasthani danseuses.
Luxury On Wheels – Nothing’s Better!
It goes without saying that the Maharajas’ Express combines Indian heritage with first-world amenities, leaving out nothing and incorporating the best that India has to offer!