Home > Magazine > Tidbits > RIDING THE INDIAN RAILS IN ROYAL STYLE

 

RIDING THE INDIAN RAILS IN ROYAL STYLE

Email
April 2008
RIDING THE INDIAN RAILS IN ROYAL STYLE

Train lovers have long had an array of interesting options in India, although ordinary passengers aren’t likely to have the same experience as upscale tourists. Despite recent improvements to make daily travel more agreeable, the ‘maharaja’ style of riding the rails offered to well-off visitors and residents is miles—or kilometers—apart from the ‘janata’ style available to most Indians. To get on the popular Palace on Wheels in the peak season (October-March), a couple would have to pay up to $5866. The week-long trip begins in Delhi and includes stops in Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur, Udaipur, Bharatpur, and Agra. One can do shorter tours of Rajasthan on the more recent Heritage on Wheels, which makes royalty on the rails much more affordable. But so far, the Indian middle classes haven’t been rushing to board either train.

The Indian government continues to bet high on the lucrative end of rail travel, now that foreign tourism is on the upswing and the booming economy has made many people wealthy. Rajasthan no longer has a monopoly on luxury trains. They’re gradually branching out to other states. First it was the Deccan Odyssey in Maharashtra, followed by the recently introduced Golden Chariot in Karnataka. Again, for both trains, it’s a seven-day tour that includes travel, accommodations, sightseeing, and food. For about $3400, one can board the Golden Chariot—which has 11 passenger coaches, apart from facilities for dining and conferences—in Bangalore and visit Mysore, Goa, and historic Hampi, among other places. Another way to visit Goa would be to get on the Deccan Odyssey, which departs weekly from Mumbai and makes stops in Aurangabad (to see the Ellora caves) and Jalgaon (to see the Ajanta caves), among other places.

Indian Railways, as a whole, is making gains on issues ranging from equipment and station upgrades to better salaries for workers. Not only have the fares held steady in recent years, but also, because of greater efficiency and productivity per train, it’s been able to turn in a profit—an impressive achievement for a government undertaking with 1.6 million employees. One welcome eco-friendly initiative, conceived at IIT Kanpur, is the decision to install discharge-free toilets in every train. So it’s not just the IT sector that can take credit for India’s ongoing progress.


Enjoyed reading Khabar magazine? Subscribe to Khabar and get a full digital copy of this Indian-American community magazine.


  • Add to Twitter
  • Add to Facebook
  • Add to Technorati
  • Add to Slashdot
  • Add to Stumbleupon
  • Add to Furl
  • Add to Blinklist
  • Add to Delicious
  • Add to Newsvine
  • Add to Reddit
  • Add to Digg
  • Add to Fark
blog comments powered by Disqus

Back to articles

 

DIGITAL ISSUE

12-17-Cover-TrainJourneys.jpg
 

 

eKhabar

Sign up for our weekly newsletter
eKhabar

Click here    

DineshMehta-CPA-Banner-0813.jpg

PrimeTravels_Banner ad_1017.gif 

Raj&Patel-CPA-Web-Banner.jpg

Mytaxfiler_1117_New.png

Krishnan Co WebBanner.jpg

SERVITIX.gif

SDK small banner 7-16.jpg

IndiaTravelDiscount.jpg

PCPD- RED.gif

QA_135X140_GreatFaresToIndia_11_17.jpg