The Indian Railways is the largest rail network in the world and reaches the far corners of our beautiful country. No wonder tourists use the railway network to discover this mysterious land of diverse cultures, history and geography. Indian Railways runs special trains for the convenience of tourists with the aim to show them the beauty, heritage of different places at a pace which is enjoyable and interesting.
There are Heritage trains that take a special route connecting places of historical importance or those that are steeped in diverse cultures. There are Toy Trains that are in operation since before Independence on the hills and mountains of India traversing some really charming scenic locales and have hill station destinations where tourist go for holidays.
Apart from being tourist–centric the special trains for tourists look after all the needs of the tourists and really pamper them as they experience the reality and myth of India at a comfortable pace so that the diverse culture and heritage gets slowly absorbed. Since a single journey on these trains may take several days, tourists get to meet many people from different strata of society, speaking different languages and following different religions. In this way tourists get firsthand knowledge of the ethos and reality of India.
Luxury Trains in India
Palace on Wheels: The Palace on Wheels has been the favourite of overseas tourists since its inception in 1982. It is one of the best luxury trains in India making a round trip of 8 days from New Delhi through Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal and Rajasthan. The train has 14 coaches that were the royal coaches of the erstwhile princely state of India such as Alwar, Bharatpur etc. and these are furnished with luxurious and regal interiors. The Maharaja and Maharani restaurants on the train serve world cuisine...See More Details
Royal Rajasthan on Wheels: The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is another luxury tourist train that goes through the same heritage cities of Rajasthan as Palace on Wheels and was started in January 2009. The luxury coaches named after famous palaces of Rajasthan have all modern amenities such as Wi-Fi, Satellite TV etc. The 2 dining cars are also lavishly furnished and there is also a curio shop to buy mementos and local specialities...See More Details
Deccan Odyssey: Deccan Odyssey is a luxury train that takes the tourists through Western India and shows the beaches, forts and caves around Maharashtra, and Goa. The seven day trip from Mumbai along the coast and the Deccan plateau. The luxury train has 10 coaches equipped with opulent furnishing and includes sight -seeing at various stopovers and catering as per the taste and choice of guests...See More Details
The Indian Maharaja: Deccan Odyssey is a newer and more luxurious version of the Deccan Odysssey started in 2009 and taking a route from Mumbai to Delhi through Rajasthan.Toursist can also take a Delhi to Mumbai train passing through the same cities. The train started operating in November 2009.
Golden Chariot: To showcase the glorious culture and history of Karnataka State and Goa, the luxury train called The Golden Chariot was started by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation. The name Golden Chariot comes from the stone sculpted chariot in the ruins of Hampi, a heritage site in Karnataka. There are 14 coaches of the train that are named after different dynasties that ruled Southern India and are well appointed with all modern amenities...See More Details
Maharaja Express: The Maharaja Express is the most expensive luxury tourist train in India that has recently started in 2012. The train has super luxury accommodation and five tours with different themes that take the tourists across India. The train has received international acclaim for its living and dining facilities, impeccable service, and sight-seeing programs at stopovers.See More Details
Special Tourist Trains
Bharat Darshan Tourist Train: The Bharat Darshan train Is a low budget train takes passengers from India and overseas tourists on a budget on a ten day tour across India that includes places of pilgrimage in South and North India such as Kanyakumari, Varanasi, Chennai, Haridwar, Delhi, and Agra...See More Details
Fairy Queen Historic Tourist Train: Fairy Queen train named after its steam engine called Fairy Queen takes tourists on a one day tour to Alwar and Sariska National Park in Rajasthan . The Fairy Queen engine is oldest engine in the world that is still operational. For some time it was retired and kept as an exhibit of the National Rail Museum, Delhi, but has been now restored and put to use again in 1997...See More Details
Mahaparinirvan Express Buddhist Train: The Mahaparinirvan Express is a special religious tourist train that takes Buddhists and other enthusiasts on a 7-day tour through spiritual Buddhist Circuit in India. There are many places that have been major Buddhist centres more than 2500 years ago when Buddhism originated and which are now places of Buddhist pilgrimage . The train visits all these sacred places and also stops over at Agra to see the famous Taj Mahal...See More Details
Panj Takht Darshan Train: The Panj Takht Darshan, the tourist train specially run for the Sikhs takes its devout faithful passengers to visit the Five Takhts or Panj Takht meaning the five important gurudwaras which are of great religious significance to the Sikhs. The tour takes the pilgrims to Amritsar, Sirhind, Bhatinda, Delhi and Nanded. Delhi has two great gurudwars; Banglasahib and Sishganj Saheb...See More Details
High Speed Trains in India
The “Duronto” Express means the train that ends far distances, are a group of long distance passenger trains that run on many major routes of Indian Railways. The unique feature of Duranto express trains is that they have no in-between stops except technical halts from source to destination. The coaches of the train are painted in bright yellow and green colors that imitate the fields of rural India through which the trains run. Most Duronto Express trains run between metro cities and important state capitals of India. They are said to be the fastest train journeys between any two cities they connect. These new breed of trains are faster than Rajdhani Express trains which were till recently the fastest long distance trains between Delhi and the State capitals of India.
The Rajdhani Express is a fully air-conditioned passenger train that connects the capital of the country or Rajdhani, Delhi with the capital of States. The elite passenger train Rajdhani Express was started in 1969 and was renowned and respected for being the fast train going upto a top speed of 140 km/hr or 87 mph and covering a distance of 1445 kms between Howrah and Delhi in 17 hours and 1300 kms between Mumbai and Delhi in about 16 hrs. Now there are rajshani express trains to various other state capitals of the country. Rajdhani express trains get highest preference on the rail network and are known for their punctuality, comfortable accommodation and on-the-house meals such as snacks, tea and coffee, dinner, bed tea and breakfast. The accommodation in Rajdhani trains is of three types; First Class AC , AC 2-tier with open berths and AC 3-tier
The Shatabdi Express trains are a group of super fast passenger trains that run between Metro cities and other important cities and are extensively used by tourists, pilgrims and business men. Shatabdi Express trains are day trains that depart at the crack of dawn to reach destination in 3-6 hours and return to the city of origin by late night on the same day. "Shatabdi" means centenary or a hundred years in Sanskrit and Sanskrit based languages like Hindi, Marathi, Bengali etc. Shatabdi Express trains were named so as they were started in 1988 the centenary year of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru by Madhav Rao Scindia who was then the Railway Minister.
Hill Trains in India
The Darjeeling Railway
Route: New Jalpaiguri - Tindharia - Sukna - Rangtong - Chunbati - Ghum – Darjeeling
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a world renowned Toy Train that runs on a special narrow between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling in West Bengal has its headquarters in Kurseong. The train has been in operation since 1881 and covers a distance of 78 kms. from Jalpaiguri which is on the plains and Darjeeling at a height of 2200 metres above sea level. The toy train is powered by vintage steam engines built by the British. way, This proud specimen of the Mountain Railways of India is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Kangra Valley Railway
Route: Palampur - Pathankot - Jawalamukhi - Kangra - Joginder Nagar
The Kangra Valley Railway train runs in the sub Himalayan region from Pathankot in Punjab to Jogindernagar in Himachal Pradesh. The Kangra Valley Railway train is also nominated in the possible list of UNESCO world heritage sites.
Route: Kalka - Barog - Dharampore - Taksai - Gamma - Solan – Shimla
The Kalka–Shimla Railway run on a special narrow gauge less than a metre in width that takes the tourists in Northwest India from Kalka in the plains through a mountainous route to Shimla, a hill station in the Himalayas. The journey is memorable for its breathtaking panoramic view of hills and vales. The train passes through 103 tunnels and crosses 864 bridges, built a hundred years ago, has been designated as world heritage site by UNESCO...See More Details
Nilgiri Mountain Railway
Route: Mettupalayam - Coonor – Ooty
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is a toy train that traverses the breath taking beauty of the Nilgiris which are the blue hills of southern Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu State. The toy train that attracts tourists to the scenic hill station of Ooty or Ootachmand has been in operation for more than a hundred years since 1908. The original steam locomotives made for this train are still in operation and the train has been included as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Matheran Light Railway
Route: Neral - Matheran – Neral
Matheran Hill Railway is a heritage train that runs from the town of Neral on the coastal plains to the hill station Matheran in Maharashtra State. The train is looked after by the Central Railway. The toy train travels a distance of 21 km about 13 miles on hills of the Western Ghats covered with forests. The toy train runs on a special gauge which is less than metre gauge has been running on this route for over 80 years has got the UNESCO World Heritage status.
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