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India Re-Imagines The Orient Express For $950 Per Night

Where: India
October 29, 2009 at 8:59 AM | by | ()

If you know even the littlest bit about train travel, then you've probably heard of both the Orient Express and the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Both luxury trains associated with the gilded age, they are now shadows of their former selves, carrying fannypacked tourists on shorter or altered routes instead of the evening gown-wearing, long cigarette-smoking moneyed classes who indulged in a leisurely trip between Paris and Istanbul, or through Mongolia and into Moscow.

Luckily for those who have romanticized these luxury trains, there is a country that still embraces the idea: India. In the new few months, two new opulent trains will launch on routes that aim to cover some of the most famous sites in India, including the Taj Mahal and Varanasi of course. Per person, per night prices for the trips—the shortest trip being a week—begin at a staggering $500. But you'll be getting your money back in spades with these choo-choos...

First, the itineraries are hardcore and cover a distance, allowing you to see quite an abundance:

The Indian Maharaja-Deccan Odyssey [does a] seven night-eight day trip on Mumbai-Aurangabad-Ahmedabad-Udaipur-Sawai Madhopur-Jaipur-Bharatpur-Agra-Delhi circuit. The itinerary includes visit to Ellora Temple Caves, Ajanta Caves, City Palace, Lake Pichola, Jag Mandir Palace, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and National Park, Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.

Maharaja's Express...will offer two itineraries: a seven night-eight day trip through Mumbai-Vadodara-Udaipur-Jodhpur-Bikaner-Jaipur-Ranthambore-Agra-Delhi and back, and a six night-seven day trip across Delhi-Agra-Gwalior-Khajuraho-Bandhavgarh-Varanasi-Gaya-Kolkata, with an option of a reverse trip on the second itinerary.

Then, there's the matter of the service and plush comfort of the train. The Deccan Odyssey train's hospitality will be run by the Taj Hotel Group, who also manage such crazy luxe properties as The Pierre in New York. With amenities like this, it's no wonder that the Presidential Suite on board, per person per night, is starting from $950: "The presidential suite is almost a replica of a five-star hotel with a living area, a bedroom and a personalised washroom." How is the washroom "personalized," is what we'd like to know. Okay, that and who is going to book these tours. We're guessing rich Russians and the ever-present German tourist.

Related Stories:
· Luxury Trains To Add A New Dimension To India's Tourism [Economic Times]
· India's Luxury Trains [Official Site]
· Train Travel coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: The Luxury Trains]

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