Not only in Poland can the term “maharaja” be synonymous with wealth and luxury. The reality of the colourful and fairy-tale-like India has been the setting for many fables, legends and movies. The northwestern region of the country, covering mainly Rajasthan, is a tremendous inspiration for them. This is where you can see some wonders of the contemporary world from the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The authorities of India initiated activities to promote the region, among other things, stimulating economic growth. To attract wealthy investors, in 2010 journeys by the “Maharajas Express” owned by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation were inaugurated. Twice in a row, in 2012 and 2013, the offer of travelling on this train won the World Travel Awards. This is the most expensive and most luxurious train in the world. Basically, the success was underpinned by the level of customer service, quality of lodgings, programme of trips and catering facilities.
The train consists of 23 carriages arranged with sophistication. Fourteen were designed as suites for 88 passengers. There are also two restaurant carriages for 44 guests each. They are called Rang Mahal and Mayur Mahal. (The leitmotif in the interior design of the latter is a fabulously colourful peacock’s tail feather). Both serve sophisticated Indian and Chinese but also European dishes prepared in the kitchen carriage. The next carriage houses a bar with wines, vodkas, liqueurs and beers, also serving snacks and appetizers. Another one is the Raja Club, where you can use a reading room or play board games. Of course, the train is equipped with Wi-Fi, television, a gift shop and a laundry. One of the carriages contains electricity generators and a wastewater treatment station.
The greatest advantages of the “Maharajas Express” are the passenger compartments. Twenty compartments for 40 passengers in the deluxe class are available in five carriages. Eighteen junior suites comprise single and double cabins. This is complemented by four suites with separate living rooms and bedrooms. Finally, the most expensive carriage, the first such carriage in the world, is occupied completely by the presidential suite, with its own living room, bathroom and dining room.
The train runs on five routes. Two of them are short-term journeys in the “Golden Triangle”: New Delhi-Jaipur-Agra, called “Treasures of India” and “Stones of India”. The three remaining ones are eight-day journeys to the centre of the country, called “Indian Heritage”, “Panorama of India” and “Indian Splendour”. The names are appropriate to the daily programmes of trips organised for the passengers.