Come January and Vadodara will be on national tourist map of India.
Tourism giant Cox & Kings is rolling out its luxury train Maharajas’ Express in a tie up with the Indian Railways Catering & Tourism (IRCTC) in January next year. The city of Vadodara has been selected as one of the destinations of this train.
There are four packages of the train – Princely India, Royal India, Classical India and Celestial India. The city of Vadodara has been selected to host the train under two packages – Princely India and Royal India.
While Princely India package will have an 8 days/ 7 nights trip on Mumbai – Vadodara – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Agra – Delhi circuit, Royal India package will have 7 Days / 6 Nights trip on Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Vadodara – Mumbai circuit.
Itinerary includes Vadodara-Champaner-Jambughoda
Tourists will have breakfast in Vadodara, following which, they will disembark and enjoy a tour of the city highlights.
“Vadodara is a graceful city of palaces, parks, temples and museums and considered by many as the de facto cultural capital of Gujarat. Once the capital of the Gaekwads, the former rulers of Vadodara, it is also known as Baroda and rises from the banks of River Vishwamitri,” says Maharajas’ Express website.
One-day Vadodara trip will also include a visit to the World Heritage site of Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, an ancient town full of ruins scattered over the foothills of Pavagadh. The Pavagadh hill is one of the oldest rock formations in India. The tourists will also visit the magnificent Jami Masjid, an architectural marvel built in 1513 with tall minarets and minutely carved gates. A visit will be followed by the Kewda Masjid and the Nagina Masjid.
For a sumptuous lunch, the tourists will travel back more than a century to the ancient Jambughoda Palace to enjoy the hospitality of the feudal family who own this vintage estate.
After coming back to the city of Vadodara, the tourists will proceed on a visit to the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum which exhibits a royal collection of work by the important 19th century painter Raja Ravi Verma. It also displays 19th and 20th centuries European paintings of old masters like Raphael, Titian and Murillo.
The tourists will enjoy ‘high tea’ at the magnificent Laxmi Vilas Palace. Designed in Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, the palace built by Maharaja Sayajirao III in 1890 is the residence of the Royal family. Witness the grandeur of its ornate Durbar Hall, the Venetian mosaic floor, Belgium stained glass windows and sculptures of bronze and marble by Fellici.
Everything about the train – Maharajas’ Express
Maharajas’ Express, India’s first pan-India super luxury train being launched by the Royale Indian Rail Tours Ltd. (RITL), a joint venture between IRCTC and Cox and Kings India Ltd (CKIL) is all set to roll in January 2010.
The luxury train has a total of 23 coaches with a passenger capacity of 84. It is the first luxury train that boasts of four distinct configurations. It has five deluxe carriages, each with four cabins; six deluxe cabin carriages, each with three cabins; two suite carriages each with two suites and finally one presidential suite exclusively in one carriage.
Dining options include two fine dining restaurants that seat 42 persons in each at a time, so that everyone onboard dines together. It has one exotic bar with the choicest collection of beers, wines and spirits. There is also one Observation lounge with its own bar, game tables and a boutique.
The unique aspects of the train, first of its kind in India, are as follows:
* State-of-the-art pneumatic and hydraulic suspension system ensuring smoother train ride.
* Passenger cabins that have micro processor based climatic control
* Environment friendly toilet system
* Direct Dial telephones in each cabin.
* First Pan-India luxury train that cuts across state boundaries
* Direct TV and internet
* Largest cabin/ toilet sizes in all categories
* Longest state of the art kitchen based on marine design
* Water treatment plant in all passenger cabins
* Purified water in the kitchen
Maharajas’ Express will embark on its first commercial run on January 9th, 2010.
1. The Princely India Tour: This is a seven-night itinerary that will follow the Mumbai-Vadodara-Udaipur-Jhodhpur-Bikaner-Jaipur-Ranthambore-Agra-Delhi route.
2. The Royal India Tour: This operates as the Princely India journey in the reverse with minor changes.
3. The Classical India Tour: This is a six-night itinerary that will follow the Delhi-Agra-Gwalior-Khajuraho-Bandavgarh-Varanasi-Gaya-Kolkatta route.
4. The Celestial India Tour: This operates as the Classical India Tour in the reverse with minor changes.
1. Deluxe Cabins: US $ 800.
2. Junior Suite: US $ 900
3. Suite: US $ 1,400
4. Presidential Carriage: US $ 2,500
The tariff is on a per-person per-day basis and is valid up to April 2010. There will be a supplement for Christmas and New Year departures. The tariffs include cost of travel, accommodation, all meals, all house wines,/beers/spirits and all sightseeing including entrance fees, guides, tour managers, and all entertainment.
About Royale Indian Rail Tours Ltd:
The Royale India Rail Tours Ltd. is a joint venture between IRCTC and CKIL and will manage and operate Maharajas’ Express. It is a 50:50 joint venture and the first of its kind between the Indian Railways and a private sector partner to operate a luxury passenger train.