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15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train

If taking the Maharaja Express Train across India isn’t on your bucket list, it should be! The Maharaja Express Train is a once in a lifetime luxury train journey through India. It has been voted “The Worlds Leading Luxury Train” time and again and it isn’t hard to see why! Seeing India by train is an unforgettable experience where you will go to sleep in one city or state and wake up in a completely different place.

Unlike our experience taking the train across Canada, luxury trains in India such as the Maharaja Express Train are more like a cruise on wheels. The Maharaja Express is a wonderful way to slow travel through India while enjoying the people, cities, culture, and landscapes as they fly by your window. We have put together some things you should know about the Maharaja Express and luxury trains in India so you are fully prepared for the memorable experience that lies ahead.

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train

#1. The Maharajas’ Express is the ultimate luxury travel experience

If you are on the hunt for the ultimate luxury travel experience, you have come to the right place! The creators of the Maharaja Express Train have spared absolutely no expenses on creating this once in a lifetime journey for passengers. While there are multiple luxury trains in India, the Maharaja Express offers the most luxury and is the newest train of all. The Maharaja Express has been around for 7 years at the time of this publication and has won many “best in travel” awards for being one of the best luxury travel experiences in the world and the best luxury train in India. Whether you are looking for a honeymoon vacation like no other, a memorable family trip, time to rekindle with your spouse, or the solo trip of a lifetime, the Maharaja Express Train offers a luxury experience that will blow your mind.

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

#2. You Will Have Your Own Private Butler To Attend To Your Every Need Onboard The Maharaja Express Train

Have you ever wanted to be treated like a true king or queen, or in this case, a true Maharaja? When riding on the Maharajas’ Express train, you will have access to your very own private butler. Unlike a cruise ship where room service stewards service many cabins all the time, your private butler will only serve your car which will consist of your cabin and two others. Your private butler onboard the Maharajas’ Express Train sleeps at the end of the hall and is a quick phone call away. Our butler was named Raju and he truly was one of the best and most memorable parts of the experience.

Your Maharaja Express private butler will attend to your every need. He will provide a personalized wake-up call, will bring you tea and coffee or breakfast in bed, will help explain what is going on during the day, and will be there whenever you need to call for whatever reason. Your Maharaja Express butler will also personally escort you and help carry your belongings each day when it is time to deboard or return to the train. The train is really long so that means he will walk with you for 4-6 train car lengths until he escorts you to the place you need to deboard. By the end of the Maharaja Express itinerary, you and your butler will certainly have bonded making this one of the best and most memorable parts of this luxury train trip in India.

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

#3. The Maharajas’ Express Has A Doctor On Board Who Even Does Most Excursions With Passengers

When boarding the Maharaja Express Train we were told that there was a doctor on the train but we had no clue how active and available he would really be. The Maharaja Express doctor was on call 24/7 and was seen at many excursions or dinners that were eaten off of the train! This means that if something happened at any time during your time on or off the train, the doctor would be at your side immediately. Some other passengers sadly got sick while traveling on the Maharaja Express route and spoke highly of how helpful the doctor was. He provided injections, medication, and general health assistance depending on how sick you are and what your needs are.

We had no idea that luxury trains in India offered an onboard doctor that actually traveled off the train with the passengers as well. We love that this was included in the Maharaja Express price and that passengers did not have to pay extra to see the doctor. This was a bit of the luxury experience that you may not consider when booking your trip but that will be invaluable if necessary when on the train.

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

#4. You Can Choose The Maharaja Express Price That Best Fits Your Budget

Make no mistake, the Maharajas’ Express Train is an ultimate luxury travel experience and comes with a price tag to prove it. That being said, you can choose the Maharaja Express fare that best fits what you are looking to spend. If you want to go all out on a once-in-a-lifetime luxury train trip, then go for the 8-day Maharaja Express itinerary. If you are looking to experience luxury trains in India but can’t drop as much money, you can choose a 3 or 4-day itinerary. This allows you to pick the Maharaja Express fare that you are able to spend.

If the Maharaja Express price is high for you but you want to experience ultimate Indian luxury, keep an eye out for discounts and book a shorter train journey. If you are a consistent luxury traveler, the longer itineraries will give you more time to experience the Maharaja Express train and all of what India has to offer. Do your research on finding the Maharaja Express price that works for you!

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

#5. There Are Four Cabin Classes To Choose From On The Maharaja Express Train

Let us preface this by saying that for a train, the Maharaja Express cabins are all quite spacious and offer tons of room so you really can’t go wrong and it depends on how much you want to spend. Even the smallest room has more space than we have had on other pricey train trips and the suites are the same size or bigger than ones we have had on luxury river cruises.

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

The cabin classes are the deluxe cabin, junior suite, suite, and presidential suite. We booked a junior suite and really loved how it came with a table and chairs and a little extra space at the foot of the bed to walk around and store luggage. The only difference between the junior suite and the deluxe cabin is the table and chairs and the extra space. If you don’t plan to be sitting in your room a lot, a deluxe cabin will do nicely. If you are like us and love spending time relaxing in your cabin, a junior suite is a good option.

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

While the junior suite consists of two rooms, the main room and the bathroom, the suite essentially consists of three rooms, a sitting room, a bedroom, and a bathroom. The bedroom and sitting room are partitioned by a latticed wood which makes for a little separation. The suite provides a ton of space! If you are planning to travel by luxury train in India, any of these options won’t disappoint. Finally, the presidential suite has multiple cabins and takes up an entire train car! If you book the presidential suite and are reading this blog, make sure to invite us to come along with you on your luxury train trip in India. The Maharaja Express price truly depends on how much or how little you are willing to spend!

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

#6. Luxury Trains In India Can Be Over 1Km Long So Factor In Time To Walk Between Train Cars

Bring your walking shoes because luxury trains in India such as the Maharaja Express are often longer than 1km. This sounds long, but you have no idea how truly massive the train length is until you see it in person! When walking through all of the train cars with cabins, you will be walking down a pretty narrow hallway. Be sure to walk with care if the train is moving and hold on to the walls if necessary. If you are walking to deboard the train for excursions, add in a good 7-10 minutes extra for the walk depending on where your cabin is in relation to the train car you must deboard from. Even if you walk relatively fast like us, walking half a kilometer takes time! The fact that this luxury train in India is so long is a testament to all of the amenities it has to offer passengers.

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

#7. There Are Two Dining Cars On The Maharajas’ Express With Lots Of Indian And Some Western Food Options

There is really no nice way to say this so we are just going to come out and say that we aren’t the biggest fans of Indian food. Victoria’s mom had Indian when she was pregnant with her and got very sick so maybe that has something to do with it. That being said, we were open to trying Indian food options while in India [obviously!] and the Maharaja Express Train allows for a “safe” food tasting environment.

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

The train has two dining cars that are beautifully designed but serve the same menu. No matter which you choose, you will be eating the same food and the only difference is the design of the train car. All of the food and drinks during your train trip will be included in your Maharaja Express fare so feel free to indulge.

The Maharajas’ Express offers a large and rotating Indian selection and a reasonable “western” food section. Each meal there will be one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian “western” entree and a whole host of Indian entree options. There will also be both Indian and non-Indian appetizers and soups as well as dessert.

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

If you truly don’t see anything on the menu that suits your fancy, you can make a [reasonable] request and the chef will try to accommodate. After all, you are on a luxury train and you will certainly be treated like royalty. On numerous occasions, passengers requested pasta dishes that were not on the menu and the kitchen delivered with speed.

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

If you are looking to taste Indian food for the first time, there are plenty of options on the Maharaja Express Train. You can order a dish or two and give it a try and if you love it you can order more and if you aren’t thrilled you can order another entree. We appreciated that there were some western options and some Indian options depending on our taste for that meal.

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

#8. There Are Many Different Maharaja Express Itineraries To Choose From Depending On Where You Want To Travel

The Maharaja Express Train doesn’t just travel on one itinerary! There are actually 7 itineraries of varying lengths that you can choose from! We chose “The Indian Panorama” which brought us to four Indian states in central and north India. We highly recommend this 8-day Maharaja Express itinerary as it brought you to all of the “must-see” sites such as the Taj Mahal, Jaipur, and Delhi while also taking you off the beaten path to places that are a little lesser-known! You can also choose to travel from Mumbai to New Delhi, around India’s south, or mainly focus on the Rajasthan state. You can also choose from shorter or longer Maharaja Express itineraries.

If you have already been to India, we recommend looking at one of the “southern sojourn” itineraries as these hit places that you are less likely to have seen. If this trip will be your first time to India, we suggest booking a Maharaja Express itinerary that goes to the “golden triangle” of Jaipur, Agra [Taj Mahal] and Delhi because these are stops that a first timer won’t want to miss! The Maharaja Express ticket price also differs depending on which itinerary you choose so be sure to shop around!

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

#9. There Are Fresh Flowers, A Welcome Ceremony, And Gifts At Every Train Stop

The Maharaja Express team really does a fantastic job of surrounding guests in an ultimate luxury travel experience from the moment they board the train to the moment they leave. This includes when you arrive at each and every train stop! When you arrive, each and every station will be decorated with thousands and thousands of fresh flowers. It blew our mind that this many fresh flower garlands and displays even exist and was so cool to see in person! You will also be gifted with little tokens of appreciation from fresh flower garlands to beautiful and colorful scarves! We won’t give away any more fun details so we won’t spoil your Maharaja Express Train trip!

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

#10. There Are A Range Of Fabulous Excursions And They Are All Included In Your Maharaja Express Ticket Price

Each day, there will be between 1-3 excursions you can take part in that are all included in your Maharaja Express ticket price. We recommend doing so unless you are sick or want to relax on the train. The train stations are a bit out of town so you won’t be able to easily walk into town unless you get a rickshaw or hire a taxi. From visiting the Taj Mahal to going on a tiger safari, there is something fun and memorable for everyone! Of course, as the Maharaja Express is a luxury experience, all of these experiences are done in the height of comfort. From the second you leave the train station, an air-conditioned tour bus whisks you away to that day’s location. You are provided with a headset and always given hand sanitizer when you board the bus.

Some of the tour days are very long and can be tiring to some guests. If you ever need to go back to the train, just alert one of the Maharaja Express staff and arrangments will be made. We visited the Karma Sutra Temples, went on a boat ride on the Ganges to see a holy ritual, saw a silk weaving center, climbed in an ancient fort, and ate dinner in a real palace! The Maharaja Express Train trip leaves nothing out and is truly memorable!

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

#11. There Are Two Bar Cars And You Can Order Any Drink You Want

When we say you can order any drink you want, we are being serious! Don’t see it on the menu? Kindly request it from your bartender and he will make it happen! Many places don’t make ‘blended” drinks like a Pina Colada but the Maharaja Express aims to please luxury travelers and takes requests for literally anything and everything you could possibly imagine! If you don’t drink, their mocktail menu is the most extensive that we have seen yet and the mocktails are unique and delicious! We tried ordered an iced coffee one day and our butler came back with an amazing blended creation more like a frappuccino! It was delicious and we were surprised that the staff could even create a blended coffee drink! Whatever your taste, the Maharaja Express bar staff will deliver!

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

#12. Sleeping On A Luxury Train In India Is Quite Relaxing And Soothing, But May Not Be For Everyone

We love sleeping on trains and sleeping on a luxury train in India is even better! That being said, the Maharaja Express Train staff told us that not everyone loves it the first night or two. Since there is a doctor on board, be sure to request some motion medication if this is usually a problem for you. The Maharaja Express staff also provide earplugs for you and blackout shades are on the window for your comfort. The motion isn’t like a boat or a car and is unique in a way that you may have never experienced before. Preparedness is key and if you aren’t prepared, the Maharaja Express Train staff have got your back!

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

#13. Most Of Your Time Actually Traveling On The Luxury Train In India Will Be Spent Moving At Night

We love spending time traveling by train or cruise and it is something we look forward to. In Canada, we spent multiple days on the train without stopping. The Maharaja Express Train spends a lot of time at individual stops so you can maximize your time seeing so many wonderful Indian sights. The time spent actually moving on the train will mostly be at night after you have spent a day exploring. This makes for a wonderful and restful night sleep. During our 8-day itinerary, we traveled during the late morning or afternoon around 2-3 times. If you are an early riser, you can also enjoy the passing countryside almost every day! We love watching the world go by when traveling by train and luxury trains in India know how to do it right!

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

#14. Not All Meals Will Be Eaten On The Maharaja Express But They May Be Eaten At A Fancy Hotel Or Palace

It is important to note that not every meal will be eaten on board the Maharaja Express Train. Depending on your itinerary, you may eat at a variety of hotels or even a palace! On our Indian Panorama itinerary, we ate some lunch and dinner meals out at fancy hotels and one was even in the courtyard of a working palace for a real-life Maharaja! We also had a memorable champagne brunch at a hotel on a hill overlooking the Taj Mahal! Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to go back to the train just for meals so you are treated to a fancy dinner out at a hotel! Take note that the dinners may not be until late, such as 9 pm, so make sure you eat a heavy lunch if you see this on your itinerary!

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

#15. The Onboard Wifi Is Actually Surprisingly Okay, Comparatively Speaking

When we heard that the Maharajas’ Express had onboard wifi we were very skeptical. Every single cruise or train trip we have taken that boasts wifi has fallen very short. Even luxury cruises that promote wifi are slow and terrible. The wifi on the Maharaja Express Train was surprisingly decent. It will not be as fast as your wifi at home or as fast as wifi at a luxury hotel, but it is the best wifi we have experienced on a cruise or train journey and that is really saying something!

Each train car had its own wifi router but the password stays the same for all train cars. Once you login to a wifi account one time, you won’t have to log in again as you will automatically connect each time you go into that car. There will be separate wifi for your cabin car, the dining cars, the lounge cars etc. but the password will stay the same so you will be easily able to access wifi wherever you are. Be patient with the staff as you may be going through a remote part of India in the even the wifi isn’t working as well as it should.

15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train | Maharajas' Express Train In India

Maharajas’ Express Train Route

As mentioned above, there are multiple Maharaja Express train route options! You can choose your Maharajas’ Express itinerary depending on what time of year you are visiting, your budget, and where you are looking to visit. The route of the Maharaja Express changes during different times of the year so be sure to do your research if there is a Maharajas Express train itinerary you have your eye set on.

Here are the most popular Maharaja Express train route options:

1. Mumbai – Ajanta – Udaipur – Jodhpur – Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Agra – Delhi

2. Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi

3. Delhi – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Gwalior – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Lucknow – Delhi

4. Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Delhi

5. Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Bikaner – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Balasinor – Mumbai

6. Mumbai – Ratnagiri – Goa – Hampi – Mysore – Ernakulam – Kumarakom – Trivandrum

7. Trivandrum – Chettinad –Mahabalipuram – Mysore – Hampi – Goa – Ratnagiri -Mumbai

When we rode this luxury train in India, we went on the Maharaja Express route #3 listed above. We loved it and highly recommend this route if you are looking to explore 5 states in Northern India. We would love to return and explore other Maharaja Express train routes such as #5 so we can visit the blue city of Udaipur! There are many Maharajas’ Express itinerary options based on what you want to see and where you want to go!

Getting To India For The Maharaja Express Train Journey 

Since you are going on the Maharaja Express Train, you are going to have to get to India somehow or the other! Luckily, India makes it easy and pretty affordable it visit when experiencing the Maharajas’ Express train journey. Depending on which Maharaja Express train route you choose, you will either fly into New Delhi or Mumbai.

Both of the airports in these large Indian cities are popular international airports and host many daily and weekly flights. Finding a flight into India isn’t hard and isn’t as expensive as you may think so it is really quite easy to arrive in India when taking the Maharaja Express train! Just make sure to look carefully at your Maharaja Express train route as some begin in New Delhi and end in Mumbai whereas others start and end in the same location!

Depending on where you are coming from to take the Maharaja Express train, you may have to procure a tourist visa. For Americans, this can be easily done online but you must apply with a passport size photo and even still you will be restricted upon entering the country after a certain amount of time during the year before you have to apply again. For the passport photo, you can simply take a square selfie in a light colored shirt on a light colored background that clearly shows your face. This easy step-by-step guide will help USA Citizens to figure out tourist visas when getting to India for any of the Maharaja Express train routes listed above!

Exploring India by luxury train is truly a once-in-a-lifetime journey that you will never forget. From the memorable destinations in India that you will see, people you will meet, and experiences you will have, incredible India will leave a lasting impact on you. What better way to see the sights and sounds of India than on the Maharajas’ Express Train?

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Please note: We were invited to India by the Incredible India Tourism Board and were guests onboard the Maharajas’ Express for the purpose of this review. Our views are our own and do not reflect those of Incredible India or the Maharaja Express. We were not paid to write this post. 

25 thoughts on “15 Things To Know Before Taking The Maharaja Express Train

  1. tanya

    Ha ha very different to my experiences of getting trains across India. Looks like you had a fab time, but I’m wondering about the ‘shows’ at the stops. I would worry I’d feel like it wasn;t very authetinc.

  2. Hilary

    Sounds incredible! I’ve always wanted to travel on a train with sleeping cars! I had no idea trains could be this luxurious…personal butler, what? Also, I’m a huge fan of Indian food, so I think I’d go with that instead of the pasta, haha!

  3. Christy

    We did the palace on wheels a few years ago, and I agree it isn’t for everyone. I never got used to careening around somewhat antiquated tracks all night, and we weren’t able to use the water in our bathrooms for brushing teeth etc. (The water at that time was collected at the train station and made passengers sick.) We also weren’t adequately prepared for the hordes of organized beggars with horrific birth defects and injuries that prey on the tourist groups. As a Western tourist, we don’t often see people maimed for money, and it was hard to wrap our minds around. That said, it was an interesting way to see the country!

  4. Louise

    Omg this looks amazingggggg. I had never heard of this train til now. Definitely on my bucketlist now!!! Just gotta save up for awhile….haha

  5. April

    WOW! I had no idea that train travel could be like that! That bathroom just floored me. It sounds like you certainly get what you pay for! Incredible.

  6. Jess

    OMG you took me back to my honeymoon days when I followed the same itinerary except Galle. I loved Nuwara Eliya and Bentota the most especially the turtle hatcheries, which was like the highlight of Bentota for me. I even stopped enroute to Colombo from Nuwara Eliya for river rafting. Having done this itinerary myself, I totally second your plan for any one headed to Sri Lanka. Well done with writing it all out.

  7. Alina Jack

    Wow!!! All pictures are stunning and amazing info. I heard about luxury trains of India but never experienced. Now feeling jealous of you and soon i’ll be there.

  8. Kiara Gallop

    Out of interest, how much with the 3-4 day excursion tickets set you back? I mean, as a budget traveller there’s absolutely no way I could justify the cost, but hey, I can dream!

    Your photos are absolutely stunning as well by the way, you really capture the experience well 🙂

  9. Mike

    My wife and I were on the Indian Panorama trip at the same time as you both. Your informative review is an accurate reflection of a once in a lifetime experience. Highly recommended trip.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Oh wow how cool! Wasn’t it just amazing? Just a question, how did you find our article 🙂 Since it is relatively new we just wanted to ask and see where people were seeing it at! Thanks so much for commenting!

      1. Mike

        Yes it was amazing – we loved it. Just googled Maharajas Express and scrolled down the page and saw “Fifteen things ….. and that it was published recently and was interested to see what it said!

        1. Follow Me Away Post author

          Oh how wonderful to know that is how you found us! Thank you for your kind words!! Glad you had a great trip 🙂

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  11. Rob

    So you state that you were guests onboard the Maharajas’ Express for the purpose of this review but you were not paid to write this post. Sounds to me like you were paid in the form of your free $8000 trip!

    I think you had no choice but to write a raving review otherwise you can kiss any free future trips goodbye! Now I’m not saying it wasn’t an enjoyable trip, but you get something for free it’s always more enjoyable.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hey Rob! Actually, we have written negatively about sponsored trips in the past and our readers rely on us to be 100% honest. In addition, getting something for an in-kind business trade like this partnership doesn’t make it more enjoyable. We are working the entire time we are on the trip, from the moment we set foot in India until the moment the train journey ended which was 10 straight days with no breaks and waking up at 8am and not getting back into our rooms until 11pm. Trips for media are actually not free as we are creating $8000+ worth of content and coverage for the business. We truly loved our experience on the Maharajas Express are reflected in this review 🙂

  12. Rob

    I don’t doubt you had a great time, my point being simply that to say you weren’t paid to write the post is not quite accurate since you were given an all expense paid trip in return for some promotion in the form of a review on your blog. The expectation is that you will deliver a positive review worth $8000 otherwise it could hardly be considered as promotion for the rail line. Also I would expect the tour operators to treat you guys extra special since they know you will be writing for thousands to see.

    Now you state that you have at times given negative reviews, I don’t know, I haven’t read all your reviews but I have had read many from different Instagramers and it is indeed very rare that anything negative is said following a sponsored trip. So I take these reviews with a large grain of salt and would put more weight on something written by someone who actually had to fork out their cash as to whether they felt they got their money’s worth. That would truly be unbiased IMO.

  13. Kate

    Do you have a link to the “Official Website”? There are so many imposters in the google search that I’m not 100% positive which one is the RIGHT one. I might have skipped over it in the review! 🙂

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  16. Leo

    It is nice and thorough information. I have two questions here: 1, which website should I use to book our journey? 2. When it says twin beaded deluxe cabin, does it mean TWO twin bed in the cabin? I need two beds in the cabin. I appreciate answers.

  17. Lee Belton

    My son [41] and I [72] did the Panorama trip in October 2018, what an experience, we were literally treated like Kings. The off train trips were so well organised, and not overly demanding phisically. We have nothing but praise for the organisation, and did meet the nicest people on the train, mainly British, and the staff all spoke excellent English, so all in all was a fascinating experience.

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