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iXiGOers May 02 2013

Which are the special tourist trains running in India?

Kapil Gumasta May 06 2013
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Being the country with one of the largest railway networks in the world, Indian Railways charters millions of passengers every day to numerous destinations all over India. We can safely say that a trip to India is incomplete without experiencing a train ride in this colourful and diverse country enjoying the typical Indian scenery flashing past your window. And it’s not just the ride, even arriving at the crowded railway station buzzing with porters, vendors, and passengers going about their business, straining your ears to make sense of the constant announcements, the call of the chai wala or bhelpuri wala coming down the aisle in your coach and the feel of the constant chugging of the train adds to the charm. Moreover, you meet some of the most interesting characters in trains! Each one of us has some story to share regarding their experiences in previous train journeys. A train ride in India is never uneventful and it is surely one of the best ways to see the real India.

Along with the usual trains carrying passengers to different destinations, a number of special tourist trains also ply in different parts of India. These trains take you on a memorable trip to the most interesting and beautiful places in India. Heritage trains, Hill tour package trains, Luxury trains, Toy trains - there is a lot you can choose from. Let’s get a closer look on some of these.


Here indulgence and grandeur become synonymous with the Indian travel experience. Explore the land of thousand kingdoms in these luxury trains which have been specially designed and handpicked to give you the ultimate unique and an extravagant royal experience on board! Here are a few of the luxury trains worth mentioning.

Palace on Wheels - With coaches named after princely states like Alwar, Bikaner, Jaipur and Udaipur, this train takes you on a royal adventure around the state of Rajasthan. Runs during the months of October till March.

Deccan Odyssey - Explore the rich heritage of Maharashtra in a luxurious eight day sojourn, courtsey of the Deccan Odyssey. It takes you on a sweeping tour of the entire state with stops at various interesting locations in Maharashtra and Goa.

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels - Another royal carriage coming your way from the makers of Palace on Wheels. This one not only takes you on a regal tour of the historically significant destination of Rajasthan, but also around Delhi and Agra. The highlight of the trip is a visit to the Taj Mahal. Other facilities include a restaurant, spa, game room, bar and gift shop.


A journey in this train will show you the rich heritage of India. Though this route doesn’t cover the royal destinations, there is dearth in the regal treatment accorded here. Get a glimpse of the India you have never seen. Here are some of the trains you can enjoy.

Heritage on Wheels - In contrast to the Palace on Wheels, Heritage on Wheels concentrates on the parts of Rajasthan that are usually hidden due to other more popular destinations. The train mainly tours the Shekawati region in Rajasthan which is both rich in heritage and is quite vibrant with huge painted mansions and colorful bazaars.

Golden Chariot - A joint venture between the Indian Raiway ministry and the Karnataka government, Golden Chariot takes you to the mystical southern India. From glimpsing the medieval royalty of Karnataka, and enjoying the playful spirit of Goa, to beholding the astounding architectures of Tamil Nadu, and falling under the magical spell of Kerala, this ride will be an experience of a lifetime for sure.

Fairy Queen - The award winning oldest running locomotive has earned a place in the Guiness book of World Records. The train has only two coaches of which, one is used as a pantry and the other as the passnger coach with a seating capacity of 50. The train begins its journey from Delhi Cantt and stops at Sariska, where you are taken on a wildlife expedition in a Jeep safari. An overnight stay is arranged for you at the Sariska Palace hotel and the next day, the Fairy Queen makes the return trip back to Delhi.


Much smaller in size than your regular trains, the toy trains are a colourful and fun way to travel and take in the natural beauty of the Indian landscape. The speed of these trains are limited to only 20-25 km which is perfect for soaking the surrounding beauty at one’s own pace. Perfect for those who are looking for a laidback relaxed journey and are in no hurry to reach anywhere. Let’s have a look at where you can enjoy these rides.

Darjeeling Toy Train - If you remember the famous Bollywood numbers like "Mere Sapno ki Rani" from the movie Aradhana and "Yeh Hawaein" from Parineeta, you would probably understand why this train gets a special mention here. Traversing from Siliguri to Darjeeling, the train takes you through lush jungles and tea plantations in the hilly terrains of the nothern part of West Bengal. Due to the lack of a clear cut path, the route features a number of reverses and loops. Travelling at the speed of 15 km/hr, you are sure to to have an amazing laidback journey.

Shimla-Kalka Express - Shimla is one of the most loved hill stations in India. The train commences at 5:30 from Kalka and reaches Shimla within 5-6 hours. Travelling at a speed of 20 km/hr, you can leisurely enjoy the scenic valleys and the charming little towns and villages scattered on the hillside. 


As the name suggests, these tours are specifically designed to take your around the various hills stations in India. Revel in the bewitching beauty of the hilly terrains, breathe in the cool, fresh air and kick back and enjoy the view flashing past your window. If your heart lies in the hills, you must book a ride in one of these! Apart from the above two trains, other trains worth trying are:

Nilgiri Express - The Nilgiris or the Blue mountains forms the part of the Western Ghats. The destination of this route is Ooty - a honeymoon paradise. The route for this line happens to be the steepest in the whole of Asia, travelling from a height of 1069 ft to 7228 ft. The train operates part of the way as a steam engine and the rest of the way as a regular deisel engine. The splendid views of Ooty and Coonoor seem almost magical and otherworldy. This one definitely goes on the "Not to miss" list, if you are planning to visit these hill stations.

Matheran Hill Railway - This tour is custom made for nature lovers on the lookout for the 'Jungle Experience'. The route traverses through the pristine untourched woods and dense forests of Maharashtra, to reach the elusive hill station of Matheran. In fact, the train is the only way to reach this place as all other modes of transportation are banned in this region (not even cycles) as this is considered to be an eco-sensitive region. The breathtaking journey commences from Neral and takes about 12 hours to reach its destination. This tour is highly sought after, so make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointments later. This tour is specifically targeted at newlyweds and follows the same route as the Kalka-Shimla Express (Shivalik Express).

Shivalik Queen Express - The coach is designed to provide adequate privacy at the same time facilities like microphones and alarm bells ensure that one can contact the driver or the attendant if desired. Huge windows, wall to wall carpeting and attentive service give a feel of travelling in style and comfort.

So, instead of using trains as simply a mode to get from point A to B, why not make the journey the main focus, and enjoy the ride of a lifetime! If you are looking for more details regarding a particular train, tariffs or routes, please visit http://www.indialuxurytrain.com/index.php

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