Gone are the days when travelling by train reminded one of a long and dreary journey that everyone wants to avoid. India’s luxury trains have transformed the definition of train rides and have turned them into regal and opulent sojourns. Following the tracks of the Palace on Wheels and Royal Rajasthan, the Golden Chariot heralds a new era of luxurious travel in India.
Starting from Bangalore on a Monday morning, the train makes its way back to the former within exactly a week’s time; having covered places like Mysore, Kabini, Hampi and Goa. The train, named after the universally famous Stone Chariots in Hampi, boasts of nineteen exclusive coaches that are designed to provide regal comfort and pleasure to the passengers. The resplendent interiors of each coach are reminiscent of the transcendent Mysorian architecture seen in most heritage sites like Halebid and Hampi. While the intricately carved ceilings and antique furnishings bring back memories of India in the centuries of yore. The LCD screens with satellite channels and Wi-Fi connectivity will ensure that you don’t miss out on any of the worldly comforts of the present age. Continue reading →
The Maharaja express is an elite product born out of the joint venture between Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) & Cox & Kings India Ltd. This is a luxury train that will provide an out of the world holiday experience traversing the heart of the Indian subcontinent. The inaugural journey took place on the 20th March 2010, when the railway minister Mamata Banerjee flagged off the debut dream run of the train. Commencing from Kolkata the train will pass through Gaya, Varanasi, Bhandavgarh, Khajuraho, Gwalior, & Agra before reaching its end destination at Delhi.
The Maharaja express will provide state of the art facilities and comfort to its guests.
The train will carry not more than 88 passengers charging a princely sum of $ 800 for the deluxe cabin & $ 900 & $ 1400 for the next higher accommodation right up to $ 2500 for the presidential suite. The carriages will be wide & roomy with full length windows which will offer a panoramic view of the countryside. Facilities on board will have LCD Television, temperature control, direct dial telephone lines, internet etc. A world class dining experience is on offer to the guest travelers with breakfast, lunch, tea & dinner packing in exotic menus dished out with Indian wines, beer and other spirits. The cabins and suites are tastefully done up to reflect royalty. The train has a superior suspension system to ensure a smooth and bump free ride. It is also insured against any unforeseen calamity like a theft, accident or terrorism related issues. The journey from Kolkata to Delhi will take place in 7days/ 6 nights. There are similar runs in princely India & royal India which cover the northern and western parts of the country.
Savor the experience
Get in touch with your tour operator for a rich and exhilarating travel experience in the warmth and luxury of the Maharaja express throughout the length and breadth of India.
The Amanbagh Resort in the princely state of Rajasthan is a pearl of modern architecture that is designed in the Moghul style. The resort provides an opportunity to witness firsthand traditions and culture of rural India. Crowned as the ‘Best Resort’ in Travel and Leisure’s Second Annual Design Awards in 2006, Amanbagh (peaceful garden) opened in Ajabgarh, India in February 2005. The resort’s 24 Haveli Suites and 16 Pool Pavilions offer travelers an impeccable base from which they can explore the Alwar region. 33-meter swimming pool, 12 meter wading pool, lounge, roof terrace, library, gym, boutique, gallery, and two restaurants all are enough to drown you in love with the resort. Beauty that surrounds this beautiful resort enhances its charm as it gives a chance to explore the rustic culture of Rajasthan. Guests can take advantage of Yoga sessions and spa treatments that includes massages, scrubs, and curing Ayurvedic remedies. Apart from healing, your body and soul the resort offers sports activities such as trekking, boating, horse riding, camel safaris, and cultural tours by jeep to conventional villages, forts, temples and Moghul remains scattered throughout the surrounding hills and valleys. READ
Aviation industry in India is seeing a phenomenal growth in the coming years. The industry is expected to add 200 commercial airliners in its current squad in the next two or three years. According to the industry insiders, the Indian aviation market is estimated to be around Rs 25,000 crore and is growing rapidly with the entry of numerous new players. Now traveling via air in and outside the country is no longer a matter of prestige, rather it has a become a business necessity. The sector is also booming in terms of e-ticketing. It has reduced the obscure task of manual booking of airline tickets and the cost of issuing e-tickets is expected to reduce drastically from Rs 500 to Rs 50. It is projected that with this dramatic reduction in the cost of ticket processing and distribution, airlines could save billions of dollars every year, industry experts said. Driven by strong outcome of country’s economy, the aviation sector backs the Indian tourism very strongly with its cheap airfares and world-class amenities that helps tourism sector to lure more and more international travelers. Interestingly, The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) have declared India and China as the destination for next one and half decades. However, Indian tourism has outperformed despite lack of basic infrastructure but it fears tourism industry that current influx of tourists might be diverted to the countries like Thailand, China which have invested massively in their basic infrastructure such as road and rail networks. Tourism experts said that in order to sustain it, there is a dire need for the government to invest in infrastructure such as transport systems and accommodation. Via: Thehindubusinessline
The spirituality of Varanasi, the most popular shrine of North India, is now spreading beyond the borders. Whether it is its tranquility that allures western travelers or its natural beauty, which woo oversees tourists, but one thing is sure that city is rapidly gaining importance in the international arena of tourism. In a survey commissioned by UK’s prestigious travel magazine, the spiritual capital of India has been voted ‘the destination of 2006′ in terms of customer satisfaction. Based on the experience of travelers, conducted on 3,000 travelers Varanasi, has received a silver award Wanderlust Travel Awards 2007. By a small margin from Luang Prabang, Laos, the city has received second place. Wanderlust Top City finalists were: 1. Luang Prabang, Laos 2. Varanasi, India 3. Cordoba, Spain 4. Siena, Italy 5. San Francisco, USA Located on the banks of the sacred Ganges River Varanasi has a unique culture, pretty different from other places in country. These unique attributes makes is most sacred place for all Hindus, irrespective of denomination. The city receives millions of pilgrims from every corner of the country. Interestingly, over the past few years, the number of foreign visitors has increased dramatically. One can see many foreign tourists on the banks of Ganga, joining yoga classes, musing and chanting mantras. Via: Easier
The current boost in Indian tourism that has broken all previous records in terms of overseas arrivals and foreign exchange is not satisfactory for Indian tourism industry. It is learnt that still India is way behind; even places like Macao registered 21.99 million tourists while Indian graph could barely touch 4.43 million in 2006. However, we have witnessed growth of 14.2 per cent from 3.92 million as against the 2005 and foreign exchange earnings from tourism grew to $6.569 billion in 2006 but Indian share in global market is merely 0.52 percent. According to the official data, an average tourist spends 26 days in India, the leisure tourists who arrive in India, those from the Far East stay for roughly six to eight days, the Dutch and the French stay for about 18-22 days, experts said. India has a tough job ahead to increase its share in international market. In my perspective, still India has not even developed its one third tourism potential. India should invest in basic infrastructure in order to cater to the global demand. Apart form this, recent incidents of brutal killings and sexual assault of foreign travelers has maligned Indian hospitality among international travelers. These malpractices have also exposed bad security concerns taken by Indian federal government. More worryingly, by now, government has not addressed the issue diligently. The union government should develop a joint mechanism with all states for ensuring the safety of the travelers. And a special emphasis is required in states like Bihar, Assam and J$K. Via: Rediff
In a rapidly growing online Indian travel market, the top (OTA) agencies of India are now taking the services of online solution providers’ to meet the global players successfully. The five OTAs are Indiatimes, MakeMyTrip, Sify, Travelguru and Yatra that have been associated with Amadeus, online service provider, and are using the Amadeus API, which enables these travel link searchers to book the full range of domestic and international airline content in Amadeus’ distribution system. Interestingly, all OTAs have chosen Amadeus Master Pricer, an international airfare search engine. Ankur Bhatia, managing director, Amadeus India said: The new genre of online travel is fast sweeping the nation and Amadeus is right there in the leadership slot empowering all major players who at present account for almost 65 percent of total online travel in India. It is worth mentioning that Indian online travel market is projected to cross $750 million in 2006 and by 2008, it is expected to surpass $2 billion mark. Therefore, the deal of companies is very important in this context. It will also assist travelers to know the international fares and better organize their tours. Via: Eyefortravel
As China’s economy booms, countries vie to get lucrative benefits from its nouveau riche citizens. One sector to channel these economic gains is tourism. Though India is, China’s neighboring country it does not get many Chinese visitors, most of whom prefer to travel to Australia, France and the United States. However in the wake of Chinese foreign minister Li Zhou Xing’s visit to India next week, the Indian government is hopes to encourage Chinese tourists to India. So what all has been lined up? � India to set up tourism representative office in China, � Promotion of the Buddhist circuit through ‘Walk with the Buddha’ campaign that promotes sites connected to the life of Lord Buddha. � Launch of a ‘Buddhist train’ that will travel through major areas of interest. � A website in Chinese � Training of Chinese speaking guides Besides, yoga and Bollywood popular with the Chinese will be used to draw tourists. India hopes to counter competition from South-East Asian neighbors like Thailand and Malaysia. Via: The Times of India
As spring glides in, full of warmth and vibrancy leaving the gray winter behind, Surajkund adorns itself with colorful traditional crafts of India. Craftsmen from all over the country assemble at Surajkund during the first fortnight of February to participate in the annual celebration known as the Surajkund Crafts Mela. Out of the dust of Delhi was born India’s celebrated craftsmela, the Surajkund Crafts Mela, which began in 1987 and it took off as a platform for local artists and craftsmen in 1981.Surajkund derives its name from an ancient amphitheatre, the sun pool, which dates back to the 10th Century. The theme of the fair changes every year. Andhra Pradesh was been chosen as this year’s theme. The organizers, Surajkund Mela Authority comprising the Union Ministry of Tourism and Textiles and Haryana Tourism, have tried to capture the nuances of village life down to the minutest details. The dances by colorfully dressed performers from Andhra Pradesh are a visual treat as musical notes lend a zing to the air. An added attraction this year has been the participation of Thailand besides representatives of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), putting Surajkund on the international map. You can shop till you drop and, if you are not in the mood of shopping there’s a lot more the mela offers in terms of theatre, folk dances and musical evenings. The Surajkund Crafts Mela is held in the picturesque Surajkund Tourist complex of Haryana Tourism and reaching there is not at all difficult .One can reach there by air, by road or by rail. The highlight of this mela is that the best craft products from all across the states of India are displayed at a single place where you can not only just feel them but also purchase them. It is one colorful festival where you can witness the various shades of India as well as possess small portions of the country through the wares displayed. This is one Indian festival that should not be missed. Images Source: The Tribune
If you visit Delhi any time after the 10th of February, do take time out to visit the Mughal Gardens. A highlight of the late winter months every year, in full bloom they give visitors a chance to see a riot of colorful flowers in a variety of shapes and sizes. The Mughal Gardens will be open to the public on all days up to March 18 Closed: Mondays, closed for maintenance, March 3 and 4 for Holi. Visiting hours:10-30 a.m. to 4-30 p.m. The Mughal Gardens, contiguous to the main building of Rashtrapati Bhavan cover an area of 15 acres. They were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens inspired by the beautiful gardens of Jammu and Kashmir, the garden around the Taj Mahal and Persian and Indian miniature paintings. There are tulips, lilies, narcissus, hyacinths and daffodils all set to entice the hundreds of people who come calling at the gardens. This year the roses form the calling card. With 128 varieties of roses in the garden, there is the almost black "Oklahoma” and the mysterious sounding "Lady X” in shades of blue and even a "green” rose. have always been part of the planting pattern, but this time there is a fragrant rosary. The Mughal Gardens are loved by President A P J Abdul Kalam. He has also put into place various improvements in the form of Herbal Garden, tactile garden for the blind and new varieties of roses. As per the Rules The entry and exit into the Gardens will be via Gate No. 35 of the President’s Estate, which is located at the extreme end of Church Road, about 300 meters West of Cathedral Church. Visitors are requested not to bring any article including water bottles, briefcases, handbags/ladies purses, umbrellas cameras, radios/transistors, cell phones, arms/ammunitions and eatables. Such articles, if any, will not be allowed to be carried into the Mughal Gardens and will have to be deposited at the entry point at the owner’s risk. Source: Delhi news line