India… they say you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it but I guess the only way you could ever form your own opinion is by visiting it for yourself.
And as a South African, there are plenty of reasons why you could very easily pick a place like India as your next holiday destination.
For a start, South Africans don’t need a VISA… well kinda don’t. You apply online in what takes only a few minutes and you don’t pay a cent and then the answer appears in a matter of hours. The flights are also cheap! You could literally trade in a Joburg to Cape Town (in season) flight for a trip to what many call the land of belonging.
And when you get there, your spending money will stretch further than you could ever imagine.
“To give you an idea, a delicious dinner with drinks in the heart of Delhi costs less than Rs.500. That’s right, a whole R90 for a starter, main meal, dessert and drinks. And thats an ‘expensive’ restaurant menu.”
Also, you don’t need a travel adaptor which you would only truly appreciate if you’ve ever needed power while writing an article and found that your South African Macbook power cord is very, very unique with regards to the rest of the world and our three prong plug thingies.
But the hidden riches of India lie in its breathtaking beauty, it’s incredible history, the way the old world meets the new, its diversity of cultures and the way this unbelievable country makes you feel like you have finally arrived home.
“In India they celebrate the commonality of major differences; they are a land of belonging rather than of blood. To be here is to belong, to be accepted & celebrated. You are not merely a tourist seeing this beautiful country… you are treated as family that has finally come home.”
And there is no better way to see the incredible beauty of India, than by train.
Luxury train traveling in India has come a long way since the first commercial train journey between Bombay and Thane in 1853 but trains are still heavily rooted in India’s day to day life. For locals and tourists alike, trains offer a way to beat the hustle and bustle of the traffic and pack more into a days travel than what the roads would allow.
The most recent and unarguably the most luxurious tourist train in India is called the Maharajas Express, a globally celebrated train that has redefined the art of elegance.
The Maharajas’ Express was voted “The World’s Leading Luxury Train” five times in a row at ‘The World Travel Awards’ and within minutes of stepping onto the red carpet that leads up to the open carriage doors, you will see why.
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The Maharajas Express has been the most incredible way to travel & see India. Every night we moved to a new city & every morning we were ready to explore. Like food for the soul, this country & it’s people have ignited something within me. #IncredibleIndia #IndiaBlogTrain Another amazing photograph taken by @ashwinkoushan #thebest
The train was designed to recreate the same old luxury of the personal carriages of historical Indian Maharajahs. Each of the cabins including the dining coupes are covered with nostalgia of past grandeur. Quaint décor fused together with the contemporary amenities create an aura of sheer opulence and 5 Star luxury inside each cabin of the Maharaja Express.
The Maharajas Express can carry up to 84 passengers in elegantly appointed cabins which include a lavish presidential suite spanning over an entire carriage. Each room is ensuite and comes with it’s own butler. There are 2 restaurants, 2 lounge bars equipped with library and souvenir shops and wifi across the nearly 1 kilometre long train.
The train offers a fascinating voyage across some of the finest destinations in India which let you discover the true spirit of this beautiful nation, while learning about the incredible history too.
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Up with the sunrise… having breakfast on our beautiful train before we start the day. I have never toured a country by luxury train but I have to tell you that it is one of the easiest ways to see India. You move to a new city every night without having to repack your bags and get to fit more in every day without having to move hotels, or catch buses or airplanes. We’ve seen & done more in 8 days than most back packers that have stayed in India for a whole month. This trip, this place & these people have my heart. Absolutely fallen in love with everything about India. #IncredibleIndia #IndiaBlogTrain #MyFujiFilmSA
But that is just the tip of the iceberg for the journey. A truly world class expedition into the heart of India and all it’s encompassing cultures is where the train will take you.
With the itineraries consisting of a tasteful blend of heritage, culture and exclusive insider experiences, a journey on board the Maharajas Express is one of the most fulfilling rail journeys in the world.
“The Maharajas Express has been the most incredible way to travel & see India. Every night you move to a new city & every morning you ready to explore. Like food for the soul, this country & it’s people will ignite something within you.”
The royal beauty of India and its rich heritage sprinkled across vast geography come alive as the train makes its way around the country. With each destination as vivid as the confounding colours of India, the incredible tours encompassing palaces, fortresses, World Heritage Sites, cultural sightseeing and spirituality of India are packaged and showcased in the most magnificent way.
The luxury train offers a journey into India’s rich culture, a glimpse into the distinct beauty that the country has to offer, it shares it’s beauty with you, welcomes you home, show’s you it’s secrets, teaches you new things and then leaves you with one of it’s greatest gifts…
The desire and need, to come back for more.