Maharajas Express-Indian Panorama Journey
Sep 20, 2012
The larger than life experience that Maharajas’ Express, the luxury tourist train operated by Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRTCT), shares with its guests has made it stand tall among the top notch luxury trains in the world. Being the newest of all the luxury trains in India, the itineraries introduced this year are fresh with new places to explore. Indian Panorama is one of the three pan-India tour itineraries by Maharajas’ Express. In this weeklong journey, the guests would be taken to a timeless excavation to the dazzling terrain of Rajasthan along with a dash in the city of the sensuous temples of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh. The journey also includes a visit to the sacred city of Varanasi which is regarded as one of the oldest cities in the history of mankind. For the kind perusal of the travelers, the following is a short overview of the destinations that this weeklong itinerary would cover-
- Delhi- The capital city of India, Delhi holds a significant historical importance. Geared up to join the league of global cities, Delhi exhibits a medley of diverse cultures, castes and creeds where past and present go hand in hand. As the city is well connected to different parts of the country and the world, it has also turned up to be a corporate hub. Maharajas’ Express Indian Panorama journey begins from the legendary capital city Delhi. A royal welcome ceremony followed by the check in formalities marks the beginning of this tour.
- Jaipur- The very next morning, the train reaches the territory of Jaipur which is the capital of Rajasthan. Ruled by the courageous Rajputs for centuries, the city revives the romances and folklores of Kings and Queens before our eyes. As the train enters the Jaipur Railway Station, a military band welcomes the guests with the beating of ‘Nagadas’. The guests may choose to watch the elephant polo match or can also take part in the exhibition game. The royal lunch accompanied by Champaign at Jai Mahal Palace forms the crescendo of the day. A visit to the majestic Amber Fort is also arranged for the guests. The local markets of Jaipur are heaven for shopaholics as there one can get the finest of Rajasthani handicraft items and jewelry.
- Ranthambore- As the dawn breaks, the train enters Sawai Madhopur area – home to the Ranthambore National Park. A game safari in Ranthambore is probably the best treat for all the adventure enthusiasts. There one can see the valorous wild cats, tigers along with various other endangered wildlife species. The safari with an experienced guide gives you a chance to watch these untamed creatures in their natural habitat from a close quarter.
- Fatehpur Sikri- After the game safari at Ranthambore, the train moves towards its next destination - Fatehpur Sikri. The train enters Sikri by the afternoon and then guests are offered a sightseeing tour to the city. Fatehpur Sikri was founded by Mughal Emperor Akbar who built majestic palaces and mosques during his reign there. This 16th century city is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and thus attracts tourists from all around the world every year.
- Agra- On the wake of the fourth day, reach one of the most sought after tourist destinations Agra, which is famous worldwide for its iconic love monument Taj Mahal. To make the guests witness the picturesque beauty of Taj Mahal, they are taken there early in the morning. The splendor of this white mausoleum lies in its beautiful construction. This century old monument is a great example of Mughal architectural genius and it looks alike from all the four sides.
- Gwalior- After Agra, Maharajas’ Express continues the journey to Gwalior, another beautiful fort city of India. Standing on an isolated rock overlooking the main town, Gwalior Fort is one of the most beautiful citadels in India. While most of the Indian forts are made up of red sand stones, the Gwalior fort presents a beautiful intermingling of different colors used for designing the outer walls of the fort. In one of his writings, the Mughal emperor Babur described the fort as ‘The pearl in the necklace of the forts of Hind’. Apart from the fort, the travelers are also taken to the Jain sculptures and the Jai Mahal Palace Museum in Gwalior.
- Orcha- On the 5th day of journey, the train reaches Jhansi station from where the guests are driven to Orcha. A 16th century town situated on the banks of Betwa River in Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Orcha speaks volumes about the medieval Indian history. The town was built by Maharaja Rudra Pratap Singh as the capital of Bundelkhand region. Guarded by the far stretched vegetation and the river, Orcha is a peaceful ménage in the heart of Madhya Pradesh. The city has many magnificent palaces, forts and temples constructed during the reign of the Bundelas and the Mughals.
- Khajuraho- After having a tour to Orcha, the guests are driven back to the train to continue the journey to Khajuraho. The city of Khajuraho is famous for its imposing group of temples which stand unique for the eroticism carved on its walls and pillars. Different historians put forth host of reasons behind incorporating erotic art with the temples; but whatever may be the reason, these are certainly a grand feast for the visual senses of the art lovers. It is the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Out of the original 80 temples, only about 22 remain today. The Khajuraho temples are divided into different groups among which the Western Group is the most famous.
- Varanasi- Situated in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi is one of the holiest Hindu pilgrimages. The myths and legends glorify the traditional classical culture of the city, where as the religion sanctify it. The city is located on the river banks of the holy Ganges and is said to be the dwelling of the oldest civilization on earth. One of the prime pilgrimages for Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is situated just few kilometers from the main city of Varanasi.
- Lucknow- The Maharajas’ Express enters the terrain of Lucknow on the 7th day. Known as the ‘city of Nawabs’ or ‘Constantinople of India’, Lucknow is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. The city exhibits a multicultural lifestyle where courtly manners, beautiful gardens, music, poetry and mouth-watering cuisines lure thousands of global nomads every year. The city’s unique cultural heritage was mostly brought by the Persian Shia Nawabs.
All in all, The Indian Panorama journey offers the guests a mix of Indian history, spirituality, adventure and architectural wonders. It has something to offer to every kind of tourist.