Friday, 6 June 2014

A luxury Trip by Maharajas’ Express to The Gems of India

One of the best ways to explore incredible India in the finest and luxurious way is to board the Maharajas Express and embark on a voyage covering Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore and Jaipur. Unmatched ambience, contemporary amenities mingled with royal Rajput décor and flawless service provide a real regal odyssey on board. This plushy train providing five pan India luxury tours on full board basis let you discover and explore the amazing kaleidoscope of the vast exotic Indian subcontinent.

Out of these five pan Indian finely crafted tours, the ‘Gems of India’ tour lets you explore the treasure trove of Mughal and Rajput India. As the train starts rolling on its royal wheels from Safdarjung Railway Station in New Delhi, you are left open to immerse in the charm of Indian panorama blessed with rich landscape and manmade wonders like forts and palaces. The royal carriage gives its first halt at Agra, one of the oldest cities of India. Board off the train and proceed for a visit to Taj Mahal, One of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is perhaps the world’s only photographed monument whose replica is impossible to be created in years to come. Located on the banks of river Yamuna, the white marbled Taj bears living testimony of eternal love the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan possessed for his wife Mumtaz

The visit to this exquisite monument becomes all the more charming when Maharajas Express offers you a champagne breakfast at Taj Khema. Do not miss the opportunity to appreciate the Pietra Dura Marble Inlay Work here. And if you simply want to rejuvenate yourself, then move for a spa at a five star hotel. Other historical sites to explore in Agra are The Agra Fort, a 16th century Mughal monument and Fatehpur Sikri. Return to the comfort of the palatial train and enjoy a tempting dinner as the train again starts rolling its regal wheels for Sawai Madhopur. Herein, lays the world famous tiger reserve, Ranthambore National Park. Proceed for an exciting game drive at the wildlife sanctuary. You will be one of the privileged few to get the adventurous sight of tigers.

As the train departs for the Pink City of India, sit down by the window of your princely cabin and enjoy the sight of undulating sand terrain. The Amber Fort located at a height in Jaipur is a good option to enjoy an enthralling exhibition, elephant polo match which is followed by dinner at an exclusive venue. A private shopping tour in the Pink City fills your bags with traditional and handicraft items very popular to Rajasthani culture. Plenty of shopping, expedition to prestigious historical monuments, travelling through picture perfect natural sceneries, savoring the delicacy of mouthwatering dishes and spending some beautiful moments in one of the royal trains of India, let all your dreams of a luxury vacation come true. As you approach the last night of your majestic voyage and the trains whistles to leave for Delhi, pack with you the finest memories you have created on your journey to The Gems of India. From forest to historical monuments and local markets, India offers every traveler of Maharajas’ Express a journey to explore the best of it in the company of plush and comfort.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Story of a Tranquil Hill Station, Kasauli

The vast Indian subcontinent stretching from sun-kissed beaches to tranquil mountains meets the vacation mood of leisure traveler and adventurer. Hills in India not only signify mall road, shopping and road side tea stalls, but also moments of silence miles away from the influx of tourists.

Kasauli, tucked away in the shadow of Shimla, is one such destination in North India whose leafy cobbled roads wind around 19th-century churches, British cemeteries, heritage hotels and cottages. The scenic beauty of Kasauli has attracted a lot of poets and writers over the years. They have penned down the picturesque hills and tall green trees to portray the beauty of Kasauli in human minds.

Beautifully nestled in the Shivalik ranges of lesser Himalayas, Kasauli offers bountiful view of the rolling hills in the vicinity of Pahari folks and unpolluted environment. If you want to do nothing apart from lying on the bed and gazing at the green mountain ranges, then drop in at Kasauli to fulfill your lazy mood. Curve roads, deep valleys, steep slopes, jumping monkeys blowing wind will gradually take you to this quietest hill station located at a very short distance from Punjab and Haryana.

Kasauli does not boast of too much sightseeing. Long walks along pine and chestnut lined roads will take you as close to nature as you want. You will get to hear the chattering of birds and whispering of winds and don’t be surprised to see clouds descending from heaven. It is here where the floating clouds will touch you and the crystal clear surrounding promises to increase the depth of field of your camera. The old cottages have been refurnished into heritage hotels to narrate the story of British rule to the visitors. A peaceful walk to the Upper Mall opens the door to Kasauli Club and beyond it is the spectacular sunset point. Stand at a height to watch the mellow sun setting down to welcome the shining moon at night.

It goes without saying that Kasauli till now preserves the memories of British Raj. One of them is the 19th-century Christ Church which lies at the heart of town and is frequented by visitors. This scenic town on the Himalayan ranges is also the home to its own brewery which manufactures Lion, the oldest beer in the country.

Sipping on hot tea and gulfing on spicy snacks adds more fun to a hill-side vacation. A lot of dhabas and restaurants in Kasauli offering vegetarian and non- vegetarian dishes are strong enough to satisfy the taste buds of its visitors. As the distance between Delhi to Kasauli is not much, plan your trip to Kasauli while enjoying your vacation at Delhi. You will get the feel of calm Mother Nature who is adorned by vibrant beauty that leaves every nature lover awestruck.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Munnar, India’s Perfect Summer Getaway

Summer is knocking at the door and the scorching heat is pricking you. Never mind! Plan your trip and pack your bags to come to India. I will take you to one of those chilly destinations in South India where you can easily beat the heat and inhale the cool breeze.

Munnar, it is called, located in the heartland of Kerala. Miles of tranquil stretches of tea plantations, twisty winding lanes and small picturesque towns is an ideal cut off from the rest of the world. Amidst the shades of green, tiny cottages and serene cool wind, you can only hear the sound of nature here.

Hire a jeep to be economical and explore this small scenic hill station. Rocky roads, jeep ride, local market sights, beautiful dams, green sight of stretched tea gardens and wild elephants peeping out of the jungles are all that you can explore. Take a ride to Mattupedi dam, 13 kms away from Munnar along with the Mattupedi Dairy Farm. While the crystal clear water of the dam will make you gaze for hours and hours, you will get to explore a variety of cattle in the farm. And yes go for an adventurous speed boat ride with your family.

To get a panoramic view of the Western Ghats and the Theni valley, drive to the top station. The merge of hills and clouds will take you to another world embodied by the beauty of nature and here you can claim to be on the topmost point of South India. To discover something interesting, drive to Eco Point. Scream as loud as you can and wait for a minute to hear your echo back. How can I not mention the tea museum which displays the growth of more-than-a-century-old tea plantations in Munnar! And yes for all animal lovers, there is Eravikulam National Park famous for Nilgiri Tahr.

Imagine you can explore all these destinations in a friendly weather that will naturally revitalize you. Be it your romantic getaway or a family outing, the pleasing region of Munnar never dissatisfies a traveler. Keep away the scorching sun and saline water to engross in the aura of freezing summer.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Tits and Bits of Fairy Queen

The oldest luxury steam locomotive in the world, Fairy Queen began its journey in 1855 with the motto of embarking its travelers to a luxury train ride in and outside India’s capital. In 1997, the Indian railways restarted its operation and decided the train to run from Delhi to Alwar covering the famous Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary.

The single AC chair car coach of the train can accommodate a maximum of 50 privileged passengers who can enjoy the delicacies of several mouth watering dishes from the pantry car. The comfort of the beautiful lounge in front of the coach opens up to the scenic view of the countryside. Fairy Queen even promises to keep you fully entertained with several cultural programs on the 1st day of the trip.

Fairy Queen takes its passengers to the famous historical destinations of Delhi like Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Jantar Mantar, Bahai Temple, Humayun’s Tomb and Alwar. The beautiful town of Alwar is located within the Aravalli ranges at a distance of 170km. it is popular among tourists worldwide because of the famous Tiger Reserve of India, Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is also home to leopards, sambars, jungle cat, jackal, hyena, fox, chinkara, wild boar, nilgai, civet, four-horned antelope, gaur and porcupine among many others. Also, a lot of rare and exotic bird species can be found in Sariska. You can also get in touch with some of the famous 9th and 10th century temples here. Within the surrounding of hills and narrow valleys and the growth of dry deciduous and tall grasses, Sariska provides a perfect feel of wildlife in their natural habitat.

If India happens to be your next destination, then book your seat in Fairy Queen to travel from history to jungle of the Indian Subcontinent.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Luxurious South India Tour On Golden Chariot

If Palace on Wheels and Royal Rajasthan On Wheels grace North India with luxurious train tour, southern zone is in the league too. Indian Railways together with Karnataka State Tourism and Development Corporation introduced Golden Chariot, a luxury train which wheels across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The train offers two well-crafted packages — Pride of the South and Splendor of the South Each last for seven nights, helping you unravel treasures of South India.

Pride of the South covers Bangalore, Kabini, Bandipur, Mysore, Hassan, Hampi and Badami, while the Splendor of the South gives you a temple tour of Tamil Nadu, rolls through tranquil backwaters of Kerala with a few destinations in Karnataka.

Like Palace On Wheels, coaches of this train are named after southern princely states while eluded regal charm in erstwhile era — Kadamba, Hoyasala, Rastrakota, Ganga, Chalukya, Bhahamani, Adilshahi, Sangama, Shathavashna, Yudukula and Vijayanagar.

Microcosm portrayal of southern heritage adorns interiors. The train draws its name From Hampi’s stone chariots. At par with any five star hotel, The Golden chariot is stuffed with modern amenities, classy cabins, everything required for a lavish stay.The plush cabins come with well-spread bed, television, writing table, chair and an attached bath.

Twin multi cuisine restaurants - Nala and Ruchi, serve delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines to guests. The restaurants are influenced from architectural marvels of Halebid and Hampi.

Every corner of the train reflects aristocratic aesthetics. Madira means divine intoxicating drink. The lounge bar aboard Golden Chariot, “Madira”, serves exotic wines and best brands of international liquor. The bar is designed keeping architecture of Mysore Palace in mind. Soulful music makes your evening more happening.

Golden Chariot keeps your well-being in mind. If you need to relax post day excursions, you can pamper yourself at ‘Nirvana’, onboard spa. Special Ayurvedic massages help you unwind and get rid of ailments, if any. A well-equipped gym for calorie conscious guests is available aboard too.

The train with double itineraries depart from Bangalore from October to March. It is season already. What are you waiting for? Exploring temples, heritage points, silent backwaters and picturesque golden beaches with regal charm can happen aboard Golden Chariot.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels — A Majestic Ride Packed With Luxury

Luxury trains in India offer you a short rendezvous with Indian culture. Rajasthan on Wheels is one such train which promises to uphold the rich legacy of Rajput rulers with a dash of modernity. The seven-day tour on wheels will begin in Delhi and roll across prominent cities of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

The train has luxurious cabins stacked with modern amenities, huge beds adorned with vibrant velvet and silk bed covers, life size mirrors and fine artwork to accentuate walls. Two restaurant-cum-bars Sheesh Mahal and Swarn Mahal serve Rajasthani, Continental and Chinese delicacies. Spoil yourself with exquisite wines onboard. Rejuvenate in spa, socialize with your co-passengers in huge lounge and get set to take home some pleasant memories. Here's a brief look at the royal itinerary.

Day One — The train leaves Safdarjung Station, Delhi at 9pm. After traditional welcome with garlands, you'll be escorted to respective cabins. Taste the elegance of ancient Rajputana, there's a lot in store!

Day Two — Destination, Ranthambore National Park. Leopards, Fishing Cats hyena, jackal, nilgai, sambar, wild pig, desert fox are also seen on a prowl here, although the Lord of the forest here is Tiger!Ranthambore hosts a lot of birdies too. Pigeons, sparrows, parakeets, larks, weaver birds, wagtails, thrushes are found in abundance.Reptiles such as lizards, python, rat snakes, tortoise, cobras, turtle throng the sanctuary. Royal Bengal tigers dominate the jungle area. You undertake take a jeep safari ride with a naturalist for a closer view of the animals.Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served onboard. You have to take small breaks from the call of wild for feasting on sumptuous meals.

Day Three — Post breakfast, you'll be escorted to Udaipur's City Palace, marked with huge arches and towering balcony. The City of Lakes will enchant you with Garden of Maids- of- Honor, designed for royal ladies. A boat cruise on Lake Pichola is a must. Keep clicking to capture the picturesque landscape.

Day Four — The City Palace, Jaipur, brings to you well-carved arches, courtyard, gateways, gardens decked with bright hued flowers. Museums display royal costumes, arms and ammunitions.

Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory is up next on cards.Amber Fort stands apart with Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors), sprawling lawns and courtyard.

Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds made of pink sandstone housed royal females, who kept in touch with the outer world through a massive facade with countless windows.

Day Five — Agra, the land of Taj. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the marble marvel on the banks of Yamuna features among the Seven Wonders of the World.

Fatehpur Sikri, built by Akbar served as the capital of Mughal Empire for ten years. After exploring superb craftsmanship of Mughal dynasty, you'll be served dinner onboard.

Day Six — Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh awaits you. The sculpture of the temples show ancient Hindu designs, humans in sensual postures. The temples at Khajuraho are dedicated to Lord Vishnu. What makes this piece of architecture unique is the design and layout. Built of shiny colored sandstones, the ancient sculptures leave a mark on modern minds.

Day Seven — Destination, Varanasi — one of the top Hindu pilgrimage hot spot! Take a boat ride on River Ganges to spot thousands taking a dip in Holy water to cleanse their sins.

Also recommended is Sarnath, a holy place for Buddhists. Lord Buddha is believed to have delivered his first sermon here

Day Seven — Arrival at Delhi.The Rajasthan on Wheels sets on royal voyage from October to March. Summers are hot and sultry, hence winters are preferred to explore the gems of Indian heritage.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

An Exhilarating Journey on Palace on Wheels

If one want to define the experience on Palace on Wheels in one word then it would be just completely “exhilarating”. A lavish trip around some of the most captivating sights in Rajasthan, it is truly a dream come true. A dream cherished by many but only few lucky ones could experience the scintillating royal flavor.

In this luxury tours on wheels, you will experience a unique journey across the vibrant Rajasthan to the Thar Desert making a visit to its stunning palace and beautiful havelis. You will also explore a variety of flora and fauna including the endangered species of wildlife on a trip to Ranthambore national park. If lucky, you might even spot a tiger. The ride begins from the capital city of Delhi taking you through various destinations that include Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Chittaurgarh, Sawai Modhopur, Udaipur and Agra. The destination are adventurous and interesting but that is not all. The 5-star luxury treatment you get on board, the taste of royalty and the warm hospitality is what creates the ultimate enchanting fairy-tale.

The beautiful plush interiors with the culinary skills of the cooks and the hospitality on board are all meticulously planned keeping in mind the royal flavor Rajasthan. These coaches were once used by the Maharajahs of the princely states of Rajasthan to travel across India which were then renovated and remodeled to provide a complete royal experience filled with grandeur and elegance. All of these coaches are decorated in line of theme of different states of Rajasthan and decked up with delicate Rajasthani artwork. The train houses many recreation spots like the lounge area, restaurants based on Indian theme, library and bar where you can sit and have a great time while traveling. The large panoramic windows provide the beautiful view of the Desert and lets you savor every bit of this majestic land.

All the rooms in the train are fully air-conditioned and embellished with elegant décor and furnished with finest and utmost modern amenities that you could hope for. Added to these, is the personalized service of Khidmatgars who are there to attend to your every need and requirement 24*7. One of the topmost luxury train in the world, it also boasts of two restaurants namely The Maharani and The Maharaja. Serving delectable authentic Rajastani food, these restaurants are also popular for international cuisine and the chefs are always happy to dish out any recipe for you. A well-stocked bar with the finest of wines and spirits is also the highlight of this luxury train which keeps up the guest in high spirits.

Traversing across some of the most delightful sites in North India, The Palace on wheels is truly an exciting journey. You get a warm traditional welcome full with garland and tilak during the start of the journey at Delhi railway station. On an India tour, the best way to explore this incredible country is by traveling on Palace on wheels. You are taken through a number of popular destinations across India as you see the very best of this incredible country. Surely, this journey will remain etched into your memories even after leave the shores of this land. It is more than just a culture and heritage tour. It is truly a journey of lifetime.