There is so much beauty spread out through the Indian subcontinent that one lifetime is not sufficient to take it all in. Fortunately, for the discerning traveler, there is a great option to experience as much of India as is possible, and that too from the well-appointed luxury of a royal rolling palace! That’s right, the multiple awards bestowed upon the Maharajas’ Express are not to be considered lightly!
The Southern Sojourn – a Mahrajas’ Express Exclusive Luxury Journey
In no other mode of touring can you absorb the true feel of India’s south as in this meticulously curated luxury journey around India. Beginning your journey in the plush comfort of the suites of the luxury train, you start from the financial capital of India – Mumbai. A bustling city with many landmarks worth seeing, Mumbai provides a glimpse of modern India – rushing to get ahead. Leave the chaos of the metropolis behind as the express whisks you to Ratnagiri, where the Thibaw palace awaits. There is also another historical place – the ruins of Ratnadurg fort, as well as an aquarium for the wildlife seekers!
The next morning, you are greeted by the sun, surf and social scenes of Goa – the party capital of India. Goa is a melting pot of Portuguese and Indian culture. This becomes apparent on the curated walk to the Basilica of Bom Jesus and other religious sites on this luxury journey India that awakens the spirit within. Due to its close connection with the sea – both literally and figuratively – Goan history is replete with fascinating phases, which can be delved into at the Goa Chitra Museum. An evening of carnival follows, and you can get into the spirit of things by joining the revelers in their celebrations!
Moving upwards into the Western Ghats for the next two days, green forests and hillsides make the appearance of Hampi a delightful surprise! This town is steeped in history, which is why it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (one of many on this luxury journey), but also replete with the best spas and ayurvedic retreats that money can buy. Dating back to the Neolithic Age, the continuation of human civilization is represented in the many artifacts that can be seen in Anegudi village. The Tungabhadra River weaves past Hampi, providing a great backdrop for family pictures amid natural tranquility.
The next stop on this luxury Indian journey is Mysore, a town influenced heavily by British culture. You can be forgiven for thinking you are in London when you see the Lalitha Mahal, which resembles St. Paul’s Cathedral! Tipu Sultan, a legendary king, ruled not far from this hilly town.
The sixth day – not the Schwarzenegger movie, of course – brings you to Cochin, in God’s Own Country – Kerala. Cochin literally means ‘like China’, which is what sailors named this fishing paradise. The ingenious Chinese fishing nets are a wonder to see. Proceeding on the luxury journey from here to Kumarakom next morning along the coast gives magnificent views of the Arabian Sea and Kerala’s ubiquitous coconut tree skyline. At Kumarakom, the famous backwaters – areas of fresh water bordering the sea that allow greenery to thrive – can be experienced firsthand. Emerge from the green canopy rejuvenated, then reminisce about the week gone by as the Maharajas’ Express pulls into Trivandrum, its last stop on this sojourn, and we bid adieu, if only for a while.