KOCHI: Now South India can enjoy a luxurious train journey between Rs 5 lakh and 18 lakh with the 7 star rated Maharajas Express in June! This is the first time that the train is making its trip to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The eight days and seven nights journey in the Deluxe cabin will cost around Rs 5.68 lakhs while the Presidential Suite is expected to cost around Rs 17. 36 lakhs.
The Maharajas which starts its trip from Mumbai on June 24 will arrive at Ernakulam on June 29 covering tourist destinations such as Goa, Hampi, Mysore. From Ernakulam, the train will move to Alappuzha and end its journey at Kochuveli on June 30. The next itinerary will commence from Kochuveli to Mumbai on July 1. Covering Karaikudi, Mahabalipuram, Mysore, Hampi, Goa, it will reach Mumbai on July 8.
Speaking to Express, S S Jaganathan, GGM, South Zone said there are only few trains even at the international levels to compete with the standards of Maharajas Express. There are two-in house restaurants with menus of international and indian cuisines.
There are also in-house bar facilities in the train. “All the plates and utensils are 24 karat gold plated. There are no such trains like Maharajas in entire Asia,” he said. The luxurious cabins have attached bathrooms.
It is the first time that Maharajas has opened its doors for domestic tourists.
“Usually, Maharajas is operated at North Indian tourist destinations from October to March. But considering the growing popularity of tourist destinations, especially Kerala among the tourists, Maharajas will be operating in South Indian states for the first time. Moreover, the train was operating exclusively for foreign tourists,”Jaganathan said.
Maharajas will be making similar trips to and from Mumbai to Kochuveli in September as well. “If these trips manage to attract enough tourists, the train will be operated again after September. The train can accommodate 88 tourists. There will be around 60 IRTC employees onboard to assist the tourists,” he said.
Sam Joseph P, deputy general manager (Tourism) IRCTC, said in a press conference, the train will be taken to tourist destinations after stopping at stations. In Ernakulam, the tourists will able to visit Fort Kochi and Mattancherry. A cultural programme is also arranged for them. At Alappuzha, the tourists will be visiting Mararikulam and Alappuzha backwaters.
Considering it as the first tour to South India, IRCTC is offering ticket bookings. “As its first trip, two persons can travel in the train using one single ticket. Apart from this, we also have break journey trips for those who like to enjoy a day and night in Maharajas. For Break Journey, a ticket will cost around Rs 36,300,” he said.