“for a land like no other on earth, a journey like no other.” –maharaja’s express website
lately i’ve been thinking that i would love to go to india. combining my love of india cuisine, culture, and train rides, i have been daydreaming of a week on the maharaja’s express luxury train. i find travel by train to be relaxing in a way that travel by plane, or automobile cannot. i like the idea that the method of travel is combined with home–and that the travel itself is entertaining–not just a necessary part of getting somewhere that requires long periods of sitting, boredom, and wasting time.
there’s also a romantic edge to traveling through india– a lingering european and british imperialistic fantasy world that cloaks the unknown or not understood culture in magic, mythical histories, and exotic culture (however poorly derived). when i day dream about living on the train through india, i think of it as living in a storybook. it feels like living a week in a formal afternoon tea.
of course, it’s totally unreasonable–the cheapest per person price is well over $5,000, not including airfare. but it seems like it would totally be worth it. though “the darjeeling limited” isn’t really a happy movie, nor an experience that i would really want to have, the setting of the movie absolutely bewitched me. and i love to watch the movie while eating take-0ut curry and drinking chai. i love the little details, like when they are served sweet lime drinks and the tiny bathroom they share in the suite. eating formal, fancy, delicious dinners while watching the landscape fly by.
maharaja’s express offers a few packages, but i’m particularly intrigued by the “princely india” package. 8 days and 7 nights aboard the train–travel from mumbai to vadodara, udaipur, jodhpur, bikaner, jaipur, ranthambore, agra, and finish in delhi. visiting ancient palaces and estates–enjoying “sumptuous dinners,” and even the occasional high tea, safari, lively bazaars, folk performances and arts, and finish at the taj mahal. all passengers dine together and dinner is formal and black tie. it sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
check it out for yourself: http://www.rirtl.com/