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The Deccan Odyssey: A Train Fit for a Maharaja

Travel from Mumbai to Goa on of India’s most luxurious train journeys

Onboard India\’s Deccan Odyssey is one of the few places in India where you can order a drink on the rocks without thinking twice.
You may have heard that the customer is king, but in India, as the Sanskrit saying goes, Atithi devo bhav, or “the guest is god.”

Nowhere is this more apparent than on one of India’s luxury trains. They were the travel mode of choice for the obscenely wealthy rulers of India’s princely states until Indian independence from Britain in 1947. Many of the trains hark back to these imperial times in their opulent decor, white-gloved service, and elaborate meals and teas.

In the state of Maharashtra, the Deccan Odyssey is such a train. Beginning in Mumbai, its seven-day journey is a loop, with stops in Goa, India’s smallest and wealthiest state, a Portuguese colony until 1961; at the 2,000-year-old Ellora and Ajanta caves—religious temples and monuments carved in stone; at the palaces and museums of Kolhapur; and in the holy city of Nasik, with its Hindu pilgrimage site, Panchavati.

There’s plenty to do onboard as well, with two restaurants serving Indian cuisine, a bar, a spa, 24-hour room service, Internet access, and even a fitness room. All cabins are air-conditioned and private; they will have wi-fi by 2014.

Throughout your journey, you are attended by a staff trained by the best, the Taj Hotels group, so you can expect to be treated as you would at India’s top luxury hotels—in other words, like royalty.

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