Travel by Maharajah Express to tour UP by train

Finally, there’s something on the tourism front for the city that Lucknowites can celebrate. For a city crammed with historical spaces, not to mention a unique culture, the complaint often has been that it hardly falls within the tourist map, with foreigners just passing through Lucknow on their way to better advertised places like Varanasi or even the Buddhist circuit. But hopefully, all that should change with this latest initiative of the Royal India Railway Tours, a partnership between IRCTC and a private tour operator, which is bringing a luxury train into the city as a part of its travel itinerary that includes Agra, Varanasi, Gwalior, Bandhavgarh and Khajuraho.

On the lines of super luxury trains like Royal Rajasthan on wheels, Royal Orient and the Deccan Odyssey, The Maharaja express too promises to give its guests a taste of UP, with a luxurious touch. As Nalin Singhal, director, tourism and marketing, IRCTC explains, “We have already brought in several tourists for on this train and so far the response has been enthusiastic. Our endeavour is to provide an experience which is away from the traditional tour one undertakes of India. Depending on the future response we may also consider increasing the number of destinations.” Interestingly, while there are other luxury trains that include Agra and Varanasi in their itinerary, this is for the first time that such a train has come to Lucknow. Also, the project sees active membership by Muzaffar Ali, who has for long championed for greater efforts regarding tourism in Lucknow. Says Singhal, “The kind of clientele we are catering to – premier foreign tourists – can be great ambassadors for tourism and naturally help encourage others to consider destinations like Lucknow.”

Awasthi, director, UP Tourism firmly agrees with, when he says, “Such an initiative can be really advantageous for Lucknow especially since Lucknow traditionally has never been a tourist destination. It will help create an opening for the city among tourists who generally stop by on their way to the Buddhist circuit. We are willing to provide every help and support they require.”