Guide to Train Tours in India

Go on a Train Tour to Some of India's Most Popular Destinations

Heritage on Wheels train in India.
••• Heritage on Wheels train in India. Chris Beall/Getty Images.

Going on one of the many train tours in India removes the hassle from sightseeing. You'll be taken to some of the country's most popular places and attractions. Better still, there are India train tours for every budget. Read on to find out what's on offer.

  • 01 of 07
    Maharaja's Express luxury train in India.
    ••• Maharaja's Express luxury train in India. Amar Grover/Getty Images
    If you have some spare cash, explore India in style on a luxury train tour. It's an excellent way to see the country without having to compromise on comfort. These luxury tourist trains, which offer every indulgence imaginable right down to customized cutlery, inject glamor and romance into seeing some of India's best tourist attractions.
  • 02 of 07
    Darjeeling toy train.
    ••• Darjeeling toy train. Tim Makins/Getty Images

    India's toy trains are small trains that run on historic railway lines to various hill stations in India. Although these trains are slow and can take up to eight hours to reach their destinations, the mountain scenery is beautiful, making the journeys really worthwhile.

  • 03 of 07
    Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
    ••• Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. Soltan Frédéric\Getty Images

    The Desert Circuit tourist train is focused on heritage tourism, by providing an affordable and accessibly way of visiting the desert cities of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, and Jaipur in Rajasthan. This four night/five day all-inclusive train tour departs from Delhi and covers ancient forts, architecture, and desert culture.

  • 04 of 07
    Tiger safari at Ranthambore.
    ••• Tiger safari at Ranthambore. guenterguni/Getty Images

    This special new semi-luxury tourist train aims to create awareness about wildlife in India, particularly tigers. It's a four night/five day all-incusive train tour that visits Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, as well as Chittorgarh fort (widely regarded as the greatest fort in Rajasthan) and Udaipur, the stunning white city of lakes and palaces. It runs from October to March and departs once a month from Delhi.

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  • 05 of 07
    Buddha statue at Mahabodhi temple.
    ••• Buddha statue at Mahabodhi temple. Dinodia Photo/Getty Images

    The Mahaparinirvan Express is a special tourist train that takes passengers on a one week spiritual tour through Buddhist India, where Buddhism originated more than 2,500 years ago. The train's sacred journey includes visits all the important Buddhist pilgrimage sites, as well as a stop in Agra to see the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri. It's a fabulous way of going on a pilgrimage without the hassle of organizing it yourself.

  • 06 of 07
    Indian Railways sleeper class carriage.
    ••• Indian Railways sleeper class carriage. Neil Emmerson/Getty Images

    The Bharat Darshan train provides an affordable option for people to see the country, as costs are kept as low as possible. There's a wide range of all-inclusive packages to choose from in north and south India. Most are targeted at domestic Indian tourists wishing to visit holy pilgrimage and spiritual sites. The tours on offer change every year and usually run for around 10 nights.

  • 07 of 07
    Fairy Queen Train.
    ••• Fairy Queen Train. Patrick Horton/Getty Images

    India's historic Fairy Queen train was built by a British firm and acquired by Eastern Indian Railways in 1855. It was an exhibit at the National Rail Museum in Delhi for many years, before being restored and made operational again 1997. The train's steam engine was renowned for being the oldest working engine in the world. However, it's now been replaced by a more recent vintage WP 7161 steam locomotive. The train has also been renamed as the Steam Express. Its itinerary combines heritage with wildlife on a one night trip to Alwar and the Sariska Tiger Reserve, in the Rajasthan desert. It's also possible to take a short one-way trip on the train.