The Maharajas’ Express, an analogue to super luxury travel that combines princely opulence with modern amenities, will embark on its maiden tour of the southern States from here on July 1.

Billed as the ‘World’s Leading Luxury Train,’ it will depart from the Kochuveli terminal at 9.15 p.m. on July 1 and visit Chettinad, Mahabalipuram, Mysuru, Hampi and Goa during its eight-day/seven-night tour. The ‘Southern Jewels – Monsoon Special’ will cover the alluring lands of the south, several magnificent monuments and palaces of historical importance, while exploring the rich cultural heritage of the region before winding up the journey in Mumbai.

First from the south

Managed by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC), it will be the first trip of the Maharajas’ Express from the south. The IRCTC has tied up with the tourism departments to entertain passengers with a host of cultural activities and serve regional cuisine at each stop.

In Karaikudi, passengers will visit Chettinad mansions, Athangudi tile-makers and one of the Chettinad Heritage Hotels for activities, including Chettinad cuisine demo, mundu/dhoti draping, saree draping and henna art. During their visit to the historical port town of Mahabalipuram, the passengers will get to see the 5 rathas, Arjuna’s Penance and Shore Temple — UNESCO World Heritage site — and the Sea Shell Museum.

In Mysuru, the holidayers will be taken to the Wodeyar Palace, popularly known as the Mysore Palace, and Srirangapatnam, Tipu Sultan’s capital.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi and Anegundi Village figure in the itinerary. The sylvan village across the Tungabhadra river dates back to the Neolithic Age. The holidayers will also get an opportunity to interact with the local people and participate in activities to have a glimpse of the village life.

There will be a doctor on board along with paramedical staff, and tour escorts to assist the holidayers in addition to security personnel and valets.

The 23-coach train, with a capacity of 88 guests, has bar-cum-lounges, two restaurants and state-of-the-art features.