The luxurious Maharajas Express will begin serving southern India on July 1. Photo: Business Today

Southern India will finally get a taste of the royal railway luxury enjoyed by travelers in other parts of the country when the Maharajas Express begins operating between Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai.

After almost three decades of serving central and northern India with super-luxury trains like the Palace on Wheels (Rajasthan) and the Deccan Odyssey (Maharashtra), Indian Railways and the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will bring the Mahrajas Express to southern India. Karaikudi and Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu will be included in the “Southern Jewels” tour package.

 A senior official was quoted as saying, “The IRCTC has spent several crores to furnish the interiors like high-end hotels. There are two restaurants on board.” He added that the IRCTC has been getting many inquiries from people organizing weddings and engagements.

The Southern Jewels tour will start in Thiruvananthapuram on July 1 and stop at Karaikudi, Mamallapuram, Hampi and Goa before terminating in Mumbai. The royal train can accommodate up to 88 people.

An eight-day (seven-night) trip will cost Rs3.77 lakh or the deluxe cabin and Rs17.33 lakh for the presidential suite, which will include all meals, liquor and sightseeing. People can also opt for just part of the journey by paying a fixed price of Rs33,250 (US$515) per day per person.

The IRCTC is also wooing the corporate sector with amenities like WiFi and LCD screens to facilitate special board meetings.