The Deccan Odyssey is an Indian luxury train modeled on the Palace on Wheels luxury train and put into service to boost tourism on the Maharashtra route of the Indian Railways.[1][2][3] The train, owned by travel company Cox & Kings since 2014, takes visitors on a variety of seven night, eight day trips across Maharashtra.[4][5]

Deccan Odyssey
Deccan Odyssey logo
In service2004–present
ManufacturerIntegral Coach Factory
AssemblyChennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Entered service2004
Capacity88 passengers
Operator(s)Indian Railways
Train length700 metres (2,300 ft)
Articulated sections21

History edit

Deccan Odyssey

The Deccan Odyssey was deployed and started by Indian Railways and the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corp in 2001 in an effort to increase tourism in Maharashtra.[6][7][8][2][3] Integral Coach Factory started construction in 2002 and finished in 2003.[8][9]

Its first trip departed on 16 January 2004 for a week-long maiden trip and was flagged off by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.[10][4][11] Due to lack of booking, later journeys in 2004 were suspended by the state government of Maharashtra. However, its operations restarted after the monsoon season.[12]

The train was briefly renamed the Indian Maharaja-Deccan Odyssey under Thomson Cook.[citation needed] It was not in service for the majority of the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to start operations again in October 2022.[needs update][13]

Design and amenities edit

A traditional welcome ceremony in Mumbai before boarding

Design edit

The train is 700 metres (2,300 ft)-long and painted in royal blue. It gets its name from the Deccan Plateau which is located in Maharashtra.[2][11][13] The design is meant to emulate the luxuries enjoyed by 16th century Maharajas.[3][13] The train has 21 coaches, each named after places in Maharashtra and can accommodate up to 88 passengers.[14][2]

Amenities edit

Suite amenities include an en suite bathroom, Wi-Fi, a TV, and a cell phone "with all emergency numbers fed in."[15] Guests are serviced by an onboard butler and each suite is marked with a custom nameplate.[16] In addition to accommodation amenities, the train is fully air-conditioned and has a small gym, a spa, salon, library, foreign exchange services, a bar, and a conference room, which can be converted into a dance floor.[15][4][17][13][2][18]

There are two restaurants in the train, Waavar and Utsav, which are managed by Taj Hotels.[13][15][3][19]

Journeys edit

Part of the Ellora Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and stop on several journeys

The Deccan Odyssey offers six different seven day, eight night trips around Maharashtra, typically starting and ending in Mumbai at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus with the exception of the Indian Odyssey journey, which starts in New Delhi and ends in Mumbai, and the Indian Sojourn journey, which starts in Mumbai and ends in Delhi.[17][2][15][5][13]

Guests can adhere to pre-arranged sightseeing tours or explore each stop on their own.[5][16] Trips typically run between October and May.[20][21]

As of 2022, the journeys include:

Apart from the trip list, the Deccan Odyssey also goes on other shorter "special journeys". In 2010, the Spiritual Journey to the Guru's Abode explored Kiratpur Sahib, Anandpur Sahib (Keshgarh Sahib), Amritsar (Akal Takht Sahib), Bathinda (Damdama Sahib), Jaipur, Agra, Nanded (Hazur Sahib), Mumbai, Patna (Patna Sahib), and Delhi, with a focus on Sikh takhts.[28] In 2017, the Susegado Goa special journey explored the Konkan Coast through Mumbai, Goa, Thivim, Karmali, and Verna.[16] In 2022, an abbreviated Indian Odyssey journey—Delhi, Sawai Madhopur, Agra, Jaipur—was available.[29]

Most passengers are international travellers and are charged US$7,320 per single occupancy deluxe cabin for a seven night, eight day trip, while Indian nationals pay 5,12,400.[22][3][13][20][5]

Awards edit

The Deccan Odyssey has won the title of Asia's Leading Luxury Train at the World Travel Awards in 2010–2012, 2014, and 2015–2019. In 2018, the train earned recognition for being the first to win the Asia's Leading Luxury Train award five consecutive times.[7][30][31]

The train was also named World's Leading Luxury Train in 2019. Previous nominations include World's Leading Travel Experience by Train (2009-2012), World's Leading Luxury Train (2010-2018, 2020), and Asia's Leading Luxury Train (2013, 2020–2021).[32][14][33][6]

References edit

  1. ^ Jog, Sanjay (28 September 2021). "Maha Cabinet will meet on Deccan Odyssey". The Free Press Journal. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Chakraborty, Subhasish (19 April 2022). "Welcome Aboard The Deccan Odyssey". Salon Privé Magazine. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e "One ticket for Rs 38 lakhs! Take a look at India's most luxurious trains". DNA. 26 June 2021. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d Chowdhury, Anirban (27 August 2014). "Cox & Kings gets five year sales and marketing contract for luxury train Deccan Odyssey". Economic Times. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Rajesh, Monisha (11 March 2022). "India's best train trips are a journey to the soul of the subcontinent". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Deccan Odyssey becomes Asia's leading luxury train". Financial Express. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  7. ^ a b Chakraborty, Debasree (4 September 2018). "Deccan Odyssey wins the title of Asia's Leading Luxury Train 5 Times Consecutively". Indian Luxury Trains. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Deccan Odyssey: India by Luxury Train". Indian Luxury Trains. 10 February 2022. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  9. ^ Pate, Neil (30 October 2003). "Deccan Odyssey: All decked up and nowhere to go". Times of India. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  10. ^ Pate, Neil (9 January 2004). "Deccan Odyssey to start on Jan. 16". Times of India. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  11. ^ a b "In PICTURES: 10 Points About Indian Railways Premium Luxurious 'Deccan Odyssey' Trains". NDTV. 16 April 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Deccan Odyssey". Discover India. n.d. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h Pinnock, Don (5 January 2022). "The Decadent Odyssey: A train in blue and gold livery of unparalleled luxury". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h "Deccan Odyssey, India's premium luxury train". Media India Group. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  15. ^ a b c d "Take a luxury train ride on the Deccan Odyssey". The Economic Times. 6 October 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  16. ^ a b c "Ideas for NYE: Mumbai-Goa on the Deccan Odyssey". Traveller. 18 November 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  17. ^ a b c d e Goyal, Anudradha (14 July 2016). "Spending seven nights in the luxurious train 'Deccan Odyssey'". Times Travel. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  18. ^ "Deccan Odyssey". The Society of International Railway Travelers. n.d. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  19. ^ "Take a luxury train ride on the Deccan Odyssey". The Economic Times. Retrieved 21 February 2023.
  20. ^ a b "Deccan Odyssey arrives in Vijayapura". The Hindu. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  21. ^ "Want to experience royalty? Here are five luxurious Indian trains to hop on". The Indian Express. 1 April 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Maharashtra Splendor Journey". Deccan Odyssey. n.d. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  23. ^ "Indian Odyssey Journey". Deccan Odyssey. n.d. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  24. ^ "Jewels of the Deccan Journey". Deccan Odyssey. n.d. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  25. ^ "Maharashtra Wild Trail Journey". Deccan Odyssey. n.d. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  26. ^ "Hidden Treasures of Gujarat". Deccan Odyssey. n.d. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  27. ^ "Indian Sojurn Journey". Deccan Odyssey. n.d. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  28. ^ Bajwa, Harpreet (14 December 2010). "A luxury train trip across Sikh Takhts". SikhNet. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  29. ^ "Indian Odyssey Special Journey". Deccan Odyssey. n.d. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  30. ^ "Five luxury trains that redefine happy journeys". Deccan Herald. 17 July 2022. Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  31. ^ "Do You Want To Ride On Asia's Most Luxurious Train? Hint: It's In India". Outlook (Indian magazine). Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  32. ^ "Deccan Odyssey". World Travel Awards. 2021. Archived from the original on 6 May 2021. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  33. ^ "Do You Want To Ride On Asia's Most Luxurious Train? Hint: It's In India". Outlook India. 6 September 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2022.