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Logo of Deccan Odyssey
|Built at||Integral Coach Factory, Chennai|
|Family name||Luxury Trains|
|Operator(s)||Indian Railways and Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC)|
The Deccan Odyssey is a special luxury train based on the model of Palace on Wheels to boost tourism on the Maharashtra route of the Indian Railways. It is a venture of the Maharashtra Government and the Ministry of Railways, Government of India. In addition to being a train that touches tourist spots, this aims to be a complete 5-star hotel on wheels, with two restaurants and a bar, a sauna, business center and other such amenities on board. The coaches fitted with special amenities were manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai.
The train ride through the hinterlands of Maharashtra, the majestic Western Ghats, into the Deccan Plateau and Konkan regions of a vast and diverse continent. This itinerary includes visits to some of the most prominent & unexplored destinations of west-central India, with a trip to the holy city of Nashik, now also India's wine capital to the unrivaled Ajanta & Ellora Caves the historical city of Kolhapur with its many experiences, to Goa, India's most popular holiday destination; a visit to the holy city of Ratnagiri. Now, moving from premier metropolis toward the capital city New Delhi through the Royal culture of Rajasthan at Udaipur and Jaipur by witnessing the everlasting monument of love in Agra. In between one can also get an opportunity to discover the pugmarks of history at the only sanctuary of Asiatic Lions in the world, marvel at the unique featureless landscape of the Little Rann of Kutch, wander through the architectural wonders of Modhera.
After noticing the success of Palace on Wheels, the Maharashtra state decided to have such a train, in order to develop the tourism industry in the state and surrounding regions. This resulted in Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) along with Indian Railway started the project. On 17 January 2004, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee flagged off the train with remote control from the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai at 5.30 pm. The ceremonial inaugural run took from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station to Thane and back. The train kicked off its maiden commercial journey on 4 February 2004. At that time MTDC has appointed the Taj group of Hotels to manage the food and beverage and housekeeping on the luxury train. The train had 36 Taj staffers on board.
The Deccan Odyssey planned to operate for 35 weeks each year. It starts from Mumbai CST every Wednesday evening and returns the following Wednesday morning. From Mumbai, it will take off to Ratnagiri, Sindudurg, Goa, Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik.
In 2004, the Maharashtra government stopped its run of the Deccan Odyssey, citing poor response, but restarted it after the monsoon season.
Later MTDC started giving the train on lease to tour operators like Luxury Train, Thomson Cook (India), which changed the name of the train to Indian Maharaja and resulted in a petition filed by Harshad Gawade, a local tour operator from Sindhudurg in the Bombay high court.
From December 2010, The Deccan Odyssey train, taken on charter from Government of Maharashtra started with an aim to have a journey across four Sikh takhts, with a flight by devout and sightseers to the fifth Takht (Takht Sri Patna Sahib).
Presently Cox and Kings Pvt. Ltd , operates the train.
About the Train
The Deccan Odyssey offers accommodation in 40 deluxe cabins in 10 coaches. It also has 4 presidential suites in 2 cars, 1 Conference car with business center, 2 restaurants, a well-stocked bar and a spa with steam, massage, a mini gym and a parlor. Other facilities include a library, 6 Channels DVD for your viewing pleasure at the lounges and 6 Channels of Music in each cabin.
10 fully air-conditioned Deluxe Cabin saloons, each with a combination of 4 twin bedded chambers and 2 fully air-conditioned Presidential Suite saloons each with 2 suites with the combination of living room & bedroom. Saloons are equipped with channel music, intercom, player, attached toilets, running hot and cold water, shower, wall-to-wall carpeting and other amenities.
The Deccan Odyssey offers 6 different itineraries consisting of 8 days and 7 nights. The itineraries are named as Maharashtra Splendor, Indian Odyssey, Indian Sojourn, Jewels Of The Deccan, Hidden Treasures Of Gujarat and Maharashtra A Wild Trail.