Tom Otley boards the newly refurbished Deccan Odyssey luxury train, stopping off to discover rock-cut temples, monasteries and more.

Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra state, is exuberant, expanding and exhausting. If you find yourself with some downtime after a business trip to the city and want to explore further afield, then step on board the Deccan Odyssey.

This recently refurbished 21-coach luxury train has two restaurants, a library, bar, massage centre, steam bath, mini gymnasium, beauty parlour, conference car and internet connectivity in case you want to stay in touch, or just boast about the views on social media. Accommodation is located in ten deluxe and two presidential carriages.

There are several itineraries, but the eight-day Maharashtra Wild Trail is a must, with the World Heritage-listed Ellora Caves a particular highlight. This series of 34 elaborate rock-cut temples was carved out of a 2km escarpment by Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monks over five centuries.

Other stops include Aurangabad, one of northern Maharashtra’s largest cities; Bibi Ka Maqbara, a sort of mini Taj Mahal; and the Ajanta Caves, dating from around 200BC, predating those at nearby Ellora.

Contemporary pleasures include a visit to see “Himroo” weavers creating silk patterned fabrics by hand, and a tour of the vineyards at the ancient holy city of Nashik (click here for more on many of these destinations).