What better way to shake off the Mondays than by dreaming of travel to exotic lands. Today, let’s head to India for a ride on ‘The Darjeeling Limited,’ Wes Anderson’s filmic train tour of Rajasthan, which runs from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer. All aboard, after the jump!
We’ve got to admit, we didn’t love ‘The Darjeeling Limited,’ director Wes Anderson’s 2007 movie about three estranged brothers — Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody and Owen Wilson — traveling together across India. But in typical Anderson form the film is one of the most visually stunning we’ve ever seen — aesthetically the director and India seem a perfect fit, full of detail and saturated colors. So it’s only natural that his cross-country Indian adventure inspired dreams of travel.
The majority of the film was shot in the Rajasthani desert in northwest India, a place which Anderson himself hadn’t even visited until after he wrote the script. In fact, much of the film was inspired by Jean Renoir’s ‘The River,’ which Martin Scorcese introduced to Anderson, as well as the films of Indian director Satyajit Ray, who is referenced throughout the film and its soundtrack.
If you head to Rajasthan, be forewarned, you won’t find the Darjeeling Limited or the Bengal Lancer in India. The trains featured in the film are actually part of Indian Railways‘ North Western Railway, dressed up to fit the director’s madcap vision.
But train travel does remain a popular way to explore the Indian countryside, and Indian Railways offers several services with tourists in mind, including the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which is nicknamed the “Toy Train” and runs from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling; the purple-and-gold Golden Chariot, which connects Karnataka and Goa; and the grandaddy of them all, the Palace on Wheels, which departs from New Dehli and spend eight days touring Rajasthan from Jaipur to Agra. An eight-day journey on the luxurious Palace on Wheels starts at around $2,500.
The film’s journey leads its stars to a monastery in the Himalayas, scenes which were filmed in Udaipur, India’s “city of lakes.” The city is full of elaborate palaces, many of which have been converted to luxury hotels, including the opulent Taj Lake Hotel, which was also featured in the James Bond flick, ‘Octopussy.’
To learn more about ‘The Darjeeling Limited,’ visit the film’s website, which hasn’t been updated, but features cast interviews, behind the scenes footage and more.