If you would like to take a royal vacation, hop aboard the Palace on Wheels and pamper yourself while you experience ethnic Rajasthan.
The Palace on Wheels is rated among the top ten luxury trains in the world. The train takes you through a tour of Rajasthan where you can view sand dunes, fortsand regal palaces and experience the majestic lifestyle of the
These trains actually existed during the kingly era and the rulers of the princely states of Rajputana, Gujarat and the Nizam of Hyderabad traveled by these lavish coaches. Once India got its independence, the coaches were no longer used for travel. In the 1980s, the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation and Indian Railways revived these trains under a special heritage program and made it available to tourists. The royal splendor of the coaches remains alive even today with a few improvements.
The seven nights and eight day royal extravaganza begins at Delhi Cantonment as the train chugs out to Rajasthan. You will be escorted and briefed by turban-wearing attendants' right from the moment you arrive at the platform. The best part of the tour is that the train moves by night and reaches a new holiday destination every morning. A visit to Agra and the Taj Mahal is included in the trip.
The train starts every Wednesday night and the tour opens up a treasure chest of magnificent cities as you go along. Some of the places that are part of the journey are:
- The pink city of Jaipur
- The divinely beautiful Chittaurgarh
- Udaipur with its picturesque lakes and lake palaces
- Sawai Madhopur that houses the Ranthambore National Park
- Jaisalmer, the jewel of the dessert
- The majestic stronghold of Jodhpur
- Bharatpur with its remarkable and lively bird sanctuary
- The red stone city of Fatehpur Sikri
- The indispensable Taj Mahal at Agra
The Palace on Wheels operates during the months of September to April. From May to August every year the Palace on Wheels goes through its annual maintenance schedule and hence does not provide any service to tourists.
The journey on the Palace of Wheels symbolizes the ultimate in luxury and comfort. Be it the decor of the coaches or the personal service, you experience a true royal treatment throughout your journey. The train is well equipped and is completely self sufficient in terms of resources. It is completely air-conditioned and has 14 deluxe saloons equipped with all the modern amenities (royal, of course). The names of the saloons are based on the princely states of Rajasthan like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhartapur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Bikaner, etc.
Each saloon highlights the cultural ethos of the state for a particular period and the same sentiment is echoed in the furniture, handicrafts, furnishings and paintings. Even the ceilings speak volumes of the royal splendor. The coaches have 4 twin bedded chambers complete with channel music, intercom, attached toilets and other amenities. This apart, the Palace on Wheels has two restaurants on board 'The Maharaja' and 'The Maharani' offering traditional Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisine. There is also a well stocked bar.
The Palace on Wheels is not only rewarding in terms of sightseeing but also leaves behind memories of the culture of Rajasthan. At every destination the Palace on Wheels organizes various cultural programs and dances that reflect the vigor and lifestyle of Rajasthan. The itinery includes cultural programs like Ghoomar, Panihari, Gorbandh, etc. Nomadic tribes, traditional entertainers, folk musicians, puppeteers, jugglers and performers entertain you with their enjoyable performances.
- Book your trip in advance. Always use the services of guides licensed by the government.
- A 20% advance deposit is required to confirm your booking.
- Be aware of cancellation charges.
- Shop at government authorized counters/emporiums at all your destinations.
- Do not carry valuables while on board.
- Use sunglasses, caps and sun block creams for protection from sun.
- Carry your swimming gears, if you wish to swim at hotels.