Palace on Wheels
Background of the Palace on Wheels
The Palace on Wheels was started on January 26, 1982. Before Independence, luxury trains were used by the Nizam of Hyderabad, the rulers of the princely states of Gujarat and the Viceroy of British India.
Post Independence, these trains were parked for almost a quarter of a century. It was in 1982, that the Indian Railways and the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation launched the Palace on Wheels as a luxury train in Rajasthan.
Although certain infrastructural changes were made to the train and modern facilities and amenities were added over time, the overall ambience of the train has been kept intact.
Plush decor has been used to enhance the beauty of the interiors and the royal elegance of the former Rajput kings has been retained brought out in a better way.
Coaches Details in Palace of Wheels
The Palaces on Wheels has fourteen carriages named after former princely states of Rajasthan. The interiors of the train have been specially designed, with beautifully colour coordinated furnishings and antique furniture to provide its guests an unforgettable experience.
The train also has two kitchen cars- cum- restaurants which serve the choicest dishes from the Continental and Chinese cuisines.
The coaches have large windows, larger than those found in any other train in India, to facilitate better viewing of the route through which the train passes. The speciality of the Palace on Wheels is the first class service and hospitality extended by the uniformed Khidmatgars.
Facilities on Board in Palace of Wheels
The Palace on Wheels is Oone of the most popular luxury trains in India. The facilities that are provided here on board the train attract a number of tourists and travellers from all over the country and world.
The train offers super luxurious coaches with exquisite interiors that are reminiscent of the glorious era of the former kings of Rajasthan.
In addition, the train has two kitchen cars- cum- restaurants named the Maharaja and Maharani offering the finest continental and Chinese cuisines.
The train also has a spa, gym and library. Guests can also avail of facilities such as internet, music, laundry and Satellite TV.
Interior of the Palace of Wheels
The interiors of the train exude the royal elegance, luxury and lavishness. The original luxurious spirit of the train has been kept intact, even as modern amenities and facilities have been incorporatedtion in its body.
The beauty of the wall to wall carpeting,the softness of the bed, the luxuriousness of the velvet drapery and bed linen and along with the exquisite antique furniture has to be seen to be believed.
The restaurants have a Rajasthani ambience and are developed, decorated with soft colours and beautiful furnishings.
Although they serve Continental and Chinese cuisine, the spirit underlying the concept is purely Indian, or more precisely Rajasthani.
Destinations Covered by Palace of Wheels
On the first day, the train stops at Jaipur. Guests will be taken to visit the Hawa Mahal, the Hill Fort Palace in Amber etc. The other stop-over stations of the Palace on Wheels include Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Agra.
Guests will be able to enjoy visits to places such as Jantar Mantar, Ranthambore National Park, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and the beautiful Taj Mahal during the journey. Thereafter, the train moves back to New Delhi.
Palace of Wheels Tour Programme
The Palace on Wheels, one of the most popular luxury trains in Rajasthan, chugs off the Safdarjung Railway Station in New Delhi on every Wednesday at 4 pm.
The train traverses into the beautiful desert state of Rajasthan and stops at destinations such as Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur and Agra.
The tour route passes through some of the most historically and culturally important places in North India. Guests can visit important palaces, monuments and other places in this route and also enjoy royal hospitality at these stopp overs.
During the journey, guests are taken to Hawa Mahal, the Hill Fort Palace, Ranthambore National Park, Jantar Mantar, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and the Taj Mahal. The journey lasts for seven days, beginningins and endings at New Delhi.
Mumbai - Ajanta - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Jaipur - Ranthambore - Agra - Delhi
2) Treasures of India Tour
Delhi - Agra - Ranthambore - Jaipur - Delhi
3) Gems of India Tour
Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur and Delhi
4) Indian Panorama Tour
Delhi, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra, Gwalior, Orchha, Khajuraho, Varanasi, Lucknow and Delhi.
5) Indian Splendour Tour
Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Balasinor and Mumbai
Palace of Wheels Schedule
This fascinating train starts from New Delhi on every Wednesday at 4 pm. Reservations can be made online.
The train is scheduled to leave Safdarjung Railway Station on the following dates this year:
October 02, 09, 16, 23, 30
November 06, 13, 20, 27
December 04, 11, 18, 25
From January 2014 to April 2014, the train is schedule to leave on the following dates:
January 01, 08, 15, 22, 29
February 05, 12, 19, 26
March 05, 12, 19, 26
April 02, 09, 16, 23, 30
The train is operational from September to April.
The Background of Maharajas’ Express
This remarkable luxury train was started in March 2010. The Indian Railways had launched the train as joint venture with Cox and Kings India Limited.
The objective was to set up a company called the Royale Indian Rail Tours Limited to oversee the functioning and administration of the Maharajas’ Express.
The contract, however, was terminated in 2011 and the Maharajas’ Express is being now solely operated by the Indian Railways.
Time and again, it has been lauded by international visitors for its world class accommodation, services, facilities etc. Certainly only of a kind, this is the only train in the country that has a Presidential Suite, sprawling over an entire carriage and offering unmatched opulence and luxury.
Coaches Details of Maharajas’ Express
The Maharajas’ Express has fourteen guest carriages. Each carriage is again divided into four categories- Deluxe Cabin, Junior Suite, Suite and Presidential Suite.
The Presidential Suite is spread over an entire carriage. It has two bedrooms, a living room, a dining room and a modern private bathroom which is fitted with a bath tub. All the carriages are named after precious stones and are namely, Moti, Heera, Neelam, Firoza, Monga, Pukhraj etc. The total capacity of the cabins and suites is about 88 people.
The most striking feature here is the interior decoration. Wall to wall carpeting, exquisite tapestry, upholstery and furnishings have been used to accentuate the royal look of the cabins.
While on one hand the elegance of the carriage is resplendent, on the other hand it also offers modern amenities such as LCD TV, Direct Telephone Lines, and Music.
Interiors of the Maharajas’ Express
The train is a perfect representative of the royalty and opulence of the kings of North India offering high-class services and facilities to its guests. The gorgeous carriages of the trains consist of five deluxe cabins, six junior suites, two suites and one majestic Presidential suite.
All rooms are fitted with modern amenities and facilities. The train also has a lounge, two restaurants, one bar and a souvenir shop
Destinations Covered by Maharajas’ Express
Maharajas’ Express Tour Programme
The Maharajas’ Express covers five routes that will take on a mesmeric journey into some of the historically and culturally significant destinations in India.
The first package is into the heart of India and is called the Heritage of India tour. This journey lasts for about seven nights and eight days.
The destinations covered include Mumbai, Ajanta, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Agra and Delhi.
The second route is called the Treasures of India tour and lasts for about three nights and four days. The places travelled in this route are Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur and Delhi.
The third tour is called the Gems of India tour and lasts for three nights and four days. The areas toured include Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur and Delhi.
The fourth tour is called the Indian Panorama tour and lasts for seven nights and eight days. The destinations covered are Delhi, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra, Gwalior, Orchha, Khajuraho, Varanasi, Lucknow and Delhi.
The fifth tour undertaken by the train is called the Indian Splendour and lasts for seven nights and eight days. Here you get to tour through Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Balasinor and Mumbai.
Maharajas’ Express Schedule
The Maharajas Express offers five itineraries and covers five routes. The train journey either begin or end in Delhi and each route covers Agra, which enables its guests to visit the beautiful Taj Mahal. The schedule is as follows:
The Treasures of India tour begins every Sunday.
The Gems of India tour begins every Wednesday.
The Heritage of India tour begins every Saturday.
The Indian Panorama tour begins every Saturday
The Indian Splendour tour begins every Saturday.
Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
The Background of Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
Run by the Indian Railways this Rajasthan luxury train is modelled on the basis of the Palace on Wheels. Its predecessor was launched in the year 1982 and is the oldest and most popular among the luxury trains in Rajasthan.
Following its success, the Indian Railways launched the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels which follows a similar route as the Palace on Wheels and takes tourists to several important heritage, wildlife tour and tourist destinations within Rajasthan.
Launched in January 2009, this train is quite popular among tourists visiting Rajasthan. Like its predecessor, it has beautifully decorated interiors and offers excellent service and hospitality.
From luxury cabins to modern amenities such as Wi-Fi connection and Satellite TV, the train offers everything a guests could need.
Coaches Details of Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
With fourteen carriages, each coach here is named after famous palaces in Rajasthan namely, Hawa Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Surya Mahal, Moti Mahal, Sukh Mahal, Jal Mahal, Padmini Mahal, Kishori Mahal, Phool Mahal, Jogi Mahal, Kumbha Palace and Lalgarh Palace.
As many as thirteen coaches on the train have three deluxe saloons and the fourteenth coach has two super deluxe saloons.
The colour scheme of the deluxe saloon is based on that of a precious gem such as ruby, pearl and sapphire. The super deluxe suites are named after special stones, the ‘Emerald’ and ‘Diamond’. The super deluxe coach is called the Taj Mahal.
Facilities on Board of Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
Apart from the royal saloons, the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels offers a number of facilities on board. The train has two restro-lounges, Sheesh Mahal and Swarn Mahal.
The Sheesh Mahal follows a theme of wood and crystal and has been adorned with splendid floor lamps and crystal pelmet. The Swarna Mahal on the other hand follows a theme of gold and brass.
Both the restaurants serve the finest dishes from the Rajasthani, Continental and Chinese cuisines. At the restro-lounges here, presentation is as important as the taste and flavour of the dish.
All dishes are presented on customised handmade cutlery and special crockery is used. Guests can also enjoy wine, aperitifs, cognac, whisky etc., at the bar and lounge of the train
In addition to this, the train has a bar and lounge area, a souvenir shop, a spa and gym area for its guests.
Interior of the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
Destinations Covered by Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
Royal Rajasthan on Wheels Tour Programme
The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels train follows the same route as the Palace on Wheels. The train leaves the Safdarjung Railway Station in New Delhi on every Sunday and traverses through some very important destinations in Rajasthan before returning to New Delhi.
The tour goes on for eight nights and seven days and passes through destinations such as Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Sawai Madhopur, Khajuraho, Varanasi, Agra, jaipur and Delhi during the course of its journey. The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is to follow this schedule from October 2013 to April 2014.
Route : Delhi-Jaipur-Swai Madhopur -Chittorgarh -Udaipur-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur- Bharatpur-Agra
Royal Rajasthan on Wheels Schedule
From October 2013 to April 2014, the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is supposed to leave the Delhi station on every Sunday. The journey continues for eight nights and seven days and the train passes through several destinations in Rajasthan.
On the first day, the train starts from Delhi and moves into Rajasthan. On the second day, the train stops at Jodhpur. It halts at Udaipur on the third day and Chittorgarh on the fourth day.
Sawai Madhopur, Jaipur, Khajuraho, Varanasi and Agra are other places covered before the train returns to Delhi on the eighth day.
The Indian Maharaja-Deccan Odyssey
Background of The Indian Maharaja
The Indian Maharaja is loosely based on the Palace of Wheels and is a new and more luxurious version of the Deccan Odyssey.
It aimed at providing facilities and services of a five star hotel and has two restaurants, a bath and sauna, business centre, spa and gymnasium.
The coaches of the Deccan Odyssey were manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai.
However, in 2004, the Maharashtra government shut operations of the Deccan Odyssey citing poor response. It was revived again in the following monsoon season.
Coaches Details of The Indian Maharaja
This elegant train has twenty carriages, out which eleven cars are passenger cars. The train has two Presidential Suite cars that have two coupes per car.
Features include a conference car that is turned into a dance floor in the evenings. In addition, the train has two restaurant cars, a lounge and bar, and a spa car.
Facilities on The Indian Maharaja
The Indian Maharaja has two restaurant cars which serve fine Indian and Continental cuisines. The train also has a conference room which can accommodate as many as fifty people at a time.
Furthermore, the facilities on board include a library, bar, music, Ayurvedic Massage Centre, Steam Bath, Gymnasium, beauty parlour and business centre.
Special suite for the physically handicapped, fully loaded mini pantry in each car, telephone in each saloon, television in each coach, plasma TV in each car, lounge in each passenger car are also available.
The interiors of the train are decorated with opulent decor and furnishings to give it a royal look. The train offer rich and lavish accommodation facilities.
Destinations Covered by The Indian Maharaja
The Indian Maharaja Tour Programme
The Indian Maharaja has one or two departures per month, from November to April. The train starts on every Wednesday from Mumbai and takes its guests to destinations such as Aurangabad, Sawai Madhopur, Agra and Delhi.
The train also takes the reverse course and starts from Delhi every Wednesday and ends its journey in Mumbai.
During its reverse journey, it passes through the capital of Gujarat, Ahmedabad. In both routes, sightseeing in Delhi is involved.
1) Mumbai to Delhi Tour
Mumbai - Ellora - Ajanta - Udaipur - Sawai Madhopur - Jaipur - Agra - Delhi
2) Delhi to Mumbai Tour
Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Sawai Madhopur - Udaipur - Ellora - Ajanta - Mumbai
The Indian Maharaja starts its weeklong journey from Mumbai every Wednesday and takes its guests to destinations such as Aurangabad, Sawai Madhopur, Agra and Delhi.
The train also takes the reverse course from Delhi and passes through Ahmedabad, the capital city of Gujarat. Tourists can take back flights to their original destinations of return in the same train.