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Palace on Wheels: A Complete Guide

 
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    Palace on Wheels Travel Guide

    The beauty of Rajasthan lies in its beautiful palaces and monuments, its warm and welcoming people with their colourful costumes, traditions and cultures, and its golden sands. Rajasthan has been an enigma for art and culture lovers, history and heritage hunters and ancient architecture enthusiasts.

    It was the land of the Rajputs and the beautiful palaces and monuments still resonate with their lavishness of style and grandeur. A journey into the golden landscape of Rajasthan is incredibly unforgettable, particularly when you have something as special as this train to serve as your carrier into the land of the Rajputs.

    [Discover the enchanting forts and palaces with our Golden Triangle Heritage Tour]

    This luxury train is one of the finest luxury trains in India which takes you on a memorable journey into the beautiful land of Rajasthan. Operated jointly by the Indian Railways and the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation, this luxury train begins its journey from New Delhi, tours through Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh before concluding its journey at New Delhi again. But what makes the journey so special is the train itself.

    Lavishly decked in regality, the exquisite interiors of the train will take you on a transcendental journey into the era of the Rajputs. There is no better way to set the mood to enter and enjoy Royal Rajasthan tour than first experiencing this luxury train.

    Background of the Palace on Wheels

    The Palace on Wheels was started on 26th January, 1982. Before India attained Independence, such luxurious trains were used by the Nizam of Hyderabad, the rulers of the princely states of the Rajputana in Gujarat and the Viceroy of British India for personal travel. Post-Independence, these trains were parked and non-functional for almost a quarter of a century. It was later in 1982 that the Indian Railways and the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation launched this as a luxury train for tourists.

    [Enjoy desert and camel safari on our desert safari at Jaisalmer tour]

    Gradually, the state government did make certain infrastructural changes but retained the regal spirit of the train. Air conditioning and broad gauge were introduced, and the new train has about 14 saloons, two restaurant-cum-kitchen cars, bar-cum-lounge, four service cars, a spacious and well decked lounge, a library and a bar.

    The interiors of the train have been done up in palatial exuberance and every coach is a piece of art that reflects the spirit of Royal Rajasthan. The furniture, the furnishings and even the uniforms of the Khidmatgars will make you feel as if you were in a palace.

    Coach Details

    Coach Details

    Photo Credit : Simon Pielow - flickr

    The train has 14 coaches and four cabins with attached bath and shower. The cabins are either twin-bed or triple-bed, and are well-appointed with wall to wall carpeting and exquisite traditional furnishing. Each saloon has a mini pantry and lounge so that guests have access to hot and cold beverages at their will. There is enough space in the lounge area to even arrange get-togethers.

    [Discover thebest of Rajasthan with our exciting tours and packages]

    The most attractive among all the cabins are the Super Deluxe Saloon and the Deluxe Saloon. The Deluxe Cabins are fitted out with the richest of finery, velvet bedspreads and silk draperies. The rooms have large beds with colour-coordinated draperies. They are also provided with writing desks, ottoman and sofa chairs to make your stay comfortable. The suites in the Super Deluxe Cabin have been named after two precious stones – Emerald and Diamond.

    The Deluxe Suite has been decorated keeping in mind the royal luxuries of the Rajputs. From the bedding to the upholstery, and from the furniture to the drapes, everything will make you feel as if you are in a palace. To top that, you will have personal Khidmatgars at your beck and call.

    Facilities on Board

    Photo Credit : Simon Pielow - flickr

    The Palace on Wheels has 14 deluxe coaches named after the princely states of Rajasthan, namely, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Alwar, Bundi, Kota, Jhalawar, Dungarpur, Dholpur, Bharatpur, Jaisalmer, Sirohi, Bikaner, Udaipur and Kishengarh. The interiors of all coaches have been designed in line with the opulence of these palaces and exquisite drapery and furnishings have been used to complete the royal look.

    [While you are in Rajasthan, why not go for a wildlife expedition on our Ranthambore Adventure tour]

    This train is a beautiful blend of contemporary facilities and royal heritage. Apart from the lavish royal interiors and service, the train has internet connectivity throughout as well as Satellite TV on board. The windows are larger than those found on any other train in the country and have been made so that visitors can enjoy the beauty of the journey to the fullest.

    The train also has a Royal Spa, Wellness Centre and Gym on board. All the Super Deluxe Saloons are fitted with individual temperature control systems. Guests can also enjoy channel music and use the public address system while on board the train.

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    For those who love indoor games, there is a wide variety of board games available aboard the train. For voracious readers, the train has a library with a wide range of books and magazines covering a spectrum of subjects. Apart from all these facilities, laundry service, a separate safe and mailbox are also provided to the guests aboard the train.

    Cabins

    Photo Credit : Simon Pielow - flickr

    The cabins of this are true representatives of the royal opulence of the erstwhile rulers of the Rajputana. The interiors of the train have been carefully designed to revive the beauty and lavishness that was once practiced by the Rajput rulers. There are 14 saloons, each representing a princely state of Rajasthan.

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    Not only do these cabins share their names with these palaces, but also share their opulence and regality. Each room is provided with bedding, a lounge area and a mini-bar to make guests feel at home. From the walls to the floor, and from the upholstery to the drapery, every item in each cabin has been carefully selected to reflect the beauty and elegance in which the royalty of Rajasthan lived and travelled.

    Dining and Cuisines

    Photo Credit : Simon Pielow - flickr

    This train has two kitchen cars-cum-restaurants which offer the finest of Continental and Chinese cuisines. The interiors of both the restaurants Maharaja and Maharani have been designed so as to exude a Rajasthani feel, and the best of Continental and Chinese cuisines can be enjoyed here. Guests are also treated to Chef’s special dishes on occasion.

    The train also has a well-stocked bar where guests can enjoy a variety of Indian liquours, scotch, wine and cocktails. There is piped music in every saloon and a number of exciting games for children.

    [Experience royal appeal and uniqueness of Rajasthan with our majestic Rajasthan holiday tour]

    Each and every item and facility in the Palace of Wheels has been carefully thought out and then added to the train so as to guarantee a completely satisfying, lavish and enjoyable experience for its guests. Guests can also revel in therapies and massages at the spa in the train, or spend time working out at the state-of-the-art gymnasium. The train also has a library, satellite TV connection and internet connectivity for the entertainment of its guests.

    Bar and Lounge

    Photo Credit : Simon Pielow - flickr

    The Palace on Wheels has two restaurants cum kitchen bars called the Maharaja and Maharani. Guests can enjoy the finest of dishes from Continental and Chinese cuisines at these restaurants. Occasionally, guests are also in for a treat in the form of the Chef’s special dish.

    [Explore the golden sands of the Thar desert in Rajasthan on a desert tour]

    The train also has a well-stocked bar that serves Indian liquour and a wide variety of scotch, wine and other liquours. The ambience of these restaurants is matchless, in terms of reflecting the culture and heritage of a region. The saloons, the restaurants and the bar have all been designed to capture the culture of Rajasthan while keeping the royal elegance and opulence of its erstwhile Rajput rulers intact.

    Each saloon in the train bears the name of an erstwhile princely state of Rajasthan. Although the designs are varied, there is a continuity and harmony that has been maintained throughout. 

    Souvenirs

    Photo Credit : Simon Pielow

    Besides offering you royal service and opulent facilities on board, the Palace on Wheels also offers several knick knacks and souvenirs you would love to pick up and carry back home. These products are specially designed and are in theme with the entire scheme of the train.

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    You can find a whole range of exceptionally beautiful souvenirs such as beer mugs, embossed leather jewellery boxes, leather photo frames, cruet sets, old paper notebooks with train paintings, t-shirts, caps, and other collectibles. These items have been created especially for the guests and are in sync with the theme of the train. Each item will remind you of the wonderful journey you had and will stand testimony to the opulence of the train.

    The train has been designed specially to revive the regality and imperial opulence of the erstwhile royalty of Rajasthan. This is one journey that will take you back into the time of the glorious royalty of the state and also enable you to visit some of the historically important places in North India.

    From the lavish rooms to the high class service of uniformed Khidmatgars, each and every experience on the train will make you want more.

    Spa Facilities

    Photo Credit : Simon Pielow - flickr

    This train has a state-of-the-art spa dedicated to providing guests with world class therapies and massages. The train has a special coach earmarked for the spa and guests can enjoy various relaxing and rejuvenating massages, therapies and treatments here.

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    Apart from enjoying different treatments, guests can also choose and buy from a wide range of hair, skin and body care products at the spa. The spa at the train is the perfect place to pamper yourself while on this amazing journey in the midst of royal opulence and elegance.

    The Palace on Wheels is one of the best luxury trains in the country and offers all the services and facilities to make you feel like a king or queen. With 14 coaches, the train offers opulence and lavishness fit for kings and takes you to the time of the erstwhile royalty of Rajasthan.

    Other Specifics

    Photo Credit : Simon Pielow - flickr

    Offering services and lavishness that is fit for kings, This luxury train has been specially developed by the Indian Railways and the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation. The train has about 14 coaches, two kitchen cars cum restaurants, a spa, a gym and a library.

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    The hospitality here is undoubtedly best in class. From lavish coaches to the flawless service of the uniformed Khidmatgars, the service provided is something you will never forget. The train also has Internet facility and Satellite TV connection throughout the train for the entertainment of guests.

    In addition, the train has a state-of-the-art spa and gymnasium for its guests. Furthermore, the train also has provisions for Channel music and public address system, a full-fledged library, laundry service, a separate safe in each cabin, and other thoughtful facilities.

    Train Tour Programme

    Photo Credit : Simon Pielow - flickr

    The tour programme involves seven nights of travel on the Palace on Wheels. The train chugs off the Safdarjung Railway Station in New Delhi. Before getting aboard, you can enjoy a free photo shoot session with the uniformed staff of the train. Guests are then directed to the bar-cum-lounge where welcome drinks and complimentary champagne are served.

    [Enjoy a full day desert safari tour and camping in villages of Jaisalmer]

    The next stop of the train on the second day is at Jaipur. Guests will be given a royal welcome by elephants and then the troupe will be directed to St. Albert Museum, Jaipur City Palace, and Jantar Mantar which has recently been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. During the visit in Jaipur, guests will be taken for sightseeing to places such as Hawa Mahal and Hill Fort Palace of Amber.

    On the third day, guests will be taken to the Ranthambore National Park and Chittorgarh Fort. On the fourth day, the train will stop in Udaipur, where guests can visit a number of monuments of historical and cultural significance.  On the fifth day, the train will stop at Jaisalmer and on the sixth day it will stop at Jodhpur. From here, the train will head back towards Delhi, stopping once at Bharatpur and then at Agra to enable its guests to visit the beautiful Taj Mahal.

    Train Schedule

    The train leaves from the Safdarjung Railway Station in New Delhi, every Wednesday. The schedule for this year is as follows:

    October - 02, 09, 16, 23, 30 - 2013

    November - 06, 13, 20, 27 - 2013

    December - 04, 11, 18, 25 - 2013

    For 2014, the schedule is as follows

    January - 01, 08, 15, 22, 29 - 2014

    February - 05, 12, 19, 26 - 2014

    March - 05, 12, 19, 26 - 2014

    April - 02, 09, 16, 23, 30 - 2014

    Tariff

    The tariff for the bookings on the train will vary depending on whether it is Triple Sharing for three persons, Twin Sharing for two persons, or Single Occupancy for one person.

    For actual tariff details, please contact Thrillophilia.

    Places to See and Details of the Destinations

    The train goes through a number of destinations during its seven day journey into the historically and culturally significant regions of North India. During its journey, the train has stopovers at Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Agra before returning to Delhi. Guests are taken to places such as Hawa Mahal, the Hill Fort Palace in Amber, the Pink City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Ranthambore National Park, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and the beautiful Taj Mahal before the train returns to New Delhi. Each and every visit is sure to be an experience that is unforgettable.

    Best Season to Travel

    The best season to travel on this luxury train is from September to April. You can also avail of discounts if you are travelling in April.