Palace on Wheels is a royal experience, a journey that is much more than a luxury train ride. Palace on Wheel tour epitomizes the rich Indian heritage and journeys through one of the most exotic regions in the world – Dazzling Delhi, Royal Rajasthan and Amazing Agra. Where else can you relax in comfort and witness exotic India passing by.
History of Palace on Wheels
The name “Palace-on-Wheels” (POW) was derived from its royal back-ground of the coaches & first introduced in 1982. A new meter gauge air conditioned Palace-on-Wheels was introduced in 1990 & had 13 Saloons, 2 Restaurant cum Kitchen car, one Bar cum Lounge and 4 Service Cars. In order to further increase the amenities on the train and due to over all gauge conversion in the state, a new broad gauge Palace-on-Wheels has been constructed. & has been running since 1995. It’s 14 Saloons are inter-connected, the interior matching the aesthetics of the royal states. The cabins of each saloon name attached with showers. The train also has a well appointed lounge, library, bar & dining cars.
In the past 20 years of operations, the Palace-on-Wheels has been rated as one of the best ten luxurious rail journeys in the world.
The Lavish Interiors
Sit in these beautiful carriages and look around. You will find that each saloon highlights the cultural ethos of the state, represented through the use of furniture, handicrafts, painting and furnishings. The ceiling in the lounge is of particular interest. Each saloon is different but the overall ambience of the décor of the saloons has been taken care of to provide continuity and harmony.
Each saloon has cream yellow colour on its exterior walls and bears the Coat of Arms (logo) of the erstwhile princely states.
The Royal Background of the Palace on Wheels
On rolling back wheels of time, we find the rulers of princely states of Rajputana, Gujarat, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Viceroy of British India travelled by these luxurious coaches. After independence, these coaches were parked and remained in this state for a quarter of a century until in 1981-82, when the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation and Indian Railways launched a special heritage tourist train for providing a unique memorable experience to the tourists visiting Rajasthan.
The name Palace on Wheels was derived from its royal background of the coaches. Gradually State govt. and railway department brought many infrastructural changes in the coaches while keeping the same aesthetics of the interiors alive, matching the interiors of the royal state. The train was replaced by the air-conditioned broad gauges new train, which had 14 saloons, 2 restaurants cum kitchen cars, one Bar
cum Lounge and 4 service Cars. The cabins of each saloon are attached with bath and shower. The train also has a well-appointed lounge, library and bar.
Apart from 14 saloons, each having 4 cabins attached with bath and shower, the Palace on Wheels has two restaurants cum kitchen cars offering traditional Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisine with the Chef’s special variety of the day. Its well stocked bar serves Indian liquor and variety of scotch, wine and cocktails. It has piped music in every saloon, and interesting games for children.
The newly introduced spa saloon,offers aryuvedic massage to refresh yourself for next day tour. Other services include laundry services and Doctor on request. Souvenirs and gift items bearing the insignia of Palace On Wheels and a coffee table book on the history the train are also available.
The names of the saloons given are based on the princely states of Rajasthan- Jaipur, Jodhpur, Alwar, Bundi, Kota, Jhalawar, Dungarpur, Dholpur, Bharatpur, Jaisalmer, Sirohi, Bikaner, Udaipur and Kishangarh.