Palace On Wheel
Ever wondered what luxury in the royal times was all about! Welcome to Palaceonwheels, a luxury train that carries with it an ambience of the Rajputana era and an exciting fairytale journey, which takes the visitor to the imperial cities of Rajasthan every single day. The coaches also carry out an image of the Rajput states with beautiful interiors. Last but not the least the “Royal Treat” for the passengers on board include saloons, bar lounges & libraries in every coach as well as restaurant and organized shopping facilities.
It is difficult to describe the magic of being on the Palaceonwheels. Traversing through the rugged and rough landscape of Rajasthan, enjoying the sight of amazing forts and out of the world palaces coupled with the royal ambience and services offered on board makes this journey truly a lifetime experience.
Get going on this great train that gives you a chance to enjoy the legendary traditional hospitality of India and in particular, Rajasthan. Cherish the sight and sound of royal India, savor the taste of celebrated Indian food, and enjoy the views of charming Taj Mahal. If India is what you are planning to visit this year, Palace on Wheels is the best way to see India of your dreams.
Traveling on Palaceonwheels is the way an exclusive group of world travelers chooses to relax. And if the journey aboard the Palace on Wheels is rewarded enough, the points of arrival in Rajasthan-Bharatpur, Jaipur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, and Sawai Madhopur (for visiting the Ranthambore National Park) are like the icing on the cake. For sheer romance, the Palace on Wheels must be the most luxurious way to see Rajasthan. But how could one expect any less from a country like India, and a state like Rajasthan, where history is no figment of the past, but forms its palpable present.
History of Palaceonwheels
It was in the eighties when Indian Railway and Rajasthan Tourism decided to work together on a project to resurrect some of these forgotten symbols of its historic heritage. Thirteen carriages from different princely states were brought together and refurbished, and the Palace on Wheels was launched. A superb train that evoked the past with modern facilities and created a journey that was on offer to people around the world-wannabe princes who could be royals for their week of the journey.
For, along with the restored carriages-some still glowing with their original teakwood panels intact-came liveried attendants, royal repasts from the attached kitchen, a lounge, and a dining car. The Palace on Wheels had become so popular and there is and would always be resistance to any move to discontinue it. The result was a spanking new train that faithfully recreated the old one, but much more comfortable, and intended to provide a smoother ride. However, this too was on the meter gauge being used for yet another exotic journey in the form of the Royal Orient Express that travels from Delhi to parts of Rajasthan, but is used primarily to discover the neighboring state of Gujarat.
The Palace On Wheels started as a unique holiday train hauled by a steam engine with its inaugural trip on 26th January, 1982. It started to roll on its regular operations from October 1982.
The Palace on Wheels, on broad gauge, is clearly the pride of the Indian Railways. It is luxurious, and it is modern. The coaches have different names derived from the former princely states and that provides the link for the coat of arms and the decor inside. Within each carriage are comfortable of showers, built-in wardrobes with full-length mirrors, overhead and night-lights, piped music, service bells and public address system. The rooms and corridors are carpeted, the furniture inlaid and upholstered especially for the train. Blinds drape large windows, which frame views across the desert and the passing arid landscape. At the end of each coach is a lounge.
What's more, each saloon has personal attendants or "Khidmatgars", who are at your call whenever you need anything.
Safety on Palace on Wheels:
Government run tour - Palace On Wheels is jointly run by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation and Indian Railways and is the most promoted product by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Since it is a Government run train, you can be assured of a trouble free journey without any unfavorable instances... Your tour should operate without any unwanted surprises.
Time advantage of Palace on Wheels:
Tour in 7 Nights / 8 Days covering all the major Tourist attractions in Rajasthan, there is no way one can travel and cover all the cities that Palace On Wheels covers in the 7 nights / 8 days package tour. If one chooses to travel any other way, it would take him / her at least 10 nights / 11 days because of the long distances, inter-city connectivity by Rail / Road / Air.
Hassel Free travel on Palace on Wheels:
No problems with missed connections and / or hotel overbooking ! So, There's no better way to experience Rajasthan...
Relish the lifestyles of the kings of yore on board the Palace on Wheels, while listening to the silent tales of glory and valor told by the majestic forts and splendid palaces of Rajasthan.
Alwar Saloon Coach:
Alwar is home to several species of flora and fauna.The ceiling of the Alwar Saloon lounge has been done aesthetically in mix-media of cone work, and oils in relief, depicting a hunting scene.The royal emblem and a miniature adorn the lounge.Subtle tones of pink enhance the romantic ambience of the lounge.
Bharatpur Saloon Coach:
Once a fortified township, Bharatpur is now an ornithologists paradise, and well known for the Bharatpur water-bird sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to over 376 avian species. Echoing the vividness of nature’s gift to Bharatpur the relief work on this coach depicts various species of birds on the tree of life. A replica of the royal crest of Bharatpur adorns the valance of the blind. The ‘nature’ theme is further endorsed by the white cedar inlay work depicting birds and painted peacocks, sitting on a haveli worked on a mirror. The colour scheme, with its profusion of beige and aqua green, is a vivid reminder of lush green forests of Bharatpur and Ghana.
Bikaner Saloon Coach:
The royal state crest is placed on the valance along with some handicrafts of Rajasthan. The ceiling is done up in relief work and oil painting on canvas depicting the legendary lovers Dhola & Maru on camel back. The artwork in the lounge belongs to the Mughal influenced Bikaner School of Art style.
Bundi Saloon Coach:
The royal crest is highlighted on the valance. The famous Bundi school of painting is depicted in the famed and mounted art pieces and also serves as the basis for the colour scheme and overall décor, including a delightfully frescoed ceiling.
Dhaulpur Saloon Coach:
The rails in the coach are made in teak ply to depict the fine craftsmanship as done in stone. The Dholpur crest decorates the valance in zardozi work.
Dungarpur Saloon Coach:
Dungarpur literally means " hill town " in local dialect. The Lounge roof reflects the Bhil tribal areas in coloured glass form.
Jaipur Saloon Coach:
The ceiling of the state lounge has been created using the famed ‘Phad’ or foil work, depicting festivals like Teej, Gangaur, Holi, Diwali etc. The royal emblem of the state is worked out in Zardozi work on the valance. The walls have been decorated with miniature paintings of the famous Jaipur style of painting. The ceilings have painted frescoes, done in complimentary colours, reflecting the state’s colour scheme of Blue & Gold.
There are intricately carved jharokhas on the lounge ceiling. It is done on teak wood with a mirror backing. The famous Jawahar Niwas facade has been depicted in the state lounge using cone, metal, copper and silver medium. The royal insignia adorns the valance of the blind. The colour scheme reflects the beige of the desert sands.
The ceiling has been worked out in a medium used by the local inhabitants of Jhalawar to decorate their home. A play of colours and mirror work has been used in the medium of Plaster of Paris to create a unique ambience. The royal insignia of the erstwhile state in Zardozi work is seen on the valance along with handicrafts supporting the table tops of the state lounge.
Mughal influenced designs of the Moti Mahal are recreated in mother of pearl work on the ceiling. The royal crest is highlighted on the valance along with the miniature paintings in the lounge which is typical of the Jodhpur School of art.
The Banio Thani paintings of the state with their exaggerated features like eyes and long fingers, are well-known. One of these famous paintings is recreated on the ceiling in acrylic, painted with enamel and foil. The crest appears in zardozi work on the blinds of the window with the Kishangarh School of Art highlighted in an artwork on the wall of the state lounge.
Kota is well known for Kota school of design. These elements have served as the basis for designing the décor of this coach. The distinctive features of the Kota school of art can be seen in the oil paintings titled “Raja aur Praja” (The Monarch and his subjects on the ceiling. It depicts Raja Ram Singh II (1826-66) of Kota amidst a royal procession.
This erstwhile state has earned an enviable reputation the world over for its gold fort and with coloured glass work that is done near Pratapgarh. The style of work has a typically Indo-European flavour as European influence is quite conspicuous. The rooms highlight this style through the framed works of art done in the same styles through the framed works of art done in the same styles. The ambience and colour scheme has also been designed in keeping with this school of Art. The Gold foil and glass work also has semi precious stones embedded in it, and has been done in a mix media created from cone and paint embossed particle boards. The royal insignia has been placed prominently. Mounted miniatures done in the Sirohi school style lend a unique character to the décor.
The state lounge and bedrooms take their colour schemes-dominant blue and white. The lounge décor is influenced by the ‘Mor Chowk’ or the Peacock Court. The medium used is a combination of relief work and Patra or oxidized white metal work. The royal crest of the state, in alluring zardozi work is set on the valance of the blinds.
Palace on Wheels and the facilities on board the train are marked by affluence and exuberance. The train is self-sufficient with all the modern amenities.
However, the décor speaks of the culturally rich past of Rajasthan. The paintings, carved furniture and elegant handicrafts represent Rajasthan's fascinating heritage of art and craftsmanship. Period furniture and the elaborate costumes of the attendants make up the royal ambience.
Dining "Palace on Wheels"
The Maharaja and Maharani restaurants offer seating arranged in groups of twos and fours near the windows. Chefs in the attached pantry prepare Continental and Indian specialities, with an emphasis on the cuisine of Rajasthan.
Bar "Palace on Wheels"
The bar-lounge is embellished in period furniture, created especially for this coach. The bar has ample space and choice of soft and alcoholic beverages on offer.
Bed Room "Palace on Wheels"
The 14 Saloons are made up of 104 passenger berths in Twin Bedded Cabins. A third bed, for an additional person, or an accompanying child, is in the form of a fold-away bed on a higher tier. Each compartment has an attached bath with running hot/cold water and showers, built-in wardrobes, overhead and night lights, piped music, reading lights etc.
Lounge "Palace on Wheels"
At the end of each coach is a separate lounge where passengers can relax when they wish to move out of their bedrooms. Here they can unwind with a book or magazine, engage in conversation, or simply watch the panoramic vista of the great Indian country side.