Relish the lifestyles of the kings of yore on board the Palace on Wheels, while listening to the silent tales of glory and valour told by the majestic forts and splendid palaces of Rajasthan. The Palace on Wheels, India’s first luxury train, is a favourite among many and rightly so. Over the years the train has gone through a makeover and with 14 air conditioned saloons, two dinning cars, a bar and a lounge, the train today is at par with some of the best luxury trains around the world. Rated as one of the top ten luxury train journeys in the world, it offers you a heart-rending trip to the splendid forts and palaces of Rajasthan in just seven days.
The Palace on Wheels was started on January 26, India's Republic Day, in 1982.
The concept of the Palace on Wheels was derived from the royal background of the coaches, which were originally meant to be the personal railway coaches of the erstwhile rulers of the princely states of Rajputana, Gujarat, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Viceroy of British India.
There are 14 coaches in the train. Each of them is named after former Rajput states and matches the aesthetics and interiors of the royal past. Facilities include a bar with the choicest Indian and international spirits, a lounge with a good collection of books and televisions and DVD players.
Cabins are air-conditioned with twin beds, channel music, intercom, and attached toilets running hot and cold water.
The train has two restaurants, "The Maharaja" and "The Maharani", with a Rajasthani ambience and serving continental, Chinese, Indian and Rajasthani cuisines.
The train departs from New Delhi and during its eight day journey, travels around Rajasthan with stops in Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur, and Agra.
Earlier, tickets for the Palace on Wheels were restricted to foreign nationals only by the Government of India, with Indian natives not allowed on board. However, it was later opened up to Indians as well, although even today tariffs are quoted in US Dollars.