Roll back the pages of time for one glorious week, recapture the pomp and pageantry of a royal past in royal style. One can see Rajasthan in all its splendour and the Taj Mahal at Agra. A celebration of everything that is beautiful. A journey into the past on a luxury train.
Traveling in the famed Palace on Wheels is one of the most memorable ways to explore India’s stately splendour. Unquestionably it’s an unparalleled experience to ride the replica carriages refurbished to look like the original saloons of the Maharajas, the erstwhile rulers of India. The Palace on Wheels is one of India’s most fascinating sojourns covering the pink state capital, Jaipur, the golden citadel, Jaisalmer, the blue city of Jodhpur, the National Park Ramthambhor; the symbol of chivalry, Chittaurgarh, romantic city of Lakes Udaipur, the bird sanctuary Bharatpur and the mughal capital, Agra before returning to Delhi.
It stands on its tracks; a gleaming sealed carriage, every bit is royal. The air-conditioning works silently, creating a space where only the excitement of the history of the Rajput kingdoms permeates through, clearly captured in a contemporary mode. In all, there are fourteen saloons, each equipped with two twin-bedded and two double-bedded chambers, with attached baths that have running hot and cold water and showers. The modern conveniences have been thoughtfully provided, sofas to sink into, strategically placed lights to read by, wonderfully appointed beds with comfortable furnishings, inbuilt wardrobes for the storage of one’s clothes and bags, and huge plate glass windows to watch the countryside roll past.
Outside the bedrooms, each coach also has a seating lounge where passengers can get together, just sit watch the cities as they glide past outside the windows, or enjoy a quiet cup of tea. An attached pantry with each saloon helps provide beverages and refreshments to the accompaniment of soothing piped music.
There is the comfortable bar cum lounge where tourist can relax over favourite drink, burrow in a book or converse with fellow passengers. Attached to it are two restaurant cars, Maharaja and Maharani respectively, with opulently draped curtains, exquisitely crafted lights and table settings . Here accompanying chefs serve up a delicious choice of Indian, including Rajasthani, Continental and even Chinese cuisine that are a feast for the palate.
The train chugs out of Safdarjung Railway Station New Delhi on a week-long run through Rajasthan every Wednesday night, with a trip also inbuilt to Agra and the Taj Mahal. Turban-wearing attendants take over from the moment guest arrive at the platform, assigning coupes and detailing all the facilities that are on board. The train moves by night and arrives each morning at a new destination where new experiences await