A week in wonderland, and get carried away into the opulent world of maharajas, magnificent palaces and imposing forts. The elegant interiors of this train, with its delectable cuisine and personalized service, exudes an exclusive old charm. Each saloon has its own personal attendants or ‘khidmatgars’ who ensure that your journey is comfortable and enjoyable.
Fully air-conditioned, the 14 deluxe saloons are equipped with excellent amenities, which enhance the pleasure of travelling. The 14 coaches are named after former Rajput states. Each evokes visions of those royal kingdoms. The names are romantic, mesmerising… Kota, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Alwar, Sirohi, Kishangarh, Bundi, Dungarpur, Bharatpur, Jhalawar and Dholpur. Each coach has four coupes, done in colours most reminiscent of that state, and highlighted by its royal emblem. Of the four compartments, two each feature double beds, the other two twin beds. A third bed, for an additional person, or an accompanying child, is in the form of a foldaway 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. The furniture with its inlaid motifs has been specially created for the Palace on Wheels. All coaches and corridors are fully carpeted. 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 as the panoramic vista of the great Indian desert unfolds.
Colourfully attired men and women garland the guests and accord a ceremonial welcome at the Delhi Cantonment Railway Station from where the journey starts. For the next seven days, the guests live in regal splendour as the train winds its way to the Pink City of Jaipur, historical Chittaurgarh and the Lake city of Udaipur, fascinating Sawai Madhopur, magical desert cities of Jaisalmer and Jodhpur, Bharatpur and Agra- the charming city of the Taj Mahal. The journey of a lifetime begins as the Palace on Wheels pulls gently out of Delhi into fascinating Rajasthan.
Old Delhi Railway Station - Delhi Cantt. Railway Station – 22 Kms.
International Airport - Delhi Cantt. Railway Station – 10 Kms.
Palam (Domestic) Airport - Delhi Cantt. Railway Station – 6 Kms.
Bikaner House – Delhi Cantt. Railway Station – 20 Kms.
Jaipur, one of the most well planned cities of the world, is the first stop of the Palace on Wheels. Founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727, this capital of Rajasthan is popularly known as the Pink City. An air-conditioned coach takes you to Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds, which is a remarkable, five storeyed, structure with carved trellis work. This is followed by a visit to Amber Fort, 8 kms. away, where the ride on caparisoned elephants adds to the ambience.Shop for Jaipur’s famous jewellery, handicrafts, carpets, blue pottery and textiles. After lunch, you are to City Palace, home of the erstwhile royal family. Right across the road from the palace is the Jantar Mantar, the largest observatory built by Sawai Jai Singh. After dinner and a cultural programme at Nahargarh Fort, the luxury coach takes you back to the Palace on Wheels.
Located in the heart of the desert, Jaisalmer was founded by Rawal Jaisal in 1156. Sharply etched against the sky, Jaisalmer fort is a splendid sight with its yellow sandstone walls and bastions that seems to rise from the golden sands. Visit the intricately latticed havelies with their elaborate facades. The superb craftsmanship of the stone carver is illustrated in Nathmalji – ki – haveli, Patwon – ki - haveli and Salim singh – ki - haveli. After a sumptuous lunch, experience the exhilaration of a camel ride on the golden sand dunes at Sam followed by evening tea. The Palace on Wheels departs for Jodhpur at night.
Next morning, the Palace on Wheels arrives in Jodhpur, a city surrounded by a high stonewall with seven gates and countless bastions. Founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, this second largest city of Rajasthan is famous for the impregnable Mehrangarh Fort. It houses some luxurious palaces. Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana are architecturally remarkable. Close to the fort complex is Jaswant Thada, a collection of royal cenotaphs built in white marble.
After lunch return to the Palace on Wheels.
Jodhpur offers an array of handcrafted articles like breeches, embroidered shoes, metal curios, silverware, paintings and tie and dye fabrics.
Excitement is in the air as the Palace on Wheels touches Sawai Madhopur, a city fortified in 1765 and named after its founder Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I. Breakfast is followed by a visit to the Ranthambhore National Park which is located amidst the imposing ruins of a 10th century fort. This Reserve is considered the best in the country for observing and photographing the activities of the tiger. Spread over an area of 392 sq. kms. of thick forest with lush vegetation & waterfalls, the park is the abode of more than 300 species of birds. The carnivore population includes tiger, hyena, ratel, jackal and fox among others. Return to the Palace and depart for the desert city Jaisalmer. Lunch and dinner are served on board.
Next morning, the day starts with a visit to Chittaurgarh - the awe inspiring fort that is claimed in legends of valour and chivalry. Bappa Rawal, the founder of the Sisodia dynasty conquered Chittaur in the middle of the 8th century from the Maurya rulers. Chittaur was ransacked three times ending in jauhar, the self sacrifice of its women folk in a sAcred fire to protect their honour. The next stop is Udaipur, the city of Lakes founded by Maharana Udai Singh of Mewar in 1550, after the Sisodias were driven away from Chittaur by the Mugals.
The two most enchanting spots in Udaipur is Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir, the marble palace that seems to float in the middle of Lake Pichhola. After lunch visit the City Palace and Sahelion-ki-bari or the Garden of the Maids of Honour. After the evening tea, the luxury coach returns to the Palace on Wheels at Chittaurgarh. A perfect end to an enchanting day.
Arrive early morning in Bharatpur, the prized capital of Maharaja Surajmal. Visit Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a bird’s paradise and the nesting ground of thousands of egrets, Siberian cranes, migratory water-fowl and other birds. After breakfast, move on to the red sandstone fort of Fatehpur Sikri. Within the precincts is a mosque built by emperor Akbar dedicated to the memory of Sheikh Salim Chishti, the muslim saint who blessed him with a son. After lunch visit the Red Fort and Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world. A monument to eternal love, Shah Jahan in Memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal built it.
Golden Triangle, Glimpses of North India Rajasthan, Best of North India, North India Rajasthan, Northern Wonder, Palace on Wheels, Ranthambore Extension, Aurangabad Extension, Goa Extension, Kerala Highlights, Best of Kerala, Best of South India, Southern Splendour, The Golden Chariot, Mararikulam Extension, Taste of East, Eastern Explorer, Sundarbans Extension.