Palace on Wheels – The Luxurious Train Journey through Rajasthan
Everyone has a dream. A dream that would keep us fascinated throughout our childhood to be achieved someday. Some dreams turn into passion and then comes the motivation to work harder towards achieving them. Palace on Wheels is a dream journey for every Indian traveler. A journey through Rajasthan starting from Delhi’s Safdarjung Railway Station, this week-long train journey through the most iconic cities of Rajasthan and Agra ends back in Delhi. We were very happy to be chosen as one of the top 60 bloggers from around the world for the Great Indian Blog Train. We knew it is our chance to make our dream come true. The dream to travel on one of the luxury trains in India experiencing the best of hospitality, food and culture. While putting in the hard work, quitting the job and toiling every day to blog more about our travel journeys, this was going to be the gem in our travel stories. Here’s all you need to know about the Palace on Wheels – The Luxurious Train Journey through Rajasthan.
What is Palace on Wheels?
Palace on Wheels is a week-long luxurious train journey in India that originates from Delhi and covers the different parts of Rajasthan along with Agra and terminates at Delhi. The train journey takes you through the beautiful cities of Rajasthan to experience the majestic and royal forts, palaces, sand dunes and the beautiful architecture of the state. While experiencing the grandeur of Rajasthan we also get to visit the magnificent Taj Mahal and the Ranthambore National Park. Operated by the Ministry of Tourism and Indian Railways together, this train journey takes you in a world of luxury with the best of comfort, stay, food and culture of the northern states of India.
History of Palace on Wheels:
The luxury coaches in India were used by the Nizams of Hyderabad, the princely states of Rajasthan and Gujarat and the Viceroy of British India during their travel. Post independence, these coaches were parked for almost 25 years before the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation and Indian Railways joined hands together to provide an amazing luxury travel experience to people visiting Rajasthan. The name Palace on Wheels comes from the beautiful interiors of the train which looks like palaces of Rajasthan and shows the royalty and impressive splendor during the king’s reign.
The Palace on Wheels starts every Wednesday evening from the Safdarjung Railway Station in New Delhi and arrives back to Delhi the following Wednesday morning. Here is the route that the train took during the course of its 7-day journey:
Day 1: Delhi (Wednesday)
We all gathered at the Ashok Hotel in Delhi, one day prior to the start of the journey. The evening of the day was spent at the Qutub Minar and the Humayun’s Tomb witnessing the glory of these monuments. The next morning we visited the Rashtrapati Bhawan (President’s House) and the Mughal Gardens. The royal treatment meted out at the Rashtrapati Bhawan raised the bar of expectations higher for the upcoming journey. The train departs from Delhi in the evening to take us to Jaipur. With a grand welcome at the Safdarjung Railway Station to a proper band-baaja ceremonial start, we started to feel the vibes of the luxury we were about to hop on.
Day 2: Jaipur (Thursday)
The train reached Jaipur the next day morning where we got a grand welcome again with the band-baaja, local folks dancing and a beautifully decorated elephant. The day was to explore Jaipur by visiting the historic and monumental places in the city like the Hawa Mahal, the City Palace and Amber Fort along with others. The lunch was served to us at 1305AD, the luxurious restaurant at Amber Fort. We returned to the train by the evening and headed out to the next destination.
Day 3: Ranthambore and Chittorgarh (Friday)
The city of lakes is one beautiful place in Rajasthan that cannot be missed. The train gave us an entire day to explore Udaipur. This city is so artistically designed around a water body that it symbolizes peace at its best. The fun part of visiting Udaipur was enjoying a tuk-tuk ride in the bylanes of the city to the Udaipur World Music Festival. The World Music Festival hosted a participation of 150 artists from over 16 countries from around the world. The plethora of artists and music takes Udaipur on a different note celebrating music. The other attractions included the City Palace, Lake Pichola Hotel and Saheliyon ki Bari, etc. A shopping mecca for miniature paintings, the local bazaar of Udaipur is definitely worth a visit.
On the 5th day of the journey, the Palace on Wheels took us to the land of sand dunes, Jaisalmer. The welcome at the Jaisalmer Railway Station was grand and artistic. The Rangoli of Palace on Wheels at the platform and the camels greeting us gave a perfect start to the day. We went to the Gadisar Lake to begin our day. Known as the Golden City, Jaisalmer has the Jaisalmer Fort as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Jaisalmer Fort was the only fort after Chittorgarh where the people lived inside the fort.
The Jain Temples at Jaisalmer had an awesome architecture and should not be missed. The camel safari in the Thar Desert followed by a lavish dinner at Gorbandh Palace with cultural performances, dance and music made it a perfect day in the itinerary.
Known for its calm and peaceful lifestyle, this blue city of Rajasthan has a lot to offer to the photographer in you. There was a grand welcome by Mehrangarh Fort Band at the Mandor junction on our arrival The colorful turbans gifted to us on arrival made us all look like one of the locals. Padharo Mahare Des!
The bylanes of the city with the blue painted houses are a treat to the eyes. The aerial view of the city from the majestic Mehrangarh Fort showcases the beauty of this city perfectly. The Umaid Bhawan Palace shows the artifacts of the Maharaja of Jodhpur and the grand history of his family. We were taken to Ajit Bhawan, a palace resort in Jodhpur for a grand lunch. We returned to the train post lunch.
Day 7: Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and Agra (Tuesday)
Day 8: Delhi (Wednesday):
After a visit to the Taj Mahal and getting some pictures clicked with it. it was time for us to return to base and we reached Delhi’s Safdarjung Railway Station again early morning. The journey concluded here post breakfast and goodbye sessions with the fellow travelers.
The Palace on Wheels had 13 Deluxe Coach and 1 Super Deluxe Coach. Named after the princely states of Rajasthan, the coaches are soaked in luxury and lavishness. Each coach has 3 twin bedded cabins offering modern facilities. The cabins are available on a single occupancy and double occupancy basis. Each of the cabins has an attached washroom along with a small cupboard and a writing desk.
The interiors of the coaches are done with utmost richness and will give you a homely feeling for the stay. Each coach/salon had 3 rooms, Ruby, Pearl and Diamond with a personalized attendant and a salon captain. We stayed at Ruby which had the decor color as Ruby Red. Keith was the salon captain and Rajinder was our salon attendant they helped us in the best way possible throughout our journey.
The train houses 2 multi-cuisine restaurants namely Maharaja and Maharani. The food served in both the restaurants is a best of Indian, Continental, Italian and Mughlai dishes. The staff and the service of the restaurant are impeccable and they ensure you have the most comfortable dining experience every time you visit it.
All you need to do is just go and sit and the staff takes care of the rest. They serve you with utmost love and present each dish prepared to you. Both the restaurants have a bar to serve amazing cocktails and mocktails as per your need.
The Palace on Wheels takes care of all your health needs and provides you an in-house gym along with the spa. The spa facilities are chargeable additionally and help you rejuvenate completely during the course of the journey. The train also has an onboard wi-fi connectivity to keep you stay connected while on the move.
Some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Palace on Wheels:
The tickets for Palace on Wheels can be booked here.
3) What to expect on the journey of Palace on Wheels?
Expect a week-long tryst with luxury exploring the different cities of north Indian states. Experience the best of hospitality, food and travel as you cruise through the royal destinations in Rajasthan and Agra.
This was our first blog post on Palace on Wheels and we shall be writing more in detail on the places visited, the fun we had on this amazing journey and the memories generated for the lifetime soon.
Do shoot your questions on the Palace on Wheels in the comments section below.
P.S.: We experienced The Palace On Wheels on a blog trip with Incredible India. Our trip was sponsored by the India Tourism, however, the views expressed in the post are solely of the author and have not been influenced by the brand in any way.