Fairy Queen, Rajasthan
The Historical Journey Of Fairy Queen
In the year 1855, when the Fairy Queen was constructed in Leeds, England, nobody probably expected it to attract so much tourists’ attention as it does today. At that point in time, it was sent to Calcutta (it reached here in 1895) where it was fondly named the Fairy Queen and given the number 22 by its then possessor, the East India Company. After spending more than a decade pulling mail trains between Howrah – Raniganj and assisting in the construction work in Bihar, it was placed on a pedestal outside the Howrah Railway station. For the next 34 years, it attracted the attention of whoever came to the Howrah station.
Between 1943 to 1997, the Fairy Queen satiated the curiosity of students of the Railway Zonal Training School at Chandausi and visitors of the newly constructed Rail Transport Museum at Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. In 1972, it also earned its heritage status from the government of India.
However, more fame was still in the store and it was in the year 1997 that the Fairy Queen got it. The phenomenal success of the Palace on Wheels inspired the tourism department to bring out this heritage train from the confines of the Railway Museum and convert it into a tourists’ train.
Accordingly, the Fairy Queen cruised for its first journey in the month of July the very same year.
Your Journey In Fairy Queen
The journey of the Fairy Queen is short, luxurious, and exciting. It runs on the weekend, between October to February, starting from Delhi Cantt at 0900 hrs in the morning and reaching Alwar the same day at 1500 hrs. From Alwar station, an air-conditioned coach ferries you to the Hotel Sariska Palace. The night is spent at the hotel where the cultural program and a theme dinner are organized for you.
The next day, the early morning trip to the Sariska Tiger Reserve forms a major attraction. You will enjoy a jeep safari trip within the park. Keep your eyes open for Tigers as well as other animals like Leopard, Wild Dog, Jackal, Sambhar, Chital, and Nilgai. Birds of the park Peafowl, Red Jungle Fowl, Spur Fowls, White Breasted Kingfishers, and the Peacock will also command your attention.
After breakfast at the Sariska Palace, you leave back for Alwar where the Fairy Queen awaits your arrival to begin her return journey to Delhi.
Why A Trip In The Fairy Queen
The Fairy Queen is the world’s oldest running steam locomotive which has found for itself a place in the prestigious Guinness Book of World Records. At the national level too, the heritage train is a proud recipient of the Government Tourism Award. Traveling on a train that is recognized so well is once in a lifetime opportunity and as such definitely special.
Onboard the Fairy Queen, it is luxury at your service. There is no crowd around as it is only a 50 seater train. The train actually has only two coaches out of which one is used as a pantry for onboard catering and another one for passengers’ seating. There are huge windows in the lounge in front of the passenger coach to enjoy the scenic locations through which the train passes. The passengers’ coach is completely airconditioned with comfortable reclining seats. Delicious lunch, as well as tea, coffee, and light snacks, are served to you. The treatment offered is really royal and the journey itself through adds to the beautiful experience.
The destination, Sariska Tiger Reserve, is one of the best places to enjoy wildlife in the country. Moreover, the traditional Rajasthani welcome at the Palace Hotel as well as the cultural program organized specially for you to offer a chance to enjoy the cultural heritage of Rajasthan.
On the whole, the trip is what you call extremely enjoyable. Moreover, a trip to Fairy Queen, unlike the other luxury trains like the Palace on Wheels and Royal Orient, is of short duration. This means that even if you have very limited time on hand, you can take up this trip. This also means that the charges for the trip are extremely less than what it is in the other luxury trains and hence, in no way a strain on your pocket.
Suggested Read: Rajasthan – Culture and Tradition