The roaring success of the Palace on Wheels paved way for the launch of other similar luxury trains. The Heritage on Wheels is the latest addition in this. The Heritage on Wheels is very much like its predecessor, given the fact that the same luxurious royalty marks the entire journey that has by now become associated with the Palace on Wheels. Also, like the Palace on Wheels, the Heritage on Wheels is run jointly by the Indian Railways and the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation. And, if you have noticed the names, then you surely do know that the Heritage on Wheels intends to recreate the same magic as the Palace on Wheels.
Given the similarities, the same name marks out the difference between the two trains. Whereas the Palace on Wheels gives an impression of unending royalty, the Heritage on Wheels lays an emphasis on heritage. The destinations covered by the two trains also reinforce this difference. In sharp contrast to the Palace on Wheels that traverses destinations with a famous royal connection, the Heritage on Wheels journeys mostly through the less explored regions of Rajasthan. The aim, clearly, is to introduce tourists to the heritage of Rajasthan that remains hidden due to the more famous destinations. Moreover, the time frame of both the trains is also different with the Palace on Wheels taking eight days to complete one journey and the Heritage on Wheels just four days.
The Heritage Destinations & Journey
So, what actually are the destinations that make a journey on the Heritage on Wheels a different experience? Well, most of the destinations covered by the luxury train are those that together comprise the open air art gallery of India, the Shekhawati region. This region is a riot of colors, with huge painted mansions commanding your attention every now and then.
The journey actually starts from Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan and reaches Bikaner, one of the three major cities that constitute the Thar desert. Thereafter, the names of the destinations will most probably not seem much familiar to you, The next two stops of the train on your second day is at Haat and then Gajner. At Gajner, you get an enjoyable ride on the back of the camel and a tea party at the royal Lalgarh Palace. Surely, an impressive way to discover the way in which the people of the bygone era commuted from one place to the other.
On the third day, the train pulls at Tal Chappar where you enjoy a bit of wildlife viewing. Later, in the day, you move over to Ramgarh and then Mandawa and Nawalgarh. At all these places, the major source of attractions are the painted havelis. Lunch is at Mandawa resort while tea break at Nawalgarh.
The fourth and the final day, the train comes back to the Jaipur station. It is the end of a royal journey.
The Regal Treatment
Though the train does not have the famous royal destinations to cover, yet there is absolutely no dearth of luxury that makes your journey royal.
The welcome ceremony at each of the destination is special, with local women adorning traditional attire putting a red tilak on the forehead and presenting a garland.
On train itself, the traditionally clad attendant is there to fulfill every need of yours, be it preparing your bed, serving your food or even bringing materials you have asked for. And all this is done with a smile on face and respect in voice. Their every gesture makes you feel special, or rather on the top of the world.
And the Luxury Train Itself
Boarding the heritage train itself gives you a feeling of royalty. The coaches have four coupes each with two toilets at each end of the coach. The coupe is decorated with ethnic furniture that reminds you of the opulence of the royal era. Additional in-room facilities that make your stay on the train extremely luxurious include intercoms, television sets, and cable connectivity, wall-to-wall carpets.
The two restaurants – Maharaja and Maharani are meant to give you a royal dining. Indian as well as Continental dishes are served as per your wishes. A bar with quality stock is also available for the lovers of alcohol.