Palace on Wheels
Palace on Wheels – the name says it all. On aboard India’s most famous tourists train, you get a taste of royalty, which was once reserved only for the kings and queens. Right from the time, you arrive at the station to start off your journey to the time you come back, it is a royal treat. Nowhere else in the world can you experience the luxury that has now become the hallmark of the Palace on Wheels.
A Traditional Welcome
Delhi Cantonment station is special. Why? Because it is from here that you begin a sojourn of a lifetime. Traditional Indian welcome at the station reminds you that you are in a country that is rich in culture. It is also indicative of the kind of treatment you will be enjoying for the next week.
A Khidmatgar For You
If you have heard this word for the first time, you will definitely want to know what it means. Well, in the erstwhile era, the personal attendants of the kings were known by this name. This is the person, who, on your arrival, will make sure that your luggage is transferred to your saloon without you facing any kind of hassles. Even throughout the journey, he will constantly be at your service whenever you need him.
Coaches And Their Interiors – Inspired By Rajput Princely States
As you board the train, you will notice that the coaches have names like Alwar, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Bundi, Jaipur, Jhalwar, Kota, Sirohi, and Udaipur. These were the names of the princely states of Rajput rulers in Rajasthan. Sounds regal! Right? This regal touch goes further when you realize that each of the coaches has interiors that highlight the characteristics of a specialty of the princely state it has been named after.
For example, the Bharatpur coach is inspired by the famous bird sanctuary that the place is home to. The relief work and the white cedar inlay work on the coach show various species of birds. Moreover, with a color scheme that is a remarkable blend of beige and aqua green, the coach is every bit symbolic of the lush greenery of the Bharatpur bird sanctuary.
The coach named after Bikaner is equally mesmerizing. Of special attractions is the lounge with its catchy color scheme of burning red and gold inspired by the decor of the Anup Mahal and Padam Mahal of the Junagarh fort. The artwork of the lounge too reminds of Mughal -influenced style of the Bikaner School of Art.
The city of Jaisalmer also has a coach named after it. It is famous for its sandy landscape and Havelis and accordingly, the color scheme is the beige of the desert sand. The ceiling of the lounge has carved jharokhas which are inspired by the Havelis.
Similarly, the other coaches of the train (there are 14 in total) have interiors that highlight the specialty of the place in Rajasthan they have been named after. The royal insignia of each of the princely states also finds a prominent place in their respective coaches. These interiors, no doubt, have a big role to play in creating an environment for you that is royal.
Modernity Blends With Royalty – In Chambers As Well As In Restaurants & Bars
The Palace on Wheels does not merely offer an opportunity to enjoy the luxuries of the royal past. Rather, it allows you to enjoy all the modern facilities you can think of. The four twin-bedded chambers, that form part of each coach, are laced with facilities like channel music, intercom, attached toilets, running hot and cold water, and shower to make you feel comfortable. It is as if you are staying in a five-star hotel.
The two restaurants of the Palace on Wheel with evocative names, The Maharaja and The Maharani have a decor that is every bit royal. However, the cuisine on offer is varied – Continental, Chinese, Indian, and Rajasthani. Again, the bar exudes royalty but the stock comprises the best of the Indian and international brands. With traditionally clad attendants serving, you feel all the more special.
The Royal Journey
Starting off from the Delhi cantonment, the train cruises through some of the most exotic destinations in the state of Rajasthan – Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore, Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur, and Agra. At each of these destinations, an air-conditioned luxury coach will take you on a trip to explore the attractions of the city. These attractions comprise the gorgeous creations of nature as well as the man himself. You will see the towering forts and elegant palaces that are the standing reminder of the bygone era. You will also enjoy spotting some majestic animals and colorful birds in the forests of the state. At various destinations, shopping forms a major highlight.
Throughout the week, the train travels between destinations during night hours while the daytime is reserved for sightseeing.
The Experience At The End Of The Journey
The exhilaration felt throughout the journey is unparalleled. The royal treatment and modern luxuries combine to pamper you to such an extent that at the end of the trip, you actually feel sad about leaving the train. There is so much relaxation inside that once outside, you feel like restarting your journey. However, this is a bit difficult as this moving palace is always booked well in advance. So after showing you what regality actually means, the train readies itself for another round, to recreate the magic of the royal era for the next group of people.
For you, though the journey ends, yet the royal feel of it will stay throughout your lifetime.
Suggested Read: Heritage on Wheels