- Location: The journey starts from Safdarjangh Railway Station in Delhi, India.
- Attraction Type: Train Journey
- Significance: One of the most luxurious train journeys in the world.
- Best Time to Visit: Can be visited throughout the year, however November through February is the best.
- How to Reach: Delhi is connected with a number of major destinations in the world by an extensive air network.
- Nearest Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)
The Palace on Wheels experience is truly fit for a king. This week-long train journey across the royal fortresses, castles, palaces, monuments and forests of Rajasthan and Agra is considered to be one of the most fascinating journeys in the world. Maintained jointly by the Rajasthan State Board of Tourism and the Indian Railways, the Palace on Wheels offers an opportunity to travelers to travel in India in a grand style.
Palace of Wheels: An Overview
The Palace on Wheels was introduced for the first time in 1981-82. After being left out of use for a very long time, the saloons and coaches used by the princes and the top ranking British officials of the colonial days were re-invented and turned into a luxury cruise. Later, however, coaches were made with strict adherence to the aesthetic principles of these old coaches but were made to suit broad gauge requirements and were air-conditioned.
The present train has all the charm and the opulence of century-old royalty, but complimented with all forms of modern amenities. There are 14 saloons, and each has four cabins. Each cabin is exquisitely furnished to meet the tastes and the requirements of its elite clientele and has an attached bath to it. You also get the personalized services of khidmatgars or personal attendants devoted for each cabin. There are doctors on call at every station.
Apart from the 14 salons, named after princely states in Rajasthan, there are four service coaches, a kitchen and a lounge bar. At the Palace on Wheels, you have an option to choose from a large assortment of Indian, Continental and Chinese delicacies prepared by some of the best chefs of the country. The bar is well stocked, and you not only get your favorite scotches and cocktails, but also a wide assortment of the best Indian liquors.
Palace on Wheels Itinerary
The Palace on Wheels departs from Safdarjangh Railway Station in Delhi at 17.45 hours. Early on Day 2, you arrive at Jaipur, where the morning sightseeing begins from 8:30 in the morning. You get to see the major forts of the capital city of Rajasthan, including the Amber Fort Palace complex and Hawa Mahal, and also get a chance to go for an elephant ride. The morning tour ends with a lunch at the restaurant of a five-star hotel. The City of Palace complex is on your afternoon tour schedule, and at 17:00 you depart for your next royal destination: Jaisalmer.
Early on day 3, you arrive at Jaisalmer and spend the entire morning exploring the magnificent Golden Fort town complex. After lunch on board and rest, you get a chance to explore the sand dunes of this desert region and embark on a camel safari. There are cultural performances at night at some City Heritage Hotel, after which you leave for your next destination, which is Jodhpur. At Jodhpur, you explore the Mehrangarh Fort Palace Complex and enjoy your lunch at Umaid Bhawan Palace. At 15:30, you depart for Sawai Madhopur.
After palaces and history for the last four days, it is time for some wildlife exploration. So, soon after you reach Sawai Madhopur Station on Day 5, you depart for a safari to the Ranthambore National Park in open air Canter Trailer Trucks. You can spot hyenas, nilgair, wild boars, hundreds of birds, and if you are really lucky enough, the great Indian tiger. Ruins of the Ranthambore Fort add to the mystique of the place. By 10.00, you are back and ready to leave for your next destination, which is Chittaurgarh Fort, where you spend the afternoon.
Day 6 is devoted to the ‘Venice of the East’, Udaipur. After morning sightseeing at the Udaipur City Palace and boating in the magnificent Pichola Lake, you get a chance to explore the beautiful Lake Palace and Jag Mandir. At the afternoon you get a chance to embark on a city tour and lots of free time to shop. At 19:00, you leave for Bharatpur.
Early on the last and seventh day of your tour, you reach Bharatpur. The place is famous for the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a home for a large number of exotic birds who have their homes in faraway Siberia. In the afternoon, you reach Agra and find yourself face to face with that exquisite fantasy in marble standing like a dream in front of your very eyes, Taj Mahal. At night, you depart for Delhi, and after an early breakfast, disembark at Safdarjung at 07.30 am.