Luxury train travel in India
The Palace on Wheels has been voted as the fourth best luxurious train in the world. It is also undoubtedly the last word in luxury train travel in India. Travellers who take a tour of North India on board this train get a first-hand experience of the lavish lifestyles of former kings of India and embark on a journey that is worthy of royalty.
The Palace on Wheels was the first of four luxury trains operated by Indian Railways. It was started in 1982 as a joint venture of Indian Railways and Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation. The concept of this luxury train was derived from the royal railway coaches of the erstwhile rulers of the Indian princely states of Gujarat, Rajputana, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Viceroy of British India.
Once you step on board the Palace on Wheels for a Rajasthan tour you can look forward to a whole week of travel in the lap of luxury experiencing the pomp and pageantry of an earlier era. The food, the hospitality, the amenities, the décor… everything exudes opulence ad extravagance. The seven-day royal journey by this luxury train to Rajasthan begins from New Delhi, and then takes you through Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Ramthambhor National Park, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, the Bharatpur bird sanctuary and Agra, and then brings you back to Delhi.
The Palace on Wheels has 14 opulent cabins each designed with a distinct motif. Each cabin is named after a former princely state of Rajputana. Passengers are given a royal welcome in traditional style at each station.
In the mid-nineties, the carriages of the Palace on Wheels were replaced with more modern replicas of the original royal carriages and were equipped with sophisticated amenities. The newer amenities added to the world class experience of travellers on board the train.
Amenities and tariffs
The Palace on Wheels has two classy restaurants – Maharaja and Maharani – with ethnic décor, and offering an extravagant menu of Indian, authentic Chinese, Thai and Continental dishes. Other facilities include an elegant lounge, a well-stocked bar, a spa, indoor games, medical facilities, and a souvenir coach.
The current peak season rate is around US$ 700 per night for single occupancy, US$ 550 on twin sharing basis and US$ 500 on triple sharing basis. The off-peak rates are approximately US$ 550 per night for single occupancy, US$ 400 on twin sharing basis and US$ 350 on triple sharing basis. For children between 5 and 12 years the tariff is 50%. All the fares are exclusive of taxes.
The fare includes cost of travel and accommodation, the entrance fees at monuments and palaces, morning tea, breakfast, lunch, evening tea and dinner, camel rides at Jaisalmer, boat ride in Udaipur, and rickshaw ride in Bharatpur. The cost of drinks is not included.