Palace on Wheels Travel Guide

About Palace on Wheels

The passenger coaches which were originally meant to be the personal railway coaches of t he erstwhile rulers of princely states of Rajputana, Gujarat, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Viceroy of British India.

These coaches were not being used by the Indian Railways after independence in normal passenger trains on account of very rich and traditional interiors. The name “Palace-on-Wheels” (POW) was derived from its royal back-ground of the coaches.

A new meter gauge air conditioned Palace-on-Wheels was introduced in 1984 & had 13 Saloons, 2 Restaurant cum Kitchen car, one Bar cum Lounge and 4 Service Cars. In order to further increase the amenities on the train and due to over all gauge conversion in the state, a new broad gauge Palace-on-Wheels has been constructed. & has been running since 1996.

It’s 14 Saloons are inter-connected, the interior matching the aesthetics of the royal states. The cabins of each saloon name attached with showers.The train also has a well appointed lounge, library, bar & dining cars. In the past 20 years of operations, the Palace-on-Wheels has been rated as one of the best ten luxurious rail journeys in the world.

Interior Layout
Each saloon has 4 coupes (sleeping rooms) with attached toilet. In every saloon, there is one saloon captain valet and one attendant to look after the personal needs of its tourists. Each saloon has a mini pantry properly equipped to provide ready tea/coffee and snacks.

Saloons
The names of the saloons are based on the princely states of Rajasthan – Alwar, Bharatpur, Bikaner, Bundi, Dholpur, Dungarpur, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jhalawar, Jodhpur, Kishangarh, Kota, Sirohi, and Udaipur. The decor of each saloon has highlighted the cultural ethos of the state, represented through the use of furniture, handicrafts, paintings and furnishings.

The ceiling in the lounge is of particular interest. Each coupe is different but the overall ambience of the decor of the saloons has been taken care of to provide continuity. Each saloon has cream yellow color on its exterior walls and bear the Coat of Arms (logo) of the erstwhile princely states, along with the name.

Facilities of Palace on Wheels

The Train
The Palace On Wheels India is the only regularly operating Luxury Train in India, at present this heritage train of Rajasthan comprises 14 well appointed inter-connected passenger coaches, which have been named after Kota, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Alwar, Sirohi, Kishangarh, Bundi, Dungarpur, Bharatpur, Jhalawar and Dholpur. 

Coaches on the Palace of Wheels
You’ll be delighted you chose to see Rajasthan by the Palace-On-Wheels. On board, you’ll feel like an erstwhile monarch, travelling in regal splendour. Each Coach named after the erstwhile princely state. It has 4 twin-bedded chambers, thoughtfully decorated in ethnic Rajasthani décor.

The Saloons
The names of the saloons are based on the princely states of Rajasthan – Jaipur, Jodhpur, Alwar, Bundi, Kota, Jhalawar, Dungarpur, Dholpur, Bharatpur, Jaisalmer, Sirohi, Bikaner, Udaipur and Kishangarh. The decor of each saloon has highlighted the cultural ethos of the state, represented through the use of furniture, handicrafts, paintings and furnishings.

The Dining Cars
There are two dining cars in Palace on wheels, that have been tastefully decorated in the authentic Rajasthani style in this heritage train of Rajasthan. The Maharaja and Maharani restaurants have seating arrangement in groups of two and four near the windows.

Lounge
At the end of each coach is a separate lounge where passengers can relax when they wish to move out of their bedrooms. Here they can unwind with a book or magazine, engage in conversation, or simply watch the panoramic vista of the great Indian country side.

The Bar
The Bar-cum-Lounge in Palace on Wheels, is furnished with period furniture to create the royal ambience. It is spacious and beautifully decorated. The bar is stocked with a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. You can select from the finest collection of spirits and wines. From scotch to cocktails, Palace on wheels serves them all. 

Bed Room
Each coach has four coupés, done in colors reminiscent of the state, and highlighted by its royal emblem. Two of the Coupes feature double beds while the other two have train beds. A third bed, for an additional person, or an accompanying child, is in the form of a fold-away bed on a higher tier. Each compartment has an attached bath with running hot/cold water and showers, built-in wardrobes, overhead and night lights, piped music, reading lights etc.

Restaurants
Two lavish and beautifully done restaurants; “The Maharaja” and “The Maharani” serve mount – watering Continental, Indian and Rajasthani cuisine that would definitely make way to your heart through your stomach.

Shopping
Certain handicrafts and other special items of Rajasthani origin can be bought while you visit the places covered by the Palace – on – Wheels and a Catalogue of typical Rajasthani items is also available on board. 

Group Photograph
To cherish these special moments of glory and to remind you of these times when you walk down memory lane a few years from now, we take a group photograph which is given to you as a souvenir.

Mail Box
A mail box is provided on board, which discharges your mail with utmost care and efficiency.

History of Palace on Wheels

It was in the eighties when Indian Railway and Rajasthan Tourism decided to work together on a project to resurrect some of these forgotten symbols of its historic heritage.

The Palace on Wheels had become so popular and there is and would always be resistance to any move to discontinue it. The result was a spanking new train that faithfully recreated the old one, but much more comfortable, and intended to provide a smoother ride.

Thirteen carriages from different princely states were brought together and refurbished, and the Palace on Wheels was launched.

A superb train that evoked the past with modern facilities and created a journey that was on offer to people around the world-wannabe princes who could be royals for their week of the journey.

For, along with the restored carriages-some still glowing with their original teakwood panels intact-came liveried attendants, royal repasts from the attached kitchen, a lounge, and a dining car.

It started to roll on its regular operations from October 1982. The Palace on Wheels, on broad gauge, is clearly the pride of the Indian Railways. It is luxurious, and it is modern.

The coaches have different names derived from the former princely states and that provides the link for the coat of arms and the decor inside. Within each carriage are comfortable of showers, built-in wardrobes with full-length mirrors, overhead and night-lights, piped music, service bells and public address system.

The rooms and corridors are carpeted, the furniture inlaid and upholstered especially for the train. Blinds drape large windows, which frame views across the desert and the passing arid landscape. At the end of each coach is a lounge.

However, this too was on the meter gauge being used for yet another exotic journey in the form of the Royal Orient Express that travels from Delhi to parts of Rajasthan, but is used primarily to discover the neighboring state of Gujarat. The Palace On Wheels started as a unique holiday train hauled by a steam engine with its inaugural trip on 26th January, 1982.

Saloons of Palace on Wheels

The names of the saloons are based on the princely states of Rajasthan – Alwar, Bharatpur, Bikaner, Bundi, Dholpur, Dungarpur, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jhalawar, Jodhpur, Kishangarh, Kota, Sirohi, and Udaipur.

The decor of each saloon has highlighted the cultural ethos of the state, represented through the use of furniture, handicrafts, paintings and furnishings. The ceiling in the lounge is of particular interest.

Each coupe is different but the overall ambience of the decor of the saloons has been taken care of to provide continuity. Each saloon has cream yellow color on its exterior walls and bear the Coat of Arms (logo) of the erstwhile princely states, along with the name.

» Alwar Saloon
» Bharatpur Saloon
» Bikaner Saloon
» Bundi Saloon
» Dholpur Saloon
» Jaipur Saloon
» Jaisalmer Saloon
» Jhalawar Saloon
» Jodhpur Saloon
» Kishangarh Saloon
» Kota Saloon
» Sirohi Saloon
» Udaipur Saloon