Palace on Wheels

The Palace on Wheels is a luxury tourist train. It was launched by the Indian Ra
ilways to promote tourism in Rajasthan, and has been highly popular since its la
unch. Palace on Wheels comprises 14 deluxe air-conditioned saloons, completely s
elf-sufficient and tastefully equipped to impress modern travellers. Each compar
tment is equipped with hot and cold water, attached toilet, shower, intercom, wa
ll-to-wall carpeting and soothing channel music while the passengers enjoy their
well-deserved sleep.[1]
Following its success, other luxury and tourist trains have been started on othe
r routes in the country.
The train service was refurbished and relaunched in August 2009 with a new decor
, itinerary and cuisine.[2]
HISTORY
The Palace on Wheels, started on January 26 in 1982, was voted the 4th luxurious
train in the world.[3]
The concept of the Palace on Wheels was derived from the royal background of the
coaches, which were originally meant to be the personal railway coaches of the
erstwhile rulers of the princely states of Rajputana, Gujarat, the Nizam of Hyde
rabad and the Viceroy of British India.
Each carriage of Palace on Wheels convey a history of its own; once used as the
delicate railway coaches of the rulers of Rajasthan, Gujarat, the Nizams of Hyde
rabad and the Viceroys of India, today all the carriages are presenting stunning
examples of bygone days regality accompanied by modern day classiness.
After India got independence in 1947, all the royal rail carriages were ceased t
o be used. Because of their rich artistry on the inner walls, it was not possibl
e to include these in the fleet regular passenger trains. It was only on 26th Ja
nuary 1982, that Palace on Wheels pioneered the tradition of luxury train journe
y in India and made its maiden voyage as a luxury steam engine train. This luxur
y Indian train started operating in a regular basis from October 1982.
In the year 1991 Palace on Wheels had been refurbished again and this time it ap
peared as a meter gauge train having 13 salons, kitchen car, 2 luxuriously appoi
nted restaurants, a bar with a lounge and 4 service cars. To make the journey al
l the more magical, the train introduced the concept of personal 'Khudmatgars' o
r attendants who are made available to the service of the guests round the clock
.
The delightful journey aboard Palace on Wheels earned PATA Gold Award in the yea
r 1987 and also caught the attention of the world media including BBC, MTV, MDR
of Germany, National Geographic and several others. Over the years this Indian l
uxury train had went through several renovations so that a more pleasant experie
nce can be shared with the guests. High tech and avant-garde amenities were intr
oduced that ensures a regal voyaging experience amid soul tempting lavishness.
At present the train has 14 salons which replicates the original coaches used by
erstwhile maharajas and viceroys of India. The train comes equipped with en-sui
te bathroom, two multi-cuisine restaurants, a bar with a great collection of Ind
ian and international brands of wine, a lounge with a relaxing ambience and a sp
a car.
FACILITIES
There are 14 coaches in the train. Each is named after former Rajput states and
matches the aesthetics and interiors of the royal past: Alwar, Bharatpur, Bikane
r, Bundi, Dholpur,Dungargarh, Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Jhalawar, Jodhpur, Kishangarh,
Kota, Sirohi and Udaipur.[4] Facilities include a bar[5] with select Indian and
international spirits, a lounge with a good collection of books, and a televisio
n and DVD player.
Each coach has four cabins (named chambers or saloons by the company) with twin

running hot and cold water. air-conditioning. attached toilets.[6] wall-to-wall carpeting. .beds.[9] with a Rajastha ni ambiance serving continental. DTH satellite television. with personal attendants . The Maharaja and The Maharani. Chinese cuisine.[7] intercom.[8] The train has two restaurants.