The Palace on Wheels is India's first luxury tourist train launched by the Indian Railways in joint collaboration with Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) to promote tourism in Rajasthan.[1][2] The train was launched in 1982.[3][4] The train has been renamed as Heritage Palace on Wheels.[5][6]

Palace on Wheels
Logo of the Palace on Wheels
Entered service26 January 1982; 41 years ago (1982-01-26)
Operator(s)Indian Railways
Line(s) servedNew Delhi - Jaipur - Jodhpur Udaipur - Bharatpur - Agra - New Delhi
Palace on Wheels at Jaipur railway station.

The train service was renovated and relaunched in August 2009 with a new decor, itinerary and cuisine.[7]

History Edit

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, Baroda, the Nizam of Hyderabad and mainly the Viceroy of British India.[8]

Due to changes in the rail gauges over the years, after the launch of the first train in 1982, the second train was built in 1991 and the third train was built in 1995.[9]

The train halted operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.[1][9] It resumed operations in 2022 and was flagged off by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot at Gandhinagar Railway Station on October 8, 2022.[10][11] The Chief Minister announced that modern furnishings and additional amenities have been added to the train and the government has accorded an industry status to the sector while setting aside ₹1,000 crore in the 2022-23 budget to promote tourism.[12] Before the stop in operations due to the pandemic, the train ran continuously from 1982 to 2020.[13]

A petition was filed by Worldwide Rail Journeys Pvt Ltd. to allow 18 foreign passengers to travel on the train while operations were halted due to the pandemic since they had deposited an amount of ₹15 lakh towards their booking. The Delhi High Court gave a judgement to allow these foreigners to board the train.[14]

Facilities Edit

The train has 14 coaches and can accommodate 82 tourists. Each coach is named after former Rajput states and matches the aesthetics and interiors of the royal past: Alwar, Bharatpur, Bikaner, Bundi, Dholpur, Dungargarh, Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Jhalawar, Jodhpur, Kishangarh, Kota, Sirohi and Udaipur.[15] Each coach has three cabins (named chambers or saloons by the company) with luxury amenities and Wi-Fi internet.[16][17] The train has two restaurants, The Mahārāja and The Mahārāni, with a Rajasthani ambience serving continental and Chinese cuisine, one bar-cum-lounge, 14 saloons and a spa.[17]

It has on-board postal, banking and laundry services.[18]

The Palace on Wheels at a halt in Agra

Route Edit

The train runs from September through April and has a 7 nights & 8 days itinerary.[19] It departs from New Delhi (Day 1), and covers Jaipur (Day 2), Sawai Madhopur and Chittaurgarh (Day 3), Udaipur (Day 4), Jaisalmer (Day 5), Jodhpur (Day 6), Bharatpur and Agra (Day 7), return to New Delhi (Day 8).[20][21]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ a b "India's luxurious train, Palace on Wheels, probably won't run this year due to COVID-19". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  2. ^ "NPalace on wheels - Exclusive Indian train was originally used by royalty". Times of India. 13 October 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012.
  3. ^ Pena, R (17 November 2022). "Here's An Inside Look At India's First Luxury Train". Yahoo News. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  4. ^ Rajesh, Monisha (5 February 2023). "Four of the best luxury sleeper trains in India". National Geographic. Retrieved 23 August 2023. Launched in 1982, the Palace on Wheels is the original luxury train
  5. ^ Heritage Palace on Wheels just completed its first voyage from Delhi to Jaipur (31 December 2017). "Heritage Palace on Wheels just completed its first voyage from Delhi to Jaipur". India Today. Retrieved 3 June 2023. voyage of Heritage Palace on Wheels (HPOW) reached Jaipur
  6. ^ Singh, Rachna (14 June 2017). "Heritage Palace on Wheels for Shekhawati soon". The Times of India. Retrieved 3 June 2023. Renamed the Heritage Palace on Wheels
  7. ^ "New-look Palace on Wheels set to chug off on Aug 5". The Times of India. 2 August 2009. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011.
  8. ^ "From the luxurious Palace on Wheels to the spiritual Mahaparinirvan Express: 8 extraordinary train journeys you must experience with the Indian Railways". IBNLive. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Luxury train 'Palace on Wheels' back on track after two-year Covid hiatus". The Economic Times. 8 October 2022. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  10. ^ "Palace on Wheels Is Operational Again; Luxury Travel Enthusiasts Take Note". News18. 11 October 2022. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  11. ^ "Luxury Train 'Palace On Wheels' Back On Track After Two Years". 8 October 2022. Retrieved 23 August 2023.
  12. ^ Agnihotri, Akanksha (9 October 2022). "Rajasthan's luxury train 'Palace on Wheels' resumes operation after two years". Hindustan Times.
  13. ^ "Luxury train 'Palace on Wheels' begins commercial operations after two years". Hindustan Times. 13 October 2022. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  14. ^ "Pandemic CANCELLED "Palace on Wheels" tour in 2019, These passengers NOW get HC permits to board train". Zee News. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  15. ^ Have a look at the coaches (four pages)
  16. ^ "Watch Dish TV on Palace on Wheels". DNA.
  17. ^ a b "feature of world famous royal train palace on wheels". Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  18. ^ Hulse’s, Jerry (26 May 1991). "It's called The Palace On Wheels. A..." Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 June 2023. On-board postal, banking, laundry services.
  19. ^ Law, Abhishek (19 December 2022). "India's luxury train operations hit by Covid, occupancy levels still low". Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  20. ^ Train Route
  21. ^ Nag, Devanjana (6 September 2018). "Experience Indian Heritage with luxurious Palace on Wheels train journey; check fares, schedule, other details". Financial Express. Retrieved 24 May 2023.

External links Edit

Palace On Wheels Official Site - Website of Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (RTDC), a Government Of Rajasthan Undertaking