Palace on Wheels Travel Through Rajasthan in India

06/14/2019
Melvyn Teillol-Foo

7 Nights / 8 Days from Delhi to Taj Mahal and Back

Destinations

Delhi – Jaipur – Sawai Madhopur – Chittorgarh – Udaipur – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Bharatpur – Agra – Delhi

AlphaLuxe featured the Most Expensive Ultra Luxury Sleeper Train Tour in East Japan and its West Japan rival Twilight Express Mizukaze that highlighted a growing trend for slower, luxury vacations in our modern fast-paced age.

Indian Railways manages the fourth largest railway network in the world by size, with 69,182 km (42,988 miles) of tracks running more than 20,000 passenger trains daily. One of those trains on Wednesday evening is a 7-nights journey on board the luxurious ‘Palace on Wheels’ harking back to the times of the Raj and royal hospitality. This luxury train ride allows guests to enjoy the culture and heritage of Rajasthan and the iconic Taj Mahal – the world’s most romantic edifice to Love.

Palace on Wheels through Rajasthan (photo by Palace on Wheels)

In the style of the Indian maharajas, the Palace on Wheels chugs along scenic routes and taking in historical landmarks through Rajastan in the heart of Indian cultural and historical heritage. The name Rajastan means ‘Land of the Rajas’ and it is dotted with kingdoms, palaces, temples, forts, lakes, green forests and sand dunes. Palace on Wheels was introduced in 1982 and derives its name because its coaches are the replica of the personal carriages used by the Maharajas, Nizams & Viceroys of bygone times.

Rajasthan Colours (photo by Palace on Wheels)

 

Coaches

Palace on Wheels Cabins (photo by Palace on Wheels)

The 14 coaches of Palace on Wheels are named after former princely states of Rajputana or Rajasthan such as Alwar, Bharatpur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Udaipur and so on. There are 4 twin-bedded cabins in each coach boasting ethnic Rajasthani silk decor.

There also is a personal attendant ‘Khidmatgar’ in each saloon catering to the needs of the guests 24/7, around-the-clock.

Khidmatgar (photo by Palace on Wheels)

 

Cabins

Palace on Wheels Super Deluxe Cabin (photo by Palace on Wheels)

Each cabin is equipped with air conditioning, internet connectivity, television, channel music, a safety deposit box and attached bathroom. You can watch the landscape roll by panoramic windows.

 

Dining

Palace on Wheels Restaurant and Lounge (photo by Palace on Wheels)

The train has two resplendent restaurants – Maharaja and Maharani – each of which has its own signature dishes and décor featuring culinary expressions of Europe and India, especially Rajastani and Marwari cuisine. The ambiance of both the restaurants is richly luxurious because of the sumptuous fabrics, imported crockery, delicate glass carvings, mahogany panelling, glittering chandeliers and colourful wall lamps, ostensibly flaunting the mood of the train.

 

Lounge

When not in your cabin or restaurant, each coach also has a seating lounge where passengers can get together, or watch the world go by, or enjoy a quiet cup of tea. They could even indulge in that favourite Indian past time: “chit chat”. Don’t you just love that colonial phrase?

“Just chit chatting the hazy, lazy afternoons away.”

Palace on Wheels Lounge Bar (photo by Palace on Wheels)

 

Bar

For stronger dispositions, the bar affords a relaxed time with your favourite tipple, or a good book, or more chit chat with fellow passengers. The aim is to unwind and relax after a day of sightseeing. With liquor of both national and international brands, flights of fine wines and even non-alcoholic beverages, guests can also partake of fresh and tasty snacks with their drinks.

Spa

Recently, they added the Rejuvenation Spa Car, where one can indulge in soothing and luxurious experiences including Ayurveda treatments, massages and therapies. Sightseeing is such a tiring affair so you can visit the spa and relax your mind, body and soul with choices meted out by a professional spa therapist.

The Journey

The train pulls out of Safdarjung Railway Station New Delhi each Wednesday evening on a week-long trundle through Rajasthan, incorporating a loop to Agra and the Taj Mahal. The train moves by night and arrives each morning at a new destination to explore: what a civilised way to travel!

Day 1 (Wednesday) – Delhi – Jaipur

Palace on Wheels Depart Delhi (photo by Palace on Wheels)

4.00 PM Welcome on arrival at Safdarjung Railway Station.
6.30 PM Departure for Jaipur
8.00 PM Dinner onboard

Day 2 – Jaipur

Jaipur (photo by Palace on Wheels)

3.45 AM Arrival at Jaipur
7.00 AM Breakfast onboard
8.00 AM Welcome with Shenai & Garland
8.30 AM Departure by coach for sightseeing
1.30 PM Visit to Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, City Palace, shopping, Elephant ride and Lunch at Amber Fort
3.00 PM Visit of Amber Fort
6.00 PM Return to train
8.00 PM Dinner onboard
11.30 PM Departure for Sawai Madhopur

Lake at Jaipur (photo by Palace on Wheels)

 

Day 3 – Sawai Madhopur/Chittorgarh

Ranthambore Animal Sanctuary (photo by sudhir shukla)

5.30 AM Arrival at Sawai Madhopur
6.00 AM Departure for Ranthambhore National Park (wildlife sanctuary visit)
9.15 AM Breakfast onboard
10.30 AM Departure for Chittourgarh Lunch on Board
4.00 PM Arrival at Chittorgarh
4.30 PM Departure for sightseeing, Evening Tea at Fort.
6.00 PM Evening Tea & Light & Sound Programme at Fort
7.30 PM Return to train
8.00 PM Dinner onboard

Chittorgarh (photo by Palace on Wheels)

 

Day 4 – Udaipur

Udaipur (photo by Palace on Wheels)

2.00 AM Departure from Chittorgarh
8.00 AM Arrival at Udaipur
8.15 AM Breakfast onboard
9.00 AM Departure for sightseeing Sahalio Ki Bari, Shopping, City Palace & Crystal Gallery
1.30 AM Lunch at Palace Hotel (Fateh Prakash)
2.45 PM Boat Ride
3.00 PM Return to train
3.30 PM Evening Tea onboard
3.30 PM Departure for Jaisalmer
7.30 PM Dinner onboard

Day 5 – Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer (photo by Palace on Wheels)

7.30 AM Breakfast onboard
9.15 AM Arrival at Jaisalmer
9.15 AM Departure for sight-seeing at Gadsisar Lake, Fort, Havelies and City
1.30 PM Arrival at train for lunch
3.30 PM Departure for sand dunes, camel ride and tea
7.00 PM Return to train
7.45 PM Dinner & Cultural Programme at 5-star Hotel (H.R.H. Gorband Palace)
11.45 PM Departure for Jodhpur

Rajastan Life (photo by Palace on Wheels)

 

Day 6 – Jodhpur

Jodhpur (photo by Palace on Wheels)

7.00 AM Arrival at Mandor Jodhpur
7.30 AM Breakfast onboard
9.00 AM Departure for sightseeing
1.30 PM Visit of Meharangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, Umaid Bhawan Museum & Shopping
Lunch at 5-Star Hotel (Hanuman Palace)
2.45 PM Return to train
3.30 PM Departure for Bharatpur
7.30 PM Dinner onboard

Day 7 – Bharatpur / Agra

Taj Mahal (photo by Palace on Wheels)

5.00 AM Arrival at Bharatpur
6.00 AM Departure for Keola Deo National Park (Ghana Bird Sanctuary)
7.30 AM Breakfast onboard
8.30 AM Return to Train
8.45 AM Departure for Agra
10.30 AM Arrival at Agra Fort Railway Station
11.00 AM Departure for sightseeing to Agra Fort
1.30 PM Lunch at 5-star Hotel (Mughal Shereton)
3.00 PM Visit to Taj Mahal
5.30 PM Shopping
8.00 PM Dinner onboard
11.00 PM Departure for Delhi from Agra Cantt.

Day 8 – Delhi

Rajastan People (photo by Palace on Wheels)

4.00 AM Arrival at Safdarjung Railway Station
7.00 AM Breakfast onboard
7.30 AM Deboard / Checkout

 

Tariff

High Season Departure between October to March

Deluxe Cabin on Single Occupancy US$6,055
Deluxe Cabin on Double Occupancy US$9,100
Super Deluxe Cabin on Single Occupancy US$12,600
Super Deluxe Cabin on Double Occupancy US$12,600

Low Season Departure in either April or September

Deluxe Cabin on Single Occupancy US$4,550
Deluxe Cabin on Double Occupancy US$7,000
Super Deluxe Cabin on Single Occupancy US$12,600
Super Deluxe Cabin on Double Occupancy US$12,600

Notes:

  • The Palace On Wheels is operated and managed by RTDC (Tourism Department of the Rajasthan Government).
  • 5% GST Tax levied by Government of India is EXTRA on top of the tariff.
  • Extra Surcharge 10% for departures during Christmas and New Year.

Price Includes:

  • Accommodation in Palace on Wheels with all meals including tea, coffee and mineral water.
  • Deluxe cabin is 95 square feet with twin bed and additional space of bathroom.
  • Super Deluxe cabins is 140 square feet with double bed and additional space of bathroom.
  • Sightseeing for Guests in Deluxe Cabins in shared air-conditioned bus with Guide.
  • Sightseeing for Guests in Super Deluxe Cabins in private air-conditioned car with Guide (except in Ranthambhore Jungle).
  • English speaking guide during Palace on Wheels Train Journey.
  • Entrance & Camera entry fee to all palaces, museums & Wild Life Reserves during Palace on Wheels Train Journey
  • Jungle Excursion in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in 15-seater open-air vans.
  • Elephant joy ride in Jaipur; Sound & Light Show at Chittor Fort; Boat joy ride in Udaipur; Camel joy ride at Sam sand dunes; Cultural Program with dinner in Jaisalmer; Cycle Rickshaw ride in Bharatapur Bird Sanctuary.
  • Complimentary use of communal dongle for wi-fi connectivity
  • Visit to Taj Mahal in Agra

Extra Costs NOT Included:

  • Consumption of alcoholic & other non-alcoholic beverages
  • Video camera fees at monuments & wild-life reserves
  • Laundry; Spa facilities; tips & gratuity; porter fees; tour insurance & all other expenses of personal nature.
  • Visa arrangements for India; hotel arrangements & local tour in New Delhi.

 

AlphaLuxe Comment

As a legacy of the British Raj era, India manages a remarkable railway network over 43,000 miles with surprising efficiency. Travelogues and documentaries love to sensationalise the overcrowding on commuter trains and there is no denying that it is a busy system with 20,000 passenger trains departing daily. And that is not even counting the freight trains.

However, India’s railways also traverse some of the richest cultural treasures and scenery in the world on (probably) the 4th best luxury train in the world.

Book onto this tantalising train tour with Palace on Wheels

 


Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)

Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web magazine. He was former CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.

Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).

About Melvyn Teillol-Foo

Acting Editor-in-Chief on AlphaLuxe web magazine. View all posts by Melvyn Teillol-Foo →

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