Though times have changed and the winds have shifted, the Palace On Wheels cruises along in Royal Style, the kind only the Maharajas of yesteryears could have perpetuated and enjoyed. Welcome aboard the Palace On Wheels on its splendid and enchanting royal journey through the bygone era of the erstwhile Maharajas.
The guests are given a traditional welcome at the Safdarjung Railway Station at 4 PM where they proceed with the check-in formalities. At 6.30 PM the vibrantly decorated Palace on Wheels begins its eight-day odyssey cutting across the scenic landscapes and rich heritage of India with its first stop at Jaipur. A sumptuous dinner is served on board.
The guests enjoy a delectable breakfast aboard The Palace on Wheels as it royally marches into the pink city. After a grand welcome by shenai and garlands, the guests depart by coach to experience the treasure trove of artefacts at the Albert Hall Museum followed by a host of architectural marvels – Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, City Palace etc. A pleasant lunch is served around 1.30 PM at 1135 AD Restaurant followed by a visit to the Amber Fort – adorned with red sandstone and marbles standing testimony to its perennial charm. At 3 PM the guests can shop in the buzzing atmosphere of the local markets that sell a huge array of items including handicrafts, sweets and savouries pertaining to the local culture. Around 8 PM the travellers return back to the train for dinner on board. The odyssey continues to Sawai Madhopur from Durgapura Railway Station in Jaipur at 8 PM.
The guests disembark for a safari in the Ranthambore National Park located in the heart of the Aravalli and Vindhya Range. Amidst picturesque locales, the sanctuary offers a fine view of the animals, in particular the Bengal tigers which could be seen in their natural habitat. The entourage leaves for Chittorgarh at 10.20 AM with breakfast served on board. During the course of the journey, guests can have leisure time at the bar, enjoy a few drinks and converse with fellow passengers over their inherent love for travel. The Palace on Wheels reaches Chittorgarh at 3 PM and on arrival, the guests explore the forts and castles of a bygone era that echoes the heroism and pride of the Rajput clan. The guests go for a quick exploration of the city, revelling in the various sightings the city has to offer and return to the fort for Tea and a fun-filled light and sound programme. Dinner is served onboard the train.
The entourage leaves for Udaipur at 2 AM in the morning and breakfast at 7.30 AM. The guests are taken for a tour around the city’s historical garden – Saheliyon Ki Bari regarded as the most popular tourist space replete with kiosks, a lotus pool and marble elephants followed by a visit to the city palace and the crystal gallery that provide a breath-taking view of its cultural significance. A sumptuous lunch awaits the guests at the Fateh Prakash Hotel after which they proceed to a boat ride to the resplendent Jagmandir Palace for tea. The Palace on Wheels set on its journey cutting across Rajasthan and moving towards its northwestern frontier of Jaisalmer at 4 PM.
The last princely bastion of Rajasthan tucked deep in the Thar Desert, The Palace on Wheels reaches the quaint city of Jaisalmer around 9.00 AM. The guests embark on a sightseeing tour to the serene spot of Gadsasir Sagar Lake, stunning forts and the innumerable Havelis – including the eponymous Patwon ki Haveli and the Nathmal Ji ki Haveli – that project the strong valour of its rulers and aesthetic representation of its times. The guests get to enjoy refreshing lunch on board and embark for camel rides and tea on the sam sand. At 11.45 PM the prestigious Palace on Wheels leaves Jaisalmer and heads towards Jodhpur.
The Palace on Wheels journeys into the Blue City of Jodhpur at 7 AM and breakfast is served at 07.30 AM. Upon reaching, the guests explore the architectural and magnificent marvel of Mehrangarh Fort and the surrounding cenotaph of Jaswanth Thada. Celebrate a glimpse of the history at the Umaid Bhavan Museum and cap it all off by shopping in the nearby local markets. A grand lunch is served at the royal Ajit Bhawan Palace. The train sets off for Bharatpur soon after.
The train arrives in the early hours of the morning for a recreational visit to the Keola Deo National Park, the erstwhile duck-hunting reserve of the Maharajas for bird-watching and photography. The guests are served breakfast on board the train and depart for the onward journey to Agra at 9 AM. On arrival at Agra Railway Station around 11 AM, the guests visit the historic Agra fort. A delightful lunch is served at Hotel Clarks Shiraz at 1.30 PM. At 3 PM, the journey moves to the famed marvel of Mughals – Taj Mahal. This is followed by shopping and exploration of the local markets. The Palace on Wheels begins its journey towards Delhi at 8.45 PM.
The incredible travel aboard the Palace on Wheels reaches its finale on arrival at the Safdarjung Railway Station at 2.30 AM. The guests are served breakfast at 6.00 AM after which the staff bid a fond farewell to the travellers.
7 nights twin accommodation
Entrance fees and monument charges
Camel ride at Jaisalmer
Boat ride at Udaipur
Rickshaw ride at Bharatpur
THO – 2023
Images Courtesy of Total Holiday Options