From then to Now: History of the Palace-on-Wheels
The Palace-On-Wheels has graced the Rajasthan Tourism and Indian Railways since January 1982. The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation, The Indian Railways, the Tourism Department of Rajasthan and the Government of India launched Palace-On-Wheels as a special heritage tourist train for providing a unique and memorable experience to the tourists visiting Rajasthan.
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 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 Palace-On-Wheels started as a unique holiday train hauled by a steam engine with its inaugural trip on 26th January 1982. It started to roll on its regular operations from October 1982.
The Legend Conserved
In 1991, a new air-conditioned meter gauge Palace-On-Wheels on the lines of the old heritage train was launched with 13 salons, 2 restaurants, kitchen car, Bar cum lounge and 4 service cars. 'Khidmatgars' or personal attendants, in each cabin, cater to all your needs.
The Legend and the Modern
The Palace-On-Wheels has gained remarkable success and attained worldwide acclaim and popularity including the PATA gold award in 1987. The Palace-On-Wheels has been rated as one of the ten best luxurious rail journeys in the world. The popularity of the train has been enhanced by the media. Famous TV Teams such as BBC, MTV, Zee TV, National Geographic, MDR of Germany and many others have covered the train and shown it on their network.
It has carried 36096 tourists in 578 trios up to April 2002
The eight days and seven nights journey in royal splendour takes you to the territory Maharajas, the 'Pink City' of Jaipur; Jaisalmer 'the jewel of the desert'; the majestic stronghold of Jodhpur; Sawai Madhopur for the Ranthambor National Park; the city of Chittaurgarh with its countless tales of Rajput chivalry; Udaipur with its lakes and Lake Palaces; Bharatpur - with its remarkable Keoladeo Ghana bird sanctuary; the red stone city of Fatehpur Sikri; and of course, the Taj Mahal in Agra - one of the seven wonders of the world.