Palace on Wheels: An Inspirational Odyssey By First Class Rail
India’s Palace on Wheels:
As the seventh largest and second most populous country in the world, India is certainly a force to be reckoned with.
Occupying 3.2 million square kilometres of Planet Earth’s largest continent, India consists of three major zones – the mesmerizing Himalayas, the lush Indus-Ganga and the ancient Deccan plateau. Its impressive landmass sprawls into the tip of mainland South Asia, reaching down into the Indian Ocean, while its northernmost points border Pakistan, Tibet and Nepal.
India’s landscape is greatly varied: to the north, some of the world’s most incredible peaks, contrasting the arid Thar Desert that’s further east. Rainforests and fertile river plains feature throughout the mainland, while white sand, rocky shores and tidal flats make up its 7,500 kilometre coastline, leading out into the Arabian Sea, Laccadive Sea and the Bay of Bengal.
Indian culture is as extensive as its terrain is diverse. Blessed with a variety of landscapes and ecosystems, visitors are able to observe glacial giants and sun-kissed beaches within the same trip. A tremendous architectural legacy also presents some of the most fascinating structures in the world, including the Taj Mahal, the Sun Temple at Konark and the Lodi Gardens. Every stunning site is enhanced by compelling stories: tales of triumph, spirituality, love and liberation. Rich with natural beauty, historical landmarks, remarkable philosophies and ancient traditions, a trip to India is sure to educate and surprise.
Fragrant, vibrant, bold and bustling, India is a captivating country that’s not for the faint-hearted. With over 1.2 billion inhabitants, this exciting destination is certainly a hive of activity, its chaos unmatched by anywhere else. But while it intimidates and exhausts, India also offers a unique warmth that continues to charm visitors over and over again.
The only way to explore India is by railway, and with Planet Rail, you can undertake this once in a lifetime adventure aboard First Class train. Taking you in a clockwise loop through the country’s north and north western territory, India’s Palace on Wheels sweeps you through this corner of India with unbeatable comfort and elegance, providing a truly luxurious method of transport for your journey of discovery.
Onboard India’s Palace on Wheels
First launched by the Indian Railways in 1982, the Palace on Wheels aimed to provide tourists with a royal experience as they explored Rajasthan. Refurbished and relaunched in 2009, it is now considered one of the grandest trains in the world, accompanying the likes of the Orient Express and the Pride of Africa on the luxury list.
With Planet Rail, you can live like a Maharaja for 8 days aboard the Palace On Wheels, taking up residence in one of its 14 deluxe saloons. Each coach is inspired by India’s royal heritage, making for splendid regal decor with the very best amenities on offer. Choose from two delightful restaurants, The Maharaja and The Maharani, where first class cuisine is served by friendly and attentive staff. This superb service continues outside of the dining areas, where your personal attendant will extend a helping hand at any point during your journey.
India’s Palace on Wheels Itinerary
The Palace On Wheels commences its journey in Delhi, picking you up after time spent exploring India’s capital. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to visit historical and political monuments, wander stunning tree-lined parks, indulge in a spot of retail therapy at a modern mall, and brave the bustling bazaars of the Old Town.
Next up, Jaipur! Rajasthan’s largest city buzzes with energy, excitement and a certain sense of regality. Known as the Pink City due to the colour of the stone in its structures, it boasts dozens of palaces, temples and fortresses, making for a rosy, royal experience. Jaipur is the place for absorbing history and marvelling at architecture, but it also offers a great opportunity for keen shoppers. Overflowing with jewellery, pottery and textiles, its markets are a lively and colourful experience, and perfect for those with a penchant for unusual handicrafts and authentic souvenirs.
Your time in Jaipur is followed by Sawai Madhopur and Chittorgarh, where you’ll be able to spot wild tigers and exotic birds before visiting the legendary town of Sultan Alauddin Khilji. This enchanting section of your Indian adventure is a big hit with old Romantics, exposing them to the natural, untamed beauty of India and its creatures before transporting them to a rustic location renowned for its love stories.
Udaipur is the next stop on your Indian adventure, and once the Palace on Wheels has pulled into the gorgeous Lake City – regarded as the ‘Venice of the East’ – you’ll be able to marvel at even more Mughal architecture, including the Jag Niwas and the Jag Mandir. We also encourage our holidaymakers to enjoy a romantic boat ride on Lake Pichola, taking in the views with their travel companion.
It’s now time to visit India’s ‘Golden City’, renowned for its yellow sandstone structures. Jaisalmer provides visitors the perfect opportunity to explore medieval India, visiting the old mansions of Nathmal ji ki Haveli and Salim ji ki Haveli. Next, the Palace on Wheels takes you east to the ‘Sun City’, Jodhpur. Here, you’ll continue to realise the sheer intensity and diversity of India’s arid region. Take the opportunity to explore and compare the old and new parts of the city, and enjoy attractions including the Mahamandir Temple.
The adventure begins to draw to its close once you reach Bharatpur, where’ll you can visit Keoladeo Ghana National Park. After taking in the sights and sounds of this famous bird sanctuary, you will reboard the Palace on Wheels and head to Agra for the final destination of your trip: Agra. Home to the iconic Taj Mahal, the marvelous, marble mausoleum that’s very rightly one of the world’s Seven Wonders, Agra makes for the ultimate finale. Head straight for the finest example of Mughal architecture, viewing first hand the site that millions long to experience. Following this, you can indulge in further Mughal structures throughout Jaipur, including Sikandra and Fatehpur Sikri. Make the most of your last hours aboard the stunning Palace on Wheels, relaxing and reflecting on your astounding trip as you sweep back through the Indian countryside to Delhi.