Palace on Wheels – New Delhi, Delhi Territory, India
The Private Toy Train of the Maharajas
Modeled after the luxurious private railway cars of the former rulers of Gujarat and Rajasthan, the Palace on Wheels is the subcontinent’s answer to the Orient Express, replete with service-proud captains and staff outfitted in crisp tunics and brilliant turbans straight out of The Jewel in the Crown.
Each of the fourteen wagons (or “saloons”) is named after a former princely state and decorated in its most representative colors and fabrics. Rich veneered wood paneling and custom-designed furniture with inlaid motifs lend a further touch of class.
The train travels mostly through the desert corners of Rajasthan, usually at night to allow full days of sightseeing in such magical cities as Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, and Jodhpur. Guests are treated like royalty onboard and on land as well, with musicians and richly harnessed elephants meeting and greeting the train’s arrival.
Luncheons are arranged at former maharajas’ palaces, and camel treks and tiger photo-safaris fill out the exciting week on wheels, culminating in a grand finale visit to – where else? – the Taj Mahal, before heading back to New Delhi.