The Palace on Wheels is a luxury tourist train launched by the Indian Railways with the cooperation of Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation. Palace on Wheels was rated as one of the best luxurious rail journeys in the world.
The name "Palace on Wheels" (POW) was derived from its royal back-ground of the coaches & first introduced in 1982. The train started to roll on its regular operations from October 1982. The royal grandeur of this luxury train could win it with the honor of PATA Gold Award in 1987. The effort behind the establishment of this luxurious train has gained remarkable success and popularity world over. A new meter gauge air conditioned Palace-on-Wheels was introduced in 1990 & had 13 Saloons, 2 Restaurant cum Kitchen car, one Bar cum Lounge and 4 Service Cars.
In order to further increase the amenities on the train and due to over all gauge conversion in the state, a new broad gauge Palace on Wheels has been constructed & has been running since 1995. It's 14 Saloons are inter-connected, the interior matching the aesthetics of the royal states. The cabins of each saloon name attached with showers. The train also has a well appointed lounge, library, bar & dining cars.
Later in August 2009, it was relaunched with a completely new decor, itineraries and cuisines. This luxury train resembles the royal heritage and is well equipped with all the modern amenities for the comfort of the tourists. So, it was voted as the 4th luxurious train of the world in the year 2010. Recently, in 2018, the Palace on Wheels was awarded the PATWA Award under “Tourist Train” category.
Times have changed and winds have shifted, but the Palace on Wheels cruises along in its unique style, the kind only the Maharajas of yester years could have perpetuated and enjoyed. Today, of course, each traveller on board is treated like royalty in his or her own right.
The festive fervor of Christmas catches up even amidst the sandy and earthy terrain of Rajasthan while you are aboard the Palace on Wheels. All passengers sing dance and make merry within the comfortable confines of the train. When the music is pulsating and spirits soaring, it is difficult to keep in control and you tend to go with the flow.
The concept of this historical train 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.