Palace on Wheels chugs on season's first trip

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 04, 2013 16:40 hrs

New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) India's luxury train, Palace on Wheels, started the year's first commercial journey Wednesday evening.

A total of 34 tourists from across the world boarded the 23-coach train.

"Over the years, we have been sensitive to each guest's expectation. We have spent Rs.1 crore on the makeover to give a rich and royal experience to the guests. Carpets, tapestry and curtains have been changed, furniture replaced and toilets upgraded," said Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) managing director Vinod Ajmera.

Danny Tak Lam Sui from Canada said he heard about the train from a friend.

"My wife and I were planning for the past few years that when we vist India, we should board Palace on Wheels. We are looking forward to a royal journey," Sui told IANS.

Wife Christine Ming said, "This will be a different experience. I'm eagerly looking forward to visiting the royal palaces of Rajasthan which mirror the rich history and culture of the state."

The train covers the royal forts and palaces of 'Pink City' Jaipur and 'Golden City' Jaisalmer, touches base at Ranthambore, famous for its tigers, and also Agra, home to the Taj Mahal.

It will also check in at Sawai Madhopur, Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Bharatpur.

Two lavish restaurants - The Maharaja and The Maharani - with a Rajasthani ambience serving Continental and Chinese dishes and cuisines from the desert state will tickle one's palate.

Rated amongst the top 10 luxury trains in the world, the seven nights and eight days Palace on Wheels trip leaves every Wednesday.

One night on the exotic train costs $400-500 (Rs.18,000-20,000), depending on the service one opts for.

"The train makes 34 rounds from September to April. It does not run from May to August on account of maintenance and renovation. There are 52 rooms with single, double and triple occupancies and can accommodate 104 passengers at a time," RTDC General Manager Parmod Sharma added.

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