World famous and India's foremost royal luxury train, 'The Palace on Wheels' (POW), rolled on its first commercial journey for 2013-14 to Rajasthan and other destinations, especially world's famous wonder Taj Mahal of Agra, from the Safdarjung Railway Station here on Wednesday evening.
In the first trip, 34 tourists from different places of the world are traveling on this super luxurious train.
Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) chairman Randeep Dhankhar, Secretary in Central Government Dr. Lalit K. Panwar, Rajasthan's Chief Tourism Secretary Rakesh Shrivastava, RTDC Managing Director Vinod Ajmera, RTDC's Delhi General Manager Pramod Sharma and General Manager of Royal Train Pradip Bohara were among those present at the Safdarjung Railway Station on the occasion along with many others.
The Managing Director of RTDC, Vinod Ajmera, said that it is a concrete step towards making the presence of the state in the area of 'Rail Tourism' for which the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Tourism Minister Bina Kak and RTDC chairman Randeep Dhankhar are working tirelessly.
"Over the years we have been very sensitive to each guest's expectation. We have compiled feedback and are now acting on it to give the incredible Palace on Wheels a refurbishment that should raise the richly royal looks to still greater heights," said Ajmera.
"We have extensively researched princely lifestyles of the royals and the Palace on Wheels will sport a new heritage look with the finest in luxury trappings, reflecting the exclusive lifestyle of maharajas," he added.
Ajmera said that the Palace on Wheels was recently awarded the best luxury train in North India 'Today Traveler Award 2013' in the category of domestic tourism.
Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Oscar Fernandes had given this award in a function organised at the Taj Place Hotel in New Delhi.
Ajmera said that the Palace on Wheels known for giving guests a magnificent experience of royal Indian lifestyle is in for major refurbishment.
"We are also giving deep thought to see how we can raise the facilities to a new level. The Palace on Wheels, a Joint Venture of Indian Railways and Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC), known throughout the world for giving guests a magnificent experience of royal Indian lifestyle, is in for major refurbishment. It is high time the Palace on Wheels received a facelift and the plan for refurbishment comes none too soon, with global interest rising in experiencing a royal lifestyle," said Ajmera.
"All facilities are being modernized including water purifiers in washrooms and other modern conveniences including superior communication and entertainment. Even the dining cart, the bar and lounge will take on a wonderful new look with the planned refurbishment at a huge investment," he added.
"We are also giving deep thought to see how we can raise the facilities to a new level. Even the spa and health club will receive major upgrades. We are working on plans to introduce more and please our guests," said the representative of the Palace on Wheels.
The Palace on Wheels is rated the number 4 luxury train in the world and we plan to make it even better, redefining vintage royalty. It takes you on a splendid tour covering Delhi, Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur and Agra giving you the experience of a lifetime. The journey takes you across mountains, rivers, forests and sand dunes in air-conditioned comfort.
RTDC's Delhi General Manager Pramod Sharma said that the Palace on Wheels starts its journey on every Wednesday for seven days unforgettable journey between the months of September, 2013 to April, 2014 from Delhi, In 34 rounds from September 2013 to April 2014, three thousand passengers are expected to travel in this royal train.
He said that in order to provide the World Class journey with the five star facilities in the train POW has luxuries and modern facilities including Royal "Spa" and "gym" for the passengers.
The train has 23 coaches comprising of 14 Saloon's, One "Spa" Coach, two Restaurant known as "Maharaja" and "Maharani" and one "Reception cum Bar". The itinerary for the season would be Delhi-Jaipur-Sawaimadhopur-chittorgarh-Udaipur-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Bharatpur-Agra-Delhi. The capacity of POW is of carrying 104 passengers at a time.
Sharma said that an additional coach is added in the name of Royal SPA where the guests will enjoy Ayurvedic and Non Ayurvedic massage. This year the Palace on Wheels will provide delicious Indian and Foreign Food to the valued guests. (ANI)