Thursday, June 26, 2008


This is an unparalleled experience of exploring up the hills. If you have some time in you hand, then take a slow toy train up to the hill resorts of Shimla, Ooty (Udhagamandalam), Darjeeling or Matheran to enjoy every bit of the hill resorts. The toy trains operates on narrow-gauge tracks - henceforth the name toy trains. The toy trains were laid during the British era to link stations in the plains with the hill stations. All the routes offer a relaxing experience, where passengers takes the glimpse of the diverse mountain scenery at leisure hours

Some of the routes covered by toy trains are :


Kalka-Shimla Railway is a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railway in North-West India travelling along a mostly mountainous route from Kalka to Shimla. It is known for breathtaking views of the hills and surrounding villages, and for having the greatest incline over its 96km stretch.

The Kalka Shimla Railway runs through 103 tunnels. The longest tunnel is at Barog, and is named after the engineer in charge of construction.

The Kalka-Shimla Railway was built to connect Shimla, the summer capital of India during the British, with the Indian rail system. Now, Shimla is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh and Kalka is a town in the Panchkula district of Haryana. Spectacular scenery along the whole route, and the marvels of its construction, keeps the traveler on this line spell bound. On leaving Kalka, 656 meters (2,152 ft) above sea level, the railway enters the foothills and immediately commences its climb.

The Shivalik Deluxe Express

The Shivalik Palace exudes royalty. A tourist coach, it has elegant interiors with comfortable folding beds, cushioned chair, wall clock, dining table, dressing table, in brief everything that you require to make your journey luxurious. There is also a well equipped kitchen and a modern bathroom. With light music playing in the background, you can either enjoy reading a book or play a variety of indoor games to entertain yourself.

As for Shivalik Queen coach, it is specifically meant for the newly wed couple who wish to enjoy the beauty of the nature and privacy simultaneously. The coupes have elegantly curtained big windows for you to enjoy the scenery outside. Like the Shivalik Deluxe, the Shivalik Queen, too has wall to wall carpeting for generating a feeling of travelling in a luxurious environment.

Darjeeling Hill Railway

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, nicknamed the "Toy Train", is a 2 ft (610 mm) gauge narrow-gauge railway from Siliguri to Darjeeling in West Bengal, run by the Indian Railways.

It was built between 1879 and 1881 and is about 86 km long. The elevation level is from about 100 m at Siliguri to about 2,200 m at Darjeeling. It is still powered by a steam engine

Nilgiri Mountain Railway

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) connects the town of Mettupalayam with the hill station of Udagamandalam, in the Nilgiri Hills of southern India. Both towns are in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Matheran Railway

This 77-year-old line connects Neral (on the Mumbai-Pune line) to the resort of Matheran . The view of hills and plains unwraps as the sturdy little train starts up for the peaceful retreat. The train runs between sunrise and sunset, covering the distance in 1.5 hours.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Palace On Wheel

Palace on Wheels is a royal experience, a journey that is much more than a luxury train ride. Palace on Wheel tour takes you to the rich Indian heritage and journeys through one of the most exotic regions in the world - Dazzling Delhi, Royal Rajasthan and Amazing Agra. Where else can you relax in comfort and witness exotic India passing by. Welcome aboard the royal journey called Palace on Wheels.

Old Palace on Wheels

For, along with the restored carriages-some still glowing with their original teakwood panels intact-came liveried attendants, royal repasts from the attached kitchen, a lounge and a dining car. A tour was built as part of the fixed itinerary.

Palace on Wheels The journey began and ended in Delhi. En route, the train halted at Agra, and then travelled through princely Rajasthan, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur being its principal highlights. Each morning, guests woke to bed tea and breakfast on board, perhaps a hot water bath, and then a visit to the town the train had halted in, to see the sights and colours of Rajasthan. The forts and palaces and temples, the bazaars thronging with people, the incredible, amazing celebration of colour. By night visitors slept in their own palace, even if it was a palace on wheels, and by day they visited the very sites that had made these palaces possible. It was an experience not to be missed.

Of course, there was some discomfort too, for the carriages were not vestibules (the train links were intended for meter-gauge coaches). People who wished to commute between the carriages could only do it at stations where the train halted. Often necessitating quick jumps on to dark platforms at night, and a dash to the carriage to be boarded, with attendant in attendance. True, though that was no guarantee against mistakes, especially when the visitors spoke in languages alien to the land. The carriages too were old, and could not carry on rolling forever.

The New Palace on Wheels

But the Palace on Wheels had become so popular that there was resistance to any move to discontinue it. The result was a spanking new train that faithfully recreated the old one, but much more comfortable, and intended to provide a smoother ride. However, this too was on the meter gauge being used for yet another exotic journey in the form of the Royal Orient Express that travels from Delhi to parts of Rajasthan, but is used primarily to discover the neighbouring state of Gujarat.

Wheels, on broad gauze, is clearly the pride of the Indian Railways. It is luxurious, and it is modern. The coaches have different names derived from the former princely states, and that provides the link for the coat of arms and the decor inside. Within each carriage are comfortable of showers, built-in wardrobes with full length mirrors, overhead an night lights, piped music, service bells, and public address system. The rooms and corridors arePalace on wheels Coaches and Salons The new Palace on carpeted, the furniture inlaid and upholstered especially for the train. Blinds drape large windows that frame views across the desert and the passing arid landscape. At the end of each coach is a lounge.

Wood panelled walls, painted stained glass skylights, and liveried attendants who respond to every call make the experience of the journey memorable. But the vestibule coaches also connect with two restaurants-the Maharaja and the Maharani- and the bar where a range of cocktails is on offer. Darmasks drape the tables, and the rear romantic lights and exclusive tableware which makes the perfect setting for Indian, Continental, and occasionally Chinese meals served on board. The service is unobtrusive, attentive an efficient.

Tour Programme

Delhi Cantt.
Day – 1 Wednesday

Dep. 2245 hrs Dinner on board
Day – 2 Thursday

Arr. 0830 hrs Dep. 2210 hrs

Caparisoned elephants and strains of the shehnai will welcome you to the Pink City of Jaipur. Lunch at Rambagh Palace. Discover Hawa Mahal, Nahargarh Fort, Amber Fort..... the silent sentinels of a glorious era.

Day – 3

Arr. 0730 hrs

Images of love and valor; scars of battles fought, Thrice besieged, Chittorgarh is all this and more. Moving legends of honour and pride will echo in your mind as you proceed to Udaipur.

Day – 3 Contd.

Dep. 2200 hrs

The city of lakes, palaces and gardens, temples and forts...Udaipur. Lunch at the Lake Palace Hotel, the former summer residence of the Princes of Mewar. Enjoy the tranquility of Lake Pichoda. Visit the City Palace in all its ancient glory, the residence of the Maharajas of Udaipur.

Sawai Madhopur
Day – 4 Saturday

Arr. 0630 hrs. Dep. 1230 h rs

Welcome to verdant Sawai Madhopur and the magnificent 10th century fort of Ranthambhor. Surrounded by the Ranthambor National Park, a Project Tiger reserve, the imposing ramparts of the fort soar above...they have lots for you.

Day – 5

Arr. 0900 hrs. Dep. 2330 hrs.

12th century city of Jaisalmer dominated by its sandstone fort of 99 bastions, exquisitely carved havelis and palaces with their latticed windows, balconies, cupolas and facades, also offers the famed camel safaris & desert camps. Dine under the stars as the rhythm of Rajasthani music drifts in to the night...

Day – 6

Arr. 0900 hrs. Dep. 1545 hrs.

The Mehrangarh Fort is all pervasive in this 15th century city. Visit this magnificent fort and Jaswant Thada, a Royal cenotaph close by. Lunch at the Ummaid Bhawan Palace, the royal residence, a part of which is now a hotel.

Day – 7

Arr. 0715 hrs

A wonderland for birds, Keoladeo Ghana National Park at Bharatpur, once the preserve of The Maharaja of Bharatpur and now a world heritage site. It is home to 300 species of birds, some flying in from as far as Siberia and China.

Day – 7 Contd.

Dep. 2000 hrs.

Lunch at the Taj View in Agra and proceed to one of the most beautiful monuments ever conceived - the Taj Mahal. Built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to commemorate eternal love for his queen, Mumtaz Mahal, Taj Mahal is breathtaking in its proportions and craftsmanship and is captivating. The timeless city of Agra offers you many more monuments and tombs, all exquisite in architectural skill and beauty.

Delhi Cantt.
Day – 8 Wednesday

Arr. 0730 hrs. Breakfast on board and return to Delhi Cantt. Railway station.

Coaches And Salons Of Palace On Wheels

Palace on wheels, train tours, india, train travel, tourism, tours, tour packages, rail tours, luxury packages, online booking, coaches and salons, rajasthan, jaipur, udaipur, jaisalmer, jodhpur, bharaput, agra, taj mahal The coaches and salons of Palace on Wheels gives as diverse royal experience as you can get in a lifetime. On board, you'll feel like an erstwhile monarch, travelling in regal splendour. Each Coach named after the erstwhile princely state has 4 twin-bedded chambers, thoughtfully decorated in ethnic Rajasthani décor. Channel music, intercom, attached toilets, running hot and cold water, shower and wall-to-wall carpeting are some of the facilities to make you feel at home. Each salon has personal attendants or Khidmatgars, who are at your beck and call to extend a courteous helping hand, should you need anything.

Each coach on Palace on Wheels represents the cultural ethos of a different princely state in Rajasthan. The coaches have been specially designed to make you feel being a part of that state.

Palace on Wheels Facilities

Palace on wheels,Palace on Wheels Facilities Palace on Wheels has 14 fully air conditioned deluxe salons, each a combination of 4 twin bedded chambers with channel music, intercom, attached toilets, running hot and cold water, shower, wall to wall carpeting and other amenities.

Luggage Collection

Your luggage is picked up and taken to your respective salons without your worrying about it.

Arrival Kit

Each guest is provided with an arrival kit consisting of stationery items, brochures, cards etc. Anything additional can be asked for, from the attendant, always available at your service.

Attendant 'Khidmatgar'

An attendant or 'Khidmatgar' is always available at your service, to take care of your travel needs.


Palace on wheels,Palace on Wheels Facilities An exotic array of dishes to choose from - Continental, Chinese, Indian and Rajasthani cuisines are available on the Palace-On-Wheels.

Mineral Water

We make sure, the greatest gift of nature bestowed on us i.e. Water is made available to you in its purest form. Mineral water is made available to you all through the journey.


The leading dailies and newspapers greet you every morning over a simmering hot cup of tea or beverage of your choice. Also available for you is a large collection of magazines.


Adequate safety arrangements are made for you as well as your personal belongings in the train itself.


All essential toiletries like soaps, shampoos, moisturizers etc. are provided in the train.


A complimentary bottle of fine Indian wine is offered to the royal guests (per cabin), courtesy Palace on Wheels.

For Disabled Persons

There is special; assistance available in the form of wheel chairs, crèches and a special attendant for manual assistance.



A well stocked bar serves wine, liquor and spirits of Indian and International make, to keep you in 'High Spirits.Palace on wheels,Palace on Wheels Facilities

Indoor Games

Chess, Playing Cards, Chinese Checkers, Carrom Board and Crossword Puzzles are available.


A lounge for relaxing, interacting, making friends, getting together and indulging in games.

Mail Box

A mail box is provided on board, for posting your mail.

Medical Aid

Your health obviously tops the chart of our priority list. First Aid is available on the train whereas a doctor can be arranged on call at very next station.


Palace on wheels,Palace on Wheels Facilities Two lavish and beautifully done restaurants; "The Maharaja" and "The Maharani" serve mouth watering Continental, Chinese, Indian and Rajasthani cuisines that would definitely make way to your heart through your stomach.


Certain handicrafts and other special items of Rajasthani origin can be bought from State Govt. owned Emporia while you visit the places covered by the Palace-On-Wheels.


The Palace-On-Wheels is a no-smoking train. However, if you wish to smoke, please contact your captain for guidance.

ATM/ and Satellite Phone

The ATM and Satellite Phone facility shall soon be available for the Guests on board the train.