Palace on Wheels to embark on a spiritual journey through Uttar Pradesh

The train, starting from Delhi, will take passengers on a six-day pilgrimage through some of India’s holiest cities including Ayodhya
Palace on Wheels
Palace on Wheels

In a significant development, the iconic Palace on Wheels (POW), synonymous with luxury train travel in India, is gearing up for an extraordinary spiritual expedition to Ayodhya. Established in 1982 as India’s premier luxury train, the Palace on Wheels has consistently offered travellers a taste of royal opulence combined with rich cultural experiences.

Jointly launched by the Indian Railways and the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC), the Palace on Wheels has garnered international acclaim for its unparalleled hospitality, luxurious cabins and curated journeys. Rated among the top ten luxurious train journeys globally, POW has captured the imagination of travellers worldwide.

Now, after forty-two illustrious years, the award-winning train is set to redefine its itinerary, taking passengers on a six-day pilgrimage through some of India’s holiest cities. The forthcoming spiritual sojourn will commence from Delhi, meandering through Varanasi, Prayagraj, Mathura and Vrindavan before culminating in Ayodhya. This new itinerary marks a detour from the train’s traditional route through Rajasthan, promising passengers a unique blend of spiritual enlightenment and royal indulgence. Among the enhancements to the POW experience is a revamped food menu, tailored specifically for the spiritual tour.

Embracing the ethos of the pilgrimage, the train will exclusively serve vegetarian cuisine, omitting onion and garlic and abstaining from serving alcoholic beverages on board. However, dining aboard the Palace on Wheels is an experience in itself, with two lavish retro bars, Maharaja and Maharani, serving a delectable array of Continental, Chinese, Indian and Rajasthani delicacies.

The onboard chefs, stationed in the attached pantry, ensure a culinary journey that tantalises the taste buds. POW’s fourteen air-conditioned coaches, each named after former Rajput states, boast interiors reminiscent of regal splendour. Passengers can luxuriate in well-appointed personal retreats, complete with modern amenities and panoramic windows offering scenic views of the countryside.

The journey unfolds under the cover of night, with the train gracefully gliding towards its next destination, ensuring that passengers wake up each morning to a fresh canvas of experiences awaiting them. 

In a bid to cater to local tourists, the Palace on Wheels management, now under the purview of Cube Construction Engineering Ltd, based in Gujarat, has introduced discounted rates for customised tour packages focused on Ayodhya and Prayagraj. The train is scheduled to operate religious tours twice a month, providing accessibility and flexibility to travellers seeking spiritual enrichment.

Additionally, the company is also overseeing the train’s fourth-generation upgrade with a recent Rs 7 crore refurbishment and has pledged an annual payment of Rs 5 crore to the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation towards tourism development. ITDC reports increase in revenue and profits for December 2023 The tourism development corporation announced robust growth and outstanding performance in the Q3 of fiscal year ’23-’24 compared to ’22.

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