The extraordinary journey of a super luxury royal coach from the "Palace on Wheels" train
The ‘Palace on Wheels’ is the special Heritage Train for tourists launched in 1981-82 by the Indian Railways. The concept of this train was to use the rail carriages of the erstwhile Maharajas, to offer tourists a taste of the grandeur, luxury and style of the royal rail journeys.
Each saloon, or coach, of the Palace on Wheels, was designed to reflect the cultural ethos of various Indian states.
Pre-independent India constituted of hundreds of small and large princely states ruled by Maharajas, who took a keen interest in steam engines.
By the 1880s, many Maharajas had begun commissioning personal railway saloons that were used by them and their families, Nizams and Viceroys for their personal travel.
After India gained independence in 1947, royalty was abolished. The railways became the backbone of the country’s public transport and it became impossible to maintain and run the royal luxury saloons with valuable interior furnishings and high upkeep costs.
These saloons, initially taken out of active use, eventually became the inspiration for the Palace on Wheels.
Mr. Tarun Thakral
Mr. Vivek Seth
Dr. Shashi Bala
Ms. Ragini Bhat