Indian Railway offers a fascinating odyssey through time and space, cultures and history offering glimpse of unity amidst diversity, shrouded in enchanting mystery, colours that captures the heart while soothing the soul.
Palace On Wheel
The Palace on Wheels is one of the luxurious train which takes traveller’s to the royal land of sand dunes and regal palaces. It has an intrinsic ambience that goes perfectly well with the majestic charm and beauty spread with generous hospitality.It gives you a heart-rending trip to the splendid forts and palaces of Rajasthan in just seven days. Also discover the royal history of Taj Mahal in Agra.Traveling in the famed Palace on Wheels is one of the most memorable ways to explore India’s stately splendour. Unquestionably it’s an unparalleled experience to ride the replica carriages refurbished to look like the original saloons of the Maharajas, the erstwhile rulers of India. The Palace on Wheels is one of India’s most fascinating sojourns covering the pink state capital, Jaipur, the golden citadel, Jaisalmer, the blue city of Jodhpur, the National Park Ramthambhor; the symbol of chivalry, Chittaurgarh, romantic city of Lakes Udaipur, the bird sanctuary Bharatpur and the mughal capital, Agra before returning to Delhi.
Cultural Programs in Palace on Wheels
The music of Rajasthan reflects the vigour and lifestyle of its people. Vibrant colours, music and festivities make the golden sands come alive whether in Jaipur or Udaipur. Rajasthan is the only place where the mood and rhythm govern the hearts of people which impresses even the most seasoned traveller in the state.In Palace on Wheels, at every halt, your evening is planned with cultural programmes; be it Ghoomar, Panihari, Gorbandh, Ghair, Kalbelia , Chung, Agnl Nritya or puppet shows. You will surely be enchanted by the famous folk songs Moomal, Baramasa and Gorbandh. Nomadic tribes and traditional entertainers, minstrels, jugglers, puppeteers and performers come together to make you dance on their tunes.
Cultural Chari Dance:This dance involves dancing in steps with a chari (pot) on one’s head. A lighted lamp is then placed on the pot proceeding the dance further.
Cultural Ghoomar Dance:This is basically a community dance for women and performed on auspicious occasions in Rajasthan. Derived from the word ghoomna (pirouette), this dance is based on the movement of the ladies, gently and gracefully, in circles.
Cultural Fire Dance:The Jasnathi community of Bikaner and Churu are renowned for their tantrik powers and this dance is in keeping with their lifestyle. A large ground is prepared with live wood and charcoal where the men and boys jump in the fire on the beats of a drum. The gradual rise in the tempo, the dancer seems to be in a trance-like state.
Cultural Kachhi Godhi:This is a dance performed on dummy horses. Men in ostentatious costumes ride in equally well-decorated dummy horses. Holding naked swords, these dancers move rhythmically with the beating of drums and pipes.
Cultural Terah Taali:The Kamad community of Pokhran and Deedwana town of Rajasthan perform this dance in honour of their deity, Baba Ramdeo. The men play a four-stringed instrument called a Chau-tara and the women sit with dozens of manjeeras, or cymbals, tied all over their bodies and strike them with the ones they hold in their hands making it an unusual dance. Sometimes, the women also hold a sword between their teeth or place pots with lighted lamps on their heads.
Kalbelia Dance (Snake Charmer):The dance of the Kalbelia women is vigorous and elegant. The accompanying music rises in tempo as the dance progresses, ending with the performer dancing on glowing embers, which is really breath taking and impressive.
Rajasthan Culture & Festivals Tour
The culture and the folklore of Rajasthan is one of the many vibrant and colourful cultures in India. Whether the music of Ek Tara, Manjeera or Sarangi; every instrument composes a different tune for the vivid state. The rising tempo of the instrumental music and vocal music in a shrill yet captivating voice are the distinctive features of the Rajasthani music. The dance like Ghoomer and Kal Belia entertain the dance lovers as well as the tourists interested in exploring the fitness factor hidden in the Indian dances. The Rajasthani cuisine no doubt fulfils your palate leaving you to demand more and more. The mouth watering, heavy and nutritious diet taken by Rajasthanis are world famous. The popular ones being the Dal-Bati, Dal-Bafle, Churma ke Laddoo and Raj Kachori. Before boarding on one of the most luxurious trains in the world; you should be aware of the basic cultural heritage of Rajasthan to rule the hearts of the simple, raw, turbaned and magnanimous Rajasthanis. Knowing the culture and the traditions of Rajasthan will double the enjoyment and happiness derived from this memorable journey in the Palace of Wheels.
Rajasthan Fairs and Festivals
Rajasthan, a barren desert land, becomes resplendent with the colors of joyous celebration of its fairs and festivals whether Teej, Gangaur, Sawan, Kite festival etc. There is a fair for every religious occasion, every change of season and every harvest, all invariably a reflection of the genius of their arts and crafts and their ascetic refinement. Rajasthan has all the usual national Hindu and Muslim festivals, some celebrated with religious fervor as well as a number of local festivals too. In the state literally every third day is a reason for celebration, which keeps people full of life and the state quite vibrant, all round the year.
Rajasthan Music and Dance
The music and dances of Rajasthan are heady, exciting, hypnotic and compelling… in short, very much a part of the eternal appeal of this strange and wondrous land. They constitute the very warp and weft of life in Rajasthan. They owe the credit of making the state most vibrant and highly evolved in the tradition of performing arts, carefully nurtured and retained over the centuries. Many traditional dances and the folk songs are still taught in various schools to continue the trend for generations.
Rajasthan Cuisine Tour
The state of emperors, Rajasthan, boasts of a fine kitchen – both within the palaces and outside. Princely kitchens have produced many incomparable and exotic delicacies and given unique recipes to India. The smoked Rajasthani kebab – sule – is bare-be-cued in about a dozen different ways. At the other extreme is Maheshwari Cuisine or the vegetarian cuisine of the Maheshwars of the Marwar or the Jodhpur area, which is the favourite of the vegetarians all over India. The state is a paradise for the vegetarians as such on account of the variety of vegetarian dishes available here.
Royal Rajasthan On Wheels
Royal Rajasthan on Wheels would be a joint venture of Railways and Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation.The schedule of Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is a bit different from that of Palace on Wheels in the way that Palace of Wheels goes to Sawai Madhopur instead of Bikaner like the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels.The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is supposed to start its journey from New Delhi and then go to various places in Rajasthan like Jaipur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Chittorgarh, Jaisalmer and Bharatpur as well as Agra.
Royal Rajasthan on Wheels – Cultural Attractions
Cultural attractions is one of the factors which is going to add to the popularity of Royal Rajasthan on Wheels. The journey will provide an insight into the various facets of Rajasthani culture The cultural attractions also include the grand reception that is provided to the passengers when they arrive at Delhi for the initiation of the journey. The reception of Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is also extended at Jaipur. When the train arrives at Jaipur the passengers are treated to recitals of shehnai, which is more like a clarinet. They would also be welcomed a group of elephants that are decorated in an ornate fashion so that the passengers feel they are being regarded as kings. The song and dance events at Royal Rajasthan on Wheels also form an integral part of the overall cultural attractions package. These facilities would be extended to passengers who are availing the lounge car facility of the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels. Passengers would also have the privilege of attending some folk dance and music events at each and every stoppage of the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels. Some of the cultural attractions worth mentioning in this regard are Ghoomar, Kalbelia, Fire Dance, Kachhi Godhi, Chari Dance, Agni Nritya, Terah Thali and puppet shows. These are various forms of Rajasthani folk dance.
India – one word that conjures a million images. Tigers, snake charmers, colours, mysticism, royalty, Rolls Royce’s, cuisines, arts, dances, plays, music, forts, palaces, temples, monuments, people, mountains, beaches, jungles, deserts, romance, dreams… the list is truly endless. The answer lies on board the Maharajas’ Express. Here, you will find the time and space to unravel the varied tapestry of this majestic landscape at your own pace. As you step on board, you will find yourself transported back in time to embark on the voyage of your lifetime.
Features of Maharajas Express
• Longest luxury train in India comprising 23 coaches
• Brand new train built from scratch equipped with state of art technology and facilities like air suspension for smoother ride.
• Two fine dinning restaurants (seating 42 each) serving cuisines from all over the world.
• Two lounge bars serving array of spirits, lager, vines and cocktails.
• Panoramic windows for unrestricted view.
• Wi-Fi enabled.
• Flat screen, DVD player and satellite TV in each cabin.
• Direct dial telephone in all suites and cabins.
• Valet services for all cabins.
• Electronic safes in all cabins.
• Bathtubs in Presidential suite and all four Suites.
• Individual climate control in all cabins.
• Services of professional and qualified paramedic.
• Luxurious Presidential suite expanding over one entire coach
Unique experiences of journeys
• Relish champagne breakfast gazing at monument of love, Taj Mahal.
• Participate and enjoy an elephant polo exhibition match at Jaipur.
• Game drives into Ranthambhore National Park/ Bandhavgarh National Park, where nature meets history. These parks are celebrated for high density tiger population.
• Enjoy riding pleasantly caparisoned camel carts and a cocktail barbecue at the sand dunes in Gajner, Rajasthan.
• Feel royal and experience a sundowner, folk dances and elaborate feast at the captivating regal courtyard of Mehrangarh fort, Jodhpur with the silhouette of the majestic fort as the backdrop and the entire Blue city at your feet.
• Lunch at fabulously lavish Durbar Hall, Udaipur.
• Savour the royal fare from house of Jambugoda, Gujarat.
• Exclusive viewing of Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, Vadodara, Gujarat.
• Sightseeing tour of world renowned 10th century Khajuraho temples (World Heritage Site).
• A tour of the magnificent Gwalior Fort and opulent Jai Vilas Palace Museum followed by an elaborate supper in the main courtyard of the Palace.
• Take a boat ride on river Ganges to witness the mystique of Hindu rituals, evening prayer service and listen to the sacred chants at Varanasi, the religious capital of India.
• Experience the elegance and charm of traditional Nawabi hospitality during an ‘Indian Evening’ of mesmerizing music, courtesan dance and culinary delights from the Nawabi kitchens of the Raja of Kotwara, Muzaffar Ali at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
• Signature journeys accompanied by special guest lecturers.
• Opportunity to meet royal families of India from different states.
• Array of choices for optional excursions, golfing and luxury spas in palace hotels.
• Proficient Tour Directors and Guest Relation staff to assist you at all times.
• Complimentary house wines, beer and a variety of spirits.
The Golden Chariot
Embark on a royal journey and experience the luxurious retreat. THE GOLDEN CHARIOT…. is a confluence of luxury, royalty and grace. Named after the famous stone chariot in Hampi, Golden Chariot is a tourist train meant for crème de la crème. It takes you on a trip of a lifetime and introduces you to the vibrant history and vivid culture of Karnataka. It’s a seven-nights and eight-days trip that starts every Monday from Bangalore. Developed with an investment of 40-crore, the train has total 19 coaches, including, 11 passenger coaches, two dining restaurant cars, one lounge bar, 1 conference coach, 1 spa and gym. Every coach is soaked in rich architecture and has been named after dynasties of bygone era that ruled Karnataka. ‘Kadamba’, ‘Hoysala’, ‘Rastrakota’, ‘Ganga’, ‘Chalukya’, ‘Bhahamani’, ‘Adhilshahi’, ‘Sangama’, ‘Shathavashna’, ‘Yudukula’, and ‘Vijayanagar’ are the various names representing each coach. The train is decked with 26 twin beds, 17 double beds and one cabin for the physically challenged guests. ‘Hampi’ and ‘Halebidu’ inspire the immaculate interiors of the train.The travel itinerary of the Golden Chariot takes passengers to Mysore, Kabini, Hassan, Hospet, Badami, Pattadakal, Aihole, Goa and then reach Bangalore on the seventh day showcasing the vied diversity. The train entices gourmets with delectable sumptuous delights and a mélange of wines, cocktails, national and international drinks. There are two restaurant: ‘Nala’ and ‘Ruchi’ satiating the preferable palettes. The restaurants serve both vegetarian and non-vegetarian sumptuous food. Passengers can relax in the cool confines and elegant setting of ‘Madira- The Lounge Bar’ and quench their thirst. The ambiance of the Golden Chariot is welcoming and invites all for an enchanting experience.
World-class facilities matching international standards, cater to everyone’s needs, and are its start attraction. Fully air-conditioned rooms, Wi-Fi, LCD Television, DVD with six satellite channels, writing desk, private bathroom and heart warming hospitality makes it all for a timeless journey.
Golden Chariot itinerary
- Banglore:Recline and relax, as scenic splendors unfold in front of you, outside the window. Rejoice the wholesome experience in the laps of Bangalore’s luscious greenery. Witness the amalgamation of this unique cities rich cultural heritage with modern-day grandeur.
- Mysore:The city of majestic palaces and architectural masterpieces will enchant you in just a glance. Catch mystical beauty of ‘Srirangapatna’: the island fortress of warrior king Tipu Sultan; ‘Mysore Palace’: treasure house of exquisite murals and works of art; and ‘Brindawa Gardens’: one of the best in South India.
- Kabini: Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Nagarhole(Kabini), is abode of wildlife animals. Previously the hunting retreat area of Mysore Maharajas, it houses around 300 species of birds and wildlife animals like elephant, gaur, chital, sambar, wild boar, in their natural habitat. Dwellers and visitors with the penchant for adventure will simply love this place and can go for safari to spot wildlife animals.
- Belur and Halebid:Built by Hoysala Vishnuvardhana to celebrate his victory over the Cholas, it’s a masterpiece, filled with intricate sculptures on the walls. Halebid is one of the finest temples and its walls are richly carved with Hindu deities, animals, and birds depicting the Hoysala King’s life.
- Hampi: Capital of powerful Vijaynagar Empire, in post-mughal India, it covered several states. It has ruins of 14th century scattered in 26 sq. km area. Its a must visit place for art connoisseurs and mavens, displaying the glimpses of traditional country life of Karnataka.
- Badami – A world heritage site:Showcasing four ancient rock-cut cave temples, Badami is beautifully situated between two rocky hills. It has exquisite sculptures and most of it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu like the 18 -armed Nataraja with striking 81 dance poses.
- Goa –Famously called the “Tourist’s Paradise” Goa is land of unsullied and tranquil sandy beaches sparkling with crystalline, jade and azure waters. Once a Portuguese colony- it’s a base of roaring carnival celebrations, mouth-watering food and up market spirits.
Welcome to The Deccan Odyssey, India’s newest Luxury Train, also known as the Palace On Wheels of Maharashtra. Travel through time and trace the yesteryears of the kingdom of the Marathas – Maharashtra. Travel a route covering the world heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora, the handicraft village of Shilpa Gram, the Sula Winery at Nashik, the bustling cities of Mumbai and Pune, and much more. Savour the cuisines, worship at the shrines, or just relax and observe the natural beauty around you. As the wind whispers through the halo of legends crowning the land of the mighty Marathas, it salutes the legacy as it traverses this land of fantastic fantasy. A train journey adorned in luxury, the Deccan Odyssey transports its guests on an unforgettable sojourn of a land shining in legions grandeur – serene beaches, magnificent forts & palaces, and experiencing heavenly tales etched in colossal rocks.
The week long Deccan Odyssey tour includes several exotic tourist destinations covering the vast expanse of Maharashtra and a pinch of Goa – Mumbai, Ganpatipule, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Goa, Pune, Aurangabad, Ajanta and Ellora. While you are aboard the train, you experience the finest and the best of train journeys of the world. The Deccan Odyssey Journey is far beyond the luxury train cruise. It’s a ‘classical odyssey’ of time beyond the realms of the present.
Maharashtra Culture, Folk Dance and Festival Tour
The culture of Maharashtra is reflected through its, forts, caves and palaces known for its rich history. Its saints, philosophers, music, handicrafts and its festivals with all their colourful rituals and traditions, amalgamate together to give a true reflection of Maharashtrian Culture.
Maharashtra Folk Dance and Music: Maharashtra has been famous for its vibrant music and the folk forms like lavnis, povadas, gondnals and bharuds are a true reflection of the society. Sharang Dev wrote the “Sangitratnakara” , India’s greatest treasure on classical music in the 13th century. Many of India’s greatest stalwarts of music reside and perform here like Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj, Lata Mangeshkar, Bal Gandharva, Kishori Amonkar etc. Maharashtra also has a flourishing theatre tradition. The two most renowned handicrafts of Maharashtra are Kolhapuri Chappals and the Paithani Sari its silk bordered with opulent zari.
Maharashtra Festivals Tour:Maharashtra festivals reveal its rich cultural legacy. The major festivals celebrated in the state are: Ganesh Chaturthi, Gokul Ashtami, Diwali, Holi, Dussehra, Padwa etc. provide a common platform for people from all walks of life to interact with one another. In all Maharashtra signifies culture and a modern cosmopolitan outlook.
Maharashtra Cuisine Tour: The simple yet delicious cuisine of Maharashtra is tempting enough to make you return here again and again. The mouth watering Dhokla, Khamand, Srikhand, Chandra Poli and the poor man’s food Poha Jalebi and vada pao are the recipes not to be missed out by you. The special and the distinguishing feature of the Maharashtrian cuisine is the scrumptious taste of the dishes on account of high spice and chilly and a pinch of sugar in them.
Courtesy: Apollo Voyages is a Tour Operator based in New Delhi, India and provides professional Inbound services for Groups
and Individual (FIT) visitors to India.