According to the latest developments, the famous luxury train "Palace on Wheels" is ready to change its route after 42 years. If reports are to be believed, this luxury train will now make a historic journey to the holy city of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.
Having earned fame as the world's second most luxurious train, Palace on Wheels officials have announced a change of focus, introducing religious tours starting in May. The six-day spiritual journey will begin in Delhi and take travelers through Ayodhya, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Mathura and Vrindavan.
In this regard, representatives of the Palace on Wheels said that the train has traditionally served non-vegetarian cuisine and alcoholic drinks during regular services to cater to both foreign and domestic tourists. They added that during religious tours, non-vegetarian dishes will be excluded from the menu and the dishes will not contain onion and garlic.
Religious tours will be conducted twice a month, which will provide flexibility for local tourists, who will be able to choose specific destinations like Ayodhya or Prayagraj with special discounts offered for such individual trips.
The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) has delegated the management of the Palace to wheels Cube Construction Company Pvt Ltd, a Gujarat-based private firm, for the next seven years. In May, the private operator will begin providing religious tours, including a comprehensive six-day itinerary starting from Delhi and covering Ayodhya, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Mathura and Vrindavan.
Pradeep Bora, director of Palace on Wheels, confirmed , that during religious tours, traditional non-vegetarian food and alcoholic drinks served during regular tours will be excluded. Onions and garlic will also be excluded from the menu of these spiritual journeys, and throughout the expedition, passengers will be treated to religious melodies that resonate with the spirit of Rama and Krishna.
Previously, the “Palace on Wheels” operated for eight months year, but under new leadership is looking to expand its services year-round. The religious tours, initially planned for a two-month period, aim to attract local tourists with flexible itineraries and discounts on certain destinations. Construction company Cube has committed to pay INR 5 crore annually to RTDC for the operation of the Palace on Wheels, along with a share of 18% of the total turnover. The recent renovation at a cost of INR 7 million marks the fourth generation modernization of the train under the supervision of the Gujarat-based company.