The passenger coaches which were originally meant to be the personal railway coaches of the erstwhile rulers of princely states of Rajputana, Gujarat, the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Viceroy of British India. These coaches were not being used by the Indian Railways after independence in normal passenger trains on account of very rich and traditional interiors.
The name "Palace-on-Wheels" (POW) was derived from its royal back-ground of the coaches & first introduced in 1982. A new meter gauge air conditioned Palace-on-Wheels was introduced in 1990 & had 13 Saloons, 2 Restaurant cum Kitchen car, one Bar cum Lounge and 4 Service Cars. In order to further increase the amenities on the train and due to over all gauge conversion in the state, a new broad gauge Palace-on-Wheels has been constructed. & has been running since 1995. It's 14 Saloons are inter-connected, the interior matching the aesthetics of the royal states. The cabins of each saloon name attached with showers.The train also has a well appointed lounge, library, bar & dining cars.
In the past 20 years of operations, the Palace-on-Wheels has been rated as one of the best ten luxurious rail journeys in the world.
The names of the saloons are based on the princely states of Rajasthan - Alwar, Bharatpur, Bikaner, Bundi, Dholpur, Dungarpur, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jhalawar, Jodhpur, Kishangarh, Kota, Sirohi, and Udaipur.
The decor of each saloon has highlighted the cultural ethos of the state, represented through the use of furniture, handicrafts, paintings and furnishings.The ceiling in the lounge is of particular interest. Each coupe is different but the overall ambience of the decor of the saloons has been taken care of to provide continuity. Each saloon has cream yellow color on its exterior walls and bear the Coat of Arms (logo) of the erstwhile princely states, along with the name.
Each saloon has 4 coupes (sleeping rooms) with attached toilet. In every saloon, there is one saloon captain valet and one attendant to look after the personal needs of its tourists. Each saloon has a mini pantry properly equipped to provide ready tea/coffee and snacks.