Coaches of Palace on Wheels

Located strategically, Alwar is the gateway to Rajasthan from Delhi. With a turbulent history spanning back to the medieval era, Alwar has been an important place of trade and commerce. Bestowed by nature with a unique habitat comprising forests and deep valleys, Alwar in home to several species of flora and fauna. The ceiling of the Alwar coach lounge has been done aesthetically in a delightful mix of cone work and oils in relief, depicting a hunting scene. The royal emblem and a miniature painting adorn the lounge. Subtle tones of pink enhance the romantic ambience of the lounge.

Maharaja Suraj Mal, the valiant Jat king, who was admired for his chivalry and courage, had his abode here. Once a fortified township, Bharatpur is now an ornithologist's paradise and well known for the Keoladeo Ghana bird sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to over 376 avian species. Echoing the vividity of nature's gift to Bharatpur the relief work on this coach depicts various species of birds on the tree of life. A replica of royal crest of Bharatpur adorns the valance of the blinds. The 'nature' theme is further endorsed by the white cedar inlay work depicting birds and painted peacocks, sitting on a haveli worked on a mirror. The color scheme, with its profusion of beige and aqua green, is a vivid reminder of lush green forests of Bharatpur and Ghana

Bikaner came into being in 1486 A.D. when Rao Bika set out to carve a separate kingdom for himself. The colour scheme of the lounge has been motivated by the opulent coronation rooms in burning red and gold of the Anup Mahal and Padam Mahal of the Junagarh fort. The royal state crest is placed on the valance along with some handicrafts of Rajasthan. The ceiling is done up in relief work and an oil painting on canvas, depicting the legendary lovers Dhola & Maru on camelback. The artwork in the lounge is in the Mughal –influenced style of Bikaner School of Art.

The quaint little state of Bundi lies cradled in the hills, east of Mewar. The palace complex of Bundi towers above the township. An imposing structure, it is approached by along paved ramp that ascends to the Hati Pol, and is depicted in water colour work in one of the bedrooms. The famous Ragmala also called Rag Ragini, paintings of Bundi have been highlighted through oil paintings on the canvas and are placed on the ceilings. The royal crest is highlighted on the valance. The famous Bundi school of painting is depicted in the framed and mounted art pieces and also serves as the basis of the colour scheme and overall décor, including a delightfully frescoed ceiling.

Dholpur is known for its locally quarried sandstone building palaces and for lattice work extenhsively used for balcony railings. The rails in the coach are made of teak ply and depict the fine craftsmanship originally done in stone. The Dholpur crest decorates the valance in zardozi work.

Dungargarh meaning ‘Hill Town’ is wild and rugged and known for its architecture and the Bhil tribals. The ceiling is done up in a mixture of relief and mirror work in line with the ‘lep’ work done by the tribals on the wall of their houses. The royal state crest, in intricate zardozi work, appears on the valance of the blinds.

Founded by Rao Jaisal in 1156 A.D, this remote desert city is famous for the Jaisalmer fort, epitomized by Satyajit Ray in the ‘Shonar Kella’ ( The Golden Fortress), an epic celluloid saga. The city is also famous for its havelies, cobbled streets, ancient Jain temples and a festive gaiety that reverberates across the shimmering sands of the Thar desert. The intricately latticed havelies with conspicuous facades served as the inspiration for the intricately carved jharokhas on the lounge ceiling. It is done on teak wood with a mirror backing. The famous Jawahar Niwas façade has been depicted in the state lounge cone, metal, copper and silver medium. The royal insignia adorns the valance of the blinds. The colour scheme reflects the beige of the desert sands.

Known the world over as the Pink City, Jaipur was founded by Maharaja Swai Jai Singh in 1727 A.D. The city was planned by the architect Vidhyadhar, under the instructions of the Maharaja. The king was an astronomer and a connoisseur of arts. And his taste is conspicuous in the beautiful city constructed by him. A fascinating land, Jaipur has innumerable palace , monuments & gardens that attracts hoards of visitors every year. Fairs and festivals reflect the exuberant charm of the people here. The cheerful nature of the local inhabitants is reflected in the vibrant colours and captivating music that enliven their spirits, even in this arid desert land. The ceiling of the state lounge has been created using the famed ‘Phad’ or foil work, depicting festivals like Teej, Gangaur, Holi, Diwali etc. The royal emblem of the state, in Zardozi work, graces the valance. The walls have been decorated with miniature paintings of the famous Jaipur style of painting. The ceilings have been painted frescoes, done in complementary colours , reflecting the state’s colour scheme of Blue and Gold.

This powerful kingdom of the Jhalas, a clan of valiant Rajputs, was created in the year 1838 A.D. It is a charming land with immense natural beauty. Tales of valour and chivalry and numerous folklore abound in this region. Jhalawar also has some beautiful temples and some Buddhist caves. The ceiling has been worked out in a medium used by the local inhabitants of the Jhalawar to decorate their homes. A play of colous and a mirror work has used in the medium of plaster of paris to create a unique ambience. The royal insignia of the erstwhile state in zardozi work is seen on the valance along with handicrafts supporting the table tops of the state lounge.

The capital of the Mewar kingdom lies on the tip of the Thar desert and was the seat of a formidable dynasty of the ruler sfrom the 15th centuary onwards. The Mehrangarh Fort which dominates the city of Jodhpur is fascinating with its cusped arcades and the Mughal influnced designs of the Moti Mahal recreated in mother-of-pearl work on the ceilings. The royal crest is highlighted on the valance along with the miniature paintings in the lounge which is typical of the Jodhpur School of Art.

The Bani Thani paintings of the state with their exaggerated features like eyes and long fingers, are well-known .One of these famous paintings is recreated on the ceiling in acrylic, painted with enamel and foil. The crest appears in zardozi work on the blinds of the windows with an artwork of the Kishangarh school of Art highlighted on the wall of the state lounge.

12. KOTA
Once a prosperous Rajput state, Kota is picturesquely located beside the Chambal river, surrounded by verdant forests and picnic gardens. The City Palace is a grand structure. The entry to the place is through the Hati Pol, which is brightly painted with figures of elephants. Kota is well known for the Kota school of design. These elements have served as the basis for designing the décor of this coach. The distinctive features of the Kota school of art can be seen in the oil paintings titled “ Raja aur Praja” ( The Monarch and his subjects ) on the ceiling. I5t depicts Raja Ram Singh II (1826-66) of Kota amidst a royal procession.

This erstwhile state has earned an enviable reputation the world over for its gold fort, near Pratapgarh. Especially the coloured glass work within it is remarkable. The style of work has a typically Indo-European flavour as European influence is quite conspicuous. The rooms highlighted this style through the framed works of art done in the same style. The ambiance and colour scheme has also been designed in keeping with this school of Art. The gold foil and glass work also has semi-precious stones embedded in it, and has been done in a mix media created from co0ne and paint embossed particle boards. The royal insignia has been placed prominently. Mounted miniatures done in Sirohi schhol style lend a unique character to décor.

Lazing on the edge of lake Pichhola, Udaipur was the capital of Sisodia Rajputs after they moved from Chittaur. The City Palace in Udaipur is a complex of reception halls, residential suites and internal courts from which the state lounge and bedrooms take their colour schemes- dominant blue and white. The most fascinating of the inner courts is the Peacock Court where Peacocks have been modeled in high relief and faced with coloured glass mosaic. The lounge décor is influenced by the ‘Mor Chowk’ or the Peacock Court. The medium used is a combination of the relief work and Patra or oxidized white metal work. The royal crest of the state, in alluring zardozi work, is set on the valance of the blinds.