Golden Chariot Asia, India
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Fay says, "Some of the charm of luxury train travel is the ability to enjoy the sights, sounds and scenery of the country through which one passes, in comfort with attentive service; your Golden Chariot awaits to deliver on a promise of memories to cherish for life."
About the Train
A journey on the Golden Chariot will take you 1,600 years back in time. The Golden Chariot is your ticket to the timelessness of the historic state of Karnataka, the landscape of which was considered heavenly by empire-builders of the past. The voyage unveils empires, unlocks treasures, unravels secrets and takes you to lost kingdoms, wrapped in the heady luxury of train travel. It is another grand way of traversing across the colourful and culturally vibrant southern regions of India. Extensively travelling through the length and breadth of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, this luxury train offers relaxation to its guests.
The regal Golden Chariot has been built by craftsmen. Rich culture, palatial architecture and the detailing of temples are blended in the carriage interiors with the finest modern facilities. There are 19 specially-designed coaches, 11 of the carriages with cabins - all suite have private bathrooms.
8 days/7 nights
Places Covered: Bangalore - Chennai - Mamallapuram - Pondicherry - Tiruchirapalli & Thanjavur - Madurai - Kanyakumari - Thiruvananthapuram - Backwaters & Kochi / Allepey - Bangalore
Day 1: Bangalore. Known as the Garden City because of its salubrious climate and greenery, it is perched 3,250 feet above sea level where temperatures seldom exceed 30oC and is unique with its rich cultural heritage that coexists with its modern day technological and industrial achievements. It is popularly known as India's Silicon Valley. Following visits to an art gallery, join the train to begin your journey with dinner..
Day 2: Mamallapuram and Chennai. Located in Mamallapuram, the famous temples of the Rathas, the Penance of Bhagirath, the Shore Temple and the eight Mandapams, (shallow, rock cut halls) are located on the beach, all built nearly 1200 years' ago. Following lunch the journey continues to Chennai, the site of the East India's Company first settlement, founded in 1639. The tour takes in St Mary's Church, the first English church in Chennai, built in 1678 – 80, followed by a rich itinerary of visits to Saint Thomas Cathedral, the Kapaleeshwarar Temple, the Sri Parathasarathy Temple and the National Art Gallery and Museum. Drive past the High Court Building, Fort St. George and the famous film studios before returning to the train for dinner.
Day 3: Pondicherry. Formerly a French colony, French is still widely spoken here, and the seaside villas and cobbled streets are more reminiscent of the South of France than the South of India. With a sightseeing tour of Pondicherry, one visits Auroville, founded in 1920 by the philosopher Sri Aurobindo. Conceived as a tribute to Sri Aurobindo, Auroville is an entirely new concept in education and urban living. The Aurobindo Ashram is known to the world over as the "Centre of Integral Yoga".
Day 4: Tiruchirapalli and Thanjavur. Tiruchirapalli is situated on the banks of the River Kaveri. The Nayaks of Madurai built the town and the historic Rock Fort, which played a vital role in the Carnatic wars in the 18th century. This fort is perched on a rock outcrop which towers over the old city. During a sightseeing tour of Tanjore one visits temples built in the 10th and 14th centuries.
Day 5: Madurai. A sightseeing visit of one of Southern India's oldest cities, this is a busy place, with the extraordinary Meenakshi Temple and its hall of a thousand Pillars. Visits also include the Thirumalai Nayak Palace & Thiruparangundram temple.
Day 6: Kanyakumari/Thiruvananthapuram. Here we enjoy sunrise at Kanyakumari, in the southern most district of Tamilnadu state. Breakfast and lunch are served on board and in the afternoon we visit Thiruvananthapuram and the Palace of Thiruvananthpuram prior to strolling through Kovalam Beach. In the evening there will be a Gala Dinner and Cultural Show at The Leela Kovalam. Enjoy the night on the train as it travels to Alleppey.
Day 7: Alleppey. From Alappuzha we cruise in a traditional boat along the bewitching Vembanad lake, the largest backwater stretch in Kerala. Visiting Kumarakom, one of the prime tourist attractions of Kerala, the green shores throbbing with vigour and pure beauty will never tire you. The soft sunlight lends the calm water a new enchantment, with the gentle whisper of the palms in the breeze. Kumarakom is a small backwater village, with sights, sounds and fragrances that will simply captivate you. Here we have lunch and then drive to Kochi. The Dutch Palace, also known as Mattancherry Palace and built by the Portuguese in 1555, is famous for its murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana and the puranic legends. Adjacent to the palace is the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays & Saturdays) built in 1568. Also visit the St. Francis Church (closed on Sundays), established by the Portuguese Franciscan friars in 1503 and burial ground to Vasco Da-Gama. In the evening there is Kathakali dancing and dinner, before departing for Bangalore..
Day 8. Bangalore. Morning arrival after breakfast.
Dates and Prices 2016/2017
2016: November 28*. 2017: January 9*. February 20*
2016: December 26*
* These tours are confirmed.
PRIDE OF THE SOUTH
8 days/7 nights
Places covered: Bangalore – Kabini/Bandipur – Mysore – Hassan – Hospet – Badami – Goa - Bangalore
Day 1: Bangalore to Mysore. Welcome aboard the Golden Chariot luxury train. Afternoon, assemble at Taj West End at 15:00 hrs for a traditional welcome and briefing. There will then be a cultural show, followed by transfer to Yashwantpur Train Station, to board the Golden Chariot. Dinner and overnight onboard.
Day 2: Mysore to Kabini. Early morning, arrive at Mysore. Mysore was ruled by the Wodeyars since the 14th century except for a brief period of 40 years in the late 18th century when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan ruled over the city, before being expelled by the British. Breakfast will be onboard after which there is a visit to Mysore Palace. Later, you leave for Kabini by road. Arrive at Kabini and have lunch at Jungle Lodge. Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Nagarhole (Kabini), the hunting retreat of the Mysore Maharajas, is the perfect destination for wildlife lovers in South India. In the afternoon, enjoy a jungle safari in the National Park, where wild animals can be seen in their natural habitat. In the evening, there is a wildlife film. Dinner and overnight will be at the Hotel-Jungle Lodge.
Day 3: Kabini - Mysore. Morning - a boat cruise on the River Kabini. Return to the hotel for breakfast after which one is driven to Mysore. Mysore, once the state capital, is today a vibrant city teeming with tourists and visitors. It is known the world over for its exotic sandalwood and rich silks. Many culinary delights await those inclined to sample the regional cuisine. Lunch is taken back on the Golden Chariot, followed by a visit to Srirangapatnam. The island fortress of the legendary warrior king Tipu Sultan is just 14 kms from Mysore City. Inside the fortress is Tipu's mosque with its twin minarets, the Wellesley Bridge and the dungeons where British officers were once imprisoned. In the evening, enjoy a cultural show at Lalitha Mahal Palace, followed by dinner. Overnight on Golden Chariot
Day 4: Hassan. Morning - arrive Hassan. Breakfast will be onboard. Later, you will leave for Shravanabelagola. This is an important Jain pilgrim centre. It is home to Asia's largest monolithic statue, Lord Gomateswara, which is 58ft / 17.7m high, looming atop the picturesque Vindhyagiri Hill. Every 12 years, Jain pilgrims gather here to participate in a splendid head-anointing ceremony. Arrive at Shravanabelagola and visit. NOTE: To experience the architectural marvel, one has to climb 700 steps. Guests unwilling to climb can stay on The Golden Chariot. After the visit, return to the Golden Chariot for lunch. After lunch, you leave for Belur and Halebid for sightseeing. Belur is 83 kms from Hassan and is famous for its magnificent Hoysala style temple complex. The Chennakesava Temple is the major attraction, built by Hoysala Vishnuvardhana, to commemorate his victory over the Cholas. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures with no portion left blank. It is the only Hoysala Temple still in active worship. Halebid in Hassan district is 27 kms away from Hassan which was the capital of the Hoysalas. It has one of the finest Hoysala temples. The Hoysaleswara Temple, perched on a star-shaped base amidst lawns, is a sculptural extravaganza. Its walls are richly carved with an endless variety of Hindu deities, sages, stylized animals, birds and friezes depicting the life of the Hoysala Kings. After sightseeing, in the evening, you return to your train. Overnight on the train.
Day 5: Hospet. Morning - arrive Hospet. Breakfast will be onboard. Following breakfast, you leave for the guided tour of Hampi, which will include the visit to Virupaksha Temple, Queens's bath, Elephant stables, local crafts bazaar, Royal enclosure and Hazara Rama Temple. Hampi, the seat of the famed Vijayanagara Empire was the capital of the largest empire in post-moghul India, covering several states. The Vijayanagara Empire stretched over at least three states -Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. The destruction of Vijayanagar by marauding Moghul invaders was sudden, shocking and absolute. Lunch served onboard, after which there is a visit to the Vittala Temple with the beautiful Stone Chariot. Dinner is served back onboard. Overnight on the train.
Day 6: Badami. Early morning - leave for Badami, which is picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills. The exquisite sculptures and the rust red sandstone cliffs of Badami tell many a tale. The first sculptural embellishment to dazzle the eye is the 18-armed Nataraja striking 81 dance poses. After breakfast on the train, you have a guided tour of Badami Caves and Pattadakal. Return to the train for lunch and continue to Goa. Overnight on the train.
Day 7: Goa. Early morning arrival in Goa and breakfast onboard. Goa is also known as "Pearl of the Orient" and a "Tourist Paradise". The state of Goa is located on the western coast of India in the coastal belt known as Konkan. The magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendors of its temples, churches and old houses have made Goa a firm favourite with travelers around the world. After breakfast, enjoy a guided tour of Goa which includes visit to the famous Churches of Old Goa and Portuguese House for tea. Lunch will be at a luxury beach resort. In the afternoon - the beach for leisure activity. By evening, you will return to the comfort of Golden Chariot. Dinner and overnight onboard.
Day 8: Disembark in Bangalore. Arrive at Bangalore and after breakfast on board, disembark at Yashwantpur Train Station.
Dates and Prices 2016/2017
2016: November 7*. December 5*. 2017: January 16*. February 13*. March 13.
* These tours are confirmed.
Train Tour will operate subject to minimum of 25 (twenty five) passengers OR advance received will be refunded.
Both tours can be taken as five night tours, choosing from any departure and arrival points along the tour.
Route and Map
All suites have en-suite attached bathrooms as well as air-conditioning, Wi-Fi internet access and plasma TV. The hand-carved wooden panels on roof and wall panels, hand-woven silk bed sheets like the Maharajas of Mysore, and furniture inspired by the architecture of Mysore and Hoysala creates the atmosphere of opulent travel.
With interiors inspired by historic temples, the Nala and Ruchi restaurants serve a wide range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian cuisine. Sit in cushioned chairs at tables for two and four people.
Plush, royal elegance illustrated by the wonderful décor creates a fantastic atmosphere in which to take refreshing drinks whilst watching the magical landscape pass by.
The luxury of a Spa treatment car on board allows one to discover age old traditions and cures to modern day stress.
Included: The tariff includes accommodation on board, meals, sightseeing and excursions by air-conditioned coach on sharing basis, entrance fees (while entering monuments, parks, palaces and other sightseeing location
Not included: It does not include tips, phone calls, camera fees in the sightseeing locations, SPA car and Business car facilities, alcohol or laundry and anything not mentioned above.
Surcharge: Christmas and New Year being the peak holiday season has a 10% surcharge levied on all departures.
Tax: Govt. of India norms, Service Tax @ 3.625 % is levied on the prevalent tariff and subject to changes.
Children: 50% off tariff for children between 5 and 12 years of age, subject to proof of age at time of booking. Triple suites available.
In addition to the photos at the top of this page, see more images of the Golden Chariot luxury train tour here:
Booking & Reservations
All prices are at publicly-quoted rates and updated regularly. May be subject to change.
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