The Golden Chariot is a luxury tourist train that connects the popular tourist sites of South India. On this journey, you will experience Indian hospitality in its purest form - warm, welcoming and luxurious! Your journey will start in the Silicon Valley of India - Bangalore. You will then embark towards the capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu - the state which is known as the cultural center of South India. Mamallapuram is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Pondicherry is a former French colony which still exudes a European aura. The exquisite temples of Tiruchirapalli will blow your mind while the beauty of Madurai temple architecture will mesmerize you. Your luxurious journey will culminate on the sinuous backwaters of Kerala, the state known as God’s own Country. Throughout this South Indian sojourn, you will travel, eat and sleep in style on board the carriages of the Golden Chariot. So come and indulge yourself in unadulterated opulence and beauty.
A perfect holiday for...
We meet at the Leela Palace hotel in Bangalore at 12.00 p.m. After a hearty lunch, indulge in some sightseeing of the Silicon Valley of India – Bangalore. Then in the evening board your luxury train The Golden Chariot, which will be your home for the upcoming week. Depart from Yeshwanthpur railway station onwards to Chennai. Your dinner and night will be on board.
You will arrive in Chennai in the morning. After your grand breakfast, you will make a quick getaway to Mamallapuram, an ancient port south of Chennai. This city is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its plethora of exquisite temples, sculptures and rock cut halls. After lunch you will proceed towards the city of Chennai, the capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Your excursion will begin with a visit to famous churches (St. Mary’s Church and The Saint Thomas Cathedral). You will also visit the Kapaleeshwarar Temple, an ancient Shiva Temple, constructed in authentic Dravidian methods. Galleries, museums, forts and more temples later, you will return to your train in the evening for your departure towards Pondicherry. Dinner & overnight onboard.
You will arrive in Pondicherry early in the morning. After your scrumptious breakfast, you will embark on some sightseeing. Pondicherry, now known officially as Puducherry is an 18th century former French colony. The French language is still spoken in this union territory, and villas along the sea coast with cobbled streets are more reminiscent of the South of France than the South of India! You will pay a visit to places like Auroville and the Aurobindo Ashram, both dedicated to Sri Aurobindo, a Yoga and lifestyle guru. In the evening you will depart for Tiruchirapalli and have dinner onboard. Night on train.
You will arrive in Tiruchirapalli early in the morning. After your breakfast, pay a visit to Trichy (Tiruchirapalli), which is situated on the banks of the River Kaveri, about 320 kms away from Chennai. The most famous landmark in Trichy is the ‘The Rock Fort Temple’, a magnificent monument perched atop a rock outcrop which rises suddenly from the plains to tower over the old city. You will also get to visit the ancient and exquisite temples of Tanjore built during the 10th and 14th centuries, including a UNESCO World Heritage site. Depart for Madurai. Dinner & overnight onboard.
In the morning you will arrive in Madurai, one of the oldest cities and an important religious and learning centre in South India. After breakfast, you will travel around the animated city, packed to the rafters with pilgrims, vendors, business people, and bullock carts. The biggest crowd puller in Madurai is the Meenakshi Temple, known as one of the finest examples of Dravidian temple architecture. Its ‘hall of a thousand pillars’ is congested with worshippers throughout the day. Before boarding the train for Thiruvananthapuram in the evening, you will also get to visit the Thirumalai Nayak Palace & Thiruparangundram temple. Dinner & overnight onboard.
You will arrive in the city of Thiruvanthaouram in the morning. After your lovely breakfast, you will see “The Padmanabhaswamy Temple”, which has a 7 storey high tower with a curious pagoda – Shaped Peak. Later in the day, you will roam around the Napier Museum and the Sri Chitra Art Gallery, which houses paintings of the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools. You will indulge in lunch in a nice hotel in Poovar, a beautiful island just off the coast of the Arabian Sea. After exploring the beaches, you will enjoy an evening Gala dinner with music and dance. Overnight onboard.
After your arrival in Kochi in the morning, you will have breakfast and visit the famous region of Alappuzha. Spend an idyllic day on a traditional boat ride on the bewitching Vembanad Lake, the largest lake in Kerala. You will cruise to Kumarakom – a small backwater village where the sights, sounds and fragrances will simply mesmerize you. After lunch at Kumarakom you will drive to Kochi. You will visit the Dutch Palace, also known as the Mattancherry Palace, which is well known for its murals depicting ancient Indian legends from the epic Ramayana. Right next to the palace is the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays & Saturdays) which was built in 1568, and where the world famous traveler Vasco Da-Gama was buried. Enjoy watching the simplicity of the traditional fishing hamlets and the fishermen in their unique lifestyle. In the evening, you will get to revel in some Kathakali dance performances, followed by dinner. Depart for Bangalore. Overnight onboard.
You will arrive in Bangalore in the morning. After breakfast, you will depart to your destination. End of our services.
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