Golden Chariot: Pride of the South
- Luxury train travel
- Explore the ‘City of Palaces’– Mysore
- The wildlife reserve at Kabini
- Magnificent World Heritage Sites of Hassan and Hospet
- Wander the beaches of Goa
- Mysore, Kabini, Hassan, Hospet, Badami, Goa
- 8 Days from £3,020pp
19 February 2018, 5 March 2018, 9 November 2018, 10 December 2018, 24 December 2018, 7 January 2019, 11 February 2019, 11 March 2019
Embark on a luxurious voyage of discovery through the Cradle of Stone Architecture aboard the Golden Chariot train named after the famous Stone Chariot in Hampi - a world heritage site. Each coach of the Golden Chariot has been named after the dynasties that ruled Karnataka - Kadamba, Hoysala, Rastrakota, Ganga, Chalukya, Bhahamani, Adhilshahi, Sangama, Shathavashna, Yudukula and Vijayanagar. They include fully air-conditioned cabins, with 26 twin beds, 17 double bed cabins and 1 cabin for disabled travellers. Every cabin is equipped with Wi-Fi, LCD television, DVD with 6 satellite channels, wardrobe, vanity/writing desk and private bathroom with luxurious amenities and accessories. Its two restaurants, Nala and Ruchi serve both vegetarian and non-vegetarian culinary delights. Relax in the elegant Madira lounge bar, keep active in a full equipped gym or simply be pampered in one of two massage rooms.
The Pride of the South is an unforgettable 8-day journey from Bangalore that travels through Mysore, visiting Srirangapatna, Mysore Palace; the Nagarhole National Park (Kabini) and continuing to the historical sites of Shravanabelagola, Belur-the 11th century cradle of Hoysala architecture and a world heritage site, Halebidu, Hampi and thereafter entering into the triangular heritage site of Badami, Pattadakal, Aihole, and finally the Golden Beaches of Goa before ending in Bangalore.
For a visual taste of what you can expect click here.
Day 1 – Bangalore Depart
Meet at the Taj West End hotel in Bangalore for check-in, high tea and a train tour presentation. A tour of the ISKON Hindu Temple before transferring to the Yashwantpura Railway Station to board the Golden Chariot Train for dinner and departure.
Day 2 – Mysore Palace, Kabini & Kabini Jungle
Prepare for an overnight stay at the Jungle Lodge. We begin the day with a visit to the early 20th Century built Amba Vilas and Mysore Palace, whose architecture style is a mix of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput & Gothic structure. View the Durbar Hall Wing & Personal Art Gallery Of former royalty. This is followed by a 2 hour drive to Kabini Forest and the Jungle Lodge to enjoy lunch and a brief before a safari to view herds of Asian Elephants, Sambar & Spooted deer, wild boar, Sloth Bear, Gaur and the occasional sighting of a panther and tiger. Return to Jungle Lodge to watch a wildlife film, followed by campfire and dinner.
Day 3 – Kabini Boat ride & Mysore sightseeing
A 6.30am start on a boat ride on the Kabini River to view crocodiles sunning themselves and many hued birds flitting in & out of the forest’s green canopy. Return to Jungle Lodge for breakfast & check-out before driving back to Mysore railway station to board the train. After a brief rest and lunch, join an excursion to the 18th Century Srirangapatnam Fort, situated on a river bank and the site of many skirmishes between King Tipu and British Colonial rulers. Visit Dariya Daulat & Tipu Mausoleum before returning to Mysore to enjoy some time free and shopping. The evening will include a cultural program and dinner in Lalita Mahal Palace, now converted into a 5-star Hotel. Overnight on board while the train is stationary at Mysore Station.
Day 4 – Shravanabelagola Monolith, Belur & Halebidu Temples
From Mysore to Hassan Railway station for an excursion to Shravanabelagola village. Climb 700 steep steps, carved in a stone hillock to view a 10th Century statue of Jain Monk Gommateshvara Bahubali that towers 58ft high. Return to the train for lunch & brief rest. NOTE: Guests unwilling to climb the steep steps can remain on The Golden Chariot. Mid-afternoon tour to view ancient Hindu temples at Halebedu & Belur. The 12th Century built Belur Temple is dedicated to Hindu God-Lord Vishnu and filled with intricate sculptures of elephants, lions, horses & sensuous dancers. The 12th Century built Halebidu temple complex is dedicated to Hindu God-Lord Shiva, but was sadly ransacked and looted by Muslim Invaders from north India in the 14th Century. The outer walls of the temples contain and intricate array of stone sculptures. Dinner on board the train and an evening departure for Hospet.
Day 5 – HAMPI Palace Complex and Temples
Visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi Palace ruins located in an awesome granite boulder-strewn landscape. Hampi was the capital of the mighty south Indian Vijayanagar Empire in the 14th Century-with opulent palaces, marvellous temples, massive fortifications, private baths for royalty, markets, pavilions and stables for royal elephants. The city’s merchants traded in diamonds, pearls, fine silks, brocades, horses and much more. The ruins of these historic monuments have withstood the ravages of man and nature to evoke memories of regal splendour. Return to Hospet Railway Station for lunch and brief rest on board the train. Afternoon tour to the 16th Century built temple complex of Vithala, dedicated to Hindu God-Lord Vishnu. In the courtyard of the main temple is a massive Stone Chariot, after which Golden Chariot train has been named. The stone wheels of the Chariot can be rotated, but have been cemented by authorities to avoid damage. One of the most notable features of the Vittala temple is the musical pillars which when struck, emanate the instrument-shaped pillars, varying in sound quality based on whether it represents a wind, string or percussion instrument. Free time to sit on the banks of the nearby Tungabhadra River and enjoy a sunset view. Dinner on board the train before departure.
Day 6 – Badami & Pattadakal
We begin today with an excursion to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites - the Badami caves and Pattadkal Temple Complex which is carved out of sandstone hills. The 7th Century built Badami Cave temples are dedicated to the Hindu religious sects of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Budha and Jain Faiths. Highlight of the cave sculptures is an 18 armed Lord Shiva in Tandav dancing pose. The Pattadakal Temple complex, built between the 7th and 9th Centuries includes 10 temples built in a fusion of various Indian Architectural styles. There are numerous Kannada language inscriptions on the temple walls. Return to the train for lunch and depart for Goa. Enjoy an afternoon of leisure on board and the views from the passing countryside. Dinner will be served on board.
Day 7 – Old Goa Churches and Beach
The train arrives at Goa-Vasco de Gama Railway Station early morning. Mid-morning sightseeing tour to the Old Goa Churches, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Founded in the 15th Century by the Muslim Rulers of Bijapur Sultanate and capital of Portuguese Colonial rulers from early 16th to mid-19th century, the town of Old Goa is famous for its churches affiliated to various congregations, including the Se Cathedral (the seat of the Archbishop of Goa), the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, the Church of S. Caetano, and notably, the Basilica of Bom Jesus which contains the relics of Saint Francis Xavier, Time to visit the Old Portuguese House and enjoy some shopping. Lunch and leisure time at a luxury beach resort with the option of enjoying some sea sports activities (at extra cost). Arrive back at the train early evening.
Day 8 – Bangalore Return
The train reaches Yeshwanthpura Railway Station in Bangalore at 11.30a.m. when the entire crew will bid you farewell.
- Accommodation on board The Golden Chariot
- Luxury travel
- All meals
- Guided Sightseeing Tours
- Entrance fees at Monuments / Parks / Palaces
- Cultural programmes
Price per person
From £3,020 per person
Download your tour booking form here.
Ffestiniog Travel provides 'out of hours' support for all independent travellers in the event of an emergency.