Golden Chariot: Southern Splendour
- Luxury train travel
- Bangalore: A World of Opportunity
- Mamallapuram & Chennai
- Tiruchirapalli & Thanjavur
- Kanyakumari / Thiruvananthapuram
- Backwaters & Kochi / Allepey
- 8 Days from £3,500pp
22 October 2018, 5 November 2018, 26 November 2018, 10 December 2018, 24 December 2018, 31 January 2019, 21 February 2019, 4 March 2019, 25 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 Southern Splendour tour is an 8-day colourful journey of some of South India’s greatest destinations filled with memorable moments guaranteed to stay with you for a lifetime. On this splendid voyage covering three states we take you through exotic places from the garden city of Bangalore passing through ancient temple towns of Tamil Nadu and finally ending our journey in the coastal city of Kochi. In short, it’s an unforgettable experience that captures the romance of a by-gone era.
For a visual taste of what you can expect click here.
Day 1 – Bangalore - Chennai
We meet at the Taj West End in Bangalore and enjoy High Tea before a sightseeing tour. Evening check in at Bangalore Railway Station to join “The Golden Chariot – Southern Splendour”, your home for the next week.
Day 2 – Mamallapuram & Chennai
Arrive Chennai to enjoy an excursion to Mamallapuram, an ancient coastal port, world famous for its shore temples. Mamallapuram is a fabulous open-air museum of sculptures, monolithic shrines and sculpted caverns. The famous temples of the Rathas, the Penance of Bhagirath, the Shore Temple and the eight Mandapams are located at the beach. After lunch we visit Chennai, India’s fourth largest city and capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. Chennai was the base of the East India Company’s first settlement founded in 1639 and was the forerunner to the British Empire. A city tour includes Chennai’s first English Church, St. Mary’s, built in 1678– 80; Saint Thomas Cathedral, originally built in 1504, and then re-built in a neo-gothic style in 1893, a Roman Catholic Church said to house the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle. We also visit the Kapaleeshwarar Temple, an ancient Shiva Temple; The Sri Parathasarathy Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna and built in the 8th Century; the National Art Gallery and Museum, which house some beautiful temple friezes, the bronze gallery, and the archeological section. We drive past the High Court Building, Fort St. George and the famous film studios before returning to the train and dinner on board.
Day 3 – Pondicherry
To Pondicherry, a former French colony, settled in the 18th Century and became part of the Indian Union in the early 50’s when the French voluntarily relinquished control. French is still widely spoken, and seaside villas and cobbled streets are more reminiscent of the South of France than the South of India! Sightseeing in Pondicherry includes a visit to Auroville and the Aurobindo Ashram -known as the "Centre of Integral Yoga" and founded by India philosopher Sri Aurobindo around 1920. After dinner the train continues to Tiruchirapalli.
Day 4 – Tiruchirapalli & Thanjavur
We arrive in Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) early morning. Situated on the banks of the River Kaveri, just 320 kms from Chennai, Trichy has a historic Rock Fort, which played a vital role in the Carnatic wars in the 18th Century. A ‘must see’ landmark is ‘The Rock Fort Temple’, a spectacular monument perched on a rock outcrop which rises abruptly from the plain to tower over the old city. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Tanjore where you will visit temples built during the 10th and 14th Centuries. These later became a part of the Vijaynagar Kingdom, which subsequently passed into the hands of the Marathas and went to the British. The most famous landmark is the Brihadeshwara temple, which is now a World Heritage Site.
Day 5 – Madurai
Early arrival in Madurai - an animated city packed with pilgrims, vendors, business people, bullock carts and legions of under employed rickshaw pullers. It is one of Southern India’s oldest cities and has been a centre of learning and pilgrimage for centuries. A sightseeing tour of Madurai includes the Meenakshi Temple, where Dravidian temple architecture can be seen at its very best. Its Hall of a Thousand Pillars is fabulous and is filled with worshippers all hours of the day. The tour also includes a visit to the Thirumalai Nayak Palace & Thiruparangundram Temple.
Day 6 – Kanyakumari / Thiruvananthapuram
A sunrise excursion at Kanyakumari, the southernmost district of Tamilnadu state with the Gulf of Mannar on the south eastern boundary , the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea on the south and southwest boundaries and Kerala to the west and northwest . Breakfast and Lunch will be served on board and in the afternoon we depart to Thiruvananthapuram. Here we visit the Palace of Thiruvananthpuram and stroll through Kovalam Beach. In the evening there will be a Gala Dinner and Cultural Show at The Leela Kovalam. Overnight on board as the train heads to Alleppey.
Day 7 – Backwaters & Kochi / Allepey
Today we visit Alappuzha to enjoy a traditional boat cruise along the bewitching Vembanad Lake, the largest backwater stretch in Kerala. We tour Kumarakom, one of the prime tourist attractions of Kerala with its green shores and pure beauty. Kumarakom itself is a small backwater village made up of a cluster of islands and with a life of its own, a slow, serene rhythm. The sights, sounds and fragrances will simply captivate you. Lunch at Kumarakom before driving to Kochi to see ‘The Dutch Palace’, also known as Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese in 1555 and famous for its murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana and the Puranic legends. Adjacent to the palace is the Jewish Synagogue built in 1568. We also visit St. Francis Church, established by the Portuguese Franciscan friars in 1503. Vasco Da-Gama was buried in the courtyard of this European church built in India. Other attractions include the traditional fishing hamlets and the fisher folk in their colourful costumes. As well as seeing century old Chinese fishing nets in action. Enjoy a Kathakali dance and dinner in the evening.
Day 8 – Bangalore
Arrive Bangalore and enjoy breakfast before disembarking.
- Accommodation on board “The Golden Chariot” in a deluxe cabin with attached bathroom
- All meals, including tea, coffee and mineral water
- Gala Dinner in Poovar
- Kathakali dance show in Kochi
- Transport for sightseeing’s with an air-conditioned deluxe bus
- Entrance fees to monuments and museums
- Accompanying German and English speaking guides
- Local Taxes and fees
Price per person
From £3,500 per person
Download your tour booking form here.
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