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The Golden Chariot - Tour by Luxury Train 2015

Southern Splendour

 

 

India is renowned for its railways, having more miles of track than any other country.


 

This train, "The Golden Chariot", only operates in the south of India.The journey takes  you to the cities of Bangalore (starting and finishing point) - Chennai (Madras) - Mahabalipuram – Auroville – Pondicherry - Tanjavur (Tanjore) - Trichy (Tiruchirapalli) – Madurai – Kanyakumari - Kovalam Beach – Alleppy - Fort Kochi Town - Bangalore.

 

 

 

Southern Splendour, a tour package of 7 nights and 8 days, is one of the two journeys offered by Golden Chariot, a premium luxury train in India. During the tour, you explore several important destinations and spots of the southern region of the country.

 

You will visit the places listed above

 

 

 

2015 Departure Dates            

 

October 26;  November 16;  December 21;

 

 

 

2016 Departure Dates            

 

January 4 and January 25;  February 8 and February 22; 

 

 

 

 

This 8 day 7 night tour is fully catered and you sleep aboard the train.

 

                sleeperdinning roomlounge

 

     

 

 

 

 

     The sleeping berths                   The dining room                       The    lounge car

 

 

Day 1:                           Bangalore                                            Monday

After you reach Bangalore, check- in at Taj West End. Enjoy high tea along with a briefing about Southern Splendour journey aboard the Golden Chariot.

The tour starts with a visit to the  ISKON Hindu Temple, before reaching Yashwantpura Railway Station by 2015 to board the Golden Chariot Train.

Train departs at 2100. Dinner is served onboard.


Day 2                             Chennai & Mahabalipuram                    Tuesday

Train arrives at Egmore Railway Station Chennai by 0930, then depart for sightseeing to visit Santhome Cathedral built over tomb of apostle St. Thomas and a drive through Marine Bay Road Drive for a visit to Mahabalipuram Beach (about 1.5 hrs).

  

In Mahabalipuram visit 8th Century built stone cut Hindu temples complex located on the seashore & now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a break from the journey & have sumptuous lunch at beach side 5-Star Resort. Later drive 2.5hrs onwards to Pondicherry Railway Station to board the awaiting train. Dinner onboard.

NOTE: After dropping passengers at Chennai, the train proceeds empty to Pondicherry.

 

 

 

Local Theater costumes

 

 

Day 3:                            Auroville -Pondicherry                                             Wednesday

 

After breakfast drive 1.5 hrs to Auroville Ashram. Conceived in 1968,the meaning of Auroville only becomes clearer in the context of the vision of its founders, which has stimulated people from all over the world to join in this “laboratory of evolution”. Enjoy screening on Auroville Ashram, tour of Auroville Ashram, Matra Mandir and shopping in the Ashram.

 


Later Drive back to Pondicherry town for lunch in boutique restaurant & return to train for brief rest.


 

 

 

Late After Noon: Pondicherry

 

Visit Aurobindo Ashram (former residence of founder of Auroville) & 17th Century built Ganesh Hindu Temple. Enjoy stroll through 19th Century built cobbled streets called Latin quarters, built by former French Colonial rulers & time free on Promenade Beach.


 

Later return to the railway station to board the train for Dinner & depart

 

 


Day 4:                             Tanjavur (Tanjore)                                                 Thursday

 

Morning:    Tanjavur is popular for Chola bronze collection and 3 Dimensional paintings done in gold leaf. 
After breakfast, visit the famous - Brihadeshwara Temple complex, built in early 11 Century & now a UNESCO World Heritage Site .The main temple dedicated to Hindu God Lord Shiva is carved out of single granite rock,which weighs around 80 tons & has a bulbous structure on the top. The temple tower is 66 meters high.  Facing the temple is a big statue of Nandi (Sacred Bull) again carved out of single rock, measuring 16 feet long & 13 feet high. Later visit Former Royal Palace with an interesting museum, art gallery & Library.

 

After lunch in Tanjore Hotel, Depart by road for Trichy Town (1.5hrs drive)

 

NOTE: After dropping passengers at Tanjore Railway Station, the train runs empty to Trichy.

 

 

 

Afternoon: Trichy (Tiruchirapalli).

 

Visit the Sri Rangam Temple, dedicated to Hindu God Lord Vishnu. The main entrance raises from base area of 5,720 sq feet & goes up to 237 feet, moving up in eleven progressively smaller tiers. The temple is enclosed by 7 concentric walls with total length of over six miles. The complex has 21 towers, 39 pavilions, fifty shrines, a hall of 1000 pillars and several small water bodies inside. Non-Hindus are allowed up to the second outer courtyard but not inside the gold topped sanctum sanctorum.

 


Later Drive to Trichy Railway Station to board the train for Dinner & depart.

 

 
Day 5:                           MaduraiTemple Visit                                                Friday

 

Morning: Maduraihas been inhabited since at least the 3rd century BC. Maduraiis famous for its silks, pearls and spices. It was this lucrative trade that let its Pandyan kings to erect the mighty Meenakshi temple in 13th Century. 

After breakfast Visit the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple,dedicated to Hindu Goddess Paravti(consort of Lord Shiva).The present temple was reconstructed in 17th century & houses 14 gateway towers, tallest of which is 170 feet high. There are an estimated 33,000 sculptures in the complex with two golden structured shrines over the main deities in the inner sanctum. Later return to train for lunch & brief rest.

 

 madurai

 

Evening : Madurai Sound & Light Show.

 

Evening visit 17th century built Thirumalai Nayak Palace, to savour the history and culture of Tamil Nadu at the sound & light show based on Silappatikaram, one of great epics of Tamil Literature.

 

Later return to train for dinner & depart

 


Day 6:                            Kanyakumari & Wooden Palace                                Saturday

 

Morning:    Early Morning train reaches Nagercoil Railway Station & by 5am proceed for excursion (30 minutes drive one way) to sunrise point at Kanyakumari. This location is the southernmost tip of Peninsular India and meeting place of three oceans- the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.

 

After breakfast on the train & brief rest, proceed for excursion (30 minutes drive one way) to early 17th Century built Padmanabhapuram Wooden Palace, one of hallmarks of traditional Kerala style architecture.
Later return to the train at Nagercoil Railway Station & depart. Lunch on board.

 

 

 

Evening:     Kovalam Beach (NearTrivandrum).

 

Train reaches Kochhuvelli Railway Station (Near Trivandrum) by 1630 and drive 45 minutes to World famous Kovalam Beachon the Arabian Sea. Time free on the beach followed by dinner & cultural program at leading 5-star beach resort.

 

Return to the train by 2230 & depart.

 

 

Day 7:                            Alleppey (Kerala Backwaters)                                  Sunday

 

Morning: At 0930 transfer to Alleppey Jetty Point & board Kettuvallam (traditional houseboat having coir ropes tied in knots holding the entire wooden plank structure together) to enjoy Cruise through backwaters of Punnamada Lake and onboard lunch. Return to Alleppey Jetty Point by 1430 board buses for onwards 2 hrs drive to Cochin.

NOTE: After dropping passengers at Alleppey, the train runs empty to Cochin.

 

 

 

Late Afternoon:    Fort Kochi Town    On Arrival in 16th Century built Fort Kochi Town, proceed to explore Chinese Fishing Nets, Jew Synagogue & local spice market. Later Drive to Ernakulam Railway station to board the train & depart.

Dinner onboard.

 

 
Day 8:                           Bangalore                                                                Monday

 

Your journey ends at 1100 when you arrive at Yeshwanthpur Railway Station, Bangalore.

 

  

Have breakfast on-board the train. Arrive at Bangalore’s Yeshwantpur Railway Station at around. 1100 hours. Complete the farewell formalities and de-board the train.


 

 

 This is a complete itinerary, however, it can be combined with other arrangemens in India before or afterwards, or with other destinations in India or elsewhere in Asia.