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Golden Chariot through Karnataka
Welcome aboard a fascinating journey through the many worlds of Karnataka. Embark on a luxurious journey of discovery through the Cradle of Stone Architecture. The Golden Chariot - Pride of The South train travels through timeless historical heritage sites, resplendent palaces, wildlife areas and golden beaches. The colourful journey begins every Monday from Bangalore and traverses 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.
|Day 1||On arrival in Bangalore check-in at the Leela Palace followed by lunch. This afternoon enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city. The capital of Karnataka is known as the Garden City because of its salubrious climate and greenery. Perched 3,250 feet above sea level, temperatures seldom exceed 30ºC (88ºF). Founded by Kempegowda, a powerful chieftain, the city is unique with its rich cultural heritage that coexists with its modern day technological and industrial achievements. Highlights of the tour include Tippu's Palace, Bull Temple & Lalbagh. This evening transfer to Yeshwantpur Railway Station and board the Golden Chariot - Pride of The South in time for dinner, after which the train departs for Mysore.|
|Day 2||Depart for Kabini/Bandipur after breakfast. Bandipur is located 80km south of Mysore on the Mysore-Ooty Road. The reserve is a playground for wildlife, especially elephants and the elusive tiger. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the enchanting Niligiri Mountains, Bandipur was once the Mysore Maharaja's private hunting ground. It was brought under Project Tiger in 1973. This is one of the best game sanctuaries in India to observe and photograph wildlife in close proximity. A temple perched atop Himad Gopalaswamy Hill, the highest peak in the Bandipur range, is worth a visit. After lunch at the Jungle Lodge enjoy a jungle/boat safari on which you will hope to see elephant, gaur, sambar, chital, wild boar and the more exclusive predators like tiger and leopard. A bird watcher's paradise, the park is home to over 300 species of birds, many of which are endemic to these jungles. Return in the evening for wildlife film and dinner. Stay overnight at Jungle Lodge.|
|Day 3||After breakfast return to Mysore and board The Golden Chariot - Pride of The South. Lunch will be served on route to Mysore. Early afternoon arrive Mysore. Mysore has been always associated with the royal families and their patronage, be it the Wodeyars or the Sultans. Mysore is a city known for its resplendent palaces and majestic buildings. A visit to the city conjures up visions of the glory, still evident of the illustrious Wodeyar Kings. This former state capital still retains its tradition in music and dance, art and literature and its time-honoured crafts. Enjoy a city tour with highlights including the Mysore Palace and Srirangapatnam. Built in Indo-Saracenic style with domes, turrets, arches and colonnades, the Palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world. The magnificent jewel -studded golden throne of the Wodeyars is displayed here during the Dasara festival. Srirangapatna is the island fortress of the legendary warrior king Tipu Sultan and is situated just 14 km 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. This evening visit the Lalitha Mahal Palace for cultural show followed by dinner before re-boarding the The Golden Chariot - Pride of The South.|
|Day 4||Early this morning the train will depart from Mysore and travel to Hassan. On arrival take a sightseeing tour to Shravanabelagola. Shravanabelagola, 52km from Hassan, is an important Jain pilgrim centre. It is home to Asia's largest monolithic statue Lord Gomateswara here towers 58 ft., looming atop the picturesque Vindhyagiri Hill. Every 12 years, Jain pilgrims gather here to participate in a splendid head-anointing ceremony. (Please note that you would have to climb close to 700 steps to experience the architectural marvel. Only those who can undertake this are advised to do so. Guests unable to climb the steps can stay back onboard The Golden Chariot - Pride of The South. Palanquins are available for those who cannot take the climb by themselves. This is available to the passengers at no extra cost). Lunch is served on board The Golden Chariot - Pride of The South before departing for Belur and Halebid for sightseeing. Belur in Hassan district 220 kms from Bangalore and 38 kms from Hassan) is famous for its magnificent Hoysala Temple Complex. The Chennakesava Temple here 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 and 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. This evening travel to Hospet and enjoy dinner en route.|
|Day 5||After an early morning arrival at Hospet enjoy breakfast before a Hampi sightseeing tour including: Virupaksha Temple. Queens's Bath, Elephant Stables, Local crafts bazaar. 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. Although in ruins today, this capital city once boasted riches known far beyond the shores of India. The ruins of Hampi of the 14th Century lies scattered in about 26 sq. km area, amidst giant boulders and vegetation. The splendid remains of palaces and gateways of the broken city tells a tale of man's infinite talent and power of creativity together with his capacity for senseless destruction. A visit to Hampi is a sojourn into the past. Most of the important structures and ruins are located in two areas, which are generally referred to as the Royal Centre and the Sacred Centre. Hampi has been classified as a World Heritage Center and is one of the major tourist destinations in India. After lunch onboard the train depart for more sightseeing including royal enclosure, Hazara Rama Temple and the Illuminated Vittala Temple. Dinner is served onboard The Golden Chariot – Pride of The South.|
|Day 6||Early morning arrive at Badami. Badami 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 of yore. The first sculptural embellishment to dazzle the eye is the 18 armed Nataraja striking 81 dance poses. After breakfast visit the Badami Caves and Pattadakal. Pattadakal, with its beautifully chiseled temples is a World Heritage Site located on the banks of the Malaprabha River. It bears testimony to the richness of the Chalukyan architecture. Pattadakal reached its pinnacle of glory under the Chalukyan Kings and was once used as a ceremonial center where kings were crowned. After lunch on board the train depart for Goa. Relax and enjoy the facilities onboard The Golden Chariot - Pride of The South: Spa, Gym Dinner onboard The Golden Chariot - Pride of The South and reach Goa after midnight.|
|Day 7||After breakfast on board The Golden Chariot - Pride of The South, depart for sightseeing. Visit the famous churches of old Goa, an old Portuguese house and enjoy shopping at the emporium. 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 favorite with travelers around the world. Besides the natural beauty, the fabulous beaches and sunshine, travellers to Goa love the laid-back, peaceful, warm and friendly nature of the Goan people. After all, more than anywhere else on planet earth, this is a place where people really know how to relax. Arrive at Majorda Beach Resort for lunch, spend the afternoon enjoying the resort facilities such as an Ayurvedic massage, a visit to the casino or a dip in the pool. (Ayurvedic massage and casino charges extra as applicable) Return to The Golden Chariot - Pride of The South in time for dinner then depart for Bangalore.|
|Day 8||Enjoy breakfast onboard The Golden Chariot - Pride of The South before reach Yeswanthpur railway station at 1100.|
|Dates||2010 6 & 7 September, 11 & 25 October, 8 & 22 November, 2 & 20 December 2011 3, 17 & 31 January, 14 & 28 February, 14 & 28 March, 11, 18, 25 April|
|Prices||Contact us for further information.|
Price includes accommodation on board The Golden Chariot - Pride of The South, travel, all meals, conducted sight-seeing tours, entrance fees at monuments, parks, palaces and cultural programmes. Drinks, tips, laundry, telephone calls, video camera fees, SPA car, business car facilities, liquor and other items of personal nature are not included.
There is also an option of a 6night/7 day tour from Bangalore to Goa. Please ask us for further information.