Pride of the South on the Golden Chariot

At a Glance

BANGALORE – KABINI – MYSORE – SHRAVANBELAGOLA – BELUR – HALEBID – HAMPI – BADAMI – PATTADAKAL – GOA – BANGALORE

Enchanting sights and intriguing monuments outside the train window and royal luxury inside. There isn’t a better way to see the South Indian state of Karnataka and beach paradise Goa.

Welcome aboard the Golden Chariot, a multiple award-winning luxury train that will for an entire week, give its guests an insight into the archaeological wealth, natural beauty, fascinating culture and sprawling beaches of this state. All this, while traveling in saloons that are inspired by the intricately carved Hosalya temple architecture dating back to 12th century, and yet have every comfort of a modern luxury hotel such as fine dine restaurants, a spa, and a lounge car.

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The journey begins from the Karnataka’s bustling capital Bangalore (recently rechristened Bengaluru). After a cultural program and a visit to the ISKON Hindu Temple, you board the train for an overnight journey to Mysore (renamed Mysuru). Spend the morning admiring the Amba Vilas Mysore Palace, its mix of various architectural styles and even get a peek into the erstwhile royal family’s personal art gallery.

Then, it’s off to the Kabini forest; that is part of Nagarhole National Park. You’ll stay in a jungle lodge and go on a safari. Keep your eyes and ears open for wild elephants, deer, sloth bear, or, if you’re fortunate, a leopard or even the fabled melanistic (black) leopard. Early morning next day, see Kabini from a different perspective as you take a boat ride in the namesake river.

After a drive back to Mysore and lunch on board the train, drive back to Mysore to visit some other monuments such as Srirangapatnam Fort and the mausoleum of former Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan.

The next day, the train will go to Hassan, from where you can go to Shravanabelagola village, where, after an arduous climb of stone steps is the 10th century, the 58-foot high statue of Jain monk Bahubali. Also on the day’s itinerary are the Belur and Halebidu temples. The train will go to Hospet later in the evening.

It’s Day Five and a high point of the tour arrives with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Hampi Palace that was built in the 14th century. Located in a landscape of granite boulders, the ruins evoke the era when diamonds and silks were traded among the pavilions and palaces.

A visit to the Hampi temples, dedicated to Lord Vitthala, is an amazing experience because of its musical pillars. Although built from stone, each pillar produces distinct musical notes that correspond to the particular wind, stringed or percussive musical instrument that the pillar represents.

Another World Heritage Site awaits you the next day at the 7th century Badami Caves that are dedicated to religious sects of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Buddha and Jain faiths. Also on the itinerary is the Pattadakal temple complex, before you depart for Goa in the afternoon and watch the scenery change through the afternoon and evening.

Goa’s Portuguese churches, including the Se Cathedral, the Church of St Francis and the Basilica of Bom Jesus, await you the next morning. In the afternoon, relax at a luxury beach resort before heading back to the train at Vasco Da Gama station, whence an overnight journey will take you back to Bangalore.

Departure dates from Bangalore

2017
16th Jan – 13th Feb – 13th Mar – 23rd Oct – 6th Nov – 11th Dec

2018
22nd Jan – 5th Feb – 5th Mar

Less

Starting from £5463.00

International flights & VIP meet at aircraft door included - more Special Value inclusions listed below

MAKE A RESERVATION

ASK A QUESTION

Tel: 0207 931 8273

OR

Mobile: 07823 777 948

Special Value

  • A gift when you book your tour with us, a DVD film called ‘Mystic India’
  • International flights included
  • VIP meet at aircraft door on arrival
  • Useful gift is given to you on arrival
  • Private arrival and departure transfers
  • Full Board whilst on your luxury train tour
  • Breakfast on your last day in Bangalore
  • Entrances to all monument and places of interest included
  • Visit the ISKCON Temple (The International Society for Krishna Consciousness)
  • Explore Amba Vilas Mysore Palace
  • Take a jungle safari in Kabini
  • Enjoy a birding boat safari on Kabini River
  • Visit Srirangapatnam
  • Enjoy a few cultural dances
  • Visit to Shravanabelagola
  • Visit Belur and Halebid
  • Explore the World Heritage Site of Hampi
  • Sit on the banks of Tungabhadra River for sunset views
  • See Pattadakal and Badami Cave Temples another World Heritage Site
  • Sightseeing of Goa and its famous churches
  • You can end your Luxury Train tour in Goa and spend a few days beachside

This Tour features the following locations

BANGALORE: Considered to be the cool cousin among India’s top four metros, Bangalore boasts a great foodie, music and café scene and an equally incredible bar and nightclub culture. The city is located close to some of the most beautiful vineyards that India has to offer, and while it lacks historical sites in the true sense, it more than makes up with its infectious buzz, glitzy malls, and cosmopolitan lifestyle. For a change of scenery, simply head over to one of the many museums, gardens, temples and palaces that Bangalore has to offer. There’s some beautiful Victorian-era architecture worth exploring as well!

KABINI: Located at a distance of 94 kms from Mysore, Kabini National Park is a popular wildlife destination for those visiting South India. Its key attraction and probably its biggest charm is the stunning Kabini River, which offers the perfect place to spot exotic animals such as leopards, sambar, chital, panther, spotted deer and more than 250 species of birds. The park also lies in the vicinity of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which has now been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’re looking for a place where you’re treated to the sound of chirping birds with each step into the wilderness in the midst of stunning surroundings, Kabini is the place for you.

MYSORE: Kings and traditions have always been an integral part of Mysore. The city boasts a fascinating history and is littered with beautiful temples and palaces from a bygone era. For a long time, Mysore basked in its ancient charm, happy as one of the slow-paced old-world towns in the country. However, the IT revolution has completely transformed Mysore into a flamboyant showstopper, a majestic city that presents the best of everything without losing out on its rich identity. Unlike most parts of the country, Mysore boasts of exceptional weather and its bustling bazaars are amazing places for discovering sandalwood items and incense. The UNESCO World Heritage listed Mysore Palace is easily the key attraction here, but yoga tourism and Ayurveda resorts are also becoming huge draws for tourists from all over the world. 

SHRAVANBELAGOLA: Located at a distance of 140 kms from Bangalore, Shravanabelagola is an important Jain pilgrimage centre in South India. Shravanabelagola is a delight for anyone interested in architectural wonders and ancient ruins. Its relics and sculptures date all the way back to the Indus Valley Civilization and that mammoth structure of Lord Bahubali, the tallest monolithic stone statue on the planet, narrates stories of sheer human genius. Carved out of a single block of granite, this statue is as perfect as any sculpture could ever be. For an experience of a lifetime, visit this ancient town during the Mahamastakabhisheka Festival, held once in 12 years. The next festival is slated to be held in the month of Feb 2018.

HALEBID: Though Halebid flourished as the capital of the beautiful Hoysala Empire for more than 150 years, it is mostly remembered for its stunning Hoysaleswara Temple, considered to be one of the most beautiful temples in the country. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple dates back to the 12th century and is known for its stunning carvings and grand architecture. Such is the sculptural extravaganza of this ancient beauty that it has been widely regarded as one of the greatest exhibitions of human genius, one of the most remarkable monuments ever created. Hoysaleswara has as many as 35000 intricately carved statues and sculptures depicting scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata and carvings from the Upanishads and the Puranas. What’s more, no two facets of this work of art have the same design!

BELUR: Belur is a temple town that gained popularity for its stunning Chennakesava Temple, one of the greatest architectural gems of South India. It was the capital of the ancient Hoysala dynasty for more than 150 years, and this led to the creation of several interesting architectural wonders in and around the city. The Chennakesava Temple rises to heights of 100 feet and is built in a traditional Dravidian style. The structures are decorated with rock carvings, beautiful sculptures and intricate designs, but the temple’s most mesmerising feature is its 48 celestial nymph figurines, known to showcase the playful character of a woman perfectly. Shining pillars are another example of the temple’s architectural brilliance. The pillars were once said to revolve on ball bearings, and they can be seen in the dark.

HAMPI: The spell-binding ruins of Hampi have long drawn travellers from all over the world. You’ll probably have to experience a train journey to get there, but the alien-like landscape and mesmerising architecture are well worth your time. Hampi’s terrain is full of humongous boulders with paddy fields and banana plantations offering a respite from miles of rocky landscapes. In between all this chaos, you also come across countless ancient ruins and stunning temples that date all the way back to the Vijayanagara Empire. Key attractions in this UNESCO World Heritage Site include the Lakshmi Narasimha temple, Virupaksha Temple, Big Shivlinga temple and Hemakuta Hill temple. Hampi Bazaar is where you find most of the lodges, shops and restaurants. Located right next to the huge Virupaksha Temple, this is one of the best places to hang out while in Hampi.

BADAMI: This ancient capital of the Chalukyas is famous for its rock-cut temples dating back to the 5th and 8th centuries AD. These temples have been carved out of sandstone cliffs and have been dedicated to Hindu, Buddhist and Jain gods. Badami’s red sandstone cliffs give it that Wild West feeling, but as soon as the dust settles down, you’re treated to a fascinating sight of beautiful old houses, ancient doorways and exquisite carvings. Other attractions include the Agastyatirtha Tank, a beautiful body of water that is considered holy and divine and a wide range of adventure activities such as trekking, cave explorations and rock climbing.

PATTADAKAL: Pattadakal, a small town in Karnataka, is considered to be an art historian and an architecture lover’s dream. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once a flourishing capital under the Chalukyas who constructed the 9 temples that attract thousands of visitors to town today. Four of these temples showcase the Dravidian style of architecture, while four more are built in the North Indian Nagara style. The last temple is a hybrid of the two, portraying just how advanced this civilisation was back in the 8th century. The Virupaksha Temple is the most stunning of all temples and is considered to be a near replica of the Kailasanatha Temple of Kanchi. Other highlights include the Kadasiddheswara Temple, Papanatha Temple and the Sangameshvara Temple.

GOA: Ever wondered how it would feel if you brought in western excess, threw it into a culturally rich Indian town and introduced tons of natural beauty and a laid-back, relaxed vibe for added effect? Goa looks like a far cry from the isolated white sand beach hideaway shown in Bourne Supremacy, but it’s still one of the most beautiful yet one of the most happening destinations you’ll ever visit. North Goa is where all the action takes place. It hosts most of those world-famous parties, and there’s always a Vegas-like adventure to become a part of. As you move down south, you’re slowly introduced to vast expanses of unspoilt beaches and exquisite resorts. Downing a drink in one of these beaches under the setting sun is perhaps the best thing to do here, but the smattering of spectacular Renaissance cathedrals, beautiful Hindu temples, and authentic Portuguese architecture offers a pleasant diversion to keep you occupied.

Pride of the South on the Golden Chariot

Explore the Golden Chariot

DAY 01 – TRAVEL TO BANGALORE
Fly to Bangalore with British Airways.

DAY 02 – ARRIVE BANGALORE
Arrive Bangalore early morning; VIP meet at aircraft door, assistant through baggage control, then outside the airport to meet our local representatives, where you will be meet at the arrivals door then transferred to Taj West End.

Registration for the train will take place at 1500 hrs. After taking a walk in the heritage gardens of the hotel, then high tea this afternoon, after that enjoy a cultural dance and visit to the ISKCON Temple. Board the Golden Chariot which departs for Mysore.

DAY 03 – MYSORE TO KABINI
After breakfast visit the famous Amba Vilas Mysore Palace. Then take a coach drive to Kabini where you will have lunch before joining a jungle safari, then a screening of a wildlife film. Dinner this evening is around the campfire with an overnight stay at Jungle Lodges Resort.

DAY 04 – KABINI TO MYSORE
This morning take a boat ride safari on Kabini River, then after breakfast drive back to Mysore. Afternoon lunch on the train then depart for sightseeing of Srirangapatnam. Later witness a cultural dance before once again boarding for your fist night on board.

DAY 05 – MYSORE TO HASSAN
The train sets off early morning bound for Hassan. After breakfast depart by road to Shravanabelagola where you can climb the 700 steps to the top to see the monolith Bhagawan Bahubali.

Drive back to the train where you will have lunch onboard. After you will drive to Belur and Halebid to visit the magnificent temple complexes. Return to the train for the evening.

DAY 06 – ARRIVE HOSPET & HAMPI
After breakfast on board, you will depart for sightseeing of Hampi a World Heritage site. Back to the train for lunch then continue your tour of Hampi. Return to the train for dinner and overnight.

DAY 07 – DEPART OF BADAMI & GOA
Early morning the train departs for Badami. Breakfast onboard then sightseeing of Pattadakal and Badami Caves World Heritage sites. After sightseeing return to the Golden Chariot for lunch as the train departs for Goa. Dinner onboard as the train reaches Goa around midnight

DAY 08 – GOA
After breakfast on board, you will depart for sightseeing of Goa. Visit the famous churches of Goa after that visit the Old Portuguese House no an emporium for shopping and refreshments. Lunch today will be at a luxury resort in Goa, then back to the train for its departure back to Bangalore. If you wish, you can disembark in Goa and continue your holiday beachside, or you can travel back to Bangalore for your homebound flight tomorrow.

Day 09 – BANGALORE
The Golden Chariot arrives back in Bangalore this morning. After breakfast, you will bid farewell where a Mystic India representative will meet you and transfer you to Taj West End for your overnight stay.
Today you are taken on a private guided tour of the city, visiting the markets and gardens. This evening is then at leisure.

DAY 10 – BANGALORE HOMEBOUND
Early this morning Mystic India will transfer you to the International terminal for your homebound flight.

Pride of the South on the Golden Chariot

Explore the Golden Chariot

Extensions

Here are some examples of extensions you can add to this tour. For other ideas and to discuss your requirements contact us. We can design an itinerary for you, based on your dates, duration, style, and budget.


Add on a stay in Goa, relax beachside for a few days

The Golden Chariot stops in Goa before heading straight back to Bangalore, you can get off in Goa where we can add on a few nights at any hotel you wish, large resort style, small boutique or even take in that hippy vibe and stay in luxury beachside tents. Contact us to discuss this further.

Take a flight from Bangalore to Mumbai

We can bring you home from Mumbai instead of Bangalore. Add on a few days in Mumbai, see the Dabbawalas at work, visit the famous Dharavi Slums as seen in slumdog millionaire, visit Elephanta Island and much more

Pride of the South on the Golden Chariot

Explore the Golden Chariot

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