Itinerary of the Golden Chariot:
Bangalore-mysore (excursions to Srirangapatna and Kabini)-hassan (Belur-halebid and Sravanabelagola) hospet (Hampi)-badami (Pattadakal and Badami rock temples)-goa (Old Goa and beaches).
DAY 1: BANGALORE
Check-in at The Leela palace followed by lunch at Jamawar or Citrus - 12 Noon.
BANGALORE: Bangalore sightseeing includes Tipu’s palace, bull temple & Lalbagh, from 03:00 pm. 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. Today Bangalore is popularly known as India’s silicon valley. Arrival at Yeshwantpur railway station, platform no. 6 traditional Indian Welcome At Railway Station And Escort To Respective Cabins. Dinner on board the Golden Chariot
Depart for Mysore 09:00 Pm.
Check in at Our Native Village, Yeshwantpur, at 11 am. Lunch till 2 Pm.
Resort tour 3.00 Pm To 3.30 Pm showing what is it that makes it a 100% eco resort - the revivalist movement. Art and culture tour -3.30 Pm To 4.00 Pm. Organic life, herbal & medicinal plant tour, organic farm tour 4.00 To 4.30 Pm. Pottery session & enjoy village games & bullock cart rides, 4.30 To 5.30 Pm. Rest and depart to Yeshwantpur railway station 6.00 Pm. *Optional itinerary for those who do not opt for Leela palace check-in and Bangalore sightseeing.
DAY 2: MYSORE-KABINI-BANDIPUR
Depart for Kabini / Bandipur Jungle Lodge after breakfast - 10:00 Am. Lunch at Jungle Lodge - 01:00 Pm. Depart for Jungle safari or Boatride. Return in the evening for wildlife film. Dinner and stay overnight at Jungle Lodge.
Tread the path of the erstwhile maharaja of Mysore’s private hunting grounds with a visit to Bandipur, about 80km south of Mysore on the Mysore-ooty road. The reserve is a playground for wildlife, with elephants taking the lead role. Be prepared for an unforgettable experience - you might see a tiger prowling amidst the mix of deciduous, evergreen forest and scrubland vegetation. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the enchanting Niligiri mountains with its mist-covered peaks, 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 also worth a visit.
Rajiv Gandhi national park, Nagarhole (Kabini), also the hunting retreat of the Mysore Maharajas, is definitely the perfect destination for wildlife lovers in south India. The excitement starts with a safari into the heart of the park, where you are sure to spot wild animals in their natural habitat. Some of the popular sightings are 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 endemic to these jungles.
Raganatittu Bird Sanctuary, Mysore Zoo, Lunch on Board, Brindavan Gardens.
*Optional itinerary for those who do not opt for Kabini / Bandipur tour. A minimum of 5 passengers is required.
DAY 3: MYSORE-SRIRANGAPATNA
Breakfast and depart for Mysore 08:30 Am. Mysore sightseeing: Mysore palace and Srirangapatnam - 03:00 Pm. Reach the Lalitha Mahal palace for cultural show followed by dinner - 07:00 Pm.
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. 141 kms from Bangalore, the city enchants you with its quaint charm, verdant gardens, tree-lined boulevards and its sacred temples. Built in Indo-saracenic style with domes, turrets, arches and colonnades, the Mysore 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. Mysore, once the state capital, today is a vibrant city teeming with tourists and visitors. It is known the world over for its exotic sandalwood and rich silks. Many culinary delights await those inclined to sample the regional cuisine.
The Island fortress of the legendary warrior king Tipu Sultan, Srirangapatna, is just 14 km from Mysore. Inside the fortress is Tipu’s mosque with its twin minarets, the Wellesley bridge and the dungeons where British officers were once imprisoned.
DAY 4: HASSAN (BELUR-HALEBID AND SRAVANABELAGOLA)
Arrive at Hassan - 08:15 Am. Depart for sightseeing to Shravanabelagola.
52km from Hassan, is an important Jain pilgrim centre. It is home to
Asia’s largest monolithic statue Lord Gomateswara, which towers 58 ft. high, looming atop the picturesque Vindhyagiri hill. Every 12 years, Jain pilgrims gather here to participate in a splendid headanointing ceremony. (Please note that you would have to climb close to 700 steps to experience this architectural marvel. Only those who can undertake this are advised to do so. Palanquins are available for those who cannot take the climb by themselves. This is available to the passengers at no extra cost. Guests unwilling to travel there can stay back onboard the train.)
Back for lunch onboard the Golden Chariot-01:00 Pm. Depart for Belur and Halebid for sightseeing-03:00 Pm.
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.
7 kms away from Hassan is Halebid, which was the capital of the Hoysalas. It has one of the finest Hoysala temples. The Hoysaleswara temple, perched on a starshaped 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.
DAY 5: HAMPI
Arrival at Hospet-06:00 Am. After breakfast depart for Hampi sightseeing: Virupaksha temple. Queens’s bath, Elephant stables, Local crafts bazaar. Return to the Golden Chariot for lunch-01:00 Pm. Depart for sightseeing for Royal enclosure, Hazara Rama temple. Illuminated Vittala temple-03:00pm.
If dreams were made out of stone, it would be Hampi. Hampi has been classified as a world heritage center and is one of the major tourist destinations in India. The seat of the famed Vijayanagara empire, it 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. Protected by the tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides, the ruins silently narrate a story of grandeur and fabulous wealth.
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. A visit to Anegundi village by traversing the gushing Tungabhadra river on a coracle is another experience that provides the guests with a glimpse into the traditional country life in Karnataka.
DAY 6: BADAMI-PATTADAKAL
Arrival at Badami-08:30 Am Depart after breakfast for sightseeing to Badami caves and Pattadakal.
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.
With its beautifully chiseled temples, Pattadakal 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 centre for royal coronations.
Return to the Golden Chariot for lunch-01:30 Pm. Depart for Goa. Relax and enjoy the facilities onboard the Golden Chariot: spa, gym, dinner onboard the Golden Chariot. Reach Goa at midnight.
DAY 7: GOA
Visit the famous churches of old Goa-11:00 Am. Visit an old Portuguese house: Sola Souto Maior, for tea/coffee and cookies, shopping at the Emporium 12:15 Pm. Reach Majorda beach resort for lunch-02:00 Pm. An Ayurvedic massage, a visit to the casino, a dip in the pool / beach, etc. (Ayurvedic massage and casino charges extra)-03:00 Pm.
Depart from the resort-06:00 Pm.
GOA: WORLD OF GOLDEN BEACHES
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 travellers around the world. But Goa is much more than just beaches and sea. It has a soul which shows up in its unique history, rich culture and some of the prettiest natural scenery that India has to offer. Besides the natural beauty, the fabulous beaches and sunshine, travellers to Goa love the laidback, peaceful, warm and friendly nature of the Goan people. After all, more than anywhere else on planet earth, this is a place where people know how to relax.
Return to dinner on train. Depart for Bangalore.
DAY 8: BANGALORE
Breakfast onboard train. Reach Yeswanthpur railway station, farewell by the entire crew-11:00 Am.