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Southern Splendour (Aboard the Golden Chariot)

8 Days / 7 Nights
Route : Bangalore Chennai Pondicherry Thanjavur Madurai Thiruvananthapuram Alleppey Kochi Bangalore

Detailed Itinerary

Monday - Tour Begins at Bangalore @ 15:00 Hrs


1500 Hrs: Meeting point at the Taj West End at 15.00 hrs
1600 Hrs: Nature Walk in the heritage Gardens of the Taj.
1700 Hrs: Hi Tea
1730 Hrs: Presentation and Orientation on The Golden Chariot tour followed by cultural performance
1845 Hrs: Visit the ISKCON Temple (The International Society for Krishna Consciousness)
2245 Hrs: Evening check in at the Bangalore Railway Station on your train "The Golden Chariot – Splendor of The South”, your comfortable home for the next week
   Depart to Chennai

Towards the evening check In at the Bangalore Railway Station on your hotel train "The Golden Chariot – Splendor of The South“ you comfortable home for the next week.

Tuesday - Explore Chennai and Mamallapuram

0730 Hrs: Arrive at Chennai central railway station
0800 Hrs: Breakfast on board The Golden Chariot.
1000 Hrs: Departure to Mamallapuram
1130 Hrs: Arrive at Mamallapuram
  Sight Seeing – Krishna’s Butter Ball, Arjuna’s Penance, Ganesha Temple and Caves and Five Rathas Temple
1330 Hrs: Lunch at Five Star Hotel
1500 Hrs: Sight Seeing – Shore Shiva Temple and back to hotel
1600 Hrs: Hi-Tea, Sight Seeing
1630 Hrs: Departure to Puducherry railway station by Coach
1830 Hrs: Arrive at Puducherry railway station to board The Golden Chariot and refresh
2000 Hrs: Dinner on board The Golden Chariot. Train stable at Puducherry railway station

MAMALLAPURAM: World famous for its shore temple, Mamallapuram was the second capital and sea port of the Pallava Kings of Kanchipuram, the first Tamil dynasty after the fall of the Gupta Empire. The whole of Mamallapuram is a fabulous open-air museum of sculptures in living rock, Monolithic shrines scooped out caverns magnificently sculpted within and the world’s biggest Bas relief in rock, are truly wondrous examples of the sculptor’s art. The famous temples of the Rathas, the Penance of Bhagirath, the Shore Temple and the eight Mandapams. (Shallow, rock cut halls) are also located at the beach.

Wednesday - Explore Puducherry

0630 Hrs: Arrive Pondicherry
0800 Hrs: Breakfast on board The Golden Chariot.
1000 Hrs: Departure to Auroville Ashram
  Sight Seeing – Screening on Auroville Ashram, tour of Auroville Asharam, Matra Mandir and shopping in the Ashram
1330 Hrs: Lunch at Luxury Hotel
1500 Hrs: Back on board The Golden Chariot
1700Hrs: Visit the Aurobindo Ashram and Ganesha Temple
1900Hrs: Back on board The Golden Chariot
2000 Hrs: Dinner on Board and depart to Thanjavur

PONDICHERRY: In the Northern Tamil Nadu region, quite a contrast to the temple heritage, is located Pondicherry. Formerly a French colony settled early in the 18th century, Pondicherry 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!

Thursday - Explore Thanjavur and Trichy

0730 Hrs: Arrive at Tanjavur railway station
0800 Hrs: Breakfast on board The Golden Chariot.
1000 Hrs: Visit the famous Brihadeshwara Temple (UNESCO World Heritage site)
  Shopping at the emporium
1400 Hrs: Lunch at Ideal River View Resort
1600 Hrs: Departure to Trichy
1800 Hr: Visit the famous Sri Rangam Temple in Trichy
1930Hrs: Back on board The Golden Chariot in Trichy
2000 Hrs: Dinner on board The Golden Chariot

TANJORE (Thanjavur) - Proceed for 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.

TRICHY (Tiruchirapalli) - Situated on the banks of the River Kaveri, just 320 kms from Chennai, Trichy was a Chola Citadel during the Sangam Age when the Pandyas and Pallavas held sway over this region for short periods. The Nayaks of Madurai built the town and the historic Rock Fort, which played a vital role in the Carnatic wars in the 18th century. The most famous 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. At the first level are the remnants of a huge hall blasted into ruins in 1772. The next storey is the Mathrubhuteshwar Shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. Finally at the top of the hill, is the Ucchi Pillayar Koil – A Lord Ganesh Temple, offering a commanding view of the city.

Friday - Explore Madurai

0800 Hrs: Breakfast on board The Golden Chariot
1000 Hrs: Visit the famous Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple.
1130 Hrs: Visit the 1000 pillar temple and the museum
1300 Hrs:  Back on board The Golden Chariot
   Lunch on board The Golden Chariot
1500 Hrs: Visit the Gandhi Museum (Rani Mangammal Palace)
1600 Hrs: Return back to The Golden Chariot
  Rest and Relax on board The Golden Chariot
1800Hrs: Visit the Thirumalai Nayak Palace for sound and light show
1930Hrs: Back on board The Golden Chariot
2000 Hrs: Dinner on board The Golden Chariot

MADURAI : is an animated city packed with pilgrims, vendors, business people, bullock carts and legions of under employed rickshaw pullers. It is one of the Southern India’s oldest cities and has been a center of learning and pilgrimage for cent. The primary interest of Madurai is the Meenakshi Temple, where Dravidian temple architecture may be considered to be at its best. Its Hall of a thousand Pillars is fabulous and is filled with worshippers at all hours of the day. The tour also includes a visit to the – Thirumalai Nayak Palace & Thiruparangundram temple.

Saturday - Explore Kanyakumari, Thiruvananthapuram & Kovalam

0500 Hrs: Departure to Kanyakumari for Sunrise view
0730 Hrs: Back on board The Golden Chariot.
  Breakfast on board
0930 Hrs: Depart to Padmanabhapuram Wooden Palace
1300 Hrs: Return on board The Golden Chariot
  Lunch on board
1600 Hrs: Reach Kocchuveli station
1630 Hrs: Depart to Vivanta by Taj, Kovalam
  Hi-Tea by the beach, Cultural show followed by dinner at the hotel
2200 Hrs: Back on board The Golden Chariot

KANYAKUMARI: Kanyakumari is southern most district of Tamilnadu state. It is bound by Tirunelveli district on the North and the East. The South Eastern boundary of this district is formed by the Gulf of Mannar. The district of Kanyakumari was a part of the erstwhile Travancore state. The South and Southwest boundaries are formed by Indian Ocean and The Arabian Sea. The Western and and Northwestern boundaries are formed by Kerala.

Sunday - Explore Alleppey Backwaters & Kochi

0800 Hrs: Breakfast on board The Golden Chariot
0900 Hrs: Depart to Alleppey Jetty and board House Boat
  Cruise on Punnamada Lake
1230 Hrs: Reach Luxury Resort for Lunch
1330 Hrs: Depart to fort Kochi
1530 Hrs: Arrival in fort Kochi
  Seeing – Chinese fishing Nets, Shopping in Mattancherry
  Shopping in Jews Town
1800 Hrs: Depart to board The Golden Chariot at Ernakulum South railway Station
1930 Hrs: Departure to Bangalore
2200 Hrs: Dinner on board The Golden Chariot

ALAPPHUZZA: From Alappuzha enjoy the bewitching Vembanad lake on Houseboats, the largest backwater stretch in Kerala, cruising along in a traditional boat. We will take you to Kumarakom, one of the prime tourist attractions of Kerala. This small backwater village, which is a cluster of islands, has a life of its own, with a slow, serene rhythm. The sights, sounds and fragrances will simply captivate you.The soft sunlight lends the calm water a new enchantment as the palms on both shores welcome you with a gentle whisper in the wind. Your mind will assure you that this scene will remain within you, to relieve you during all your busiest hours.

KOCHI: The tour of Kochi begins from “The Dutch Palace also known as Mattancherry Palace, built by Portuguese in 1555, which is famous for its murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana and the puranic legends. Adjacent to the palace is the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays & Saturdays) built in 1568. Also visit the St. Francis Church (closed on Sundays), established by the Portuguese Franciscan friars in 1503. Vasco Da-Gama was buried in the courtyard of this European church built in India.

Monday - Arrive Bangalore 10.00 Hrs

BANGALORE: Reach Yeswanthpur railway station (Bangalore), where you bid farewell to the Golden Chariot after breakfast on board.

0800 Hrs: Breakfast on board The Golden Chariot.
1000 Hrs: Arrive at Yeshwanthpur Railway Station, Bangalore

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