The Golden Chariot - India

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Bangalore – Mysore – Kabini – Hassan – Hospet – Gadag – Goa – Bangalore

The Golden Chariot awaits you for a fascinating journey through the many worlds of Karnataka. Steeped in historical and architectural significance, yet shimmering with vibrant contemporary culture, Karnataka is a land endowed by some of the most powerful empires of ancient India, whose enduring traditions in artistic, cultural, and literary excellence are mirrored in modern-day cultural and social trends and amenities. The Golden Chariot Train named after the famous Stone Chariot in Hampi, a world heritage site in Southern India, travels through timeless heritage sites, grand forts & palaces, wildlife and golden beaches.

Each day is a magical ride to a new place, including Mysore, the Imperial City of Palaces; Kabini, home of Nagarhole National Park, India’s premier wildlife conservation; Hassan, an ancient center of worship with magnificent rock-carved temples in Shravanabelagola, Belur and Halebidu; Hampi, the seat of India’s great 14th century Vijayanagara Empire, known for its military and cultural achievements; Badami, Aihole, and Pattadakal, a comprehensive setting for the myriad architectural forms and styles of temples built between the 6th and 8th centuries; and Goa, the gorgeous golden beach town along the Arabian Sea, to repose and refresh the traveller’s soul before heading back to Bangalore and journey’s end.

Day 1(Mon): Bangalore (L/D)
Reporting time : 1230 hrs

Lunch on board: 1300 hrs

Leave for city sightseeing: 1430 hrs

Arrive at Railway station: 1930 hrs

Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka is known as the Garden City because of its salubrious climate and greenery. More Details 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.

Day 2(Tue): Mysore (B/L/D) 
Disembark from train for city tour: 0915 hrs

Lunch at Regaalis: 1400 hrs

Sightseeing continues: 1530 hrs

Return to the train: 2000 hrs 

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. 

A 141kms from Bangalore, the city enchants you with its quaint charm, verdant gardens, tree-lined boulevards and its sacred temples.

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.

Srirangapatna: The island fortress of the legendary warrior king Tipu Sultan is 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. 

Mysore Palace: 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. 

Day 3(Wed): Kabini (B/L/D) 
Disembark from train for a tour: 0915 hrs

Lunch at Kabini: 1300 hrs

Nature walk and Jungle Safari in Jeeps : 1530 hrs

Return to the train: 1900 hrs

Kabini: A World of Wildlife Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Nagarhole (Kabini), 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 of which are endemic to these jungles.

 Day 4(Thu): Hassan (B/L/D)

Disembark from train for city tour: 0845 hrs

Return to train for Lunch: 1245 hrs

Sightseeing continues: 1500 hrs

Return to the train: 1900 hrs

Belur & Halebid: A World of Worship Belur in Hassan district 220kms 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 27kms 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.

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. 

Day 5(Fri): Hospet (B/L/D) 
Disembark from train for city tour: 0900 hrs

Return to train for Lunch: 1200 hrs

Sightseeing continues: 1445 hrs

Return to the train: 2000 hrs

Hampi: A World Heritage Site If dreams were made out of stone, it would be Hampi. Hampi has been classified as a World Heritage Centre and is one of the major tourist destinations in India.

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.

Protected by the tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides, the ruins silently narrate the story of grandeur splendour 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 Tunga Badra River on a coracle is an experience that provides the guests with a glimpse into the traditional country life in Karnataka. 

Day 6(Sat): Aihole, Pattadakal & Badami (B/L/D) 
Disembark from train for city tour: 0845 hrs

Lunch at Badami Court: 1400 hrs

Sightseeing continues: 1530 hrs

Return to the train: 1815 hrs 

Badami: A World Heritage Site 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. 

Pattadakal, with its beautifully chiselled 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 centre where kings were crowned. 

Aihole is acclaimed as the “Cradle of Hindu Temple Architecture”. Aihole has over a hundred temples scattered around the village. The most impressive one is the Durga Temple with its semi- circular apse, elevated plinth and the gallery encircling the sanctum.

The oldest temple here is the Lad Khan temple dating back to the 5th Century. The Hutchimalli Temple out in the village – has a sculpture of Vishnu sitting atop a large cobra. The Revalphadi Cave – dedicated to Shiva – is remarkable for its delicate details. There are hundreds of temples strewn in the villages nearby. 

Day 7(Sun): Goa (B/L/D) 
Disembark from train to relax on Taj’s beach: 0900 hrs

Lunch at Taj Holiday Village: 1400 hrs

Sightseeing of Goa: 1545 hrs

Return to the train: 2000 hrs  

Goa: A 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 splendours of its temples, churches and old houses have made Goa a firm favourite with travellers around the world.

But then, Goa is much more than just beaches and sea. It has a soul which goes deep into 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 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. 

Day 8(Mon): Bangalore (B) 
Disembark from the train: 1200 hrs