Day 1: Monday (Tour Begins at Bangalore @ 16:00 Hrs)
Day 1 – Bangalore
| 15.00 Hrs:
|| Meeting point at the Taj West End at 15.00 hrs
| 16:00 Hrs:
|| After High Tea depart for sightseeing at 16.00 hrs.
| Evening check in at the Bangalore Railway Station on your hotel train "The Golden Chariot – Splendor of The South”, your comfortable home for the next week
| 22:00 Hrs:
|| Depart to Chennai
After High Tea depart for sightseeing at 16.00 hrs. Towards the evening check-in at the Bangalore Railway Station on your hotel train "The Golden Chariot – Splendor of The South “your comfortable home for the next week.
Day 2: Tuesday (Explore Chennai and Mamallapuram)
Arrival at Chennai: 06.00 hrs
Excursion to Mamallapuram, an ancient coastal port, south of Chennai, 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.
Lunch at Mamallapuram. After lunch we proceed to visit the city of Chennai.
Chennai - India’s fourth largest city, Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. Chennai was the site of the East India Company’s first settlement founded in 1639 on land given by the Raja of Chandragiri, the last representative of the Vijaynagar rulers of Hampi. The East India Company was an English trading establishment and thus was the forerunner to the British Empire, which, came into political prominence towards the end of the 17th Century. Chennai is a conglomerate of over grown villages, and being a major port, today it is also known as the gateway to the South.
Proceed for a sightseeing tour of Chennai. The tour begins from the ‘St. Mary’s Church’, built in 1678 – 80, was the first English Church in Chennai. The Saint Thomas Cathedral, built in 1504, and then re-built in neo - gothic style in 1893, this Roman Catholic Church is said to house the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle. Also visit the Kapaleeshwarar Temple, an ancient Shiva Temple, constructed in pure Dravidian style. The Sri Parathasarathy Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, built in 8th century during the reign of the Pallavas. Other attractions include the National Art Gallery and Museum, which house some beautiful temple friezes, the bronze gallery, and archeological section. Drive past the High Court Building, Fort St. George and the famous film studios. Towards the evening return to the train and dinner onboard.
Departure for Pondicherry after the dinner.
Day 3: Wednesday (Explore Pondicherry)
Arrival at Pondicherry: 08:00 hrs
In the Northern Tamil Nadu region, quite a contrast to the temple heritage, is 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!
Sightseeing tour of Pondicherry, visiting Auroville. Conceived as a tribute to Sri Aurobindo, Auroville is an entirely new concept in education and urban living. The Aurobindo Ashram is known to the world over as the "Centre of Integral Yoga". Sri Aurobindo, India’s philosopher around 1920 founded it.
After dinner the train continues to Tiruchirapalli around: 22:00 hrs.
Day 4: Thursday (Explore Tanjavur)
Arrival in Tiruchirapalli early in the morning.
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.
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.
Day 5: Friday (Explore Madurai)
Arrival in Madurai: 08:00 hrs
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 centuries.
Proceed for a sightseeing tour of Madurai – The primary interest is the Meenakshi Temple, where Dravidian temple architecture may be considered to be at its best. The 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.
Day 6: Saturday (Explore Thiruvananthapuram & Kovalam)
The tour begins in the morning with Sunrise at Kanyakumari. Kanyakumari is the southern most district of Tamil Nadu 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 Northwestern boundaries are formed by Kerala.
Breakfast and Lunch will be served on board and in the afternoon depart to Thiruvananthapuram. Visit Palace of Thiruvananthapuram and stroll through Kovalam Beach. In the evening there will be a Gala Dinner and Cultural Show at a 5* Hotel.
Overnight in train while it departs for Alleppey.
Day 7: Sunday (Explore Alappuzha Backwaters & Kochi)
Arrival in Alleppey: 09:00 hrs
From Alappuzha enjoy the bewitching Vembanad Lake, 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. The green shores throbbing with vigour and pure beauty will never tire 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.
On reaching Kumarakom, you enter another world of wonders. 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.
Lunch at a backwaters resort and afterwards drive to Kochi.
The tour of Kochi begins from “The Dutch Palace also known as Mattancherry Palace, built by Portugues 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. Other attractions include the traditional fishing hamlets and the fisher folk in their colourful costumes. The tour also includes a visit to the seaside where one can still see the century old Chinese fishing nets, which are still in use.
Sunset cruise followed by gala dinner at a 5* Hotel.
Departure at 22:00 hrs for Bangalore
Day 8: Monday (Arrive Bangalore 07.00 Hrs)
Reach Yeswanthpur railway station (Bangalore), where you bid farewell to the Golden Chariot.