India’s Golden Chariot

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  • Group Tour
  • Starting Price: $7,195
  • Length: 14 days
  • Operator: Travcoa
  • 866-591-0260
    Destinations: South and Southeast Asia, India
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Tour Description

On this once-in-a-lifetime Independent Journey through India, visit the jewel city of Chennai where you’ll explore the Kapaleeswar Temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva and discover its intricately carved 120-foot gopuram. Board the Golden Chariot train for a 5-day journey across India. Stop in Bandipur and take a walk on the wild side as you go on safari to spot elephant, gaur, sambar, chital, wild boar and the exclusive tiger and leopard. In Hampi, visit the ruins of the 14th century Vijayanagara empire and wander through the colorful Bazzar. Explore the banks of the Malaprabha River to discover the Pattadakal World Heritage Site. Disembark the Golden Chariot and spend the remainder of your time in Goa, the “Pearl of the Orient,” and Mumbai.

  • Visit the 14th century Santhomre Cathedral Church, which houses the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle
  • In Mahabalipuram, see Five Rathas (chariots), rock-cut monoliths, named after the 5 Pandavas, and Bas-relief of Arjuna’s penance
  • Travel on the The Golden Chariot train featuring two restaurants with a variety of cuisine, an elegant lounge bar, two massage rooms and a fully equipped gym
  • Explore Hoysala Temple with its richly carved walls depicting the life of the Hoysala Kings

Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrive Chennai

You are met on arrival and taken to your hotel. Enjoy an afternoon and evening at leisure to relax or explore Chennai (formerly known as Madras).

Taj Coromandel, Chennai

DAY 2

Chennai

Chennai is the gateway to South India, and a blend of the traditional and modern. This morning’s sightseeing tour includes the ancient Kapaleeswar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. A good example of Dravidian architecture, its intricately carved 120-foot gopuram is a landmark. Visit the 14th century Santhomre Cathedral Church, which houses the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle. See the Flower and Fruit market, High court and Marina Beach, one of the longest beaches in India. Your afternoon is at leisure.(B)

Taj Coromandel, Chennai

DAY 3

Mahabalipuram Excursion

Today explore the tiny seaside village of Mahabalipuram, “City of Seven Pagodas.” These 7th century rock-hewn monuments, temple sand carvings show scenes of daily life. See Five Rathas (chariots), rock-cut monoliths, named after the 5 Pandavas, and Bas-relief of Arjuna’s penance. Next, drive to the old cultural capital of Kanchipuram, the City of a Thousand Temples. Explore the important temples of Kailashnath, Ekambaranath, Kamakshi amma and of Devarajaswami.(B)

Taj Coromandel, Chennai

DAY 4

Chennai to Bangalore

This morning visit Kalakshetra, the famous dance school, before taking your flight to Bangalore. This unique city is a beautiful, rich in cultural heritage and modern technology. It’s called “The Garden City” because of its climate and greenery, and widely known as India’s Silicon Valley because of the high concentration of computer industries.(B)

The Leela Palace, Bangalore

DAY 5

Bangalore Board the “Golden Chariot” Train

Relax this morning and then tour the city in the afternoon. Visit Tipu’s Wooden Palace, the Bull Temple Basavanagudi, and enjoy a nature walk through the Lalbagh Botanical Garden. Board “The Golden Chariot” train in time to enjoy dinner on board. (B,D)

Train: The Golden Chariot

The Golden Chariot features two restaurants with a variety of cuisine, an elegant lounge bar, two massage rooms and a fully equipped gym.

DAY 6

Kabini / Bandipur

This morning drive through Kabini and the evergreen forest to Bandipur and the Rajiv Gandhi National Park. Set against the picturesque, mist-covered peaks of the Niligiri Mountains, Bandipur was the hunting retreat of the Mysore Maharajas. This afternoon enjoy a nature walk, then a jeep and boat safari into the heart of the park. Alive with wildlife, watch for elephant, gaur, sambar, chital, wild boar and the more exclusive tiger and leopard. A bird watcher’s paradise, the park is also home to over 300 species of birds.(B,L,D)

Orange County Kabini Lodge, Kabini / Bandipur

DAY 7

Mysore

On arrival in Mysore disembark and visit this vibrant city with a mix of quaint and modern. Visit the island fortress of the legendary warrior Sultan Tipu located in Srirangapatna. Then drive back to Mysore to visit the palace. Enjoy and entertaining cultural show at Brindavan Gardens and dinner before re-boarding the train for the night.(B,L,D)

The Golden Chariot

DAY 8

Hassan

Arrive in Hassan then disembark for a drive to Halebidu and the Hoysala Temple. Explore this sculptural extravaganza with its richly carved walls depicting the life of the Hoysala Kings. Next, drive to Belur to visit the Chennakesava Temple. It was built by Hoysala Vishnuvardhana, to commemorate his victory over the Cholas, and is the only active Hoysala Temple. The incredible facade of the temple is completely filled with intricate sculptures. Continue on today’s excursion to visit the Jain pilgrimage center in Shravanabelagola. Here you’ll see the 58-foot statue of LordGommateshwara, Asia’s largest monolith statue. Return to the train for the night.(B,L,D)

The Golden Chariot

DAY 9

Hampi

Today tour Hampi, the former seat of the vast 14th century Vijayanagara empire, and whose ruins today are a World Heritage Center. Visit the Virupaksha temple complex and Hampi Scared Center. The splendid remains of palaces and gateways tell the tales of talent, power and senseless destruction, and give you a glimpse of what traditional country life was like. Next visit the Vittala Temple Complex, the Royal Center, and wander through Hampi’s colorful Craft Bazaar.(B,L,D)

The Golden Chariot

DAY 10

Gadag to Badami

Disembark the train to tour Badami, a picturesque World Heritage Site with red sandstone exquisite sculptures. Highlights are the 18-armed Nataraja and her 81 dance poses, and the 3rd century rock-cut cave. Next, drive to the banks of the Malaprabha River to explore the Pattadakal World Heritage Site. The beautiful chiseled temples bear testimony to the faded glory of the Chalukyan Kings.(B,L,D)

The Golden Chariot

DAY 11

Arrive Goa

This morning say farewell to The Golden Chariot when you disembark in Goa, the “Pearl of the Orient.” The city offers architectural and scenic beauty in its temples, churches and popular beaches. (B)

The Leela Kempinski Goa, Goa

DAY 12

Goa

Today is a full day at leisure to explore the city independently or to relax and enjoy the many amenities at your deluxe beach resort.(B)

The Leela Kempinski Goa

DAY 13

Goa to Mumbai

After your morning flight to Mumbai, check into your hotel for a brief rest, then enjoy a brief our of the city. See the famous Hanging Gardens and Malbar Hill. Also see the Gateway of India, an archway erected to commemorate the 1911 visit of King George V, and Mumbai’s principle landmark. Drive alongthe popular Marine Drive, fondly known as the “Queen’s Necklace”.(B)

Trident Nariman Point, Mumbai

DAY 14

Depart Mumbai

This morning you are taken to the airport for your flight home or on to your next destination.(B)

Departures

Pricing Information

September 30, 2011

From $7,195.00 per person double occupancy.

From $3,230.00 single room supplement.

December 31, 2011

From $6,820.00 per person double occupancy.

From $2,973.00 single room supplement.

Journey Includes

  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • All transfers and fully guided daily sightseeing provided by a private deluxe A/C vehicle
  • Local English-speaking guide for sightseeing in each city
  • Entrance fees per final scheduled itinerary
  • Airport porterage, where available (2 bags per person)
  • Local taxes
  • TravcoAssist (Medical Travel Assistance Plan)

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

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Tour Notes