Location map >
Golden Chariot : Southern Splendour
Group | Individual | Regular | Heritage Tour
8 Days / 7 Nights
USD$ 5530 Onwards
The Golden Chariot — Southern Splendour
● Bangalore ● Chennai ● Mamallapuram ● Puducherry ● Tanjavur ● Madurai
● Kanyakumari ● Thiruvananthapuram ● Kovalam ● Alleppey ● Kochi
Dates & Prices
Delve deeper into the heady mix that is the South of India. Discover its awe inspiring vibrancy and variety. Here, a French quarter. There, the temple Gods. Elsewhere, a Golden sunset across the ocean.
Golden Chariot now brings to you the “Southern Splendour”, a journey spanning 7 nights and 8 days that links some of South India’s greatest destinations filled with memorable moments guaranteed to stay with you for a lifetime. On this splendid voyage covering three states we take you through exotic locales starting from the garden city of Bangalore passing through ancient temple towns of Tamil Nadu and finally ending our journey in the coastal city of Kochi. In short, it’s an experience that captures the romance of a by-gone era making your sojourn an unforgettable one.
Day 1: Monday Bangalore Depart
The city of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, is a splendid neo-metro that lets measures of modernity and age old culture mingle in equal parts. While here, enthrall your senses with a traditional art exhibition and folk dance performance at the Chithrakala Parishad. Or check-in at Our Native Village for a quick overview of village life in India. Furthermore, get acquainted with just what’s in store for you, aboard The Golden Chariot.
Report in Lobby of Hotel Taj West End by 4pm for Check-In formalities of Southern Splendour train, followed by high tea,brief train tour presentation & cultural program. Proceed to visit ISKON Hindu Temple,before reaching Yashwantpura Railway Stationby 815pm to board the Southern Splendour - Golden Chariot Train. At 9pm train departs. Dinner is served onboard.
Day 2: Tue Morning : Chennai and Mahabalipuram
India’s fourth largest city and its original metro of the South, Chennai boasts both specimens of Chola bronzes and Raj architecture. Not too far from here is the seaside town of Mamallapuram, where the rhythms of chisels chipping granite resound its stone-carving tradition.
Train reaches Egmore Railway Station Chennai by 930 am & depart for sightseeing After visiting Santhome Cathedral built over tomb of apostle St Thomas & drive through Marine Bay Road Drive proceed for excursion to Mahabalipuram Beach (1.5 hrs).
In Mahabalipuram visit 8th century built stone cut Hindu temples complex located on the seashore & now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a break from the journey & have sumptuous lunch at beach side 5-Star Resort. Later drive 2.5hrs onwards to Pondicherry Railway Station to board the awaiting train. Dinner onboard.
NOTE: After dropping passengers at Chennai, the train proceeds empty to Pondicherry.
Day 3: Wed: Morning: Puducherry
The former capital of French India, then called Pondicherry, prides in its fair share of leafy boulevards and petanque pitches. Sunny beaches and bakeries that smell of cinnamon and garlic add to the authenticity of it all, as you stroll down tropical streets that are still called by French names.
After breakfast drive 1.5hrs to Auroville Ashram. Conceived in 1968,the meaning of Auroville only becomes clearer in the context of the vision of its founders, which has stimulated people from all over the world to join in this â€˜laboratory of evolutionâ€™. Enjoy screening on Auroville Ashram, tour of Auroville Ashram, Matra Mandir and shopping in the Ashram.
Later Drive back to Pondicherry town for lunch in boutique restaurant & return to train for brief rest
Day 4: Thurs Morning: Tanjavur/ Trichy
Tanjavur, a short coach trip away from the town of Kumbakonam,is the home of the world’s finest Chola bronze collection. As many as ninety temples have survived the ravages of time in this majestic town. Among them is the breathtaking Brihadishwara Temple, Tamil Nadu's most notable Chola monument.
Visit Aurobindo Ashram (former residence of founder of Auroville) & 17th Century built Ganesh Hindu Temple. Enjoy stroll through 19th Century built cobbled streets called Latin quarters, built by former French Colonial rulers & time free on Promenade Beach. Later return to the railway station to board the train for Dinner & depart
Visit the Sri Rangam Temple , dedicated to Hindu God Lord Vishnu.The main entrance raises from base area of 5720 sq feet & goes up to 237 feet, moving up in eleven progressively smaller tiers.The temple is enclosed by 7 concentric walls with total length of over six miles.The complex has 21 towers, 39 pavilions, fifty shrines,hall of 1000 pillars and several small water bodies inside. Non-Hindus are allowed up to the second outer courtyard but not inside the gold topped sanctum sanctorum.
Later Drive to Trichy Railway Station to board the train for Dinner & depart.
Day 5: Friday Morning: Madurai
One of the oldest cities in South India, Madurai was once famous for its silks, pearls and spices. It was this lucrative trade that let its Pandyan kings erect the mighty Meenakshi-Sundareshwar temple. While at Madurai, savour the history and culture of Tamil Nadu at the light and sound show and the folk arts performance.
Madurai has been inhabited since at least the 3rd century BC. Madurai is famous for its silks, pearls and spices. It was this lucrative trade that let its Pandyan kings to erect the mighty Meenakshi temple in 13th Century.
After breakfast Visit the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple,dedicated to Hindu Goddess Paravti(consort of Lord Shiva).The present temple was reconstructed in 17th century & houses 14 gateway towers, tallest of which is 170 feet high. There are an estimated 33,000 sculptures in the complex with two golden structured shrines over the main deities in the inner sanctum. Later return to train for lunch & brief rest.
Evening visit 17th century built Thirumalai Nayak Palace,to savour the history and culture of Tamil Nadu at the sound & light show based on Silappatikaram,one of great epics of Tamil Literature. Later return back to train for dinner & depart
Day 6: Sat Morning: Kanyakumari and Kovalam
Watch the sun rise and set at Kanyakumari, the meeting place of the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. A short distance away from here is Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala, famous for its narrow backstreets and red-tiled gabled houses. Just 14km south of Thiruvananthapuram lies the coastal village of Kovalam, with its quintessential coconut palms and delectable sea food.
Early Morning train reaches Nagercoil Railway Station & by 5am proceed for excursion (30 minutes drive one way) to sunrise point at Kanyakumari. This location is the southernmost tip of Peninsular India & meeting place of three oceans- the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. After breakfast on the train & brief rest, proceed for excursion (30 minutes drive one way) to early 17th Century built Padmanabhapuram Wooden Palace, one of hallmarks of traditional Kerala style architecture.
Later return to the train at Nagercoil Railway Station & depart. Lunch on board.
Train reaches Kochhuvelli Railway Station (Near Trivandrum) by 4:30PM and drive 45 minutes to World famous Kovalam Beach on the Arabian Sea.Time free on the beach followed by dinner & cultural program at leading 5-star beach resort. Return back to train by 1030pm & depart.
Day 7: Sun Morning: Old Goa Churches
Further north lies Alappuzha (formerly Aleppey), one of the best known ports along the Malabar coast. The interconnecting canals make way for the many house boats that ply these waters. And set the right atmosphere to relax and enjoy the fine cuisine served in these parts. The city of Kochi is yet another attraction with its exotic spice markets, Chinese fishing nets, Synagogue and the Portuguese Palace.
On Arrival in 16th Century built Fort Kochi Town, proceed to explore Chinese Fishing Nets, Jew Synagogue & local spice market. Later Drive to Ernakulam Railway station to board the train & depart.Dinner onboard.
Day 8: Mon Morning-Bangalore Return
The overnight return journey to Bangalore is the time for quiet contemplation. As the warm sea breeze gives way to the cool night, prepare yourself to celebrate the end of a journey well travelled. In luxury. Aboard The Golden Chariot.
Your journey ends at 11 am on arrival at Yeshwanthpur Railway Station, Bangalore.
NOTE : 1. Train tour manager reserves the right to amend day to day logistics.
2. All local excursions in groups by Air Conditioned Buses with services of English Speaking Guide.
3, 17, 24, 31
4, 11, 18, 25
14, 21, 28
12, 19, 26
2, 9, 23, 30
6, 20, 27
6, 20, 27
*Dates in bold indicate important festival period and Dates in Red are for Charters/Group Bookings Only
TOUR COST per Cabin for 7 Nights Pride of South Golden Chariot Train Tour-Per Cabin
No of Persons
Only for Indian National
For Foreign Passport Holders (Taxes Extra)
TOUR COST Pride of South Golden Chariot Train Tour-Per person Per Night
No of Persons
Only for Indian National
For Foreign Passport Holders (Taxes Extra)
Add Govt. Taxes Extra ,as applicable on date of journey
10% Surcharge shall be levied on departures during Christmas / New Year
Children between 5 and 12 years charged 50% of adult rate (Half fare)
Children below 5 years are complimentary(but no bed)
Option to book for MINIMUM Three nights part journey & pay accordingly
Train tour will operate ,subject to MINIMUM 20 Passengers OR
advance received will be refunded (with no further liability)
Validity: From April 1, 2016 to March 30, 2017 |
* Indicative price subject to change at the time of issue.
TOUR COST INCLUDES
● Accommodation On-board stay & travel in private A/C Deluxe Cabins with attached bathrooms
● Accommodation for Tuesday Night in Kabini Forest Lodge room.
● Daily Three Meals.
● Bed Tea
● Transportation in air-conditioned vehicle with driver for transfers,
● Group excursion & sightseeing.
● The entrance to places of tourist interest mentioned in the itinerary. (Single visit per site).
● Services of English speaking local guide.
● Entrance fees at monuments / parks / palaces and cultural programs.
● Bottled drinking water
● Boat ride & Jeep safari in Kabini forest.
● Cultural program in Bangalore & Mysore
TOUR COST DOES NOT INCLUDE
● International air fare.
● Visa fee and service charges if service provided for issuance of visas.
● Expense of personal nature like spa, business car facilities, drinks, and also food drinks not forming part of the group menus, room service or mini-bar consumption, laundry, medical expenses, telephone and internet services, camera or video camera fee at monuments, tips and other items.
● Personal Insurance is not included in the cost, hence any cost involving health which may include
any type of medical expense or medication and any cost derived due to illness would be charged extra. It is advised to take a personal travel insurance
● Cost of Optional or add-on tours unless mentioned otherwise.
● Airport taxes and airport departure tax normally included in the international tickets.
● Meals other than those mentioned as included in the itinerary.
● Services not mentioned in the 'The price includes' box.
● Travellers should carry a valid tourist visa for
● The price provided is based on the prices and taxes existing at the time of calculation. Any increase in the airfare, in routing due to withdrawal of existing flights, taxes change if any would be advised at the time of booking.
● Any change in rate of exchange leading to an increase in the cost of the tour, which may come into effect prior to departure would be informed at the time of booking.
● Minimum reporting time in India for International flights in India is three hours and for internal flights is hour and a half.
● Child without bed - Is an individual under 12 years of age, sharing the room with 2 Full Paying adults and without a bed.
● Triple rooms do not exist in India, most hotels use roll away beds which is placed once you arrive at the hotel. The room size is the same as a Double Room.
● Once an air ticket is issued, any change of date or cancellation would attract a penalty charge levied by the airlines. Your sales officer will advise you the
amount at the time of making the date change.
● The tour will be operated, subject to a minimum of 06 full paying adult passengers. In the event that the group size is less than 06 adult passengers, you will be given an option of travelling as an individual tourist with private services. Additional supplement might apply. The Tour will be conducted on a seat-in-coach basis for group strength of 20- 25 persons, with the assistance of a local representative.
● Travel Insurance for the duration of the tour is not included in the tour price. However, any passengers who wish to take an insurance cover can request for it at an additional charges.
● The right to vary, amend or withdraw any particular itinerary, departure or excursion rests entirely with the company. Due to demand in particular airline in/ out points may change. Service, will however remain unchanged. Hotels / Flights / Airlines / Itinerary / Route subject to change without notice
While on journey on board
The Golden Chariot (Train)
Capital of Karnataka State, Bengaluru, also known as the 'City of Gardens', is one of the most attractive cities in India with its beautiful parks, avenues and impressive buildings. The once-sedate cantonment settlement of the British has now spread way beyond the mud fort and the four towers constructed by Kempe Gowda in 1537. With its booming economy and racy lifestyle, the capital of Karnataka has metamorphosed from a sleepy Garden City into one of India's fastest growing, accommodating, technophiliac, and cosmopolitan cities.
Bangalore is a city of contrasts, going by several other aliases: India's Silicon Valley, Pub City, Shopper's Paradise, Garden City, Air-conditioned City, Gourmet's Delight, Pub Hopper's Paradise and Shopper's Hot Spot. Surrounded by weekend getaways, Bangalore makes an ideal hub for visitors who want to travel to the many hill stations and coastal towns of South India.
This metropolis is often called the ‘Cultural Capital of India’ for its deep-rooted traditions and age-old heritage. A city younger than its image, Chennai has blossomed into a charming city within a span of just over 350 years.
The city gained recognition when, in 1639, Francis Day and Andrew Cogan, agents of the English East India Company, acquired a strip of land, called Chennapatnam on lease from the Vijayanagar King. Fort St. George that serves as the Government Secretariat today was built to set up a factory serving as a nucleus for British settlements.
The city was known as Madras till 1996 and later renamed Chennai. Today this buoyant metropolis is a blend of the old and the new, the traditional and the modern. Spread over 200 sq km with the Bay of Bengal on the east, the city is the gateway to the rest of South India.
An ancient port with a flourishing maritime trade, Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram is situated on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. It was the chief sea port of the Pallavas who ruled over South India from the 1st century BC to 8th century AD and is recognised as the site of some of the greatest architectural and sculptural achievements in India.
Under the reign of the Narasimha Varman, this seaport began to grow as a great artistic centre. Mamallapuram is a world heritage site, and a testimonial to early Dravidian style of architecture.
A French colony up to 1954, Puducherry (earlier known as Pondicherry) is a small conclave in India that retains a distinctly French ambience and culture.
This small, quiet Union Territory is well known for its fine cuisine and good hotels.
The Ashram founded by Sri Aurobindo, the well-known philosopher, attracts thousands of people from all over the country and abroad who come here to learn yoga and to meditate. Puducherry is definitely a place to unwind for a great weekend getaway from Chennai or Bengaluru.
Thanjavur (earlier known as Tanjore) was the royal city of the Chola, Nayak and the Maratha rulers. Thanjavur derives its name from Tanjan, a giant, who, according to legend, devastated the neighbourhood and was killed by goddess Sri Anandavalli Amman and Lord Vishnu.
Tanjan's last request that the city might be named after him was granted. Thanjavur reached the zenith of its glory between 10th and 14th centuries, especially during the reign of Raja Raja Chola. Thanjavur has produced many classical musicians and Bharatanatyam dancers and is also well known for its unique painting style called Tanjore Painting and Thavil, a percussion instrument.
Apart from hundreds of ancient temples, the district is also known for its exquisite handicrafts, castings, pith craft and South Indian musical instruments.
The oldest existing city in the Indian peninsula and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Madurai is richly steeped in cultural heritage. The city, earlier known as Madhurapuri, grew around a huge temple built by Pandian King Kulasekhara 2,500 years ago.
Madurai became famous during the Sangam period through the third and last conglomeration of Tamil scholars, which existed for more than 100 years. The city was the magnificent capital of Pandya kings and visited by travellers such as Megasthenes (302 BC), Pliny (77 AD), Ptolemy (140 AD), Marco Polo (1203 AD) and Ibu Batuta (1333 AD). Today, Madurai is synonymous with the awe-inspiring Meenakshi-Sundareswarar Temple
Kanyakumari is located at the southernmost point of peninsular India. It is the meeting point of three great water bodies: the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Besides its importance as a pilgrim centre, it is well known for its beautiful views of sunrise, sunset and moonrise over the waters.
From the Sthalapurana of Kanyakumari and the inscriptions found on the premises, we learn that the temple was famous during the period of the later Cholas, and that it was actually built before the ancient Thanjavur temple.
Thiruvananthapuram ("City of the Sacred Serpent"), the capital of Kerala, is bounded by the Arabian Sea on the west. Also known as Trivandrum in the popular parlance the city is home to temples and museums. The wooded highlands on the Western Ghats in the Eastern, and North Eastern borders give some of the most enchanting picnic spots, a long shoreline, with internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches and a rich cultural heritage make this district a much sought after tourist destination. With a good infrastructure, the city is an excellent base to explore Varkala, a famous seaside holiday destination.
Kovalam is an internationally renowned beach with three adjacent crescent beaches. It has been a favourite haunt of tourists, especially Europeans, since the 1930s. A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing.
The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse. Sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programmes and catamaran cruising are some of them. The tropical sun acts so fast that one can see the faint blush of coppery tan on the skin in a matter of minutes. Life on the beach begins late in the day and carries on well into the night. The beach complex includes a string of budget cottages, Ayurvedic health resorts, convention facilities, shopping zones, swimming pools, Yoga and Ayurvedic massage centres.
Accommodation facility for tourists at Kovalam ranges from five star hotels to budget hotels and the choice of food is available at restaurants and cafeteria ranges from Continental varieties to South Indian tastes.
Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, is just 16 km away from Kovalam and getting there is no hassle. But if you are on holiday it is better to stay in Kovalam and visit the city. The City of Thiruvananthapuram has interesting places to see like the Napier Museum, the Sri Chitra Art Gallery, the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Ponmudi hill station etc. SMSM Institute, a State owned handicrafts emporium, is the ideal place to pick up ethnic curios and other articles.
This laid-back market town Alappuzha, previously known as Alleppy, is built on canals that form a web, which serves the coir industry. All around are coconut palms, and obviously, coir making, boat building, toddy tapping and fish farming are mainstays of the village economy.
Every August, Alappuzha comes to life with an adrenaline-pumping event that sees huge, low slung chundan vellams (snake boats), rowed by up to 100 people, compete for the Nehru Cup. Alappuzha's attraction does not, however, lie solely in its natural aspects. Apaprt from the Poomkavu Church, other well-known religious sites in and around Alappuzha are Mullackal Raja Rajeshwari Temple, Mannarasala Temple and Salafi Juma Masjid Mosque.
Kochi, the commercial hub of Kerala, is one of the most picturesque places in Kerala with an all weather harbour and a grand seascape and is termed the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. The earliest verifiable history of Kochi kingdom is traced to the last Perumal of the second Chera Dynasty, Rama Varma Kulashekara Perumal in the 12th century.
Chinese and Arab traders are believed to have been the first traders to this port, heralding a wave of subsequent visitors, the Portuguese, Dutch and British, who brought in the era of colonial power to the region. Kochi was able to offer in abundance the best of spices to the world, a reputation that continues to this day.
In addition to spices, the voyagers also coveted the fine ivory, sandalwood, perfumes and gold that came to this market town. At one point nothing but a small fishing village, the destiny of Kochi changed in 1341, with the flooding of the Periyar River, which rendered the then popular Kodungallur ineffective.
Among many repercussions of this event was the creation of a natural harbour at Kochi. It was Sir Robert Bristow, an experienced harbour engineer who came to Kochi in 1920 who was responsible for the modernization of Kochi harbour. The city is now the proud owner of one of the most beautiful ports of the country that is the biggest in Kerala and is also one of the premier industrial trading and commercial centres of southern India. Kochi expanded to include many towns and villages surrounding it and the corporation of Kochi was formed in 1967.
TRAVEL BY ROAD ...
AIRFARES AND TRAVELLING BY AIR ...
BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE ...
First Class 40 Kgs.
Executive Class 35 Kgs.
Economy Class (Y,B,M & H) 20 Kgs.
Economy Class (K,Q,V,W,G,L,U,S,T,X, N & E) 15 Kgs.
Infants not entitled to a seat (All economy classes) Nil
Local festivals may fall on the date of travel and it is possible that the visits to places of interest are modified by the local government or authorities for which we cannot be held responsible. The program would be amended accordingly so that none of the visits included are missed on an alternative provided.
(Wildlife Safari/ Boat ride/ Desert & Rural Safari/ Bicycle & Rickshaw Ride/ Animal Rides)
Boats: To take part in any boat ride, you need to be of average mobility to be able to climb on and off all these boats unaided; able to disembark onto makeshift docks without handrails, or onto muddy and slippery riverbanks.
Canters: These are large, open trucks with wooden bench seats in the back and used for safaris on sharing basis in the national parks.
Elephant ride at Amber Fort (Jaipur): Elephant rides can either be taken to the fort or from the fort based on the directives received from the Rajasthan State Tourism Board and are booked on first come-first serve basis. As such for Elephant ride at Amber Fort, an early departure from the hotel is recommended. Also note Elephant ride to or from the Fort is subject to same being operational and may be stopped due to various reasons by Rajasthan State Tourism Board
Important: At all times, our Tour Managers, Local Guides, and Representatives will assist and brief guests about these activities but cannot guarantee the uninterrupted services during their stay in Indian Subcontinent. All guests must bear full responsibilities for such activities releasing Indior Tours, its associates, its directors, its agents of any claim. It would be in your interest to buy a suitable insurance to cover all risks associated with such travel.
SUGGESTED CLOTHING ...
In order not to encourage begging, we suggest that you should not distribute anything during your visits (candy, money, toys, pens etc.).Should you wish to made donations in cash or kind, please consult your guide who would provide you with the best advice.
We suggest that you spend your money to buy locally produced things made my local craftsmen and take them to the country of your origin and contribute to the local economy thus providing work to those in need.
PRICE AND OTHER CONDITION OF SALE ...
RECOMMENDED TIPS ...
(Indicative only because it is at the discretion of each / not to spare but only tickets ) :
CANCELLATION FEES ...