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An odyssey to discover the natural and man made wonders of the Deccan region.
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Deccan Odyssey Tour

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Arrival In Kolhapur
The Deccan Odyssey arrives at Kolhapur Railway Station at 06.00 hrs. Breakfast is served on board at 07.00 hrs. Thereafter, tourists board the AC coach to visit some of the famous places in Kolhapur.

About Kolhapur
Located at a distance of 450 km from Mumbai, Kolhapur was ruled by a Maharaja during the British rule. This Maharaja was a descendent of the great Maratha leader, Shivaji. After independence, however, the Maharaja acceded to the new Indian government and became a part of the Maharasthra state.

As for the origin of the city, there is an interesting legend associated with it as well. It is said that the city was founded by a demon called Kolhasur (Fox demon). His cruelty on the local people continued till the time they were finally rescued by goddess Mahalaxmi. However, before dying, the demon expressed a wish that the city be named after him, hence the name Kolhapur!

Tourists have plenty to see and do in the ancient city of Kolhapur, as such they come here in large numbers from all over the country.
Bhavani Mandap
Morning Sightseeing
» New Palace & Museum - The New Palace was designed by a British architect, Charles Mant, in an Indo Saracenic style. There is a museum in the palace that houses a wonderful assemblage of the belongings of the old Maharajas. Some of the items on display are the clothes of the Maharaja, old hunt photos, siver peacock shaped saddles and silver spade. However, the most noticeable aspect of the museum is the prominent presence of the skins and body parts of wild animal. Covering the floor and furnitures of the musuem, these are an ample proof of the Maharajas hunting skills. Also to be seen in the museum are the guns and sword collection of the Maharaja.

» Bhavani Mandap - Bhavani Mandap is an important building in Kolhapur, both from historical and religious point of view. It is said that Goddess Tulja Bhavani stayed as guest in the city of Mahalaxmi, her elder sister. It is also believed that the statue of Goddess Tulja Bhavani is the same one Chhatrapati Shivaji used for his prayers. From historical point of view, the Bhavani Mandap is important because it was a meeting venue of numerous court officials. There is a statue of Shri Sahu Maharaj in the hall along with a simple throne which is supposed to be the same one used by him on his visit to Kolhapur. The throne's simplcity proves the plain life led by the highly revered king.
Shalini Palace
» Mahalaxmi Temple - This is the most important temple in Kolhapur and is dedicated to Mahalaxmi, wife of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that both of them resided in this area. The temple is counted amongst the 108 Shakti Peetha of India and one of the six places where people can attain salvation or have their wishes fulfilled, as per their choice. The temple was first constructed around 700 AD and houses an idol of Goddess Mahalaxmi that has four arms, each carrying an object of typical symbolic significance. The crown adorning her head carries an image of Shesnag - the serpent of Visnu. A statue of the vehicle of the Goddess, Lion, stands right behind the idol of the Goddess. The Mahalaxmi temple atttracts numerous devotees from all over the country.

» Shalini Palace - Occupying the banks of the lovely Rankala Lake, the Shalini Palace was constructed in the year 1932-34. The place was named after Princess Shrimant Shalini Raje, and exudes a beauty that is completely adorable. Built of black stone and Italian marble, the palace has richly ornated doorways. With lush greeney around, the palace's beauty is enhanced multifolds. Today, the palace has been converted into a heritage hotel and enjoys the status of being the only palace hotel in Maharashtra.

Back to the Deccan Odyssey
At around 11.30 hrs, tourists are boarded on the AC coach and brought back to the Deccan Odyssey. The train departs for its next destination, Pune at 12.00 hrs. Lunch is served on board. Thereafter, tourists have plenty of free time to do whatever they like to.

Arrival in Pune
PuneThe train arrives in Pune at around 19.30 hrs. With not much time left on hand, tourists are boarded on an AC coach and taken to the Kelakar Museum.

About Pune
The cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune is quiet frequently referred by other names as well, like the 'Queen of Deccan', 'pensioner's paradise' and 'Oxford of the east.' This glorious past of the city ensures that there are many historical place worth visiting in and around Pune. Keeping its heritage intact, Pune has also marched ahead with times. Today, it is counted amongst the places from educational point of view.

With around two fifth of the total land area under plants and trees, Pune has also been declared the greenest belt in the country.

Evening Sightseeing
» Kelkar Museum - Kelkar Museum reflects the wonderful effort of one man, Shri Gangadhar Kelkar. His patiently collected items from all over India over the period of seventy years are showcased in this museum. The items date back to the Mughal and the Maratha period and include paintings, nut crackers, Ganpati's guns, carved palace doors, pottery and a number of musical instruments. However, the eyecatcher in this museum is the Mastani Mahal, which was brought from the original settings and re-erected here.

Back to the Deccan Odyssey
At around 21.15 hrs tourists board back into the bus and depart for the Pune railway station. The Deccan Odyssey departs for Aurangabad at 21.45 hrs. Dinner is served on board.

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