21 Nights / 22 Days
Mumbai - Aurangabad - Ajanta Caves - Ellora Caves -
Hyderabad - Chennai - Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram - Chennai - Trichy -
Tanjore - Madurai - Periyar - Kumarakom-Houseboat - Alleppey - Cochin -
Bangalore - Mysore Bangalore
The tour to West and South India by rail is a trail starting from the dreams
of Deccan region of Maharashtra and proceeds further to the different states
and cities of the peninsular south. The tour commences from Mumbai, the city
of dreams to Aurangabad and the ancient rock cut caves of Ajanta and Ellora.
The trail moves ahead in the Charminar City Hyderabad. Straight from
the crossroad city of west and south, the tour proceeds towards Chennai and
the ancient cities of southern glory Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram in
its outskirts and the three golden cities of Trichy, Thanjaur and Madurai in
the south. The rail trail further enters the Gods own country, Kerala
with Periyar National Park known for its tiger reserves. From there, the
tour cruises ahead through the houseboats in Kumarakom, Alleppey along with
the port city of Kochi. And finally, the 22 day journey concludes in the
state Karnataka with the idyllic bliss of Bangalore and magical Mysore.
Day 01 : Arrive Mumbai
Arrive Mumbai. Our representative will be at the Airport to welcome you.
Transfer to Hotel for overnight stay.
Day 02 : Mumbai
Morning cruise across the harbour (9 kms) to see Elephanta Caves noted for
huge rock cuts. Afternoon tour of Mumbai city. Main attractions are Kamla
Nehru Park, Hanging Gardens situated on the slopes of Malabar Hill offering
a panoramic view of Marine drive, Chowpatty Beach, Prince of Wales Museum,
Mani Bhawan, Dhobi Ghat, Gateway of India & drive through the Crawford
Market, Marine Drive & Flora Fountain. Overnight in Hotel
Day 03 : Mumbai - Aurangabad
Morning Transfer to Railway Station to connect Train # 7617 Tapovan Express
dep. 06:00 hrs. arrive Aurangabad at 13:30 hrs. Check into hotel. Afternoon
visit Aurangabad Caves, excavated between the 2nd and 6th century AD, they
reflect tantric influences in their iconography and architectural designs.
Also visit and Daulatabad Fort, this magnificent 12th century fortress
stands on a hill just 13 kms. from Aurangabad. One of the world's best
preserved fort of medieval times, surviving virtually unaltered, Daulatabad
yet displays the character that made it invincible. Overnight in hotel.
Day 04 : Aurangabad - Excursion to Ajanta Caves
Full day tour of Ajanta Caves. Ajanta Caves are 106 kms from Aurangabad and
date back to the 2nd century BC. The 30 rock hewn caves are adorned with
Buddhist sculpture and the frescoes portray in epic form the religious and
secular life through eight centuries. Overnight in Aurangabad. (Ajanata
Caves are closed on Mondays)
Day 05 : Aurangabad - Excursion to Ellora Caves -
Morning visit Ellora Caves (29 kms) encompassing 34 rock cut shrines
representing Buddhist, Hindu & Jain art dating from the 4th to 9th
century A.D. The most remarkable among them is the Kailash Temple, meant to
be a replica of Lord Shivas celestial abode - Kailash is the best example of
Rock cut architecture and an engineering marvel. (Ellora Caves are closed on
Evening transfer to Railway Station to connect Train # 7063 Manmad
Secundarabad Express dep. 19:20 hrs. Overnight on train.
Day 06 : Hyderabad
Arrive Hyderabad at 08:30 hrs. Afternoon tour of Hyderabad. Visit Charminar
- Rectangular Four Arched Monumental Gate often described as the -The Arch
of Triumph of the East, The Mecca Mosque & visit the Salar Jung Museum -
one man collection of Manuscripts, ancient weapons, costumes & curios.
Visit the High Court buildings. Overnight in Hyderabad.
Day 07 : Hyderabad - Chennai
Day free or optional tour to Golconda Fort. Afternoon transfer to Railway
station to connect Train # 7052 Secundarabad MS Express dep. 15:00 hrs.
Overnight on train.
Day 08 : Chennai - Excursion to Mahabalipuram &
Arrive Chennai at 06:40 hrs. Transfer to hotel. Full day tour of
Mahabalipuram & Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram (64 kms from Chennai) is the
ancient capital of the Pallavas famous as a city of 1000 Temples and still
has 124 shrines. The first temple dedicated to Shiva was built in the 7th
and 8th century and has paintings on the walls. Temples of Ekambaswara,
Kailasanatha , Sri Kamakshi and Varadarajaswamy are of interest. Kanchipuram
is also famous for its silks. The city of Mahabalipuram is famous for
the seven pagodas. Here on the seashore is an interesting group of ancient
rock hewn temples which are the examples of Dravidian style of Architecture.
09 : Chennai Trichy
Morning city tour. Visit the Museum to see the Art and Bronze Gallery
(Closed on Fridays and Public holidays). Drive through the Flower and Fruit
market, High court, Fort museum, Marina Beach, Santhome Cathedral and snake
park . Afternoon transfer to Railway-station to connect Train# 2605 Pallavan
Express dep. 15:30 hrs. arrive Trichy at 20:50 hrs. Transfer to hotel for
Day 10 : Trichy
Full day tour of Trichy. Trichy was the citadel of the Chola dynasty in the
medieval period. In the 18th century it witnessed the Carnatic wars fought
between the French and the English. Lord Robert Clive's house is still there
to see and so is the Danish Church. The Rock-Fort is the landmark of Trichy.
A climb of 434 steps leads to the ancient temple of Ganapati on top and a
further climb to a Shiva temple. Overnight Trichy.
Day 11 : Trichy -Thanjore - Madurai
Morning drive to Madurai (142 kms / 4 hrs) visiting Tanjore enroute. At
Tanjore, the beautiful Chola Temple of Brihadeeshwara is capped by a
monolithic cupola made of a single granite block weighing 80 tons which was
taken to the top with the help of a 6 km long ramp, an old technique used by
the Egyptians for building pyramids. Its bronzes and handicrafts make
Tanjore one of the highlights of a visit to South India. Overnight Madurai.
Day 12 : Madurai
Morning visit the great Meenakshi Temple dedicated to the consort of Lord
Shiva with its towering gopurams (rising high above the surrounding country
side). Later, visit the Tirumala Nayak Palace - A gracious building in the
Indo saracenic style, famous for the Stucco work on its domes & arches.
Also visit the Alagar Hills and Tirupara Kundran Rock temple. Afternoon
free. Overnight Madurai.
Day 13 : Madurai - Periyar (Thekkedy)
Morning drive to Periyar National Park (137 kms / 4 hrs). Set up in 1934,it
extends to 777 square kms & forms part of the high mountain ranges, the
Western Ghats. Wild life can be seen while cruising on Periyar Lake in a
motor boat. Amongst the animals which can be seen are elephants, wild boar,
sambar, tiger, leopard, wild dog, langur monkeys, etc. Overnight in Periyar.
Day 14 : Periyar
Morning optional visit to the National park again. Afternoon visit spice
plantations. Overnight in hotel.
Day 15 : Periyar - Kumarakom
Morning drive to Kumarakom (130 kms / 4 hrs). Afternoon visit Kumarakom
Bird Sanctuary. This Bird Santuary on the southern bank of the Kavanar
River, is a small bird sanctuary where numerous species of birds, including
darters, bitterns, brahminy kites, marsh harries, teals and several
varieties of herons roost. Overnight in hotel.
Day 16 : Kumarakom - Houseboat
Morning board houseboat from Kumarakom Jetty and sail towards Alleppey.
Cruise along the backwaters by day and dock at a picturesque location by
night. This is undoubtedly one of the most relaxing experiences to watch
Kerala life at work as you watch the world go by. All meals will be provided
on board. Overnight on board.
Day 17 : Houseboat - Alleppey - Cochin
Morning disembark at Alleppey. Later drive to Cochin (70 kms / 1 ½
hrs). Afternoon free for leisur or to explore the city by own. Evening watch
Kathkali dance performance. Overnight in hotel.
18 : Cochin - Bangalore
Full day city tour of Cochin. Cochin is the natural harbour created by the
famed underwater Malabar mud-banks whose quality ensures that the rougher
the seas are outside the calmer the waters are within the Harbour.
Vasco-de-Gama placed it on the world map. It has a Jewish synagogue,
Portuguese churches, Mosques & Hindu temples, Mattancherry Palace etc.
Watch the Chinese Fishing Nets. Evening transfer to Railway Station to
connect Train # 6525 Bangalore Express dep. 17:55 hrs. Overnight on train.
Day 19 : Bangalore
Arrive Bangalore at 06:55 hrs. Full day city tour of Bangalore visiting the
Bull Temple, and Tipu's Summer Palace, drive past numerous parks, the Vidhan
Soudha and down town commercial centre. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 20 : Banglaore - Mysore
Drive to Mysore (140 kms / 3 hrs). Afternoon free for leisure. Overnight in
Day 21 : Mysore
Morning visit the palace of the Maharaja built in 1911 - 1912. The palace
is of harmonious syntheses of the Hindu and saracenic styles of
architecture with archways, domes, turrets, colonnades and sculptures which
are magnificent. Visit the Art Gallery; drive upto Chamundi hill to see
Chamundeshwari Temple and a panoramic view of Mysore. On the way back, see
the Nandi Bull. Overnight in Mysore.
Day 22 : Mysore - Bangalore / Out
Drive to Bangalore airport to connect flight for onward destination