Explore Karnataka, an enchanting land rich in heritage and abounding in scenic beauty that is sublime, solemn, and spellbinding; a land rich in flora and fauna. Experience nature in its true form in the vast forests of Karnataka and then delve into centuries old architectural marvels in this Cradle of Stone Architecture on board the luxury train The Golden Chariot – a fine balance between a glorious yesterday and an omnipresent tomorrow, culminating your journey relaxing on the sandy beaches of Goa.
Tour Highlights & Inclusives:
Day 01 Arrive Bangalore
Upon arrival at Bangalore International Airport you will be met by a Luxe India representative who will assist with the transfer and check-In at the hotel. Spend one night at Taj Westend. Accommodation is in luxury room, inclusive of breakfast. Taj West End The Taj West End located over twenty acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, is an exquisite combination of modern amenities and old world charm. It is situated near the city centre and close to the business, entertainment, wonderful shopping and is also located near the race course and golf course.
Day 02 Bangalore-Coorg
After breakfast proceed for a private road to Coorg (approx. 5 hours). Upon arrival check-in at the hotel. Coorg or Kodagu as the people of this little district in Karnataka call their land, is located atop the lovely blue mountains, the Sahyadris, at an average altitude of 1400 meters. Coorg still retains its old world charm – it is in fact a cluster of hamlets and homesteads, surrounded by nature at its best – Unsullied, beautiful, green and exciting. There are dense forested valleys, gurgling mountain streams and waterfalls. Coffee plantations predominate, along with a fair amount of cardamom and pepper thrown. Evening, take a guided tour of the 300 acre working coffee and spice plantation. Learn first hand the difference between an Arabica and Robusta, discover how the Malabar blend got ‘monsooned’, and explore the spice scented pathways of Orange County to slip into the spirit of the land. Feel the aroma of fresh coffee and spices and the lush greenery around you- mingle with nature, discover the deep silence of the surroundings, hear the sounds of chirping birds, and the gurgle of the little brooks. Later, enjoy a bonfire at the resort, followed by Dinner. Spend two nights at Orange County. Accommodation is in Private Pool Villa, inclusive of all meals.
Orange County Nestled in the Western Ghats, perched at 800 meters above sea level and set amidst 300 acres of coffee and spice plantations, is the Orange County Resort. This resort is unique for its hospitality in harmony with tradition and nature. Cosseted by River Cauvery on one side and Dubare Reserve forest on the other, this resort promises seclusion, exclusivity and tranquility. Orange County has blend a lot of Kodava traditions and making a stay at Orange County is an experience to cherish for times to come. It is a perfect haven for seclusion, exclusivity and tranquility.
Day 03 In Coorg
After breakfast proceed for a visit to Dubare Elephant Camp across the river Cauvery. Get an insight into the life of these fascinating animals by participating in activities such as bathing and feeding them, followed by an elephant ride through the forest. Also visit Bylekuppe, the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet and includes a bazaar selling Tibetan handicrafts and a flea market. A beautiful Monastery with three large and imposing Golden Buddha statues and in a serene setting beckons you. The temple has 62 feet Buddha statues covered with gold plates is a wonderful sight anytime.
Day 04 Coorg-Kabini
Early morning proceed for a guided bird watching walk into Dubare Reserve Forest. Coorg is an ornithologist’s delight. And is every bit as entertaining and enlightening for the amateur birdwatcher too. Over 300 bird species are found here.
After breakfast proceed for a private road transfer to Kabini. (approx. 120Kms)
Upon arrival check-in at the hotel.
After lunch, proceed for wildlife safaris in Jeep into the Nagarhole National Park. Accompanied by a trained naturalist, the safari provides a good opportunity to observe the various herbivores & predators in their natural habitat. Some of the animals found here are the Bonnet Macaque, Gray Langur , Slender Loris , Wild dog or “Dhole”, the sloth bear, stripe- necked Mongoose, Civets, Otters, Indian Pangolin, Giant Flying Squirrel, Flying Fox, Indian Porcupine, Jackal, Black Naped Hare, barking deer, Sambhar, Four horned Antelope, Gaur, and wild boar. Evening enjoy a Kuruba tribal dance performance followed by Dinner. Spend two nights at Orange County. Accommodation is in Pool Hut, inclusive of all meals.
Day 05 In Kabini
Early morning enjoy a boat safari upstream from the resort on the Kabini River. While the animals and birds that can be sighted will be the same as during the vehicle safari, the boat safari offers an opportunity to observe the Marsh Crocodile and other water birds, rarely seen during the Vehicle safari. As the river meanders between the two parks, the visitor gets to witness the vastness of the parks. The boat safari also goes to certain areas, which are not accessible by vehicle. The backwaters of the Kabini acts as a huge water body, attracting a wide variety of water birds. As the waters recede during summer, they leave behind isolated pools of water that attract a multitude of birds as fish are often trapped in them.
After lunch, take a bicycle tour of the village of the Kuruba tribe. They are the Jenu Kurubas, the Beta Kurubas (collectively called Kadu Kuruba or simply Kuruba). These people were originally hunter gathers who switched to swidden agriculture and when that was banned to collection of minor forest produce. Experience their unique culture and lifestyle first hand while sharing a cup of coffee with them. Evening accompanied by the in-house naturalist get up close and personal with Meenakshi, their resident elephant. Learn about the magnificent animal, its natural history and its long association with man. Learn about the various methods of capturing wild elephants and their long and historical association with Kabini.
Day 06 Kabini-Mysore…Board the Golden Chariot
Morning proceed for a guided bird watching tour along the river bank, passing through the cultivated fields and scrubs growing along the village roads, to observe the water birds and waders.
After breakfast proceed for a private road transfer to Mysore (approx. 90Kms) to Board the train- The Golden Chariot.
After Lunch on board the train, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Mysore. Visit the most impressive of Mysore’s numerous monuments, though, is the Maharaja’s Palace built in 1911 at the cost of 4.2 million Indian Rupees. One of the biggest in India, it is a harmonious synthesis of the Hindu and Saracenic styles of architecture. Also visit Srirangapatna a place of great religious, cultural and historic importance. The Srirangapatnam Fort, defended by a double wall, is the center of attraction here. It was built in 1454 by Thimmanna, a local chief and later renovated by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.
Spend four nights on the Golden Chariot, inclusive of all meals.
Day 07 Hassan
Enjoy breakfast en route your journey to Hassan. This quiet and peaceful town is a convenient base to visit Sharavanabelagola, Belur and Halebid. Shravanabelagola, 52km from Hassan, an important Jain pilgrim centre. It is home to Asia’s largest monolithic statue Lord Gomateswara here towers 58 ft., looming atop the picturesque Vindhyagiri Hill. Every 12 years, Jain pilgrims gather here to participate in a splendid head anointing ceremony.
Belur & Halebid: A World of Worship Belur in Hassan is famous for its magnificent Hoysala Temple Complex. The Chennakesava Temple here is the major attraction, built by Hoysala Vishnuvardhana, to commemorate his victory over the Cholas. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures with no portion left blank. It is the only Hoysala Temple still in active worship. Halebid in Hassan district was the capital of the Hoysalas. It has one of the finest Hoysala temples. The Hoysaleswara Temple, perched on a star-shaped base amidst lawns, is a sculptural extravaganza. Its walls are richly carved with an endless variety of Hindu deities, sages, stylized animals, birds and friezes depicting the life of the Hoysala Kings.
Return to the train for Dinner and then relax on your journey to Hospet.
Day 08 Hospet
Arrive Hospet, a city filled with wonders and surrounded by marvels. After breakfast proceed for a visit of Hampi, a world heritage site. If dreams were made out of stone, it would be Hampi. Hampi, the seat of the famed Vijayanagara Empire was the capital of the largest empire in post-moghul India, covering several states. Although in ruins today, this capital city once boasted riches known far beyond the shores of India. The ruins of Hampi of the 14th Century lies scattered in about 26 sq. km area, amidst giant boulders and vegetation. The Pampapati Swami temple with its many tiered pyramidal tower crests above the others. The Vittala Temple has 56 pillars, each of which produces a different musical note when tapped. Protected by the tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides, the ruins silently narrate the story of grandeur splendor and fabulous wealth. A visit to Hampi is a sojourn into the past.
Return to the Golden Chariot for Dinner and relax.
Day 09 Badami
Continue your journey of this incredible land, proceeding towards Badami, a world heritage site. Badami is picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills. The exquisite sculptures and the rust red sandstone cliffs of Badami tell many a tale of yore. The first sculptural embellishment to dazzle the eye is the 18 armed Nataraja striking 81 dance poses. Badami is famous for its rock-cut cave temples. These temples have been carved out on the red sandstone hills that surround the town. There are four cave temples at Badami. These temples date back to the 6th and 7th centuries and ornately carved with figures of Hindu deities. Also visit Pattadakal, with its beautifully chiseled temples, a World Heritage Site, located on the banks of the Malaprabha River. It bears testimony to the richness of the Chalukyan architecture. Pattadakal reached its pinnacle of glory under the Chalukyan Kings and was once used as a ceremonial center where kings were crowned.
Afternoon return to the train and continue your journey to Goa.
Day 10 Goa
Arrive Goa. After breakfast check out. You will be met by a Luxe India representative who will assist with the transfer and check-in at the hotel. Goa also known as “Pearl of the Orient” and a “Tourist Paradise”, is located on the western coast of India in the coastal belt known as Konkan. The magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendors of its temples, churches and old houses have made Goa a firm favorite with travelers around the world.
Rest of the day at leisure to relax and unwind. Spend three nights at Taj Exotica. Accommodation is in Garden Villa, inclusive of breakfast. Taj Exotica Located on the southwest coast of Goa, overlooking the Arabian sea, this Mediterranean-style resort is one of the best hotels in Goa and has a way of slowing down time to a tranquil tempo. Set amidst fifty-six acres of lush gardens, Taj Exotica is a showcase for relaxation with tropical inspired design touches, grand architecture, a sun-drenched atrium, wide shady corridors, and flower lined patios for a memorable stay.
Day 11 In Goa
Your visit to Goa is not complete without a trip to Old Goa, which was the ancient capital of Goa, once ruled by Adil Shah and was later conquered by the Portuguese. All that now remains of Old Goa’s former glory, are its imposing churches and cathedrals which houses 14 magnificent Alter and 05 bells of which one is the famous Golden Bell said to have been heard all over Goa. The Basilica of Bom Jesus, houses the mortal and visible remain of Goa’s Patron, Saint Francis Xavier, in the silver casket. The Churches are also considered as “World Heritage Monuments.” Also visit Panjim, the Capital City of Goa, build on the banks of river Mondovi, take a walk through the small squares and back lanes of the town’s old quarters where the Portuguese influence is most evident.
Day 12 In Goa
Day at leisure to relax at the beach or enjoy the facilities at the resort.
Day 13 Goa-Mumbai….Depart
After breakfast proceed for the Goa Airport to board your flight to Mumbai. Upon arrival you will be transferred to the International airport to board your flight for onward destination.