Journey through the state of Maharashtra, aboard the Deccan Odyssey, an exclusive luxury train. Visiting Mumbai, home of Bollywood, the beaches of tropical Goa, and the stunning caves of Ajanta and Ellora, this is a five-star holiday to keep in mind!
Once you arrive into Mumbai, you’ll be met & transferred to your hotel where the remainder of the day is free to explore Mumbai or relax at the hotel. Overnight – Mumbai
Mumbai or Bombay, as it was formerly known – remains India’s city of dreams. Today they embark on a glittering city tour, with a morning visit to the cave temples of Elephanta Island sculpted in the coursework of the 5th to the 8th centuries. In the afternoon visit the Prince of Wales Museum, Marine Drive and the Mani Bhawan Jain temple. Overnight – Mumbai
This morning take a guided heritage jogging tour, visiting the main buildings in South Mumbai, which form an integral part of the cities architectural heritage. Late this afternoon embark on further exploration of the city, visiting the Afghani Church & the holy Banganga Tank – an ancient water tank built over a freshwater spring under the Silhara dynasty in the 14th century. The spring is believed to be an underground offshoot of the Ganges, so the waters are thought about as sacred & effective for healing as those of the great river itself. This evening enjoys a leisurely horse & buggy ride along Marine Drive toward Chowpatty beach. Overnight – Mumbai
Mumbai – Goa. Flying south to the former Portuguese enclave of Goa they enjoy some fun in the sun. Goa is renowned for palm-fringed sandy beaches, exotic cuisine & heavy Portuguese influence in the kind of white-washed, terracotta tile-clad architecture & Catholicism. Goa can be explored at ease with long sandy beaches in the south & Panaji – the elderly city in the north. Overnight – Goa
Mid-morning embark on the elderly city sightseeing tour of the Convent & Church of St Francis of Assisi built in 1661 & the Basilica of Bom Jesus is famous throughout the Roman Catholic world, as it contains the mortal remains of St Francis Xavier who in 1541 spread Christianity among subjects of the Portuguese colonies in the east. Late this afternoon you check in to the Deccan Odyssey – an opulent train comprising ten luxurious carriages, each with about four themed cabins. There’s lounge carriages, a dining carriage, bar, laundry and servant service, staffed to the highest standard to make definite you have the experience of a lifetime. This evening you will enjoy a traditional Goan meal with entertainment at the Beach Resort Hotel Overnight – Train
Goa – Kolhapur Town. Morning arrives at Kolhapur -an ancient city famous for a choice of reasons including its food, headwear, footwear, jewellery, wrestling & religious connections. Later you proceed to visit the 19th century built Royal Palace & museum which houses a number of India’s rarest paintings & archaeological artefacts.Later you visit the exquisitely carved Mahalaxmi Hindu Temple. You will also witness a traditional ancient Martial Arts exhibition locally known as “Mardani Khel” of which written facts of its existence dates back to around the 2nd century BC. Followed by free time, a great opportunity to buy a number of the renowned local products such as Kolhapuri cotton saris, local jewellery, leather sandals & Kolhapuri chappals (the Indian version of flip-flops). Then return to your magnificent train for lunch before the train departs for. Afternoon & evening at leisure. Overnight – Train
Kolhapur Town – Aurangabad. Our morning is spent touring the majestic 12th century Fort Daulatabad of the world’s best-preserved forts of medieval times. Later explore the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Ellora caves comprising of 34 cave temples dedicated to different religions – Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The last cease is Bibi-Ka-Maqbara – a 17th-century mausoleum similar in style to that of the Taj Mahal, afternoon at leisure. Day 8: Morning tour jeep safari through Tadoba National Park, home to Indian bison, tigers, jackals, crocodiles and a variety of other wildlife. This Afternoon visit Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram at Sevagram or the ‘Village of Service’. Gandhi made this his home in later years using it as a base for a quantity of his most significant political decisions in the work of India’s struggle for freedom. Overnight – Train
Ellora – Ajanta. Older than the Ellora caves (200 BC to 650 AD) the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Buddhist caves of Ajanta are also cut from the volcanic lava. They reside on the near-vertical, horse-shoe formed gorge known as the ‘Deccan Trap’. Lost to the world after the 7th century it was discovered by accident in 1819, by a party of British officers on a hunting expedition. This morning visit some of the 30 caves, boasting remarkably preserved frescoes created and painted using minerals, ochres and lime. Returning to the Odyssey, lunch is served onboard. As the wagon strikes west you arrive at Nasik – located on the Godavari River, of the holiest rivers of the Deccan. Visit the riverbanks, lined with temples and vibrant bathing ghats witnessing the limitless pilgrims, beggars, sadhus, traders and religious specialists performing their everyday rituals. This evening marks your last night on board as you continue travelling westward arriving in Mumbai in the early hours of the morning. Overnight – Train
Ajanta – Mumbai. Breakfast on board & onward transfer & hotel check-in. Free day at leisure, perhaps a final walk along Chowpatty Beach or a spot of shopping in the popular Kalbadevi & Bhuleshwar bazaars. Overnight – Mumbai.
Hotel check-out and included onward transfer to airport.
Little gifts from Travel East: