DECCAN ODYSSEY: MAHARASHTRA SPLENDOUR - A LUXURY TRAIN JOURNEY
One of the leading luxury trains, the Deccan Odyssey is all set to take you on an 8-day royal journey through some of India's most enigmatic destinations. The itinerary includes a visit to the wine capital of India - Nashik, colorful Kolhapur, portuguese influenced Goa, the Unesco World Heritage Sites of the Ajanta & Ellora Caves and the holy city of Ratnagiri.
The Deccan Odyssey covers a series of diverse routes across India, as shown below. Along the way, with the help of expert guides, these journeys reveal the history, culture and natural beauty of both well-known destinations and remote hidden gems.
A passage through India aboard the luxurious Deccan Odyssey puts the magic back in train travel as the journey offers diverse experiences while taking you through the vast unexplored Indian countryside.
You will arrive at the Mumbai International Airport. Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, a Cox & Kings representative will meet you at the exit of the arrival terminal building, post which you would be transferred to your hotel for overnight stay.
Rest of the day at leisure.
Board the Deccan Odyssey at Mumbai - on to Nashik
After leisurely breakfast, proceed for the short sightseeing tour of Mumbai visiting Gateway of India, Mumbai's principle landmark.
Post lunch; your Maharashtra Splendor journey starts at approximately 15:30 hours at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus where you will complete the registration process and check in formalities. Thereafter, you will receive a traditional Indian welcome and a complementary drink.
You will then be guided to your charming cabins. As you settle in, the Deccan Odyssey will begin its journey from Mumbai to Nasik.
Welcome drink and dinner on board. Overnight on board the Deccan Odyssey
Today, the Deccan Odyssey will halt at the holy city of Nashik also known as the wine capital of the country.
Enjoy an early breakfast and take a walk along the serene Godavari River ghats where you will witness the various Hindu rituals related to birth, death and initiation. Continue walking forward till you reach the lively markets by the ghats. The hustle and bustle here will sweep you off your feet with vendors selling everything from vegetables to lentils, dried seafood to cow dung cakes and many things in between.
Later, drive to the Grover Zampa vineyards, where an exclusive tour of India's finest wine producing facilities awaits you! Take a relaxing stroll through the vines laden with Chenin, Chardonnay and Shiraz grapes and get acquainted with the age old 'methode traditionnelle' used to make one of the best known brands of sparkling wines in India. Thereafter, treat your taste buds with some delicious white, red, rose and sparkling wines in the company of a sommelier and try experimenting with wines as you pair them with your lunch.
Head back to the Deccan Odyssey as the train moves forth to Aurangabad.
Breakfast on board, lunch at the vineyard and dinner on board. Overnight on board the Deccan Odyssey.
Aurangabad - Ellora Caves
Ellora Caves is on the Agenda today! To get to this UNESCO world heritage site, disembark at the industrial town of Auragabad. Named after, the last great Mughal Aurangazeb, the entire town and its monuments showcase deep Mughal influences! The must- visit monuments are the Daulatabad Fort, Bibi-ka-Maqbara and the city's 52 gates.
While, you are enjoying a succulent breakfast, the train will arrive at Auragabad! From Auragabad, a scenic drive will take you to the much anticipated Ellora caves! Carved into a side of a Baltic hill, the caves are situated just 30 kms away from the city. Ellora caves are regarded as the finest specimen of cave-temple architecture in India. With over 34 rock-cut shrines, each cave represents Buddhist, Jain and Hindu art dating from the 4th to 5th century AD. Remember, the 12 caves to the south are Buddhist, the 17 in the centre Hindu, and the 5 caves to the north are Jain. Don't miss out on the Kailash temple! An engineering marvel, the temple is meant to be a replica of Shiva's celestial abode on Mt. Kailash.
After a busy morning, savour a relaxed lunch on board as you watch the landscape change.
Evening will be a grand affair as you mingle with your fellow passengers and unwind over a few drinks prepared by our bartender. Dinner aboard the deccan Odyssey as the train proceeds to Jalgaon.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard. Overnight on board the Deccan Odyssey.
Today, we will be visiting another World Heritage Site. After breakfast on board, disembark at Jalgaon station and drive to the Ajanta Caves. A collection of 30 rock-hewn Buddhist caves, the Ajanta caves are simply an architectural marvel of its time! Each cave is masterfully carved and adorned with sculptures and paintings of Buddhist religious art that showcase the universal pictorial art and are known to depict the fusion between Buddhist and Hindu faith.
After an exploring session, lunch will be served aboard the Deccan Odyssey as the train continues on to Kolhapur. The rest of the day will be spent indulging in various facilities offered on board; watch a movie, learn to play carom or just simply relax at a spa.
In the evening, watch the rural scene unfold as you sip on sun downer.
Breakfast, lunch & dinner on board. Overnight on board the Deccan Odyssey.
Enjoy the colourful vistas of Maharashtra as the Deccan Odyssey zooms past the hinterlands to reach the city of hidden treasures, Kolhapur! Enjoy time at leisure as you indulge in a succulent breakfast. An early lunch is on the cards today after which you will disembark for a tour of the city!
Admire the architecture as you visit the New Palace museum, formerly a 19th octagonal palace. Made out of basalt and sandstone, this museum houses epic memorabilia of the Kolhapur rulers. Town Hall Museum is next up on the list! This sombre neo-Gothic building is famed for its front porch that is flanked by towers that have steeply pyramidal metal roofs.
It's shopping time, walk around the local markets looking for beautifully handcrafted Kolhapuri chappals that act as perfect take back home present. Later, enjoy tea at a special venue with Lavanya Sandhya, a vibrant folk performance.
Lastly, visit the 1300 year old Mahalakshmi temple, also called Shakti Pethas, or place associated with the Goddess Shakti, the companion of Lord Vishnu. After a traditional martial art performance called 'Mardani Khel' (Masculine games), head to the Deccan Odyssey for dinner.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board. Overnight on board the Deccan Odyssey.
Say hello to India's smallest and the most happening state as your train halts at Goa. Since, it was Portuguese colony till 1961; Goa still shows strong traces of the Portuguese culture.
Admire the Portuguese style architecture as you visit Fontainhas, the Latin Quarters in Panjim! Embark on UNESCO World Heritage Walk around the winding alleyways of Fontainhas characterised by brightly coloured tiled-roofed Portuguese houses.
Next up on the list is Ribandar, the erstwhile capital of Goa. When in Ribandar, walk through the ancient churches and admire the ruins of the once sky- touching St. Augustine tower.
Thereafter, drive to the Sahakari spice plantation where a traditional Goan feat awaits! The 400 years of Portuguese rule clearly reflects in this Hindu origin meal that pays respect to the fruits of the Arabian Sea. Savour the shrimps, kingfish and mackerel and wash them down with some 'feni', a potent liquor made from cashew.
Last but not the least; get an insight to the Goan way of living with a visit to an old Portuguese house. It's time to return to the Deccan Odyssey for dinner as we bid adieu to Goa and depart for Ratnagiri.
It is said that the railway route through Konkan is one of the most scenic routes with the Arabian Sea glittering in the west and Sayadri hills looming in the east. On this journey, you will encounter quite a few tunnels as the tracks pass through the seemingly insurmountable Sayadri hills; an engineering marvel indeed!
Breakfast on board, lunch at the spice plantation, high tea at Palacio de deao and dinner on board.
Overnight on board the Deccan Odyssey.
Arrive in Sindhudurg which lies on a rocky island just off the coast of Malvan.
Visit the holy town of Sindhudurg.
Enjoy dinner on board as the Deccan Odyssey makes its way back to Mumbai.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on board. Overnight on board the Deccan Odyssey.
Aurangabad - Ellora Caves Departure
Disembark in Mumbai.
Early this morning, after breakfast, you will disembark at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station, Mumbai.
Bid farewell to the Deccan Odyssey, and take home with you grand memories this fantastic Deccan sojourn.
Later proceed for sightseeing tour of Mumbai visiting Prince of Wales Museum (Closed on Monday) now known as Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vaastu Sangrahalaya; Hanging Gardens on the slopes of Malabar Hills offering panoramic view of Marine Lines.
Later unwind at a hotel spa or last minute street / mall shopping.
Dinner and transfer to airport to board flight to onward destination
The spacious cabins include double / twin beds, en suite bathrooms, air conditioning, a telephone, safe and an attendant to offer around-the-clock service.
There are two restaurant cars serving a wide selection of Indian, oriental and continental delicacies. There is also an elegant bar and separate lounge car.
The onboard health spa offers passengers pampering and rejuvenating massage therapies.