India, Travel in India

Karnataka’s First luxury Train- The Golden Chariot

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The Golden Chariot – The Pride of the South India Rail journey

Royalty, Heritage, treasure of archaeology and cultural ethos manifest into one luxury train, which has been named after Stone Chariot in the Vitthala Temple at Hampi( A world heritage site); We are referring to India’s first disabled-friendly luxury train- The Golden chariot.

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Exterior view of The Golden Chariot
(Pic Courtesy: goldenchariot.info)

The train has got inspirations from India’s original luxury train ”Palace on wheels” with greater detailing on comforts of the travellers. With 44 guest cabins, two multi-cuisine restaurants, on-site lounge bar, conference car, Spa, gymnasium- Karnataka’s luxury train, The Golden Chariot vies with its illustrious counterparts in India and abroad.

Travel like royalty! Pic Credit: Official Facebook Page

Travel like royalty!
Pic Credit: Official Facebook Page

It has been awarded the title of “Asia’s Leading Luxury Train” at World Travel Awards, 2013 and Owing to its world class facilities; Golden Chariot has earned the recognition as one of the seven best luxury trains in the World from Vanity Fair Magazine.

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Colour of The Golden Chariot is deep purple & gold.
(Pic Credit: goldenchariot.info)

This train bears the royalty in its colour combinations and logo too- purple and gold- while its logo is a mythological animal having elephant face and the body of a lion. Whereas Purple symbolises elegance, sophistication and Royalty; on the other hand the use of golden colour showcase the golden jubilee celebrations of the Karnataka State.

Depending on the selected itinerary, Route of the train truly signifies as standing testimony to the skill and craftsmanship of Ancient southern India at Mysore, Srirangapatna, Sravanabelogola, Halebeedu, Belur-the 11th century cradle of Hoysala architecture and a world heritage site, Hampi, and thereafter entering into the triangular heritage site of Badami, Pattadakal, Aihole and The Nagarahole National Park (Kabini) is witnessed by travellers and the luxury train terminates in Goa.

The Golden Chariot Train is equipped with various kinds if modern amenities to satisfy the tastes of foreigners well as the domestic travellers. 11  coaches of this train are named after dynasties that ruled the region : Kadamba,  Hoysala,  Rashtrakuta,  Ganga,  Chalukya,  Bahamani,  Adil Shahi,  Sangama,  Satavahana,  Yadukula and  Vijayanagar.

Itineraries

The Golden Chariot offers 2 memorable itineraries. The itineraries are named Pride of the South and Splendor of the South.

Pride of the South:-

Pride of the South tour is a 7 nights and 8 days itinerary during which several tourist places in Karnataka are covered. The destinations covered during Pride of the South are

Bengaluru (Day 1), Mysore (Day 2), Nagarhole National Park  (Day3),  Hassan, Karnataka,  Belur and Halebidu (Day 4),  Hospet and Hampi (Day 5),  Aihole,  Pattadakal  and Badami (Day 6), Goa (Day 7), and back to Bengaluru (Day 8).

Splendor of the South:-

Splendor of the South tour covers tourist places in 3 South Indian states. During this 7 nights and 8 days itinerary, tourist places in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry are explored. Destinations covered during this itinerary include  Bangalore (Day 1),  Chennai (Day 2),  Pondicherry (Day 3),  Tanjavur (Day 4),  Madurai (Day 5),  Thiruvananthapuram (Day 6),  Alleppey and Kochi(Day 7)  and return to Bangalore (Day 8)

Executive Travel in India Photo Credit: Facebook official Page

Executive Travel in India
Photo Credit: Facebook official Page

Departure Schedule of The Golden Chariot

The Golden Chariot Departure Calendar ( October 2014 to April 2015)
Sr. No. Month 1st Week 2nd Week 3rd Week 4th Week 5th Week
Date Date Date Date Date
1 Oct-14 6-P 13-P 20-S 27-P
2 Nov-14 3-S 10-P 17-S 24-P
3 Dec-14 1-S 8-P 15-S 22-P 29-S
4 Jan-15 5-P 12-S 19-P 26-S
5 Feb-15 2-P 9-S 16-P 23-S
6 Mar-15 2-P 9-S 16-P 23-S
7 Apr-15 6-C 13-C 20-C 27-C
P Pride of the South tour
S Splendour of the South tour

(This is not final Calender and can vary with actual journey schedule. Please Re-check with the authorized authority.)

Indeed, embarking journey on a luxurious voyage and passing through timeless Historical Heritage Sites, memorable Palaces, Wildlife and Golden Beaches with the comfort of luxury train like The Golden chariot is an amazing experience and each traveller should witness this.

Happy Travelling!

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Taj Mahal likely to be thrown open for public on Fridays

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Taj Mahal from Yamuna’s End- Taj Mahal is likely to be open on Fridays
(Pic Credit: Wikipedia/dcastor)

The white marble mausoleum, The pinnacle of Mughal architecture, The crown of palaces, The jewel of Muslim art in India, Universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage– Many Introductions, One Taj Mahal.

If Reports coming out in Media is to be believe then In-spite of various opposition by conservationists, a a recent meeting headed Mr. Pradeep Bhatnagar, DC-Agra & participated by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials has proposed to open the gates of Taj Mahal, Agra on its weekly off i.e Fridays for general public for a specific period of time & with a special fees.

The charges are believed to be in the line of $100 for foreign tourists & Rs. 5000 per head for Domestic visitor. The time has been decided for 5 hours i.e from 7 A.M of Fridays to 12 in noon. 

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The pinnacle of Mughal architecture- Taj Mahal.
Since 1993 Taj has weekly off on Fridays.

It is also worth mentioning that in 1993 a high power committee under the chairmanship of Mr.    S Vardarajan had recommended the weekly off for this white marble mausoleum.

Nearly 6 millions tourists visit this place officially & the actual tourist count could be near to ten millions as entry is free for anyone below the age of 15 (For Full Ticket Charges, click here) which in other words means Full moon or not, around 20,000 tourists visit the Taj Mahal every day except Friday, when the monument is closed.

 

However, as the ASI rules the site and it has its own standards rules & guidelines to follow; the implementation of this new proposal is very unlikely.

We have a opinion that instead of moving in this direction, tourism infrastructure can be developed to lure more visitors,number of visitors count can be restricted while at the same time preventing the deterioration of the world heritage sites.

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Freedom in the Mind, Faith in the words, and Pride In Our Hearts. Celebrating the spirit of India. Feel joy and pride of being an Indian.
TripOrTrap family wishes one & all a very Happy 65th Republic Day 2014.
Jai Hind !
One Nation, One Vision, and One Identity.

India, Travel in India

Happy 65th Republic Day of India!

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Travel in India

Birth Of A Republic: India

This article first appeared in Fauji Akhbar (now renamed Sainik Samachar) February 4,
1950. The Link displays the mood & joy feeling of a newly Independent nation becoming Republic exactly at eighteen minutes past ten on the morning of Thursday, January 26, 1950.

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Travel in India

Twin Beaches of North Goa- Calangute & Baga

India, the seventh largest country in the world, has a large coastline of 7517 kilometres. In particular, the Southern part of India is surrounded by the Arabian Sea in the south-west and Bay of Bengal in the south-east.

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Beach Map of Goa state
(Pic Credit: mapsofIndia .com)

Goa is India’s smallest state by size but it attracts millions of tourists to its shore due to renowned beaches, colonized architecture and rich flora & fauna. Last season, this former Portuguese colony received about 4.5 lakh foreign tourists due to its incredibly scenic beaches. The 105 km long coastline of the state has over 30 beaches and we’re going to, hereby, discuss two Important Beaches of North Goa- Calangute & Baga.

CALANGUTE

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Boats on the Calangute beach, Goa
(Pic Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Lian Chang)

Calangute is the most busiest, popular & famous beach of North Goa. Thousands of Domestic and Foreign tourists flock the beach mostly at the year end – Christmas & New year, and in summers in May. This long, seven-km sweep of sand located 15 kms from Panaji and 8 km from Mapusa, is called the ‘Queen of Beaches’.

Calangute has twin face depending on one’s definition of ‘fun under the sun’. The North side of Beach has more domestic tourists oriented water fun activities, touts vying customers, sunbathers, hawkers, roadside eateries, souvenir shops and the southern part is more up-scale & sophisticated. One can find more relaxed activities happening with fancier restaurants & lesser boat-trip touts

BAGA

It is very fascinating but true that many tourists fails to understand that Baga is an extension of the adjoining town of Calangute and nobody seems to be sure where one ends and the other begins, But the true fact is Calangute and the area around it, Sinquerim, Baga, Candolimis where tourism all started for Goa.

 From the late Sixties, this area had attracted Flower-power hippies’ handout but later on, this area caught an eye of tour operators and it became the hotspot of water sports, fun, parties & holiday heaven. ts. This place is the party hub where dancing & drinking goes on till wee hours of the night. Baga is top on any tourist itinerary due to its sun, sea, flea market, night-life and eateries.

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Parasailing and othe water sports activities are prime attractions at Calangute & Baga beaches, Goa.
(Pic Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Praveen)

Goa has long been the world’s party destination, attracting travellers from all over, so this is sea-food paradise. Here are many restaurants which have been influenced heavily by all parts of the world and they serve cuisines from all over the world.

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Sunset at Beaches of Goa
(Pic Credit: wikimedia Commons)

 

Tourists from all over the world get attracted by the sea, sun and sand available at serene beaches and a treasure trove for those who wish to relax, rejuvenate & replenish. Many picturesque beaches, tasty sea food and the facilities for enjoying marine life will continue to fascinate tourists along these coastlines.

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India’s Architectural Marvel: Jhulta Minara at Ahmedabad

Located nearby of  the Ahmedabad Railway station(Outside of Sarangpur Gate), is a Mosque built in 15th century named as Sidi Bashir Mosque. A master craftsmanship has made this mosque popular not only due to its religious significance but as well as among tourists equally, due to two minarets. 

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The Shaking Minarets at Ahmedabad

There are two minarets in the mosque and each is well crafted, three stories in height. The minarets are famously called as ‘Jhulta ‘Minara‘ or ‘Shaking Minarets‘. A gentle shaking of either of minaret results in the other minaret vibrating, though the connecting passage remain static. It is said that a European Sanskrit scholar, Monier M Williams noticed that the minarets are shaking. So this led to the name of Shaking Minarets.

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Each Minaret is three stories tall with carved balconies
(Pic Credit: Wikipedia Creative Commons)

‘Shaking Minarets’ is one of the most antique and exclusive structures of the city and the phenomenon behind this, is still unknown but legends have that it was constructed this way to save it from future earthquakes.

India is truly a land of great architectures and marvel at every turn and has a proud history of its own. 

Happy Travelling!

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India, Travel in India

Theyyam- The ritual dance form showcasing the faith in divine.

To appease Nature, spirits and ancestors in ancient temples or ancestral homes (Tharavadu), artistes who’re believed to be the incarnate of God, perform a performing art form that is quite popular in the northern districts of Kerala.

This ritual dance form is a mix of art & ritualism. It embodies myth, dance and music & is called as  Theyyam  (Teyyam,  Theyyattam  or Thira).  The word Theyyam comes from  Deivam  that stands for God in Malayalam.

Each marked with a distinct costume, there are more than 400 different theyyam in Kerala. (Pic Credit: Kerala Tourism board)

Each marked with a distinct costume, there are more than 400 different theyyam in Kerala.
(Pic Credit: Kerala Tourism board)

Theyyams dress themselves in predominantly colour red for facial make up as well as in dazzling costumes, marked by headgears of varying size whereas each self made costume & facial make-up vary according to the role and myth of the forms.

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Make-up of Vishnumoorthi Theyyam
(Pic Credit: Wikipedia Creative Commons)

In the Malabar region of Kerala, the districts of Kannur and Kasaragod this art form has more dominance & from December to May, the region come alive with the sound of anklets, folk musical instruments & the thrill in the air.

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Theyyam,of northern Kerala showcase the faith in divine.
(Photo by binux on Flickr)

During the course of a Theyyam performance, the dancer along with the drummers recites a story in the form of ritual songs, of the deity to be propitiated. This performance is backed by playing folk musical instruments like chenda, tuti, kuzhal and veekni, played in a certain rhythm. So, Theyyam is a performance is a combination of playing of musical instruments, vocal recitations, dance, and peculiar make-up and costumes.

If you happen to be in Kerala these days- apart from Backwaters, spices gardens, Munnar hills fragrance; there is one more reason to spend winters here!

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