Travel in India

Karnataka’s First luxury Train- The Golden Chariot

Departure Schedule of The Golden Chariot- 2014 & 2015 updated in the Blog.

TripOrTrap- The Official Blog

Image 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.

Image 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


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Travel in India

Waiver of Inner Line Permit to explore Leh for Indian Nationals

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Shanti Stupa at Changspa
(Image: flickr/kkoshy)

Earlier Scenario:

Any Indian National, who wanted to explore the fascinating beauty of Leh and parts of it, had to take permission for Inner Line Permit from Office of District Magistrate,Leh. Tourist who wanted to visit places like Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri had to visit the office on a working day along with photographs and other documents. This has caused a lot of hours surfing sites for clarification and In order for due to border sensitive areas in Ladakh, which are located along the ceasefire line with Pakistan (LOC) and China (LAC), an inner line permit issued by the DC Office in Leh was necessary for the protection of the Indian Nationals.

Changed Scenario:

Latest orders passed by DC office of Leh (Orders copy), Indian nationals no longer need permit to visit areas mentioned in Orders copy. Government issued ID cards eg. Indian Passport, Driving License, Election ID card, PAN card, Aadhar card etc. will be checked and treated as inner line permit for following areas:-

  • Dah and Hanu (Khaltse – Domkhar – Skurbuchan – Hanudo – Biama – Dha route.)
  • Pangong Tso (from Leh to Merak Village.)
  • Tso Moriri (Leh – Chumathang – Mahe – Korzok.)
  • Loma Bend (Leh – Chumathang – Mahe – Nyoma – Loma Bend.)
  • Nubra Valley (Khardung La, Diskit, Hunder, Turtuk, Pachathang, Tyakshi, Sumur and Panamik.)
  • Tangyar (Leh – Sabhoo – Digger La – Khungru Gompa – Tangyar, only for trekking.)

The foreign nationals shall, however, need to obtain a proper permit from the office of  District Magistrate, Leh on a working day. However, to visit places like Hanle, Chusul, Tsaga, beyond Loma bend, Chumur, Marsimik La, Batalik sectors, Indian Nationals too require permit.

 

Happy Travelling!

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Travel in India

Srinagar Tulip Festival 2014: A festival of Floriculture and tradition

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Tulip festival has begun at Tulip garden, Srinagar.
(Pic Source: Wikimedia Commons/Abdars)

Asia’s largest tulip garden on the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar is an awesome floral extravaganza which attracts million of tourists every year. The tulip garden is known as Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip garden (previously Model Floriculture Centre). Conceptualised by former J&K Chief Minister in year 2006-2007, this tulip garden celebrates Tulip Festival each year.

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Cultivated Purple Tulip on display at the Tulip Garden.
(Pic Source: Wikimedia Commons/Abdars)

20 million multi-coloured tulip bulbs of 60 varieties provides a heavenly view to all visitors. The Tulip Garden is surrounded on three sides by the Nishat Bagh and Chashma Shahi Mughal Gardens of Srinagar. 

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Tulips in full bloom at the Tulip Garden in Srinagar.
(Pic Source: Wikimedia Commons/Abdars)

The delicate flowers in different hues and colours are developed with to provide tourists with an added incentive to visit the Valley. The Flower bed sprawls all over the foothills of the towering Zabarwan Mountain Range, overlooking the beautiful and the world famous Dal Lake in Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar imparts a mesmerising ambience to this 90-acre tourist attraction.

The Srinagar Tulip Festival is held during the first two weeks of April each year. Due to only 15 to 20 days shelf life of this fragile flower (depending on weather & temperature), the window of opportunity for viewing the tulips is limited.

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Incredible India, India

Pledge to Vote : Every vote counts

Google India has started a holistic campaign, keeping into mind the next Parliamentary Elections 2014 in India. The Campaign as such is  called as Google Politics & Elections which will act as Elections hub to study, watch, discuss, participate in digital campaign trail of various participating agencies such as Election Commission, Political Parties and Ordinary Voters.

Google India started the project with the video featuring Mr. Shyam Saran Negi, – oldest voter in Himachal Pradesh & Independent  India’s first-ever voter. Mr. Negi lives in  picturesque village called Kalpa, located at an altitude of 10,000 feet, in Kinnaur district  and he wants no Indian to miss out on the coming electoral battle as he has never missed to vote since 1951.

Google India has this Link where voters can Pledge to Vote with a message and as along with the Pledge can check latest Trends of Political Parties.

We hope, India’s 81.45 crore electoral population will choose a fair and stable government who will try to increase the Tourism, spread the Incredible India brand overseas and make policies & infrastructure for the betterment of Tourism in India.

Happy Voting & Happy Travelling!

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Indian general election, 2014 Schedule for 16th Lok sabha polls

Today Chief Election Commission has announced the  16th Lok Sabha in India from April 7, 2014 to May 12, 2014,making it the longest election in Indian History , to be done in 9 phases. There are 543 parliamentary constituency in India and all will go for voting in this election time.

The Phases schedule are here for everyone’s convenience :-

Phases Date States/U.Ts
Phase 1 07 April 2014 2
Phase 2 09 April 2014 5
Phase 3 10 April 2014 14
Phase 4 12 April 2014 3
Phase 5 17 April 2014 13
Phase 6 24 April 2014 12
Phase 7 30 April 2014 9
Phase 8 07 May 2014 7
Phase 9 12 May 2014 3

The state wise distribution of election date is also minutely crafted by the EC. Here is the Bird’s-eye view:

Sr No. States / Union Territories Election Date
PHASE I PHASE II PHASE III PHASE IV PHASE V PHASE VI
1 Andaman 10-Apr-14
2 Andhra Pradesh 30-Apr-14
3 Arunachal Pradesh 09-Apr-14
4 Assam 07-Apr-14 12-Apr-14 24-Apr-14
5 Chandigarh 10-Apr-14
6 Chhattisgarh 10-Apr-14 17-Apr-14 24-Apr-14
7 Dadra Nagar Haveli 30-Apr-14
8 Daman and Diu 30-Apr-14
9 Goa 17-Apr-14
10 Gujarat 30-Apr-14
11 Haryana 10-Apr-14
12 Himachal Pradesh 07-May-14
13 Jammu and Kashmir 10-Apr-14 17-Apr-14 24-Apr-14 30-Apr-14 07-May-14
14 Jharkhand 10-Apr-14 17-Apr-14 24-Apr-14
15 Karnataka 17-Apr-14
16 Kerala 10-Apr-14
17 Lakshadweep 10-Apr-14
18 Madhya Pradesh 10-Apr-14 17-Apr-14 24-Apr-14
19 Maharashtra 10-Apr-14 17-Apr-14 24-Apr-14
20 Manipur 09-Apr-14 12-Apr-14
21 Meghalaya 09-Apr-14
22 Mizoram 09-Apr-14
23 Nagaland 09-Apr-14
24 NCT OF Delhi 10-Apr-14
25 Odisha 10-Apr-14 17-Apr-14
26 Puducherry 24-Apr-14
27 Punjab 30-Apr-14
28 Rajasthan 17-Apr-14 24-Apr-14
29 Sikkim 12-Apr-14
30 Tamil Nadu 24-Apr-14
31 Telangana 30-Apr-14
32 Tripura 07-Apr-14 12-Apr-14
33 Uttar Pradesh 10-Apr-14 17-Apr-14 24-Apr-14 30-Apr-14 07-May-14 12-May-14
34 Uttarakhand 07-May-14
35 West Bengal 17-Apr-14 24-Apr-14 30-Apr-14 07-May-14 12-May-14

We hope, India’s 81.45 crore electoral population will choose a fair and stable government who will try to increase the Tourism, spread the Incredible India brand overseas and make policies & infrastructure for the betterment of Tourism in India.

Happy Voting & Happy Travelling!

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Incredible India, India

List of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India

In Hinduism, Twelve (12) temples called Jyotirlingas are dedicated to Lord Shiva. Also Called as  Jyotirlinga,  Jyotirling  or  Jyotirlingam the literal meaning of the word is :  Jyoti means ‘radiance’ and lingam the ‘mark or sign’ of Shiva, Jyotir Lingam thus means  The Radiant sign of  Almighty.

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It is believed that Lord Shiva first manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga on the night of the Aridra Nakshatra

(à€Šà„à€”à€Ÿà€Šà€¶ à€œà„à€Żà„‹à€€à€żà€°à„à€Čà€żà€‚à€— à€žà„à€€à„‹à€€à„à€°à€źà„ /Dvādaƛa Jyotirliáč…ga Stotram) describes the 12 Jyotirlingas:

Saurashtra Somnatham Cha Shrishaile Mallikarjunam ||
Ujjainyam Mahakalomkare Mammaleshwaram ||
Parlyam Vaijnatham Cha Dakinyam Bheem Shankaram ||
Setu Bandhe Tu Ramesham Nagesham Daruka Vane ||
Varanasya Tu Vishwesham Tribakam Gautamitate ||
Himalaye Tu Kedaram Ghurmesham Cha Shivalaye ||
Aetani Jyotirlingani Sayam Prataha Pathennaraha ||
Sapta Janma Kritam Papam Smaranen Vinashyati ||

Here is the list of 12 Jyotirlingams in India:-
Twelve Jyotirlingas
# Jyotirlinga State Location
1 Somnath Gujarat Prabhas Patan,Saurashtra
2 Mallikārjuna Swāmi Andhra Pradesh Srisailam
3 Mahakaleshwar Madhya Pradesh Ujjain
4 Omkareshwar Madhya Pradesh Island in the Narmada River, Omkareshwar
5 Kedarnath Uttarakhand Kedarnath
6 Bhimashankar Maharashtra Bhimashankar
7 Kashi Vishwanath Temple Uttar Pradesh Varanasi
8 Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple Maharashtra Trimbakeshwar, Near Nashik
9 Baidyanath Jyotirlinga Jharkhand Deoghar
10 Nageshvara Jyotirlinga Uttarakhand Jageshwar
11 Rameshwar Tamil Nadu Rameswaram
12 Ghushneshwar Maharashtra Aurangabad

May Lord Shiva bless all people of the world on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shiv-Ratri!

 

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Explore The Taj Mahal virtually with Google Maps

Explore the Taj Mahal with Google Maps

Explore the Taj Mahal with Google Maps

One of the new seven wonders of the world, India’s much-admired heritage site globally Taj Mahal, is now available in the format of virtual tour, simply by using Street View on Google Maps.  For those who can’t make it to India, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and Google has provided web users the ability to explore monuments like Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort and Agra Fort on Google Maps  in 360-degree view in their internet browser

Banned in the past due to privacy concerns, Google has now come up with 360-degree panoramic imagery of 30 monuments. On premiĂšring this service, union minister of culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch said “Today, this partnership with Google makes it possible for billions of people across the world to see and explore our magnificent heritage, to take a walk at the Rock Cut Jain Temple, to marvel at the Nagarjuna Konda Buddhist Stupas and to relive history in Fatehpur Sikri. With the release of these new panoramic images, we aim to create a dynamic, immersive online experience by which people within India and around the world can understand and engage more of India’s diverse cultural heritage”.

Google had signed an MOU with the Ministry of Tourism, India to map 30 monuments using its ‘Street View Trekker’ technology for the first time in India. As the special Google cars cannot enter into the Taj Mahal, it is instead being mapped by a backpack Trekker 75 Mega Pixel camera specially designed by Google.

Many other websites already provide virtual tours on net, like this one. 

Here’s a video bringing you through Google Maps Street View to the Taj Mahal.

 

 

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The Brahadeewarar temple : Architectural excellence of ancient India

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Panorama of the temple.
Photo credit: Wikimedia commons/Mugilkmv
The Image stood first in Wiki Loves Monuments India 2013 contest.
Link

Situated in the city of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, The Brahadeewarar temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is also known as The Peruvudaiyar Kovil, The Big Temple , The Brihadisvara Temple, Rajarajeswara Temple and Rajarajeswaram. Built by the great Chola King Raja Raja 1 (985 -1012 A.D), the temple complex is an architectural excellence of ancient India.

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Statue of Rajaraja Chola at the Brihadiswara Temple, Thanjavur.

Brihadeeshwara temple is the best example of excellent Chola architectural and engineering skills, finest contribution to Dravidian temple architecture and it has stood the testimony of time with its magnificent central dome; The 64. 8 Mt. tall vimanam (tower over the sanctum sanctorum) is a great attraction for one and all.  It has been notified as India’s most prized architectural sites and it has been part of UNESCO  World Heritage Site and Great Living Chola Temples.

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Night view of Brihadeeswarar Temple

The temple has  gigantic “Mahalingam” in the shrine, measuring 4 meters in height.  The second largest Nandhi in India, a monolithic Nandhi chiselled out of a single rock is also facing the sanctum.

Nandhi Mandapam

The Great Nandi facing temple.
Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/96001934@N00

The entire temple is made of granite and it is the first complete granite temple in the world. The granite stone quarry is not available surroundings of the city, It is not known where this massive granite was brought from.

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All granite temple: The Brihdeeswarar Temple.

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Second gopuram of Brihadeeswarar Temple, Thanjavur.
(Pic Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Bernard Gagnon)

The most widely belief about this temple is that at noon the shadow of the temple disappears. The Brihadeshwar Temple is One of the outstanding temples in South India and as widely believed it is so designed that 14 tier pyramid shaped vimanam never falls on the ground at noon during any part of the year.

800px-View_from_left_side_corner_of_the_Brihadeeswarar_Temple

This picture was taken from the left corner of the temple (behind the temple). The staircase which is small in picture will lead you to darshan of God Dakshinamurthy.
(Pic Credit: Wikimedia Commons/àź”àźŁàź•àŻàź•àźźàŻ)

The Brihadiswarar temple is one of the rare temples which has idols for “Ashta-dikpaalakas” (Guardians of the directions) — Indra, Agni, Yama, Niráč›ti, Varuáč‡a, Vāyu, Kubera, ÄȘƛāna – each of whom was originally represented by a life-sized statue. However, only four out of eight -Agni, Varuáč‡a, Vāyu and ÄȘƛāna are preserved today.

Thanjavur can be reached easily by road, rail and air. Hence, tourist can come and watch this true Architectural excellence of ancient India.

Happy Travelling!

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Kumbhalgarh Fort – The Great Wall of India

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Image Credit Silhouette Image of Monkeys at Kumbhalgarh Fort

82 km northwest of Udaipur lies the most important fort in Mewar after Chittaurgarh- Kumbhalgarh. This city is known for its history and wildlife sanctuary and it is located in the Rajsamand District of Rajasthan.

Kumbhalgarh-Fort-src-Flickr-zanzibarcordoba

Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
Image Credit

Kumbhalgarh Fort has been built in during the course of the 15th century byRana Kumbha- one of 32 fortress designed by Rana Kumbha himself out of 84. It also separated Mewar and Marwar from each other and was also use as a place of refuge for the rulers of Mewar at times of danger

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Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
Image Credit

It took 15-long years for Rana Kumbha to build and he constructed a stupendous creation  along the 36km long winding walls that defended the citadel from series of battlements and second-only to the famous Great Wall of China

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Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
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Fort Entrance with Temples
Image Credit

Kumbhalgarh has the second largest continuous wall on the planet and can be simply refer to it as “The Great Wall of India”.
These most-remarkable walls of fort stretches across 36 kms of the Aravali Mountains.

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36 km long guarded walls of Kumbhalgarh
Image Credit

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Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
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Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
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Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
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Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
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Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
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Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
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Like most interesting part to any Rajasthani fortress is the associated folklore or legends mix with history and Kumbhal-garh is nothing short of it. In 1443, when the king started the construction the structure eventually crumbles to ruins by the sunset until a spiritual preceptor address the king to offer human sacrifice but voluntarily done. The king sent out word, but, as can be expected, no one volunteered. But one day, a pilgrim (also considered to a soldier from the commandment) volunteered and been ritually decapitated. The sacrifice was necessary to ensure that the battle walls being constructed by Rana Kumbha would be strong enough to withhold the sieges. Today the main gate of the fortress, Hanuman Pol contains a shrine and a temple to commemorate the great sacrifice.

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Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
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The massive gate- Ram Pol
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The massive gate of Kumbhalgarh fort, called the Ram Pol (Ram Gate). Built by Rana Kumbha in the 15th century on an unassailable hill, the fort fell only once, due to a shortage of water.

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Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
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Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
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Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
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Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
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According to popular folklore, Maharana Kumbha used to burn massive lamps that consumed fifty kilograms of ghee and a hundred kilograms of cotton to provide light for the farmers who worked during the nights in the valley.

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Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
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Kumbhalgarh Fort– The Great Wall of India
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Sound and Light Show at Kumbhalgarh Fort- video by Incredible India

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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.

Image

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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