The Southern Splendour is the queen of royal luxury trains in South India. It takes you on a whirlwind, royal 8 days tour across the Southern peninsula of India to some of the fascinating destinations like Krishna’s Butter Ball, Caves at Chennai, Auroville Ashram, Matra Mandir at Puducherry, famous Brihadeshwara Temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site) at Tanjavur, Madurai Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple and boat Cruise on Punnamada Lake at Alleppey.
Monday Day 01: Bangalore
A splendid welcome is accorded the guests at Hotel Taj West End as check-in formalities follow for the Southern Splendour. Tea and introductions follow and there is a cultural programme. Guests enjoy a visit to the ISKCON temple and then proceed to board the Golden Chariot Train. The train departs at 9 PM as dinner is served.
Tuesday Day 02: Chennai & Mahabalipuram-Puducherry
The Golden Chariot rolls into Egmore at 9.30 AM and guests leave for sightseeing. It includes Santhome Cathedral, a drive to Marine Bay and excursion to the famed Mahabalipuram Beach where one can view the ancient temple complex abutting the sea. Enjoy lunch at the seaside resort and then proceed to Pondicherry where guests board the train for dinner and onward journey.
Wednesday Day 03: Puducherry
Puducherry or Pondicherry as it was known, has a lot to offer where guests take a trip to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the 17th century Ganesh temple. A walking expedition through the Latin quarter opens up vistas of French colonial buildings and the walk takes guests to the Promenade beach. Guests return to the train for the onward journey.
Thursday Day 04: Tanjavur & Trichy
Thanjavur or Tanjore is famed for its Chola bronze statues and 3D paintings in gold leaf. Guests alight and proceed to the famed 11th-century Brihadeshwara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva to admire the imposing statue carved out of a single rock. After dinner guests enjoy a drive to Trichy.
Guests visit the Sri Rangam Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu and enjoy lunch after which they can explore the city and shop for souvenirs. By evening it is time to board the waiting train.
Friday Day 05: Madurai
Guests alight in the morning at Madurai, a city famed since the 3rd century for its silks, spices and pearls. They head for the Meenakshi Sundareshwarar temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati. The temple complex houses over 33000 sculptures. It is time for lunch and rest after which guests proceed for the sound and light show at the Thirumalai Nayak Palace.
Saturday Day 06: Kanyakumari and Kovalam
The train rolls into Nagercoil railway station and guests alight at 5 AM for the 30-minute drive to sunrise point at Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of the peninsula of India. Then it is time for breakfast and a drive to the Padmanabhapuram Wooden Palace that typifies traditional architecture of Kerala. Lunch on board and then depart for Kovalam.
The train reaches Kochhuvelli Railway station close to Trivandrum at 4.30 PM and guests drive for a lovely evening at Kovalam beach. Dinner is followed by cultural programme at a 5-star resort along the beach. Satiated and happy, guests return to the train for the onward journey.
Sunday Day 07: Bangalore
The train reaches Alleppey at 9.30 AM and guests proceed to the Jetty Point to board a houseboat for one of a fascinatingexperience in the backwaters of Kerala. A cruise on Punnamada Lake is followed by lunch and return to the Jetty Point for travel by coach to Cochin or Kochi as it is now known.
The tour of Kochi starts at Fort Kochi Town, a 16th-century fort and then guests explore the beach and admire the Chinese Fishing Nets before proceeding to the Jew Synagogue and then the heady local spice market, the centre of the spice trade. This trip over, guests board the waiting coach for the onward drive to Ernakulam where they get on the waiting train.
Monday Day 08: Tanjavur & Trichy
The Golden Chariot arrives at Yeshwanthpur Railway station in Bangalore at 11 AM where the tour ends.
07 nights’ accommodation on board
Entrance fee at monuments
Boat ride at Varanasi
Wildlife safari at Ranthambhore
All current taxes
Any international or domestic airfares
Train fares other than specified in the what's included section
Airport taxes, visa & passport fees
Extra baggage charges
Early check-in or late check-out
Meals other than specified in the what's included section
Tips & gratuities
Travel & medical insurance
Camera & video permits
Expenses incurred due to flight/train cancellation or delay
Any expense of a personal nature, like drinks, laundry, telephone calls, mini bar, postage etc
Any optional excursion or tour
Entry charges at monuments/forts etc
Any other expense not mentioned in the what's included section