Immersive Luxury
    
Detailed Itinerary - The Golden Chariot Southern Splendor

 


Day 1: Bangalore. If you decided to arrive a day earlier and had us book your hotel room for the night, you will be assisted with checkout and taken to the Taj West End hotel at 3 pm. If you did not use our services for the previous night’s hotel stay, we will pick you up from your choice of location within Bangalore city limits and taken to the Taj West End hotel at 3pm. Enjoy tea at the banquet hall followed by a safety presentation. Tour the Chitrakala Parishad Art Gallery and watch a cultural performance. Board the Golden Chariot at the Bangalore Railway Station, platform number 6. Depart at 10 pm.


You have the alternate choice of meeting at the Native Village Eco Resort by 11 am. You will have lunch and take a resort tour. Then you will take an art and cultural tour followed by an herbal and organic medicine tour. After that you will explore village life with a pottery session, village games and bullock cart rides and then depart to Yeshwantpur Railway Station at 6 pm.




Day 2: Chennai. Arrive in Chennai. Experience India’s fourth largest city. The tour of Chennai begins from St. Mary’s Church (built in 1678 – 80); Elephant this was the first English Church in Chennai. After the church you visit the National Art Gallery & Museum and explore the beautiful temple friezes, the bronze gallery,and the Archaeological section. After the cathedral you continue on to visit the Saint Thomas Cathedral (originally built in 1504, then re-built in neo-gothic style in 1893), this Roman Catholic Church is said to house the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle. You will also visit the Kapaleeshwarar Temple, an ancient Shiva Temple, constructed in pure Dravidian style. The Sri Parat hasarathy Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, built in 8th century during the reign of the Pallavas. Drive past the High Court Building, Fort St. George and the famous film studios. After your Chennai city tour you will take an excursion to Mahabalipuram, an ancient coastal port south of Chennai famous for its shore temple. Mahabalipuram was the second capital and sea port of the Pallava Kings of Kanchipuram, the first Tamil dynasty after the fall of the Gupta Empire. The whole of Mahabalipuram is a fabulous open-air museum of sculptures, with monolithic shrines scooped out of caverns. Mahabalipuram contains the world’s largest bas relief sculpture. Tour the Five Ratha’s Temple, Shore Shiva Temple, and the caves. Enjoy lunch at the GRT Temple Bay Radisson. Drive back to the Puducherry Railway Station and stroll along the nearby beach. Enjoy dinner aboard the Golden Chariot.




Day 3: Pondicherry. Arrive in Pondicherry, in the Northern Tamil Nadu region. Formerly a French colony settled early in the 18th century, Pondicherry became part of the Indian Union in the early 1950s, when the French voluntarily relinquished control. French is still widely spoken, and seaside villas and cobbled streets are more reminiscent of the South of France than the South of India. Enjoy breakfast aboard the Golden Chariot. Visit Auroville, which was conceived as a tribute to Sri Aurobindo, a 1920s Indian philosopher. Auroville is an entirely new concept in education and urban living. The Aurobindo Ashram is known as the "Center of Integral Yoga". Stroll along the beach and shop in Pondicherry. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.




Day 4: Trichy. Arrive in Trichy. Enjoy breakfast on the Golden Chariot. Visit the ghats and drive towards Tanjore. The great living Chola Temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you will take a guided visit to the most amazing of these, the Brihadeshwara Temple. The awe-inspiring temple complex is constructed solely of granite, a material so hard no architect today, with all our current technology, would even dream of building a structure with the incredible detail and mammoth scale of the Brihadeshwara. This ancient temple’s crown is a massive granite monolithic cupola. This temple was built by the great Chola King Rajaraja Chola I. Construction commenced in 1003 AD and the height of the main structure is 216 feet, which means that the 80 ton cupola had to be raised about 200 feet and placed at the top of the structure. The temple itself is decorated with carved panels depicting mythological events. An immense Nandi (bull) stands in front of the main shrine—carved out of a single piece of granite and measuring 16 feet long and 13 feet high. The incredible detail and complexity of the carvings is matched by the vibrant colors and talented artistry of the elaborate frescoes inside the structures. The colors used are said to have lasted this long because they were achieved by locating stones in those natural shades and grinding those stones to a paste. Enjoy lunch at a city hotel. Visit the Tanjore Artifacts and Paintings Workshop. Enjoy dinner aboard the Golden Chariot.




Day 5: Madurai.
Arrive in Madurai. Enjoy breakfast aboard the Golden Chariot. Proceed for a sightseeing tour of Madurai. The main attraction of Madurai is the great Sree Meenakshi Temple. This awe-imposing monument is the finest example of Dravidian architecture on this planet. Its Hall of a Thousand Pillars is a fabulous collection of elaborately sculpted and painted deities as well as other creatures from Hindu religious annals. The temple is always a beehive of activity as pilgrims from all over India come to seek the blessings of Meenakshi (Goddess Parvati) and Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva) and is filled with worshippers at all hours of the day. You will witness Hindu priests performing various ceremonies in different parts of the temple complex as you explore this huge structure, including religious aspects of traditional weddings. According to Tamil belief, the temple has existed for about 2000 years, but this current structure is a mere four centuries old (the previous majestic temple was destroyed by Muslim invaders in the 14th century). The massive complex includes 14 magnificent Gopurams that jut into the sky from different parts of the temple. These Gopurams have thousands of elaborate sculptures carved into them and these have been colorfully painted. The most significant of these Gopurams are the two golden towers dedicated to the two main deities, the tallest one reaches 170 feet. In the evening, enjoy a light and sound show at Thirumalai Nayakar Palace, which was constructed in 1636 AD by an Italian architect and is an interesting confluence of Dravidian, Islamic and European architecture. Enjoy dinner and live classical music at the Heritage Hotel.




Day 6: Kanyakumari. Arrive at Nagercoil Station. Depart to Kanniyakumari by coach at 5:15 am. Watch the sunrise at Kanniyakumari. At the southernmost end of Tamil Nadu, lies the land’s end of India, or the point where the three seas meet. The enchanting Kanniyakumari, or Cape Comorin, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of India. It is the tip of the Indian Peninsula, where the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean meet. Enjoy breakfast aboard the Golden Chariot. Visit the Wooden Palace. Enjoy lunch aboard the Golden Chariot. Depart for Thiruvananthapuram. Upon arrival, drive to Kovalam beach. Enjoy a stroll on the beach. Refreshments are served. Enjoy a cultural show followed by Gala dinner at The Leela Kovalam.




Day 7: Alleppey/Kochi Backwaters. Enjoy breakfast aboard the Golden Chariot. Arrive in Alleppey. The town was founded by Raja Keshawadasan, Divan of Trivanacore
in 1762. Alleppey is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers crossing through it. Alapphuza is a district of immense natural beauty. Referred to as the Venice of the East by travelers from across the world, this area is also home to diverse animal and bird life. By virtue of its proximity to the sea, the town has always enjoyed a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala. Enjoy a houseboat cruise on the backwaters. Enjoy lunch at a backwater resort. Drive to Kochi. One of the least acclaimed tourist destinations in India, Kochi is known as “The Queen of the Arabian Sea”. It is a scenic, lush collection of islands capes and mainland; connected by an elaborate yet intricate system of ferries and bridges. Europeans controlled Kochi, and its thriving trade, from the early 16th century. There are many monuments, architectural features and other reminders of the Dutch, Portuguese and British who once called Kochi home. St. Francis Church, built in the early 16th century, is the oldest European church in all of India. The Pardesi synagogue was built around the same time (history records Jewish settlers in this area as far back as the 6th century). You will also see the historic Chinese fishing nets. Enjoy a Kathakali Dance and dinner this evening.




Day 8: Bangalore. Bangalore. Enjoy breakfast aboard the train. Upon your arrival at Yeshwanthpur railway station you will disembark and bid farewell to the staff of The Golden Chariot.
Easy Tours of India services restart here - upon your arrival in Bangalore you are greeted at the train station by an Easy Tours Facilitator & your chauffeur. This is a good time to do some last minute shopping and/or sightseeing if you are so inclined.
Your vehicle and chauffeur stay with you until your (usually late evening) assisted check in at the airport. If your flight departs early in the morning you may want us to arrange a room for you so you can rest. Post Golden Chariot Land Tours can be facilitated from this point on, if you so desire.
Our services end at Bangalore airport.




 
Inclusions:
    * An Easy Tours Exclusive: Personal International Arrival and Departure Transfers
    * Deluxe cabin with attached bath
    * All meals, including tea, coffee and mineral water
    * Transport for sightseeing with Deluxe Coaches
    * Entrance fee to monuments and museums
    * English speaking guides


Experiences:
    * International Travel
    * Expenses of a personal nature like tips, laundry, telephone calls, etc.
    * Drinks (soft drinks, cocktails and Liquor)
    * Business Car Facilities, Spa Car Facilities, Salon Car Facilities
    * Travel insurance, visa etc.
    * Camera Fees – Still and Video


Excursions:
    * City Tour of Chennai including – Historic Churches, Dravidian Temples, High Court, Fort
    * City Tour of Mahabalipuram including – Five Ratha’s Temple, UNESCO Shore Temple
    * City Tour of Pondicherry including – Auroville, French Quarter, Promenade, Aurobindo Ashram
    * Ghats in Trichy
    * City Tour of Tanjore including – UNESCO World Heritage Chola Temple Brihadeshwara,
    * City Tour of Madurai including – Meenakshi Temple
    * Kanyakumari and Kovalam Beach
    * City Tour of Cochin including – Dutch Palace, Chinese Fishing Nets, Historic Church


Not included:
    * International Travel
    * Expenses of a personal nature like tips, laundry, telephone calls, etc.
    * Drinks (soft drinks, cocktails and Liquor)
    * Business Car Facilities, Spa Car Facilities, Salon Car Facilities
    * Travel insurance, visa etc.
    * Camera Fees – Still and Video

 



Dates - The Golden Chariot Southern Splendor

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Prices - The Golden Chariot Southern Splendor
For Adults (Above 12 Years)
Call 512 345 1122/ 888 597 9274 for current specials
Tour Dates Occupancy - Rates Per person
Double Single Triple
Oct, 2012
to
Mar, 2013
$4,389
$5,817
$3,815

For Children ( Sharing Room with Parents )
   Ages (0-5) : 10% of the Adult tour Cost.
   Ages (5-12) : 50% of the Adult tour Cost.

10% Surcharge is applicable during Christmas and New Year eve.

Add 3.09% Government Service Tax.

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Guest Reviews - The Golden Chariot Southern Splendor

Barbara Arbes (For Her Daughter)
April 2013
Athena is still in New Delhi, and congratulations to your company that things are fantastic...guides/drivers could not be better!  I appreciate all the time and effort you put into this small booking and taking it on for me...thanks so very much!
I am really looking forward to spreading the news to clients and the travel agent community about your wonderful services..!!!
Thanks again... REFERENCE AVAILABLE.  INDEPENDENT TRAVEL



Irina Lukovskaia - Brustman
April 2013
We are back from our amazing voyage to India and I would like to Thank You for facilitating such a fabulous journey for us.
Everything was perfect and completely exceeded our expectations.
I also appreciate your patience and advice regarding traveling with the driver, as to your point train experience would not be as explicit and personable.
Hotels:
All opulent level hotels were stunning……..
Monuments: Simply fantastic – we were blown away…….
Driver Excellent – kept us safe and sound  - what an experience to be on the roads there……
GuidesAll very nice
We are very pleased and are considering another trip to the southern part.
I am very happy to come across your company simply by chance and will be contacting you again when the time comes for the next trip. By the way, could you please let me know what other countries do you cover? REFERENCE AVAILABLE.  INDEPENDENT TRAVEL



Maryellen Gurnon and Marie Gurnon
March 2013
I recently returned from India . We had the time of our lives thanks to Easy Tours of India!
I cannot say enough good things about the service we received from start to finish. Booking was a breeze, you were so helpful and responsive to all my questions, responding in a most timely manner, always professional & prompt. Thanks to you and your staff, our trip was seamless. I have been in the travel business for 30+ years and have not encountered such superior service. You should all be proud of that, it did not go unnoticed.
Every detail of our trip was meticulously handled, and the staff we encountered, just phenomenal! Our facilitator was always in place, smiling and helpful....popping up like a Genie whenever we needed him! Our driver was so sweet and careful and such a great driver (in the land of maniac motorists). The two of them never left our sides in public, and we felt so protected and safe with them. Very good companions-we miss them.
I would be honored to recommend your company most heartily to anyone contemplating a journey to India . It was a pleasure to have traveled with you! REFERENCE AVAILABLE.  INDEPENDENT TRAVEL



Nowell Solish
March 2013
I just wanted to thanks you again for an amazing trip. We have travelled extensively and used many tour companies but easy tours was the most organized and caring of all of them. The guides, facilitators, and drivers were all top notch.
We truly had a great time (especially the Taj Rambagh Palace, was worth it). REFERENCE AVAILABLE.  INDEPENDENT TRAVEL



Hugh and Nancy Menke
March 2013
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of India, primarily because our Tour Director was always so vigilant and kind. He tried his best to make us happy and comfortable, sometimes, under challenging conditions, e.g. crowded Varanasi and long van rides. He even rescued a carry-on bag that we left in the overhead compartment of the plane. For me (Nancy) being in Varanasi with his explanation of what we were seeing was the real highlight of my trip. India is a fascinating country. I would like to come again.
I know it sounds silly but I wish you could change the name of your tour company--it implies less than it really is. Our group came up with the name, "The Real India", which I think would capture the attention of especially, the American tourist. Bottom line, I thought the trip might be more stressful because I am older and not accustomed to too much change but it was an "easy" tour in that regard. Nevertheless, the name does not nearly tell the magnitude of the experience and how very special India is. The hotels were excellent. The rooms, service and food were all great. The pace of the tour was not too fast. We wish we had included Udaipur. We may be different from others, but we would have appreciated a quick stop along the road on occasion to hear our Tour Director explain about the crops and farms that we were driving by. Our Tour Director is an exceptional young man.  REFERENCE AVAILABLE.  SMALL GROUP TOURS



 

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The Golden Chariot Southern Splendor (First Class Level)
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Hightlights - The Golden Chariot Southern Splendor

This Visit gives you some of the best highlights of India.

Exclusive Experiences
City Tour of Chennai
City Tour of Mahabalipuram
City Tour of Pondicherry
Ghats in Trichy
City Tour of Tanjore
City Tour of Madurai
City Tour of Cochin
Kanyakumari
Houseboat Cruise
  UNESCO World Heritage
Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
Great Living Chola Temples at Tanjore

Other Sights
  Meenakshi Temple
Kovalam Beach
Auroville
  Chinese Fishing Nets
Historic Churches
Kathakali Dance Performance

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  • <strong>Madurai</strong> - The iconic Sree Meenakshi Temple is a temple complex dedicated to Sundareshvara (Shiva) and his consort Meenakshi. The complex was built by the Nayaks who ruled Madurai from 16th to the 18th century.

    Madurai

  • <strong>Madurai</strong> - The iconic Sree Meenakshi Temple is a temple complex dedicated to Sundareshvara (Shiva) and his consort Meenakshi. The complex was built by the Nayaks who ruled Madurai from 16th to the 18th century.


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