Welcome to a fascinating 8-day journey aboard the Deccan Odyssey through the hinterlands of Maharashtra, the majestic Western Ghats, and into the Deccan and Konkan regions of a vast and diverse continent. This itinerary includes visits to some of the most prominent & unexplored destinations of western-central India, such as the holy city of Nashik, now also India’s wine capital; the unrivaled Ajanta & Ellora Caves; the historical city of Kolhapur, with its many experiences; Goa, India’s most popular holiday destination; and the holy city of Sindhudurg. A railroad journey like no other, in a land like no other, we welcome you aboard the Deccan Odyssey.
Extend your journey in Mumbai with a stay at our fabulous Virtuoso partner hotel: Taj Mahal Palace.
Day 1: Mumbai to Nashik
Board the Deccan Odyssey at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station and begin your magical journey from Mumbai to Nashik.
Day 2: Nashik
Today you arrive in the holy city of Nashik, which is quickly gaining status as the wine capital of India.
After breakfast on board, disembark for a morning stroll along the Godavari Ghats. Along the way, you will witness several important Hindu rituals. Continue your walk through the lively market of the Ghats, which sells everything from vegetables and lentils, to dried seafood and cow dung cakes, and many things in between.
Later, drive to the Grover Zampa vineyards for an exclusive tour of one of India’s finest wine producing facilities. Walk through vines laden with Chenin, Chardonnay, and Shiraz grapes. Learn more about the age-old “méthode traditionnelle,” used to make one of the best-known brands of sparkling wine in India. Allow the sommelier to acquaint your taste buds with the finest creations of white, red, rosé, and sparkling wines before you pair them with your meal at the vineyards.
After a sumptuous lunch, return to the Deccan Odyssey and set forth for Aurangabad.
Day 3: Aurangabad – Ellora Caves
As you enjoy breakfast, the Deccan Odyssey arrives at Aurangabad. From here, a scenic drive takes you to the Ellora Caves, a World Heritage Site, carved into the side of a basaltic hill 30 km (about 19 mi) from the city. The finest specimen of cave-temple architecture in India, the site encompasses 34 rock-cut shrines representing Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu art dating from the 4th to 5th century AD. The 12 caves to the south are Buddhist, the 17 in the center are Hindu, and the 5 caves to the north are Jain. The most remarkable is the Kailash temple, meant to be a replica of Shiva’s celestial abode on Mt. Kailash. It is the best example of rock-cut architecture and an engineering marvel.
Later, savor a leisurely lunch on board as the hinterland of Maharashtra sweeps past, with its ever-changing colors and landscape.
In the evening, sit back, unwind, and enjoy cocktails fixed by our bartender on board, followed by a magnificent dinner and well-deserved rest as the Deccan Odyssey proceeds toward Jalgaon to visit the exquisite Ajanta Caves.
Day 4: Ajanta Caves
The Deccan Odyssey arrives at Jalgaon station this morning. After breakfast on board, you will disembark and drive to the Ajanta Caves, another World Heritage Site and an architectural marvel. The 30 rock-hewn Buddhist caves at Ajanta have been masterfully carved and are adorned with sculptures and paintings of Buddhist religious art, depicting universal pictorial art and are known to depict the fusion between Buddhist and Hindu faiths.
Lunch will be on board the Deccan Odyssey as it continues on to the multifaceted city of Kolhapur.
The rest of the day is at leisure for you to relax and enjoy some of the activities available on board. Watch a movie; learn the rules of ‘carrom,’ a popular Indian board game; or book yourself a relaxing massage in our spa on board.
In the evening, watch the tapestry of rural India unfold as you sip a sun downer before dinner.
Day 5: Kolhapur
This morning is at leisure as the Deccan Odyssey approaches Kolhapur, a city of many hidden treasures.
After an early lunch on board, you will disembark for a tour of the city.
Visit the New Palace Museum, a lovely basalt and sandstone octagonal Palace from the 19th century. Admire its beautiful architecture and memorabilia of the Kolhapur rulers. Continue to the Town Hall Museum, a somber neo-Gothic building, with its tower-flanked front porch and steeply pyramidal metal roofs.
Explore the local markets for a pair of beautifully handcrafted Kolhapuri chappals, which you can carry back with you as a souvenir, before you proceed to a special venue for tea, followed by Lavanya Sandhya, a vibrant folk performance.
You will then visit the 1300-year-old Mahalakshmi temple, also called Shakti Pethas, or place associated with the Goddess Shakti, who is said to be the consort of Lord Vishnu. Following your temple visit, witness a traditional martial arts performance called “Mardani Khel” literally translated to mean “masculine games.”
After your sojourn into Kolhapur, return to the Deccan Odyssey for dinner as we depart for India’s most happening destination: Goa
Day 6: Goa
Today you arrive at Goa, India’s smallest state. It has strong Portuguese influences, having been a colony of Portugal until 1961.
After breakfast, you will disembark and drive to Fontainhas, the Latin Quarters in Panjim, which still has some well-preserved houses built in Portuguese-style architecture. Experience the UNESCO World Heritage Walk around Fontainhas, with its winding alleyways adorned by tile-roofed houses in spectacular shades of blue and red.
Continue to Ribandar, the former capital of Goa, for a walk through ancient churches and the ruins of the once lofty St. Augustine tower that continues to valiantly withstand the vagaries of nature.
Drive to the Sahakari spice plantation for a traditional Goan feast, a meal that has Hindu origins but is heavily influenced by 400 years of Portuguese rule. It pays homage to the fruits of the Arabian sea: shrimp, kingfish, and mackerel, washed down with some ‘feni,’ a potent liquor made from cashew. After lunch, enjoy a Goan folk performance and a tour of the plantation.
Complete your day in Goa with a visit to an old Portuguese house and get another peek into Goan life.
Return to the Deccan Odyssey for dinner as it departs for Sindhudurg. Take time to appreciate the Konkan, one of the most scenic railway routes in the country. A marvelous feat of engineering, the Konkan is bound by the Arabian Sea to the west and Sahyadri hills to the east, and made rail travel through the seemingly insurmountable hills possible.
Day 7: Sindhudurg
Arrive in Sindhudurg, which lies on a rocky island just off the coast of Malvan.
Today’s schedule includes a visit to Sindhudurg’s Pinguli village and Sawantwadi Palace. Get a glimpse of the traditional Thakar folk arts and crafts at the local museum, then head towards the Sawantwadi Palace for a delicious luncheon.
Enjoy dinner on board as the Deccan Odyssey makes its way back to Mumbai
Day 8: Mumbai
Early this morning, after breakfast, you will disembark at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station in Mumbai.
Bid farewell to the Deccan Odyssey as your royal passage through the grand vistas of India comes to an end.
Extend your time in Mumbai — please inquire for options.
2019 Dates:September 21, 28
November 2, 23
2020 Dates:January 18
February 8, 22
April 11, 25
|Fall 2019 & Spring 2020 Pricing||
Twin / Double
Pricing is per person and does not include 5% service tax. Government tax rate subject to change without notice.
25% deposit required to book.
Medical & evacuation insurance is required for this journey.
An Indian visa is required for U.S. citizens.
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