Treasures of India by Train

Duration:18nights / 19days

Day 1- Arrive Delhi
Arrive Delhi and meet the   representative at the arrival hall. In the afternoon proceed on a tour of the capital city. In the tour of the Old city visit Red Fort built by Emperor Shah Jahan; see Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosque in India, Raj Ghat- the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi and Shanti Van; walk along chandni chowk, the silver street of Delhi bustling with activity. In the New city visit Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India, Humayun’s Tomb built in the Indo Persian style and a predecessor to The Taj Mahal in Agra, India Gate – A War Memorial Arch; Lakshmi Narayan – a Hindu temple. Also drive past the Presidents house, Parliament house, Government secretariat buildings and Connaught place – the heart of New Delhi a busy shopping center.

Day 2- To Agra

Drive 4 hours enjoying picturesque countryside to Agra. Tour the city for its Taj Mahal. 20,00 workmen worked for 22 years to complete this poetry in marble built by the Moghul Emperor Shahjehan in 1630 for his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains; Agra Fort, a blend of architectural styles used during the reign of three emperors; Itmad-Ud-Daulah and Sikandra- Akbar’s mausoleum. Pay another visit to Taj Mahal and ride a cycle rickshaw to the monument. Spend time gazing at one of the Seven Wonders of the World and return in the evening to your hotel

Day 3- To Varanasi

In the morning enjoy an excursion to Fatehpur Sikri, the red sandstone city of yesteryears. The city was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in AD 1564 in honour of the Muslim saint Sheikh Salim Chisthi. One of the major attractions of this city is the marble tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisthi. Return to Agra in the afternoon. Rest of the time is free till evening when you will board an overnight train to Varanasi. Overnight on board the train.

Day 4- Arrive Varanasi

Arrive Varanasi in the morning. Later visit temples like Kashi Vishwanath dedicated to Lord Shiva; Bharat Mata Mandir dedicated to Mother India; Durga Temple, dedicated to the Goddess Durga; Alamgir Mosque- originally a temple dedicated to Vishnu but now an odd mixture of Hindu and Muslim architectural styles. Also see Sarnath, an important Buddhist pilgrimage point

Day 5- To Kolkata
Enjoy a boat ride on River Ganges. The most important facet of this holy city is the river and the Ghats lining its southern bank in the city. From dawn to dusk the Ghats are thronged by thousands of devotees, who perform their holy rituals in the hope of attaining eternal salvation, the ‘Nirvana’. Afternoon is to explore the colorful bazaars walking around. You will be transferred to railway station in the evening to board train for Kolkata. Overnight on board the train.

Day 6- Arrive Kolkata
Arrive Kolkata, once the capital of the British Empire, formerly known as Calcutta , it remains the cultural capital of India with strong tradition in literature and fine arts. During your tour later in the day you will have a chance to visit Victoria Memorial, an impressive white marble building housing Raj memorabilia; Indian Museum, a treasure house of Indian art; Fort William, the first fort built in Kolkata; St.Paul’s Cathedral built in the indo-Gothic style; Birla Planetarium; Marble Palace, a private residence with a fine collection of art, including some by Sir Joshua Reynolds; Jorasanko the residence of Rabindranath Tagore and drive past various buildings like St John’s Church, St Andrew’s Belvedere, Hastings House and The Green Church

Day 7- In Kolkata
Morning is free to visit Dakshineshwar Temple dedicated to Kali and built in the architectural style of Bengal; Botanical Gardens covering 110 hectares and having a number of rare plants, including a 200-year-old banyan tree etc. Check out and transfer to railway station to connect overnight train to Hyderabad. Overnight on board the train

Day 8- In Hyderabad
Arrive in the morning. Later visit the Salar Jung Museum, housing the single largest collection ever made by one man, Mir Yusuf Ali Salar Jung, prime minister to the Nizam of Hyderabad. In the afternoon visit the city of Hyderabad for its Char Minar, the city of symbol with four minarets. Mecca Masjid, one of the grandest mosques built with high colonnades and graceful arches made from single slabs of granite. Sri Venkateshwara Temple, one of the newer temples built providing a fine example of 20th century temple architecture. Overnight aboard the train to Chennai

Day 9- In Chennai
Tour the city known for Fort St. George built by the British and now housing the Secretariat. Drive along the Marina Beach, the second longest in the world driving past Chennai University, the Senate House and the Palace of the Nawabs of the Carnatic, to the San Thomse Cathedral where the apostle is buried. Visit the ancient Kapaleeshwar Temple dedicated to Shiva; Little Mount Shrine considered to be the place where St Thomas lived and preached; St Thomas Mount is where St Thomas, it is said, was assassinated. In the second half of this day visit the National Art Gallery and Government Museum, which are over 100 years old. Also visit Cholamandal Artists’ Village for contemporary art produced in artist’s commune

Day 10- In Chennai
Proceed for an excursion to Mahabalipuram & Kancheepuram. The ancient Pallava port, 64km from Chennai, Mamalapuram is today the site of several sculpture marvels. The places to be visited are Arjuna’s Penance, Krishna Mandapam, Varaha Mandapam, Five Rathas and Shore Temples. Later visit Kancheepuram, one of the seven sacred cities of India and also home to the famous silk and cotton weaving industry. Return to Chennai and connect an overnight train to Trivandrum.

Day 11- To Trivandrum

Arrive Trivandrum named after the holy serpent, the thousand-headed Anantha, one of the major Indian cities on the famed Malabar Coast. In the city you will be taken on a guided tour to Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu depicting the deity reclining on the holy serpent, Anantha; Napier Museum with a fine collection of Kerala bronzes, ornaments and costumes; Sri Chitra Art Gallery having Mughal and Rajput miniatures and a collection of Raja Ravi Varma of Travancore’s works

Day 12- To Cape
Take a full day trip to Kanyakumari, famous for its brilliant sunsets and sunrises. It is India’s ‘land’s’ end at the confluence of the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. On an offshore rock, in memory of Swami Vivekananda, the Indian philosopher who would contemplate here, stands Vivekananda Rock Memorial. Kanyaumari is the only place in India where one can watch the sun set and moon rise simultaneously on a full moon evening. Return in the evening to Trivandrum

Day 13- To Cochin
Morning in time transfer to railway station enable board train to Cochin, a myriad of tiny islands set in the shimmering blue Arabian Sea, against a lush backdrop. It has one of the most beautiful harbors on India’s west coast. For centuries it has been an important trading post. Its cosmopolitan spirit is visible in the temples, mosques and synagogues that rise against the city’s skyline

Day 14- In Cochin
Visit Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese known for its murals depicting scenes fro the Ramayana and the Mahabharata; Koonan Kurishu Shrine which is a small chapel, Jewish Synagogue which has a number of copper plates inscribed in the Hebrew script; Fort Kochi, St Francis Church, the oldest one to be constructed by Europeans in India; Santa Cruz Basilica with a beautifully painted ceiling, and, Chinese Fishing Nets near the harbor’s entrance. In time transfer to railway station enable board train for Goa. Overnight on board the train.

Day 15- Arrive Goa

Arrive Goa and transfer to your beach resort for three nights’ stay. Goa, a tiny emerald land of 3,702 Sq.Kms. on the west coast of India, with its natural scenic beauty, attractive beaches, churches and temples, famous for it’s architecture, feasts and festivals and above all hospitable people with a rich cultural milieu, has an ideal tourist profile.

Day 16- In Goa
During your half day tour today you will visit Panjim City & Mandovi River, Dona Paula for a panoramic view of the Arabian sea; Calangute, Anjuna, Colva, Miramar and Vagator Beaches; Old Goa with its churches and museums; Panaji and its fishing wharfs, statues and markets; the colorful Mapusa Bazaar; Ponda and its ancient temples

Day 17- In Goa
Full day is at leisure

Day 18- To Mumbai
Last day in Goa and in the evening board a train on this tour for Mumbai. Overnight aboard the train

Day 19- Leave Mumbai
Arrive Mumbai and transfer to the city to check in at one of the hotels. Freshen up before starting a tour which would include Mani Bhavan, the house where Mahatma Gandhi used to stay during his visits to Mumbai; Prince Of Wales Museum having a priceless collection of art and sculpture and Jain Temple. Drive past the “Tower Of Silence”, delightful Kamla Nehru Park and Hanging Gardens situated on the slope of Malabar Hill offering a panoramic view of Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach. Also drive past Crawford Market, Mumbai High Court etc. Visit The Gateway Of India, a splendid arch by the Arabian Sea, built to commemorate the royal visit in 1927. Late evening you will be transferred to International airport to connect your onward flight