Women in traditional silk sarees and men in sarongs walking quietly along the seashore or paying obeisance at one of the exquisitely architectured ancient temples, South India paints a pretty picture. It is no wonder that South Indian tourism has been flourishing in the last few years as more and more discerning tourists are flocking to the land for its unfailing and unbeatable tranquillity. Despite the Deccan’s alluring charms, it was quite hard to find a decent South India train tour that does justice to its myriad attractions. Seeing this dearth of luxury South India railway tour packages that allow travellers to explore South India at leisure, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited in association with the Karnataka State Tourism and Development Corporation had introduced a splendid luxury train, The Golden Chariot in 2008. After running successfully for a couple of years, the train was completely revamped and came back on track in an all-new avatar in 2019. The idea behind this train was to let the travellers soak in luxury while experiencing some of the high points of South Indian tourism. Let’s take a look at the top 5 experiences you can enjoy aboard The Golden Chariot and that are integral to South Indian tourism.
- Going Back in Time at Hampi: The magnificent ruins at this World Heritage Site will take you back all the way to 1500AD and make your imagination come alive. The remains of what were once splendid temples, important monuments, monoliths and grand havelis narrate the tale of the rise and fall of the Vijayanagar Empire; an extremely prosperous empire that was overthrown by a coalition of Muslim sultanates.
- Soaking in Heritage at Aihole and Pattadakal: If you live for breathtaking views, then this UNESCO World Heritage Site in Karnataka will steal your heart instantly. The mesmeric landscape complemented by beautiful rock-cut monuments & sculptures is a vision to behold. Do try your hand at photography to capture the beauty of these stunning heritage sites that also depict some of the most gorgeous sunsets in the country.
- Cruising along the palm-fringed canals of Kumarakom: A cluster of numerous man-made islands, Kumarakom is located on the banks of Vembanad Lake. A South India tour package is incomplete without a view of Kerala’s mesmeric backwaters and this serene experience offers the much-needed respite from the daily hustle bustle of life. The idyllic land is also home to a large number of migratory birds that make it a paradise for ornithologists.
- Getting a glimpse of royalty in Mysuru: If you’re a history buff, then Mysuru’s glittering royal heritage and historic edifices will leave you bewitched. Steeped in tradition, it imbibes a cultural vivacity that is hard to find elsewhere. Of course, the Mysore Palace is a breathtaking sight that you just cannot miss!
- Seeking blessings at Mahabalipuram: An erstwhile major seaport, Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu especially attracts the devotees of Lord Vishnu and Shiva who come to this ancient city to pay their respects at the Shore Temple. This beautiful seafront temple remained buried under the sand for the longest time and it is the oldest structural temple of significance in South India.
As far as South India train tours are concerned, no journey can capture the multitude of South India’s tourist attractions in the way The Golden Chariot does. By bringing such priceless South Indian tourism moments alive, the Golden Chariot journey offers a unique and delightful holiday opportunity that will continue to linger in your memories for a long time to come. To know more about the South India tour packages available on The Golden Chariot, check this link. For booking and offers, visit www.goldenchariot.org.