Start your journey at the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus in
Mumbai and enjoy your dinner on the luxury train, as your
Deccan Odyssey begins..
Alight in the morning at the Bhoke Station nestled amidst
majestic mountains and scenic backwaters. Enjoy the short
ride in a AC luxury bus to Rai Bhatgaon Jetty. Cut
through the mesmerizing silence of the scenic backwater
accompanied by an impressive number of exotic birds on
the way to the historical Jaigad Fort. Relish an almost
unique view of Konkan village life, impossible to get
either from road or the rail. This romantic journey
brings you to Jaigad Jetty, situated at the foothills of
the Jaigad Fort. And at a short distance stands the
legendary Jaigad Fort, high and proud on a cliff with a
spectacular view of the ocean and Ganapatipule, the next
After Jaigad Fort, it's time to travel to Ganapatipule by
road, an experience by itself. The vast 'Konkan' stretch
abounds with scenic greenery, red earth and the roofed
houses with clean courtyards add a quaint touch to the
Ganapatipule is bathed in the golden sunshine and silver
moonlight, lapped by gentle foam-flecked waves from the
expanse of the Arabian Sea. It's laced with the
unforgettable aroma of fruits, flowers and mangroves. And
the timid whispers of swaying coconut trees carry you
away into a land, that's serene, sedate and unspoilt.
Feast your taste buds over a vast spread of 'Konkan'
cuisine and spend some time to witness cultural
programme. Mingle in the company of the locals, who are
as warm and cheerful as their surroundings. Ever ready to
chat with you and make you feel at home. Visit the holy
temple shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesh, flocked by
millions every year. Walk down the beach to the tune of
the splashing waves. Head out towards Ratnagiri, the land
of the world famous 'Alphonso' mangoes, in the comforts
of the luxury AC bus.
Ratnagiri is the birthplace of Lokmanya Tilak and the
internment home for the last king of Burma, King Thibaw.
Visit the Lokmanya Tilak Smarak and Ratnadurga Fort.
Temples, forts and virgin beaches, you would wish you
could stay a little longer. But the train whistles and
you are off to yet another beautiful destination feasting
over a royal spread served on board.
Next day the train chugs in to the tip of the Konkan
coast, Sindhudurg Nagari Railway station. A luxury AC bus
transfers you to Malvan Jetty from the station. Settle in
a comfortable boat, arranged just for you, and enjoy the
mesmerizing view of flora, birds and caressing waves on
the ride to Sindhudurg Fort.
Next stop the one time naval base, stubbornly guarded,
till today by the unconquered Ocean Fort of Sindhudurg.
As you approach the fort from Malvan jetty past a rocky
reef, marvel at the hard work of over 6000 skilled hands
that worked round the clock for 3 years. Within its
premises are temples dedicated to Bhavani, Mahadeo,
Jarimari, Mahapurush and Shivaji. Walk on the two-mile
long rampart walls and watch the breathtaking view of the
vast open sea as it fires a volley of spray 30 ft. below.
And at times even 30 feet high, an amazing experience
Head out to Tarkarli by luxury AC bus. A virgin beach at
the confluence of river Karli and Arabian Sea with silver
soft sands and pristine clear waters. The wide river, the
beautiful sailboats, the tiny islands, the hamlets at the
riverbank, all contributes to the picture-postcard beauty
of Tarkarli. Enjoy a relaxed lunch at the well-appointed
MTDC beach resort, complete with twenty 'Konkani' style
cottages. Indeed a perfect place to enjoy the
mouth-watering 'Malvani' cuisine and then unwind.
Next stop, Tarkarli Jetty, for a romantic boat ride
through the Tarkarli creek up to Kalse Jetty. Move on to
Sawantwadi by AC luxury bus, situated on the southernmost
point of Sindhudurg. This elite heritage destination is
the entry point to Goa. The colourful town, once an
estate capital, is home to the Chitar Ali and
Jagannathrao Bhosale Garden. Shilpa Gram is yet another
place you must visit. A craft village, where you can
watch local craftsmen manufacturing handicrafts and
what's more, you can buy some mementos too.
The evening promises a traditional meal in the train. As
the train heads to Goa from Sawantwadi, you will leave
behind this coastal paradise rich in history and natural
As the train pulls in to Goa, get ready to explore an
exotic destination frequented by tourists from all
corners of the globe. Brilliant lush green fields
surrounding village and hamlets, white washed churches
standing out against occasional empty patches of
startling red soil. Welcome to Goa, the land of India's
finest golden sand beaches, jungle clad hills, imposing
ancient churches and elegant mansions, splashed with
colour of bougainvillea. Goa is indeed a great collage of
sights, experiences and history.
Once in Goa, you can start off with Old Goa. Take a walk
amid the ruins, ramble in the vast gardens and grounds of
the old church buildings. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se
Cathedral and the Church of St. Francis of Assissi, that
began as a mosque but now is an archaeological museum for
Next, free time for a short walk in the city of Panjim a
Capital of Goa. City is built on the left bank of of the
Mandovi river contains archbishop palaces, a modern port,
churches and long winding streets lined with remarkably
well preserved old houses. One can do some shopping to
carry memories of this beautiful State.
It's time for an afternoon finger licking Goan
Next stop is Dona Paula, a small palm fringed beach with
casuarinas groves and tranquility. Visit Fontanhas, the
Latin quarters at Panjim.
The day has ended, but in Goa, it is just the beginning.
Non stop fun, virgin beaches, ancient sites and caves,
religious icons and shrines are set deep in your mind as
you head back to the Madgaon station. Wine and dine on
board the royal train. It's true, no matter how much time
you have in Goa, it will always seem too little
Next morning, the royal train pulls into Pune, the
erstwhile capital of Maratha. Also known as the cultural
capital of the state, it is hometown of famous poets,
and artists. After a royal breakfast in the train, step
out to discover this early home of Shivaji, the great
First stop is Phule Mandai, the old central market, named
after the great social reformer Mahatma Jotiba Phule. It
consists of a large octagonal central tower with Gothic
features and arms radiating from it. A reminder of the
day?s gone by. Move on to the Raja Kelkar Museum, a
quaint Rajasthani-styled building with an interesting
personal collection of artifacts and antiques belonging
to the 17th, 18th and the 19th century. Move on to the
David Synagogue, believed to be one of the largest in the
world. Built by a Jewish merchant, Sir David Sassoon in
1867, it is one of the finest synagogues in India.
It is time to move on to the world famous Rajneesh
Ashram. Commonly known as Osho Ashram, the lushly
landscaped 24-acre commune offers numerous programmes
with an emphasis on meditation. Thousands alight here
every day in search of spiritual meanings.
After a quick lunch break at the Hotel Le Meridian, next
stop is the Tribal Museum with an impressive collection
of nearly 2000 rare and precious articles related to the
tribal life of Maharashtra. The 12 sections include
domestic life, agriculture, weapons and woodcarving.
Now, the luxury bus takes you to the Aga Khan Palace. A
historical monument where Mahatma Gandhi and his wife
were imprisoned along with other national leaders after
he started the Quit India movement. Listen to the magic
of hymns and devotional songs presented by a small group
of artistes near the memorial of Smt. Kasturba Gandhi.
Before you realise it, the day has ended. And it's time
for the famous light and sound show at the Shaniwarwada
Palace, built in 1732 by the Peshwas. Traditional
'tutari', 'sanai', 'chaughada', garlands and 'kumkum
tilak' welcome you at the entrance. While the daring
story of the erstwhile Maratha Empire enacted by light
and sound capture your imagination inside.
After a sumptuous meal on board the royal train, your
next destination is the 6th century.
Next morning, travelling along the rolling hills and
picturesque ruins of the past, you travel way back in
time to Aurangabad. Founded by Aurangzeb, Aurangabad's
heritage is rich and varied.
After breakfast in the train, a luxury bus takes you to
the majestic fortress of Daulatabad. An impregnable
defense in its day, it still stands tall and proud. Walk
around the ruins, which tell you extraordinary stories of
bravery and valour.
Next stop is the world famous Ellora Caves. Just 30 kms.
from Aurangabad the historical Ellora caves is now a
World Heritage Site. The Hindu, Jain and Buddhist caves
at Ellora are among the finest in India. Lying on the
ancient trade route, the caves are thought to be the work
of priests and pilgrims who used the route. Abandoned and
forgotten for a few centuries, the 34 caves were cut out
of volcanic rocks of the Deccan trap. 12 are Buddhist
(600 to 700 AD), 17 Hindus (800-1000 AD) and five Jain
(1000 -1300 AD). The Buddhist caves belong to the
Vajrayana sect of the Mahayana School. The caves include
'viharas' (monasteries) and 'chaityas' (chapels) where
the monks worshipped. The Hindu caves lie in the centre
of the group. The most famous of them being the
Kailasanatha Temple (8th century). It is the most
magnificent of all the rock-cut structures at Ellora.
Completely open to the elements, it is the only building
that was begun from the top. The Jain caves, less grand
in comparison to the others are richly carved with lotus,
elephant, lions and 'tirthankaras' of Lord Mahavira. They
offer an aura of peace and simplicity.
Come back to Aurangabad for lunch at the Taj hotel with
live cultural entertainment.
Next stop is the Shivaji Museum with weapons and antiques
from the great Maratha Empire. Just beyond the city, lies
the Aurangabad Caves with highly ornate and strikingly
detailed sculptures and architecture. Dating from the
Vakataka and the succeeding Kalachuri dynasties (2nd and
6th centuries AD), these 10 caves, five in each group are
also a World Heritage Site.
Move on to the Bibi-Ka-Maqbara, a tribute of the
Emperor's son to his mother. A replica of Taj Mahal, the
fairy tale Maqbara stands out as the only piece of Moghul
architecture on the Deccan Plateau. Spend some time
browsing through Paithani and Himroo showrooms for a
Soon, it's time to go back to the station for a
mouth-watering feast in the train and then to travel even
further back in time.
Alight at Jalgaon railway station and travel to Fardapur
resort. After a royal break fast depart for T-Junction in
a luxury AC bus. Board the MSRTC eco-friendly bus and
it's time to travel back in time. Soon, you will find
yourself surrounded by dramatic views of the Waghora
valley where the Ajanta Caves are located. Older than the
Ellora caves (200 BC to 650 AD) they are also cut from
the volcanic lava of the Deccan Trap in a steep crescent
Lost to the world after the 7th century it was discovered
by accident in 1819, by a party of British officers on a
hunting expedition. At Ajanta, the Mahayana group,
Hinayana group and the later Mahayana group, complete the
spectrum of Buddhist development in India. 'Bodhisattva
Padmapani', 'Boddhisattva Avalokitesvara', '17 Jatakas'.
'The Birth of the Buddha' and 'The Thousand Buddhas' are
amongst the finest murals and sculptures ever found. The
paintings on the ceiling, particularly the elephant
scattering the lotus, charging bull, the black princess
and the row of dancers with musicians mesmerise tourists
from all over the world. After a quick shopping break for
artifacts and souvenirs, back track to Bhusawal Station
in the same luxury AC bus. Travel along to Nashik in the
royal comforts of the train while the magnificent images
of the ancient caves linger on in your mind. Enjoy the
mouth-watering spread on board of the royal train.
Alight at Nashik Road station with a traditional welcome
of garlands, 'arti' and 'kumkum tilak'. Depart for Sula
Winery at Govardhan Park in the comforts of a luxury AC
bus, enjoying the view of a bustling township that's an
interesting blend of the ancient and the modern. Stop on
the way at the grape farms of the Winery. Walk through
the green paradise as rows and rows of grape meet your
eye in every direction. After watching the breathtaking
view from the Gangapur dam site move on to the Sula
Winery. The air, heavy with the heady aroma of wine,
welcomes you to the Winery. Wine and dine in royal
comfort as the sun sets in the horizon. Finally, when you
head back to the Nashik Road Station, it's time for the
Deccan Odyssey train to move from the past to the future.
Get ready to alight at the most advanced business capital
of India, Mumbai.
Enjoy the breakfast on board as the sun rises over the
commercial capital of India. Alight at the Chhatrapati
Shivaji Terminus in the morning enriched with the rich
legacy of this land. The royal journey is over, but the
memory of which, will live on forever.