Our Trips -
The Deccan Odyssey
India's newest Luxury
Train - Also known as the Palace On Wheels of Maharashtra
Travel through time and cultures through the kingdom of the Marathas -
Maharashtra. Taking in the heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora, the
handicraft village of Shilpa Gram, the Sula Winery at Nashik, the
bustling cities of Mumbai and Pune, and more. Savour the cuisines,
worship at the shrines, or just relax and let the beauty wash over you
TRAVEL BACK IN TIME AND SEE THE PRESENT MEET THE PAST
As the wind whispers through the halo of legends crowning the land of
the mighty Marathas, a lone majestic whistle blows its salutation of
honor as it gracefully traverses this land of fantastic fantasy. Welcome
to the mesmerizing Maharashtra experience aboard THE DECCAN ODYSSEY.
If Europe is all-hearts for the Orient Express and Rajasthan is graced
by the royal Palace on Wheels, Maharasthra echoes majestically with the
Deccan Odyssey. A train journey adorned in luxury, the Deccan Odyssey
transports its guests on an unforgettable sojourn of a land shining in
legions grandeur - serene beaches, magnificent forts & palaces, and
experiencing heavenly tales etched in colossal rocks.
Board the Deccan Odyssey at Mumbai, India's commercial capital and chug
off to Ganapatipule, one of the finest beaches on the coast. On to
Sindhudurg, the Ocean Fort of the Marathas, guarding the port of Malvan.
Visit Tarkali, a beautiful village by the Arabian Sea. Continue to Goa,
one of India's most popular beach holiday spots. Travel to Pune the
erstwhile capital of the Marathas and to Aurangabad, home of the famous
caves of Ajanta and Ellora (a World Heritage Site) before returning to
WED The time has come for you to undertake a journey way back in time.
Welcome to Mumbai, a city of dreams that 300 years ago was an
agglomeration of seven islands. Modern, yet preserving its antiquities,
a short drive through the city will reveal this inherent truth. Board
the train in the evening at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, undoubtedly
one of the famous Gothic buildings and an integral part of Mumbai's
skyline. Wine and dine in the luxurious comforts of this train and
whistle off on your royal voyage.
02 Jaigadh, Ganapatipule, Ratnagiri and Bhatye Beach
THU Alight in the morning at the Bhoke Station nestled amidst majestic
mountains and scenic backwaters. Enjoy the short ride in a luxury bus to
Rai Jetty. Cut through the mesmerising 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 destination.
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 panorama.
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 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
03 Sindhurdurg, Tarkaarli, Sawantwadi
FRI 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 mesmerising 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 indeed.
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 river bank, all contribute 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 splendour.
SAT 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
Goan antiques. It's time for an afternoon laced with heady traditional
music, dance and finger licking Goan delicacies. Visit Fontanhas, the
Latin quarters at Panjim, the capital of Goa State. Next stop is Dona
Paula, a small palm fringed beach with casuarina groves and tranquility.
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 Karmali 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.
SUN 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, writers, singers and artists.
After a royal breakfast in the train, step out to discover this early
home of Shivaji, the great Maratha warrior.
First stop is Phule Mandai, the old central market, named after the
great social reformer Mahatma Jotirao Phule. It consists of a large
octagonal central tower with Gothic features and arms radiating from it.
A reminder of the days 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. Next is the World famous Iyengar Yoga Institute. Directed
by Mr. B.K.S. Iyengar, it is an institute of international reputation.
People come here from all over the world with hopes and rarely ever go
After a quick lunch break at Taj Blue Diamond, 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. 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.
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.
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
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
After a sumptuous meal on board the royal train, your next destination
is the 6th century.
06 Aurangabad, Ellora
MON 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
Come back to Aurangabad for lunch at the Taj hotel with live cultural
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
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 perfect
memorabilia. 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
07 Jalgaon, Ajanta, Nashik
TUE Alight at Jalgaon railway station after a royal breakfast. Travel to
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 shaped
hillside. Lost to the world after the 7th century it was discovered by
accident in 1819, by a party of British officers on a hunting
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
Bhusalwal 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
WED Enjoy the breakfast on board as the sun rises over the
commercial capital of India. Alight at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
in Mumbai 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.
India is Calling