Mumbai to Mumbai – Deccan Odyssey
The state Maharashtra has a long history of over five thousand years, seen various dynasties beyond Vindhya ruling over the Deccan Plateau from the days of Rashtrakutas, Vakatakas, Satvahanas, Shilaharas, Chalukyas, Yadavas, Marathas, Portuguese and English. These dynasties have left behind their marks in the forms of monument and heritage sites, the wadas, the palaces, the churches, the temples, the synagogues, the mosques.
The State with 27 wild life sanctuaries, 4 National Parks, numerous religious sites, places of scenic beauty, scores of beaches, thousands of forts and unique culture depicted in its folk arts, the colourful festivals, its cuisine, handicraft. A tourist through Deccan Odyssey gets a glimpse of all the above destinations in seven days.
Table of Content
- 1 Mumbai to Mumbai – Deccan Odyssey
- 1.1 DAY 1: WED: Mumbai Depart
- 1.2 Day 2 Morning, Thursday: Sindhudurg Sea Fort
- 1.3 Day 2 Noon: Thurs: Tarkarli Virgin Beach
- 1.4 DAY 3: Fri: GOA Beaches & Churches
- 1.5 Day 4:Sat: GOA Temples, Spice Farm & Traditional Home
- 1.6 DAY 5 Morning, Sunday: Kolhapur Princely Town
- 1.7 DAY 6: MON: Aurangabad & Ellora Caves
- 1.8 DAY 7 Tues day, Morning: TUE: Ajanta Caves
- 1.9 DAY 7 Thurs day Afternoon: TUE: Nasik Pilgrimage Town
- 1.10 DAY 8 Friday Morning: MUMBAI Return
The Train Deccan Odyssey Tour is a joint venture between Indian Railways & Tourism Department of Maharashtra. Where the off board logistics & sightseeing are handled by MTDC, onboard services are managed by dedicated professional Team from Taj Group of Hotel.
The 7 Nights /8 Days visit across The Deccan Plateau & Konkan Coast, highlights the best tourist places around Mumbai & in former Kingdom of Peshwas. The detailed program is as follows.
DAY 1: WED: Mumbai Depart
Tourists need to report by 3.30 p.m. on the first day at Mumbai, Chhatrapati Shivaji Rail Terminus a World Heritage Site. This is undoubtedly one of the famous Gothic buildings and an integral part of Mumbai’s skyline. After check-in formalities & tour brief, train departs by 430 p.m. from Mumbai.
Day 2 Morning, Thursday: Sindhudurg Sea Fort
Next day the train reaches Sindhudurg Nagari Railway station at the tip of the Konkan coast. A luxury AC bus transfers one to Malvan Jetty from the station. A comfortable boat ride takes one to the Sindhudurg fort amidst breathtaking view of the sea having diverse flora and birds.
The fort of Sindhudurg is believed to have been built by 6000 skilled masons who worked round the clock for 3 years. Its premises include temples dedicated to Bhavani, Mahadeo, Jarimari, Mahapurush and Shivaji.
Day 2 Noon: Thurs: Tarkarli Virgin Beach
From the fort next stop is at Tarkarli which is travelled by luxury AC coach. Tarkarli is 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 and the hamlets at the riverbank, are some of the attractions of the beautiful Tarkarli.
After lunch at the MTDC beach resort, the group departs for Kudal Railway Station, visiting Dhamapur a village situated on the banks of a lake on the way.
DAY 3: Fri: GOA Beaches & Churches
From Tarkarli the group heads towards Goa. The main attractions of Goa are lush green fields surrounding village and hamlets. Besides these, Goa is known as the land of India’s finest golden sandy beaches, jungle clad hills, imposing ancient churches and elegant mansions.
Goa is indeed a great collage of sights, experiences and history. The tour of Goa, starts with the Old Goa. Old church buildings like Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral and the Church of St. Francis of Assisi are the hallmarks of South Goa.
Day 4:Sat: GOA Temples, Spice Farm & Traditional Home
The train stops at Vasco station and tourists board the bus to visit Mhalsa and Mangeshi, a Hindu Temples of God Shiva revealing typical architecture of old temples. Tourists from here proceed to one of the biggest and finest Spice Farm in the Country a “Sahakari Spice Farm” at Ponda village. Situated among the lush green surroundings of Ponda place is extremely popular among international tourist.
Visitors are traditionally welcomed at the entrance. After brief halt in the restaurant for welcome drink and snacks, a guided tour of the farm starts. This organic spice farm has variety of herbal and medicinal trees. The guide explains different spices and their medical values during tour which is about 45 minutes.
DAY 5 Morning, Sunday: Kolhapur Princely Town
Next day on the itinerary is Kolhapur, a city of many great attractions. This city is a unique blend of culture, history, nature & industry. Kolhapur has a long history of various rulers from the mythical past to the modern age. The Hindu era lasted till 1347, followed by the Muslim rule which was from 1347-1700. The magnificent temples of Kolhapur were built during the glorious periods of the Satavahana kings and the Shilaharas.
The Marathas controlled this area from 1700 to 1849. In 1849, the British took over and Chhatrapati Sahu Maharaj was installed as the ruler of Kolhapur. Most of the venues Bhavani Mandap, Mahalaxmi Temple, Shalini Palace, New Palace, Museum etc. reflect their own significance as major attractions.
By noon Tourist-group drives back to Kolhapur station, to board the rain & depart. After having afternoon & evening at leisure on board the train the group travels to Aurangabad.
DAY 6: MON: Aurangabad & Ellora Caves
The train reaches Aurangabad in the morning. After having breakfast in the train, a luxury coach takes the group to the majestic fortress of Daulatabad. Mughal Sultant Aurangzeb founded the city of Aurangabad. The ruins of Daulatabad is related to the famous king Mohammad bin Tughlaque who shifted his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad.
The next stop of the train is at 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 had 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.
After the visit of Ellora temple the group returns to Aurangabad for lunch. In the afternoon, the group visits Bibi-ka-Maqbara, a replica of Taj Mahal and a grand piece of Moghul architecture.
DAY 7 Tues day, Morning: TUE: Ajanta Caves
The train on day seven stops at Jalgaon railway station from where the group travels to Fardapur resort. After the breakfast the group visits the Ajanta Caves. Older than the Ellora caves and dating back to 2nd century B.C, the caves at Ajanta are also rock-cut from the volcanic lava of the Deccan. This UNESCO World Heritage site was re-discovered in 1819, by a party of British officers on a hunting expedition.
At Ajanta the paintings include Bodhisattva Padmapani, Boddhisattva Avalokitesvara, 17 Jatakas, The Birth of the Buddha, and The Thousand Buddha’s, belonging to the Mahayana group, Hiragana group and the later Mahayana group, completing the spectrum of Buddhist development in India.
The paintings on the ceiling, particularly the elephant scattering the lotus, charging bull, the black princess and the row of dancers with musicians mesmerize tourists from all over the world. From Ajanta the group returns to Jalgaon Station in the same luxury AC bus and the train departs for Nasik.
DAY 7 Thurs day Afternoon: TUE: Nasik Pilgrimage Town
The train stops at Nasik Road station with a traditional welcome of garlands, ‘Aarti’ and ‘Kumkum Tilak’. After sightseeing of Panchavati Ghats, the group returns to the Nasik Road Station for return journey to Mumbai.
DAY 8 Friday Morning: MUMBAI Return
The train stops ends its Deccan Odyssey tour at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in the morning.