Deccan Odyssey - Jewels of the Deccan
8 Days / 7 Nights
From NZ$ 6529

This journey on India’s premier luxury train, the Deccan Odyssey, takes you architectural wonders of the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur to the Chalukyan inAihole and Pattadakal and on to the powerful Vijayanagara kingdom in Hampi. See the contrasting styles of the Qutb Shahi dynasty of Golconda and the Asaf Jahi, and visit some of the most prominent and unexplored destinations of west-central India, including the unrivaled Ajanta and Ellora Caves. Visit quaint towns famed for hand-operated looms that weave vast quantities of beautiful fabric, and sample some of the best Dakkhani cuisine to be had. A railroad journey like no other, we welcome you on board the Deccan Odyssey.



Saturday - Day 1Depart MumbaiTime
  Check in at Mumbai Chatrapati Shivaji Terminal Railway station 16:00hrs
  Deccan Odyssey departs for Bijapur 17:15hrs
  Unpack and enjoy first evening relaxing on board 17:30hrs
  Dinner on board 19:30hrs
Sunday - Day 2Bijapur 
  Breakfast on board 07:00hrs
  Disembark to explore the Bijapur making your way to Gol Gumbaz, Jumma Masjid, Malik e Maidan,Ibrahim Rouza 08:30hrs
  Return to the Deccan odyssey 13:00hrs
  Lunch on board. 13:30hrs
  Rest of the afternoon at leisure 16:00hrs
  Dinner on board 19:30hrs
Monday - Day 3Aihole - Pattadakal 
  Breakfast on board 07:00hrs
  Disembark and explore the temples and ancient settlements of Aihole and Pattadakal 08:15hrs
  Return to the Deccan odyssey 14:15hrs
  Lunch on board 14:30hrs
  Rest of the afternoon at leisure or enjoy the optional activity 15:30hrs
  Dinner on board 19:30hrs
Tuesday - Day 4Hampi 
  Breakfast on board 07:00hrs
  Disembark for a morning tour of Hampi 08:00hrs
  Visit Virupaksha Temple 10:00hrs
  Return to the Deccan Odyssey 12:30hrs
  Lunch on board 13:00hrs
  Once again disembark for the afternoon tour the Hampi including visit of Vittala Temple 14:30hrs
  Return to the Deccan odyssey 19:30hrs
  Dinner on board 19:45hrs
Wednesday - Day 5Hyderabad 
  Breakfast on board 07:00hrs
  Disembark for the morning visit to Golconda fort.Optional exclusive shopping tour followed by Hyderabadi cuisine lunch 08:00hrs
  Return to the Deccan Odyssey 13:00hrs
  Lunch on board 13:30hrs
  Head to Falaknuma Palace for Palace tour and enjoy High Tea at exclusive venue 15:00hrs
  Visit to Charminar area and wolk through the markets 17:15hrs
  Return to the Deccan Odyssey 20:00hrs
  Dinner on board 20:30hrs
Thursday - Day 6Aurangabad 
  Breakfast on board 07:30hrs
  Morning at leisure 08:30hrs
  Lunch on board 12:45hrs
  Disembark and proceed to visit Ellora caves 14:00hrs
  Arrive and explore Ellora caves 15:00hrs
  Return to the Deccan odyssey 18:30hrs
  Dinner on board 19:30hrs
Friday - Day 7Ajanta Caves 
  Breakfast on board 07:00hrs
  Disembark and drive to Ajanta Caves. 08:15hrs
  Arrive and explore Ajnata caves 09:15hrs
  Return to the Deccan odyssey 14:00hrs
  Lunch on board 14:15hrs
  Time at leisure 15:30hrs
  Dinner on board 19:30hrs
Saturday - Day 8Arrive Mumbai 
  Baggage Collection 06:00hrs
  Breakfast on board 07:00hrs
  Check out and bid farewell to the Deccan Odyssey as your journey comes to an end! 08:15hrs

Note : Tour Itinerary and Destination may change without prior notice.

Day 1 - Saturday, Mumbai

Welcome aboard the Deccan Odyssey.

Early in the evening, you will reach the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus at approximately 15.30 hours to complete the registration process. Once the check-in and formalities for your Jewels of the Deccan journey are complete, you will receive a traditional Indian welcome and a refreshing drink. You will then be guided to your royal Indian cabins. Soon the Deccan Odyssey will begin its journey from Mumbai to Bijapur in Karnataka. Welcome, drink and dinner on board.Overnight on Deccan Odyssey.

Day 2 - Sunday, Bijapur 

This morning, enjoy a scrumptious breakfast on the Deccan Odyssey. We will also arrive at Bijapur, the historic capital of the Sultans of Deccan.

The Kalyani Chalukyas were responsible for establishing Bijapur between the 10th and 11th. However, it was often passed into the hands of new conquerors and invaders. During the second half of 16th and early 17th century, Bijapur gained a prominent place among the most celebrated cities of India under the aegis of the Adil Shahi dynasty. It even surpassed hugely popular cities of Delhi and Agra. Adil Shahi Sultan's secular nature and liberal patronage ensured many scholars, poets, painters, dancers, calligraphers, musicians, Sufi saints and other men of arts flocked to Bijapur. It later became famous as the 'Palmyra of the Deccan'.

Post breakfast, move on to visit the Gol Gumbaz, literally 'round dome', and the second largest tomb in the world. This mausoleum of Adil Shah, the Sultan of Bijapur, is a magnificent testimony of the architectural triumph of Deccan architecture. The circular gallery, especially, where the tiniest of whispers gets magnified due to the unique acoustics of the dome is one of the main highlights of the Gol Gumbaz.

Next, head to the Jumma Masjid, which is renowned as one of the first mosques in India. Then proceed to the largest medieval cannon in the world - Malik-e-Maidan. While you're here, don't forget to make a wish here! Legend has it that if you touch the gun and make a wish, there's a pretty good chance it will come true. So, go on and ask for something.

Visit Mehtar Mahal, the 17th century ornamental gateway to a mosque. Post that, explore Ibrahim Rouza, which is one of the most graceful Islamic monuments of India. It is believed that Ibrahim Rouza's 24m high minarets inspired those of the Taj Mahal.

Return to the Deccan Odyssey for lunch on board. The train will then depart for Aihole & Pattadakal.

As the evening sets in, notice the change in shades of the formidable granite landscape as the Deccan Odyssey makes its way through the Deccan plateau. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner onboard. Overnight on Deccan Odyssey

Day 3 - Monday, Aihole & Pattadakal 

Wake up early this morning, and enjoy a delicious breakfast. Then head out to discover the ancient settlements and temples of Aihole and Pattadakal, one of the largest temple complexes across the globe.

A trip here will help you understand why Aihole is often called the cradle of Indian architecture. It is home to over 70 rock cut temples, which was constructed by the Chalukyan kings in a completely experimental style. However, the fact that each temple is different from the others in the complex, and even from other temples in India itself makes Aihole truly unique.

Continue on to Pattadakal, which is located on the banks of the Malaprabha River. Witness its architectural style that radiates a seamless blend of South Indian (Dravidian) and North Indian (Nagara) forms. In fact, it is believed that this form of architecture was the inspiration behind the Hoysala and other dynasties.

Head back to the Deccan Odyssey for lunch. Post lunch, opt for an optional tour of the weaving village of Guledgud. This place is famous for hand and power looms of ilkal and khann. Witness the process of weaving, and shop for beautiful souvenirs to take back home. You also have the option to visit Badami's sculptured temples and rock-cut caves.

Head back to the Deccan Odyssey for dinner as it makes its way to Hampi. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on board. Overnight on Deccan Odyssey                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Day 4 - Tuesday, Hampi 

Today the Deccan Odyssey reaches Hospet. Visit the iconic City of Victory, Hampi. Explore the sacred and royal centers, palaces and impressive temples. This morning as you enjoy breakfast, the Deccan Odyssey rolls into Hospet. Today you will visit the iconic City of Victory - Hampi, a World Heritage site, famous for its splendid architecture, sculptures, and their historical significance. A short drive quickly changes your landscape from the city bustle to sentient massive boulders as you reach Hampi. Stop at the Narasimha statue and spend some time taking pictures and looking around.

Next head to the mustard Ganesh, located at the base of the Hemkuta hills, and quite a misnomer as the elephant God statue here is anything but small! Take in the breathtaking vistas around the hills with their little caves and alcoves. Walk the banks of the Tungabhadra River as you leave the Virupaksha temple on to the famed Vittala temple, the polar power sites of Hampi, one a living temple, the other a most extravagant architectural showpiece. Head back to Hospet for lunch on board the Deccan Odyssey.

Post lunch, disembark once more to continue your exploration, reaching the Royal Center at Hampi. This area was the citadel of the Vijayanagara kings and encompasses courtly and military structures. Visit the Queens Bath, the Stepped Tank, the Mahanavami Dibba or great platform, where a ramp is available to reach its summit, the Hazararama Temple, the Queens Enclosure with its Lotus Mahal and the Elephant Stables. After a full day of visiting the wonders of Hampi, return to the Hospet station. Board the Deccan Odyssey for your onward journey to Hyderabad as you sit down at dinner. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on board. Overnight on Deccan Odyssey

Day 5 - Wednesday, Hyderabad 

Today, Deccan Odyssey will reach the royal city of the Nizams, Hyderabad. According to legends, this capital of the Asaf Jahi dynasty was originally named after Bhagmati, the Hindu wife of Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah. But she later converted to Islam, and changed her name to Hyder Mahal, which have the city its current name.

This morning, enjoy an early breakfast and drive to Golconda - the epitome of Nizami culture and grandeur. What was originally a mud fort, soon acquired impressive proportions after it became the seat of power of the Qutub Shahi dynasty.

Head to the Deccan Odyssey for lunch. Alternately, you can also choose an optional shopping tour. Hyderabad is the perfect place to buy pearls, lac bangles and custom made oil based fragrances or "ittars" amongst other. Follow up this shopping trip with the delectable Hyderabadi Biryani for lunch.

Proceed to Falaknuma Palace, which stands for "like the sky". Akin to its name, this palace stands tall, almost reaching the clouds. Enjoy sumptuous high tea, post the tour of this stunning palace.

Then move on to explore the old city area of Charminar. Filled with bustling bazaars, it stands tall in the center of the city. One of the most recognized structures of India, it was allegedly built by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah to fulfill his vow of building a mosque if the plague epidemic devastating the city ceased. Walk through the markets in the Charminar area, especially the Laad Bazaar for the local jewelry, and Pather Gatti for the celebrated Deccan pearls. Return to the Deccan Odyssey for dinner as Deccan Odyssey continues the journey to Aurangabad. Breakfast and lunch on board, High tea at Falaknuma Palace and dinner on board. Overnight on board the Deccan Odyssey.

Day 6 - Thursday, Aurangabad - Ellora Caves

Named after the last Great Mughal Aurangzeb, Aurangabad is an industrial town in Maharashtra. From here, we will proceed to visit the brilliantly carved Ellora Caves, a World Heritage site. The city itself radiates Mughal influences and is home to several stunning monuments. This includes the Daulatabad Fort, Bibi-ka-Maqbara and the city's 52 gates, each with a history as fascinating as the monuments themselves.

As you enjoy breakfast, the Deccan Odyssey will arrive at Aurangabad. Here, a scenic drive to the Ellora Caves, carved into the side of a basaltic hill 30 km from the city awaits you. Witness the finest specimen of cave-temple architecture in India on this site. It encompasses 34 rock-cut shrines that beautifully showcase Buddhist, Jain and Hindu art dating from the 4th to 5th century AD. The 17 caves in the center are Hindu, 12 caves to the south are Buddhist, while the 5 caves to the north are Jain. If you want a glimpse of the best example of rock-cut architecture, then head to the Kailash temple. A replica of Shiva's celestial abode on Mt. Kailash, it is simply an engineering marvel. Relish a leisurely lunch on board as the surroundings of Maharashtra sweeps past, with its ever-changing and inspiring landscape.

In the evening, unwind and enjoy cocktails fixed by our bartender onboard. Follow this with a lavish dinner and a well-deserved rest as the Deccan Odyssey moves towards Jalgaon. The exquisite Ajanta Caves - a World Heritage site is next on our list of must-visit attractions. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on board. Overnight on Deccan Odyssey.

Day 7 - Friday, Ajanta Caves 

The Deccan Odyssey will arrive at the Jalgaon station this morning. Post breakfast onboard, you will drive to the Ajanta Caves, and explore yet another architectural marvel. The 30 rock-hewn Buddhist caves adorned with paintings and sculptures of Buddhist religious art are nothing less than spectacular. Skilfully carved, they depict the fusion between Buddhist and Hindu faith.

Lunch will be on board the Deccan Odyssey. Post lunch, you will disembark to visit the Mahatma Gandhi memorial. There are many lessons waiting to be learned at the Gandhi Teerth, which pays ode to the man who quoted "My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realizing Him."

In the evening, the Deccan Odyssey will pull into its last leg of the journey back to Mumbai. Take in the views of a rustic India as you sip a sundowner, and enjoy a delicious dinner. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on board. Overnight on Deccan Odyssey.

Day 8 - Saturday, Mumbai

 Early this morning, after breakfast, you will disembark at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai.

Bid farewell to the Deccan Odyssey as your royal passage through the grand vistas of India comes to an end. Breakfast on board.

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Jewels of the Deccan
Train Journey

Starts: Mumbai

Ends: Mumbai

Grade: Easy Paced

Departs: Every Saturday

What's Included?

07 nights’ accommodation on board

Complete travel

All Meals

Sightseeing tour

Entrance fee and Monument charges

All current taxes

Fact File

Train Departs every Saturday

Note: Tour Itinerary and Destination may change without prior notice.