The Deccan Odyssey - Hidden Treasures of Gujarat
Route : Mumbai Vadodara Palitana Sasan Gir Somnath Little Rann of Kutch Modhera Patan Nashik Delhi
Saturday - Depart Mumbai
MUMBAI: Departure in the evening from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai.
Sunday - Vadodra
VADODRA: Arrive Vadodara, the capital of the Gaekwads.
After breakfast board the bus to visit Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the only complete and unchanged pre-Mughal Islamic city in India. This concentration of largely unexcavated archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage properties is cradled in an impressive landscape. Marvel at the Jami Masjid (Great Mosque ) built in 1513 representing a perfect blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture.
Drive back to Vadodara for a leisurely lunch on board the Deccan Odyssey.
After lunch, visit the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum, displaying a large number of works of art including a collectionof the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma and other renowned European Masters.
Enjoy high tea with a folk performance at the resplendent Laxmi Vilas Palace, the residence of the Royal family of Vadodra. Reputedly four times the size of Buckingham Palace, its overwhelming Durbar Hall boasts a Venetian mosaic floor, Belgian stained glass windows and walls with intricate mosaic decorations.
Return to the Deccan Odyssey for dinner as it pulls out for Palitana.
High tea at Laxmi Vilas Palace.
Monday - Palitana
Arrive Bhavnagar. After breakfast, board the bus to reach Palitana, one of the world's largest temple complexes.
PALITANA: Palitana is famed for its spectacular cluster of Jain temples exquisitely carved in marble. Spend the day exploring the most significant of the over 900 temples located on a hilltop at Palitana - considered to be the most sacred pilgrimage of the Jains.
Return to the Deccan Odyssey for a sumptuous lunch as it makes its way to Sasan Gir, the sole home of the Asiatic Lion.
Afternoon at leisure.
Enjoy a sundowner followed by dinner on board.
Tuesday - Sasan Gir - Somnath
SASAN GIR: After breakfast board the bus to reach The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, home to the extremely rare Asiatic lion!
Enjoy a morning safari in the national park and experience the magic of the wild all around you as you venture deep into this natural habitat, with everything from tiny wild birds, not easily seen, but heard, singing in the forest canopy, to crocodiles sunning themselves in marshy waters.
After the safari enjoy a relaxed lunch followed by a tribal dance at a 5 star hotel.
Later proceed to the Somnath temple. Located on the shores of Arabian Sea, Somnath, first said to be built in 4th century AD, is positioned such that there is no land mass between it and the Antarctic.
Return to the Deccan Odyssey and unwind with a drink before dinner on board, as you set off for the Little Rann of Kutch.
Wednesday - Little Rann of Kutch
LITTLE RANN OF KUTCH: After breakfast on board, arrive at Viramgam station.Disembark & drive to Rann of Kutch. The Rann is a seasonal salt marsh, the largest in the world at over 7500 sq. km.
Explore the Rann on your jeep safari; the Wild Ass Sanctuary here is one of the few places to spot the ghudkar, or Indian wild ass.
After the visit enjoy lunch at a charming Rann Riders Safari Resort.
Later enjoy a village safari and meet the varied communities of the Rann including Agarias or saltpanners; the Rabari tribe and the Mirs. Continue to visit a local school.
Return to the Deccan Odyssey for dinner and head for Patan.
Thursday - Modhera and Patan
MODHERA: Morning arrive at Patan, the 8th century fortified town and the capital of Gujarat in medieval times.
After breakfast disembark and drive to the sun temple at Modhera. This grand, awe-inspiring 11th century sandstone monument was built by the Solanki dynasty and is dedicated to the sun god. A step tank in front of the temple has 108 shrines that lead down to the water.
Later drive to Patan to visit the lovely 11th century step well called Rani ki Vav, a fine example of subterranean well architecture.
Thereafter, visit Patola house, the centre of the Salvi family's traditional craft, the exquisite silk Patola sarees.
Drive back to the Deccan Odyssey for lunch on board.
Afternoon at leisure as the train proceeds towards Nashik.
Dinner on Board
Friday - Nashik
NASHIK: Morning arrive at the holy city of Nashik.
After breakfast board the bus to reach Pandu Leni - considered one of the most ancient Jain and Buddhist cave temples in India. Some of this set of 24 caves, date back to 1st century BC and others are from a more recent period like 13th century AD.
Thereafter drive to the Grover Zampa vineyards for an exclusive tour of one of the finest Indian wine producing facilities. Walk through vines laden with Chenin, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Be taken through the age old ‘méthode traditionnelle’ used to make one of the best known brands of sparkling wines in India. Allow the sommelier to acquaint your taste buds with their finest creations of white, red, rose and sparkling wines and experiment pairing them with your meal at the vineyards.
Return to Deccan Odyssey for lunch.
After lunch visit the Panchawati Ghat a holy place known for Kumbh Mela. Next, visit to Kala Ram Temple built in 1794.
Rest of the day is at leisure on board.
Dinner on Board
Saturday - Disembark -Mumbai
MUMBAI: Morning - Arrival at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station. Journey Ends.