Due to the success of the Deccan Odyssey, further locations have been added to the itinerary offering guests the opportunity to visit more of the untouched treats of Western India. The train carries passengers from the exotic state capital of Mumbai to the flawless beaches of Goa, before heading inland to the hill stations and carved Buddist, Hindu and Jain cave temples near Aurangabad.
The eight day trip takes in the elabourately carved caves of Ellora and Ajanta, awe inspiring hill-top citadels such as Daulatabad and the holy city of Nasik, each offering a unique insight to the history and religions of this magnificent country.
Highlight off the beaten track include a visit to the crafts village Shilpgram in Sawantwadi, a trip down the Tarkali backwaters, a wonderful chance to enjoy Konkani cuisine and culture along the Konkan Coast stretching from Mumbai to Goa.
One of the new highlights recently added to the journey is the ancient city of Kolhapur, famous for its powerful red chilies, an unusual form of wrestling and fabric slippers, made famous by western designers. It is also possible to take shorter trip, from Mumbai to Goa for example, connecting the beautiful beaches of the Goan coast with the intense bustle of India’s film and arts capital, Mumbai. Indian cookery courses can also be arranged on board.
One of the most dramatic locations visited by the train is also Maharastra’s most visited ancient monument - the Ellora caves. The chain of 34 caves, each beautifully carved with statues of Hindi, Buddhist and Jain gods, date back to 500AD. Carved in basalt rock, the sculptures have stood the test of time remarkably well, although they still bear the scars from several attempted destructions including one attempt by the arrival of the Muslims in the thirteenth century.
Not only does the Deccan Odyssey combine the luxury of a five star hotel with the charm of a train journey, but guest are encouraged to interact with the Indian people and experience their cultures and traditions - something not possible from an organized coach tour.
TravelPack offers a ten-night trip to Maharashtra, incorporating the Deccan Odyssey for £1,932 per person, during March 07. The price includes return international flights to Mumbai, one night either side of the train journey at the Taj President and eight nights on board the Deccan Odyssey.
Several other tour operators feature the journey including Indus and Abercrombie and Kent, all of which can be booked through all high street travel agents.
For further information on the Deccan Odyssey, visit www.maharashtratourism.gov.in