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Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation Ltd in association with Indian Railways - Ministry of Tourism has launched a Super Deluxe luxury train "The Deccan Odyssey". The train has been benchmarked against the best luxury trains in the world like the Blue Train of South Africa, The Orient Express of Europe and the Eastern and Oriental of South East Asia.
The Deccan Odyssey's sheer luxury is a sight to behold. Everything in the train reflects the ways of Indian Royalty. The plush interiors, an awesome cuisine and grate sites to see makes the journey memorable. This luxurious train transports its guests on a remarkable sojourn of a land shining in legions grandeur - serene beaches, magnificent forts - palaces and experiencing divine tales etched in colossal rocks. A weeklong royal journey is through some of the best places in Maharashtra namely Mumbai, Sindhudurg, Tarkarli, Goa, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Ellora, Chandrapur (Tadoba Wildlife), Wardha (Sevagram), Ajanta and Nasik. The objective of running "The Deccan Odyssey" train is primarily to showcase the best of tourism assets of Maharashtra like pristine beauty of Konkan coast, the art, the culture, the wildlife, the heritage (including world heritage sites of Ajanta - Ellora) of Maharashtra as well as Maharashtra's local arts, crafts and cuisine.
The train has 21 coaches, out of which 13 are passenger cars accommodating 8 people per coach (11 passenger Cars, 4 coupes per coach - 2 Presidential Suite Cars, 2 coupes per coach), 1 Conference Car, 2 Dinning Cars, 2 Generator Cars with Luggage Store, 1 Staff, spare Car, 1 Spa Car, 1 Bar Car. The train has on-board facilities like T.V., Cable connection with central audio disc player, cell phones, Channel Music, Foreign exchange facilities, etc. The present capacity of the train is 80 pax
The route has been fixed as Mumbai - Sindhudurg - Goa - Kolhapur - Aurangabad(Ellora) - Chandrapur (Tadoba Wildlife Sancturary)- Wardha (Sevagram)- Jalgaon(Ajanta) - Nashik and Mumbai. It will be a seven days round trip starting on every Wednesday from Mumbai. The seasonal tours will operate every year between October to April month. The itinerary of the tour is broadly as follows:
1st Day - Mumbai
2nd Day- Sindhudurg Nagari
3rd Day - Goa
4th Day - Kolhapur- New Palace, Museum, Bhavani Mandap Mahalaxmi Temple - Shalini Palace.
5th Day - Aurangabad-Daulatabad-Ellora Caves-Bibi-ka-Maqbara
6th Day - Chandrapur (Tadoba)
7th Day - Ajanta Caves / Nasik
8th Day - Mumbai.
The coast of Sindhudurg is known for its natural beauty and greenery as well as a special kind of cuisine, which is predominantly based on seafood and spices locally known as Malvani or Konkani cuisine. The Goa, an already established tourist destination needs no special introduction. Next on the itinerary is Kolhapur, a city of many great attractions. This city is a unique blend of culture, history, nature - industry. Most of the venues Bhavani Mandap, Mahalaxmi Temple, Shalini Palace, New Palace, Museum etc. speak for themselves. From Kolhapur train moves to Aurangabad - a city founded by none other than the Mogul emperor The Aurangajeb which is predominantly a cultural centre of Maharashtra. This is also a place where the world heritage sites of Ajanta, Ellora known for the wall painting or frescoes painted on the walls of caves carved out of solid basalt rock and have briefed the vagaries of time for centuries together are located.