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Restaurant Car, Deccan Odyssey

Madras Mail on the Deccan Odyssey

16-day tailor-made rail & stay journey from £12,305 pp incl. flights


Short description

Discover the vibrant south of India with one of the world's most luxurious rail journeys

Free car hire on all self-drives

Enjoy exclusive free car hire on all self-drives when you book before 31 January. Combine with the British Airways Sale for maximum savings – enquire now while availability lasts.

Free car hire on all self-drives


  • Discover south India's city greats, from buzzing Mumbai to laid-back Kochi in Kerala
  • Experience the world-class service & opulent interiors of one of the world's most spectacular trains, The Deccan Odyssey, operated by the iconic Golden Eagle
  • Stay in luxurious five-star Taj properties that feature gourmet restaurants & spas in coveted locations
  • Explore some of India's most beautiful and historic temples, shrines & palaces

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Mumbai
  • 7 Nights The Deccan Odyssey
  • 3 Nights Chennai
  • 2 Nights Hyderabad


Recommended for:
Activity adventure | Food & wine | History & culture | Rail journey

This spectacular itinerary will see you explore vibrant southern India, a melange of glittering relics and shrines, rolling hills fringed by sandy beaches and fascinating cities like lively Mumbai and colonial Kochi. And, you'll see it all via one of the world's most luxurious trains – the Deccan Odyssey, operated by the iconic Golden Eagle, whose on-board spa and fine-dining restaurants have made it one of the world's most renowned and opulent rail journeys. Starting among Mumbai's Bollywood buzz, you'll then head to the likes of laid-back Goa and quaint Kochi before relaxing on the coast of Chennai and exploring the colourful streets of historic Hyderabad. What's more, when you're not indulging on board, you'll enjoy stays in Taj hotels – five-star luxury properties renowned for their opulent interiors, gourmet restaurants and more. It's all knitted together with included meals and transfers throughout.

Day by day itinerary

Days 1-2
UK to Mumbai

After included VIP airport lounge access, board your overnight flight to Mumbai. You'll arrive on day two, where you'll be met and transferred to the five-star Taj Mahal Palace for a two-night stay. As the city's finest luxury hotel, built along Colaba's bustling waterfront, the Taj Mahal Palace is ideally situated for city exploration and sea views, with rooms and suites that overlook Mumbai's famous Gateway of India.

Stay: The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai (Deluxe)

Day 3

You'll have the next two days to explore the city's splendours. Highlights include a cruise to Elephanta Island, a lush palm-fringed islet dotted with mango trees and home to the UNESCO-listed cave honouring Hindu god Lord Shiva. Return for a fresh seafood lunch and explore the colourful local markets then, come evening, enjoy a welcome drinks reception followed by dinner at the hotel in the Chef's Studio, a luxurious dining space which combines gourmet cuisine with warm, personalised service.

Stay: The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 4
Board the Deccan Odyssey

After breakfast today, visit the famous 'Dhobi Ghats' outdoor laundry before exploring Fort Bombay and Gandhi's House. Then, your adventure truly begins as you board the spectacular Deccan Odyssey – often nicknamed the 'blue limousine’, with an on-board spa, fully stocked bars, comfortable lounges and fine-dining restaurants, it's truly one of the most luxurious ways of seeing India’s storied sights. After settling in to your beautifully appointed cabin or, to really spoil yourself, the Presidential Suite, head to the convivial bar car before a traditional Indian meal in one of the exquisite restaurants.

A second option before boarding the Deccan Odyssey is to take the train on the 100-year-old line from Neral to Matheran for stunningly scenic vistas of the hills below before then joining the train in the evening. 

Stay: The Deccan Odyssey (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 5

After breakfast, you'll alight in Goa, renowned for its sandy beaches, World Heritage-listed architecture and glittering temples, retaining much of its Portuguese empire style today. Explore the UNESCO-listed Basilica De Bom Jesus and baroque Sé Cathedral of Santa Catarina before returning to the train for dinner among burnished gold furnishings and atmospheric wall lamps as you enjoy Indian classics created by the onboard chef.

Stay: The Deccan Odyssey (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Days 6-7
Ooty & Kochi (Cochin)

Day six will see you embark along the twisting Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a World Heritage Site, before arriving at Ooty, where cosy cottages dot forest-cloaked hills and sprawling botanic gardens. Kochi's beautiful backwaters are your next stop on day seven, home to the famous 500-year-old ramshackle port of Fort Kochi where time seems to stand still among the thriving merchants who trade spices and teas amid the crumbling stone walls and atmospheric old medieval quarter. Explore the Dutch Palace, synagogue and spot the famous Chinese fishing nets that dot the harbour before this evening enjoying a traditional Kathakali performance by musicians and dancers adorned with masks and painted faces.

Stay: The Deccan Odyssey (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 8

After breakfast arrive in Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala and home to extravagant British colonial architecture and glittering palaces. Highlights include visits to the art and natural history museum, Napier, and the spectacular Padmanabhaswamy Hindu Temple, an intricate architectural delight of gold-gilded walls. Then, after lunch, head to India's southernmost point and visit the temple of the goddess Kanyakumari, perched above the ocean where the three seas meet.

Stay: The Deccan Odyssey (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Days 9-10
Madurai & Pondicherry

After breakfast on day nine, visit one of the oldest cities in India, Madurai, that hugs the shores of the Vaigai River. There’s the chance to visit the splendid Meenakshi-Sundareswarar Temple, one of India’s most famous landmarks, whose 14 colourful gateway towers dominate the skyline. Then, come evening, you’ll witness a Hindu ritual in the temple before dinner back on board the train. Day 10 will see you arrive in Pondicherry on the Bay of Bengal, whose rich French heritage is still evident in its architecture and culture. Visit the 200-year-old Raj Nivas, the residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Puducher, dotted with lawns, fountains and sculptures, before coming back to the Deccan Odyssey this evening for your final dinner on board.

Stay: The Deccan Odyssey (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 11

Chennai (formerly known as Madras) is your next stop today, with highlights including Fort St. George and the National Art Gallery as well as a visit to the 16th-century San Thome Basilica. Then, this evening, transfer to the luxe beachfront Taj Fisherman’s Cove Resort & Spa. Built on the grounds of what was once an 18th century Dutch castle, the hotel is wrapped in landscaped gardens and dotted with private pools and scenic walkways leading to the ocean from rooms, cottages and villas. Come evening, enjoy dinner in one of three restaurants for an ultra-fresh catch of the day before a cocktail at the stylish Anchor Bar.

Stay: Vivanta by Taj Fisherman's Cove (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Days 12-13

You've got the next two days to spend at leisure, from whiling away the hours on the sandy beach to enjoying indulgent treatments at the signature spa. There’s also the chance to visit UNESCO World Heritage Site-listed Mahabalipuram, dotted with temples and caves – the Shore Temple, one of the oldest in India, is a particular highlight, renowned for its intricate carvings and granite shrines. 

Stay: Vivanta by Taj Fisherman's Cove (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Days 14-15

After breakfast, travel from Chennai to your final destination, Hyderabad, and the luxury Taj Falaknuma Palace Hotel that looks over the city. A stunning blend of colonial and Indian design that was once the palace of the Nizam of Hyderabad in the 1800s, stylish rooms feature colonial-era furniture and marble bathrooms alongside a beautiful spa and two exquisite restaurants. A highlight of your time here includes a visit to the magnificent Golconda Fort, the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Golkonda – its acoustics are particularly renowned and can be heard at the viewpoint of Bala Hissar that lies almost a kilometre away. This evening, enjoy a gala farewell dinner in the stunning 101 Dining Hall of the Taj Falaknuma Palace, all gold gilded features and chandeliers with space for 90 diners. 

Stay: Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Day 16

After breakfast, enjoy a transfer to Hyderabad Airport for your flight back to the UK, arriving this evening.

Meals: B



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Deluxe

16-day tailor-made rail & stay journey from £12,305 pp incl. flights

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