After exciting experiences at Mysore and Kabini, the 3rd Day of our Golden Chariot trip started with a boat ride in Kabini river. We woke up at around 6am, had some coffee, and boarded the boats at around 7am. We spent around an hour on the boat and got to see various birds, fishermen boats, people taking out the nets with fishes, villages, farming areas and a lot more.
We saw some pelicans, bitterns, herons, egrets, storks, ducks, geese, hawks, kites, eagles, pheasants, cranes, cormorants, pigeons, woodpeckers, hornbills babblers & sparrows.
After the boat-ride, we directly hit the restaurant for breakfast. Kabini river Lodge is maintained by KSTDC and has a beautiful campus. There are multiple cottages with 2 rooms and bungalows with 6-8 rooms in each. Apart from these there are some special bunglows and a reception area.
The same property maintains the safari vehicles and boats. They have a good number of staff members to ensure that the guests are well taken care of.
Since we from Golden Chariot were a huge group and a lot of us were from North India, they ensured that the menu has varied options. I am not sure if the menu was good for foreigner tourists, although the folks I spoke to enjoyed the local cuisine and they preferred that.
After breakfast, we had an hour to roam around the property or pack our bags. Idea was to meet at the reception at 9:30am. Bus started on time and at around 11:30am we were at Mysore. On the way. there are plenty of farms with banana trees, coconut plantations and different kinds of vegetables. This looked like a region with huge agricultural land.
Since our train was not yet at the platform, Mr. Rathore took us to the Silk factory and we had a good time there, although photography was not allowed inside. Some of the folks bought silk sarees. Mysore silk is very popular and the minimum price of a silk saree was 10K Rs. This saree had a very basic single-color border throughout. Most people bought sarees that ranged between 15k-40k. I am sure there were sarees worth lacs of rupees too.
Finally we landed at the Railway station and boarded the train at 12:15am. It was time to relax a bit and then have lunch.
The lunch started with Greek a Salad followed by Cream of spinach soup with sun-dried tomatoes. In the main course, there was option between Thali and Roast Chicken (Tender spring chicken roasted in jus and served with brown sauce). Thali comprised of Men Kozhambu, Gobi Masala, Lehsuni Moog Daal, Tawa Parantha, Coconut rice and Onion mint raita. I opted for Roast Chicken & it was awesome. Mango delight was served in the end.
One of the co-travellers had her birthday that day so the chef had made a beautiful cake for the girl. All of us celebrated the birthday on Golden Chariot, the luxury train.
During lunch we interacted with a family from Bihar. Everyone in family was doctor and we had some conversations about their experiences of travel. During the conversation, they shared one concern that it would have been better to enjoy the meal in moving train. Since it was just the third day, I was not very sure if this is how the journey would continue but assumed that Golden Chariot will surprise with some more interesting experiences :). You would certainly get to know about those in my future posts, so stay tuned.
There was some free to relax and enjoy the luxury of Golden Chariot.
At 3:45pm we started for Srirangapatna. Srirangapatna is one of the most important historical towns in the Karnataka state of India and is located near the city of Mysore.
Srirangapatna is approximately 15km from the Mysore city and is part of the district of Mandya. Interestingly Srirangapatna is enclosed by the river Kaveri to form a river island. Srirangapatna is well-connected by road. It’s very well connected to Bangalore-Mysore highway.
Srirangapatna is rated very high in terms of religious, cultural and historic importance. There are various heritage places in Srirangapatna and now there is a huge town inside the fort. We visited the Palace of Tipu Sultan.
After that we planned to visit Tipu’s tomb. That’s the place where Tipu, his father & mother’s tombs are.
After visiting the beautiful Tipu Palace and the tomb, we headed back to take bur tour of the fort. Now a lot of folks live inside the fort. Some of the areas of fort are in ruins and some are being converted into green landscapes.
After a tour of Srirangapatana, the Golden Chariot team took the guests to an emporium. And looking at the way the staff was dealing with guests, I have my doubts about buying anything from such places. More than that washrooms were very dirty and may guests shared complaints about that. It's an honest feedback for Golden Chariot management to ensure that all stoppages should have clean washrooms.
Dinner for the day was planned at Lalitha Mahal, Mysore. Lalitha Mahal is the second largest palace in Mysore and now a hotel. The property is located near the Chamundi Hills.
We also checked out the suite where the Viceroy used to stay. The above photograph shows the living room of the suite and the photograph below is the bedroom.
Lalitha Palace is built on a raised ground and resembles the St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and is one of the most imposing structures of the Mysore city in Karnakata State, India.
Lalitha palace is painted in pure white and looks grand. The building was converted into a heritage hotel in 1974, which is now run by the Ashok Group of the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) under the Government of India .
Lalitha Palace has a grand reception and everyone was welcomed with showers of flower petals and tilak.
There were dance performance planned at Lalitha Palace. Kanchana Shree performed Lord Shiva-kriti written by Dayananda Saraswati and Beluru composed by D V Gundappa. She also performed Godess Chamundeshwari, composed by Vasudevacharya.
Here is the grand ballroom on the ground floor of the Lalitha Palace. This hall is now restaurant. This was the place where we had our dinner and then headed back to the Golden Chariot.
I love clicking beautiful roofs and this one is clicked at Lalitha Palace in Mysore. This was the roof of the restaurant at Lalitha Palace.
This is one of my favourite photographs clicked at the Lalitha Palace Hotel in Mysore - Unique lift and a lovely couple (Richard and Bridget). This is one of the ancient lifts in India, which is still in use.
It was time to head back to the Golden Chariot and the plan was to reach Hassan Railway station by morning for exploring our next destinations Belur Temples, Halebidu Temples and Shravanbelagola.
Check out this place for more information about the Golden Chariot Journey.