Photo Of The Day: Morning Landscapes Of Hampi, India

The sun rises over boulders, the Tungabhadra River and the ruins of the Vijayanagara Empire’s former capital to make a gorgeous golden landscape in today’s Photo Of The Day, taken by Arun Bhat. Located in southwest India, this tide of rocks and history are a part of the Hampi World Heritage Site. At its height, the ancient capital was the largest city in the world. Now, it’s home to countless temples and historical sites in a beautiful state of decay.

Be sure to submit your own photos for a chance at our Photo Of The Day. You can do so in two ways, submit it via our Gadling Flickr Pool, like Arun did, or mention @GadlingTravel and tag your photos with #gadling on Instagram.

[Photo credit: Flickr user arunchs]

Photo of the day – Feeding the fish

photo of the day

Visitors to India know that cows are considered holy and not to be eaten, but in some parts of the southern state of Karnataka, you can cross fish off the menu too. The fish at the Sringeri temple on the banks of the Tunga River are also considered sacred and fishing is banned, though pilgrims and visitors can feed the fish puffed rice. As photographer and Flickr user PointingandShooting notes, all that food can make for some enormous fish!

Make it a New Year’s resolution to add your photos to the Gadling Flickr Pool; you could be the next Photo of the Day.

Your guide to luxury rail travel

Trade a plane for a train, and experience genuine luxury. Hitting the rails in style has been gaining steam around the world, according to the Wall Street Journal, in Asia, Europe, Russia and Africa. In a sense, this is becoming the new “cruise,” without the worry of being pinned on a boat by that insurance salesman who’s intent on saving your financial life.

Many of the luxury train excursions seek to offer upscale accommodations with incredible cuisine and constantly changing scenery. Here a few ideas to get you started.

The Ghan (Platinum Service) connects Adelaide and Alice Springs in Australia and is named for the camel drivers that once used the same route (the rail service was extended to Darwin five years ago). In September, the upscale version of the trek was offered. You’ll have plenty of elbow room and privacy, but it will set you back close to $4,000 for three days. And, you have to get yourself to Australia to take the trip.

On the Thai Explorer, a route of the Eastern & Oriental Express, you can relax in a Presidential Suite or the lesser but still comfy State Compartments, or enjoy the open air section of the observation car at the end of the train. You’ll track through northern Thailand, with plenty of time to explore the stops along the way, but you’ll pay for the privilege. Four days for two guests in the state department costs $5,120.

If driving in India’s Karnataka state intimidates you (and it should), give the Golden Chariot a try. You can ride the train from Bangalore to the beaches of Goa. Launched early in 2008, this luxury rail alternative features massage rooms, gyms, comfortable beds and wireless internet access. Of all the alternatives reviewed by WSJ, this is the most cost-effective. Eight days costs approximately $4,000.

[Via Wall Street Journal]