The Golden Chariot luxury train to tourist destinations and heritage sites across south India resumed from Bengaluru after a four year break, an official said on Sunday.
“The 6-coach luxury train chugged off from Yesvantpur station in the city with South Western Railway General Manager A.K. Singh flagging it off,” Bengaluru Divisional Manager A.K. Verma told IANS.
In its first-round trip, christened ‘the Pride of Karnataka’, the train will cover Bandipur national park, Mysuru, Halebidu, Chikkamagaluru as well as Goa in 6 days and 7 nights.
The week-long journey also takes passengers to Unesco world heritage sites of Badami caves, Pattadakal temples and Hampi palace ruins in the state’s northwest region before returning to Bengaluru.
“Though the train has capacity to carry 48 passengers in single and double cabins in 6 coaches, about 30 of them are travelling in this trip, occupying single and double cabins,” said Verma.
In its second-round trip, christened ‘Jewels of South India’ from March 21, the train will chug through Mysuru to Mahabalipuram, Thanjavur and Chettinad in Tamil Nadu and Kochi in Kerala, including its backwaters in 3 nights and 4 days.
The ticket fare for deluxe cabin is Rs 3,20,130 for 2 persons and Rs 2,40,100 for a single passenger.
The package includes onboard meals, transport for sightseeing, entrance fee to all tourist sites covered in the trip and charge of guides.
Launched originally by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) in partnership with the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) in 2008, the former took over the operations of the train in 2020.
“The train offers travellers an opportunity to experience the historical, architectural and scenic beauty of South India in the comfort of luxurious amenities and international service standards,” said the IRCTC in a statement.
The renovated and refurbished luxury coaches boast of complimentary WiFi and OTT streaming onboard, choice of Indian and international cuisine, and wines.
The service includes cultural shows by artistes onboard.
Each of the 6 coaches are named after dynasties that ruled south India over the centuries.
Each coach has 4 cabins with a mix of 30 twin beds and 13 doubles beds. One cabin has been designed for specially-abled.
Two restaurants — Ruchi and Nalapaka — serve delicious meals while ‘Madira’ bar serves choicest of beers, spirits and wines.
Arogya, the spa-cum-fitness center offers traditional Ayurvedic therapies with modern workout machines. (IANS)