Updated: March 16, 2021 8:17:44 am
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) resumed its ‘Golden Chariot’, a luxury train started by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) in 2008.
For the first time in over a year, the train left from Yesvantpur Railway Station on Sunday for the six nights-seven day tour, covering visits to Bandipur National Park, Mysore, Halebidu, Chikamangalur, Aihole, Pattadakal, Hampi and Goa.
The train was handed over to the IRCTC for operational and marketing purposes by the Karnataka Tourism Department in January 2020. The operations of the only luxury train had to be suspended last year due to heavy losses sustained by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), which was then running it.
“The operations, management and marketing of the train are taken over through an agreement with KSTDC by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) which is a fully owned subsidiary of Railways. The train provides travellers a chance to experience the historical, architectural and scenic beauty of south India while enjoying the comfort of a state-of-the-art amenities and international service standards,” South Wetern Railways said in a statement.
“The Luxury tourist train which left Yesvantpur Railway Station today will cover various destinations in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Goa,” the statement added.
Jewels of South package is a 6 night-7 day tour covering visits to Mysore, Hampi, Mahabalipuram, Thanjavur, Chettinad, Kumarakom and Cochin. The ‘Glimpses of Karnataka’ package is a short 3 night-4 day tour covering Bandipur, Mysore and Hampi.
The Golden Chariot commenced operations in 2008, as a joint initiative between the state government and the Railway ministry.
It consists of 18 coaches with as many as 44 guest rooms, having a capacity of 84 guests. Each cabin is equipped with various features, including a small wardrobe, vanity desk, LCD TV, electric sockets for recharging batteries and a private washroom.
Earlier, the train ran two tours — ‘Pride of South’, a 7-night journey to places like Bengaluru, Kabini, Mysuru, Hassan, Hampi, Badami, and Goa, and the ‘Southern Splendour’, also a 7-night trip to places like Bengaluru, Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Puducherry, Thanjavur, Madurai, Thiruvananthapuram, Kovalam, and Kochi.
Besides the Golden Chariot train, IRCTC also operates the popular Maharajas’ Express luxury train.
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