The Golden Chariot gets its name from the Stone Chariot in historic Hampi, one of the many places it visits as it winds its way though the state of Karnataka. You'll travel through the night to different locations, and have the day to explore them. The train is one of the newer additions to the luxury trains
that operate in India, and started running in early 2008.
Golden Chariot Features:
Each of the Golden Chariot's carriages have been named after the dynasties that ruled Karnataka -- Kadamba, Hoysala, Rastrakota, Ganga, Chalukya, Bhahamani, Adhilshahi, Sangama, Shathavashna, Yudukula and Vijayanagar. The train has two restaurants, lounge bar, business facilities, gym, and spa. One of the highlights on board is the performances by local artists in the train's Madira Lounge Bar, the interior of which has been designed as a replica of the Mysore Palace.
Golden Chariot Route:
The Golden Chariot has two routes: "The Pride of the South" runs through Karnataka, while the "Southern Splendor" is an expanded route that incorporates Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
"The Pride of the South" Route and Duration:
Seven nights. Runs from October until April. Departs every second Monday at 8 p.m. from Bangalore and visits Mysore, Kabini and Nagarhole National Park, Bandipur, Hassan, Hampi, Gadag, Badami, and Goa.
The train arrives back in Bangalore the following Monday morning at 11.30 a.m.
It's also possible to travel on the train for shorter durations such as from Bangalore to Goa, Hassan to Bangalore, and Hospet (near Hampi) to Bangalore.
"Southern Splendor" Route and Duration:
Seven nights. Runs from October until April. Departs every second Monday at 8 p.m. from Bangalore
and visits Chennai, Pondicherry, Tanjavur, Madurai, Thiruvananthpuram (Trivandrum), Alleppey, and Kochi.
The train arrives back in Bangalore the following Monday morning at 9 a.m.
Passengers can hop on and hop off anywhere along the routes, as long as they spend a total of three nights aboard.
Golden Chariot Tariff:
"The Pride of the South" costs 12,350 rupees for Indians and $425 for foreigners per person, per night, based on double occupancy. The total for seven nights is 86,450 rupees ($2,975) per person.
"Southern Splendor" costs 15,000 rupees for Indians and $490 for foreigners per person, per night, based on double occupancy.
The total for seven nights is 105,000 rupees ($3,430) per person.
Rates include accommodation, meals, sightseeing tours, entrance fees to monuments, and cultural entertainment. Service charges, alcohol, spa, and business facilities are extra.
Golden Chariot Reservations:
You can make a reservation for travel on the Golden Chariot by visiting the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation's website: www.goldenchariot.org
. Travel agents also make reservations.