The majesty of Southern India is the appropriate backdrop to the two journeys by the Golden Chariot. Discover the world of an ancient civilisation, view the architectural remnants of different dynasties, catch a glimpse of the royal and resplendent palaces, and soak in some sunshine at a pristine beach and sublime backwaters and to complete the experience traverse through an erstwhile hunting ground of a Maharaja teeming with wildlife.
A journey through ancient history, transcending borders of 4 different states; all in the comfort of a luxurious train with opulent suites, specialty restaurants, a well-stocked lounge bar, a royal spa and an impeccable service by liveried concierge. For that perfect experience of history, art, culture, beach and wildlife, the Golden Chariot is a perfect choice.
Inspired by the success of the luxury trains in North India, the Karnataka State Tourism and Development Corporation (KSTDC) decided to showcase the beautiful South of India to the world in a similar manner. This led to a tie-up with the Indian Railways and the commissioning of a luxury tourist train that connects the important tourist spots of the Indian states of Karnataka, Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Pondicherry. This train was named Golden Chariot after the Stone Chariot in the Vitthala Temple at Hampi, a world heritage site and one of the historical destinations on its journey. Elegance personified, the construction and design of this train is inspired by the Mysore and Hoysalaschools of architecture. It was unveiled on 23 January, 2008, commemorating the golden jubilee celebrations of Karnataka and ran its maiden journey on 10 March, 2008, from Bangalore to Goa. The ancient Chola and Chalukya dynasties having left an indelible mark on the landscape of southern India, this region is known not only for its world heritage sites, temples and magnificent palaces but also for its wildlife and golden beaches. The sole purpose of this train is to provide a classic rail journey experience in which the guests are treated like royalty and are exposed to the unique cultural heritage of South India. This unforgettable royal sojourn, transports one back in time, recapturing the romance of an era gone by; it begins on board the train and extends into the off board experiences, leading to a treasure chest of memories. The Golden Chariot offers a unique Southern Royal Experience as it chugs its way through the verdant landscape of South Indiaon one of the two customized itineraries:– the first being the 'Pride of the South' tour covering Bangalore, Mysore, Nagarhole National Park, Hassan, Belur, Halebidu, Hospet, Hampi, Pattadakal, Badami and Goa before returning to Bangalore; and the second being the 'Southern Splendour' tour covering Bangalore, Chennai, Pondicherry, Thanjavur, Madurai, Thiruvananthapuram, Alleppey, Kochi and finally returning to Bangalore. The train moves by night and arrives at a new destination each morning where a novel royal experience awaits its valuable guests.
The Golden Chariot has eleven fully air conditioned coaches that are inter connected and divided into four cabins each. The interior of each coach suitably draws inspiration from the Hoysala temple architecture, dating back to the 12th century that one gets to see during this journey and is unique to the state of Karnataka. The forty four cabins comprise of twenty six twin bed cabins, seventeen double bed cabins and one cabin for those with physical challenges. Each cabin is richly decorated in regal style with the finest fabrics and accessories commensurate with the standard of luxury offered. The silk bedspreads are hand-woven by local artisans and the accessories have been sourced from choice vendors across the world. Each coach takes its name from amongst the royal dynasties that once flourished in the southern region of India,namely, Hoysala, Kadamba, Rastrakuta, Chalukya, Brahamani, Ganga, AdilShahi, Satavahana, Sangama, Yadukula and Vijayanagar. The cabins within take one back in time with the intricate carvings on the ceilings, wall panels and furniture inspired by the Mysore and Hoysala architecture. Each cabin has an attached bath-toilet, power supply, LCD TV, satellite TV channels, writing desk, double/twin bed and other amenities expected in a royal style accommodation. The train looks resplendently royal adorned in purple and gold, sporting the logo of a mythological animal with the head of an elephant and body of a lion. As the nineteen coaches surge ahead, exploring the historical destinations along their route, they resemble a royal procession in all its pomp and glory.
In addition to the passenger coaches the train has two dining cars, a lounge bar, an ayurvedic spa, a mini gym and a business centre on board. Together, they endeavour to offer their esteemed passengers an experience that will leave nothing more to be desired. Guests on the Golden Chariot have the choice of dining at ‘Nala’ or ‘Ruchi’, the two restaurants on board, their names drawn from Indian mythological texts. Nala was a king and legendary chef from the times of Mahabharata, the great Indian epic, while Ruchi is a Sanskrit name meaning fine taste. Their elegant interiors are reminiscent of theHalebidu and Hampi temple styles. The refined table settings and quiet service make for a truly royal experience. The professional chefs on board serve a wide range ofculinary delights that include both Indian and global cuisines.Every day, an authentic menu unique to the destination is on offer.The ‘Madira’ lounge bar is stocked with premium wines and spirits. Inspired by the aesthetics of the Mysore Palace, its interiors are rich and elegant. It is a place where guests can relax with a drink or interact with each other. The on board spa, ‘Nirvana’, has two massage rooms offering an array of Ayurvedic massages and spa therapies. One can avail this facility to be relieved of the fatigue at the end of a day long off board tour or to simply experience holistic wellness. Also available is a fully equipped gymnasium. The Golden Chariot also features a conference coach with a seating capacity of 30 guests and the finest in audio visual equipments, making it a perfect train for MICE tours. For those who wish to access the internet, a USB dongle is provided. There are attendants on call and guests lack for nothing, served with graciousness and charm by the well trained staff.
The Golden Chariot was awarded the title of Asia’s Leading Luxury Train at the World Travel Awards Ceremony in 2013. Of greater importance is the graciouslyroyal southern hospitality extended to and duly commended by the guests.
Select from the below journeys suitable for your travel:
Pride Of South