The Golden Chariot train is named after the Stone Chariot in historic Hampi, one of the many places it visits as it meanders through the state of Karnataka. You will travel all night to different places and you will have the day to explore them. The train, which is operated by Karnataka Tourism Development Corporation and started in early 2008, is one of the most recent additions to luxury trains in India.
Its logo is formed by a mythological animal with the head of an elephant and a body of lion.
There are 11 purple and gold passenger cars with a total of 44 cabins (four in each car) and one assistant for each cabin. Each car bears the name of a dynasty that ruled Karnataka: Kadamba, Hoysala, Rastrakota, Ganga, Chalukya, Bhahamani, Adhilshahi, Sangama, Shathavashna, Yudukula and Vijayanagar.
The train also has two specialty restaurants serving Indian and continental cuisine, a lounge bar, business facilities, gym and spa. One of the highlights is the performances of local artists at the Madira Lounge Bar on the train, whose interior has been designed as a replica of the Mysore Palace.
Routes and schedules
The Golden Chariot has two routes: “The Pride of the South” runs through Karnataka and Goa, while “Southern Splendor” is an expanded route that incorporates Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Both are for seven nights and operate from October to April each year.
Route “The pride of the south”
There are one or two departures per month, always on Mondays. The train leaves Bangalore at 8 p.m. meter. and visit Mysore, Kabini and Nagarhole National Park, Hassan (to see the giant statue of Jain saint Bahubali), Hampi, Badami and Goa.
The train returns to Bangalore the following Monday morning at 11.30 a.m. meter.
It is possible to travel on this luxury train for part of the route, as long as you reserve a minimum of three nights.
Route “Southern Splendor”
There are one or two departures per month, always on Mondays. The train leaves Bangalore at 8 p.m. meter. and visit Chennai, Pondicherry, Tanjavur, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Kovalam, Alleppey (Kerala backwaters) and Kochi.
The train arrives in Bangalore the following Monday morning at 9 a.m. meter.
Passengers can travel on the train during part of the route, as long as they reserve a minimum of four nights.
“Pride of the South” costs 22,000 rupees for Indians and 37,760 rupees for foreigners per person, per night, based on double occupancy. The total of seven nights is Rs 154,000 per person for Indians and Rs 264 per person for foreigners.
“Splendor of the South” costs 25,000 rupees for Indians and 42, 560 rupees for foreigners per person, per night, based on double occupancy. The total for seven nights is 175,000 rupees per person for Indians and 297,920 per person for foreigners.
Rates include accommodation, meals, sightseeing tours, tickets to monuments and cultural entertainment.
Charges for service, alcohol, spa and business facilities are additional.
Should you travel on the train?
It is an excellent way to see the south of India comfortably, without complications. The route connects closely with culture, history, and wildlife, with an itinerary that includes stops at national parks and many ancient temples. The excursions are well organized. The main drawbacks are the high price of alcohol on board and the fact that train stations are not always close to destinations. Although it is a luxury train, there is no formal dress code.
You can make a reservation to travel on the by visiting the Official approved website of https://www.orientrailjourneys.com/