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.