Golden Chariot to roll again in Karnataka

Here’s some good news for those bitten by the travel bug.

Published: 01st November 2022 04:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st November 2022 04:08 AM   |  A+A-

Golden Chariot

Golden Chariot. So far, 30 bookings have been confirmed for the inaugural trip  

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  Here’s some good news for those bitten by the travel bug. After a gap of one year, the state-owned luxury express—Golden Chariot— will roll out on the tracks from November 20. But this time there is a twist. Apart from the new look, it has a new destination—  Chikkamagaluru, whereas Shravanabelagola and Belur have been dropped from the list. 

Also, instead of starting from Yeshwanthpur, it will depart from the newly-inaugurated Sir  M Visvesvaraya Terminal. Reason: It has proximity to the airport and makes boarding easier for international tourists, according to tourism and railway department officials. The Interior colours of the renovated train have changed from purple and golden to red and black.

The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which also operates Maharaja Express, has brought in modifications which include free Wi-Fi. The exterior of the train however remains the same. For the relaxation of tourists, there is an ayurvedic spa, two restaurants (operated by Ruchi and Nalapaka) and liquor counters. 

‘Destinations changed based on feedback’

 Even as the ownership of the train rests with the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation, its operations, marketing and management are being done by IRCTC.   Officials from IRCTC told The New Indian Express that changes in destinations have been made based on the feedback obtained from travel agents, tourists, footfall at destinations, and requirements of tourists and travel partners.

Bandipur Safari has also been added instead of Kabini, and Goa is a star attraction for all tourists, is very much on the list.  “We had undertaken two trips in March 2021, where Chikkamagaluru was included and tourists gave positive feedback to the new itinerary,” an official from IRCTC said.

So far, 30 bookings have been confirmed for the inaugural trip, which now has a mix of 13 double-bed cabins, 30 twin-bed cabins and one cabin for the specially abled. The last operation by Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation was in 2017-18. It was then handed over to the IRCTC in January 2021 which undertook two trips in March 2021, before sending it for overhaul. The train now stands at Chikkaballapur station.



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