The Indian Railways has announced that it will start its Golden Chariot Luxury Train tours by January 2021. The Golden Chariot Luxury Train tours is an initiative of the IRCTC (Indian Railway Tourism and Catering Corporation) to promote tourism, and the trains will take patrons to prominent south Indian destinations in three states.
The tours will commence from Bengaluru and cover places in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and finally return to Bengaluru. The three itineraries include the six days and seven nights ‘Pride of Karnataka’ tour which will stop at Bandipur, Mysuru, Halebidu, Chikmagalur, Hampi, Badami, Pattadakal and Aiholie and Goa.
It also includes the ‘Jewels of South’ package, six nights and seven days tour to Mysuru Hampi, Mahabalipuram, Thanjavur, Chettinad, Cochin and Kumarakom and the three nights and four days tour titled ‘Glimpse of Karnataka’ to Bandipur, Mysuru and Hampi.
According to the official website of The Golden Chariot, the tour package includes on-board meals, wines on the house, guided AC bus tours, entry fee to monuments and meals at venues outside. The entire initiative was planned by the Union government in a bid to promote domestic tourism in India, for tours from January 2021 to March 2021. Domestic tourism is the focus, considering international commercial air travel is yet to resume due to the pandemic.
According to reports, tourists can pay for one ticket and avail a 50 percent discount for a companion ticket. They can also get a 35 percent discount on the tariff for the entire tour. They can even take a 2 nights and 3 days package on any of the 6 nights and 7 days tours, for Rs 59,999 plus GST for each individual. They can take rooms on a twin sharing basis for tours from January 2021 to March 2021.
After Kerala was included in the list of places in the tours, the state’s Tourism Department has set aside properties in the temple town of Guruvayur in Thrissur, Idukki’s Munnar and Thekkady and Wayanad, and these properties will come in handy for the IRCTC.
A quick look at the gallery on The Golden Chariot website shows that the luxury train coaches come with swanky furniture, fancy upholstery and lighting, smart TV sets, renovated bathrooms and bedrooms, kitchens etc.
A train has a capacity of 104 passengers and each carriage has four guest rooms with en-suite bathrooms that offer 24x7 supply of warm water. All the trains have 11 guest carriages with rooms in each, two restaurants which can each accommodate 36 guests at a time, a spa, bar, business centre and a mini gym for the guests.