Luxury train Golden Chariot`s ambit extended

Last Updated: Monday, March 8, 2010 - 21:19

Bangalore: The extended tour itinerary of
luxury train `Golden Chariot` that will take travellers
through Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala was
unveiled here on Monday.

The decision to extend the ambit of Golden Chariot,
operated by Karnataka government, was taken in view of demand
in the upmarket segment for an itinerary that covers South
India in a seamless manner, Tourism Minister G Janardhana
Reddy told reporters while launching the new circuit.

The extended itinerary of seven nights and eight days
includes a mix of temples and heritage sites in Tamil Nadu and
Puducherry, including the world famous Auroville; verdant
backwaters of Kerala including a tour to the Jewish town, a
sunset cruise and other attractions in Thiruvananthapuram and
Kochi.

The tourists have the option to choose between the
earlier circuit of Karnataka-Goa, `Pride of Karnataka` or
`Southern Splendour`, which comprises Tamil Nadu, Karnataka,
Kerala and Puducherry, Karnataka State Tourism Development
Corporation (KSTDC) Managing Director Vinay Luthra said.

"The first trip of Southern Splendour will be on March 15
and the next will be on October 4. From then onwards the two
circuits will operate back-to-back on alternate weeks," he
said.

The trip is priced at USD 450 and Rs 15,000 for one night
per person for international and domestic tourists
respectively.

"We already have 35 confirmed passengers for the first
trip," Luthra said.

He said Golden Chariot, which has been quite popular with
tourists from UK, USA and Europe, has also received enquiries
from China, Japan and Russia.

"We are talking to tour operators to have General Sales
Agents for this circuit to cater to tourists from these three
countries (China, Japan and Russia)," he said.

Luthra said there has been a three per cent increase in
the occupancy of Golden Chariot over last year. "It has risen
to 38 to 40 per cent from 35 per cent last year," he said.

On the occasion, an MoU was inked between KSTDC and Our
Native Village, a resort near Hesarghatta which makes it a
convenient and an additional check-in point for passengers who
arrive at Bengaluru International Airport.

In view of the increasing demand from tourists to create
a slightly more affordable version of the train itinerary,
`Silver Chariot` was also launched.

Tourists who opt for this itinerary will travel in an
air-conditioned Volvo coach to Mysore, Srirangapatna, Coorg,
Hassan and Bhadra and if there are sufficient passengers, the
trip will extend to Hampi, Badami and Pattadakal. They will be
accommodated in KSTDC`s renovated hotels, Luthra said.

The six nights and seven days package is priced at Rs
22,000 per person. The tourists have the choice to break
journey at Bhadra, Luthra said, adding that the first trip of
Silver Chariot will commence on April 2.

PTI



First Published: Monday, March 8, 2010 - 21:19

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