The extended tour itinerary of luxury train Golden Chariot, that will take travellers through Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala, was unveiled in Bangalore on Monday.
The extension of the train, operated by Karnataka government, comes in the wake of a demand in the upmarket segment for an itinerary that covers South India in a seamless manner, said Tourism Minister G Janardhana Reddy 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 a Jewish settlement, a sunset cruise and other attractions in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
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. Later, the two circuits will operate back-to-back on alternate weeks,” he said. The trip is priced at $450 and Rs 15,000 for one night per person for international and domestic tourists respectively. “We have 35 confirmed passengers for the first trip,” Luthra said.
In view of the increasing demand for an 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 enough 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.