Golden Chariot, Karnataka's opulent train on the lines of Rajasthan's ‘Palace on Wheels' and Maharashtra's ‘Deccan Odyssey,' will touch three major tourist destinations in Kerala as part of the three-State tourist circuit ‘Splendour of the South.'
The inaugural run of the luxury train on the seven nights/eight days tour, covering Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, will commence on March 15. The decision to extend the operations of the Golden Chariot to other States has been taken in connection with the second anniversary of the luxury train.
The Golden Chariot will be the first luxury train to chug into Kerala. The attempts of Kerala Tourism to acquire a luxury train on the lines of ‘Palace on Wheels' had not been successful. But, official sources said the State's inclusion in the tourism circuit of Golden Chariot would benefit Kerala's tourism sector immensely.
As per the itinerary announced, after covering Chennai, Puducherry, Thanjavur and Madurai the train will reach Thiruvananthapuram Central at 12.30 noon on the sixth day. A city tour, visit to the beach resort of Kovalam and a dinner at Taj Green Cove resort await the tourists here. The travellers will have time for shopping in the State capital. After an overnight halt at Thiruvananthapuram Central, the train will proceed to Alappuzha the next morning. The passengers will be able to undertake a cruise in the houseboat from 9 a.m. It will be followed by a lunch in the Punnamada backwater resort. In Kochi, they can visit the Jewish Synagogue and Dutch Palace and go on a sunset cruise. The tour in Kerala will conclude with a dinner at Taj Malabar. The train will depart from Kochi at 11 p.m. to reach Bangalore the next day at 7 a.m.
The train has 19 thematically designed coaches. Its 44 cabins have amenities like wi-fi, plasma TV and attached baths. The two restaurants — Nalapaka and Ruchi — have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian spreads, apart from a lounge bar. The train also has a state-of-the-art gym with a steam bath.