South Western Railway and Government of Karnataka State Tourism Corporation (KSTDC) have signed the agreement for the operation of Golden Chariot Train on 03.12.2019 (Tuesday) in presence of Shri Ajay Kumar Singh, General Manager, SWR and Shri Shiv Raj Singh, Principal Chief Commercial Manager, SWR. On behalf of SWR, Shri N Hari Kumar, Dy. Chief Commercial Manager and on behalf of KSTDC, Dr. Nagaraj, KAS, GM, have signed the agreement.
Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) has signed the agreement with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for management of ‘On-Board’ services of the Golden Chariot. The operation of Golden chariot Trains is likely to be commenced from March, 2020. The new itineraries shall be a mix of history, culture, wildlife and nature. These trains are connecting the Cultural Heritage of Karnataka to the tourists.
The first circuit of Golden Chariot Train will operate from Yesvantpur (YPR) – Vasco-Da-Gama (VSG) via Mysuru, Shravanabelagola, Hosapete, Badami, 7 nights and 8 days in which it covers Heritage city of Mysuru, backwaters of Kabini river, Ancient glory of Halebidu&Beluru, Krishnadevaraya Kingdoms, Badami Caves, Aihole and Pattadakal, apart from natural beauty of Goa spectacular temples and churches.
The Second circuit will operate from Yesvantpur (YPR) – Tiruvananthapuram (TVC), 7 nights and 8 days in which it covers Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Puducherry, Thanjavur, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Poovar Beach, Kochi &Tiruvananthapuram covering spectacular old glory of temples, churches and natural beauty of beaches in Kerala including luxury house Boat.
Sri Suresh Angadi, Hon’ble Minister of state for Railways was instrumental to recommence of operation of Golden Chariot with shortest possible time.
In Nov 2019 Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC), tourism arm of Indian Railways, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) to market and operate the Golden Chariot Train in New Delhi on 19.11.2019 in the august presence of Minister of State of Railways, Shri Suresh C Angadi, and Minister of Tourism, Government of Karnataka, Shri C. T. Ravi. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, other Railway Board Members, Officials from IRCTC & KSTDC were also present on the occasion.
Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) will soon hand over the reins of the train to Indian Railway. IRCTC an arm of Indian Railway is planning a revamp of the train itineraries also to add different flavors that Karnataka has to offer. IRCTC is expected to carry out internal refurbishment of the train and commence operations from March 2020.
Minister of State of Railways, Shri Suresh C. Angadi has on the occasion said that this MoU is an important step towards the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s vision to promote tourism in India and his clarion call to the countrymen to visit at least fifteen tourism spots in the country. Shri Angadi already directed the IRCTC and KSDTC to keep the price of the tickets competitive so that the common people can also avail the facility of this train. Shri Angadi added that this train will boost the tourism in Southern India. The Golden Chariot showcases the rich culture and heritage of the region. He said that MoU between Indian Railways& KSTDC will have mutual benefits for both the organizations and tourism will be strengthened through this partnership.
Shri Ajay Kumar Singh, GM/SWR has expressed confidence that IRCTC and KSTDC will successfully operate and market the Golden Chariot for domestic and international tourists. He assured all cooperation and necessary support to this project.
The Golden Chariot train which commenced operations in 2008 is a Government of Karnataka initiative in a Joint Venture with Ministry of Railways, Government of India. The 18 coach long train with 44 guest rooms has a capacity of 84 guests, covers tourist attractions in the state of Karnataka and other south Indian states.
IRCTC, has the experience and expertise in operating wide-ranging rail tourism products across the length of breadth of the country. It also operates the hugely popular Maharajas’ Express luxury train, which commenced operations in 2010.