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'Golden Chariot' flagged off by Patil


Shweta Ganesh Kumar,CNN-IBN
Feb 02, 2008 at 10:30pm IST

Bangalore: Imagine taking a Golden Chariot from Bangalore to Goa. It'll take you seven nights but you'll be on Karnataka's ultra luxury train.

Painted royal purple, this 40-crore rupee train is a joint venture of the Karnataka government, its tourism department, the Tourism Development Corporation, and the railway ministry. And with coaches named Vijayanagara, Chalukya and Hoysala the train is literally all about Karnataka's history.

There are 19 luxury coaches including a lounge, bar and a gym. A seven-night journey through the tourism hot spots of Karnataka is priced approximately $350 per head per night.

"We start from Bangalore and then we go to Srirangapatna, we go to Mysore, then Kabini. We take them to Belur, Halebid and there after to Badami, Aihole , Pattadkalu and then of course it winds up at Goa,” says Director, Department of Tourism, Dr.C.Somasekhara.

Apart from the route, it's the experience itself, which makes the trip luxurious. Custom-made furniture and handpicked fabrics for the upholstery is expected to pull in the tourists. While the rooms may look a little cramped, you could almost forget that you are, after all, in a train.

However, at approximately Rs 14,000 per head, the question is if this train a little beyond the budget of the average Indian tourist?

After a few finishing touches, the Golden Chariot will hit the tourism circuit on March 3rd, something that by the looks of it, culture lovers and wildlife seekers will be looking forward to.

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