Bangalore, Feb 2: Underscoring the need to encourage domestic tourism and enhance the flow of tourists to India, President Pratibha Patil on Saturday flagged off Karnataka's first luxury train, "Golden Chariot" here. "By promoting tourism to these great historical and cultural sites, we will be giving the world the chance to see the greatness and glory achieved during their (Vijayanagar Empire) reign," President Patil said at the flag-off of the luxury train.
"It is fortunate and a joy that the "Golden Chariot" train is commencing. This was a long cherished desire of the State, which has been fulfilled," she added. Starting from Bengaluru, the train, which has 19 thematically designed coaches, will take tourists to Mysore, Kabini, Hassan, Hospet, Goa and then return to Bengaluru on the seventh day.
"This seven-day journey will be like a travel through the history and culture of Karnataka, which is rich and varied," the President said.
She went on to say that the "Golden Chariot" would open up many parts of the State - the famous places as also the smaller places to tourists.
Designed based on ancient Karnataka history, it is also equipped with modern facilities like plasma TV, and wi-fi facility.
The coaches of the train have been named after the dynasties that ruled Karnataka -- Kadamba, Hoysala, Rastrakuta, Ganga, Chalukya, Bhahamani, Adhilshahi, Sangama, Shathavahna, Yudukula and Vijayanagara.
Commenting on the role of the Indian Railways in tourism, President Patil said that it a very important role in linking different parts of the country.
"It has a vast network of infrastructure and transports on an average about 16 million passengers every day. It has played a major part in promoting tourism in India," she added.