Golden Chariot starts its commercial run from March 10

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New Delhi, Mar 1 (UNI) The commercial run on the much awaited 'Golden Chariot', luxury train for covering tourist spots in Karnataka and the beaches of Goa, will commence from March 10, I M Vithala Murthy, Secretary, Information and Tourism announced here today.

The train was formally inaugurated by President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on February 2 and has already completed its trial run on February 27.

The GC with capacity to carry 88 passengers, has earned the distinction of being the only train in the world to have 'wi-fi' connectivity' when it begins its commercial run, Mr Murthy, who is also Chairman of the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation, told newspersons last night.

The 18 coaches of GC built by Integral Coach Factory, Chennai are thematically designed with all modern amenities like plasma TV and attached baths. Each coach is named after dynasties of Karnataka like Kadamba, Hoysala, Rashtrakuta, Ganga, Chalukya, Bahamani, Adilshahi, Sangama, Shatavahana, Yadukula and Vijayanagara. The bar has been named 'Madira'. A coach for holding "on the wheel" conference facility was under fabrication while the restaurant coach providing Indian and continental delicacies have been named 'Nalapaka and Ruchi'. Another one with an Ayurveda centre, spa and state of the art gym is named 'Arogya', catering to fitness conscious business executives.

The passengers will be taken to Mysore, Srirangapatna, Kabini, Shravanabelagola, Belur, Helabid, Hampi, Badami, Aihole, Pattadkal and beaches of Goa and return to Bangalore after six days and seven nights journey. They would be taken in air conditioned luxury buses from the railway stations on tours offering them a peek into the history, culture and pilgrim centres in nature-rich spots of Karnataka.

Maples hotels have been given the responsibility of handling the hospitality, food and beverages on and off board activities and marketing of the 'Golden Chariot' now designated as a luxury train'. The whole effort is an initiative of the Department of Tourism of the state and Indian Railways.

The journey is to reflect the past, present and future of Karnataka, regarded as the most happening state of the Asian continent.

The seven day journey will cost 3,395 dollars for single occupancy and 2,450 dollars for double occupancy and 1995 dollars for triple occupancy during peak seasons during March 2008. It would be less for lean season (April to September 2008).

UNI MCN KK AS1720

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