Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC), a 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 today 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, ShriVinod 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 IRCTC. IRCTC is planning a revamp of the train itineraries also to add different flavours that Karnataka has to offer. The new itineraries shall be a mix of history, culture, wildlife and nature. It is proposed to include Bandipur, Mysore, Halebid, Chikmagalur, Hampi, Bijapur and Goa in the itinerary. IRCTC is expected to carry out internal refurbishment of the train and commence operations from March 2020.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State of Railways, Shri Suresh C. Angadi 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 five tourism spots in the country. Shri Angadi 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 Minister wished grand success to this project.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Tourism, Government of Karnataka, Shri C.T. Ravi said that Government of Karnataka and KSTDC have been operating and maintaining Golden Chariot since its inception in 2008 and it is the first and only luxury train in the whole South India. The Golden Chariot showcases the rich culture and heritage of the region. He said that MoU between IRCTC & KSTDC will have mutual benefit for both the organizations and tourism will be strengthened through this partnership.
Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav 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 having 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.