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The Amazing $7000 India Luxury Train Journey aboard the Golden Chariot

I've just returned from the most magical journey on the Golden Chariot in India! Thank you so much to Incredible India, Golden Chariot and Kartanaka Tourism for making this dream all possible.

India has been a bucket list destination for me, but like many others, it seemed to be a daunting and intimidating destination. Taking my first journey to India on a luxury rail Train was the perfect introduction to this magical destination. 

A post shared by Kaila Yu (@kailayu) on

We arrived a day early to settle in to the city of Bangalore before boarding the train the following day. Before boarding the train the next day, we were treated to a traditional India dance in additional to a briefing by the staff. 

Upon arriving to the train, we were treated to a royal entrance indeed! There's was lots of fanfare with a live traditional Indian band playing at the station right outside the train.

via GIPHY

Images Inside the Golden Chariot

The Bedroom

The train features 11 Saloons or cars, featuring 4 bedrooms in each. Each saloon comes with it's own butler. Each Saloon is named after a previous Indian Dynasty. We were in the Sangama Dynasty car, in a 2 bedroom suite.

The train mostly drove at night and could get quite bumpy at times. It actually felt nice and rocked us to sleep. 

Golden Chariot Amazing Luxury Train Journey in India Bedroom
Golden Chariot Amazing Luxury Train Journey in India Bedroom 2
Golden Chariot Amazing Luxury Train Journey in India Shower

The Facilities

The train features a lounge bar, called the Madira. Alcohol is not included but the bar is always open! Often before dinner, appetizers were passed out in the lounge prior to the meal. 

Golden Chariot Amazing Luxury Train Journey in India Bar

The train also features a spa and a mini-gym


The Restaurant

The food on the train was something that we looked forward to every single day. For every meal, a vegetarian and non-vegetarian option was included as well as an Indian meal choice and a couple of continental options. 

Golden Chariot Amazing Luxury Train Journey in India - Dining Cart

Here are some sample menus

Golden Chariot Amazing Luxury Train Journey in India Dinner Menu 1

Dinner

I usually chose the Indian option for dinner (when in India - must eat Indian food) but I sampled some of the continental items off the menu and they were stellar also! One dish that consistently stood out was the umami packed soups. No idea how they get so much damn flavor into their soups! The desserts were also always delicious.

Dinner is all you can eat so feel free to order both the continental and Indian meals if you like!

Golden Chariot Amazing Luxury Train Journey in India Dinner Pineapple Appetizer
Golden Chariot Amazing Luxury Train Journey in India Dinner 1
Golden Chariot Amazing Luxury Train Journey in India Dinner Coconut Dessert

Breakfast

Golden Chariot Amazing Luxury Train Journey in India Breakfast Menu
Golden Chariot Amazing Luxury Train Journey in India Breakfast Fruits
Golden Chariot Amazing Luxury Train Journey in India Continental Breakfast
Golden Chariot Amazing Luxury Train Journey in India Dosa

Love that Indian cheese and butter!

Golden Chariot Amazing Luxury Train Journey in India Cheese
Golden Chariot Amazing Luxury Train Journey in India Breakfast Butter

Itinerary

Our daily itinerary was jam packed! Each day around evening time, a gorgeous collectible itinerary was placed on our beds.

Day 1​
BANGALORE
1600 hrs: Self report and Registration at Taj West End
1630 hrs;: Hi-Tea
1700 hrs: Heritage Walk
1730 hrs: Presentation and Orientation on The Golden Chariot tour
1800 hrs: Cultural dance
1845 hrs: Visit the ISKCON Temple (The International Society for Krishna Consciousness)
2015 hrs: Traditional welcome at Yeshwanthpur railway station and board The Golden Chariot
2100 hrs: Train departs to Mysore


Day 2​
MYSORE & KABINI
0800 hrs: Breakfast on board
1000 hrs: Visit the famous Amba Vilas Mysore Palace
1115 hrs: Depart for Kabini in coach
1315 hrs: Reach Kabini jungle lodges resort
Lunch at the resort
1545 hrs: Jungle safari
1940 hrs: Screening of wildlife film
2000 hrs: Dinner followed by camp fire and stay overnight at jungle lodges resort


Day 3
KABINI & MYSORE
0630 hrs: Boat ride for bird safari on Kabini river
0800 hrs: Breakfast at the jungle lodges resort
0930 hrs: Depart for Mysore in coach
1130 hrs: Back on board The Golden Chariot
1300 hrs: Lunch on board 
1530 hrs: Srirangapatnam sightseeing – Dariya Daulat, Tipu mausoleum and drive through the fort
1800 hrs: Shopping at CIE
1900 hrs: Cultural dance and dinner at 5 star palace hotel 
2200 hrs: Back on board The Golden Chariot


Day 4​
HASSAN
0500 hrs: Depart from Mysore to Hassan
0730 hrs: Breakfast on board
0900 hrs: Depart for sightseeing to Shravanabelagola
(Please note that you would have to climb close to 700 steps to experience the architectural marvel. 
Only those who can undertake this are advised to do so. Guests unwilling to climb can stay
back on board The Golden Chariot)
1300 hrs: Back on board The Golden Chariot followed by lunch
1445 hrs: Depart for Belur and Halebidu to visit the magnificent temple complexes
1915 hrs: Back on board The Golden Chariot
2000 hrs: Dinner on board and depart to Hospet by 2040 hrs

Day 5
HOSPET & HAMPI
0600 hrs: Arrive at Hospet
0700 hrs: Breakfast on board
0830 hrs: Depart for sightseeing to Hampi: Hema kuta hill, Virupaksha temple,
Queens bath, Elephant stables, Royal enclosure, Hazara Rama Temple
1300 hrs: Back on board The Golden Chariot followed by lunch
1530 hrs: Visit to the Vijaya Vittala temple complex and the marvel stone chariot
1700 hrs: Sit out by the banks of the Tungabhadra river for sunset view
1800 hrs: Depart to Hospet railway station
2000 hrs: Dinner on board The Golden Chariot


Day 6​
BADAMI
0400 hrs: Depart from Hospet to Badami
0730 hrs: Breakfast on board
0830 hrs: Arrive at Badami
0840 hrs: Depart for sightseeing: Pattadakal and Badami cave temples
1320 hrs: Return to The Golden Chariot
1330 hrs: Lunch on board and depart for Goa
Free time to relax and enjoy the facilities on board - Spa, Gym, Movies, etc
2000 hrs: Dinner on board The Golden Chariot. Reach Goa past midnight


Day 7
GOA
0800 hrs: Breakfast on board The Golden Chariot
1000 hrs: Depart for sightseeing
1100 hrs: Visit the famous churches of old Goa
1215 hrs: Visit old Portuguese house now an emporium for shopping and refreshments
1400 hrs: Lunch at the luxury resort in Goa followed by beach stroll and Hi-Tea
1730 hrs: Depart from the resort
1830 hrs: Return to The Golden Chariot and depart for Bangalore
2000 hrs: Dinner on board The Golden Chariot


Day 8
BANGALORE
0800 hrs: Breakfast on board The Golden Chariot
1130 hrs: Reach Yeshwanthpur Railway Station and Farewell by the entire crew

Golden Chariot Route

There are two itinerary options available for the Golden Chariot. We went on the "Pride of the South" route from Bangalore to Goa. The other option is the "Southern Splendor" from Bangalore to Kochi.

Sightseeing

We saw some many amazing places and things! Here is just a small sampling of the places that we went.

via GIPHY

Wifi

The wifi on the train is only in the public areas and its kind of spotty so I wouldn't depend on it. Make sure to bring a wifi hot spot or a sim card for your phone. Getting a sim card for your phone can be kind of a nightmare so I just used Trabug for my phone and sim card rental! They have excellent customer support also.

Activities

There were several activities aboard the train when we had free time a couple of the nights. One night featured a cooking class with the chef.

Loved getting henna art on our hands.

via GIPHY

Another night, a live dj came on board!

via GIPHY

Golden Chariot Train Fare and Ticket Price

In general, ticket and fare prices for The Golden Chariot are $7000 for a single room and $10,500 for a couple or friends sharing a suite. For more details pricing click here.

My trip was sponsored by The Tourism Board of India, Kartanaka Tourism and The Golden Chariot but all opinions are mine alone.



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