'Southern Splendour' chugs off from B'lore

The seven night-eight day trip costs Rs 1,05,000 per ticket

'Southern Splendour' chugs off from B'lore

The flower-decked purple train with letterings in golden hue was flagged off by the Chairman of Karnataka State Tourism and Development Corporation (KSTDC), Siraj Sheikh at 8.45 pm. The 88-seater train departed with 60 on board, including 35 passengers.

The tourists on board were quite excited waiting to enjoy the luxuries on-board the train and the breathtaking spots they would relish. Senior citizen Terece Itin and her husband from Switzerland were among them. On their maiden trip to India, they were keen on getting to know more about the country. “The train looks very nice.

As of now, everything feels pleasant. We do not know what is in store and are eagerly looking forward to the tour of temples in Tamil Nadu specified in the itinerary,” said Terence.

A Bangalore-based couple Shishir Lall and Bernadine, are making this trip because of the “wonderful experience” they had during the week-long Golden Chariot trip around Karnataka. “The train by itself has so much to offer, the ambience, unlimited food and the cross-cultural encounters with people from various nations,” Lall said.  The cost of Rs 1,05,000 per ticket will be worth every rupee, they felt.  A similar view was echoed by Renton, an advertising executive from Mumbai.

“The fact that an international journal like `Vanity Fair’ has given it a ranking among the top trains in the world made me decide to take the plunge. The decor is quite impressive,” he felt.

While the ‘Southern Splendour’ aims at showcasing the opulent side of India, passengers who walked on a red carpet to step into the train were nagged by a couple of beggars. A few cops were noticed desperately urging them to get out of sight.  

Trip details

The seven-night, eight-day all-inclusive trip will take passengers through Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala before returning to Bangalore. The St Thomas Basilica, Mahabalipuram, Auroville tour, French town, temples in Thanjavur and Madurai, Jewish Synagogue, Dutch Palace are the places that figure on the itinerary. The trip will conclude with back-water houseboat trips and sunset cruises in Kerala.

The next run will be only on October 4. Bookings can be made on www.goldenchariot.org. Tourism Minister G Janardhan Reddy could not make it to the inaugural. Principal Secretary, Tourism Department, K Jothiramalingam, KSRTC Managing Director, Vinay Luthra, Bangalore Divisional Railway Manager, Akhil Agrawal, Chief Commercial Manager, South Western Railway, N R Sagar were present.

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