the-south-asian Life & Times                       July-Sep 2011






Editor's Note



Team India Heads
 for Argentina


  Vijay Amritraj


 Indian Military
 Academy - A World
 Class Institution

 Lt Gen R S Sujlana -    A Conversation

  Royals in Uniform 
 - A Photo feature

Dinkar Kowshik

 Trisul 1951
 Modern Indian

 60 Years of Indian


 Golden Chariot's
 'Pride of the South'
 - 5-Star Time Travel
 Thru Karnataka












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Pride of the South’

-          A Five-Star Time Travel Through Karnataka

The Golden Chariot could well be a Time Machine, travelling back and forth 1,800 years in time - from the fourth-century caves in Badami to the 10th-century Jain statue, the 15th-century ruins, the 20th-century Mysore Palace and back to the 21st century Goa – all in 7 days.

The luxury train ‘Golden Chariot’ travels through Karnataka to destinations with some of the most spectacular monuments, temples and heritage sites to be seen anywhere in the world. It offers two itineraries – Southern Splendour & Pride of the South. SALT covered the former last year and the latter features in the following pages.

Pride of the South is an epic five-star journey through Karnataka.  The seven-day route, linking some of the world’s greatest destinations, is an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is a rare package of ageless monuments, world heritage sites, forests, wildlife, spectacular temples, golden beaches, and vibrant art and culture. These destinations, scattered over the length and breadth of Karnataka, are otherwise accessible only to the most committed of tourists, and   involve seemingly interminable drives. They are not near any major airport or even a train station. One would have to hire a taxi, and drive back the same day for the lack of any good hotels. To cover all the destinations that the train takes you to, would require operational and tactical planning on a big scale  - how to get there, where to eat, where to stay, where to get a guide from – these would be the top concerns. The Golden Chariot takes care of every little detail – and in style, comfort and with ease.  Its passengers enjoy Karnataka's and also the world’s greatest destinations without any of the hassles.

The train is truly a five-star experience - handsomely crafted en suite  personal cabins equipped with modern conveniences - power showers, and wall-mounted LCD TVs;elegant dining cars serving gourmet meals on fine china and white linen tablecloths, carefully prepared meals that use local ingredients whenever possible, and a selection of decent wines from around the world. There is plenty of personal attention on board with around-the-clock personal butlers for the duration of the journey. Two luxury companion coaches travel alongside the train – and carry the guests from the train stations to all the sites.

From the moment the drummers welcome you aboard the Golden Chariot in Bangalore, to the moment you return to this vibrant city, light years away from some of the sites visited, you are in the very best of hands, on the very best of trains. The luxury is not unprecedented – but the destinations are.

A word of caution though – this particular itinerary of the Golden Chariot, called Pride of the South, requires a certain amount of cardiac fitness. One has to labour up 635 steps at Shravanbelagola,  250 at Badami Caves, and some at Hampi (these are not in life-threatening numbers). This would be the platinum standard of TMT!

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