Golden Chariot was introduced as a luxury train initiative covering Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and other important south Indian destinations. This train was the first luxury train of India to cover south India. The luxury trains of the west and north India inspired the initiation of Golden Chariot. The train was inaugurated in 2002 as a joint venture of Karnataka state tourism and development corporation and Indian railways. The train is named after the iconic stone chariot of Hampi and Karnataka.
Integral Factory Coach was given the task of completing the manufacturing of Golden Chariot train. The same entity was responsible for creating Deccan Odyssey and Palace on Wheels. It is said that it took 900 different layout from ICF to convince the government regarding the final design of the train. It took four months and 200 skilled workers to execute the design. Architect, Kusum Pendse headed the team.
The logo and color of the train were expressed to the public just 2 months in prior to the inauguration. The train was painted with a combination of golden and purple color. The logo is a mythical creature with elephant head and lion body. The purple color denotes the elegance and golden color denotes the golden jubilee celebration of Karnataka.
The presidential flag off for the train took place in 2008 at Yeshwanthpur railway station by then-president Pratibha Devi Singh Patil. In March 2008, it made its maiden voyage. The first itinerary stretched from Bangalore to Goa. Second itinerary starts and end their journey from Bangalore. The hospitality management was handed over to Mapple Group.
The train was built with 44 cabins with all state-of-the-art amenities like upholsteries, central air conditioning, LCD TV, internet, en-suite bathroom and others. The Golden Chariot presents the South India itineraries namely Pride of the South and Splendor of the South. The train offers marvelous experience with exotic destinations and five-star hotel styled hospitality.