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Explained: Go on the Ramayana Circuit by train — here’s all you need to know

The 14-coach train, to be run by IRCTC, will have 11 air conditioned three-tier coaches for tourists, along with a pantry car, a restaurant car, and a separate coach for use by the train staff.

The 18-day tour will start from Delhi's Safdarjung Railway Station. (Express photo)

On June 21, when the first Bharat Gaurav Tourist Train starts on its maiden journey, it will breach a new frontier — becoming the first tourist train from India to cross the international border into Nepal.

The train will run on the Ramayana Circuit identified under the Ministry of Tourism’s Swadesh Darshan scheme, covering prominent places associated with the life of Lord Ram. A visit to the Ram Janaki temple in Janakpur in Nepal will be part of the tour itinerary, senior officials from the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) said.

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The 14-coach train, to be run by IRCTC, will have 11 air conditioned three-tier coaches for tourists, along with a pantry car, a restaurant car, and a separate coach for use by the train staff.

“The tourists will be offered strict vegetarian meals, freshly cooked on board. The train will have an infotainment system, and CCTV cameras and guards will ensure security on board,” an IRCTC official said.

The train can accommodate up to 600 tourists, and IRCTC officials said 293 individuals — almost half the capacity — had booked themselves on it by May 26.

The 18-day tour will start from Delhi’s Safdarjung Railway Station. Tickets start from Rs 62,370 per person for the all-inclusive package. A final certificate of Covid-19 vaccination is mandatory to get on board.

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Stops on the tour

Ayodhya will be the Bharat Gaurav Train’s first stop, where tourists will visit the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple and the Hanuman temple, besides Bharat Mandir at Nandigram.

The train will then head to Buxar in Bihar, where tourists will visit the hermitage of Vishwamitra and Ramrekha Ghat on the Ganga.

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The visit to Janakpur in Nepal via Jainagar in Bihar’s Madhubani district will follow. Tourists will stay overnight at hotels in Janakpur, and visit the Ram-Janaki Temple in the town.

The train will then head to Bhadrachalam in Telangana, also referred to as the Ayodhya of the South, and end its 8,000-km journey in Delhi. (Express)

From Janakpur, the train will cross back into India and proceed to Sitamarhi in Bihar, which is believed to have been the birthplace of Sita.

The next stop is Varanasi. Tourists will visit the various temples in the ancient city, and will go to Shringverpur, the place where Ram, Sita and Laxman are believed to have crossed the Ganga, and Chitrakoot by road.

The train will then move west and south — to Nasik for visits to the Trayambakeshwar temple and Panchvati, and then to Krishkindha, Hampi, which is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman.

The next destination will be Rameshwaram, for visits to the Ramanathaswamy temple and Dhanushkodi. The train will then head to Kanchipuram for a day’s excursion to the Shiv Kanchi, Vishnu Kanchi, and Kamakshi temples. The train will then head to Bhadrachalam in Telangana, also referred to as the Ayodhya of the South, and end its 8,000-km journey in Delhi.

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To Nepal for first time

In the previous Ramayana Circuit tours covered by tourist trains from India, Janakpur was covered from Sitamarhi station. But now, the Indian Railways, with support from Nepal Railway, has extended the track from Jainagar station in India to Janakpur in Nepal, IRCTC officials said.

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Recently, during his visit to Lumbini, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had remarked: “I had said in Janakpur that ‘without Nepal, our Lord Ram is also incomplete’. I am aware that the people of Nepal are feeling equally happy as an elegant temple for Lord Shri Ram is being built in India.”

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After the Ramayana Circuit, other itineraries too will be drawn up, officials said. The Indian Railways launched the Bharat Gaurav trains last year, to be operated by private players on theme-based circuits. According to the Bharat Gaurav policy, any operator or service provider can lease a train to run on a theme-based circuit as a special tourism package.

First published on: 26-05-2022 at 09:50:43 pm
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