Indian Railways offers travellers the option to book something called ‘circular tickets’, which are essentially tickets facilitating beginning and culmination of your journey from the same station. Circular tickets are not the regular departure-return tickets, but they are used to offer unique travel flexibility for all kinds of journeys on non-regular routes as well, particularly useful for pilgrims and sightseeing trips to multiple destinations.
So, how can one book these?
Firstly, why should you buy a circular journey ticket?
Circular journey tickets are applicable for a maximum of eight break journeys and standard circular journey tickets are offered by zonal railways. These tickets cover most popular destinations according to the convenience of tourists. Tourists can refer to route, fare and other details from nominated stations in each zonal railway.
The convenience factor is supreme here as you get two options. You can either choose one of the route plans already offered by the railways or you can prepare a custom itinerary and the railways will have your circular journey tickets drawn up for you.
They also provide you telescopic rates which are much lower than regular point to point fares and you also save time and hassle of booking tickets for each leg of your journey.
How to book your circular journey ticket?
Once you are decided with your travel itinerary, you may contact the divisional commercial manager of the division of certain major station to which the journey commencing station belongs. That official or some station authorities will calculate the cost of your tickets for you and inform the station manager of the same in a set format.
You may then purchase these tickets by submitting this form at the ticket booking office of the station from where you wish to begin your journey. Once you have purchased your circular journey ticket, you will have to approach the reservation office to reserve you accomodation for the various laps of your journey and the reservation office will then issue you reserved journey tickets for the same.
More importantly, Southern Railways doesn’t offer any standard circular journey tickets but it does provide service for non-standard circular journey tickets according to custom itineraries submitted by passengers. A circular journey ticket is charged as two single journeys–the length of each single journey is taken as half the total distance.
A concession of 40 per cent is given to male senior citizens and 50 per cent concession is provided for female senior citizens on the cost of the tickets when the travel distance is at least 1,000 km.