The Railways will run a Shri Ramayana Yatra Express from Madurai in Tamil Nadu on November 14 on the Ramayana circuit to cover the major spots related to the Hindu epic, it was announced on Tuesday. The Indian Rail Tourism and Catering Corp (IRCTC) said the 800-seater train will depart Madurai and complete its journey at Rameswaram, also in Tamil Nadu, in 15 days.
“The train will cover all important destinations associated with the life of Lord Shri Ram in a 16-day all inclusive tour package,” it said. This will be spread in India and Sri Lanka. The package will cover all meals, accommodation and wash and change facilities in dharmashalas, all transfers, sight-seeing arrangements and dedicated tour manager of IRCTC who will travel with the tourists.
The pilgrimage will have two components – one each in India and Sri Lanka.
The Shri Ramayana Yatra Express departing from Madurai will have several boarding stations including Dindigul, Karur, Erode, Salem, Jolarpet, Katpadi, Chennai Central and Renigunta with the first stopover being at Hospet to visit the Ramayana sites of Kishkindha Kandam.
“Further the train will proceed to Nasik Road for visiting the temples at Panchavati (Aranya Kandam), followed by Chitrakoot Dham (Ayodhya Kandam), Darbhanga (Bala Kandam), Sita Marhi, Janakpur (Nepal), Ayodhya and Nandigram (Ayodhya Kandam), Allahabad and Shringvernpur (Aranya Kandam) and Rameshwaram,” it said.
The Sri Lanka leg has been planned prior to the train journey with departure from Chennai on November 2. The tour will be charged separately.