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Indian Railways’ ‘Pondicherry Package’ covers iconic cities, pilgrimage sites across six cities; here’s what to know

The package name is 'New Year Pondicherry Package With Tirupati Balaji Darshan'. It begins today, December 29, and will go on till January 2, 2022.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
December 29, 2021 3:00:17 pm
https://indianexpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=7696127&action=editSri Venkateswara Temple in Andhra Pradesh's Tirupati "sits atop one of the the seven peaks of Tirumala Hills". (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

The period between Christmas and New Year is when people plan trips and look for a respite from their daily drudgery. In the pandemic, there have admittedly been fewer trips than expected, and with a surge in cases once again, people are planning their journeys with caution.

Nonetheless, if a full-vaccinated person, who has decided to wear masks for the entire duration of their trip, decides to venture out, they may give a boost to the tourism industry while also making sure they are safe, and are keeping everyone else around them safe, too.

This year, if you are looking for a new place to travel to, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has good news for you. It has announced a wondrous trip for tourists and pilgrims.

The IRCTC shared via a tweet that its ‘Pondicherry Package’ will cover some iconic tourist spots and pilgrimage sites across Indian six cities: Kolkata, Tirupati, Chennai, Kanchipuram, Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram.

According to irctctourism.com, the package name is ‘New Year Pondicherry Package With Tirupati Balaji Darshan’. It begins today, December 29, and will go on till January 2, 2022.

Package inclusions are as follows:

* Air ticket for Kolkata-Chennai, Chennai-Kolkata.
* All transfers and sightseeing by AC Vehicle.
* Deluxe category accommodations.
* Meal: breakfast and dinner
* Sightseeing as per the itinerary.
* VIP darshan ticket of Tirupati Balaji.
* Travel insurance
* All applicable taxes

Package exclusions are as follows:

* Any increase in airfare.
* Any increase in airport taxes, fuel surcharges.
* Price is subject to change in case of any fluctuation.
* Meals are preset and the choice of menu is not available.
* Any room service/minibar shall be chargeable.
* All kinds of tips to drivers, guides, representatives, fuel surcharge, etc.
* Any expenses of personal nature — laundry expenses, wines, mineral water, food and drinks not in the regular menus provided.
* Anything not included in the inclusions.
* All arrangements made by IRCTC in the capacity of an agent. It is not responsible for any kind of emergency such as landslides, strike, curfew, accidents, injuries, delayed or cancelled flights, etc.

Prices

The tariff for the journey starting from Kolkata will cost INR 45,180 per adult. For adults on twin share, it will cost INR 34,710 per person. Those who are booking tickets for three adults, the fare will be 32,760 per person.

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), IRCTC holiday package, IRCTC Pondicherry Package, iconic tourist spots and pilgrimage sites, indian express news Pondicherry has Dutch, Portuguese, British and French influences. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

The website mentions that the Sri Venkateswara Temple in Andhra Pradesh’s Tirupati “sits atop one of the the seven peaks of Tirumala Hills”. It attracts scores of pilgrims from around the world. Pondicherry, on the other hand, has Dutch, Portuguese, British and French influences. Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram, is located in the Chengalpattu district in Tamil Nadu, and is celebrated for its temples. It has the UNESCO World Heritage Site tag. Kanchipuram, also known as Kanchi Temple City, is also in Tamil Nadu, located in the Tondaimandalam region, around 72 km from capital city Chennai.

Covid guidelines

All passengers will be thermal-screened. Rules regarding Covid will be updated time-to-time, and e-registration is required. In addition to these:

– All passengers must download the Aarogya Setu App.
– RT PCR negative test report within 48 hours of journey will continue to be mandatory. Any passenger not carrying RT PCR negative report will be sent back to origin on the same day.
– Hand-written reports are not acceptable.
– Any passenger arriving without an RT PCR negative test report will be deported on the same flight.
– Passengers shall not be allowed to pick up their checked-in baggage at the arrival hall. The same shall be handed over to them at the testing center.

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