New Delhi: Shri Ramayana Express, a special tourist train to run on the Ramayana circuit in order to cover major spots related to the Hindu epic was flagged off on Wednesday from Safdarjung Railway Station in Delhi.
This latest offering by Indian Railways named after Lord Ram will cover destinations associated with Ramayana in India and Sri Lanka. The train will complete its journey till Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, in 16 days.
On the inaugural day, the Shri Ramayana Express departed with 800 passengers. People on board include housewives, senior citizens in groups, and elderly couples. Several persons had come from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh – many of them claimed they were active BJP workers and supporters, as reported by Indian Express, while others said they were drawn to the train by advertisements, to be a part of the train’s maiden journey.
The special tourist train will offer a 16-day tour package – one in India and the other in Sri Lanka under the management of The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
As part of branding of the journey, the IRCTC gave the tourists saffron and green silk scarves and flags .
The train will cover Ayodhya followed by Hanuman Garhi Ramkot and Kanak Bhawan temple. Other important destinations of Ramayana circuit such as Nandigram, Sitamarhi, Janakpur, Varanasi, Prayag, Shringverpur, Chitrakoot, Nasik, Hampi and Rameshwaram will also be covered by the train.
The cost of the Shri Ramayana Express tour package is Rs 15,120 per person, reported PTI, which covers all meals, accommodation and wash and change facilities in dharmashalas, all transfers and sight-seeing arrangements and a dedicated tour manager of IRCTC who will be travelling with the tourists during the entire tour.
The Sri Lankan component of the tour package will cover destinations like Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Colombo and Negombo, and will be charged separately.