The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will launch an 18-day Shri Ramayana Yatra on June 21 via a special tourist train to take pilgrims to holy sites related to Lord Ram’s life, officials said Wednesday.
The tour of the Ramayana circuit on the Bharat Gaurav Tourist Train’ has been booked, which will start on June 21 from Safdarjung Railway Station in Delhi, Ajit Kumar Sinha, chief regional manager of IRCTC, Lucknow, told reporters here.
The 18-day journey by train, which has 11 third AC class carriages with an accommodation capacity of about 600 passengers, will cost one passenger Rs 62,370, officials said.
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The tour package aims to fulfill the dreams of devotees to visit places where Lord Ram, his wife Goddess Sita and Lord Laxman had set foot while in exile in the forest for 14 years, Sinha said.
The train will run on the Ramayan circuit identified under the Swadesh Darshan scheme which includes prominent places including Ayodhya, Janakpur (Nepal), Sitamarhi, Buxar, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Shringverpur, Chitrakoot, Nashik, Hampi, Rameshwaram, Kanchipuram and Bhadrachalam (also known as Ayodhya of South India).
Sinha said it is the first time a tourist train will go from India to Nepal, connecting two religious cities of Ayodhya and Janakpur.
The pick-up points, other than Delhi, are Aligarh, Tundla, Kanpur and Lucknow, he said, adding that the cost of a ticket is uniform regardless of which station a passenger gets on. Sinha said the itinerary includes food, hotel stay and guide services at the visiting points.
The interior of the Bharat Gaurav tourist train, which will return to Delhi on the 18th day of its journey and cover a distance of about 8,000 kilometers, will be based on the Ramayana epic, officials said.
As many as 285 bookings have already been made from various parts of the country, Sinha said, adding that the maximum 61 bookings are from Maharashtra, followed by 55 from Uttar Pradesh.
The IRCTC also has affiliations with Paytm and Razorpay payment gateways for offering EMI options to the passengers. In addition, the first 50 percent of passengers will be given an early bird discount of 5 percent on the fare. The EMI payment option given by the IRCTC is also for the first time, Sinha said.
HOW TO BOOK TICKETS ON IRCTC:
Step 1: Visit at irctc.co.in
Step 2: Click on the login option on the home page
Step 3: After logging in, go to the ‘Book your ticket’ page
Step 4: Enter start and end station, boarding and destination station
Step 5: Select the date of your trip and the class you want to travel in
Step 6: Check if the seat is available on the train of your choice
Step 7: If seats are available, click on the Book Now option
Step 8: Provide required details to book tickets
Step 9: Enter mobile number and captcha
Step 10: Pay online costs with credit card, debit card, internet banking or UPI
Step 11: Finally you will receive a message on your phone
(With input from agencies)
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