The Indian Railways on Friday flagged off its Bharat Gaurav deluxe AC tourist train on a tour of the "Shri Ram-Janaki Yatra: Ayodhya to Janakpur", covering two significant pilgrimage centres of Ayodhya in India and Janakpur in Nepal. The tourist train is expected to strengthen the relations and promote the cultural relations between the two neighbouring countries. The tour package will also include visits to Nandigram, Sitamarhi, Kashi and Prayagraj as added attractions.
Those availing the package will be put up in hotels for two nights -- one night each in Janakpur and Varanasi -- while the visits to Ayodhya, Sitamarhi and Prayagraj will be covered during the day halt at the respective destinations, the IRCTC, which runs the service, said on Friday. The state-of-the-art tourist train has a host of unique features, including two fine-dining restaurants, a modern kitchen, shower cubicles in the coaches, sensor-based washroom functions and a foot massager.
The fully air-conditioned train provides two types of accommodation -- first AC and second AC. The train has enhanced security features of CCTV cameras and security guards for each coach and is also equipped with an infotainment system. The proposed seven-day Bharat Gaurav tourist train tour will have its first stop at Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Ram, where the guests will visit the Ram Janmabhoomi temple and the Hanuman temple and additionally, and the Bharat Mandir at Nandigram.
From Ayodhya, the train will proceed towards Sitamarhi in Bihar, from where the guests will be taken to Janakpur in Nepal, which is located at a distance of 70 kilometres from the Sitamarhi railway station, by bus. During their stay at Janakpur, the guests can visit the Ram Janki temple, the Sita Ram Vivah Mandap and Dhanush Dham. The next day, the guests will return to Sitamarhi and visit the Janki temple and Punaura Dham. From Sitamarhi, the train will proceed to Varanasi, where the guests will visit Sarnath, the Kashi Vishwanath temple and the corridor, the Tulsi temple and the Sankatmochan Hanuman temple.
The guests will be taken from Varanasi to Prayagraj by bus. At Prayagraj, they will visit Sangam, Shankar Viman Mandapam, the Hanuman temple and the Bharadwaj Ashram. From Prayagraj, the train will return to Delhi. The guests will be travelling roughly 2,500 kilometres during the tour. The IRCTC has tied up with the Paytm and Razorpay payment gateways for providing an option for the guests to make the payment for the package in monthly instalments. Vaccination against COVID-19 is mandatory for all guests aged 18 years and above.
The launch of the Bharat Gaurav tourist train is in line with the Government of India's "Dekho Apna Desh" initiative to promote domestic tourism, the railways said. At a price range starting at Rs 39,775 per person, the train will offer a seven-day all-inclusive tour package. The package fare will cover the train journey, night stay in air-conditioned hotels and all meals (vegetarian).