The first Bharat Gaurav tourist train originating from two Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh commenced its journey from Secunderabad railway station here on Saturday. Arun Kumar Jain, General Manager, South Central Railways (SCR), handed over the welcome kits to the passengers in the presence of Rajni Hasija, Chairman and Managing Director, IRCTC, and other senior railway officials, an SCR release said. A festive atmosphere prevailed at the station with the passengers being accorded a traditional welcome and Kuchipudi dancers evoking the cultural heritage of the two Telugu states. Called “Punya Kshetra Yatra: Puri – Kasi – Ayodhya”, the train is being operated by Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
IRCTC provides end-to-end services for pilgrims traveling by the train. It includes all travel facilities (including both rails as well as road transport), accommodation facility, catering arrangements (Morning Tea, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner – both On-Board and Off-Board), services of professional and friendly tour escorts, Security on the train (including CCTV Cameras installed in all Coaches), Public announcement facility in all coaches, Travel insurance and presence of IRCTC Tour Managers throughout the travel for assistance. The tour involves visiting historical places in Puri, Konark, Gaya, Varanasi, Ayodhya, and Prayagraj over a period of 8 nights and 9 days.
Arun Kumar Jain said the train offers a unique opportunity to pilgrims to visit these culturally prominent places without the hassle of planning individual itinerary items.
He also said Bharat Gaurav trains will give a major fillip to tourism in the country, while also fulfilling the desire of the tourists in the most convenient manner. Rajni Hasija, CMD, IRCTC stated that the whole tour itinerary has been planned keeping in mind the significance of the places along with tourists' interest, the release added.