KOLKATA: After offering tour packages to popular destinations like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, IRCTC has launched a tourist train from Chennai to Nepal, primarily aimed at pilgrims from south India. Those opting for this tour will be taken around Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage destinations in north India and Nepal.
“It will be an exclusive AC tourist train for a round trip from Chennai, covering Allahabad, Varanasi (Kasi), Ayodhya, Kathmandu, Manakamana, Pokhara and Kushinagar. The train will start from Chennai Central on May 11 and return on May 23. The train will pass through Vijaywada and Warangal for the benefit of pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh. The train will comprise of four First AC, three AC-II tier and one AC-III tier coaches. These have been called the Luxury, Deluxe and Comfort classes. All coaches have been specially renovated for additional passenger comfort,” said Pradip Kundu, joint GM (PR), IRCTC.
The train is exclusively meant for tourists and will have a separate pantry car to serve vegetarian food to the pilgrims. There will be tour escorts on board as well as security personnel. The train also has a PA system for discourses and instructions on day to day conduct of the tour.
“The tour includes travel by the AC Tourist Train, AC hotel accommodation at places where night stay will be required, buses for transfers and sightseeing, on-board and off-board vegetarian catering, services of tour escort and security. IRCTC is a Government of India enterprise and our customers are assured of quality services. In this trip, the tourists will get an opportunity to bathe in the Triveni Sangam (confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) in Allahabad, visit the famous Vishwanath temple and Visalakshi temple in Varanasi (Kasi), visit Pashupathinath Temple, Swayambhunath (a Buddhist Temple) and Budha Nilkantha (Lord Vishnu) temple in Kathmandu.
Also included in the package are visits to Lumbini in Nepal, the holy birth place of Lord Buddha and Kushinagar, another principal centre of Buddhism, where Lord Buddha passed away. Visit to Ayodhya, the epic Ramayana-fame site and Sightseeing at Pokhara, Nepal will also be other attractions in this tour,” another IRCTC official said.
Government sector and PSU employees can avail LTC facilities for this tour, officials said.