The Indian Railways is planning to launch a tourist train service covering locations linked with the epic Ramayana in a 16-day journey, the Hindustan Times reported on Sunday. Passengers may also choose to take their journey to Colombo in Sri Lanka, where Ram’s army is said to have fought Ravana in the Indian epic.
The train will be called Sri Ramayana Express, an unidentified official of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation said.
“We see good revenue on this circuit,” Rajni Hasija, tourism director at IRCTC, told the newspaper. “Right now, the date of first train has been announced, and after seeing the response, we will decide whether to run the train once or twice in a year.”
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation manages catering, tourism and ticketing for the Indian Railways.
The special train service, with a capacity of 800, will start from November 14 from Delhi. The IRCTC expects significant demand for the service, and the domestic leg of the journey will cost Rs 15,120 per passenger, according to the unidentified official.
“There will be on-board train meals,” the official was quoted as saying. “There will be night stay and wash and change in dharmashalas at the places of visit. We will also cover all transfers and sightseeing and IRCTC tour managers will travel along with the passengers for necessary assistance.”
The train will start from Delhi’s Safdarjung station and will stop in Ayodhya, Nandigram, Sitamarhi, Janakpur, Varanasi, Prayag, Shringaverpur, Chitrakoot, Nasik, Hampi and Rameshwaram. Indian Railways will facilitate trips by road from the stations to the pilgrimage sites in these locations.
Those who want to travel to Sri Lanka will be flown to Colombo from Chennai.