After launching the tourist train on the Shri Ramayana Yatra circuit last month, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) plans to introduce new travel packages under the railways’ “Bharat Gaurav” program Indians, Zee Business reported.
Under the Bharat Gaurav scheme, Indian Railways plans to launch themed sightseeing tour trains that showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and beautiful historical places. The Bharat Gaurav policy was launched by the government in November last year, allowing private players to operate trains on themed routes.
According to the report, the IRCTC plans to design small, pocket-friendly packs in places like northeast India. A train likely to be introduced during the monsoon could link the temples of Lord Shiva as part of its tour itinerary.
The short term Bharat Gaurav trains by IRCTC will offer packages for journeys of 2 to 7 days. Tickets should cost around Rs 3,000 per day. Ticket prices will include three meals a day, train travel costs, accommodation, transfers and the cost of the tour guide. The train is likely to have AC-3 levels, according to the report.
IRCTC’s Shri Ramayana Yatra
Last month, an IRCTC tourist train launched a special 18-day Shri Ramayana Yatra train that linked sacred places associated with the life of Lord Ram. The train departed from Safdarjung railway station in New Delhi on June 21 and traveled a distance of around 8,000 kilometers through India and Nepal. With this train, the IRCTC became the first Indian agency to connect two countries by a tourist train.
Tourists on the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ tourist train traveled across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. As part of the package, tourists visited Ram Janmabhoomi Temple in Ayodhya, Ram-Janaki Temple in Janakpur, Nepal, and other religious places.
According to the IRCTC portal, the trip cost passengers Rs 71,820 for single occupancy and Rs 62,370 for double and triple occupancy.
Apart from IRCTC’s special Shri Ramayana Yatra train, the Southern Zone of Indian Railways operated the country’s first private train under the Bharat Gaurav scheme from Coimbatore to Shirdi on June 14. The train, with 1,100 passengers, stopped at Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Yelahanka, Dharmavaram, Mantralayam Road and Wadi. The package was operated by South Star Rail, a Coimbatore-based company that is part of Future Gaming & Hotel Services Pvt Ltd.
What is Bharat Gaurav’s policy?
As per Bharat Gaurav government policy, a private operator or service provider can hire trains from Indian Railways and run them on a theme tour as a special tourist package. The operator will be responsible for deciding the route, stops, services provided and fare. Indian Railways will provide train drivers, guards and maintenance staff on board the cars. However, housekeeping and catering staff will be deployed by the private operator.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)