IRCTC to run first tourism special Bharat Gaurav train from Kolkata on May 20

 Saturday, April 1, 2023 


Travelers interested in religious tourism will be pleased to hear that the Indian Railways has some excellent news for them. Under the Central government’s “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” and “Dekho Apna Desh” efforts, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is preparing to conduct the first tourist special Bharat Gaurav train from Kolkata on May 20.

According to the Eastern Railway’s general manager, the tourist special, Bharat Gaurav Train, would include five Jyotirlingas – Omkareshwar, Mahakaleshwar, Somnath, Nageswar, and Trimbakeshwar – as well as the Statue of Unity, Shirdi Sai Baba, and Shani Shingnapur. The pilgrim experience will last 11 nights and 12 days, beginning with the train’s departure from Kolkata Station.

The route will entail boarding and de-boarding of passengers at stations including Bandel, Burdwan, Bolpur Shantiniketan, Rampurhat, Pakur, Sahibganj, Kahalgaon, Bhagalpur, Jamalpur, Kiul, Barauni, Samastipur, Muzaffarpur, Hajipur, Patliputra, Ara, Buxar, Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Prayagraj Chheoki.
The Eastern Railways has divided the tour package into three categories: Economical (SL class) with 315 seats, Standard (3 AC) with 297 seats, and Comfort (2 AC) with 44 seats.

Throughout the tour, a standard vegetarian food will be followed for all classes. In addition to these amenities, the train will include expert tour guides, cleaning staff, unarmed security, a surveillance camera, a PA system, and travel insurance.

The travel package includes the cost of the journey, which is Rs 20,060 per person for Economy, Rs 31,800 for Standard, and Rs 41,600 for Comfort. Passengers will also have the option of using EMIs to make payments easier. Under the Bharat Gaurav Train Plan, the national carrier is also offering roughly 33% discounts for the development of rail tourism.

Interestingly, in addition to Hindu pilgrimage locations, the IRCTC will assess and utilise the raking for Sufi, Buddhist, and other religious tourism. Non-religious tourism destinations such as Kerala, Goa, and the northeast area will also be considered for package excursions.

Meanwhile, 270 Eastern Railway stations will include healthcare-focused multi-utility shops or wellness centres, including pharmacies, diagnostic centres for blood and other testing, and passenger telemedicine.

“To address situations of emergency, ambulances are to be provided at 16 stations and doctors would also be available. The initiative would be a part of railways’ non-fare revenue and would be done on a PPP model. The railways would earn Rs 3.25 crore from this project annually for the next five years. The medical facilities would be available for the rail users as well as the residents living nearby the stations,” informed the general manager of the ER, Arun Arora.

The railway hopes to improve its disaster management system with this effort.

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