WHAT DO YOU THINK OF SHRI RAMAYANA EXPRESS?
What would it be like to go vacationing for 16 days, stopping at different places in different states of India and tracing an entire Ramayana circuit via train? I am not sure how many of us would have have wanted to have something like this but I am glad something like this is coming up soon. On 14th November 2018, a special train will be inaugurated at Safdarjung railway Station New Delhi, which will take us around all the prominent sacred places associated with the life of Lord Rama, both in India and Sri Lanka. If implemented as chalked out, this unique idea of traveling from Ayodhya to Colombo via Rameshwaram sounds like a cool idea. Keeping aside the political angle if there is any, I am quite appreciative about this idea from a traveler’s point of view. India needs to do many such things to push its tourism. This will be a journey steeped in Hindu mythology and travellers will love it. I bet the ardent followers of Lord Rama would be excited about it already.
Indians love train journeys and thus it makes for our lifeline. From the first passenger train that started on 16 April 1853, we have done a long journey. Today we stand as the largest rail network in Asia. It is such a huge organization that it commands a dedicated ministry. In fact the number of passengers who travel by trains everyday in India is more than the population of some of the smaller countries. We have many records to ourselves with longest platform in the World at Gorakhpur, 3 Mountain Railways and Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus being declared as World Heritage Sites. To add to the laurels, New Delhi Railway Station has also secured a mention in Guinness Book of Records for having the world’s largest Route Relay Interlocking System.
We already boast of 5 luxury trains –Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, Palace on Wheels, The Golden Chariot, The Maharajas’ Express and The Deccan Odyssey and I am sure this Shri Ramayana Express will also add a feather in the cap of Indian Railways.
ALL THAT I COULD COLLATE ABOUT SHRI RAMAYANA EXPRESS
1. This is a train for a capacity of 800 passengers.
2.It will start from Safdarjung railway station in Delhi.
3.The first stop will be at the legendary city of Ayodhaya, located near Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh. It is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Rama.
4.The Indian route will cost Rs 15,120.
5.This cost caters to include travel, accommodation, food and sight-seeing arrangements.
6.Some of its major stations will be Sitamarhi, Varanasi, Prayag, Chitrakoot, Nasik, Hampi and Rameshwaram.
7.There will be tour managers who will take care of the visits to the local attractions.
8.Those who wish to go for the Sri Lankan route can opt for that as well. Interested passengers will be flown from Chennai to Colombo and the rest of the trip will be done on train.
9.Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will take care of the bookings.
10.Soon there will be tourist facilitation centers that will help travelers to know more about this journey.
11.The Sri Lankan train routes are extremely beautiful. One can see Ashok Vatika (Hakkagala Botanical Garden), Hanuman temple, ancient temples while traveling from Nuwara Eliya to Ella.
12.The Sri Lankan tour package will be about covering beautiful places like Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Colombo and Negombo.
13. The complete Sri Lankan tour package will be approximately Rs. 39,800.
14. The other boarding stations apart from Delhi will be Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Bareilly and Lucknow.
15. The trip is not a luxury trip. There will be sleeper seats, Dharamshala accommodation, vegetarian food and shared vehicles.