People are itching to hit the road in a bid to break the monotony ushered in by the COVID-19-triggered travel restrictions. Despite the curbs, Keralites are exploring the opportunities to visit various tourist spots and this is reflected in the higher demand for tour packages offered by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
The IRCTC tour packages had been getting huge response in recent times and the tickets for Kashmir and Ladakh trips were all sold in no time, say officials concerned. Besides train tours, IRCTC is presently offering attractive domestic air packages for travellers. Now the corporation has also put in place facilities to enable booking of travel packages offered by other regional IRCTC offices from Kerala and a resident of the state can be part of a tour originating from Delhi.
IRCTC has introduced attractive cost-effective tour combos for travellers in Kerala.
Bharat Darshan train
One will get a golden opportunity to visit Kashi in Uttar Pradesh on Diwali day as the train to the holy place will chug off on November 1 from Kerala and return on November 11. The train will also take you through Varanasi, Ayodhya, Prayag, Gaya, Puri and Konark. Those who have reserved their tickets can start journey on Bharat Drashan train from Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Ottapalam and Palakkad stations. The package costing Rs 11,000 includes train ticket, food, dormitory accommodation, transportation facilities to visit places and tour escort.
Tirupati Balaji darshan coach tour
The Tirupati Balaji darshan by train starts every month from Thiruvananthapuram and the three-day tour covers temples such as Kalahasti and Tiruchanur apart from Tirumala Venkateswara. The fast darshan ticket will help travellers to offer prayers at the hill shrine of Tirumala Venkateswara temple in the morning and return to the plains by afternoon. The package, including train ticket, food, 3-star accommodation, darshan ticket, air-conditioned vehicle for conveyance, tour manager and guide, starts from Rs 6,685 per person. The tour will begin from Kerala on September 24 and October 29.
A six-day Dehradun-Mussoorie, Rishikesh, Haridwar package costs Rs 30,715 per person and the tour starts from October 6.
This five-day package will take you through the wonders of Odisha such as Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark. The package is priced at Rs 26,940 per passenger and the tour begins from November 12.
Enjoy the charm of Gujarat through this seven-day trip that covers Ahmedabad, Junagadh, Somnath, Porbandar, Dwaraka, Jamnagar and Rajkot. The package is worth Rs 31,350 per person and the tour starts rolling on November 20.
Uttar Pradesh tour
This is a five-day Varanasi-Prayagraj (Allahabad)-Ayodhya package priced at Rs 28,755 and the journey starts from December 2.
All travellers should have accident insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh and those in central or state government service and working in public sector institutions can avail Leave Travel Concession (LTC) facilities. For more information contact: 8287932082 (Kochi) or 8287932098 (Kozhikode), or visit www.irctctourism.com.
Delhi-Mata Vaishnodevi temple
The packages to visit Mata Vaishnodevi temple in Katra from Delhi starts from Rs 3,515. A two-night and one-day package costs Rs 3,515 and the three-night and four-day package is priced at Rs 6,501.