The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has announced a ‘Bharat Darshan’ special tourist train which would enable travellers to learn much about India’s glorious heritage and culture. Passengers on the train would be taken to some major destinations in the country at an affordable fare. The upcoming service of the special tourist train is from January 7-19, 2022 and the fare is Rs 13,000 per person.
The Bharat Darshan train will start from Madurai and take travellers to Mysuru, Hampi, Hyderabad, Ramoji Film City, Mumbai, Ellora, Ajanta, Statue of Unity and Goa. On the way, passengers can board the train from Tirunelveli, Thiruvananthapuram Central, Kollam, Kottayam, Ernakulam Town, Thrissur, Shoranur, Kozhikode, Kannur, Kasaragod and Mangaluru.
Departing at 12.05 am on January 7, the train will reach Mysuru by January 8 morning. At Mysuru, travellers can enjoy the sights of Chamundi Hills, Mysore Palace, Brindavan Gardens and KRS Dam on the first day.
On January 9, the tour covers Srirangapatnam, Tipu’s Tomb, Summer Palace, Zoo and St. Philomena’s Church. Leaving Mysuru that night, the train will head to Hampi.
On January 10, travellers can spend time at the ruins of the Vijayanagar empire at Hampi before resuming their journey in the evening.
Heading to Hyderabad, the programme on January 11 is Ramoji Film City. Golconda, Salar Jung Museum and Charminar would be covered the next day.
Mumbai, Ellora and Ajanta
Travellers would wake up on the train on January 13 in the mega city of Mumbai. That day, they can visit Marine Drive, Juhu Beach, Malabar Hill and Gateway of India. Later that day, the train would take them to Aurangabad. Arriving next day, the attractions are the Ellora caves. On January 15, the scheduled destination is Ajanta caves.
Subsequently, the special train would be taking its passengers to Kevadia, where the world’s tallest statue is located, on January 16. From the railway station, battery-operated buses have been arranged to ferry travellers to the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
After visiting the Ekta statue (Statue of Unity) of Patel, the travellers will board the train for the journey to Goa. The train is scheduled to arrive at Madgaon station in the coastal state by the night of January 17.
The main attractions of the tour in Goa on January 18 are Calangute Beach, Vagator, Se Cathedral and Bom Jesus Basilica. A boat cruise along the Mandovi river and a visit to Colva beach would be arranged if time permits.
The special train’s return trip is scheduled to start from Goa on the night of January 18, to reach the last stop, Madurai by midnight on January 19.
Things to note
The trip will be conducted following all COVID-19 protocols. All arrangements for the journey, including food and accommodation of the travellers, will be made by IRCTC. Detailed instructions are available on the IRCTC website.
Stops in Kerala
The special Bharat Darshan train will stop at the following stations in Kerala: Thiruvananthapuram Central, Kollam, Kottayam, Ernakulam Town, Thrissur, Shoranur, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod. More information on Bharat Darshan could be obtained directly from IRCTC’s regional office in Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station and Kozhikode railway station.