Those from Kerala and Tamil Nadu can now take a single train to Kashi from Kanyakumari directly. The Kanyakumari-Benares Kashi Tamil Sangam Express, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently, will connect the two major pilgrimage centres of the country. This train will operate once a week. According to information provided by Varanasi Division of North Eastern Railway (NER), this train has a total of 22 coaches: one AC-1, two AC-2, three AC-3, three AC-3 economy, six sleeper class, four general second class, a second class for the physically challenged, a pantry car, and a luggage cum brake van.
The train follows a historic pilgrimage route connecting holy places and major cities. The train will enter other States via Nagercoil, Tirunelveli, Virudhunagar, Madurai, Dindigul, Trichy, Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, Mayiladuthurai, Seerkazhi, Chidambaram, Cuddalore Port, Villupuram, Chengalpattu, Arakkonam, and Perambur in Tamil Nadu. It will be useful for many pilgrims from Tamil Nadu visiting Kashi. Train service from Banares will be on Sundays, and from Kanyakumari on Thursdays. The train number from Kanyakumari to Banaras is 16367, while that from Banaras to Kanyakumari is 16368. The 2,766 km distance from Kanyakumari to Banares is covered in an average of 51 hours by train.
The Prime Minister flagged off the new train recently while inaugurating the second edition of the Kashi Tamil Sangam at Namo Ghat in his parliamentary constituency, Varanasi. The Kashi Tamil Sangam, held till December 30, highlights the cultural ties between Tamil Nadu and Kashi. The programme is being supervised by IIT-Madras and Banaras Hindu University.