The Ramayana Trail Makes a Comeback! IRCTC Initiates Tour Packages on Spiritual Routes.
After the recent catastrophes in Sri Lanka, the tourism industry of Sri Lanka has possibly seen a setback. But to draw tourists from India, the Sri Lankan government has re-initiated a Ramayana tourism circuit. The circuit will link all temples and caves which were akin to the Royal Hindu epic.
The preceding Ramayana trail was not quite a success due to the lack of proper organization. The tourists had to decide upon their itinerary by themselves. It was then followed by a successful tour in 2018. This year the Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Ltd(IRCTC) has organised two tourist packages for the Ramayana Trail. Two trains have been allowed for the same which will be run by the Indian Railways.
Siddharth Singh, PRO IRCTC said- "these packages are part of Bharat Darshan scheme of IRCTC."
Sri Lankan government has also launched attractive schemes for this Trail. It is offering discounts on hotel stays which go up to around 50 per cent. It has also launched free visas for Indian tourists.
IRCTC has released details for the two trains for the Ramayana trail. The information is as follows:
Shri Ramayana Yatra Train
Schedule Departure from Jaipur (Rajasthan) via Delhi Date: 3rd November 2019 (Inclusive of Options Ramayana related places in Sri Lanka with limited seating)
This train will start from Jaipur Railway Station with boarding and deboarding Stations at Alwar, Rewari, Delhi Safdarjung, Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Bareilly and Lucknow.
Other Package Details
Duration- 16 Nights -17 Days tour for the Ramayana Circuit traversing tourist spots associated with Lord Ram. Major destinations covered- Ram Janmbhoomi and Hanuman Garhi at Ayodhya; Bharat Mandir at Nandigram, Sita Mata Mandir at Sitamarhi (Bihar), and Janakpur (Nepal); Tulsi Manas Mandir and Sankat Mochan Mandir at Varanasi; Other destinations covered- Sita Samahit Sthal at Sitamarhi (UP), Triveni Sangam , Hanuman Mandir and Bharadwaj Ashram at Prayag, Shringi Rishi Mandir at Shringverpur, Ramghat and Sati Anusuiya Mandir at Chitrakoot, Panchvati at Nasik, Anjanadri Hill and Hanuman Janm Sthal at Hampi & Jyotirlinga Shiva Mandir at Rameshwaram. Fare and Inclusivities-
The per-person cost for the tour from Jaipur is Rs.16,065 for the Indian Part of this package covered by train.
Vegetarian meals will be provided, accommodation and wash and change facilities in dharamshalas only. All transfers & sight-seeing arrangements at tourist places will be by Non AC buses. A dedicated tour manager of IRCTC will be travelling with the tourists during the entire tour. The total capacity of the train allowed to the trail is 800 Seats. So make sure to book prior ahead to avoid the last-minute ticket rush.
Ramayana Express Train
Departure from Indore in Madhya Pradesh via Varanasi Date- 18th November 2019 Route The boarding stations include Indore, Dewas, Ujjain, Maksi, Shujalpur, Sehore, Bairagarh(Bhopal), Vidisha, Ganj Basoda, Bina, Lalitpur & Jhansi.
Deboarding stations are Nagpur, Itarsi, Hoshangabad, Bairagarh (Bhopal), Sehore, Shujalpur, Maksi, Ujjain, Dewas and Indore.
Other Package Details
Duration- 14 nights and 15 days tour for the religious trip across the country. Destinations Covered- Ayodhya- Sitamarhi- Janakpur- Varanasi- Prayagraj- Chitrakoot- Nasik- Hampi- Rameshwaram- Madurai Fares and Inclusivities
Per person fare for the tour commencing from Indore is INR 17,325 for 3 AC class and INR 14,175 for Sleeper class which is inclusive of providing travel by train in 3AC class/ 2nd Class Sleeper coach.
Pure vegetarian meals.
Hall accommodation at places of night stay and morning freshening up.
Tourist buses for commuting and visiting sightseeing spots.
A Tour escorts will accompany tourists for announcements and information.
Security arrangements will be made for each coach (without arms).
An IRCTC Official will be appointed as Train Superintendent.
Another train is expected to depart from Madurai. Details of which will be released soon.
The online booking facility has already commenced.
Book your tickets online on IRCTC’s website www.irctctourism.com under Bharat Darshan link.
The train package booking has also started. One can book at IRCTC’s Tourist Facilitation Centre available on PAN India basis.
Package to Sri Lanka
The flight to Sri Lanka including Sri Lankan destinations will cost INR 36,950 per head. The itinerary is Chennai > Colombo > Nuwara Eliya > Kandy > Colombo > New Delhi
The Lanka trail will include destinations like Manavari temple, Ravana cave, Ashoka Vatika, Seetha Amman temple, Divurumpola, Ussangoda, Thiru Koneswaram temple, and Kathirkamam for the Ramayana circuit in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan government is attracting aiming to make this a global affair including countries other than India to take part in the Ramayana Trail. It is trying to broaden the horizon by introducing a ferry service to Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu from Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka. This project is soon to be launched too.
Are you excited to take the Ramayana trail? Tell us in the comments below!