NEW DELHI :
The railways will run a special tourist train for those wishing to go on a pilgrimage of sites associated with Lord Ram from March 28, the IRCTC said on Wednesday.
The special train-- Shri Ramayana Express -- will have ten coaches which include five sleeper class non-AC coaches and five AC 3 tier coaches.
The booking will purely be on first come first take basis, it said.
A similar tourism train on this circuit was introduced last year with only sleeper class coaches which was a tremendous success. The response of the general public was such that all the available seats were booked in merely seven days.
Shri Ramayana Express will commence its journey from Delhi on March 28.
The interested tourists may board the train from - Delhi Safdarjung, Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Bareily and Lucknow.
In a 16 nights -17 days tour, passengers will be visiting the tourists places associated with Lord Ram also known as the 'Ramayana Circuit of India'.
Major places covered in this journey are 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, 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 and Jyotirlinga Shiva Mandir at Rameshwaram.
The tourists will be offered pure vegetarian meals, accommodation and wash and change facilities in dharmashala (SL Class booking travellers) or hotels (AC Class booking travellers), all transfers and sight-seeing arrangements by non-AC buses and a dedicated tour manager of IRCTC will be travelling with them during the entire tour.
Considering the 'Navratra' period, food served to the travellers will be cooked without onion and garlic. Fasting food will also be available for the tourists including Sabudana Khichdi, fruits, curd and potato chat, IRCTC said.
Interested tourists may opt SL Class package at a cost of ₹16,065 per person, whereas the AC Class package will cost ₹26,775 per person.
Further, to cover the tourist places of Ramayana Circuit of Sri Lanka along with the Indian Ramayana Circuit, an add-on tour to Sri Lanka has been launched with limited 40 seats.
Those interested to travel in both these circuits will be required to de-board the Ramayana Express Tourist Train on the 15th day at Chennai on April 11, from where they will be taken on a flight in economy class by the Sri Lankan Airlines to Colombo.
The tourists will be offered three nights stay in Sri Lanka at Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Negombo. This Sri Lankan leg will be charged additionally at ₹37,800 per person.
This leg of the journey includes Sita Mata Mandir, Ashok Vatika, Vibhishana Temple and the famous Shiva Temple at Munneshwaram - Munnavari and much more, it said.
The return journey will be booked by flight in economy class from Colombo to Delhi. The tourists will reach Delhi on April 15, IRCTC added.