Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)—a subsidiary of the Indian Railway set up by the Ministry of Railways to handle the catering, tourism and online ticketing operation of the Indian Railway—is going to launch Ramayana Express on March 28, this year.
For an Indian, Shri Ramayana Express is not mere pilgrimage, but “Time Travel” which would take our souls to our own roots and heritage.
Shri Ramayana Express will have ten coaches which include five sleeper class non-AC coaches and five AC 3 tier coaches. SL Class package is at a cost of ₹16,065 per person, whereas the AC Class package will cost ₹26,775 per person.
Shri Ramayana Express—which have ten coaches which include five sleeper class non-AC coaches and five AC 3 tier coaches—would commence from Safdarjung, Delhi. However, tourists can board the train from Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Bareily and Lucknow also. In a 16 nights -17 days tour, passengers would be visiting the tourists places associated with God ‘Ram’ which is known as the ‘Ramayana Circuit of India’.
‘Ramayan Circuit’ is the places where God Ram had set his foot travelling across India.
Major places Shri Ramayan Express would cover in this journey are 1. Ram Janmbhoomi and 2. Hanuman Garhi at Ayodhya, 3. Bharat Mandir at Nandigram, 4. Sita Mata Mandir at Sitamarhi (Bihar), 5. Sita Mata Mandir at Janakpur (Nepal), 6. Tulsi Manas Mandir and 7. Sankat Mochan Mandir at Varanasi, 8. Sita Samahit Sthal at Sitamarhi (UP), 9. Triveni Sangam, 10. Hanuman Mandir and 11. Bharadwaj Ashram at Prayag, 13. Shringi Rishi Mandir at Shringverpur, 14. Ramghat and 15. Sati Anusuiya Mandir at Chitrakoot, Panchvati at Nasik, 16. Anjanadri Hill and 17. Hanuman Janm Sthal at Hampi and 18. Jyotirlinga Shiva Mandir at Rameshwaram.
The foods we eat shape our thoughts, actions, emotions and behaviour. It is pure vegetarian meals during the complete journey. Since it is ‘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.
How can “Ramayan Circuit” would be completed without touring Sri Lanka where God Ram defeated demon king Ravana. Therefore, 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.
Tourists, who are interested to travel in both these circuits are supposed to to de-board the Ramayana Express Tourist Train on the 15th day at Chennai from where they will be taken on a flight in economy class by the Sri Lankan Airlines to Colombo. Sri Lankan leg will be charged additionally at ₹37,800 per person.
Journey in Sri Lanka circuit includes 1. Sita Mata Mandir 2. Ashok Vatika 3. Vibhishana Temple and the famous 4. Shiva Temple at Munneshwaram – Munnavari and much more. The return journey will be booked by flight in economy class from Colombo to Delhi.
God Ram is the soul of this land. This journey is ‘Time Travel’ which would take our minds thousands years back to realise history of our ancient civilisation. Calling Ramayan a mythology is disrespecting our great land.