Have you planned your summer vacation? If your answer is no, worry not as the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), e-ticketing arm of Indian Railways, has come to your rescue. IRCTC is changing the tourism sector in the country through its affordable and even its luxury holiday packages to beautiful destinations across India. From hills to religious places, IRCTC has something for everyone. However, if you are eager to have a spiritual experience, then you must check out IRCTC’s packages to religious places. The IRCTC’s packages for such visits are given on its official website, irctctourism.com, through the ‘Bharat Darshan Special Tourist Train’.
To avail the tour package and book the tickets, you have to go to the IRCTC website, and also from the tourist facilitation centre, zonal offices or regional offices. The tour package has been available at Rs 9,450, inclusive of all the taxes, including Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Below you can find the details of various tour packages and tour trains, which IRCTC is currently offering:
Bharat Darshan Tourist Trains
The trains for Bharat Darshan were launched to enable the tourists to visit the religious, spiritual and historical destinations in the country, at an affordable price. Initially, these trains were names as ‘Village on Wheels’ and the first such train started operating on November 29, 2004, from Patna, after it was announced in the Rail Budget Speech. Since then, IRCTC has been running several Bharat Darshan trains on pan India basis at a starting price of Rs. 900 (exclusive of taxes) per passenger per day.
The package includes other facilities which are mentioned below:
- BDT train provides confirmed train travel in sleeper class coaches.
- Stay in Dormitories/hall accommodation for night and halt/freshening up.
- Unlimited Vegetarian catering during the tour.
- Non-AC tourist buses for sightseeing.
- Services of Tour escorts for the entire tour.
- Security staff for each train coach to ensure safety/security.
In case of special demand, one AC coach may also be included in the tourist train.
The Bharat Darshan Tourist train provides the facility of boarding and de-boarding at small cities/ towns for the convenience of travellers as per the itinerary. The average duration of the trip is 7-12 days as per itinerary. Passengers can avail Leave Travel Concession (LTC) on the packages of Bharat Darshan tourist train. LTC certificate is provided to travellers after completion of the tour. Some of the popular Bharat Darshan tour packages include Do Dham Yatra, Nav Jyotirlinga Special, South India Special, Shirdi Special, Tirupati Darshan, Dwarka-Somnath, Gangasagar-Puri, Bharat Darshan with Vaishno Devi etc.
Gangtok Darjeeling Holiday Special
Under this package, the AC Special Tourist Train facilitates covering important tourist places in the country and has been specially designed for LTC clients also. You can book tickets through the Tourist Facilitation Center, Zonal Offices and Regional Offices. The destinations that will be covered under Gangtok Darjeeling Holiday special are Arakku Valley, Borra Caves, Gangtok, Changu, Darjeeling, Tiger Hill and Kolkata.
The boarding points are Kochuveli, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Erode, Perambur, and Vijayawada. Customers can deboard at Vijayawada, Perambur, Erode, Palakkad, Ernakulam, Kochuveli.
The standard 3AC seat would be available at a price Rs 51,400, the AC1 would cost you Rs 65,100, and it will also include three meals in the stated packages. The entrance fees and guide charges at the monuments are not included in IRCTC’s package cost. One has to make arrangements on their own for this.
Apart from the above packages, there are other city-specific packages like Agra special and Heritage special dedicated to the national capital; details of which you can check out on IRCTC’s website. Meanwhile, IRCTC is also offering booking of international destinations at low-cost fares.