IRCTC’s Ramayan tour expands to Jaipur, Rajkot and Madurai after Delhi because seats for the inaugural ride were sold out in 15 days, and the demand doesn’t seem like it will wane anytime soon. Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) had announced a guided tour, themed around the mythological epic Ramayan, that has been slated to begin next month. But no sooner did they make that announcement in July than it got fully sold out. The hike in demand has caused the launch of three similar trains from Rajkot, Jaipur, and Madurai. The 16-day experience will be guided by IRCTC tour managers who will accompany the passengers on the 800-seater trains. The first one is starting on November 14 from Delhi to Chennai.
The route for all four trains – from Delhi, Jaipur, Rajkot and Madurai – is going to cover towns and cities that have been of significance in the Hindu epic – Ramayan. Therefore, they will cover the birthplace of Lord Ram -Ayodhya; Hanuman Garhi; Ramkot and the Kanak Bhawan temple. The trains will also make stops at Nandigram, Sitamarhi, Janakpur, Varanasi, Prayag, Shringaverpur, Chitrakoot, Nasik, Hampi and Rameshwaram, or the nearest railway stations to these locations. IRCTC will further facilitate trips by road from the station to specific pilgrimage sites, for a complete immersive experience. The trains will either be called the Ramayana Yatra or Shri Ramayana Express. Presently, IRCTC offers a Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train, a Bharat Darshan Train and a Maharaja’s Express.
The Madurai train will also begin its journey on 14 November, the same day as the inaugural train from Delhi. The train from Jaipur will start its journey on 22 November and the train from Rajkot will start its journey on 7 December. All the trains will have sleeper class coaches with room to accommodate 800 passengers. There is always a demand for travel to Ayodhya, and other places related with Lord Ram. This is a good move by Indian railways to generate revenue because religious tourism always attracts big crowd in country.