Amid slogans of "Jo bole so nihal, sat sri akal", Member Parliament Vijay Inder Singla on Sunday flagged off the Panj Takht Special train for the pilgrimage of five Sikh takhts at Dhuri railway station.
The train will return to Dhuri on February 25 after visiting Sri Hazoor Sahib at Nanded, Sri Patna Sahib at Patna, Sri Damdama Sahib at Bathinda, Sri Harmandir Sahib (Sri Akal Takht Sahib) at Amritsar and Sri Keshgarh Sahib at Anandpur Sahib.
The passengers will be provided on-board and off-board catering services and special arrangements have been made for pilgrims to visit the takhts by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) as a package facility.
Singla said: "This train will be taking the devotees to the panj takhts, having a great significance for pilgrims. The 10-day journey to the sacred takhts which are situated in three different states can now be covered in a comfortable train environment at a low cost, which was not possible earlier".
He thanked union railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge for agreeing to start this panj takht train, a demand which was raised by Singla during railway minister's visit to Dhuri in November 2013.
Singla also distributed sweets and blankets to all pilgrims, who were boarding the train.
At the function the MD, IRCTC announced that on March 21 and April 18, 2014 more panj takht special train will run.
Singla also informed that the new Sri Ganganagar -Jammu Tawi train (announced in the recent rail budget) will run via Dhuri.
He said that he had requested the railway minister to extend the Andaman Express to Katra once the Udhampur - Katra section is operational to have a direct rail connectivity with Mata Vaishno Devi shrine.
At present Andaman Express travels between Chennai and Jammu three times a week via Lehragaga, Sunam, Sangrur, Dhuri and Malerkotla.