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Railways to offer tour of Sikh pilgrimage centres

The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is all set to roll out a high-end Sikh circuit special tourist train.
Hindustan Times | By Rajat Arora, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 05, 2012 11:31 PM IST

The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is all set to roll out a high-end Sikh circuit special tourist train.

A premium class ticket of the train, which will take tourists to famous Sikh takhts (shrines) across the country, could go up to Rs 1.30 lakh per person.

The 10 days/nine nights long tour will cover six major Sikh takhts and gurudwaras (temples) in different Indian states. The train service is expected to be started by March-end.

“It will be a high-end train, which will target the huge Indian-Sikh diaspora living in countries such as Canada, UK and USA,” said a senior IRCTC official, requesting anonymity, adding, “There’s a huge potential in railway pilgrimage tourism and a lot of Indians, especially NRIs, are ready to shell out good money for a comfortable journey.”

The train will connect various sikh takhts such as Sri Keshargarh Sahib at Anandpur Sahib, Sri Damdama Sahib at Bathinda, Sri Harmindar Sahib at Patna, Golden Temple, Amritsar and Sri Hajur Sahib at Nanded. Tourists will also be taken to Bangla Saheb and Sheesh Ganj gurudwara in Delhi.

The tour will also include Gwalior and its Bandi Chor gurudwara, and the world famous Taj Mahal and Agra Fort in Agra.

“We plan to run it twice in a month. And we will provide three package categories -deluxe, standard and budget. Tourists will be provided with four star hotel facilities on the train and the journey from one destination to the other will be overnight,” the official added.

Tourists will also be offered AC transportation from the railway station to the shrine. “The starting date of the train will be announced as soon as we get a nod from the board,” the official said.

The IRCTC is already running special tourist trains such as the Buddhist circuit train.

Railways turn to art for image makeover In a bid to change public perception about railways stations with their filthy platforms and congested entry points, the Delhi division of the Northern Railways has turned to art.

On Sunday, a public art installation was inaugurated in the concourse area at the main entry of the Hazrat Nizammudin station.

The art, which depicts a moving train along with several human faces and lanterns has been designed by noted artist Naresh Kapuria.

“We have been making consistent efforts to beautify railway stations and the art installation at Nizammudin station was one part of it,” said Ashwani Lohani, divisional railway manager (Delhi), northern railway.

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