Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has launched an exclusive AC tourist train for the pilgrims in South India covering Hindu and Buddhist sites in India and Nepal to promote religious tourism.

The train will pass through Allahabad and Varanasi.

The corporation will run an exclusive AC tourist train, for a round trip, from Chennai through Allahabad, Varanasi, Ayodhya, Kathmandu, Manakamana, Pokhara and Kushinagar. It will start its maiden tour on May 29 from Chennai on its round trip to be terminated at the same place on June 9.

“The exclusive AC tourist train will cover some of the popular Hindu and Buddhist pilgrim destinations in India and Nepal,” said joint general manager of corporation Pradeep Kundu. “The tourists will have the life time opportunity to take a bathe in triveni Sangam – confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati – at Allahabad, visit the famous Vishwanath temple and Visalakshi temple in Varanasi visit,” he said, adding that it also incorporates visit to religious shrines in Nepal including Pashupathinath Temple, Swayambhunath – a Buddhist Temple – and Budhanilkantha – sleeping Lord Vishnu – temple in Kathmandu. “The itinerary also includes visit to Lumbini in Nepal – the holy birth place of Lord Buddha – and Kushinagar, where Lord Buddha passed away. The train will also include visit to Ayodhya and sightseeing at Pokhara, Nepal.”

The tourist train consists of four first AC (luxury), three AC-II (deluxe) and one AC-III (comfort) coaches, according to the corporation that is planning to carry only tourists in the exclusive air-conditioned train.

The train will also have a separate pantry car to cater vegetarian food to the tourists.

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