Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the public sector undertaking, operates exclusive trains to offer varied experiences for travellers and promote rail-bound domestic and inbound tourism in India.
The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is a pioneer in religious tourism, regional tourism, and luxury trains like Buddhist Circuit Special Train, Golden Chariot Luxury Train, Maharajas’ Express.
Buddhist Circuit Train
The latest achievement in religious tourism is IRCTC’s Buddhist Special Tourist Train, which has already completed its Crystal Anniversary being in operation for 15 years since inception. After being suspended due to COVID-19 for two years, its operation has been resumed with its departure on 11 March 2023 for the season. The next season departures of Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train shall commence from 21 October 2023.
Also, IRCTC has come up with an all-inclusive Buddhist Circuit Train Tour of 7 Nights/ 8 Days from Delhi Safdarjung covering the various important destinations associated with the life of Lord Buddha such as Bodhgaya, Nalanda (Rajgir), Varanasi (Sarnath), Lumbini, Kushinagar and Sravasti. The journey ends with a visit to Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Passengers can experience IRCTC’s fully air-conditioned deluxe tourist train comprising 12 state of the arts ergonomically designed brand new LHB coaches equipped with modern amenities. The passengers have an option of travelling on specially designed AC-I coaches or AC-II coaches as per their choice. The AC-I coaches, besides being cozy with spacious cabins and coupes, have been fitted with in-room amenities like individual lockers for tourists. The train also has spacious AC-II Tier coaches, which have been modified to have spacious and comfortable cabins. The train also has two aesthetically designed dining cars. The train has a fully equipped kitchen car, which serves an array of specialty international and local cuisines for the on-board guests. The 7 Nights/ 8 Days package starts from a price of `90,240 per person or US $1,144 per person on twin sharing basis.
Details of the train and tour with itineraries and package price are available on exclusive portal of the train www.irctcbuddhisttrain.com.
The Golden Chariot Luxury Train
Owned by Karnataka Tourism, the Golden Chariot Luxury Train is marketed and operated by the IRCTC. The train operates in the South of India and covers various states with an aim to connect some of the important dots that have shaped the history of South India through several centuries.
The guest carriages of the Golden Chariot train are named after the dynasties that ruled South India over several centuries. Each guest carriage has four deluxe cabins with a mix of twins and doubles. The guest cabins are a mix of 13 Double Bed Cabins, 30 Twin Bed Cabins and 1 Cabin for specially-abled. There are two restaurants — Ruchi and Nalapaka and a bar Madira. Also, Arogya the Spa cum Fitness Centre combines traditional Ayurvedic Spa therapies with modern workout machines.
There are three carefully selected itineraries:
- Pride of Karnataka (5 Nights/ 6 Days) – Starts from Bengaluru covering Bandipur, Mysore, Halebidu, Chikmangalur, Hampi, Goa and back to Bengaluru.
- Jewels of South (5 Nights/ 6 Days) – Starts from Bengaluru covering Mysore, Mahabalipuram, Thanjavur, Chettinad, Cochin, Chertala and back to Bengaluru.
- Glimpses of Karnataka (3 Nights/ 4 Days) – Starts from Bengaluru covering Nanjangud, Mysore, Hampi and back to Bengaluru.
Also owned and operated by IRCTC is the Maharajas’ Express, which started in 2010 and has been one of the most prestigious luxury trains in the world during the last 12 years.
- Carving a niche market for itself for its enriching journey experiences coupled with exquisite facilities onboard, the train offers 23-carriage long train and houses four different types of accommodation viz. Deluxe Cabins, Junior Suite Cabins, Suites and Presidential Suite.
- The train offers four trips:
- Indian Splendour (6 Nights/7 Days) – starting in Delhi covering Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur and ending in Mumbai.
- Heritage of India (6 Nights/7 Days) starting in Mumbai covering Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra and ending in Delhi.
- Indian Panorama (6 Nights/7 Days) starting in Delhi covering Jaipur, Fatehpur Sikri, Ranthambore, Agra, Orcha, Khajuraho, Varanasi and ending in Delhi.
- Treasures of India (3 Nights/4 Days) starts in Delhi and covers Agra, Ranthambore and Jaipur.