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  • 17 February, 2020

  • 2 Min Read

Kashi Mahakal Express

Syllabus subtopic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Prelims and Mains focus: about the train: route, significance etc; about jyotirlingas

News: PM Modi flagged off the latest religion-themed train, the Kashi Mahakal Express in Varanasi, the PM’s constituency.

Details of the train

  • The Lord Shiva-themed train connects, for the first time, places related to three jyotirlingas—Omkareshwar near Indore, Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain, and Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi.

  • The commercial run of the thrice-a-week train will start from February 20. Railway PSU Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will be running this as the third “corporate” train after two Tejas Express trains.

  • With a side-upper berth converted into a permanent puja place or “templecomplete with pictures of Lord Shiva, incense sticks, flowers et al, waiters dressed in traditional UP-style attire and a vegetarian menu, the train leaves virtually no stone unturned to play to the theme.

  • The train will cover 1131 km between Varanasi and Indore via Lucknow and a distance of 1102 km between Varanasi and Indore via Prayagraj (Allahabad) in approximately 19 hours. The route of the train will be via Sultanpur – Lucknow/Prayagraj – Kanpur – Jhansi – Bina – Sant Hiradnagar – Ujjain – Indore and back.

  • Railways says that there has been demands from devotees for a train like this. The overnight train, which is a collection of 15 upgraded 3-AC Humsafar type coaches, is also IRCTC’s first overnight, long-distance train to run on a regular basis.

  • Apart from selling tickets to the train, IRCTC has also worked out packages that involve taking pilgrims on all-inclusive tours of Kashi Dharshan, Ayodhya, Prayag visit, trips to the jyotirlingas (temples) including hotel stays and the like. There will be packages for cities and religious sites covered by the train such as Kashi, Omkareshwar, Mahakaleshwar, Bhopal, Sanchi, Ujjain, Bhimbetka, Ayodhya and Prayag. The packages, designed into various durations, cost between Rs 4950 and Rs 12450 per person.

  • The train’s fare is Rs 1951 between Varanasi and Indore. After 70 per cent of the seats are booked, there will be an increase of 10 per cent for the next 20 per cent of the tickets and a further increase of 10 per cent for the last 10 per cent of the tickets in the dynamic fare scheme. Each ticket comes with a Rs 10 lakh life insurance cover free of cost and every coach is fitted with six CCTV cameras for security along with two guards.

  • Like its other two Tejas trains, this train will also not entertain any of the concessions on fare offered by Indian Railways.

Another religion-themed train to be launched

This Lord Shiva-themed train will be followed by a Ramayan-themed train to be launched next month from across India in a big way, marking Indian Railways’ major push in the religious tourism segment. The Ramayan Express will touch places related to the mythology of Ram, including Ayodhya.

Source: Indian Express

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