IRCTC Sri Ramayana Express Delhi to Sri Lanka online tickets booking and schedule


Eager to trace Lord Ram's journey in the mythological epic Ramayana? You could travel by train on the Sri Ramayana Express from Delhi, India to Colombo, Sri Lanka, to be launched by IRCTC in November 2018. This article gives a glimpse into the possible route of the train, the halts and the tour package costs & inclusions.

Overview

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will be launching a special tourist train, likely to be named Sri Ramayana Express, in November 2018 to operate on a circuit which will cover major locations which are related with the places in the grand mythological epic, the Ramayana.

It is expected that the Sri Ramayana Express will begin its first journey on 14th November 2018. While the full schedule has not been officially worked out, here are some interesting details about it, as reported by the Hindustan Times newspaper (8th July 2018).

Tour package features and the Circuit

The Sri Ramayana Express train will be flagged off from Safdarjung station of New Delhi. In all, it will be a journey of 16 days. 800 seats will be available.

All along the route, the train will stop for an overnight stay for the passengers and facilities at Dharmashalas will be provided to wash & change. Onboard meals will be provided as well. Transfers to and from the station to a pilgrimage site where the train halts will be included in the tour package tariff, as also sightseeing trips at some of the places. A qualified IRCTC tour manager will be appointed to accompany the passengers throughout the journey to assist them.



The first stop of the Sri Ramayana Express will be Ayodhya, mentioned in the epic as Lord Ram's birthplace. Here, you will be taken to the major tourist spots of Kanak Bhawan Temple, Hanuman Garhi and Ramkot.

The other stops are likely to be those listed below, for which I have looked for information on the Net about their association to the epic -
  1. Nandigram: The village from where Lord Ram's brother Bharat ruled the kingdom while his brother was in exile.

  2. Sitamarhi: This is considered to be the birthplace of Goddess Sita.

  3. Janakpur: This is believed to be the place where Goddess Sita was brought up.

  4. Varanasi: The place was earlier known as Kashi, which is mentioned in the Ananda Ramayana, a Sanskrit text.

  5. Prayag: Known as Allahabad today, this is where it is believed that the revered Vedic sage Rishi Bhardwaja gave Lord Ram his blessings to deal with the challenges to be faced during the exile.

  6. Shringaverpur: It is believed that Lord Ram, his brother Lakshman and Goddess Sita stayed in this village near the River Ganges which they had to cross before making their onward journey to the forest where they were exiled.

  7. Chitrakoot: This is the place where Lord Ram stayed in exile with his brother Laxman and Goddess Sita.

  8. Nasik: Panchavati in Nasik is believed to be the place where Laxman cut off the nose of Surpanakha, the demoness & sister of Ravana.

  9. Hampi: It is believed that in the epic this is Kishkindha, which was a kingdom ruled by the Vanara King Sugriva who helped Lord Ram in his battle against Ravana

  10. Rameshwaram:This is considered to be the most popular religious site related to the epic, the place where the bridge was built across the sea to Sri Lanka to enable Lord Rama to cross over.

Note: The train may halt at the nearest railway station of the above places and transfer to the pilgrimage site will be arranged for the passengers.

Those passengers who wish to take the Sri Ramayana Express full circuit and journey to Sri Lanka will be transferred to Chennai by train. From there, they will be taken by a flight to Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka.

From there, they will be visiting:
  1. Ramboda: It is believed that the hills here formed the base of Lord Ram's army. The Sri Baktha Hanuman Temple is a regular tourist spot.

  2. Nuwara Elliya: Known as the city of lights, there are various sites here associated with the epic, prominent among them being the Seetha Amman Temple, which is believed to be the location of Ashok Vatika where Goddess Sita was held as a captive by King Ravana.

  3. Chilaw: It is believed that at the sites where the temples dedicated to Lord Shiva are located in this town are the places where Lord Ram prayed to Lord Shiva.




Tariff

The ticket fare of the Sri Ramayana Express for the part of the circuit which is within India will be Rs.15,120/- per person. Those who wish to move on to Sri Lanka will have to pay the additional charges. The complete tariff, including those for children, as well as the expenses included/excluded in the tour package will be announced at a later date.

Based on the response from the general public, the Sri Ramayana Express train will have more schedules, perhaps twice a year.

Ticket booking

Details about booking tickets for the Sri Ramayana Express train will be released by IRCTC later in the year. Tickets will likely be available online at the IRCTC website and also at major railway stations' ticket reservation centres.

Enthusiastic to journey along the epic route of the mythological epic's locations? Bookmark this page and check back for updates on the dates when the booking of tickets will open and the schedule of the


Article by Vandana
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.

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