With the economic activities picking up, pilgrimage tourism seems to be back on track as Indian Railways received an overwhelming response to its Bharat Darshan initiatives amid the Covid-19 crisis.
The Bharat Darshan trains with special focus on jyotirlinga shrines offering destinations such as Omkareshwsr, Ujjain, Vadodara, Somnath, Dwarka, Nageswara and Ahmedabad from Varanasi and Jalandhar have shown good response since launching of the package, said a senior Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) official involved with the tourism project.
IRCTC, ticketing and catering arm of Indian Railways, is also responsible for running tourist trains across the country. The tour will cover the four jyotirlingas at Omkareshwar, Mahakaleshwar, Somnath and Nageshwar besides the Statue of Unity. IRCTC has made arrangements for accommodation and transportation in buses for passengers.
Pilgrimage constitutes an important component of tourism in India and has contributed effectively to the growth and development of the place.
“We are operating Bharat Darshan trains since the year 2005 with different itineraries based on market demand, popularity and operational feasibility. We had restricted the activities for some time due to the coronavirus. However, since more and more people are opting for train journey now, we decided to launch the Bharat Darshan trains this year,” said the official.
While the pilgrimage tourist train from Varanasi is beginning its nine-day journey on 10 January, the special tourist train from Jalandhar would start from 27 January for an eight-day trip.