Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 24: Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited is gearing up to launch two premier train services that will unveil the charm of the country's sprawling deserts and eclectic heritage before its travellers.
Both semi-luxury trains will depart from New Delhi with an array of deluxe facilities across its five days of round trip dotted with sightseeing facilities, an IRCTC release said here today. "Desert Circuit" will cover Rajasthan's famed cities of Jaisalmer and Jaipur, while "Heritage Circuit" will take the passengers to Varanasi, Khajuraho and Agra.
Operated by IRCTC, the 'mini ratna' PSU of the Railways, the two trains will run eight trips individually till summer sets in upcountry by next April, it said. Desert Circuit will begin service from mid-December 2015 and wind up on April 21, while Heritage Circuit will commence on December 20. Its last trip will start on April 24. "Now that the tourist season is on, we expect good occupancy. The tariff for the journey is competitive as well as all-inclusive," IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director Dr A K Manocha said.
The package prices of Desert Circuit are: Rs 36,900, Rs 33,900, Rs 32,900 (first AC single, double and triple occupancy, respectively), Rs 28,025, Rs 25025, Rs 24,525 (second AC) and Rs 24,125, Rs 21,125, Rs 20,625 (third AC), the statement said. As for Heritage Circuit, the rates will be Rs 35,900, Rs 32,900, Rs 31,900 (first AC single, double and triple occupancy), Rs 26,200, Rs 23,200, Rs 22,700 (second AC) and Rs 21,790, Rs 18,790, Rs 18, 290 (third AC), it said.
The package, which includes intercity transfers, also features stay in three-star hotels, all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), sightseeing, local transfers by AC deluxe vehicles, entrances at the monuments, service of English/Hindi speaking guide, travel insurance, 24x7 security and CCTV surveillance on board the train, besides hygienic kitchen-car facility, medical facility, transport by AC vehicles and wi-fi internet service.
The Jaisalmer stop of the Desert Circuit will cover the city Fort, sand dunes, Gadisagar lake and Palwaon Ki Haveli.
At Jaipur, the sights shown will be City Palace, Jantar Mantar observatory, Chokhi Dhani, Amer Fort and Hawa Mahal, it said. The Heritage Circuit will, at Varanasi, take passengers to Sarnath, besides a boat ride on the Ganges and experiencing the dusk-time 'aarti' ceremony. The Khajuraho stay features visits to Eastern and Western group of Temples. There will also be time for leisure at all these centres, the release added.