Indian Railways’ first Wildlife Tourism Train - Tiger Express
Union Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu yesterday on the occasion of the World Environment Day flagged off Tiger Trail Circuit Train from Delhi's Safdarjung Station. He flagged off the Tiger Express through video conferencing between Delhi and Mumbai.
Tiger Express was launched on World Environment Day to highlight the significance of environment in our lives. The Railway Minister took personal interest in conceptualising this train. The tourist train will be operated by Indian Railway PSU named Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
The route of the train:
The train has five days and six nights itinerary and it will start from Delhi's Safdarjung Railway Station and travel via Katani, Jabalpur, Bandhavgadh, and Kanha. It is a semi-luxury train and it will take the guests onboard to the world famous Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks in Madhya Pradesh.
The tourists will also get to enjoy Dhuadhar Waterfall in Dedhaghat near Jabalpur. Railway Minister said on the occasion of the flagging off the train that, Indian Railways is fully committed to address environmental issues. He also pointed out that he is assuming charge took the initiative of creating a separate dedicated Environment Directorate in the Ministry of Railways.
He informed the people that his ministry is taking various steps to be more environment friendly. Mr. Prabhu while flagging off the Tiger Express told that tiger is at the apex of the food chain and so it has tremendous ecological impact and hence the ministry found it befitting to launch a train on Tiger. He announced that Indian Railways through, its PSU, IRCTC will launch more tourist circuit trains like elephant circuit, desert circuit.
Here are some salient features of the Tiger Express:
The Tiger Express has been launched with the objective to create awareness about our national animal tiger. This train is one of the most innovative tourism product ever launched by Indian Railways.
The Kanha National Park which is part of the tour is known for the presence of tigers, swamp deer and barasingha. This national park is considered as source of inspiration for Rudyard Kipling's famous novel "The Jungle Book".
The Bandhavgarh National Park which is also part of tour is famous for its biodiversity. The density of tiger population in this park is highest known in India. This park hosts a large breeding population of leopards and various species of deer too.
The train's itinerary has been planned in such a way that tourists get to see three tiger safaris and have ample time to see the majestic wild cats in their natural environment and also get to see other wildlife.
Apart from journey by the semi luxury AC train the package also includes AC rooms in three star resorts, sightseeing and road transportation by AC vehicles, buffet meals, game safaris, inter-city transfers and travel insurance.
This is also the first semi-luxury train on a tourist circuit having a dining car. The objective behind it is to facilitate frequent interactions among travellers during the travel. No other semi-luxury train is equipped with a dining car.
The trip which was flagged off yesterday is the inaugural run and the regular monthly trips of this fully AC train will begin from October. The train has been decorated with vinyl wrapped motifs of the wildlife.
Indian Railways which efficiently conducts the Desert Circuit in Rajasthan and Heritage Circuit in North India is for the first time venturing into the exciting wildlife tourism.
The itinerary has a tariff structure starting from Rs. 38,500. For travelling in 1AC, tariff has been fixed at Rs. 49,500 for single occupancy, Rs. 45,500 for double occupancy, Rs. 44,900 for triple occupancy and Rs. 39,500 for child with bed (5-11 years).
The fares for those travelling in AC 2-tier is Rs. 43,500 for single occupancy, Rs. 39,000 for double occupancy, Rs. 38,500 for triple occupancy and Rs. 33,500 for child with bed (5-11 years).
However, these rates are valid for Indian citizens only. An additional surcharge of Rs. 4,000 per person will be charged from foreigners for the Safari booking at Bandhagarh and Kanha.
Day 1 - Sunday Departure from Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station at 1500 hours. Dinner and overnight on board.
Day 2 - Monday Arrival at Katni by 5:40 hours. Breakfast on board, proceed for Bandhavgarh for hotel check in and lunch. Later proceed for evening safari (Khitauli Zone). Dinner and overnight at Bandhavgarh Hotel.
Day 3 - Tuesday Departure from Bandhavgarh and proceed for Kanha. Check in and lunch at Hotel. Later proceed for evening safari (Mukki Zone). Dinner and overnight at Hotel.
Day 4 - Wednesday Morning Safari (Mukki Zone) in Kanha with late morning breakfast. Lunch at hotel. Evening time for leisure, dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 5 - Thursday after breakfast proceed for Jabalpur. Lunch at hotel in Jabalpur. Proceed for Dhuadhar Waterfall in Bedhaghat. High tea in the evening before proceeding to train station. Dinner and overnight on board.
Day 6 - Friday arrival at Delhi Safdarjung Station at 1550 hours as tour ends with happy memories. Breakfast and lunch on board.