- The train will run on the Ramayana Circuit identified under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, covering prominent places associated with the life of Lord Ram.
- The 14-coach train, to be run by IRCTC, will have 11 air conditioned three-tier coaches for tourists, along with a pantry car, a restaurant car, and a separate coach for use by the train staff.
- The train can accommodate up to 600 tourists.
- Ayodhya will be the Bharat Gaurav Train’s first stop, where tourists will visit the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple and the Hanuman temple, besides Bharat Mandir at Nandigram.
- The train will then head to Buxar in Bihar, where tourists will visit the hermitage of Vishwamitra and Ramrekha Ghat on the Ganga.
- The visit to Ram Janaki temple in Janakpur in Nepal via Jainagar in Bihar’s Madhubani district will follow.
- From Janakpur, the train will cross back into India and proceed to Sitamarhi in Bihar, which is believed to have been the birthplace of Sita.
- The next stop is Varanasi, where the place Shringverpur, where Ram, Sita and Laxman are believed to have crossed the Ganga, and Chitrakoot by road.
- The train will then move west and south — to Nasik for visits to the Trayambakeshwar temple and Panchvati, and then to Krishkindha, Hampi, which is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman.
- The next destination will be Rameshwaram, for visits to the Ramanathaswamy temple and Dhanushkodi.
- The train will then head to Bhadrachalam in Telangana, also referred to as the Ayodhya of the South, and end its 8,000-km journey in Delhi.
The Indian Railways launched the Bharat Gaurav trains last year, to be operated by private players on theme-based circuits. Any operator or service provider can lease a train to run on a theme-based circuit as a special tourism package.
About Swadesh Darshan Scheme
- It is a scheme of the Ministry of Tourism under Government of India that aims to promote, develop and harness the potential of tourism in India.
- Launched in 2015, it is a central sector scheme.
- The funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and Corporate Sector is also used in this scheme.
- The entire scheme is based on theme-based tourism and each theme is called a “circuit” and composed of various tourist destinations.
- Tourist Circuit is defined as “a route having at least three major tourist destinations which are distinct and apart”.
- The circuits are – Buddhist circle, Coastal circle, Desert circle, Eco circle, Heritage circle, Himalayan circle, Krishna circle, North-East circle, Ramayana circle, Rural circle, Spiritual circle, Sufi circle, Tirthankar circle, Tribal circle and Wildlife circle.