Guwahati (Assam) , Feb.25 :In a bid to improve connectivity and to make northeast region a destination paradise, Indian Railway Catering And Tourism Corporation (IRTC) and the North East Frontier Railway (NFR) recently launched the Aastha Circuit Train a special pilgrim train for the Northeastern region here.
The train would take travellers to various pilgrimage destinations in eastern India at affordable rates.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain jointly flagged off the train from Kamakhya Railway Station.
Thousands turned out to be a part of the historic day.
The train started its journey from Kamakhya and headed for Puri via Kolkata and would return back after a trip of seven days and six nights.
Pranav Jyoti Sharma, Chief Public Relations Officer of the Northeast Frontier Railway, said, "The entire trip would cost Rs 6,161/- per person and would include breakfast, dinner, sleeper class accommodation and local transport. It will take them to all the destinations under this package."
It is indeed a great news for pilgrims, as they will use this train journey to see popular pilgrim spots such as the Gangasagar, Shri Swamy Narayan Temple, the Konark Temple, Kalighat and the Jagannath Temple etc.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbanada Sonowal said, "This is a great step indeed and for which I would like to thank our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I would also like to thank our railway ministers of both state as well as the centre on behalf of our people of Assam. The initiative undertaken by the Railways for the development of Assam and the northeast as a whole is really appreciable and our people are very enthusiastic about it and are in full cooperation with it."
The train would have various boarding stations, including Kamakhya, Alipurduar, New Cooch Behar, New Jalpaiguri, Malda, New Farakka, Pakur, Rampurhat and Bolpur. De-boarding stations would be Rampurhat, Pakur, New Farakka, Malda Town, New Jalpaiguri, New CoochBehar and Alipurduar.
This is for the first time that a dedicated tourist train is being originated from the North East.
This train will enhance connectivity in the region and also improve ties with other parts of India.