Special budget train for Buddhist spots

The Indian Railways will launch its special train covering the Buddhist route across the country, with a visit to Nepal also thrown in.

Aspiring to provide to budget tourist from Sri Lanka and to other Asian countries, the 14 days and 13 nights, all-paid package tour will moreover provide off-board services such as hotel lodging, vegetarian meals, road transports for sight-seeing, and support for visa formalities for foreign nationals.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which will be running the operation, have offered three rates for the budget tourist.

Twin-sharing accommodation comes around Rs.23,650 per person, while triple-sharing accommodation costs for Rs.20,600 and for hall or dormitory accommodation, the fare has been hooked at Rs.16,650. Accommodation will be offered in budget hotels.

The train offers sleeper class accommodation for 500 passengers on each and every trip along with a store cupboard car serving vegetarian food. The IRCTC guarantees guide and security on the train for the passengers.

The pilgrims get to see 11 famous Buddhist sites starting by the paintings and sculptures in Ajanta and Ellora Caves. The other sites included in this tour are: the massive stupa at Sanchi; Sravasti, the birth place of Gautam Buddha in Lumbini, Nepal; capital of the ancient kingdom of the same name; the Mahaparinirvana Temple in Kushinagar; Vaishali, where the Buddha moralized his last talk; the reminiscent ruins of Buddhist monasteries and temples of Nalanda; Rajgir, where Buddha moralized two of his most famous sermons; Bodh Gaya where the Buddha reached enlightenment; Sarnath where he preached his last oration; and the excavations of Nagarjunakonda.

Though the package, does not include entrance fee for monuments, medical care and Nepal visa fee for foreigners. It has its own termination rules, according to which the last date for cancellation is one week before the start date. The passenger will surrender the entire money if it is cancelled during the week before the trip.

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