CHENNAI: For the first time, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will operate a train tour from Tiruchirapalli and Salem via Chennai, to Vaishnodevi in Jammu and Kashmir, starting July 28. The 14-day tour will cover Kannadurga (Vijayawada), Manikyamba (Rajahmundry), Kolkata and Ambaji in Gujarat as part of the tour package that costs `11,600 per person, an official IRCTC press release stated. Along with sleeper class travel, IRCTC will also provide South Indian vegetarian food, non air-conditioned accomodation, a tour escort and a public address system and security for each train coach. Central and State Government employees can avail LTC for the pilgrimage tour. Bookings can be made by contacting IRCTC at 044-64594959 and 9003140681/82.
Meanwhile, with a number of Buddhist tourists from Sri Lanka visiting India every year, IRCTC has started operating Shri Ramayana Yatra for Indian tourists interested in visiting Sri Lanka. The four day/five nights package will cover important tourist and pilgrim spots like Nuwara Eliya, Kandy and Colombo in Sri Lanka. Starting on August 8 and September 19, the package, inclusive of flight tickets, accomodation, sightseeing, meals and visa, will cost `34,00 per person on a twin sharing basis, an IRCTC release stated. Further information can be sought at 9840902918 and 9840902919.