A ‘Bharat Gaurav’ pilgrimage train will run from Bengaluru to Varanasi in the last week of August, Shashikala Jolle,the religious endowment,Haj and wakf minister,said on Monday.
The minister said the seven-day journey – spanning 4,161 kilometres -will cover places like Varanasi,Ayodhya and Prayagraj,and will be available to pilgrims at discounted rates.
Most people desire that the Kashi Yatra (Varanasi pilgrimage) should be undertaken at least once in a lifetime.
It was my desire to launch such a program,which is now fulfilled.Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had conceptualized this idea and extended all cooperation,she said.
The minister said Karnataka was the first state in the country to provide Bharat Gaurav Train service at a low cost with the Religious Endowment department formulating the pilgrimage package.
Jolle said preparations have been made for the modification of trains and detailed discussions with the railway officials.
The train was hired by giving a bank guarantee of Rs.1 crore.
The seven-day tour will cover a route stretching 4,161 kilometers.The train has 14 coaches with 11 coaches lined up for passenger travel with each coach representing important temples in the state.One bogie has been converted into a temple for the people to offer prayers.
Smt.Shashikala Jolle,Minister for Muzarai,Haj and Wakf,Government of Karnataka,Smt.Rohini Sindhuri, Commissioner,Muzarai department inspected the first rake of Bharath Gaurav Train and held discussions with Dr.Anup Dayananad Sadhu, Chief Commercial Manager,Passenger Amenities & Catering,South Western Railway and R.V.N. Sharma,Chief Rolling Stock Engineer at Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminal,Bengaluru today.
Minister discussed about the modifications and other requirements needed for the train,Later,the Minister addressed a press meet in which Anup Dayanand Sadhu was also present.
Speaking on the occasion,Minister said that The concept of Bharat Gaurav train envisioned by Hon’ble Prime Minister is a great initiative.
The Minister also said that it has fulfilled her desire as well as that of the Chief Minister Bommai to make people to visit Kashi.
The Minister informed that The State Government has earmarked Rs.15 Cr for this scheme in the budget.
Speaking about the features of train,the Minister provided the following details about Bharat Gaurav train:
This Bharat Gaurv Train will run from Bengaluru to Varanasi with stoppages at Ayodhya and Prayagraj.It covers 4161 Kms in 7 days.
The train is composed of 14 coaches.There will be 11 AC-3 Tier Coaches.One coach will be converted as temple to facilitate the pilgrims in the train to do bhajans during the course of the journey.
The total charges of the trip will be Rs.15,000 out of which Rs.5000 subsidy will be given to individuals as per the guidelines of the State Government.
The images of temples of Karnataka will be displayed on all 11 coaches of the train.The Minister informed that the Government has plans to provide this benefit to 30000 people every year.
Dr Anup Dayand Sadhu said that this is the first Bharat Gaurav Train from Karnataka.The rake will be overhauled and made ready at Mysuru Workshop in 40 to 45 days.
The train will be handed over to Muzarai department with right to use.This fetches Railways a revenue of Rs.20 Crs.
He also informed that Indian Railway Catering and tourism corporation will do all back end arrangements like food,catering and other basic requirements needed by the pilgrim passengers.
Bharat Gaurav trains are theme based circuit trains that showcase the rich cultural heritage and magnificent historical place to the people of India and the world.