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Touring India on the Bharat Darshan Train

India's Bharat Darshan train takes passengers to several popular destinations, focusing mainly on holy places. Its all-inclusive tours target Indians looking to visit temples and go on pilgrimages, and at affordable rates.

Features of the Train                                                            


Accommodating a total of about 500 passengers, the train has sleeper-class carriages that do not have air conditioning. For on-boarding catering there is also a pantry car available. Tours are usually conducted by students who belong to reputable hotel-industry and tourism colleges.

Itineraries and Tours


There are several packages available with respect to south and north India. Every year, the tour packages keep changing. Here were the ones for 2018, all from early January to early March:

  • Bharat Darshan (11 nights): Guruvayur-Kanyakumari-Madurai-Mysore-Rameshwaram-Tirupati-Trivandrum.
  • Dakshin Bharat Yatra (10 nights): Kanyakumari-Kovalam-Madurai-Rameshwaram-Tiruchirapalli-Tirupati-Trivandrum.
  • Sameed Sikharji Yatra (eight nights): Parasnath-Rajgir-Varanasi.
  • Thai Amavasya Special (eight nights): Allahabad-Bhubaneshwar-Gaya-Konark-Puri-Varanasi.
  • Dakshin Bharat Yatra (11 nights): Kanyakumari-Kovalam-Madurai-Rameshwaram-Tiruchirapalli-Tirupati-Trivandrum.
  • Dakshin Bharat Yatra (seven nights): Kanchipuram-Kanyakumari-Madurai-Rameshwaram-Thanjavur-Tiruchirapalli-Tirupati-Trivandrum.
  • Dakshin Darshan Yatra (10 nights): Kanyakumari-Madurai-Rameshwaram-Tirupati-Trivandrum.
  • Ganga Sagar Puri Yatra (eight nights): Baidyanath-Ganga Sagar-Puri-Varanasi.
  • Dakshin Darshan Yatra (10 nights): Kanyakumari-Madurai-Rameshwaram-Tirupati-Trivandrum.
  • Uttar Darshan Yatra (eight nights): Ajmer-Hardwar-Jaipur-Jodhpur-Nathdwara-Rishikesh-Udaipur.

Cost


Every tour package costs about 800 rupees per day per person. People are allowed to board the train at various stations if they have the itinerary along with them. The price will include train travel, dormitory/hall accommodation (hotel arrangements can be made in exchange for extra money) for people at places that allow overnight stays, tourist buses to check out sightseeing spots, vegetarian meals, train security guards, and tour guides. Attractions might have entrance fees that are chargeable additionally. As train availability is not in abundance, you will have to do thorough research about the date and time before booking your tickets.

Some Caveats


There are several disadvantages of this train which every traveller must be aware of before making reservations. As the itineraries are hectic, the tour can become very tiring. You will not find any leisure time. Passengers get to see different places each day which leaves little room for rest.


The tours may not be very organized; therefore, there are chances of delays. As the tours focus on visiting temples, it can become monotonous for many who find sightseeing more interesting.


It can also become quite uncomfortable and hot inside the train as there is no air-conditioning available. Sleeper class also does not provide sufficient privacy. The toilets can be quite dirty as well.


There are overnight stays included in the packages, but most of the time is usually spent in the train. If you are one of those looking for budget travel, the Bharat Darshan Train offers a great opportunity.

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