A new tourism train connecting Varanasi and Indore was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday (16th February 2020). The train called the Kashi Mahakal Express, gained instant traction in the media for its seat reserved for Lord Shiva.
The train will link three Jyotirlingas in two States – Omkareshwar, Mahakaleshwar and Kashi Vishwanath.
A further discussion on whether the reserved seat is to be made permanent is in talks. According to the Press Trust of India, Seat number 64 in coach B5 was reserved and left aside for Lord Shiva. A temple has been carved out on the seat for people to know about the said reserved spot.
The train is said to start running commercially from the 20th of February. The express train will run three days a week and will be a bi-weekly service to run through the Sultanpur-Lucknow route and a weekly service via the Prayagraj route.
The train is said to depart from Varanasi at 02.45 pm each Tuesday and Thursday of the week. It will reach Indore at 09.40 am on Wednesday and Friday respectively.
On its way back, the train will leave Indore at 10.55 am each Wednesday and Friday of the week. It will reach Varanasi on the next day at 06.00 am i.e Thursday and Saturday respectively.
Ujjain, Sant Hirdaram Nagar, Bina, Jhansi, Kanpur, Lucknow & Sultanpur stations.
The train is said to depart from Varanasi at 03.15 pm every Sunday. It will reach Indore at 9.40 am the following day.
On its way back, the train will depart from Indore at 10.55 am every Monday and reach Varanasi at 05.00 am Tuesday.
Train halts on the Prayagraj route
Ujjain, Sant Hirdaram Nagar, Bina, Jhansi, Kanpur & Allahabad stations.
Just like the other two Tejas Express trains, IRCTC has decided to keep the fare at ₹1951 for a one-way journey from Varanasi to Indore.
Indore-Varanasi Kashi Mahakal Express is the first train of a private nature to run overnight. In accordance with the facilities provided by IRCTC, there will be vegetarian food on the route, housekeeping, security, and bedrolls. There will be two private guards in each coach.
The highlight of the services is the fact that every passenger will be provided a complimentary travel insurance of ₹10 lakh.
While agent booking is available, the IRCTC website will also be open to bookings. The mobile application Irctc Rail Connect will also provide tickets.
There will be two quotas on the train – general and foreign tourist quotas. The entire train has a 3-AC service. An advance reservation period of 120 days is pre-set so as to avoid the last-minute hassle.
The train will cover 1,131 km between Varanasi and Indore via Lucknow and a distance of 1,102 km between Varanasi and Indore via Prayagraj (Allahabad) in approximately 19 hours.
The current booking will be available to the passengers on the platform itself after preparation of the first chart, 4 hours to 5 minutes before the scheduled departure of the train.
In a county like India which holds a deep cultural significance, a train like this will enable more pilgrims to explore and be a part of the country’s diversified history.
Also, read about Bhopal- Indore Rapid Rail Service, here