Bengaluru: A Bharat Gaurav train from Bengaluru to Kashi will depart in the last week of Shravan month (August), Minister for Muzrai, Haj and Wakf, Shashikala Jolle, said Monday July 11.
Speaking to the media after the inspection of the train, she said the seven-day tour programme at discounted rates for the pilgrims will cover holy places including Varanasi, Ayodhya and Prayagraj.
“Most people desire that Kashi Yatra should be undertaken at least once in a lifetime. My hope for such a programme has been fulfilled by this tour programme. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai is the backbone of this idea and has extended all co-operation,” she said.
The minister said that Karnataka is the first state in the country to offer Bharat Gaurav train service at a low cost with the Muzrai Department formulating the pilgrimage package.
She said preparations have been made for the modification of trains after 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 4,161 km. The train has 14 coaches with 11 coaches lined up for passenger travel with each coach representing important temples in the state, she said.
The Minister added that one bogie is being converted into a temple for the people to offer prayers. Arrangements have been made for food, water, accommodation, and local transport near the pilgrim centres by the IRCTC. The seven-day tour will cost Rs. 15,000, in which the Karnataka Government will give a subsidy of Rs. 5,000.