GUWAHATI: The Indian Ministry of Railways, in a collaborative initiative with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), is all set to operate the ‘North East Discovery’ tour, with an aim to promote the relatively untraversed Northeast states of India.
The specially curated tour on the Bharat Gaurav Deluxe AC tourist train, will commence its journey from Delhi’s Safdarjung railway station on November 16 this year.
The tourist train will cover Guwahati, Sivasagar, Jorhat and Kaziranga in Assam, Unakoti, Agartala and Udaipur in Tripura, Dimapur and Kohima in Nagaland, and Shillong and Cherrapunji in Meghalaya, over the 15-day tour.
The Bharat Gaurav Deluxe AC tourist train has a host of modern features including two dining cars and restaurants, a contemporary flameless kitchen, shower cubicles, sensor-based washroom functions, foot massager and a mini library.
The fully air-conditioned train provides three types of accommodation; AC I, AC II and AC III. The train also has enhanced security features like CCTV cameras, electronic safes and dedicated security guards appointed for each coach.
Spanning over 14 nights and 15 days, the first stop of the tourist train is Assam capital Guwahati, where the tourists will visit the Kamakhya and Umananda temples, followed by a sunset cruise on the Brahmaputra River.
The train will further depart on an overnight journey for Arunachal Pradesh’s Naharlagun, which is 30 kilometres from the next destination Itanagar.
The next city to follow is Sivasagar, the old capital of the Ahom Kingdom in Eastern Assam. The famous Shiva temple Sivadol is a part of the itinerary besides other heritage sites including the Talatal Ghar and Rang Ghar (Colosseum of the East).
The tourist train will also explore the tea gardens at Jorhat, and an overnight stay at Kaziranga, along with an early morning jungle safari at the famed Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.
After this, the tourist train will depart for Tripura, where the tourists will experience sightseeing of the famous heritage site of Unakoti, located in the densely covered Jampui hills of the state.
The train will then proceed to Tripura’s capital city Agartala. The tour of the princely state includes the famous Ujjayanta Palace, the Neermahal and the Tripura Sundari temple at Udaipur.
Post Tripura, the train will depart for Dimapur, to cover the state of Nagaland. The scenic train journey between the Badarpur station and the Lumding junction can be witnessed by the tourists in the early hours of the day.
From the Dimapur railway station, the tourists will be taken to Nagaland capital Kohima by road for visiting the local sites, including a tour to the Khonoma village, to experience the Naga way of life.
The next halt of the tourist train will be Guwahati, from where the sightseers will be taken to Meghalaya capital Shillong by road, with a pit-stop at the majestic Umium Lake.
The following day will start with an excursion to Cherrapunji, nestled in the East Khasi Hills. The Shillong peak, Elephant falls, Nawkhalikai falls and Mawsmai caves are a part of the day’s sightseeing.
From Cherrapunji, the tourists will return to Guwahati, to board the train for their return journey to Delhi. The entire tour will cover a total distance of around 5,800 kilometres.
The Bharat Gaurav Deluxe AC tourist train is in line with the Government of India’s initiatives ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ and ‘Dekho Apna Desh,’ to encourage domestic tourism.
The 15-day tour will be an all-inclusive tour package with train journey, night stay, all meals, all transfer and sight-seeing, travel insurance and services of the tour escorts.
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