Buddhist circuit train completes third run

by Anupama Sushil, Express TravelWorld, Aug 17, 2007

New Delhi, India -- The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) completed the third run of its Buddhist circuit special luxury train, the Maha-Parinirvan, covering prominent Buddhist pilgrim centers of Bodhgaya, Sarnath, Kushinagar in India and Lumbini in Nepal.

The train targets tourists from Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Sri Lanka and Japan on the occasion of 2,550th year of Buddha's Mahaparinirvana. The detailed itinerary being followed by IRCTC for a weeklong journey covered all the places of Buddhist importance as well as other religious places like Varanasi and Agra.

To promote the train and pilgrimage tourism, IRCTC is looking forward to selling the itinerary through tour operators and has expressed support by offering them special discounts or tariffs so that they can sell the same more effectively in the competitive overseas market.

Altering the itinerary to include more places like Pawa, Vaishali and Kesaria, as well as providing satisfactory hotel services will go a long way in making the venture a complete success.

While the railways have pooled in efforts to make the project a success, the state government will have to improve the product in terms of ground infrastructure; roads, connectivity, transport facilities, security and more hotels to handle the seasonal rush.