The third Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)-operated train between Varanasi and Indore, the Kashi Mahakal Express, will begin its first commercial run on Februray 20. The train was flagged on Februray 16 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who launched over 50 projects worth Rs 1,250 crore during his visit to his parliamentary constituency.
The Kashi Mahakal Express will connect three places of religious significance -- Jyotirlinga Omkareshwar (near Indore in Madhya Pradesh), Mahakaleshwar (Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh) and Kashi Vishwanath (Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh).
Kashi Mahakal Express Routes, timings and halts
The Kashi Mahakal Express will operate on three days in a week between Varanasi and Indore, once through the Prayagraj (Allahabad) and twice through the Sultanpur-Lucknow route. Till Wednesday, about 90 per cent of the berths of this train were reserved. Of the 648 berths, 612 were booked by 7 pm on Wednesday. The train will cover a total distance of 1,131 kilometres between Varanasi and Indore while taking the route through Lucknow and it will cover a distance of 1,102 kilometres while taking the Prayagraj route.
The Varanasi-Indore Kashi Mahakal Express will depart from Varanasi at 2.45 pm every Thursday and Tuesday and reach Indore at 9.40 am on Wednesday and Friday. The train will start from Indore at 10.55 am on Wednesday and reach Varanasi at 6 am on Thursday.
On the Prayagraj route, the Kashi Mahakal Express will depart from Varanasi at 3.15 pm every Sunday and reach Indore at 9.40 am on Monday. The Kashi Mahakal Express will depart from Indore at 10.55 am every Monday and reach Varanasi at 5 am the next day.
The train will halt at Ujjain, Sant Haldiram Nagar, Jhansi, Bina, Kanpur and Allahabad stations on both directions while taking the Prayagraj route. While taking the Lucknow-Sultanpur route, the train will halt at Ujjain, Jhansi, Bina, Kanpur and Sunltanpur stations in both directions.
Facilities for passengers
The Indore-Varanasi Kashi Mahakal Express will travel overnight and to ensure that the passengers have a comfportable journey, the train will offer these features:
IRCTC will serve vegetarian food, house-keeping services, on-board security services and bedrolls passengers. Passengers will also get complementary insurance of Rs 10 lakh.
The train will have foreign tourist quotas, and passengers will be able to reserve tickets for Indore-Varanasi Kashi Mahakal Express 120 days in advance. Current booking will be available for four to five hours before preparation of chart.
Fro visually impaired passengers, the train coaches will have seat numbers written and braille. In tandem with the with the theme of the Kashi Mahakal Indore-Varanasi Express, catering stuff will be dressed in yellow kurta-pyjama and rudraksh