IRCTC to launch semi-luxury trains on desert and heritage trips

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) will start two premier train services that will unveil before travellers charm of country's sprawling deserts and eclectic heritage.

Both semi-luxury trains will depart from New Delhi with an array of deluxe facilities across its five days of round trip dotted with sightseeing facilities. 'Desert Circuit' will cover Rajasthan's famed cities of Jaisalmer and Jaipur, while 'Heritage Circuit' will take passengers to Varanasi, Khajuraho and Agra.

Operated by IRCTC, the two trains will run eight trips individually till summer sets in upcountry by next April. Desert Circuit will begin service from mid-December 2015 and wind up on April 21, while Heritage Circuit will commence on December 20. Its last trip will start on April 24.

"Now that the tourist season is on, we expect good occupancy," said IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director Dr A K Manocha. "The tariff for the journey is competitive as well as all-inclusive."

The package prices of Desert Circuit are: Rs 36,900, Rs 33,900, Rs 32,900 (first AC single, double and triple occupancy respectively), Rs 28,025, Rs 25025, Rs 24,525 (second AC) and Rs 24,125, Rs 21,125, Rs 20,625 (third AC).

As for Heritage Circuit, the rates will be Rs 35,900, Rs 32,900, Rs 31,900 (first AC single, double and triple occupancy respectively), Rs 26,200, Rs 23,200, Rs 22,700 (second AC) and Rs 21,790, Rs 18,790, Rs 18, 290 (third AC).

The package, which includes intercity transfers, also features accommodation in 3-star hotels, all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), sightseeing and local transfers by AC deluxe vehicles, entrances at the monuments,service of English/Hindi-speaking guide, travel insurance, 24x7 security and CCTV surveillance onboard the train besides hygienic kitchen-car facility, medical facility, transportation by AC vehicles and wi-fi service.

The Jaisalmer stop of the Desert Circuit will cover the city Fort, sand dunes, Gadisagar lake and Palwaon Ki Haveli. At Jaipur, the sights shown will be City Palace, Jantar Mantar observatory, Chokhi Dhani, Amer Fort and Hawa Mahal.

The Heritage Circuit will, at Varanasai, take the passengers to Sarnath, besides a boat ride on the Ganges and experiencing the dusk-time aarti ceremony. The Khajuraho stay features visits to Eastern and Western group of Temples. At Agra, it's the world-famous Taj Mahal, besides Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.

There will also be time for leisure at all these centres, an IRCTC press release said.

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