Railways to unveil special tourism package

MYSORE: For the ensuing holiday season, the Railways will unveil a special tourism package originating from Mysore to different parts of South India.

Buoyed by the response to its tourism promotion, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has decided to include Mysore — a major tourist centre — as the embarking point for different tours to be launched by the corporation in due course.

Speaking to The-Hindu, S. Gagarin, Chief Regional Manager, IRCTC, South Western Railways, said the package tours will be launched by the second or third week of December and tourists visiting Mysore who wish to venture and explore further south at an affordable rate, as also people of Mysore and surrounding region, can avail themselves of the facility.

The package has been well designed and for the tourists hard-pressed for time as also those looking for a break, and it includes confirmed train tickets, transportation apart from lodging and boarding. “Catering to the residents of Mysore, IRCTC will roll out a new package operational to Chennai-Puducherry-Mahabalipuram-Tirupati-Kanchipuram” circuit”, Mr. Gagarin said.

Giving details of the itinerary which will become operational from December, he said the Mysore-Puducherry-Mahabalipuram-Tirupati-Kanchipuram trip will be covered in five nights and six days. Mr. Gagarin said the prices were competitive with assured accommodation on trains and onward journey by road apart from accommodation.

The IRCTC is also coming out with the rail tour packages for Madurai-Kanyakumari and Rameshwaram circuit with embarkation by train no. 6732 Tuticorin Express. This package will be operational by January 2010. These are special packages to cater to special needs of the tourists, said Mr. Gagarin and pointed out that in addition there were other packages from Mysore, which had proved to be popular.

This includes the Mysore-Tirupati package and also Bangalore-Shirdi package for which however, the boarding point is Bangalore. Mr. Gagarin said the pilgrimage circuit to Shirdi was immensely popular and there was daily departure by the Karnataka Express, and people of Mysore could avail themselves of it.

A few more circuits could be rolled out in future depending on the response to the new packages, said Mr. Gagarin who pointed out that IRCTC — which is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of Indian Railways — was on the fast-track to develop rail-based tourism in India ( http://www.railtourismindia.com) and was hence exploring new vistas to spread its footprint and make itself the obvious choice for tourists.