Govt. announces special trains to build ‘cultural bonds’ between Karnataka and Varanasi – The Hindu

A file photo of Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
Roping in Indian Railways, the Karnataka government has announced a programme “for strengthening cultural bonds” between Karnataka and Varanasi under the ‘Karnataka-Bharat Gaurav Kashi Darshan’. Special trains will operate between Bengaluru and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh from November for visiting Kashi Vishwanath temple.
Three trains will run in a month under the programme.
The inaugural train from Bengaluru will be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled visit to Bengaluru on November 11 to launch several projects, including the unveiling of the 108-ft-tall bronze statue of Nadaprabhu Kempe Gowda and inauguration of Terminal-2 of the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA).
Minister for Muzrai, Hajj and Waqf Shashikala Jolle chaired a meeting with officials of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), and Indian Railways, on this. The Muzrai Department told them to complete the process of online booking of ticket and formalities to flag off the inaugural train before October 30.
It will be an eight-day tour package. The tour would include seminars, lectures, group meetings, and visits to the Vishwanath temple and centres of important cultural heritage in Varanasi, Prayagraj, and Ayodhya, said officials.
The train will carry 700 pilgrims. After deducting the government’s subsidy of ₹5,000 to each pilgrim, the cost of the journey will be ₹15,000 for each person.
Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (KSTDC) and the IRCTC will soon announce the online registration for the tours, said official sources in the department.
The State government has already been reimbursing ₹5,000 to each pilgrim who is visiting the Vishwanath temple. Pilgrims have to insert a seal of Karnataka Bhavan in Varanasi on the ticket to get the reimbursement, sources said. The department has been authorised to utilise ₹7 crore sanctioned for the Kashi Yatra.'
Direct flights between Bengaluru and Varanasi is one of the reasons for the increased number of pilgrims visiting the Kashi temple in the last few months. The number of pilgrims visiting Kashi increased after Mr. Modi inaugurated Kashi Vishwanath Dham in December 2021, official sources said.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2022 10:13:55 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/govt-announces-special-trains-to-build-cultural-bonds-between-karnataka-and-varanasi/article66040657.ece
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