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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday, February 16, flagged off the 'Kashi Mahakal Express' that links three Jyotirlingas, a devotional representation of Shiva, in two states with a seat that was specifically reserved for Lord Shiva.
This is the third train operated by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to run between Varanasi and Madhya Pradesh's Indore.
The Railways authorities are reportedly considering to make a reserved seat for the "Bhole Baba", a permanent feature of the train.
The pilgrimage wagon will connect three Jyotirlingas—Omkareshwar near Indore, Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain and Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi.
Northern Railway spokesperson Deepak Kumar said that seat number 64 in coach B5 was reserved and left vacant for the diety, reported PTI.
"Even a temple has been drawn on the seat to make people aware that the seat is reserved for the Lord Mahakal in Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain," Kumar said.
It's for the first time that a seat has been reserved and left vacant for the deity Lord Shiva.
The train equipped with 3-AC service will begin its commercial run from February 20 and will cover 1,131 km between Varanasi and Indore via Lucknow and a distance of 1,102 km between Varanasi and Indore via Prayagraj in approximately 19 hours.
According to the IRCTC officials, Kashi Mahakal Express will be the first private train that will run overnight and for a comfortable journey, a host of facilities including vegetarian food, dedicated guards in coaches and devotional music will be offered.
"Kashi Mahakal Express will follow a dynamic fare structure like the other two Tejas Express trains," said Rajani Hasija, Director of IRCTC, reported IANS.
A one-way journey from Varanasi to Indore in Kashi Mahakal Express will cost Rs 1,951 inclusive of four meals with the passengers getting complimentary insurance of Rs 10 lakh.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal, in a series of tweets, announced the inauguration and said " Take a look at the newly inaugurated Kashi Mahakal Express, with its clean & hygienic pantry for providing high-quality vegetarian food to passengers. Also, facilities such as bedrolls, housekeeping and travel insurance are going to make the journey convenient & pleasant for all."
Take a look at the newly inaugurated Kashi Mahakal Express, with its clean & hygienic pantry for providing high quality vegetarian food to passengers.— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) February 16, 2020
Also, facilities such as bedrolls, houskeeping and travel insurance is going to make the journey convenient & pleasant for all. pic.twitter.com/KbTkxSQ8rK
Railways Gift to the Devotees of Lord Shiva: PM @NarendraModi ji inaugurated the #KashiMahakalExpress today, ensuring that the citizens have a safe, convenient & comfortable pilgrimage. pic.twitter.com/dT5I6J3Hkr— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) February 16, 2020
धार्मिक पर्यटन को बढ़ावा देते हुए PM @NarendraModi जी द्वारा आज इंदौर - वाराणसी के बीच काशी महाकाल एक्सप्रेस का शुभारंभ किया गया।— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) February 16, 2020
तीन ज्योतिर्लिंगों व प्रयागराज के दर्शन के इच्छुक श्रद्धालुओं के लिए यह ट्रेन एक सुरक्षित, और आरामदायक सफर सुनिश्चित करेगी।#KashiMahakalExpress pic.twitter.com/ZZ2gSvGCJY
The minister also tweeted a two-minute video that explained the schedule, the route, and the on-board facilities of the train.
Earlier, the IRCTC has successfully launched two Tejas Express trains on New Delhi-Lucknow and Mumbai-Ahmedabad routes.
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