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Suresh Prabhalkar Prabhu, Minister of Railways through Video conferencing from Mumbai and Shri Vijaybhai Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat from Sabarmati Railway station flagged off ‘Mahatma Gandhi Tourist Train (Astha Special) on Saturday, 17th June, 2017.

On this occasion, Railway Minister said that is a matter of pride for the Nation that Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation Ltd and Tourism Corporation of Gujarat have planned to run the Astha Special train on the auspicious occasion of Centennial Celebration of Sabarmati Ashram and Champaran Satyagrah.

At Sabarmati Railway station, Shri Vijaybhai Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat addressed the inaugural function. Various dignitaries were also present on this occasion. At Pali Hill Railway Officer’s Club at Bandra (West) in Mumbai, Shri A.K. Gupta, General Manager of Western Railway welcomed Minister of Railways. Shri Mukul Jain, Divisional Railway Manager of Mumbai Central Division and other senior officers of Western Railway were also present on this occasion.

The Astha Special Tourist Train is comprised of a package of 9 Nights/10 Days commencing at 8.00 hrs on 17th June to 7.00 hrs of 26th June 2017. The package tour is for Rs 8720/- per person and includes accommodation, meals, tourist buses for visiting sightseeing spots, tour escorts for announcements & information and security arrangements for each coach.

The train has started its journey on 17th June at 8.00 hrs from Sabarmati station and will pick passengers from Anand, Vadodara, Bharuch and Surat on its onward journey. The next day onwards the sightseeing begins with Wardha where Mahatma Gandhi lived since 1934 and the famous Sevagram Ashram is situated from where the Satyagraha movement was initiated. The train will then proceed towards Bettiah/Motihari where there is a Gandhi Museum, Stone Pillar etc. On the 6th day, the train will reach Gaya, where there will be a visit to the famous Bodh Gaya Mahabodhi temple.

Day 7 will be in Varanasi which is also considered to be a holy city of India. The day will be marked with a visit to the Sarnath and Vishwanath Temple and also the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith. The next day the train will reach Allahabad where there will be a visit to Sangam and Anand Bhavan. It was in this city in the year 1920 where the Non Co-operation Movement was launched. Many of India’s prominent leaders and revolutionaries hailed from this city. From the 9th day, the train will begin its return journey to Sabarmati.

“There is a deep relation between trains & our father of nation & this aastha special will further strengthen this bond”, he added. V N Shukla, deputy general manager (tourism), IRCTC informed that the train will have only non-AC sleeper coaches and the fare has been kept at INR 8,720 per person which will be inclusive of all the facilities.