First special train from Tirupati to Ayodhya Dham chugs off

This is the second train to be booked by Hindu pilgrims and the first one starting from Tirupati.

March 06, 2024 03:45 pm | Updated 04:36 pm IST - TIRUPATI

The Aastha Special Express to Ayodhya Dham is seen chugging out of the Tirupati railway station on March 6.

The Aastha Special Express to Ayodhya Dham is seen chugging out of the Tirupati railway station on March 6. | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The first special train 07215 ‘Aastha Express’ from Tirupati to Ayodhya Dham Junction was formally flagged off at the railway station, in Tirupati, on March 6.

This is the second train to be booked by Hindu pilgrims and the first one starting from Tirupati. The previous one originated at Vijayawada in February, but passed through Tirupati to pick up local passengers.

The entire rake comprising 24 coaches was booked by leaders associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). Nearly 1,600 passengers, mostly hailing from rural areas, were provided an opportunity to have a darshan of ‘Ram Lalla’ consecrated in Ayodhya recently.

While 600 passengers embarked the train in Tirupati, the others are scheduled to board at the scheduled stops such as Nellore, Vijayawada, Rajamahendravam and Visakhapatnam. The train will have technical stops beyond Andhra Pradesh for getting water, food etc., though no additional passengers will be allowed to board.

“This is similar to any group booking of rakes. The railways have provided bedrolls to all the passengers”, said the Tirupati Station Director K. Satyanarayana. The IRCTC will chip in ensure catering and food during the travel.

BJP State Secretary S. Muni Subramanyam, spokesperson G. Bhanuprakash Reddy, district President B. Chandrappa and General Secretary P. Chandrasekhar attended, while BJP cultural wing convener G. Gopinath Reddy distributed fruits and snacks to the passengers.

The train is scheduled to reach Ayodhya on March 8 and the return journey starts by the night of March 9 to reach Tirupati by Mar 11, thus covering 50 hours one way.

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