In a significant move, Indian Railways is set to operate more than 1,000 special trains connecting Ayodhya with cities across the country, beginning January 19. The initiative is in preparation for the inauguration of the newly constructed Ram Mandir, and the trains aim to facilitate the influx of pilgrims during the initial 100 days. The temple, scheduled to open to the public on January 23, will follow the consecration of Lord Sri Ram’s idol.
These special trains will establish connectivity between Ayodhya and major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Kolkata, Nagpur, Lucknow, and Jammu. The railway station in Ayodhya has undergone redevelopment to accommodate the anticipated high footfall, with the revamped station capable of handling 50,000 visitors daily, expected to be ready by January 15.
Sources indicate that some trains are being booked as chartered services by pilgrims’ groups. Meanwhile, Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is gearing up to provide round-the-clock catering services during the influx of pilgrims, setting up multiple food stalls to meet the demand.
In addition to the religious experience, pilgrims visiting the birthplace of Lord Ram will have a new attraction – an electric catamaran ride on the holy Saryu River, with a capacity to accommodate 100 persons.