IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation)
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles the catering, tourism and online ticketing operations of the railways. Online Booking of ITDC Bangalore tour packages, Madikeri package tour, Mysore package from Bangalore, package tour from Bangalore to Shravanbelegola, ITDC package to Kukke Subramanya Temple, Chennai, Kalahasti package from Bangalore, Tirupati package. ITDC hotel booking centre in Trivandrum, Bangalore.
IRCTC is in charge of catering services on trains and railway stations across India. Depending on the distance covered by the train and average passenger load factor, the railways either equips trains with their own pantry cars or provides meals at select stations en route.
IRCTC Online Ticketing
IRCTC is better known for changing the face of railway ticketing in India. It pioneered Internet-based rail ticket booking through its website, as well as from mobile phones via GPRS or SMS. Ticket cancellations or modifications can also be done online. In addition to E-tickets, IRCTC also offers I-tickets that are basically like regular tickets except that they are booked online and delivered by post.
Commuters on Mumbai's suburban railway can also book season tickets through the IRCTC website.
IRCTC has also recently launched a loyalty program called "Shubh Yatra" for frequent travellers. Through this program, passengers can avail of discounts on all tickets booked round the year by paying an upfront annual fee.
IRCTC also organizes budget and deluxe package tours for domestic and foreign tourists. A popular tourism package for budget tourists covering important tourist destination across India is Bharat Darshan. Luxury tourism packages are also available, that involve special luxury trains such as:
- Palace on Wheels
- Royal Orient Express
- Golden Chariot
- Deccan Odyssey
- Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
- Buddhist Circuit Train
and IRCTC is a partner in the Maharajas' Express operation.
Apart from conventional tourism, IRCTC also offers adventure tourism packages that include water sports, adventure and wildlife treks, etc. A provision for customising tours as per specific requirements is also an added attraction.
Palace on Wheels
The Palace on Wheels was India's first luxury train. It was launched by the Indian Railways to promote tourism in Rajasthan, and has been highly popular since its launch. Following its success, other luxury and tourist trains have been started on other routes in the country. The train service was refurbished and relaunched in August 2009 with a new decor, itinerary and cuisine.
Facilities: There are 14 coaches in the train. Each of them is named after former Rajput states and matches the aesthetics and interiors of the royal past. Facilities include a bar with the choicest Indian and international spirits, a lounge with a good collection of books, and a television and DVD player. Cabins are air-conditioned with twin beds, DTH television, channel music, intercom, and attached toilets running hot and cold water. The train has two restaurants, The Maharaja and The Maharani, with a Rajasthani ambience and serving continental, Chinese, Indian and Rajasthani cuisines.
Train Route: The train departs from New Delhi and during its eight day journey, travels around Rajasthan with stops in Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur, and Agra. Earlier, tickets for the Palace on Wheels were restricted to foreign nationals only by the Government of India, with Indian natives not allowed on board. However, it was later opened up to Indians as well, although even today tariffs are quoted in US Dollars.
The Royal Orient Train
The Royal Orient Train is an Indian luxury tourism train that runs between Gujarat and Rajasthan, covering important tourist locations in the two states. Modelled on the popular Palace on Wheels, India's first luxury tourist train, the train offers tourists a taste of royal luxury while showcasing the best of Indian culture and heritage.
Facilities: There are 13 coaches in the train, named after erstwhile kingdoms of Rajputana. The coaches provide five-star hotel comforts to passengers. Cabins are furnished in a palatial style and have spacious baths attached. There are multi-cuisine restaurants that offer Rajasthani, Gujarati, Indian, Chinese and continental cuisine. The Royal Orient train also has a bar on board, as well as a lounge in every coach where passengers can read books and magazines, watch television, listen to music and interact with other passengers. Other facilities include an intercom, channel music, TV, DVD system and a massage-cum-beauty parlor.
Train Route: The Royal Orient offers a 7-day/8-night package that covers important heritage tourist locations in Rajasthan and Gujarat. The train starts from Delhi Cantonment station and has stops at Chittorgarh, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Junagarh, Veraval, Sasangi, Ahmedpur, Mandvi, Palitana and Sarkhej. Some of the tourist spots covered are the Qutub Minar, Red Fort and Jama Masjid in Delhi, Chittorgarh Fort and Rani Padmini's Palace in Chittorgarh, Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, Lake Palace in Udaipur, the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat and the Hawa Mahal and Jantar Mantar in Jaipur.
The Golden Chariot is a luxury tourist train that connects the important tourist spots in the Indian states of Karnataka and Goa. It is named after the Stone Chariot in the Vitthala Temple at Hampi. The 19 coaches on the train are coloured purple and gold, and sport the logo of a mythological animal with the head of an elephant and a body of a lion. The Golden Chariot operates weekly and had its maiden commercial run on March 10, 2008. The train, along with the Deccan Odyssey, is designed on the lines of the more popular Palace on Wheels with accommodations, spa treatments and dining. The train is operated by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation and marketed by The Luxury Trains, whereas The Maple Group handles the hospitality services on the train.
Train Route: The train offers a 7-day/8-night tour of Bangalore, Kabini, Mysore, Hassan, Hospet, Badami and Goa, before returning to Bangalore. The tourist attractions visited include the Nagarhole National Park, Mysore Palace, Srirangapatna forts, Hoysaleswara Temple, Gomateshwara and the Badami Cave Temples. Passengers have the option to start their trips from either Bangalore or Goa. Starting October, 2009, the Golden Chariot will also offer an extended two week tour that will cover Coimbatore, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum, and Kochi during the second week.
Train Route: The Golden Chariot offers accommodation in 44 cabins in 11 coaches that are named after dynasties that ruled the region: Kadamba, Hoysala, Rashtrakuta, Ganga, Chalukya, Bahamani, Adil Shahi, Sangama, Satavahana, Yadukula and Vijayanagar. It also has two restaurants, a lounge bar, and conference, gym and spa facilities. It is the only train in India to have onboard Wi-Fi connectivity, and satellite antennae providing live television service in the cabins.
The Deccan Odyssey is a special luxury train modelled on the Palace on Wheels to boost tourism on the Konkan route of the Indian Railways. The route starts in Mumbai (Bombay) and travels to Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Goa, Belgaum, Kolhapur, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Ajanta-Ellora and then back to Mumbai. It is a venture of the Maharashtra Government and the Ministry of Railways, Government of India. In addition to being a train that touches tourist spots, this aims to be a complete 5-star hotel on wheels, with two restaurants and a bar, a sauna, business centre and other such amenities on board. The coaches fitted with special amenities were manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai. In 2004, the Maharashtra government stopped its run of the Deccan Odyssey, citing poor response, but restarted it after the monsoon season.
The duration of the tour is 7 nights, starting every Wednesday from Mumbai.
Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is a luxury tourist train run by the Indian Railways. It is modelled on the Palace on Wheels, and follows a similar route through Rajasthan. Tourists are taken to several important tourist, wildlife and heritage sites across Rajasthan.
Train Route: The train takes tourists on a 7-day/8-night tour through Rajasthan. The train starts from New Delhi's Safdarjung railway station, and has stops at Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur and Agra. Some of the tourist attractions covered are the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, the Ranthambhor National Park, Chittaurgarh Fort, Jag Niwas (Lake Palace), Keoladeo Ghana National Park, the Agra Fort and finally the Taj Mahal.
The Fairy Queen, built in 1855, is the world's oldest steam locomotive in regular operation today, plying between New Delhi to Alwar in India. The locomotive was certified by the Guinness Book of Records to be the oldest operational locomotive after the Rajasthan government invoked it in 2004 to lug a deluxe train in order to boost tourism in the area. The Fairy Queen is run on the lines of the Palace on Wheels, the internationally renowned luxury train.
The Fairy Queen was constructed in Leeds, England in 1855, and reached Calcutta in the same year where it was christened as the Fairy Queen. The locomotive was given its serial number 22, by its then owner, The East Indian Railway. It began to haul light mail trains between Howrah and Ranigunj, but was soon consigned to line construction duty in the state of Bihar, where it served until 1909. The locomotive spent the next thirty-four years on a pedestal outside the Howrah Railway Station near Calcutta. In 1943, the locomotive was shifted to the Railway Zonal Training School at Chandausi, where it served as a curiosity object for many of the students based there. In 1972, the Indian government bequeathed heritage status to the engine, rendering it a national treasure. The locomotive was spruced up and given a special spot in the newly built National Rail Museum, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.
In 1997, after the runaway success of the Palace on Wheels, the locomotive was restored to full working order in preparation for its first mainline journey in 88 years and its return to commercial service on July 18 that year. The two-day excursion sees the train plying from New Delhi to Alwar to the Sariska Tiger Reserve. The train pulled by this locomotive can accommodate thirty-eight passengers and the ticket is priced at Rs. 7,500 for adults and Rs. 3,750 for children.
It was built in 1855 by Kitson, Thompson, & Hewitson, (Leeds, UK). Previously it was locomotive No. 22 on the East Indian Railway, and used on the Howrah-Raniganj line and then in Bihar.
The Maharajas' Express is a luxury train operated on the Indian Railways from early 2010. It is a joint venture between Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation and the travel agency Cox and Kings India Ltd. and the most expensive train in India.
IRCTC PNR Status Enquiry
PNR is Passenger Name Record which is marked as a record in the database of Indian railway ticket. The online PNR and seat availability queries are fetched from the computerized reservation applications, which are open to public from 08:00 hrs. IST to 20:00 hrs IST on weekdays and from 0800 hrs IST to 1400 hrs IST on SUNDAYS. These online reservation applications are shut down daily around 2300 hrs IST and booted around 0500 IST hrs on weekdays. On SUNDAYS the shutdown is done earlier.
Indian Railways department has launched a new phone number for Enquiry, which is a completely free service and works all over india including small villages and towns. You just need to call '139' from your BSNL landlines, MTNL landlines, Dolphin, Garuda, Idea, Spice Telecom and Vodaphone telecom operator enabled phones and get access to SMS, call back and fax facility.
[ + ] IRCTC PNR STATUS ENQUIRY
[ + ] IRCTC OFFICIAL WEBSITE
Indian Raliways Train Location -