First Aastha Special Train With Ram Devotees Flagged Off From Bhubaneswar To Ayodhya
Bhubaneswar: Aastha Special Train, carrying 1400 devotees, left for Ayodhya Dham from Bhubaneswar on Tuesday morning.
Odisha BJP President Manmohan Samal along with other senior leaders of the party flagged off Bhubaneswar-Darshan Nagar (Ayodhya) Aastha Special Train (No-08498) around 6.15 am at Bhubaneswar railway station. “The wait of 500 years has ended with the construction of the Ram Mandir. The first Aastha Special Train has left Odisha with groups of Ram devotees from Puri and Jagatsinghpur Parliamentary constituencies,” he said.
Samal also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ending the wait of millions of devotees and building the historic Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir.
“The government has done a commendable job by initiating this service from Odisha to Ayodhya. The train facilities are good, with breakfast and amenities provided. We have taken leave from our offices and businesses to visit Ram Lalla. We are more than happy with the arrangements,” said a devotee from Kantilo.
The special Aastha train service will soon commence from Puri, Cuttack, and Bhadrak, allowing devotees to have darshan of Ram Lalla in the newly-built Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The train from Cuttack will leave for Ayodhya on February 9, sources said.
Each Aastha train comprises 20 sleeper coaches, each with 72 seats, and the services are scheduled for February 9, 14, 19, 24, and 29, with return journey on February 8, 13, 18, 23, and 28. One train can accommodate around 1,400 people, making it a significant step in facilitating the pilgrimage to Ayodhya for devotees from various regions.
Notably, the Indian Railways is running more than 200 Aastha special trains from various cities and tier 1 and tier 2 towns across India to Ayodhya after the Ram Temple consecration ceremony on January 22.
It is pertinent to mention here that tickets for this train cannot be booked at railway station counters. Currently, only groups of travellers are permitted to make bookings through the IRCTC Tourism website for the time being, and the IRCTC app is not applicable for this purpose.