Tour India Cheaply on the Bharat Darshan Train

All-Inclusive Tours to Popular Pilgrim Destinations

Pilgrims at Varanasi.
Cristian Baitg/Getty Images.

The Bharat Darshan train is a special tourist train that's operated by Indian Railways. It takes passengers on all-inclusive tours to some of the most popular destinations in India, with particular emphasis on holy places. The tours are targeted at domestic Indian tourists wishing to go on pilgrimages and visit temples. The train provides an affordable option to do so, as costs are kept as low as possible.

Train Features

The Bharat Darshan usually uses Sleeper Class carriages without air-conditioning, accommodating about 500 passengers in total. However, 3AC carriages have now been introduced on some train tours as well. There's a pantry car for on-board catering. Tours are conducted by students from reputed tourism and hotel industry colleges. The tours have various set boarding points, in addition to the departure destination.

Tours and Itineraries

The tours on offer have various themes and they change every year. There's a wide range to choose from in both north and south India. So far, for 2020, the following tours have been announced:

  • Mahashivratri Nava Jyotirlinga Yatra (12 nights, departs February 19 from Tirunelveli) -- Omkareshwar, Mahakaleshwar, Somnath, Trimbakeshwar, Bhimashankar, Grishneshwar, Aundha Nagnath, Parli Vaijnath, Mallikarjuna Swamy. The cost is 15,320 rupees per person in Sleeper Class.
  • Holy Ganga Yamuna Yatra (10 nights, departs February 25 from Renigunta) -- Agra, Mathura, Delhi, Haridwar, Prayag, Varanasi, Gaya. The cost is 10,395 rupees per person in Sleeper Class and 12,705 rupees per person in 3AC.
  • Harihar Gange Special Tourist Train (11 nights, departs February 26 from Rajkot) -- Puri, Kolkata, Gangasagar, Gaya, Varanasi, Allahabad, Ujjain. The cost is 11,340 rupees per person in Sleeper Class and 13,860 rupees per person in 3AC.
  • Seven Jyotirling & Statue of Unity Yatra (12 nights, departs March 1 from Shri Ganganagar) -- Omkareshwer, Ujjain, Vadodara, Somnath, Dwarka, Nageshwar, Ahmedabad, Bhimashankar, Parli Vaijnath, Grishneshwar, Trayambakeshwar, Shirdi. The cost is 12,285 rupees per person in Sleeper Class.
  • Ramayana Yatra (13 nights, departs March 5 from Tirunelveli) -- Hampi, Nashik, Chitrakut Dham, Varanasi, Buxar, Raghunathpur, Sitamarhi, Janakpuri (Nepal), Ayodhya, Nandigram, Allahabad, Shringaverpur. The cost is 15,990 rupees per person in Sleeper Class.
  • Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra (10 nights, departs March 10 from Renigunta) -- Agra, Mathura, Vaishno Devi, Amritsar, Haridwar, Delhi. The cost is 10,920 rupees per person in Sleeper Class and 13,230 rupees per person in 3AC.
  • Bharat Darshan Special Train (eight nights, departs March 12 from Rampur Hat) -- Haridwar, Rishikesh, Vaishno Devi, Amritsar Golden Temple, Wagah Border, Ayodhya. The cost is 8,585 rupees per person in Sleeper Class.
  • Uttar Bharat with Vaishnav Devi Yatra Special (nine nights, departs March 14 from Pune) -- Mathura, Agra, Delhi, Haridwar, Amritsar, Vaishno Devi. The cost is 9,450 rupees per person in Sleeper Class and 11,550 rupees per person in 3AC.
  • Seven Jyotirling & Statue of Unity Yatra (12 nights, departs March 15 from Gorakhpur) -- Omkareshwer, Ujjain, Vadodara, Somnath, Dwarka, Nageshwar, Ahmedabad, Bhimashankar, Parli Vaijnath, Grishneshwar, Trayambakeshwar, Shirdi. The cost is 12,285 rupees per person in Sleeper Class.
  • Puri Gangasagar Yatra (nine nights, departs March 16 from Amb Andaura) -- Baidyanath, Gangasagar, Puri, Konark, Gaya. The cost is 9,450 rupees per person in Sleeper Class.
  • Punya Teerth Yatra (nine nights, departs March 20 from Madurai) -- Puri, Konark, Kolkata, Gaya, Varanasi, Allahabad. The cost is 9,450 rupees per person in Sleeper Class.
  • South India Tour (11 nights, departs March 24 from Purnea Court) -- Triupati, Rameshwaram, Madurai, Kanykumari. The cost is 11,340 rupees per person in Sleeper Class.
  • Navratri Darshan Special (eight nights, departs March 25 from Bhandara Road) -- Kolkata, Guwahati, Gaya. The cost is 8,510 rupees per person in Sleeper Class and 10,400 rupees per person in 3AC.
  • Vacation Special (12 nights, departs March 31 from Madurai) -- Goa, Jaipur, Amritsar, Delhi, Agra. The cost is 13,230 rupees per person in Sleeper Class.
  • West India with Panch Jyotirling Darshan (10 nights, departs April 6 from Visakhapatnam) -- Ujjain, Omkareshwar, Somnath, Dwarka, Shirdi, Nashik. The cost is 11,445 rupees per person in Sleeper Class.
  • Puri Gangasagar Yatra Special (nine nights, departs April 10 from Kolhapur) -- Puri, Kolkata (Gangasagar), Gaya, Varanasi. The cost is 9,450 rupees per person in Sleeper Class and 11,550 rupees per person in 3AC.
  • Hyderabad with Dakshin Bharat Darshan (nine nights, departs April 21 from Mumbai) -- Hyderabad, Tirupati, Kanchipuram, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum, Madurai, Rameshwaram. The cost is 9,450 rupees per person in Sleeper Class and 11,550 rupees per person in 3AC.
  • Royal Rajasthan (10 nights, departs April 22 from Brahmapur) -- Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur. The cost is 10,395 rupees per person in Sleeper Class and 12,705 rupees per person in 3AC.
  • Summer Vacation Special (11 nights, departs May 4 from Rajkot) -- Udaipur, Jaipur, Mathura, Agra, Haridwar, Rishkesh, Amritsar, Wagah Border, Vaishno Devi. The cost is 11,340 rupees per person in Sleeper Class and 13,860 rupees per person in 3AC.
  • Dakshin Bharat Yatra (10 nights, departs May 8 from Brahmapur) -- Tiruchirapalli, Thanjavur, Rameswaram, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Trivandrum, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram, Tirpati, Sri Kalahasthi. The cost is 10,395 rupees per person in Sleeper Class and 12,705 rupees per person in 3AC.
  • Char Dham Yatra (15 nights, departs May 19 from Indore) -- Haridwar, Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri, Rameshwaram, Madurai. The cost is 15,120 rupees per person in Sleeper Class and 18,480 rupees per person in 3AC.

What's Included

The price includes train travel, lodge or dormitory accommodations on a multi-sharing basis (it's often possible to pay extra for a hotel) at places where there are overnight stays, vegetarian meals, tourist buses for visiting sightseeing spots, tour guides, and train security guards. Entrance fees for attractions are additional.

Passengers must carry their own bedding.

Is Travel on the Bharat Darshan Suitable for You?

The answer to this question will depend on your individual comfort zone!

There are a number of drawbacks to the Bharat Darshan train that travelers should be aware of. The tours can get very tiring as the itineraries are hectic. They are not leisurely tours! Passengers are taken to different places every day and there is little opportunity for rest. What's more, the tours aren't always well-organized or managed, and delays can be encountered.

The focus of the tours is on visiting temples at each destination, which may become monotonous for anyone who's interested in sightseeing more than going on a religious pilgrimage.

It can get hot and uncomfortable inside the train, as there is no air-conditioning in Sleeper Class. Sleeper Class also offers little privacy and the toilets are often dirty.

While some overnight stays are included on the tours, long stretches can be spent traveling on the train. However, if you don't mind budget travel and are quite adaptable, it's an easy way of seeing India.

How to Book Your Tickets

You can find out more information about the tours and make a reservation for travel on the Bharat Darshan by visiting the Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation's rail tourism website, or at Indian Railways Tourist Facilitation Center at New Delhi Railway Station, Zonal Offices, and Regional Offices.

Was this page helpful?