Train to trace travels of Mahatma - Bapu's life on wheels

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By Amit Bhelari
  • Published 28.02.15

A plaque displays information about Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to Patna Junction 
on April 10, 1917. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey

Come May, travel enthusiasts would be able to hop on to a train dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi and visit places associated with his life.

The modalities of the proposed train, christened Gandhi Circuit Express is being worked out by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC), which has been given the responsibility to promote this train.

"We have been instructed by the Railway Board to work on the modalities of Gandhi Circuit Express, which would be started to mark 100 years of the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India. We have been given the charge to promote this train to attract tourists," a senior IRCTC official told The Telegraph .

While presenting the railway budget in Parliament on Thursday, minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu had announced that the Indian Railways would make efforts to promote tourism in the country through Incredible Rail for Incredible India.

While travelling to Champaran from Calcutta, Gandhi had visited Bankipore Junction presently known as Patna Junction on April 10, 1917, along with freedom fighter Raj Kumar Shukla to protest against indigo farming forcefully being done by the British government.

Gandhi also visited Patna in March 1934 and later in March 1947. All these information have been displayed at platform No. 1 of Patna Junction, along with a photograph of Gandhi alighting from a train.

The train would touch Motihari, the headquarters of East Champaran district from where Gandhi had launched a mass movement to free the indigo farmers from the clutches of their planters.

On the features of the Gandhi Circuit Express, the official said: "The train would have memorabilia of Gandhi ji, his vision and objects related to him. We do not have much details, as we are working on the modalities. All I can say at present is that the train would be introduced in May this year."

The Mahatma Gandhi Circuit Express would touch places where Bapu had left his mark. The service would be offered in a package and passengers would be able to see all the important places related to the Mahatma.