IRCTC has finally launched the much-awaited ‘Kashi Mahakal Express’ train that links three Jyotirlingas in Varanasi and Indore. Flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16th February from Varanasi, Kashi Mahakal Express interestingly had a seat reserved for Lord Shiva and is strategically launched ahead of Mahashivratri. Pilgrims and ardent devotees of Lord Shiva intending to visit the holy towns of Varanasi (Kashi Vishwanath), Mahakaleshwar (near Ujjain) and Omkareshwar (near Indore) will be able to book their seats with Kashi Mahakal Express from 20th February onwards.
By reserving a seat for Lord Mahadev in one of its trains, IRCTC has made a new record in its history. However, the decision to keep a seat permanently reserved for the Lord is yet to be decided by the authorities. For now, pilgrims should know essential information about Kashi Mahakal Express before they actually reserve their seats. Here’s everything they should know about the newly launched Kashi Mahakal Express train.
Kashi Mahakal Train Timings and Routes
Kashi Mahakal Express is a superfast fully air-conditioned passenger train that will not only connect three Jyotirlingas but also some of the chief industrial and educational hubs of Indore and Bhopal too. The train will operate three times a week, once via Prayagraj and twice via Lucknow. Kashi Mahakal Express is expected to cover a distance of 1102 km between Varanasi and Indore via Prayagraj and 1131 km via Lucknow.
Timings via Sultanpur to Lucknow
- The bi-weekly train (no. 82401) will depart from Varanasi at 2:45 PM every Tuesday and Thursday and will reach Indore at 9:40 AM the following day.
- Train number 82402 will leave from Indore at 10:55 AM every Wednesday and Friday and will reach Varanasi at 6:00 AM from 21st February onwards.
Timings via Prayagraj
- The weekly train (no. 82403) will leave Varanasi at 3:15 PM every Sunday and will arrive at Indore at 9:40 AM the following day.
- Train number 82404 will leave Indore station at 10:55 AM every Monday and will arrive Varanasi at 5:00 AM the next day.
Note: The train will stop at stations including Bina, Jhansi, Ujjain, Kanpur, Sant Hirdaram Nagar and Sultanpur stations both to and fro.
Booking Rules for Reserving a Seat in Kashi Mahakal Express
Unfortunately, passengers cannot book Kashi Mahakal Express train tickets at regular ticket reservation counters. To reserve a seat on the train, passengers will either have to book exclusively through IRCTC’s website or through its Rail Connect App. In case, they want to book tickets in advance, IRCTC has given 120 days advance booking facility to reserve seats in Kashi Mahakal Express Rail. As per IRCTC, the facility of current booking can also be availed four hours after the preparation of the first chart.
Facilities and Features of Kashi Mahakal Express
Given below are the facilities onboard the Kashi Mahakal train:
- High-quality vegetarian food
- Complimentary bedroll and systematic housekeeping services
- High security with two dedicated private guards in every coach and CCTV cameras
- Exclusive tour packages for passengers covering religious/tourism sites in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh
- Light devotional music
- Modular bio-toilets
- Tea/coffee vending machines
- Fire and smoke detection and suppressant system
- Dynamic fare
- Automatic full refund in case of ticket cancellation
- Complimentary rail travel insurance up to INR 10 Lakhs for every passenger.