Northeast to Ayodhya: Inaugural train journey begins from Ledo Railway Station

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In a historic moment for the Northeast, the first-ever train connecting the region directly to the holy city of Ayodhya was flagged off from Ledo Railway Station on February 6th, 2024. The special train, launched under the “Astha” scheme by the Indian Railways, marks a significant step in facilitating pilgrimage for devotees from the eight Northeastern states.

The inaugural ceremony was held with great fervor, attended by dignitaries like Santanu Pujari, executive member of the BJP state committee and co-head of the Astha train. Over 300 pilgrims from the Margherita constituency of Tinsukia district embarked on the journey, their faces beaming with excitement and religious fervor.

This initiative comes close on the heels of the inauguration of the Lord Ram idol in Ayodhya on January 22nd. The Indian government aims to bridge the geographical distance and provide a comfortable and convenient mode of travel for devotees from the Northeast, who often face challenges due to limited connectivity options.

The “Astha” train will reportedly traverse through several states before reaching its final destination in Ayodhya. The Astha Train boasts features designed to cater to the specific needs of pilgrims. It includes air-conditioned coaches, vegetarian meals, and devotional music to enhance the spiritual experience. Tour operators and travel agencies are optimistic about the potential boost to religious tourism in the region.

During the flag-off event, prominent political figures including Dhiraj Sonowal, the President of BJP Town Mandal, alongside Bhavesh Dutta and Sanjit Gogoi, were present. Additionally, notable officials like Uttam Prakash, the Tinsukia Railway Mandalik Officer, and DRM (Divisional Railway Manager) underscored the significance of this inaugural journey by their attendance.

The “Astha Train” is expected to operate regularly, catering to the needs of a large number of devotees from the Northeast. While the exact schedule and frequency of the “Astha” train remain to be announced, its inaugural journey marks a significant milestone in connecting the Northeast to the spiritual heart of India. It is expected to cater to the needs of thousands of devotees, fostering religious tourism and cultural exchange between the diverse regions of the country.

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