The Indian Railways has announced that it has deferred the initial dates of operating the Aastha special trains to Ayodhya from various states, due to the huge crowd coming in the holy city. The Aastha special trains are meant to facilitate the pilgrimage of devotees who want to visit Ram Mandir, which was inaugurated on January 22, 2024, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Railways planned to run over 200 Aastha special trains from 66 locations across the country for 100 days after the temple opened. However, the first batch of these trains, which were scheduled to start from January 25, 2024, have been postponed due to the overwhelming response from the devotees in Ayodhya.
According to the Railways, the city of Ayodhya is witnessing a huge influx of pilgrims, which has resulted in overcrowding and traffic congestion. Indian Railways has said that it will announce the revised dates of the Aastha special trains soon and has requested the passengers to cooperate with the authorities.
The Railways has also assured that it will run the Aastha special trains as per the demand and availability of the devotees and will provide them with all the necessary facilities and amenities. The Aastha special trains are fully reserved trains, which have AC and non-AC coaches, and offer affordable fares. The trains also have onboard catering services, CCTV cameras, bio-toilets, and other safety features.
The Aastha special trains are expected to boost the tourism and economy of Ayodhya, which is considered to be the birthplace of Lord Ram, one of the most revered deities in Hinduism. The city is also home to several other temples, ghats, and historical sites, which attract millions of visitors every year. The Railways has said that it will continue to serve the devotees and promote the cultural heritage of Ayodhya through the Aastha special trains.