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Planning a religious pilgrimage to places like Madurai, Rameswaram, Ujjain, Mathura, Dwarka and Somnath among others from Chandigarh and Ambala Cantt railway stations is set to become easier this year with Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) putting finishing touches to its ambitious 'Bharat Darshan 2012' special tours.

Officials stated that this year Tricity residents would get a chance to travel to more religious and historical places than ever before.

IRCTC chief regional manager said, "IRCTC is planning to link Chandigarh and Ambala railway stations with around 19 special Bharat Darshan trains.

Last year was an experimental year in which we gauged the response of the passengers and that has prompted us to make a claim for more trains for the region."

He said, "Earlier the Bharat Darshan special trains used to start from New Delhi and therefore did not appeal to many religious travellers from Tricity. However, the response we got for the special trains to Shirdi, Goa, Ajmer and Jammu has allowed us to plan ever more expansive tours of various religious and historical places in the country."

He added that IRCTC would be adding more destinations to the tours during the year and that tie-ups with other IRCTC centres across the country would take place to facilitate such tours.