It is an 18-day pilgrimage tour covering destinations in India and Nepal

The inaugural Bharat Gaurav tourist train connecting destinations associated with the Ramayana Circuit in India and Nepal was flagged off from Delhi on Tuesday.

The train carrying 500 Indian tourists on board will arrive at Nepal's Janakpur Dham station on Thursday.

Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy flagged off the train along with Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. "'Shri Ramayana Yatra', the 18-day pilgrimage tour by Bharat Gaurav Train will cover important & sacred places associated with the life of Prabhu Shri Rama," Reddy tweeted.

According to the Indian Embassy in Nepal, the IRCTC Bharat Gaurav Tourist Train will be first of its kind to cross the international borders and promote tourism in a more holistic manner.

The train operating on the Ramayana Circuit will cover the religious destination of Janakpur (Nepal) for the first time in addition to other popular destinations such as Ayodhya, Nandigram, Sitamarhui, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Chitrakoot, Panchvati (Nasik), Hampi, Rameshwaram and Bhadrachalam.

Providing more information about the train, the embassy said that it has 14 coaches and each of them has been designed as a kaleidoscope of “Pride of India– Bharat Gaurav” highlighting various facets of India such as monuments, dances, cuisines, attire, festivals, flora and fauna, Yoga, and folk art.

Promoting theme-based tourism and highlighting the various UNESCO World Heritage sites as well as modern architectural marvels of India, the exterior of a number of coaches are wrapped with images of structures dating from the Buddhist era, Mughal era, and modern structures like the Statute of Unity at Kewadia, Gujarat, and the National War Memorial at New Delhi.

Two coaches on the IRCTC Bharat Gaurav Tourist train are exclusively dedicated to Yoga, which in recent years has been popularized throughout the world.

The exteriors of some of the coaches also promote the various classical and folk dance forms, attires, popular festivals, delicacies of the country.