Panaji, Jan 14 (IANS) If you are planning a holiday this year around the time of the popular Carnival festival, a prominent feature in Goa’s tourism calendar, you can grab a train ride in style.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) along with the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has put together a special Carnival Charter Coach travelling into Goa, along with a specially designed coach for carnival lovers, according to Goa’s Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar.
“The special carnival charter coach, arriving in Goa on February 6, will set the momentum and excitement here in Goa which is looking forward to unveiling a new carnival project entitled ‘Destination Carnival’,” Parulekar told reporters.
Carnival is symbolic of Goa’s colonial Portuguese legacy and is held every year before the holy season of Lent. Goa was a Portuguese colony for over 450 years before it was liberated by the Indian Army in 1961.
The festival, held in February every year, involves a public celebration in the form of parades of gaily coloured floats, with dancers and indulgence in food, drink and general merriment, and is led by the portly figure of King Momo, who symbolically opens the festivities.
The GTDC and IRCTC Goa Carnival package is spread over five nights and six days, with three nights and four days spent in Goa.
The package also includes accommodation, sightseeing and the special charter coach will originate out of Mumbai on February 5.
The three-tier AC sleeper coach can accommodate around 70 passengers and will arrive at the Margao Railway Station in the morning of February 6.
The cost for the Standard Comfort and Deluxe packages will be Rs.7,695 and Rs.17,395 per passenger, respectively, and will tour places of importance in north and south Goa, beaches, temples, historic sites etc.
“Goa is the destination for tourists to visit between February 4 to 10 as we are also organising the Grape Escapade and Carnival. We are optimistic to get an overwhelming response to this IRCTC and GTDC package tour,” Parulekar said.
Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country and attracts more than three million tourists annually.