FEBRUARY 17, 2020
India’s third private train Kashi Mahakaal Express received the green flag on Sunday from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it is making headlines already. But for a very different reason.
The train, which will run from Varanasi to Indore and connect three Jyotirlinga shrines Omkareshwar, Mahakaleshwar, and Kashi Vishwanath, has a Shiva temple inside it. You can read that again.
This temple on wheels is the dream train for all Shiv bhakts.
Varanasi: Seat number 64 of coach B5 in Kashi Mahakal Express (Varanasi-Indore) has been turned into a mini-temple of Lord Shiva. The train was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conferencing yesterday. pic.twitter.com/X5rO4Ftbl6
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 16, 2020
Meaning, since the time you get inside this train, your pilgrimage starts. Seat no 64 in the B5 coach has been reserved for Lord Shiva. The temple on wheels has everything that makes it a real temple including framed idols of Lord Shiva and flowers for decorative purposes. The temple was even inaugurated by lighting incense sticks with a match (a lot of concerned people are raising eyebrows right now).
But that is not all, to actually make you feel like you are in a temple or for your ‘adhyatmic anubhav’, pre-recorded bhajans will be playing the entire time in the background. Even the facilities provided in this train are a notch superior compared to its counterparts. There are CCTV cameras in each coach, a better pantry, and better washrooms.
But the concept of a temple on wheels left us with a lot of questions.
1. Do we treat this like a temple or a train? What are the dos and the don’ts that need to be followed?
2. Will there be any non-vegetarian food items served in that particular coach of the train, or any other coach for that matter? There are conflicting versions about the lord’s food preferences.
3. Consumption of alcohol and smoking is not permitted in the train but as it is almost a Shiv mandir, will the priests be serving bhole baba ka prasad (b***g)? Benaras has plenty of it!
4. Will people ban menstruating women from the coach? Because this seems to be the burning topic all the time. Period.
5. One is not allowed to wear footwear inside the temple, are the current commuters supposed to roam around barefoot in the train? That is some serious cleanliness issue.
6. The seat that has been reserved for Bhole Nath is 64, which is the side upper berth and closer to the washrooms. Plus, it is AC 3-Tier. Why would Shiva be allotted a berth in a 3-T coach and not the best on the train? We know he is rough and tough and all, but is this some kind of test?
7. To be close to the god and book a berth in that coach, will people have to pay extra for the seats next to the VIP berth?
8. People generally take extra care to keep the house of god squeaky clean. Does that mean establishing a temple inside a train will result in a clean washroom and coaches during the entire journey? We can literally thank god for that.
9. The video also shows one of the train officials lighting an incense stick with a match stick on the train. Lighting of any kind of fire is prohibited inside trains, no?
10. Temples also follow a strict dress code. All the visitor’s clothes need to be appropriate: nothing over the knee and pallu on the head at all times. Will the commuters have to follow these dress codes or are they allowed to wear comfortable clothes during their journey?
Mahashivratri falls on February 21, 2020, but IRCTC has released a statement saying that the temple will be taken down by February 20, 2020. The Kashi Mahakaal Express will start commercially from that day.
IRCTC: There is going to be no such reserved or dedicated berth for this purpose in the commercial run of the train which is starting from 20th February 2020. https://t.co/r3QZswuEC7
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 17, 2020
The train will run from Varanasi to Indore on three days of the week, out of which, two days will be via Lucknow and one day via Allahabad. There are 7-8 packages for passengers to chose from. If you travel with the Lord of All Things, go and book yourself a seat and pray that the train doesn’t derail.
Courtesy/Source: India Today