Mahaparinirvana Express – IRCTC’s Premium Buddhist Circuit Train (Review)

by imkml

Mahaparinirvana Express is a special tourist train run on Buddhist Circuit across India by IRCTC.

2019 has been one of my favorite years until now and the reason is I am traveling more this year. This year I also traveled on India’s famous Mahaparinirvana Express AKA Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train from January 19t,h to 28th. This premium-class train is fully owned & operated by Indian Railway’s subsidiary IRCTC Ltd, known for its amazing onboard facilities and catering services across the railway’s network. This train has been designed & customized especially for the Buddhist tourists and takes them on a spiritual train journey through Bihar, Uttar Pradesh & Nepal, where Buddhism originated about 2500 years ago.

The name of this amazing tourist train itself originates from the Mahaparinirvana Sutra which contains the Buddha’s final explanation of his teachings.

Buddhist has always been my subject of interest. Just for this journey, I skipped my Trek & Red Panda Festival in Sikkim and trust me, it was worth. The tour of 8 days and 7 nights were fully guided (a senior guide was hired for us) who unearthed so many important, mysterious and crazy things about Buddha’s life, Buddhism & India, I never knew that actually exists. The IRCTC team took everyone to all important Buddhist Pilgrimage sites of Lumbini, Nepal (where the Siddartha was born), Bodhgaya, Bihar (where he became enlightened), Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh (where he first preached), and Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh (where he passed away and achieved Nirvana along with many other destinations related to Lord Buddha and Buddhism.

Vishwa Shanti Stupa at Rajgir, one of the 80 Peace Pagodas around the world.

How’s the train?

The Mahaparinirvana Express is a fully air-conditioned premium train (modified a Rajdhani express). It has four 1st class AC coaches (capacity of 24 pax), two 2nd class AC coaches (capacity of 60 pax), 2 Restaurant Car, 1 imported kitchen car, 2 Power cars & 1 engine. The train is special itself as it has been given a personal touch by the IRCTC’s senior and junior officials. They have chosen the wallpapers to the curtains, sofa to window glass for this amazing conceptual tourist train and is it something you will definitely love about this train.

1st Class Coupe in Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train

The tourist train has 2 classes for the passengers and both of them have been equipped with comfy seating options, libraries and foot massage machine, which can be used by any guest during the journey. The window glass is fog-proof so you can see clearly outside the window even in cold or foggy nights.

A library filled with all books & magazines related to Buddhism & Indian Railways
Open are in 2nd Class Car.

This open sitting area is used by the tourists to read a book or to have a conversation with their fellow tourists. I read 2 books in my 8 days of the journey which helped me a lot knowing Buddhism.

A view of hand wash basin & male urine basin installed in the train’s toilet.

The toilets & washrooms in the train, are equipped with modern utilities along with soft tissues, toilet papers, hand-wash, body shampoo, cold & warm water. Also, to maintain the hygiene, IRCTC carries dedicated janitor who clean-up the washroom & toilet after each use.

Safety Measures:

Security is a primary concern of IRCTC, therefore for the security of the passengers & tourist, they have installed CCTV cameras in every coach. Also, you will be seeing home-guard in each coach who will take care of your cabin if you’re there or not. To check this, once I left my laptop unlocked and when I came back after 48hours, I found everything was there in my coupe. Not just this my all belongings including toothpick stick & tissue was kept on the table. I was satisfied with the security. Not just this, there is an electronic personal locker for each passenger to keep expensive belongings safe.

Also, you would be guarded when going out of the station or coming back to the train by a bunch of security by IRCTC. It also gives you a feeling of being VIP. 😀 😀 😀

There are mini speakers everywhere in the train which is used by tour manager keep tourist updated about train movements, directions, tours itinerary and all necessary information throughout the onboard journey.

Train crew posing outside the train.

Food on-board

The Buddhist circuit train has won an award for its mouthwatering, delicious, varieties & hygienic food. They serve 3 unlimited meals, 1 breakfast tea & 1 evening high-tea every day. The food comes with a lot of veg/non-veg options. You can have as much as you want and if you want something out of the menu, just ask them anytime, they will cook for you. I remember, there was a tourist Ranjan Joshi traveling with us on the same train. He never had Paneer (cottage cheese) or Tea because he was a Vegan and when IRCTC heard it, they themselves brought Soybean Milk for him so he can also drink tea with us. Not just this, they also cooked Thai food when my Thai friend, Kai, requested them. These little efforts by IRCTC won everybody’s heart boarded on the train.

Breakfast I was served at onboard restaurant

What’s the train route?

The train is a special tourist train and stops only the destination. Here is the route of the train. The train never goes to Nepal so from Gorakhpur, you will be transferred to Lumbini by an AC coach.

To Download the English Brochure please click here.

Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train route.

How to book the Buddhist Circuit Tourist Train?

To book the train journey, you will have to contact on the below-mentioned numbers. They are the IRCTC’s official representatives who look after the train and its bookings. 

Contact: Mr. Akhilesh Gupta 9717648718, Mr. Kamal Kathiat 9717639033, Toll Free:- 1800110139


Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Ltd

Address: Corporate Office: B 148, 11th Floor, Statesman House, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi-110001

Address: Sales Office: M-13, Punj House, Connaught Place, New Delhi – 110


You may also like


The Untourists April 23, 2019 - 8:19 am

This is fantastic! Didn’t know a train like this existed!And in 8 days…

Kamal Sharma April 23, 2019 - 11:51 am

Yes, it does. I had an amazing time on this train. You should also try it once. 🙂

Anahita Irani April 24, 2019 - 8:25 pm

What an interesting route and train journey thus can be. And its truly in our Incredible India. Would love to venture on such a trip.

Kamal Sharma May 1, 2019 - 3:46 pm

It’s one of my favorite journey in 2019.

Noor Anand Chawla April 25, 2019 - 10:08 am

That’s a really informative post. I’m so glad I came across it!

Kamal Sharma May 1, 2019 - 3:46 pm

You should also try this train once. I’m sure you will love that

Sundeep April 25, 2019 - 12:03 pm

We would love to travel through this train. This trains looks superb as you mentioned above about the food and safety measures in mahaparinirvana express is quiet promising.

Kamal Sharma May 1, 2019 - 3:47 pm

It was a lifetime opportunity for me 🙂

Pallavi April 26, 2019 - 9:06 pm

Thanks for sharing the details I was not aware about it .It looks quite royal .Would love to try it once.

Kamal Sharma May 1, 2019 - 3:48 pm

yeah 🙂 It is royal

Pamela April 26, 2019 - 9:34 pm

This is such interesting route must say. Did not know about this train . You have given an excellent idea of this journey.

Kamal Sharma May 1, 2019 - 3:48 pm

Now you know where to go 😉

Mrinal Kiran April 27, 2019 - 6:27 pm

Wow! I had no idea that a train like this existed in India! I am in love with the interiors and the furnishings! Would definitely like to travel in this!

Kamal Sharma May 1, 2019 - 3:49 pm

the services are good too . . .

Tanvi Khare April 27, 2019 - 8:50 pm

Thats such an amazing train…a trip in this is a must….truly touches the buddhist pillars

Kamal Sharma May 1, 2019 - 3:52 pm

Utterly agreed. If you want to know Buddhism? This train could be the best option for you

Sapna Bansal April 27, 2019 - 9:36 pm

This train seems to be true luxury..It has everything needs for a luxurious travel.

Kamal Sharma May 1, 2019 - 3:51 pm

Indeed . . I love the way IRCTC’s represented treat you 🙂

Shraddha Bhalla April 28, 2019 - 7:27 pm

So nice to see the Indian Railways upgrading with luxury options for travellers.

Kamal Sharma May 1, 2019 - 3:50 pm

Yes, this has been nominated and won several awards.

Sunil Kumar April 24, 2020 - 12:40 pm

Amazing 👌,


Leave a Comment