Srinagar – The Kashmir Valley, a burgeoning tourist destination, has added a remarkable attraction to its repertoire. The Indian Railways has unveiled the Vistadome, an all-weather air-conditioned train with a glass ceiling, providing an unprecedented experience for visitors.
The Vistadome coach was inaugurated in the presence of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, signifying a momentous occasion for the region. Operating six days a week, this distinctive train embarks on a scenic 90-kilometer journey from Budgam to Banihal, granting passengers breathtaking vistas of the enchanting Kashmir landscape.
This state-of-the-art Vistadome coach is designed with the utmost sophistication, featuring double-wide reclining seats that swivel 360 degrees, ensuring passengers enjoy a panoramic view of Kashmir’s picturesque terrain. The expansive glass windows of the coach offer a 360-degree view, immersing travelers in the natural beauty of Budgam, Qazigund, and Banihal.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “The Vistadome Coach offers a contemporary travel experience, allowing both local travelers and tourists to intimately connect with the natural beauty of the Valley. This train, with its immense glass windows and advanced entertainment features, is poised to connect Kashmir from Budgam to Banihal. In the near future, it may even link Kashmir to Kanyakumari.”
The influx of foreign tourists to the valley has surged by a remarkable 350 percent following a G-20 working group meeting in the region. As of September 30 this year, Jammu and Kashmir have welcomed 1.70 crore tourists, a notable increase from the 1.88 crore tourists during the previous year. The government anticipates that this figure will exceed 2.25 crore by the year’s end.
The Vistadome coach incorporates modern technology, featuring glass ceilings, automatic sliding doors, luggage racks, LED lighting, and a GPS-enabled information system. To ensure comfort during the harsh winters, the coaches are equipped with air conditioning, allowing year-round operation.
Saqib Yousuf Yatoo, Chief Area Manager of Indian Railways, explained, “The Vistadome coach, with its wide windows, glass roof, rotating chairs, and air conditioning, provides visitors with a panoramic view of the stunning landscapes of the Kashmir Valley. This addition is set to bolster tourism in the Valley, meeting the demands of tourists who wish to witness the beauty of Kashmir during the snowy winter months. The fare for this unique experience is 930 rupees.”
Vistadome is poised to revitalize the tourism industry in the Kashmir Valley, offering travelers a fresh and unparalleled experience. With breathtaking views of mountain ranges, paddy fields, apple orchards, saffron fields, and a winter landscape blanketed in snow, this glass coach promises to be a game-changer for tourists seeking the extraordinary.