In Bangla it means “The Fiery Lute”. This is the name given to the collection of poems by the celebrated Bengali poet, musician, revolutionary and philosopher, Kazi Nazrul Islam. He was born in Burdwan district in 1899 and died in Dhaka in 1976. He is the national poet of Bangladesh, and also honoured in India.
6325/ 6326 Indore – Thiruvananthapuram Central (SR Thiruvananthapuram division)
Rajmata Ahilyadevi Holkar (1725-1795, ruled 1767-1795) also known as the Philosopher Queen was a Holkar dynasty Queen of the Malwa kingdom. She took over reigns of the kingdom after the death of her husband and father-in-law. She moved the capital to Maheshwar south of Indore on the Narmada River. She also built temples and Dharamshalas (free lodging)at sacred sites outside her kingdom, at prominent religious places like Dwarka, Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi, Ujjain, Nasik, Parli Vaijnath and Somnath. The city of Indore is sometimes called Ahilyanagari in her memory.
1095/ 1096 Ahmadabad – Pune (CR Pune division)
The name is also sometimes given to 1087/ 1088 Veraval – Pune Express, 1089/ 1090 Jodhpur – Pune Express and 1091/ 1092 Bhuj – Pune Express, as all these trains are “derived” from 1095/ 1096.
Ahimsa is a Sanskrit term meaning “to do no harm” (literally, the avoidance of violence or himsa). Ahimsa was one of the main principles which Gandhiji followed in his life. Pune was the place where Gandhiji was imprisoned and where his wife passed away, and Ahmadabad was where he set up his Ashram. Therefore, it was but natural for a train linking these two cities should be named after this Gandhian principle.
The Ajanta Caves are rock-cut cave monuments dating from the 2nd century BC, containing paintings and sculpture considered to be masterpieces of both Buddhist religious art and universal pictorial art. The caves are located just outside the village of Ajintha (Ajanta) in Aurangabad district in Maharashtra. Since 1983, the Ajanta Caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Akal Takht Express
The Akal Takht (Akal: Timeless One and Takht: Throne in Persian). Literally means “Seat (Throne) of the Timeless One (God)”. The Akal Takht was begun by the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Gobind as a symbol for political sovereignty of Sikhs, and is one of the five seats of temporal physical religious authority of the Sikhs. It is located in the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) complex in Amritsar.
Ala Hazrat Express
4311/ 4312 Bareilly – Bhuj via Ahmadabad (NR Moradabad division)
4321/ 4322 Bareilly – Bhuj via Deesa (NR Moradabad division)
Imam Ahmad Raza Khan, popularly known as Ala Hazrat, was a prominent Muslim Alim from Bareilly during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Ahmad Raza was also a poet and writer, authoring nearly 1,000 books and monographs of varying lengths in Arabic, Persian and Urdu.
2853/ 2854 Durg – Bhopal (SECR Raipur division)
Amarkantak is a pilgrim town in Anuppur district in Madhya Pradesh. It is the meeting point of the Vindhyas and the Satpuras with the Maikal Hills being the fulcrum. This is where the rivers Narmada, Sone and Johila emerge. Amarkantak is a Sanskrit word the literal meaning of which is immortal (amar) obstruction (kantak). The place was abode of Gods, but was disturbed by the hindrances of Rudraganas and hence called Amarkantak. Myth also has it that the dense forests of this region were full of mango (amra) trees. So Kalidas named it as Amrakoot, which later became Amarkantak.
5653/ 5654 Guwahati – Jammu Tawi (NFR Lumding division)
The Amarnath caves are one of the most famous shrines in Hinduism, dedicated to the god Shiva (Amarnath: “the Eternal Lord”), located 141 km from Srinagar. The shrine is claimed to be over 5,000 years old. Inside the main Amarnath cave lies an ice stalagmite resembling the Shiva Linga, which waxes during May to August and gradually wanes thereafter. This lingam is said to grow and shrink with the phases of the moon, reaching its height on Guru Purnima day, the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravan. According to Hindu mythology, this is the cave where Shiva explained the secret of life and eternity to his divine consort Parvati.
Ambapali, also known as Ambapalika or Amrapali, was a nagarvadhu (royal courtesan) of the republic of Vaishali in present day Bihar around 500 BC. Following the Buddha's teachings she became an Arahant. She was of unknown parentage, and received her name because at her birth she was found at the foot of a mango tree in one of the royal gardens in Vaishali. The name, Ambapali or Amrapali, is derived from a combination of two Sanskrit words: "amra", meaning mango, and "pallawa", meaning young leaves or sprouts.
8047/ 8048 Howrah – Vasco da Gama (SER Kharagpur division)
Amravathi is a small town situated on the banks of the river Krishna in Guntur district. It is famous for the Amareswara (“the Immortal God”) temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was also the site of a great Buddhist Stupa built in pre-Mauryan times. It was also the capital of Satavahanas, the first great Andhra kings who ruled from the 2nd century BC to the 3rd century AD, after the downfall of the Maurya Empire.
6343/ 6344 Thiruvananthapuram Central – Palakkad Town (SR Thiruvananthapuram
Mata Amritanandamayee Devi, born Sudhamani in 1953 is a Hindu spiritual leader revered as a saint by her followers, who also know her as Amma, Ammachi or Mother. She is widely respected for her humanitarian activities and is known as "the hugging saint". She was in the small village of Parayakadavu (now partially known as Amritapuri, near Kollam.
6123/ 6124 Chennai Egmore – Thiruvananthapuram Central (SR Chennai division)
Thiruvananthapuram or Ananthapuri means “Abode of Lord Anantha” in Malayalam and Sanskrit. The name derives from the deity of the Hindu temple at the centre of the city. Anantha is the serpent Sesha on whom Padmanabhan or Vishnu reclines. The temple of Vishnu reclining on Anantha, the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple remains the iconic landmark of the city.
2315/ 2316 Sealdah – Udaipur City (ER Sealdah division)
Ananya means “one-of-a-kind, unique or matchless” in Sanskrit. In Bhakti yoga, Ananya means having no other object, undistracted, devoted to only one worshipable Lord and no one else. It is not clear why this particular train is so named.
6031/ 6032 Chennai Central – Jammu Tawi (SR Chennai division)
Sometime back, it was decided by the Railway Ministry that each State or Union Territory should have a train named after it. Chennai is one of the jumping off points for the Andaman Islands, and therefore this train is named after the islands. One theory is that the name of the islands derives from Sanskrit, and refers to the deity, Hanuman.
Andhra Pradesh Express
2723/ 2734 Hyderabad – New Delhi (SCR Secunderabad division)
Both these trains are named after the state of Andhra Pradesh (“Province of Andhras”). Historically the region comprising the state was known as Andhraapatha, Andhradesa, Andhraavani, and Andhra vishaya. Andhra Pradesh was the first state formed on linguistic basis by merging all Telugu speaking areas of the country on November 1, 1956.
In Bangla it means “Of the Forest”, and is a famous novel by the Bengali novelist and writer Bibhutibhushan Bandhopadhyay. He was born in 1894 in 24 Parganas district and died in 1950 in Ghatsila near Jamshedpur. His most well known book is the autobiographical novel, Pather Panchali (The Song of the Road); incorporated (along with Aparajito, the sequel) into the memorable Apu Trilogy films by Satyajit Ray.
Arunachal Pradesh means "land of the dawn lit mountains” in Sanskrit. It is also known as "land of the rising sun" in reference to its position as the easternmost state of India. The train skirts only the southern border of the state and does not enter its territory. However, most towns served by the train are jumping off points for places in Arunachal Pradesh.
Sabarmati Ashram (“Religious hermitage”) is located in Ahmadabad on the banks of the River Sabarmati. This was one of the residences of Mahatma Gandhi. This ashram is now converted in to the national monument by the Government of India due to its significance in the Indian independence movement.
August Kranti Rajdhani Express
2953/ 2954 Mumbai Central – Hazrat Nizamuddin (WR Mumbai division)
Gowalia Tank Maidan (now also known as August Kranti Maidan) is a park in central Mumbai where Mahatma Gandhi issued the Quit India speech on 8th August 1942 decreeing that the British must leave India immediately or else mass agitations would take place. New Delhi is the capital (Rajdhani) of the Republic of India, and therefore it was decided to name this Rajdhani Express after the August Kranti Maidan.
Avadh Assam Express
The train connects the state of Assam (the name is derived from the Ahom kingdom1228-1826) via the region of Avadh (the name is probably derived from Ayodhya) to Delhi. Recently the train has been extended to Lalgarh near Bikaner, providing a BG connection between Delhi and Bikaner after MG services were stopped due to gauge conversion.
9039/ 9040 Bandra Terminus – Muzaffarpur (WR Mumbai division)
Avadh is a region in the centre of the modern Uttar Pradesh state, centered on its capital Lucknow. The name is probably derived from the holy city of Ayodhya. The train originally connected Lucknow with Gorakhpur, before a series of extensions in both directions gave it its present day destinations.
2961/ 2962 Mumbai Central – Indore (WR Mumbai division)
The former Avanti kingdom was one among the many kingdoms ruled by the Yadava kings in central and western India with Ujjayani, also known as Avantikapuri (Ujjain) as its capital. The country of Avanti roughly corresponded to modern Malwa, Nimar and adjoining parts of Madhya Pradesh. Avanti was an important center of Buddhism.
Azad Hind Express
2129/ 2130 Pune – Howrah (CR Pune division)
Azad Hind, the Provisional Government of “Free India” was an Indian Government-in-exile established in Singapore in 1943. The government was inspired by the concepts of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose who was also the leader of the government and the Head of State of this Provisional Indian Government in Exile. Though born in Cuttack, Netaji’s early career and political life were in Kolkata.
Azimabad was an old name of Patna. Pataliputra was sacked by foreign invaders like Bakhtiyar Khilji, an event which is seen as a milestone in the decline of Buddhism in India. It was abandoned in the 7th century, but revived during the rule of Sher Shah Suri, who also moved his capital from Bihar Sharif to Pataliputra. Prince Azim-us-Shan, the grandson of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb came as the Governor of Pataliputra in 1703 and renamed it as Azimabad in 1704.
Bagh means either “Tiger” or “Garden”. Both the meanings could apply here, as Kathgodam is near to the Corbett National Park, the 1st tiger sanctuary in India, as well as to the picturesque hills of the Kumaon region.
2577/2578 Darbhanga – Bangalore City (ECR Samastipur division)
The Bagmati River originates at Bagdwaar (“Bag”: Tiger, “dwar”: gate) on the northern hills of Kathmandu valley about 15 km northeast of Kathmandu. It then flows past the Pashupatinath and Dakshinkali temples and enters India, where it flows through the districts of Sitamarhi, Sheohar and Muzaffarpur, before it joins the Kosi River. The Bagmati River is considered to purify the people spiritually.
Ravana the demon king meditated hard, in order to invoke Lord Shiva. Shiva gave him one of the twelve Jyotirlingams to take back with him to Lanka, with the condition that if it were placed on the ground it would take root immediately. Varuna the God of water, entered Ravana's belly, and caused him to feel the need to relieve himself. Vishnu then came down in the form of a lad and volunteered to hold the Jyotirlingam as he relieved himself. But before Ravana could return, the young lad placed the Jyotirlingam on the ground to which it became rooted. A disappointed Ravana offered severe penances to Shiva here, and cut off nine of his heads as a part of his repentance. Shiva revived him and joined the heads to the body, like a Vaidya or a “physician”, and hence, this Jyotirlingam goes by the name Vaidyanath.
Part of the Surma – Meghna river system, the Barak river rises in the Manipur Hills, enters Mizoram and then Assam, flowing past the town of Silchar. It then divides into the Surma river and Kushiyara river and enters Bangladesh.
Basava, also known as Basavanna or Basaveshwara was a philosopher and a social reformer. Basavanna was born in the year 1106 into a Shaivite family near Bagewadi in Bijapur district. He fought against practice of caste system and rituals in Hinduism. He advocated a new way of life wherein the divine experience was the centre of life giving equal opportunity to all aspirants regardless of the gender, caste, and social status. Basava's path later gave birth to a new religion called Lingayata.
8203/ 8204 Durg – Kanpur Central (SECR Raipur division)
The Betwa, a tributary of the Yamuna, rises in the Vindhyas just north of Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh and flows northeast through Madhya Pradesh, and through Orchha to Uttar Pradesh. It joins the Yamuna near Hamirpur. In Sanskrit, Betwa is “Vetravati”, which means “containing reeds”.
The Hooghly River or the Bhagirathi-Hooghly is an approximately 260 km long distributary of the Ganga River in West Bengal. It splits from the Ganga as a canal at the Farakka Barrage. The town of Hugli-Chinsura, formerly Hooghly, is located on the river in the Hooghly district. In its upper reaches, the river is generally known as the Bhagirathi, until it reaches Hooghly. The word Bhagirathi literally means "caused by Bhagiratha”, a mythical Sagar Dynasty prince who was instrumental in bringing the river Ganga from the heavens on to the earth, in order to release his 60,000 grand-uncles from a curse of the saint Kapila.
7202 Golconda Express)
Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah shifted his capital from Golconda to a nearby site. He fell in love with and married a local Banjara girl known as Bhagmathi or Bhagyavathi, and named his capital after her, Bhagyanagaram. Upon her conversion to Islam, she changed her name to Hyder Mahal and thus the city was named Hyderabad.
Bihar Sampark Kranti Express
2565/ 2566 Darbhanga – New Delhi (ECR Samastipur division)
The name Bihar is derived from the Sanskrit word “Vihara”, which means "abode". The region roughly encompassing the present state was dotted with Buddhist viharas, which were the abodes of Buddhist monks in the ancient and medieval period.
Black Diamond Express
Coal and Diamonds are the same element Carbon in different forms. The train is named after the abundant coal, which is mined in the Dhanbad area.
4055/ 4056 Dibrugarh Town – Delhi (NR Delhi division)
The Brahmaputra River has different names in the different regions it flows through – in Tibet it is the Tsang Po or Zangbo, in Arunachal Pradesh it is the Dihang, in Assam it is the Brahmaputra and in Bangladesh it is the Jamuna. While most Indian and Bangladeshi rivers bear female names, this river has a rare male name, as it means "son of Brahma" in Sanskrit (putra means "son").
2639/ 2640 Chennai Central – Bangalore City (SR Chennai division)
The Brindavan Gardens are located near the city of Mysore, next to the Krishnarajasagar Dam across the river Kaveri. The work of laying out this garden was started in the year 1927 and completed in 1932. Though the train does not directly connect Chennai with Mysore, it used to be the fastest connection between the two cities, with a changeover in Bangalore, during MG days.
Celebrated on the full moon day of the month of Vaishakh (May), Buddha Purnima encompasses the birth, enlightenment (Nirvana), and passing away (Parinirvana) of Gautama Buddha. Sarnath near Varanasi is the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma.
Bundelkhand is a geographic region straddling the border between Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and including such places like Jhansi, Orchha, Panna, Sagar and Khajuraho. The Chandela Rajputs, who built the temples of Khajuraho ruled over the place from the 10th to the 16th centuries. In the fourteenth century, Hurdeo Singh, a Rajput prince of the Gurjra tribe, was expelled from the Kshatriya caste for marrying a Bourdi slave-girl. He left the Rajputs to go and reside at the court of one of the smaller sovereigns of Central India. In the course of time through deceit and murder, Hurdeo gained possession of this throne, and formed a new clan known as the Bourdillas, or “Sons of the Slave”, thus giving the country its present name of Boundilacund or Bundelcund.
Cachar is an administrative district in Assam, with district headquarters located at Silchar. Bangla has a status of Official Language in this district with majority of the people of the district speaking Bengali and Sylheti, a distinct Bengali-dialect. The name Cachar traces its origin to the Hindu Bengali Kachari kingdom. Cachar was a part of the greater Kachari kingdom which also included the adjoining Hailakandi and Karimganj districts.
3245/ 3246 New Jalpaiguri – Danapur (ECR Danapur division)
3247/ 3248 Kamakhya – Danapur (ECR Danapur division)
Originally the train used to run from Katihar to Danapur, thus connecting areas of northeastern Bihar state with the capital Patna, before it was extended to New Jalpaiguri and Kamakhya.
The Chalukya dynasty ruled large parts of southern and central India between the 6th and the 12th centuries. There were three related, but individual dynasties. The earliest dynasty, known as the "Badami Chalukyas", ruled from their capital Vatapi (modern Badami) from the middle of the 6th century. The “Eastern Chalukyas” became an independent kingdom in the eastern Deccan. They ruled from their capital Vengi until about the 11th century. The “Western Chalukyas” rose in the late 10th century in the late 10th to the 12th century, and ruled from Kalyani (modern Basavakalyan).
The Chambal River is a tributary of the Yamuna River. The river flows north-northeast through Madhya Pradesh, running for a time through Rajasthan, then forming the boundary between Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh before turning southeast to join the Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh. The Chambal ravines near the junction of the three states were once the home of dreaded dacoits.
6215/ 6216 Mysore – Bangalore City (SWR Mysore division)
The Goddess Durga, in the form of Chamunda or Chamundeshwari, killed the demons Chanda and Munda after the slaying of Mahishashura. The temple dedicated to her is built on top of a 1000 m high hill near Mysore.
4887/ 4888 Kalka – Barmer (NWR Jodhpur division)
4887A/ 4888A Haridwar – Barmer (NWR Jodhpur division)
Chandigarh is a Union Territory of India, serving as the capital of two states, Haryana and Punjab. The name translates as "The Fort of Chandi", from an ancient temple called Chandi Mandir, devoted to the Hindu Goddess Chandi. It is the first planned city of India, being home to numerous architectural projects of Le Corbusier and others. At the time of partition of India and the Punjab province in 1947, the capital of Punjab, Lahore went to Pakistan. The Indian part of Punjab required a new capital, and after several existing cities were found to be infeasible for various reasons, the decision to construct a new and planned city at Chandigarh was undertaken. However, on 1st November1966, the Indian Punjab state was divided into Haryana and Punjab. The city of Chandigarh was on the border, and was thus made into a Union Territory to serve as capital of both these states.
2759/ 2760 Chennai Central – Hyderabad (SCR Secunderabad division)
Charminar meaning "Mosque of the Four Minarets" and "Four Towers" is the most famous and important monument in the city of Hyderabad. Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah built Charminar in 1591 shortly after he had shifted his capital from Golconda to what now is known as Hyderabad, to commemorate the elimination of a plague epidemic from this city.