Indian Railways enables passengers to book a series of journeys through its circular journey facility. Train tickets under this option - available on select routes - are issued for journeys that begin and complete at the same station, according to India Railways' official website - indianrailways.gov.in. Circular journey tickets give the benefit of "telescopic rates", which are considerably lower than regular point-to-point fare, according to the Railways. These rates are calculated on mail/express fares. Circular journey tickets can be purchased only for second and sleeper booking classes, and under this facility, a maximum of eight breaks of journey are admissible, according to the Indian Railways website.
How to book Indian Railways' circular journey tickets
The Railways has prescribed the following steps for booking tickets under the circular journey facility:
1. Once the itinerary is finalised, the passenger can approach the divisional commercial managers of the division, or station managers of certain major stations to which the journey commencing station belongs.
2. The divisional commercial manager or the station authorities will calculate the cost of the tickets based on the itinerary. They then share the details with the concerned station manager in the prescribed format.
3. Passengers can purchase circular journey tickets by presenting this form at the booking office of the station from the proposed destination to start the journey.
4. After purchasing the circular journey ticket, passengers must approach the reservation office to reserve the accommodation for various laps of the journey. Reserved tickets are then issued for the journey.
Benefits of booking circular journey tickets