Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation or IRCTC as it is popularly referred as, is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles catering tourism and online ticketing operations of the Indian Railways, with around 5 to 6 lakhs bookings everyday is the world’s second busiest. Its tagline being “Lifeline of the Nation”.
The online ticketing service is known for changing the face of railway ticketing in India. It pioneered internet- based rail ticket booking through its website as well as through mobile phones. It also provides SMS facility to check the PNR status and also Live Train Status as well.
Another service offered by the IRCTC would be the Tatkal scheme. Under the Tatkal Scheme, passengers who plan their journey at a short notice get to book tickets in almost all Mail/Express trains through the Indian Railways internet portal. The booking starts at 10:00 AM everyday for AC couch reservations and at 11:00AM for non-AC couch reservations, a day prior to the departure of the train from source station.
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation also organises budget and deluxe package tours for domestic and foreign tourists. One of the popular tourism packages for budget tourists covering important tourist destinations across India is called as the ‘Bharat Darshan’.