Rain rain go away: Bhopal to Indore

Rainy season: the famous “Monsoons” in India – heavy downpours everywhere, dark skies, lush greenery etc etc. Sounds lovely, feels soothing, entices romance, but not at all for me!!

I’m one of those people who would feel down during a rainy season or whenever it rains. Some would call it a disorder of some kind, others might laugh it off, but I feel at home on watching a clear blue sky with plenty of sunshine 🙂

Coming to the point, this blog is about a journey taken by me from Bhopal(capital of Madhya Pradesh, India) to Indore(my hometown and the industrial capital of Madhya Pradesh). I reached Bhopal for some urgent work on one of the rainy mornings of July 2016. After finishing my work in a span of 3-4 hours, it was time to return to Indore. The distance is pretty small (200 kms), which takes 3 hours over a 4-Lane Expressway. I was in no hurry and therefore decided to take the train: time-taking, cheaper option (around 260 kms; 5 hours). Got tickets easily and luckily, mine was a window seat in a sitting-class coach 🙂

I reached Bairagarh(BIH) railway station, a deserted suburban rail-head of Bhopal from where I would catch my train: 11703 Rewa-Indore Express. The train follows Rewa-Katni-Saugor-Bina-Bairagarh-Ujjain-Indore route. It was 1:30 PM and my train’s scheduled arrival was at 3:30 PM, so I decided to pass my time taking videos of passing trains. Trains didn’t disappoint me either:

After this high-speed action, a heavily loaded coal rake skipped Bairagarh at pace:

Around 3:45 PM, I boarded 11703 Rewa-Indore Express(late by 15 mins). The moment I grabbed my window seat, I looked at the sky outside: dark, full of clouds, as if the next moment it would rain. All of a sudden, I started doubting whether I’m going to enjoy this journey or not. What if it rains? In that case,  I would be closing my window glass, thus spoiling my plans of recording and enjoying the scenes ahead 😦

Somehow I warded off those thoughts and started enjoying the cool monsoon breeze coing through the window, as we departed from Bairagarh. Few minutes later, we met 59393 Dahod-Habibganj passenger at Bakaniya Bhaunri(BQE) railway station. We were now running on Bairagarh-Ujjain section, a double-line electrified train route(Surprisingly, our train was hauled by a diesel locomotive):

Few minutes later, as our train started speeding up, we crossed a freight train. The beautiful countryside of Western India had begun:

The diesel locomotive of our train was really getting in a speedy mood. After a scheduled halt at Sehore(SEH), we skipped Baktal(BKTL) station at brisk pace:

I was really enjoying this high-speed saga: we were doing 100-110 kph on most occasions, which is the top speed for most of the express trains in Indian Railways. The best thing was that a diesel locomotive was speeding nicely on an electrified section. I forgot about electric locos and most importantly, the overcast weather 🙂

We gracefully skipped Kalapipal(KPP) railway station and met 59385 Indore-Chhindwara Penchvalley passenger. Our train, initially 15 mins late, was now on time:

Our train went on a rampage after Kalapipal, overspeeding through the lush green surroundings. It was around 4 pm and I started feeling a bit sleepy. Thankfully, a sudden high speed crossing by the window awakened me once again 🙂

Slightly tired, I was feeling thirsty and was offered water and snacks by one of my fellow passengers: Arvind. A young guy in his 20s, Arvind was travelling from Saugor to Indore. Few tea vendors were roaming through our 2nd-class seating coach every 10-15 minutes(a common sight in Indian Railways). Me and Arvind enjoyed a cup of hot tea amidst cool rainy weather and started discussing things about Indore, Saugor and various other topics. I clicked few pics of the beautiful surroundings, we were around Shujalpur(SJP) station, almost midway through our journey:

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After Shujalpur, observing the rail route carefully, there are gradients and river bridges, making the train ride more interesting. We speedily crossed Badi Kalisindh river bridge and then skipped Kalisindh(KSH) station at Maximum Permissible Speed:

Few minutes later, our train furiously skipped Kisoni(KONY) station, a picturesque wayside station. Just see the level difference in the UP and DOWN railway tracks at Kisoni !

We crossed a goods train hauled by a WAG-9 class locomotive: the most powerful loco of Indian Railways, before halting at Berchha(BCH) station:

I noticed the time on my watch and realised we were running before time! A nice makeup from the point when we were 15 minutes late at Bairagarh. Around 20 minutes later, we blasted through Maksi Junction(MKC), a crucial railhead on Bairagarh-Ujjain section:

The train was not in a mood to stop at all. After another furious freight train crossing,

We were brought down to an unscheduled halt of almost 20 minutes at Pingleshwar(PLW), the last station before Ujjain Junction(UJN). Finally, our “before time run” was spoiled:

Our train had a loco reversal at Ujjain Junction(6:30 PM) for going towards Indore, which would be a  2 hour journey of 80 km on a single-line electrified track:

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After departure from Ujjain, we had to stop for a single-line crossing at Vikramnagar(VRG) with 18233 Indore-Bilaspur Narmada Express, probably the oldest train running from Indore:

Luckily, no rain was there till Ujjain and from Ujjain to Indore, the sky was clear. I was having a really good time, enjoying my journey. As it started getting dark outside, I realised in that for me(at least), every train journey, long or short, has been always special. There is something in those journeys, taken since childhood that they are like a beautiful memory of the past, a precious moment of time. Whether I’m busy at work or standing in a long queue, the mere thought of those journeys would make me alone in the crowd, and the mind starts wandering again, yearning for another experience…..

All of a sudden, I was awakened from this flurry of thoughts by Arvind, who was offering another cup of tea to me now(tea is something to which I can’t say NO). We were now stranded at Lakshmibai Nagar(LMNR), the last station before Indore, since 20 minutes. The reason was obvious, single-line crossing, this time with Indore-Nagpur Express 🙂

Our train finally pulled into Indore Junction around 9 PM. Promising each other to stay in touch, I waved goodbye to my friend Arvind, as we parted ways to different exits of Indore railway station 🙂

Thanking readers for their patience 🙂

 

 

 

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A long long journey: Bangalore to Indore

Imagine a typical Indian man(me), who belongs to a central Indian city(Indore, Madhya Pradesh), but lives deep down in the South Indian metropolitan city of Bangalore in the state of Karnataka. The month of October(2015) is about to end and the biggest festivals of India: Dussehra,Diwali are round the corner. This man has various choices of going to Indore: airways, few superfast trains(30 hour journey) from Bangalore to Bhopal(Bhopal is near Indore) and the LAST OPTION: A direct train from Bangalore to Indore, but with a 41 HOUR long journey.

Alas, this guy can’t afford airlines(Air travel is still expensive in India), all the fast trains from Bangalore to Bhopal are full. So, he has to book tickets in the 19302 Yesvantpur-Indore Express and get ready for the longest train journey of his life so far 🙂

Fianlly, on a warm morning of November 2015, I packed my bags and started from my home in Bangalore City(Kundalahalli area) to reach Yesvantpur(YPR) railway station: A suburban railway station of Bangalore, which has been developed in order to reduce load on Bangalore City(SBC), the main railway station of Bangalore. I reached station well in time and boarded my train (19302 Yesvantpur-Indore Express). Mine was an “Upper Berth” in an “AC 3-tier” coach, so no window seat this time 😛

I quickly went on to the door, as our train departed from Yesvantpur railway station around 12:00 PM, all set for a 2-day long, 1900 km journey towards Indore. Being hauled by a diesel locomotive, our train was nicely chugging and carefully skipped Lottegolahalli, a suburb of Bangalore:

We slowly came to a halt at Yelahanka Junction(YNK), a suburb of Bangalore and an important railway junction. From Yelahanka, our train was about to traverse a long, single-line non-electrified train route: Yelahanka-Dharmavaram-Gooty-Kacheguda-Purna-Akola, more than half of the total distance for the journey!

 

After departing from Yelahanka, our train was nicely speeding in the vast open landscape, chugging through the single-line section on a pleasant winter afternoon. We were slowly nearing Karnataka – Andhra Pradesh state border:

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Going at a decent pace, our train nicely chugged as we skipped Hindupur(HUP) railway station. We were now running in the state of Andhra Pradesh:

After crossing Hindupur, I decided to leave the door for some time and take rest for 2-3 hours. Around 4:00 PM in the evening, we were about to enter Anantapur(ATP):

Anantapur was also a position of strategic importance for the British Indian Army during the Second World War. Being a single-line section, our train had to wait for almost 15 minutes in order to make way for 11013 Mumbai-Coimbatore Express!

After almost 2 hours of non-stop run, now it was time for our train to enter Gooty Junction(GY), a crucial junction of railway lines from Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. I was really enjoying the fresh evening air standing at the door:

Gooty railway station also hosts a large diesel locomotive shed. It started getting dark as we departed Gooty(around 7 PM) and started moving towards Hyderabad, a metropolitan city and the capital of the state of Telangana.  As it was dark outside, I returned to my Upper berth in my coach and decided to pass my time by reading a book. Around 8:30-9 PM, when everyone was feeling hungry in the train(dinner time), a guy from IRCTC catering service entered our coach and took orders from everyone for their dinner. Apart from such a long journey for this train(41 hours), another drawback is that their is no Pantry Car on board , one has to wait for the train to reach big stations so that food can be loaded temporarily!

After eating a full bowl of Veg Biryani (Biriyani is a mixed rice dish common in Southern India), it was time for me once again to stand at the door(around 10 PM). We were rushing through the darkness which was all around, as our train was running through the countryside. Suddenly, once again, we stopped at a wayside station in the middle of nowhere, thanks to single-line train route. Few minutes later, we were greeted by 17652 Kacheguda – Chennai Express:

Around 12 AM, our train entered Kacheguda(KCG) railway station, a suburban railway station of the big metropolitan city: Hyderabad. We were now in the Indian state of Telangana and our train was going to halt for around 20 minutes. So, I decided to grab a cup of coffee at the platform with one of the guys in my coach, Arun, who was traveling to Akola(Maharashtra) from Bangalore. Around 12:30 AM, our train departed from Kacheguda, as we started heading towards the Indian state of Maharashtra. Still not feeling sleepy, me and Arun started chatting and cracking jokes sitting on his side-lower berth. I was enjoying looking through the window, as our train accelerated in the dead of the night through the suburban railway stations of Hyderabad. It was quite cool inside our coach!

Finally after sleeping on my upper berth, I woke up next morning around 6:30 AM, while our train just entered Chudawa(CRU) station, we were in Maharashtra now:

This was an unscheduled halt and the only reason was the single-line section. Everytime for a crossing, one has to give way to another. We crossed Parli Vajinath-Adilabad passenger train after few minutes:

Around half an hour later, our train entered Purna Junction(PAU), the junction of lines from Mumbai, Akola and Hyderabad. Here our train would go a locomotive reversal for going towards Akola, so it was a long halt of almost 30 minutes. I decided to have breakfast of Puri-bhaji at the platform with one of my co-passengers, Mr. Yogesh Keshawre, who was also going to Indore.We departed right on time from Purna Junction:

Soon, our train was rushing through the countryside full of crops of Toor Dal (One of the pulses commonly eaten in India).  We were moving towards Central India, as I was having conversations with my fellow passengers, including Mr. Yogesh, Arun etc. Around 9:00 AM, we entered Hingoli Deccan(HNL), one of the cleanest stations I have ever seen during my train journeys:

Around an hour after departing from Hingoli, we were stopped at Kanhargaon Naka (KNRG), a beautiful wayside station:

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The reason was obvious: a single-line crossing, this time with 12766 Amravati-Tirupati Express 🙂

We later reached Washim, around 11:00 AM. It was getting hot now:

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After a continuous run for another 40-45 km, we finally entered Akola Junction, the junction of lines from Bhusaval, Nagpur, Khandwa and Purna. Our train, which was on Purna-Akola track, went over the Nagpur-Akola line to enter Akola station(see the video):

Arun, one of my co-passengers got down at Akola. Now our train would undergo a reversal to go via Akola- Narkher-Itarsi-Bhopal-Ujjain-Indore route.  The time was around 12:30 PM and it was quite hot and humid. Me and Mr. Yogesh Keshawre, my fellow passenger enjoyed a nice lunch at window seat(the passengers having window seat got down at Akola), as our train departed from Akola. Chatting with each other, I came to know that Mr. Yogesh(Of my father’s age) was running a business in Bangalore, with his family based in Indore. We kept talking about various issues, such as the gauge conversion of Akola-Indore metre gauge train route, which would have reduced almost 7 hours of this journey!

I enjoyed some nice sleep in the afternoon, and got up around 5:30 PM, when our train was about to enter Narkher junction(NRKR):

Narkher junction is situated on New Delhi – Chennai railway route, a trunk route of Indian Railways. Few minutes later, we were brutally overtaken by 12723 Hyderabad-New Delhi Telangana Express:

After departing from Narkher, I stood at the door enjoying some high speed action, as now we were running on a double-line electrified section:

Around 6:00-6:15 PM we entered Pandhurna(PAR) railway station. We were now in MADHYA PRADESH, my home state 🙂

We skipped few stations afterwards at MPS(Maximum Permissible Speed), but were surprised by an unscheduled halt at Teegaon(TEO), around 6:50 PM:

Later, as it grew dark outside, I once again reached my berth and started passing my time through this long journey, this time watching a movie on a fellow passenger’s laptop with few other passengers. We rushed quickly through many stations to reach Amla Junction around 8:30 PM, where dinner was served. Further, we reached Itarsi Junction around 10:30 PM, though I was too tired now to hang on at the door and take a video 🙂

I finally went to sleep after crossing Bhopal Junction around 12:30 AM, this being the 2nd night of my 41 hour journey. Just when I closed my eyes, flurry of thoughts came into my mind. Throughout this journey, I was in a bit of stress(yet enjoying), as I had lost my hard-earned job after lot of struggle in October 2015, owing to issues with my arrogant and disgraceful manager. This was November 2015 and I had hidden this fact with my parents, my friends, everyone for more than a month. As a result, I decided to permanently leave Bangalore and return Indore.

The train was running fast through the darkness, geographically through the countryside of Western Madhya Pradesh. Finally, we reached Indore before time around 5:00 AM(the actual time being 5:15 AM). I decided to have a cup of tea with Mr. Yogesh Keshawre amidst cool surroundings, before bidding him goodbye. We had become good friends 🙂

As my cab speeded through the empty roads of Indore towards my home, I was worried as I was about to tell the bitter truth of my lost job to my parents, but still happy that I enjoyed this long journey, which was a kind of blessing in disguise.

Thanking readers for their patience 🙂 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A blessing in disguise: Jaipur to Indore

A warm welcome to all the readers! This is my third post on my blog, which describes my train journey from Jaipur, the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan to Indore, my hometown and the commercial capital of the state of Madhya Pradesh.

Though I have traveled around 9-10 times between Jaipur and Indore, this journey remains one of my favorites, because I didn’t expect it in advance to be an awesome one: it was a blessing in disguise 🙂

I visited Pilani(Rajasthan) on 2nd June 2012 with my father in order to appear for a Masters course entrance exam at BITS,Pilani– one of the best private colleges of India. Sadly, my exam didn’t go that well despite hard preparation, which left me worried and full of stress during my entire bus journey of around 230 kms from Pilani to Jaipur(Pilani doesn’t have a train station).

We reached Jaipur on the evening of 3rd June 2012 and decided to stay there for the night, as we had to catch our train the next morning at 11 am, for our return journey to Indore. I spent night biting nails, while watching an India-Pakistan cricket match on the TV set of our hotel room and still thinking about the result of my exam, with my dad fast asleep being tired after a long bus journey and extremely hot weather.

Finally, we reached Jaipur junction railway station on time the next morning after having a delicious breakfast to board our train to Indore: 12465 Jodhpur-Indore Ranthambore Express. To my delight, we had a side-lower berth reserved for us, which meant that I can enjoy my train journey, sitting by the window, taking pics and videos 🙂

We departed bang on time from Jaipur Junction:

 

The atmosphere in a non-air conditioned sleeper coach of Indian Railways is a unique one: children making noises(some crying, some enjoying), women talking loudly to each other, vendors roaming through the coach selling stuff like biscuits, tea , water bottles. One can also see older men/women talking calmly to their relatives and some of them continuously  looking outside the windows, as if lost in some philosophy or old memories. Full of chaos, but still with a balance, it is a world in itself: a world running fast over the rails, changing tracks, speeding up, slowing down, carrying so many emotions.

Under the scorching summer heat( around 40 degree celsius), our train was continuously speeding on Jaipur – Sawai Madhopur section, through a barren terrain. A large part of western Rajasthan is a desert and the desert is extending towards the east i.e. towards the capital Jaipur and other nearby regions, which is a problem.

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Around 1 PM in the afternoon, our train came to a halt at Banasthali Niwai station, a small town which hosts one of the best women universities of India.

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As we neared Sawai Madhopur(an important junction of lines from Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur), our train came to another halt, an unscheduled one at “Chauth Ka Barwara” for a crossing with another train. The reason is that Jaipur-Sawai Madhopur is a single-line, non-electrified section:

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I was ready with my camera, curious to capture the train which would cross us. Few minutes later, 12239 Mumbai-Jaipur AC Duronto Express(a non-stop train service between the cities) crossed us at brisk pace:

 

Later, we reached Sawai Madhopur station, where our train underwent reversal for going towards Indore. I was really excited, as this was the end of single-line section for us. Now our train would be getting an electric loco to run on a double-line electrified section, which means some HIGH SPEED action.

Soon under the hot sun, when almost everyone started feeling sleepy after having lunch, I started enjoying my journey, as our train started speeding and skipped many wayside stations with great speed. On the track parallel to us(this was a double-line section), trains were crossing us in very few time spans: New Delhi-Mumbai being one of Indian Railways busiest sections.

Around 2 pm, our train crossed Chambal river and entered another important railway junction: Kota(West Central Railway):

Many people(including me and my dad) got down at the platform to buy some snacks and the most valuable thing: Drinking Water, given the extreme heat conditions. Despite hot conditions, few people were drinking hot tea!  Milk Tea is the most popular beverage of India(even I’m addicted to it) and it is, in some cases, a really healthy one.

We witnessed some beautiful scenery after departing Kota, which were basically small areas of Mukandara Wild Life Reserve:

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Once again, we were on the go, skipping stations at high speed, running through the countryside. Our train was now moving South, through South-East Rajasthan, towards Madhya Pradesh:

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Running right time so far, our train slowed down to a halt at Bhawani Mandi railway station. This station is a special one, as it is divided between two states,Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Northern part of the platform is in Madhya Pradesh and the southern part in Rajasthan!

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Half an hour later, we crossed a container train(CONRAJ) at Vikramgarh Alot station. Freight trains are my favorites:

Once again, after these few hours of delightful journey, those creepy thoughts of my crucial Masters entrance examination(which didn’t go well) and its results occupied my mind. What if I fail? It would mean losing a great opportunity. But then, at the very moment, I decided to enjoy my train journey, which was going on nicely, forgetting those result woes. Lets enjoy these rare, precious travel moments.

We were about to reach Nagda Junction(135 kms from Indore), another important railhead to undergo final train reversal towards Indore:

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After departing from Nagda, as it started getting dark after the sunset, I started feeling the fresh evening air as our train headed towards Indore. Suddenly, my dad(who was working in a Government department in Indore), sitting besides me, received a shocking phone-call from his colleague. My dad just heard the news that he had been transferred to Banbasa, a place amidst dense forests near Indo-Nepal border in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, around 1500 kms from our hometown Indore!

Both me and dad, confused and worried, looked outside the window, into the growing darkness, thinking about our problems. For me the issue was of my future(me being jobless), whether I would get admission to that privileged institute or not. For my dad, it was an issue of moving alone to a new place far from our home.

We reached Ujjain around 8:30 pm, an important junction and a holy city of Hindu pilgrimage. As we moved towards Indore(only 2 hours away), I consoled my dad that everything would be okay: my job issues, his transfer to a new place. Under the bright moon light, once again our train got looped at a small station for a crossing(Ujjain-Indore is a single-line section too). This time it was Indore-Gwalior express, which came quickly with its flashing headlight:

Finally, we got down at Indore around 10:30 pm and got a cab to our home. Feeling extremely tired and with mixed emotions, I hoped of another such journey to refresh my soul in the coming days and then once again, hoped that all would be okay…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journeys on Indian Railways: A visit to Kalakund

Greetings to everyone 🙂

Few days back, I wrote my very first blog: Journeys on Indian Railways: Bangalore to Bangarapet and back/. The blog post described my journey from the metropolitan city of Bangalore to a nearby small town: Bangarapet.

As I have mentioned earlier(in my 1st blog post), I enjoy traveling a lot, specially train travel. So, here I’m about to describe another journey, once again a small one, from Indore, my hometown, which is the commercial capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh to Kalakund: a small, scenic nearby town 🙂

As usually happens(at least with me), suddenly planned, last moment journeys are the best ones. Kalakund is situated on Indore-Khandwa railway line, which itself is a part of Ratlam-Akola railway line. Ratlam-Indore-Mhow-Khandwa-Akola section(Ratlam-Akola rail route) once used to be the longest metre gauge rail route of India. At this point of time(March 2016) , Ratlam-Indore-Mhow has been converted to Broad Gauge under the Project Unigauge by Indian Railways.

The main driving factor behind this journey was the railway route from Patalpani(PTP)-Kalakund(KKD) railway station, which is a 10 km long metre gauge section on Mhow-Khandwa rail route. This is one of the most beautiful train routes of Indian Railways, specially in monsoons.
A 100 year old rail route,the track was built on a very difficult terrain,which can be judged by the fact that in a span of only 10 kms, one encounters 4 TUNNELS & some 4-5 VIADUCTS !

Finally, on a hot morning of May 24th 2013 , I started my trip to Kalakund with my friend Vivek Mishra(who is also a train lover like me). We boarded YDM-4 class locomotive hauled 52975 Ujjain-Akola metre gauge passenger train from Indore around 9 AM. It is a fun to travel on an Indian Railways metre gauge train: the chugging and smoking of loco, old lamps in coaches instead of tubelights, the coaches shake a lot as the train gathers speed, the nostalgic maroon livery of coaches instead of the current blue livery and some awesome, rhythmic track sounds due to old tracks.

I started enjoying our journey as soon as I boarded the train with Vivek, going through long conversations on different aspects of Indian Railways, excited about the route ahead. Around 9:30 AM, our train entered RAU railway station, a suburban railhead of Indore situated at an altitude of about 530 meters above MSL:

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RAU will become an important junction in the near future, as the Dahod-Indore railway line(currently under construction) will join the existing Khandwa-Indore line here itself.

After departure from RAU, our train attained MPS(Maximum Permissible Speed), as it approached Mhow, an important railhead on Indore-Khandwa section:

Few minutes later, our train slowed down after this fast run and slowly entered Mhow(MHOW) railway station:

Mhow, officially known as Dr Ambedkar Nagar,is a cantonment in the Indore District in Madhya Pradesh state of India. It is located 23 kilometres (14 mi) south of Indore city. An important railhead, MHOW also hosts a diesel loco shed,containing a number of YDM-4 class diesel locomotives(Source: IRFCA).

After a long stoppage, around 11 AM, our train started departing from Mhow railway station. One can see the big yard, where a lot of old train rakes were standing idle:

My excitement increased with the increasing afternoon heat as our train speeded up after Mhow, going through minor curves, proceeding towards Patalpani:

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Few minutes later, we reached Patalpani railway station(PTP), situated at 571.95 metres above MSL(Mean Sea Level):

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According to folklore, the pit (kund) at the bottom of the falls goes as deep as patal (the underworld in Indian mythology). Therefore, the falls are called Patal-pani, pani being the Hindi word for water.

The area around Patalpani is a popular picnic and trekking spot. There is a famous Waterfall nearby as well, approximately 300 feet high.

Our train departed from Patalpani and both of us were thrilled as the Patalpani-Kalakund ghat section, the main attraction of the journey was about to start:

It was a treat as the train went along, specially children shouting with joy as the train went through dark tunnels, breath-taking viaducts, slowly descending towards next halt and our destination, Kalakund(KKD), 260 metres above MSL:99150630

Quite astonishing was the fact that we had descended 571.95 – 260 i.e. 311.95 metres in a span of around 30 minutes in 10 kms! Finally,we railfans(Me and Vivek) got down at the deserted Kalakund station as our train proceeded towards Khandwa. Standing physically at the platform under the hot sun but mentally still inside that train, I couldn’t stop myself from clicking this pic of our departing train:

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Kalakund is a small, scenic railway station surrounded by hills, perfect for a day trip to get rid of the busy, hectic life of Indore and a treat for metre gauge train lovers. In that hot afternoon the station was deserted, thought this small place is famous for its Kalakand(Milk cake) sweets, which are being sold at the railway station itself:

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In spite of the summer heat, it was one of the best afternoons for me, as I wandered at this small, peaceful railway station clicking pics, enjoying the scenery around. We also had a chat with the friendly station master who gave us a good overview of the station’s daily traffic and about the declining business of the famous Kalakand sweets from Kalakund.

Kalakund railway station is also important due to the fact that for the trains going uphill i.e. for Kalakund-Patalpani section(Kalakund: 260 MSL and Patalpani: 571.95 MSL), a banker locomotive is attached at the back of every train to climb the steep gradient towards Patalpani.

After exploring this nice peaceful station and having a nice outing, it was time for us to return to Indore. We didn’t have to wait much as half an hour later, around 3 PM, YDM-4 #6660 locomotive from MHOW shed arrived at Kalakund with Khandwa-Mhow passenger:

As per the rules, since we were about to climb towards Patalpani, a banker locomotive was attached at the rear end of our train:

We started for our return journey to Indore, this time both me and Vivek standing at the doors of our coach to enjoy the hilly section once again.Once again our train went through all those tunnels and viaducts, climbing towards Patalpani, but there wasn’t any excitement, any shouting by children through those dark tunnels, thanks to the afternoon laziness and the scorching sun: temperature was around 42 degrees celsius!

Later, after reaching Mhow, me and Vivek boarded Mhow-Indore passenger for our final journey towards Indore.Extremely tired, but still enjoying my train journey, I clicked few snaps as our train accelerated towards Indore:

Mhow-Indore passenger at Haranya Kheri(HKH) railway station: 

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Our train Mhow-Indore passenger on a curve after departing from RAU railway station:

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Finally, after thanking Vivek for this enchanting trip, I got down at Rajendra Nagar(RJQ) station around 4 PM to take a bus to my home.

As I entered my home, extremely tired but delighted after this journey, a beautiful quote by Pat Conroy striked my mind:

Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey….

Thanks for reading my blog. STAY TUNED AND STAY BLESSED 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journeys on Indian Railways: Bangalore to Bangarapet and back

A warm welcome to everyone on my blog 🙂 🙂

As might be evident from the way I’m writing (and I won’t hide it), this is my very first blog post. I have been an ardent fan of Indian Railways since my childhood. During my early days, I used to enjoy my various train journeys a lot: looking at the fields, rivers, hills as they pass by in the morning and afternoon, getting frightened as well as excited during high speed trains crossings. Arrival and departure from big railway stations, specially during the nights, the sound of train changing tracks, announcements going on at the platform, the guys shouting “Chai-Chai”, the glare of the “green” signal when your train is speeding during the midnight: all these things excite me a lot.

As a result, as I grew up doing various train journeys, I became a train-spotter/railfan: A person having keen interest in trains:Railfan/Trainspotting

Coming straight to the point, this blog is about my short train journey on August 15th 2015  from the metropolitan city of Bangalore to a near by town: Bangarapet. Legend from Ramayana has it that, the places where Sita wandered barefoot turned into gold mines because of the blessing of Goddess Lakshmi. Bangara or Bangaram in Kannada and Telugu respectively means gold. Hence the name of the town ‘Bangarapet’. The Kolar gold fields situated very close to Bangarpet testifies this piece of history.

My plan was to catch a suburban train from Whitefield(WFD) railway station of Bangalore to Bangarapet(BWT) railway station and then take a bus to visit the Kolar gold fields. Bangarapet is an important junction on Bangalore-Chennai railway route.

Hence, I started my journey by boarding 66530 Bangalore City – Bangarapet MEMU from Whitefield railway station. Being an August morning, weather was hot and humidity was high.

Anyhow, I started enjoying my train journey as our MEMU(Mainline Electric Multiple Unit: MEMU) started picking up speed on Bangalore-Chennai section, which is double-line electrified. I was standing at the door to enjoy this high-speed run, specially between Byatrayanahalli(BFW) and Tyakal(TCL) railway stations:

Tyakal is nice place for a day trip from bangalore. As our train neared Tyakal, I saw this      beautiful hillock and quickly took a snap of it:

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Finally, we arrived at Bangarapet(BWT) railway station, slightly late:

After getting down at Bangarapet, I was feeling quite hungry and the hunger along with hot, humid weather was starting to take their toll on me. I visited a restaurant and ordered some Paneer curry vegetable, rice and chapatis, as I had to take a bus to Kolar Gold Fields.

But to my utter surprise, few minutes after leaving the restaurant and heading to the bus station, I started feeling really uneasy and all of a sudden, dropped the idea of visiting Kolar. Under the hot afternoon sun and with a heavy stomach, feeling uneasy, all I could think of was returning Bangalore as soon as possible.

Disappointed, I reached Bangarapet railway station, hoping to catch a suburban train back to Bangalore. But then, I thought that even though I was unable to visit Kolar, how about doing some railfanning/ train spotting at Bangarapet station itself 🙂 ??

Few minutes later, my wish was fulfilled, as 12253 Yeswantpur-Bhagalpur Anga Express came and slowly skipped Bangarapet railway station:

Around 20 minutes later, I started my return journey to Bangalore by boarding 76508 Bangarapet-Bangalore Cantt DEMU:

Slowly, as the train started speeding up towards Bangalore, I started feeling sleepy: that typical afternoon laziness, enjoying the breeze sitting on the window seat,which felt like a big relief on that hot afternoon(around 3 pm).

Suddenly, as my DEMU started entering Malur(MLO) railway station, half asleep, I was awakened by the fast crossing with 12640 Bangalore-Chennai Brindavan Express:

At the end, I got down from the train at Whitefield(WFD) railway station to catch the bus numbered  335-E to my home: Kundanahalli, feeling bad about my failed Kolar trip, but feeling happy and pleased about this small train journey from Bangarapet to Whitefield.

I hope you enjoyed reading my first post. Suggestions/Comments are most welcome.

STAY TUNED and STAY BLESSED!