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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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!
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:
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…..