Most enjoyable journey in India.

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#31 May 17th, 2005, 04:02
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#31
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Originally Posted by steven_ber What was your most enjoyable journey in India?
I'd say Old Delhi rickshaw rides esp. at night are pretty crazy & a good introduction to the country once you get the hang of it, there's no Dodgem ride to beat it.

I remember one occasion in particular where our driver met a friend along the way (there's endless automotive discussions + people hopping in + chance encounters going on amidst all that mayhem anyway) who was suffering engine problems on his moped -- all of this in full flight mind you. So our driver kindly offered to push him home, involving the guy seated on the back of the moped having to turn around facing us and putting his feet to the rickshaw's front bumper! Needless to say we'd lose contact sometimes during brakes and the rickshaw would have to speed up to catch up etc. I swear I've never seen such big and scared eyes as with that backseat fellow!

Wonderful ride really, needless to say no one got hurt and those guys got duly delivered where they needed to be.

Ah India...
#32 May 17th, 2005, 04:12
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#32
all above and more ,the mind bogles!!!! we have just spent 6 months travelling on busses and trains in India.The blue train,can i add to what has been said above .The sleeper from Delhi to varanasi.Full of expectation,and fulfilment!!!!!the Himm queen down from Shimla to Kalka.Oh the heat ,lovely heat. A bus ride through the Kangra valley where i wanted to stop the bus and get off.I know the countryside but that was so vibrant and green.The midnight rickshaw ride in Bikanar to catch a train to Amaritsar.Joy, Joy,
#33 May 17th, 2005, 16:35
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#33
With a sad but invigorated heart I contemplated the last ‘TRIP” The road that would lead me out of my beloved India and as of late my retro hippy hideaway in Utteranchal.
Life had taken on a never ending hue, an elixir of nature, food of the earth and standing naked before one of nature’s undeniable truths in the high Himalaya.
Time stood still as Mother Nature displayed her wares, Jackals, birds of character and designs too infinite to describe, circling Vultures, all seduced ones senses
This was what my mind and spirit was leaving, shored up by a myriad of other memorable scenarios stretching back over the last 5 months, Malvani “Fish Curry Rice” Journeys through the teak plantations of Karnataka, Nights spent in “living “ with our host at various hotels, The 60’s rejuvenated in Goa at the Alpha Bar, our first Jungle Cat, Faludas, our chanting Tibetans at the Buddhist cave Ellora, chai at the Ganesh temple Ranthambore Fort, sun down at Badami, the jungles of the Western Ghats, rafting on the Kali
So what could a mundane taxi ride possibly do to compensate a sorry spirit?
Safely packed into out little Maruti we set off to find out!
Our taxi wallah, new to the job took us on a detour that added KMs a well as confusion to the journey!
Finally we found our way out of the by now, metropolis of Almora and with The College Of Hotel Management as our last anchor to the new way of life for the hill people of Uttteranchal we headed out through the pine studded landscapes for the lower hills of the Kumaon.
After a little altercation with driver about the usefulness of using the engine to brake the car on the long down hill switchbacks we settled in to enjoy the scenery!
The road followed the natural path of river and valleys, hugging the hillside and affording wonderful view of the river and hills.
Trees occasionally added colour to the green canvas, bright red, Lavender, orange they made for new focal points in every direction.
The rivers were littered with huge boulders the size of houses and you had to wonder at the power of the water that washed them down inexorably down stream.
Of course where there's countryside in India you'll find spirituality, and it was no surprise to find little shrines and temple dotted along the way, some allowed the fine granite structure to be admired others long since painted white. Many had grottos or springs along side the shrines perhaps these held the reason for temples existence?
The roads were quite until we pulled in for a chai where we seemed to be sharing a Dhaba with every one in Southern Utteranchal; the chai was great as was the samosa dahi! Having located out drive in the huddle, we continued down passing through Bhimtal out approach from the ridge high above the town gave us great views of the substantial lake and gardens.
As the light started to fade we saw the tiny lights of kathkodam below us, after a bobsleigh run that lasted 40 minutes we finally pulled into the old station.
The final trip was done, as usual India had blown is away and we knew yes we’ll be back!!!
#34 May 17th, 2005, 17:10
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#34
On NH 17 from Calicut to Goa in 2002. Thoroughly enjoyed the drive. And from 1996 to 2002 the monthly drive from Mangalore to Goa...... and a drive from Subramanya to Sakleshpur through the Bisle Ghats in the monsoon....... fantastic......plenty of waterfalls & rivulets........
#35 May 17th, 2005, 19:47
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#35
I see I'm not alone in some of my choices:

The Darjeeling Hymalayan Railway is the BEST train ride I've been on, we only did the 1hr trip up to Ghoom (which scarcely qualifies as a 'journey') but had an amazing amount of fun. Mr TQ nearly lost his head filming out of the window, and I all but fell out of the train taking pictures of the Gurkha memorial - I know, it only goes at walking pace, but this was at the point where the Batasia loop crosses over itself! We got off the train plastered in soot and laughing like complete fools.

We also loved driving through Sikkim. Particularly the journey from Pelling to Darjeeling which goes through some extraordinary gorges and beautiful wooded hills. You really wonder HOW the roads were built in this area.

Finally, the drive from Dibrugarh to Guwahati which we took over several days, stopping at Sibsagar, Jorhat and Kaziranga. It passes through a variety of landscapes, hills, rice fields and endless green seas of tea. We loved watching the activities of people in the towns and countryside and the soft colours of the houses. Absolutely magical.
#36 May 18th, 2005, 17:22
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#36
In general, the journey by train on a Ghat Section is definitely an enjoyable one, such as,
i) Kalka-Shimla (NG)
ii)Siliguri-Darjeeling(NG)
iii)Pathankot-Jogindernagar(NG)
iv)Neral-Matheran(NG)
v)Mettupalayam-Ootcamund(MG)
vi) Visakhapatnam-Araku(BG).
==================
Next come the tracks that pass, through hilly areas, through tunnels, through picturesique areas, such as,
i) Konkan Railway
ii) West Coast Line from Mangalore to Trivandrum
==============
Next come, the journey by high speed trains like,
i) Shatabdhi Expresses
ii) Rajadhani Expresses
=========
Next come, very long journies like,m particularly for those who have patience & time at their disposal:
i) Jammu to Kanyakumari by Himsagar Express (6317/6318)
ii) Trivandrum to Guwahati by 5627/5628
iii) Chennai to Dibrugarh Town by 5929/5930
iv) Amritsar to Dibrugarh Town by 5933/5934
v) Guwahati to Okha by 5635/5636
vi) Guwahati to Bikaner/Jodhpur by 5631/5632
vii) Trivandrum to Jodhpur by 6311/6312
and now, the latest addition
vii) Chandigarh to Trivandrum by 2653/2654 Kerala Sampark Kranthi
======================
Though a difficult job, the journey in a Bombay Local is an enjoyable one, but for new ones, only end-to-end journey please, such as Churchgate-Virar/ CSTM to Panvel/ CSTM to Karjat and back, by purchasing the return journey ticket in the beginning itself.
#37 May 18th, 2005, 17:23
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#37
So basically you like TRAINS Vsp27759
#38 May 18th, 2005, 17:28
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#38
Very much Sir.
==========
It would not be an exaggeration, if I say, only love for Railways (**more than my wife & children) flows through my body, than blood
#39 May 18th, 2005, 18:26
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#39
My most enjoyable journey was from Kovalam and Trivandrum back to Tiruneveli by road. My husband and I went to Kovalam for my birthday and the journey back was about 3 hours thru the lush tropical winding forests of Tamilnadu and Kerala. Some breathtaking scenery and wonderfully smelling trees. I smelled alot of eucalyptus on the way. We stopped at a rest area on the outskirts of these Falls in Kerala on the border of TN...just spectacular. Then we stopped at Courtallam Falls. It was just a great journey and something I will never forget. I saw a few wild peacocks on the way back as well...
#40 May 18th, 2005, 19:05
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#40
mine i was lucky enough to take twice a day for a couple of months. i had a 20 minute auto rickshaw ride to and from school every day. absolutely loved it.

it was a cool journey, as firstly i had to go down one of the main roads (old madras road) in bangalore at rush hour, and then down a long dusty road, then past an army base, where there were always loads of soldiers running down the road, mainly wolf whistling at me, which always made me laugh. then we had to go through a sort of village area with loads of shops, then down a *tiny* road, crowded with tiny homes right on the edge of the road. this road was always full of people, and several times i saw one of those big indian trucks trying to get down there, aswell as a load of rickshaws.

it was always quite an experience. i wrote a something about the journey for my creative writing class this year - i've added it to the members articles section if anyones interested
#41 May 18th, 2005, 19:38
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#41
One of my most memorable journeys was on a April morning from Binsar, in Kumaon to Pauri in Garhwal.

The best part about that journey were the back roads, negligible traffic, the road meandering through villages, valleys and pine forests and the Trishul peak for company on the right throughout the stretch till Gwaldam.

That journey is only a memory. I didn't have a camera and have no pictures. Only the memories remain.
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#42 May 18th, 2005, 19:49
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#42
Lots of journeys.....how does one chose?

1) First journey between Bombay and Goa - amazing, the scenery, the duration, the train itself - just everything completely blew me away.

2) Half way between Bombay and Goa the train broke down during the night, so me and 3 friends paid a kind gentleman to take us to Goa in his four wheel drive. We had a 10 hour amazing journey, stopping to sleep when it was dark, and being awoken a couple of hours later by a monk banging loudly on a gong outside a temple in the mountains...it was about 6am, slightly misty, a little chilly and absolutely beautiful... We then had cups of chai and samosas for breakfast.

3) Having walked all day in the desert area around Pushkar, we managed to hitch a ride back into the town on the back of a camel cart with a young boy, it was a stunning ride through the desert for a couple of hours watching the sun go down, and chatting to this young man... The desert was stunning and so quiet.
#43 May 18th, 2005, 20:43
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#43

Thumbs up Wildlife

For me it would the train and van ride from Bangalore to Mysore to Nagerhole National forest. We stayed at Jungle Inn there, which is a fabalous private resort that also provides wildlife viewing. My kids still talk about it even some 4 years later.

We also went to a Tibetan settlement. That refugee settlement was so clean, colorful, and eye-opening. Not to say the least their beautiful hand made rugs at reasonable prices still hang in each of our kid's rooms.

I am an outdoors person and so my fav was that experience, rather than the typical tourist stuff we also did.
Ayurvedic cure for an Indian headache
#44 May 18th, 2005, 22:05
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#44
most trips involving taxis or rickshaws.
the most memorable, and unfortunately most unpleasant, was to varanasi train station. after walking for 15 or 20 minutes through the maze of alleys around the ghats we (there were 9 of us) found a place where we could pick up rickshaws to the stations.
because we had no idea how long it would take us to walk we had given ourselves an hour and a half, and just as well.
when we emerged onto the roads some kind of procession/festival was ocurring. it seemed to consist of a large group of young men, chanting and waving hockey sticks and swords (although, strangely, no cricket bats.) as you can perhaps imagine, in the crowded and chaotic streets of varanasi this added noise and energy was somewhat unsettling, in fact, we were all nervous.
our hotel guide told us that it was a muslim festival and that because of it they had closed the roads. the rickshaw drivers were demanding extra money and being bossy about how many rickshaws we took, but, given that they only wanted a few of our dollars and we really just wanted to get to delhi we agreed.
that, as it turned out, was the easy part.
trying to get the rickshaws out was unbelievably difficult, caught up as we were by now in a street procession. at one stage our guide and a stray police officer who had jumped in our rickshaw had to get out and move some carts. at differing times and speeds the three other rickshaws containing our friends disappeared into the varanasi nightmare traffic. at one stage the procession decided that the rickshaw containing three of my friends would make a good musical instrument and took to pounding it with their hockey sticks and swords. they were terrified, half convinced that they were going to die.
after finally clearing the festival there was varanasi peak hour traffic - quite literally the worst i have ever seen. the pollution was visible and smelt foul, and i was just terrified that we would miss our train. we had no idea where we were, where the train station was and how long it would take. for once, the chaos of road travel was not entertaining.
and yet i can still remember things that i noticed whilst worrying about time and traffic - two beautifully dressed women sitting ever so straight in a cycle rickshaw, one of them holding a sleeping baby wearing a knitted suit; piles of woven cane baskets - i reckon i could have jumped out and haggled for a few and not lost sight of my rickshaw.
one of the things that amazed me about rickshaw drivers was that, if we had hired more than one rickshaw, they managed to keep each other in sight. somehow, in the amazing mess that was varanasi they managed to link up, and we all arrived at the station together! how on earth they do this is nothing short of miraculous i reckon.
if all the drivers in formula one grand prix were indian taxi and rickshaw drivers, how much more interesting do you reckon it would be.
and yes, we made the train on time.
#45 May 18th, 2005, 22:09
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#45
umm, i misread that, sorry...
got engrossed in reading peoples stories and kind of forgot you had asked for most enjoyable. it's just that this one was rather memorable.
cheers, and apologies again.
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