To Bangalore via Bombay and Goa

#1 Jul 6th, 2004, 02:39
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  • Andreas is offline
#1
I will be travelling to Bangalore by September with intermediate stops in Bombay and Goa to visit friends.

I am thinking about travelling to Goa by the catamaran service Sam Link and further on to Bangalore by train. Does this sound wise (despite the fact I have never travelled in India by land or ocean before)?

Is it really necessary to book train tickets in advance at home or can I wait until I arrive at the train station in Goa and get my ticket there? Advice needed on this!

Cheers, in advance.
#2 Jul 6th, 2004, 05:57
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#2
It's very easy to travel to bangalore from either Goa or Bombay. From Bombay, best option is to take a train. At least 1 train runs between these stations daily. Try to get 'Udyan express'. I am not sure if they have Rajdhani running from Bom to Blr.
From Goa, the route is a little circuitous, in that you will need to take a train to Londa, change the trains and take the one that goes to blr. Else, you can take Konkar Railway until Mangalore and a Bus from there to Blr.
For trains, you will usually need to book in advance, but September is not such a great travel season so you can expect to find a place from Tourist Quota (if General quota is not available).
#3 Jul 6th, 2004, 07:59
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#3
Quote:
Originally posted by concoran
I am not sure if they have Rajdhani running from Bom to Blr.
concoran,
"Rajdhani" means capital. The concept behind a "Rajdhani Express" is the train which connects the "Rajdhani" of the country -New Delhi- to other cities, mainly state capitals. Hence, there will never be a "Rajdhani" Express between Mumbai and Bangalore.

Andreas,
There is a direct train service between Goa(Madgaon) and Bangalore on three days of the week- Mon,Thu and Sat. and the journey time is 14 hrs.

You haven't mentioned when in September will you be travelling Mumbai-Goa. If its anytime from 17th to 28th and you're thinking of taking the train, then please book your tickets for this sector 60 days in advance; as this is the period of the Ganesh Festival and all trains on the Mumbai-Goa Konkan Railway route will be unbelievably full !

You also need to check whether the catamaran service will be operating in September.
Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop !
#4 Jul 7th, 2004, 00:08
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#4
I appreciate your comprehensive replies!

Concoran, how often are there bus services between Mangalore and Bangalore and how much would you estimate the bus fare to be?

Shimla, thank you for telling me about the Ganesh Feistval. I had no idea this would take place during these dates and actually we should be going to Goa sometime around the September 17 or 18. Maybe it's best to book our tickets in advance, or either travel by air or sea. Are the flights also full during this time or is train the most attractive option of travelling?

I have written to Sam Link and am awaiting reply from them!
#5 Jul 7th, 2004, 03:44
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Andreas, There are anywhere between 25-50 buses running between Mangalore and Bangalore everyday. Majority of them leave late in the evening (9-10m) and get to Blr at about 5:00 AM. If you go to the KSRTC (state run bus company) bustand, you will probably find one every hour or two. Just remember that travelling between two cities is not hard.

Between flying and taking a train, train is always an attractive option, It is also way too cheaper.
#6 Jul 7th, 2004, 10:53
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Quote:
Originally posted by Andreas

Are the flights also full during this time or is train the most attractive option of travelling?
The flights to Goa will not be full, as Goa is not the destination of those travelling for the Ganesh Festival.

The Ganesh Festival is celebrated with gusto for ten days in Maharashtra. During this period, people working in Mumbai rush to their native places, which are strewn all along the Konkan coast(between Mumbai and Goa) and which comprise towns like Alibag, Chiplun, Ratnagiri, Vengurla, Kudal, Sawantwadi, etc. At the end of the festival, these people return to Mumbai to resume their working lives. Hence the rush for trains.

By the way, I strongly recommend your staying in Mumbai for a couple of days to witness the Ganesh Festival, before moving on to Goa. You are lucky to be there during the festival time and it is not to be missed !

For the record, the Festival begins on Sept.18 and ends on Sept.27.
#7 Jul 10th, 2004, 00:03
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#7
Well, I finally received an answer from Sam Link today. They are not operating yet due to the monsoon and don't know whether when their service will begin again. They said they might open a cruising service instead of their current catamaran service.

Shimla, I will definately stay a few days in Mumbai for the festival! Can you tell me more about the festival?
#8 Jul 10th, 2004, 12:18
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Andreas,

The Ganesh Festival, as we know it today, was initiated by India's great freedom fighter, Lokmanya Tilak, in Maharashtra. His aim was to unite the people under one common agenda and oppose the British. The tradition has been carried on strongly in the state of Maharashtra, which sees the celebrations at their best, particularly in Mumbai and Pune.

The first day of the festival is Ganesh Chaturthi, chaturthi refers to the fourth day of the lunar month of Bhadrapad. On this day, clay idols of Ganesh, ranging from the small to the mammoth, are installed by people in their homes and at street corners. The ones at street corners are what is called "Sarvajanik" Ganpati(another name for Lord Ganesh), meaning a common Ganpati belonging to the housing societies of the area who contribute towards installing the same. One finds a Ganpati pandal at almost every nook and corner of Mumbai and Pune, for ten days !

The clay Ganesh idol is installed with some ceremony in a Maharashtrian home. The small"pandal" is gaily decorated and Lord Ganesh has the pride of place! An "aarti" - a religious offering- is performed twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening, for as many days as Lord Ganesh is installed at home(max. 10 days). Religious hymns are sung, with the members of the household and guests vociferously joining in! After the aarti is the distribution of "prasaad", usually a sweet called "modak" made from wheat flour and filled with a stuffing of jaggery and coconut powder and which looks like a dumpling; followed by a delicious vegetarian meal.

The same routine is followed by the "Sarvajanik" Ganpatis(except for the meal), where the crowds can be huge! Aartis are played on cassettes/CDs and conveyed to the entire neighbourhood through loudspeakers! Between aartis the "Sarvajanik" Ganesh mandals do not sit idle, but the loudspeakers blare away the current bollywood favourites(songs) at full blast!

A detailed "pooja" of the Ganpati idol is performed when the aartis are sung. The pooja is performed on a smaller, metal idol of Ganpati kept in the pandal; and not on the clay idol. The metal idol is bathed first with with a liquid called "panchamrut"- made out of five elements; milk, curd, ghee, honey and sugar - and then with clean water. The idol is then applied powders of kumkum( red vermillion) and turmeric. Both the idols are then bedecked with flowers, particularly the red hibiscus, which is the Lord's favourite! Incense sticks are lit and the prasaad offered to the Lord. The sacred flame is then lit and rotated before both the idols. The "pooja" is now complete !

On the last(10th) day, which is called "Ananth Chaturdashi", chaturdashi refers to the fourteenth day of the lunar month; the Ganesh idols are slowly taken in a colourful procession to the nearest lake/river/sea shore and immersed in water.

The Ganpati immersion scene is a sight to behold!

Not to be missed !!
Last edited by SHIMLA; Jul 10th, 2004 at 13:53..

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