Most enjoyable journey in India.
steven_ber
India > India Travel > India Travel Itinerary Advice
#181
| Member
I'll never forget my first long distance (relatively long) train journey. I was around 14 at the time. It was Goa to Karnataka, we got off in Hospet to go and see Hampi. It seemed my parents and I experienced so much on it. We saw Buddhist monks travelling to Bangalore for something the Dalai Lama was holding there. Some of them had obviously been travelling for days, and were obviously irritated. If someone mistakenly took their seats they were being very confrontational, almost angry. In one case, he threw someones bags out from the seat. Strange concept, certainly not one you associate with them.

We met a lovely Punjabi man and his family, who we were talking to for what seemed like hours.

There was also a pretty funny moment too. I was on the top bunk eating some rice that people sell at the stops. There were people below me who later had a good laugh at the waterfall of rice falling down to their seats. They were very understanding once they seen my youthful, almost shamed face.

Cannot wait to return and experience some more.
#182
| Member
Great journey-post! :)
#183
| Senior Member
Jodphur to Madgoan ,twenty eight hours in 3AC , my first long Indian train journey in twenty years. I do like train travel,but was a touch aprehensive. I had the good fortune to be sharing the carriage with six ,twenty something medical students who had taken their final exams the day before, and were off on a jolly to Kerala. To begin with they were a bit awkward,I am 48, a good six foot three and kinda scary looking. Being called Uncle was a surprise too. The snacks came out,introductions made, jokes shared. Anjan,we were on first name terms now asked if I played cards ,only poker, oh can you teach us ? Using a blanket as a table and a huge bag of savory nibbles as chips, we started.The time flew by,suddenly we were in goa. To me ,my freinds you will always be known as the six mad Doctors from Bikanner and I hope the future health care in India is in the hands of people such as yourselves. With a sad twist of irony less than 4 hours in Goa I was having 9 stitches in my foot. But thats another story.
#184
| Maha Guru Member

Originally posted by: lismoresimon23 View Post

Jodphur to Madgoan ,twenty eight hours in 3AC , my first long Indian train journey in twenty years. I do like train travel,but was a touch aprehensive. I had the good fortune to be sharing the carriage with six ,twenty something medical students who had taken their final exams the day before, and were off on a jolly to Kerala. To begin with they were a bit awkward,I am 48, a good six foot three and kinda scary looking. Being called Uncle was a surprise too. The snacks came out,introductions made, jokes shared. Anjan,we were on first name terms now asked if I played cards ,only poker, oh can you teach us ? Using a blanket as a table and a huge bag of savory nibbles as chips, we started.The time flew by,suddenly we were in goa. To me ,my freinds you will always be known as the six mad Doctors from Bikanner and I hope the future health care in India is in the hands of people such as yourselves. With a sad twist of irony less than 4 hours in Goa I was having 9 stitches in my foot. But thats another story.


Glad you loved it. Don't worry about being called uncle. Here is my life story:
  • First I I was addressed as beta (son).
  • Before I knew I came Bhaiyaa or Bhaisahab for the young and continued to be a beta for the rest.
  • Before I knew I became an uncle.
  • Now, with beautiful white hair and a beard to go with it, I was addressed by some as Baba or Babaji (grand father).


Ouch ouch! for your nine stitches.
My bad grammar does not make bad your grammar OK.
:D
#185
| Senior Member
I dont worry about being an Uncle, I have three nieces and nephewers,it was a bit odd.The mad Doctors soon realised this and mercilessly took the piss. The stiches hurt at the time,but did not kill me. I met four people whom in different ways really helped me.They are still,and I hope freinds for life. I look forward to being a Baba,just not yet . Travelling in India is easy, its leaving I find difficult. Cheers Simon.
#186
| Maha Guru Member
Ridding on top of the buses in the Himalayas. Almost every bus I took up there I was on the roof. The views were stunning and definitely the safest place to be if the bus went off the road crashing down the hill into the ravine[cry] Had to watch out for low hanging branches though. And they would always tell me to come down but I insisted as I did it before and they finally gave up and allowed me to ride up there.:D

One ride from Almora to Nainital a bunch of kids got on the bus after going to Almora to enlist in the army. They were on their way home and when I went on top, they all followed. We joked a lot as they all got off along the way. One invited me to his village which he pointed to way across the other side of the valley which he had to walk to. I declined.

Worst journey was from Almora again but different year. Took the overnight bus to Delhi when this idiot who shat his pants sat on my bag in the aisle. I yelled at him to get the F off my bag!:mad:[cry] Idiot!!
"Travel is fatal to prejudice,bigotry and narrow-mindedness" Mark Twain
#187
| Account Closed
Past this summer, I got this incredible opportunity to travel alone. My solo trip took me to the mountains of Kasauli – neither very far from Delhi nor very popular solo tripping choice. But that was just the beginning; I knew I had to start from somewhere to come out from my comfort zone and let my dreams fly.

I remember how freaked out I was the first time I traveled alone, all by myself. And to be honest, sometimes I still am. It can be scary at times not to have anyone to back you up but dealing with uncertainties brings the best out of you. To become a confident individual, I encourage you to travel solo at least once in your life.
#188
| Account Closed
The excellence of street trip from Manali to Leh can't be caught in words. Wouldn't it be amusing to voyage along that street in all its frigid eminence on an open jeep or a Bullet? Ok! So Pretty! It traverses a length of 479 km with a mean height in the middle of 3 to 4 km above ocean level. The street is open for around 5 months every year generally amid summers and mid-October. The trip brings around 2 days with one stopover for rest and acclimatization.
#189
| Member
The ride from Srinagar to Leh. Now I would pay for a private car and still enjoy the manificent scenery and be able to stop where I wanted (and there are interesting temples on the way). But the way I did it, which had its own advantages (aside from low cost) was in two shared vans, each a good part of the day. The first went to Kargil, on the border with Pakistan, where I stayed overnight. Second half was from Kargil to Leh. Kargil is a Shia Muslim town, as are several others along the way. One interesting thing is the change from seeing mosques (many, interestingly, in a pagoda style) to the gradual change to Buddhist monasteries. Close to Leh you see there the Indus and Zanskar Rivers meet.

Beautiful scenery, adventurous road, and a good way to get used to high altitude before getting to Leh. I had stayed in Srinagar a few nights and had no trouble at all with altitude when I arrived in Leh. (I was close to 70 years old, but I think altitude adjustment is kind of an independent thing that varies by person regardless of age or fitness.)
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"…many of us travel not in search of answers, but of better questions. I, like many people, tend to ask questions of the places I visit, and relish most the ones that ask the most searching questions back of me.” Pico Iyer
#190
| Honorary Mod

Amazing memories...

Thanks to the incredible power and reliability of the Indiamike database I resurrected this post from 15 years ago.

I am very proud of Dreamingwombat as these days she is a semi-professional writer in journals, blogs and book reviews. You can see quality in her early writing.

Now our kids are eleven and seven we can start to seriously think about heading back to India.

Cheers rab

Originally posted by: dreamingwombat View Post

Bit of a long post here...but sometimes you really have to tell it like it was:

The most memorable part of our trip to India in 2001 has to be the journey from Chennai to Udhagamandalam. We left the comforting chaos of Chennai in the late evening on the Nilgiri Express – it was to be my first train journey in India. 2AC seemed a luxurious sanctuary from the long hot day and we had it for 9 hours. Our compartment was near the carriage door and the curtains to our compartment kept wafting open as people walked by and opened the door. We decided that stitching the curtains together with our sewing kit was vital for our privacy!

My husband, Richard, was on his second trip to India and, not unusually, slept soundly on the train. Not me! In my sleep deprived half-dreams I imagined what the scenery outside was like as we "expressed" by it, in the moonlight. As I watched Richard being shaken around his little bed in the half darkness, my delusional thoughts wondered at how this blue diesel behemoth that crawled out of Chennai, seemed to chuck itself around so much. Had we jumped the tracks and were we bumping across the desert in the wrong direction? Where would we end up in the morning? More worrying, would the stitches in the curtains hold? Minor things seem to become really important in India until you let go…

Our arrival at Mettupalayam the next morning, proved my theory of the escapee train were unfounded. A very different wall of sound met our ears as we stepped off the train, it was the beautiful chaos of rural India. A rooster announced the morning almost as frequently as the guy on the station said “Coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee.” The hot November sun started rising and the tracks stretched out in front of us. The little blue steam train pulled up at the station and apart from a cow on the line, we were ready for our trip on the Nilgiri Blue Mountain railway, up to Ooty, by raw steam power. The day stretched ahead of us, full of the promise of cool breezes amongst the tea plantations.

The train journey itself was filled with fantastic experiences. It could have been the sleep deprivation that added the mystical quality, but even the photographs we took managed to freeze a little of the magic of the ascent into those cool green forested Nilgiri hills. It was hazily warm with an intoxicatingly cool breeze as we snaked up the hills, through banana palms and neat terraced plantations. My senses were confused by the sight of eucalyptus forests that only mean home to me as I’d only ever seem them in Australia. Here was something a familiar, and yet so unknown - blue hazy hills.

Even though we had the safety of the train, it felt wild and surreal. If you looked carefully you could see that the bananas were covered in thick spider webs and I marvelled at the size of the spiders that must had woven them. Richard, as a steam train junkie was in his own perfect otherworld here. Once I saw the dragonflies, that was it for me – my favourite part of my trip had arrived on this second day of being in the country. My favourite denizens of the insect world were around in abundance, and it was a complete surprise. They zipped around like little red faeries in the dappled light.

Enough of hazy daydreams. There was pure reality to this journey too. You could tell when you were near a station because the track-sides were junked up with rubbish. Cups, packets, water bottles. Things are how they are, litter is a part of India, but you couldn’t look past it or ignore it or stop yourself from casting a judgement on those who chucked their rubbish out of the window, into this beautiful greenness. But, the only difference is that in places like the UK, we hide it. We put it in a bin, someone takes it away and buries it in the places that aren’t considered so beautiful. Like all things in India, you see things how they really are, not hidden by a glamour.

Every great adventure has river crossings, and the route had plenty of hairy ones. The tracks passed over extremely high bridges, with no sides and you could look down from the window straight into the chasms below. We stopped at a station where a sign told of a calamity in 1993 – a massive land-slide on the tracks that killed hundreds. You need to understand that I’m just summing it up - the actual sign gives the rainfall in exact millimetres and the precise cubic metres of earth and boulders that were cleared. It’s very real as you stand there in that place, doing your sums to work out the scale of it all.

Then we got back on the train and chuffed over bridges made from matchsticks, up to Ooty and its beautiful cool breezes and gardens. A man with a rifle joined our carriage. He rested his gun barrel on his knee. We checked out his uniform and tried to work out if he was the police. My husband struck up a conversation by saying “Hello Captain” and we found out that he was a train guard. We were glad we had tickets!

If by now you were in India, still clinging to your cotton-wool ideas of western safety, this was the time to let go and just give yourself up the spirit of being on the eastern edge.

Reality and dreams can be found on the tracks of the Blue Mountain Railway...
:elee: IndiaMike Mod Team (The Honorary One)
#191
| It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
#192
| Maha Guru Member

Munnar to Kumily

The road journey from Munnar to Kumily was absolutely a treat, first with tea plantations all around then through forests with an interesting chai stop along the way. I have suggested this road journey to many travellers over the years and would do it again in a heartbeat. As many of us appreciate how sometimes the simple experiences one has during a memorable journey are quite often the ones that you hold fondly, for instance having a break and enjoying a couple of masala chais with the pitter patter of the rain on the tin room is a fond memory from that road journey. If you look closely at the pic of the dense forest you will see the back end of a wild elephant in the middle of the pic, I waited a good 5 mins for him to turn around to no avail. :pissed: Some pics below. :)
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#193
| Maha Guru Member
I won't count my first trip with my inlaws into Delhi sitting on the floor board as to have the best chance of survival. Instead the next day we bused to Agra and were delayed on the way by an enraged elephant. It was so stereotypical as to be truly fantastic. I rooted for the elephant which further cemented my inlaws opinion of me..

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