Kirandaul Passenger and a day in heaven

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#1 Aug 5th, 2015, 17:35
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#1
The whistle of the trains and clanking of steel hitting steel, the slightly metallic voice of the announcements which somehow manages to sound the same across the length & breadth of the country, the smell of human sweat mixed with motor oils, the aroma of the puri-bhaji being cooked at the stalls, the inevitable chat over mobile phones, the rush, the wait , the Vizag station is no different from it’s thousand counterparts all over the country on this balmy July morning , promising as well as a tad intimidating.

My wait is for that slow crawler Kirandaul Passenger ( Train no 58501). The intermediate part of a journey which would take me on to the interiors of Chattisgarh. I have the tickets for First Class upto Jagdalpur for a princely sum of around Rs.500/ per head. The train ambles in and a sort of anticlimax there, a very vanilla train being pulled by a vanilla engine and at the last end of the train lies our coach “FC”. I step into the coach and as if I step into a time warp. The silken threads of lost memories entwine me, is this not the compartment that I have travelled so many times with my parents? The same narrow corridor running through one side of the compartment and banks of coupes lined at another flank, some for 4 and yes a few for a couple of passengers. The muted luxary of a door which can be closed and the ability to create a temporary bubble of privacy but the curtains are missing upon the window as are the bedroll & the cleanliness and I was feeling lost there without my parents. The shoving and pushing co passengers thought that perhaps I am drunk or stoned or both and I neatly land into 2015.

Yes me and my friend, we have got the coupe “C” which is a 2 berth one and the icing of the cake is that the window is a “picture window”, no grills and an unobstructed view. I remembered that I am carrying a camera and one single lens , a venerable 50 mm and I slither past my companion to the window side and root myself there for the rest of the journey.

A quick breakfast if bada/idli and the train starts and we leave the uptown Vizag in a jiffy. The next 9 hours of journey will take us through some of the most beautiful vistas that I have ever seen, the plain red-soiled Andhra-Pradesh slowly transforms into spectacular Araku valley, unknown mountains and rivers fly by us, we traverse through uncountable tunnels in the hills, we leave behind the Bora caves and I long for a stop there but can’t , The highest Broad-gauge station comes and goes ; a mere statistics, a signal plays foul and the train makes an unscheduled stop for half an hour till someone trudges there on foot and repairs it allowing us to have a walk around in the jungle, the blue hills of Koraput comes and goes ; so does the rain , the evening looms and suddenly I can barely see outside. My destination has come, I step out of the train and promise myself that I will never return here because one can never return to a day like today, a day like childhood.

Now it's time to post a few images. These are all taken from running train through the window. Share your thoughts as always

That's all folks

A field



A road




A lake surrounding blue hills of Koraput




From high above , an angry cloud



The speed limit ?



Step up




The hues




The bridge too far



The broken mirrors



Evening with a dash of lime



March towards civilization

#2 Aug 5th, 2015, 17:59
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#2
Right man at the right time in the right coach of a right train .. Excellent photos Somnathda & a nice write up ! Thanks for sharing
#3 Aug 5th, 2015, 18:43
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#3
Very enjoyable, both prose and pics... especially as this route is on my "to do" list of train rides for my visit to India this Autumn.
Any (Inbox) tips on reasonable places to stay will be greatfully recieved.

Thanks again for amazing pics!

Edwin
#4 Aug 5th, 2015, 20:38
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#4
Thanks friends, I will try to answer your questions asap
Cheers
Somnath
#5 Aug 5th, 2015, 20:58
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#5
beautiful,Somnathda
#6 Aug 5th, 2015, 21:11
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#6
Wonderful !
#7 Aug 5th, 2015, 21:23
Passion for Football & Trekking never die
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#7
mesmerizing....wonderful snaps somnathda...
Rules r meant to be broken
But!!!!!!
Don't break rules in Himalaya
Please Keep Himalaya clean & plastic free
#8 Aug 5th, 2015, 22:22
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#8
Thanks everybody for your time and thoughts
Cheers
#9 Aug 6th, 2015, 00:07
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#9
iamsomnath,
Lyrical description with beautiful images that reveal the mood of the plateau.
Really enjoyed.
#10 Aug 6th, 2015, 00:38
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#10
@Somnath

You are an ace photographer; now you present (to me) a new Somnath, the ace story teller, a master narrator! I had traveled on this route long time back. But your story brought back the memory of my younger days and I could feel the ambiance of the train that we had traveled years back. And the photographs??!! I'm simply mesmerized, specially, the one which depicts the lonely river flowing through the misty hills. I'm awestruck!
#11 Aug 6th, 2015, 08:04
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#11
Thanks everybody for your kind words of appreciation.
When a fantastic narrator like Asish da appreciates my humble words , it really gives great joy.
@oldandrambling... Please name the places you want to stay? One good place is Chattisgarh Tourism property at Chitrakut called Dandami Resort. Check that out. VIZAG has innumerable options.
Regards
Somnath
#12 Aug 6th, 2015, 10:51
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#12
Somnath da,

My English vocabulary is very limited to describe your clicks..but surely has inspired me to take the same train and the same FC compartment to travel...even though I have boarded the same train to Araku..Next time I will travel upto Jagdalpur...

When does this train reaches Jagdalpur?
Also what are the chances of getting accommodation in Jagdalpur if I don't have prior bookings?
Sair kar duniya ki galib,yeh zindagani phir kahan..

****************************** **
Some of my compilations in Flickr
#13 Aug 6th, 2015, 11:14
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by life1style1 View Post
When does this train reaches Jagdalpur?
Also what are the chances of getting accommodation in Jagdalpur if I don't have prior bookings?
Hi Life1style1,

Thanks bro for your generous words.

The train is supposed to reach Jagdalpur at around 4 PM but ours was late by almost one & half hours.

Jagdalpur seemed to have quite a few places to stay but I would suggest prior booking if you go with family.

BTW be there during monsoon or March/April and pray for a nice cloudscape

Cheers
Somnath
#14 Aug 6th, 2015, 12:44
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#14
Hi Somnath,

Thanks for the Jagdalpur/Chickracot place to stay, looks great with the waterfall.
Sometimes it can be tricky to trust the online hotel reviews... one guy says "great", next guy says "don't stay"... so India Mike personal experience feedback is always preferred.
If you (or anyone... ) has particular favourite hotels in Koraput and Vizag, convenient to station, that info will be appreciated also?

Thanks again,

Edwin.
#15 Aug 6th, 2015, 12:47
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#15
Εdwin, if you should head Koraput way, do visit Chandoori Sai.

You can read more about it in my trip report:
http://www.indiamike.com/india/odish...yssey-t196060/

We had taken the same train journey, but alighted at Koraput.

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