Friday, March 25, 2011

First class Indian train

I love trains and I love Indian trains because of the freedom it offers. You can open up the window and feel the breeze on your face, stand by the door and watch the country move by. Its cheap and many long-distance trains are clean. I enjoy travelling in the first-class (FC) cabin, private but not air-conditioned. Yes, there is some dust and it gets hot, but its not train travel if you don't hear the ta-tak-ta-tak sound that's so majestic, like a hemi engine.
   A nice way to beat the heat and to have an enjoyable scenery is to travel in kerala during the day. Parasuram express, runs 634 Km in 14 hours for Rs.169 (CAD$5). If your Indian trip takes to Goa and Kerala along the Konkan coast Parasuram express may even serve as a means of transportation. For train enthusiaists this is a double line broad-gauge trunk line running from Delhi to Trivandrum. Trains are plenty on this line and is quite busy, you may spot long distance trains with 21+ rakes along your journey, majestic mountains and green valleys. Every station stop is an opportunity to get down and relax, buy something to nibble. A word of caution is that, Kerala is rugged and so trains are much faster than buses, which means that there would be plenty of crowd regardless of the day waiting for one of the trains. Generally reservations are not honoured in Second class and Sleeper class during the day. While you could say you have a reservation and fight for your space, it would be heartless to do so with a 80 year old blind woman occupying your seat. It doesn't usually bother me, as I am always at the door, half in the train and half out. If you have a companion, it helps to take turns to sit and watch the luggage while the other has a fun time by the door. Air conditioned classes are recommended to beat the heat if travelling in the hot season and to void the rush, but the door is your only chance to catch some air and drink in some scenery.

   If you are a train buff like me, try the Himsagar express , the longest running train in India that crosses 11 states from Himalayas to the Indian Ocean.

View other Circular India train Itineraries at

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