Sunday, 6 November 2016

Jaipur-Agra Fort-Jaipur Shatabdi

What does a train journey mean to a desi at heart like me?

It means the world! It means many pleasant memories of journeys during my childhood, with family, friends, acquaintances and newly acquired friends. Don't we all make new friends on train, speak for hours, always find common subjects of interest, and part with a pleasant recollection of the trip?

The 48+ hours journey from Bangalore to Delhi is still fresh in my mind, when as kids, the topmost item on the agenda was to monkey around from one top berth to another. It was a common sight to see people quickly get off the train, rush to the the water taps on a railway station, fill the bottle up and rush back in. When the stop at a station was longer, people could even be spotted doing laundry or brushing their teeth. One would unabashedly carry a mug to take care of daily cleansing chores on the train's bathroom. Not to forget, is the range of foods that were offered by many vendors. My top favorite was always samosa with red and green chutney, what with the advent of North Indian foods around that time in Bangalore.

When one travels thousands of kilometers by train, the most striking part of it is the constant change of scenes. The terrains change, costumes change, fruits and other food items available for sale on the stations change, and we are just awestruck spectators of this fantabulous looooong movie playing in front of our eyes. Even after one got off the train, the feeling of swaying to the rhythm would stay for a day or two. The rolling scenes from the train's window wouldn't cease for a long time even after the journey ended.

I vividly remember from a time when I was just about 4/5 years old, when travelling between Mysore and Bangalore was a monthly affair. On one such journeys, my dad had gotten off the train at a stop as was his habit, leaving me, my mom and my kid-brother inside. I always disliked this since I was worried that dad would miss getting back in time when the train started. After a while, I heard the station master's whistle blow, the train slowly chugging to motion, and dad was nowhere in sight. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I'd assumed that we'd lost him, only to see him a moment later walking towards me from another compartment with a broad smile!

Oh those memories!

Here, I've shared some pictures of a train journey during my recent trip to Jaipur and Agra. Hope you like them. If you're someone who cherishes memories of train journeys across India, I'm sure you can relate to these images.

I'd like to thank Kelsey Bruso (who joined me and my family on this trip, and is great company to travel with) for willingly sharing the pictures he'd shot, to be used in my blogs.

Rolling vistas early in the morning                            © Mamatha Srivathsa

Empty Platform                                  © Kelsey Bruso

A station in Jaipur                                                © Kelsey Bruso

Empty seat on a neighboring platform                © Mamatha Srivathsa

Station at Agra buzzing with life                       © Mamatha Srivathsa

Closer to destination                                      © Mamatha Srivathsa

Decorated book store            © Mamatha Srivathsa

B/W view of the station                                         © Mamatha Srivathsa

Birds welcoming the travellers at Bharathpur                                   © Mamatha Srivathsa

Agra Station - another view                                                            © Mamatha Srivathsa

Spotted another train from ours                                                      © Mamatha Srivathsa

Wait in melancholy                               © Mamatha Srivathsa

One of the stations on the way                                 © Kelsey Bruso

Time to board                                           © Mamatha Srivathsa

Can you spot your train here?                                  © Mamatha Srivathsa

When you arrive early, you do have time to notice all the notices                       © Mamatha Srivathsa

Touch screen help                                                      © Mamatha Srivathsa

Turbans and bundles                                            © Mamatha Srivathsa

Got tired of waiting                                                               © Mamatha Srivathsa

Chug off                                             © Mamatha Srivathsa


  1. Beautiful pictures and commentary !! I am a big fan of train journeys too. Unfortunately, not enough time to spend in them !!

    1. Oh I'm so glad you liked it. Yeah, the bane of modern times...

  2. Nice travel story... Beautiful pictures

  3. Nicely written Blog. I used to travel between Chennai and Kolkatta for over 2 years with amazing experiences and acquaintances. The 24-36 hours journey had sometimes turned adventurous but mostly very fascinating. It was like living in the train. The pantry boys become friends. Your co-passengers shared their goodies. You ended up completing a large book by Arthur Hailey. As the trains gets closer to the destination you get mildly excited about the prospect of getting transport back to your house. Platforms have life and it has been captured well in the pictures. Looks like you got down at many stations to explore and take pictures. It was more fun traveling in 2nd class with open windows through which you can buy food at regular intervals to stuff yourself. I don't think that I can repeat them now.

  4. Murali sir, I agree that it was so much more fun traveling in Sleeper Class....more air, more people, more food :-)

    I'd been wanting to take pictures in railways stations since a long time. So, when the opportunity presented itself, I made the most of it!

    Thanks for your nice comments and sharing your experience. Appreciate it!

  5. Very nice narrative and pics. Pure nostalgia. Those days have been lost forever and rail travel is becoming less and less, all the same it is fascinating and throws up a whole new world

    1. You're right. There's no other mode of travel as with train, especially in India where the network reaches the remotest parts.

      Thanks for visiting!

  6. very nice pictures and well written

  7. Lovely pictures and a good writeup ...

    1. Thanks Goutham, for taking your time out to visit!

  8. Wonderful journey well depicted by words with appropriate illustrated images, I too have traveled a lot in trains.... Now due to the comfort of chair cars and air conditioning the fun is lost.. It's surely is nostalgic.

    1. Yeah, the AC chair cars have ushered in the era of isolation and comfort, and gone is the era of interaction, sharing food and making friends!

      Thanks for appreciating Chandru sir!

  9. Nice pics and a good write-up as usual :)


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