Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Amazing ghat journey in Karwar-Yeshwantpur day train

Finally my day had arrived to travel in KAWR-YPR day train to enjoy the beautiful shiraadi ghat. I had the tickets booked way back 2 months from day of travel. So it was first day of new year when I travelled. The new day after the journey had really become so much memorable. So here are excerpts from journey.

I had to really rush to Udupi station since I started around 8:00AM and train was scheduled to depart from Udupi station at 8:40AM. The early morning truck traffic made the things miserable. Also the railway station of Udupi is near to manipal and not in heart of town. Somehow managed to reach by 8:40. LOL :D the announcement came that train will arrive around 9:20AM. I had no choice and sit idle for sometime with other waiting passengers. Finally train arrived around 9:40AM an hour late than schedule. The train started chugging towards Mangalore. It was around 1:30PM when the train reached Subramanya Road station. There was not so much rush until train reached Subramanya Road. I had booked Chair Car so that I do not get distracted by crowd ;). Eventually as expected the CC was 25% empty! There are some reasons which delays the train

1) The engine reversal has to happen in Mangalore junction and Arasikere junction
2) An extra engine has to be fit at the back in Subramanya Road to power the train up the ghats

These procedures add cumulative delay of around 1hr. That is the pain point. Anyways there is no work around even.

The train started moving slowly towards the ghat from Subramanya Road station. It does not cross 25kmph in ghats. The automatic break systems make sure that train speed is within limits. I was really excited when the train enetered first tunnel. People were whistling and screaming with joy. Some people like me were silently enjoying while others were sleeping ;). It is just amazing to see the western ghats throughout the journey. It is almost 2:30hrs journey for 55kms. Still you never feel journey to be such long. There are approximately 50 tunnels in the stretch which makes it nearly a tunnel/km. The same scenes are rarely visible along road i.e. the field of landscape. On road, you see hills at some places however the field of landscape is not vast and ofcourse no tunnels! I captured around 20GB of 1080p video and at the end battery drained. I had no backup battery even. Nevertheless I caught most of the journey. I did not capture any pictures since it requires time for focussing (I do not own Fast lens). No manual video mode since I did not wanted to spoil my maiden journey through ghats in train. May be next time I will try since it is no more maiden. I want to travel again in this train through the ghats during peak monsoon season. However would prefer from Sakaleshpur rather than Subramanya.

Overall the journey through ghats was wonderful and breath-taking. However it is really not worth travelling till Bangalore since it takes around 12 hrs and reaches bangalore around 10PM. It is difficult to commute at that time within city. Some non-exhaustive tips from my side

1) If you want to travel uphill, travel till Sakaleshpur and have some alternative
2) If you want to travel downhill, start from Sakaleshpur and travel till Mangalore since it reaches by 8
3) July Monsoon season is the best time to have journey provided there are no landslips in ghat.
4) Have sufficient food. In between Subramanya-Sakaleshapura no rail vendors can be seen.
5) Have backup battery if you are shooting videos extensively.
6) If you are travelling from Subramanya to Sakaleshpur, sit on left side footboard (and vice versa). The left part has most of the scenic view.

As always, the video was composed in KDENLIVE under Linux Mint 14. Enjoy 25 minute scenic journey through dense rain forest. Please watch full length if possible :-).
Watch all my channel videos here:

Here is write-up of journey during peak monsoon season:

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