Friday, September 12, 2014

The Green Train Route

Phew! A long time since I went on a vacation. Been doing the one day trips but not a long vacation. I have reached the stage where I call my visits to native (Udupi) as a trip and a well deserved vacation. Its been sometime since the day train from Bangalore to Mangalore has started and this route is popularly known as the Green Trek Route. The trek from Sakleshpur to Subramanya was 'the' trek to do. However due to the risky nature of the route, the trek has been banned. So I did the next best thing to experience the route - take the train ride. (Well people who know me would know that I wouldnt have done the trek anyways. I cannot walk 3kms without taking atleast 4 breaks in between *sigh*). 
[ You can click on the pics to get a full resolution view ]



It was festive season so the bus tickets were 1000 bucks one way to Udupi, so I decided to take a couple of days leave and try out this train route. The tickets cost me 186 bucks including the IRCTC charges. The train operates on Yashwanthpur-Karwar route on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and on the Karwar-Yashwanthpur route on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. A fair warning, please take the train only if you do not get the night bus or if you want to check out the route. 

So, I was at Yashwantpur by 7am for the train journey. I was accompanied by my brother and mom. The cab charges to the station was more then the cost of train tickets for 3 of us combined. The train left the station at 730am as scheduled. It was drizzling throughout the journey so it was cool and comfortable unlike the hot and sweaty regular day train journey. Though this is an express train, it stops at very junction for over 20mins for crossing. This train has no pantry so you will get very less food to eat on the way. Was waiting for the train to reach Sakleshpur and when it did reach Sakleshpur at 2pm, my excitement had almost died down. My mom was clever enough to pack lunch and bro had bought chips, chocolates etc. (I emptied the food they brought)  You get parota and pulav at the station, though you need to get down to buy it.






Sakleshpur is at an altitude of around 3200 feet above sea level and in the 40km of train ride it should enter Mangalore District which is almost at sea level. So for better speed controlling during its journey down, an extra engine is added to the train. This engine gets detached in Subramanya where the train continues with its own engine. On the way back the engine gets attached again so that the train can be pulled up the shiradi ghat. And finally after a long wait for the engine to be attached and getting it to work the most awaited part of the journey begins (Well you might be thinking why I did not start the post from here, well its just like the train journey. You need to sit through the usual boring train route for almost 7hrs before the best part comes). And the journey became more exciting because it was raining.




So remember this, if you want to take some amazing pics, then stay on the right side of the train when the train is going towards Mangalore and preferably be at the door. I did a mistake of occupying the left side but then thanks to my height I could see over the shoulders of the people standing on the right side. Actually if you are on the left side, you are always facing the rocks and you get a closer look at the greenery and the tiny falls. The right side gives you the cliff where you can see the beautiful western ghats. Greenery everywhere. 

I caught a cold because it was pouring and I was keeping my head out of the door with my #MI3 in hand to take some pics. The pics below will do more justice to the route instead of my not so interesting words.















To summarize, there are over 20 tunnels and a lot of bridges where you can look down to see river flowing. The journey on the shiradi ghat lasted 3hrs and the train reached Mangalore at around 7pm where it stood for almost an hour. I had to get down at Udupi which was just 1 stop away. I finally reached Udupi at 9pm after a 13.5hrs train ride. 

I had the experience that I needed and I would not want to take this journey again unless absolutely required. But everyone needs to experience this route when the monsoon is almost coming to an end atleast once. 

And finally the pic which became my profile pic on all social media sites and how it was clicked. Thanks to my brother whom you can also see in the picture :)




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