18.05.2016 - 22.05.2016
First of all,
Hello there, welcome to my Blog.
Myself, Subramanian, hails from Ernakulam, Kerala who loves traveling. I had been to different states in India and this is my first experience in writing a blog. Recently I had covered West Bengal, Sikkim and Bhutan, so I thought of starting off with that one. Lets GO !!!
Day 1 - Departure from Ernakulam
Finally the day has arrived. May 18. The day we were waiting for. Me, Mithun and Sreekanth are ready to explore the North East. At 20.00hrs we used our mobiles and booked a cab from our home to Ernakulam Junction railway station. The train departs from ERS at 22.15hrs (Tea Garden Express). We reached the railway station very early, to make sure we got seats in an Unreserved coach, and finally we got seats at the back end coach. As we had been told the train blew its whistle at 22.15hrs, and the journey Began.
The Train arrived at Coimbatore Junction railway station at 3.30. Our train to Chennai Central is at 6.15. So we have some time to spare. We decided to rest in the AC waiting room. We had a look into the room, but the room was full. Then we saw many were sleeping on the floor, then we thought why waste money in AC room? and that too for just 3 hours. Finally we decided to sleep in the Platform. AHHH yes, and that's my first experience of sleeping on the Platform .
After a short sleep, the alarm Beeps. The Time is 5.45. Its time to move on.. We grabbed our bags and we moved onto platform no.2. We were looking for our train, sadly it hadn't arrived yet. Usually the train that departs from the Source station arrives within half hour. At 6.05, with a looooooong horn the train arrived at the source station. We got into it and the train slowly started moving at 6.20 (Delayed by 5 mins, no problem :D). We spent our time on the train by ordering some snacks and in between, sitting near the window, watching the sights.
Its 14.00hrs and we are in Chennai Central. Now we have to spend 2.30hours here. So we decided to have some lunch from the station. Last time i visited Chennai there was an Anantha Bhavan hotel inside the station, I was looking for it, and suddenly I was shocked. I could see no shops at that side. All the shops had closed in the meantime. Then we saw a board JAN AHAR. We approached the hotel, and they were providing Poori with Sabji for just Rs15. Each had one packets of Poori and Sabji and moved on to the platform with a full filled stomach. Our train was supposed to arrive on Platform no.10. At sharp 15.30 Train arrived at Platform No.10. We checked into the train and pushed our luggage inside and came out of the coach.
The Train slowly started moving at 16.30hrs as expected, and we were damn excited. There were 3 youth sitting besides us, but they were speaking Bengali and we couldn't understand a single thing. Then suddenly train stops at some unknown place, not a platform though. We ignored that, and even after 1 hour it hadn't proceeded. Then we decided to come out of the coach and ask what had happened. We started walking near to the engine. There were 3 coaches totally filled with Army men. We asked them "What happened, why are we here", they replied "Some train in front faced a technical issue, derailed or something". Ahhh then we thought we will have some more time to spare here. 3 Hours went like a rocket, later we went back to the normal train which departed from that lonely place. We Ordered some food and went back to sleep.
We woke up at 8.30 as we have nothing to do the whole day. The Train was supposed to reach by 21.30hrs at Shalimar Railway station, but due to the technical issue we were sure that it would be delayed by more than 3hours. We started talking to the other guys in the train about the issue, and as yesterday (19th May) was the election results day we started to talk about that too. They asked if we had a plan for Kolkata, and explained about our plans. Then they elaborated our plans and suggested some more places. One among them had made a map for us for easy traveling. Here it is:
As it was a rainy day and also because we were in a AC coach it was damned cold inside. We decided to step out of the coach and take some snaps. It was beautiful outside.
Bhubaneshwar Railway Station
Say Hello to Kolkata
And finally we reached our destination at 1.30Hrs. Too late to get a taxi or an auto rickshaw. We had to reach Howrah Railway Station to get a cab. One of those youngsters who were also traveling to Howrah, we approached him, and he told us that the next train is at 4.10hrs. Oh god almost 3 hours left. Its ok we have to wait nothing else to do. We spend the leisure time playing games roaming here and there. So time says its 4.10 and a local train approached the platform, and its FULL !!!. The pathway inside the coach was almost filled by flowers. People busy with morning duties to sell their products for their daily income. We just had to spend 15 minutes in train as train approached Howrah Station by 4.30hrs. We came out of the station and decided to take some snaps from Howrah Bridge. Words can't explain Howrah Bridge's beauty at early morning. Time is just 4.30hrs and it looks like its 7 in the morning.
So it was a sleepless night for us and we decided to go to Kalighat temple in the early morning, and we hired a cab and moved onto my brother's home. After freshening up we cooked MAGGI for ourselves .
And we are ready to explore Kolkata. I asked my brother whether he is accompanying us for the City tour, he told us that he is busy with some work and we will have his friend accompanying us for the trip. Thank god we got a person who knows Bengali, its tough to Survive with Hindi and English, somethings are to be bargained in Bengali itself :P. We kick start our journey to Kalighat. Previously in 2008 I had visited this temple. This time as it was a Saturday I witnessed rush inside the temple. We stood in que for darshan for almost 1hour. We offered our prayers and took some photos outside the temple.
As per planned itinerary our next destination is Science City. We get into a Volvo bus to Science City. They charged just rs25 Per person, almost 11kms. We spend some time out there playing and watching 3D movies.
Lets have a Ride :P
Our watch shows its 14.00hrs, and we are hungry. So we decided to move to Esplanade. We hired a cab from Science City and moved to Esplanade. I saw a guy selling varieties of Chat, I approached him and ordered one plate of that, my friends too ordered one plate each. It was awesome, I would like to have it again, but since we are moving to a restaurant I adjusted in one plate. We walked around the streets. As my friend in train suggested the hotel named Aminia and said it is one of the best hotels in Kolkata, we thought of trying that one out. We ordered some rotis and sabjis, to be exact it was costly but adjustable. Food was tasty. We finished up our lunch and back into street my friend (Mithun) went for a small purchase. After that we decided to visit Princep Ghat. Its just walk-able distance from Esplanade.
Its 5 in the evening and we are a bit tired. Our next destination is South City Mall, and we decided to reach there by Metro and TRAM. So first we hired a cab from Princep Ghat to Esplanade. Then we entered Esplanade Metro station. Purchased our tickets to Kalighat (10Rs each). From Kalighat to Gariahat by TRAM and from Gariahat to South City Mall by bus. By this we could cover both Metro and TRAM travel.
After spending some time at the mall, we moved back to brother's home. In between we had some Papri chat, panipuri and juices. Then I had this snap above Dhakuria Bridge
And that brings an end to Day 4, a restless day.
As planned we had to cover three locations - Raj Bhavan, Victoria Memorial and Birla Mandir. Just because of these three locations are nearby we decided to wake up slowly. By 10.30hrs we got into a bus from Dhakuria to Birla Mandir. By 10.45hrs we get down from bus and moved towards Birla Mandir. And there was a sad news waiting for us, temple will be closed by 10.45hrs. We had some time taking photos outside the temple, and by the time we approached the front gate the watchman told us its closed for the morning session, come back at 16.00hrs. So, a bad start for us. We again had to catch a bus to Victoria memorial from Birla Mandir. By 11.30hrs we reached Victoria memorial bus stop and we had to walk some distance to the entrance. Purchased tickets (Rs20 each) and entered into the beautiful garden. Then we entered into victoria museum, there they had some show case about the history of Kolkata from British Period. Previously while I had been in Kolkata, I didn't get a chance to visit this beautiful museum, but this time I could. Now i realize how much I missed for not visiting this museum before. It was such amazing, the history of India and Kolkata written inside a museum. If you guys get a chance to visit Kolkata, don't ever avoid victoria memorial museum from your wishlist!. After spending sometime inside the museum we came out of it and sat in the garden for half an hour, guess what, Airtel provides free WiFi for half an hour :P. So we started uploading some pics in our groups and started chatting with our friends. After that we decided to visit Princep Ghat again and spend some time near the Ganges.
At Princep Ghat we caught this awesome moment in our camera. Dog training scene.
Its getting late, out bus departs from Esplanade at sharp 17.30 as told by the agents. And they asked us to come before 17.00hrs as the city will be facing a heavy traffic jam due to Kolkata Knight Riders match at Eden Gardens. After freshening up we used our mobiles and booked a cab to Esplanade and we could reach there by 16.45hrs itself. Then we decided to test out some local foods. We ordered some chats and Masala Juice. Oh yes! Yumyyyy tastyyy!!. After that we got into our bus and waited for the bus to depart from Esplanade. As told bus departed from Esplanade at 17.30hrs. At 19.00hrs the bus was driven towards a puncture shop. Damn again! wasted 2 hours over there and we knew we are getting delayed. As told by the agents we will reach Siliguri by 8.30am, we knew we wouldn't be able to reach at that time from now. With a sad face we spent some time over there and went back to our seats and waited the bus to depart from the shop. And that brings an End to Day 4 !
Thanks for spending out some time reading my blog! Cheers.
Next Part.... Coming soon.
Darjeeling - Gangtok - Bhutan