Travel Diary | Day 1 : The day of Train Journeys

Before leaving for the 1 month journey, I have started many topics and there are a lot of things to update.  So I have decided to invite all of you to my travel diary.

07.10.2014 (Tuesday)

After a lot of confusion and changes of plans, I have decided to travel alone. My friends who were supposed to come with me, couldn’t make it due to many reasons. So instead of going to Kolkata with a friend, I decided to travel alone towards North East.  Like any other trips, I was looking for the cheapest travel options. As I was going alone, I could travel the hardcore way without worrying about the other persons. Through out this journey, I was realising that not many people will like my way of travelling as it requires a lot of adjustments and sacrifices. I hope You will understand as we travel through my diary.

Lets begin the journey.

train, journey
Lets begin the Journey

I picked the longest and cheapest train from my starting point. I started my journey from Dharmadam, a very small station where only few passenger trains stop. My destination was Coimbatore. The journey from Dharmadam to Coimbatore is around 8 hours including the delays, train crossings and other factors taken into consideration. Total distance 259 km, Number of halts 35, Type of train : Passenger train, Total cost :  50  [ $ 0.81 ] !!

train journey, indian railway
Adventures of a traveller

The train was late and it reached my station around 6.30 in the morning and it would reach the destination around 2pm. The train journey wasn’t very eventful. As I boarded from one of the early stations, I was able to find my favourite seat, the window seat. The emergency window seat is the favourite of all because it’s window grills can be opened. The outside view was quite familiar to me. And Inside the train, people, the voices and noises kept on changing. Various vendors were passing constantly. Had some breakfast from one of those vendors. But the food wasn’t very cheap nor very delicious. But that’s part of train journey!

indian railway
Priceless journey at a cheap price!

As the train approached Coimbatore, the view started to change gradually. The densely populated Kerala green lands were replaced by less populated lands and mountains, the coconut trees were replaced by palm trees.

tamilnadu, train, palm trees, mountain, coimbatore
Entering  Tamil Nadu

By 2 o clock in the afternoon I  reached Coimbatore. My plan was to take a train to Chennai at night, so that I wouldn’t have to search for a place to stay at night.  I found a train that starts at 22.40 from Coimbatore to Chennai. So in between 2 pm and 10 pm I have almost 8 hours of free time. So during the planning stage, I had decided to meet some couch surfers(CSers) in that area, and asked some of them if they would like to meet up. But I couldn’t find many replies. One CSer replied, but she was not in town. So she suggested some places to visit. So I reached Coimbatore without doing anything and no one to hang out with.

First thing I did was finding a decent restaurant to have lunch. Again the food wasn’t very cheap ( according to  my standards 😉 ) After the lunch I still had almost 7 hours to spend. So I took a bus and went to the bus stand.

View from Ukkadam Bus stand, coimbatore
View from Ukkadam Bus stand
tuk tuk, auto rickshaw, coimbatore
Tuk tuks on the road side

I bought a Daily pass for the bus at just   50. With that daily pass one can travel around the city in any Government owned buses during that entire day! So I did some bus hopping.

coimbatore buses, tnrtc, setc
Inside the Bus

I checked my Google maps to find some cool place to visit and come back within the time limit. But couldn’t find many places.  At last decided to take a bus to Pollachi. I heard that the place is really beautiful. But the place was out of the city limits, I had to take a ticket which was sort of cheap.   50 for round the trip.

Bus rides are fun. It gives you an insight into the local life, the life style, the colourful culture and lots more.  Some pictures from the bus journey to Pollachi.

coimbatore streets
Look who owns the road!
coimbatore, school, kids
Future of the nation goes back to home
coimbatore, mountain
The divine guiding light
street life, coimbatore
“We want to live too”
The Ship campus, marine engineering college, coimbatore
The Ship campus
coimbatore, twilight, evening sun, sun set
Twilight : The return journey

I reached Pollachi and I was little disappointed because I wasn’t able to find places which I had imagined.  I thought there will be a vast area of green fields and fields with lots of flowers. But they weren’t near the bus stand I guess. As I was running out of time, I decided to go back instead of exploring by walking.  Sun already started the return journey as I had returned to the city. I found a place to have dinner and again paid another 50 rupees. Walked a little bit under the night sky.

coimbatore at night
Night : Its getting late

And it was time to go to the railway station as there was nothing much to do in the city. Took a bus, flashed the daily bus pass to the ticket conductor and got down at the railway station. It was almost 2 hours early. I got the ticket to Chennai without much long queue.

Well there is a secret to avoid long queues at the railway station. There is a service available called as Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Seva (JTBS) outside many railway stations.

What is JTBS?

JTBS or Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Seva is an outsourcing scheme of the Indian Railways. It allows entrepreneurs to set up ticket sale counters near railway stations and sell unreserved railway tickets. The selected Jansadharan Ticket Booking Sewaks (operators) sell unreserved rail tickets through computerised UTS (Unreserved Ticketing System) terminals.

JTBS was conceptualised and introduced with a view to improve dispensation of unreserved tickets in city areas other than the railway stations and provide jobs. These would be beneficial for passengers as they could get the general tickets in the market instead of going to the station.

You just need to find if JTBS is available near your station and  You just need to give 1 rupee extra for purchasing a ticket from there.  It saves a lot of time and energy.

(To be contd. )

57 thoughts on “Travel Diary | Day 1 : The day of Train Journeys”

  1. Yeaaaah! Great to have you back Trablogger, and what a fascinating read. I can’t get over inexpensive train and bus travel is, compared to Canadian standards.

    I would be one who would go for the adventure and the cheapest way cost wise as well!

    Looking forward to following your journey! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Knowing this, it is going to be an AMAZING trip to follow. Lynne did mention a hill train that would take the family up into the Nilgiri (sp?) hills for family vacation. That was her extent of train travel she remembers (and also goes back 40 years)

            Liked by 1 person

          1. No no no!!!! Thats not right!!! Cutlets taste good only with the view of green landscapes, chatty co-travellers, nice music, a engrossing book and excitement of a holiday!!

            I shall be going on one in December! So the cutlets are not that far!!! 😛

            Liked by 1 person

          2. No plans as of now. Waiting for some one to invite me somewhere 😉
            Just need to finish writing about the previous one before I start again 😀


          3. usually jeep safari means you go in a jeep, elephant safari, on top of elephant.. so tiger safari means… 😛
            But I know you are brave from your interactions with the railways goons 😀

            Liked by 1 person

          1. yup 🙂 …and it would be interesting to read what you had during the travel…you know just to get info about the different cuisines available.. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          2. would be interesting if I were a foodie like you. But I am not a foodie traveller. I just eat anything and everything. I don’t even take the pictures of my food except in some rare occasions. So all these says that I am not at all a foodie.


  2. must admit that your travels are causing itching sensation in my feet 😀 …well written blog..and kudos that you managed lunch and dinner in Coimbatore for 50 each cause cost of living in Kovai is higher than that of Mumbai…my breakfast with a pongal or idly vada plus coffee used to cost me around 40…didn’t know about JTBS, would be of much help for short journeys when one can go in general compartments…finally needless to say-the shots are awesome 🙂 …especially the pic in the bus-flashes back my time in Coimbatore!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hahah.. Itchy feet is a good omen 😉 😛 Well I am glad to know that I can inspire too 😀 Thank you for all your kind words.
      Are you serious? Back in 2010 I was in Kovai for some time and I was eating more than I used to eat at home. And it was kind of cheap if I am not mistaken. Well it depends on what type of hotels you are willing to go 😀
      There is one JTBS in Coimbatore. But I couldn’t find one in Chennai!! Hope you enjoyed your nostalgic feeling 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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