Submitted by Gaurang Agrawal on Thu, 02/22/2018 - 06:25
So Mumbai is my love and I love being there but this time I had to explore more places just one. Since I am in Goa,I thought of making a plan where I will be traveling to and from Mumbai but little did I know, the plan changed and I reached Lonavala first and then the Pune to finally reach Goa.
So how did it all start when tickets weren't already booked?
First goal was to book tickets to Mumbai and I really wanted to explore what Tejas Express is, how does it look like. Reaching to the Karmali Station was a bit adventurous as I left for Panjim just 2 hours before the train's departure and I booked my tickets 4 hours prior to it and I got additional 10% discount too. Then at the Panjim Bus stop, I was finding the bus for Karmali Station which took a few minutes to figure out and thereafter I waited for 15 minutes for bus to move.
Only 60 minutes were left and I was calling my gods to help us reach the bus on time.
Journey was really nice and surroundings were pretty scenic. There was one very old yet massive church on our way.
In about 30 minutes we reached over the flyover below which there was a railway track and we were finding a way to reach there as we wanted a shortcut to reach sooner or else we would have definitely missed our train.
A local old man helped us find the way out which was a bit off road, there was a stair case and we were just blindly following him. We walked for about 10 minutes on that railway track and we could see the station and people waiting for the train. The moment we reached the station, the Tejas Express was also approaching the station.
It was a decent looking train and I was super excited to board it. I grabbed my seat and after that I started roaming around the train, checking out what does make it super special.
So it is one of the fastest trains in India which can touch 160 km/hr on certain tracks while average is 80 km/hr. It has got IR fitted Soap and Water Dispenser which is a great thing to have when you have unclean hands and moreover it saves a lot of water as well. Entire train has got CCTVs which is great as then you don't have to worry about security. All gates of the Tejas Express are power controlled so no one can accidentally open them and that prevents accidents greatly.
The entire journey was pretty scenic and I loved the journey. I caught naps in between but it was worth it and all refreshing.
Although I chose "No Food" Option, the food was really amazing and it is better to order Food or else you have to pay INR 220 per meal instead of INR 365 for entire meal.
By 11 PM we reached the Mumbai Station and I wasn't much tired anyways.
The next day, I went to Lonavala as I got the train from CSMT station which was LL Express. It was about 30 minutes late but still left the station on time.
We reached Lonavala at 12:30 AM and it was cold out there. Our hotel was 3 kms away yet Auto charged INR 150 for dropping us. It was find as we didn't have any option nor I had enough strength left to bargain or walk in mid-night -- being absolutely unaware about how safe that place is in the mid-night.
We reached the hotel in 10 minutes - the last 300 meters route was a bit shaky and we thought we have reached the wrong place but it was the real hotel with imaginary road.
I was completely exhausted and I slept the moment I reached there to wake up at 6 in the morning. I strolled around the hotel and I loved how beautiful the hills looked like and how amazing was the breeze.
I got a call from my friend in Pune and he summoned me to come there and hurriedly I left for Pune after having a fantastic Poori Choley breakfast which was included in the breakfast.
Deccan Express - the train was 30 minutes late and I started reading book in the waiting room. The moment our train arrived, I jumped into it and god, it was a pretty chair car train. There were oldies who were busy doing make up behind our seats. The journey was fun as I was sitting alongside my favorite person. The entire route passed through hills and suburbs and looking outside the train is what you cannot skip.
It was Sivaji Jayanti and entire city was either singing valours of Shivaji or they were carrying saffron flags, statues of Shivaji on roads. It gave me a great feeling of pride as Shivaji is one most inspirational personality to me and to entire India.
We strolled around in the roads of Pune, the subway markets were pretty and they looked like the ones we have in Janpath or Pallika Bazar. It was sunny outside and yet I could see hundreds on road, celebrating with full joy the Shivaji Jayanti.
I had to leave for Goa immediately so I was finding bus/ train options and I could find a train - Goa Express which was leaving Pune at 4 PM and I got the tickets of it. It was super slow Mail express and to cover 550 Kms, it took 14 hours.
Since it was a sleeper train, I could work and sleep which I did throughout the journey. It was exhausting but I loved how I traveled little over 1500 kms in the train seeing the wonderful cities of Maharastra.
That's how my weekend looked like. Share your travel stories at www.myindianodyssey.com