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Showing posts from July, 2016

The Sagararani - Kochi's own sunset "cruise"

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Kochi - Kerala's own metropolis - is a city that is surrounded by waterways all around. Kochi, Cochin, Ernakulam - as you like to call it - has a beautiful seashore along it. The core city areas do not have a seashore, though - since the city is on the banks of Vembanad lake & the River Periyar. One of the first things tourists visiting the city of Kochi do, is to take a boat cruise around Vembanad Lake and River Periyar - both comes together is what is called the Shipping Channel. There are a lot of boats that take tourists on a cruise through the waterbody. In addition to these private boats, there are some government run SWTD (State Water Transport Department) transport boats, which offer cheap and quick trips across the lake/river.

Since the port is located, more or less, within the city - the ships come fairly into the river/lake, and hence there exists a lot of restriction on the operation of boats. Most of the sunset cruises offered by these boats are nothing more than…

Down the nilgiris on the Club Class

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I had written about the circumstances that finally led to booking the Airavat Club Class for my trip from Ooty to Bengaluru in my earlier post (read here). It was a simple round trip booking with the routine discount they provide.

June 26, 2016:
Six awesome days had just ended - the ride on the Nilgiris Mountain Railway was an icing on the cake, and it happened perfectly on the last day (read here about that). I was in a confused state as the day began - a bit of sadness that I was leaving Ooty, and oodles of joy that I was returning home! I got up a little late - but then, that was regular in those six days. I hurried with my breakfast and asked the guys at my accomodation to get me a vehicle to travel to the bus station. It took some time to get the vehicle, and I left the place only by around 0945hrs - for a bus departing at 1000hrs. The place was just a couple of kilometres from the bus station and hence I made it there by 0955hrs.

My bus was already parked there, on platform #14.…

The star of the blue hills! The Nilgiri Mountain Railways!

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The Nilgiri Mountain Railways is, perhaps, the sole surviving metre-gauge railway line in India. India once had a large network of metre-gauge lines - but, probably, only this 46km line now survives. Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) is famous for more than this trivial reason - it is also a UNESCO Heritage site. The origin of the NMR dates back to 1908. It was originally laid by the British, and is now under the Salem Division of Southern Railway. NMR is also famous for being the sole section with regular scheduled steam powered trains.

I had last traveled in this section back in 2011 (read here). Back then, I couldn't enjoy much of the Coonoor-Ooty ride. I was in Ooty recently for a six-day long training program. On the closing day of the program, I and another participant who was at the venue decided to have a quick ride on the NMR. We initially thought of traveling from Ooty to Coonoor, but later reversed the stretch and decided to ride up the hills from Coonoor to Ooty.

June 25,…