Hyderabad – Ooty Train Trip Itinerary

Itinerary for the weekend trip to Ooty.

Date – 17-01-2014 to 21-01-2014.

Hi-tech to Secunderabad – MMTS local, Train# 47194, Departure 21:58, Arrival 22:27

Secunderabad to Vijayawada – WL4. Train# 17232, Departure 23:30, Arrival 05:35.

Vijayawada to Chennai Central – 2S, D4/72. Train# 12711, Departure 06:00, Arrival 13:00.

Chennai Central to Metupalaiyam – WL40. Train# 12671, Departure 21:15, Arrival 06:15.

Metupalaiyam to Udhagamandalam (Ooty) – WL45. Train# 56136, Departure 07:10, Arrival 12:00.

Udhagamandalam (Ooty) to Bangalore – Via Bus. Unreserved, Night travel.

Bangalore to Hyderabad – Undecided, confused soul.

 

17th Jan – Starting day

Train No Train Name Runs From Source  
17232 NSL NS EXP NAGARSOL    
SNo Stn Code Stn Name Arrival Time Dep. Time
11 SC SECUNDERABAD JN 23:10 23:30
20 BZA VIJAYAWADA JN 05:35 05:50

18th Jan – Todays target is to reach Chennai and have beer with a friend.

Train No Train Name Runs From Source  
12711 PINAKINI EXP VIJAYAWADA JN    
SNo Stn Code Stn Name Arrival Time Dep. Time
1 BZA VIJAYAWADA JN Source 06:00
13 MAS CHENNAI CENTRAL 13:00 Destination

18th Evening –

Train No Train Name Runs From Source  
12671 NILAGIRI EXP CHENNAI CENTRAL    
SNo Stn Code Stn Name Arrival Time Dep. Time
1 MAS CHENNAI CENTRAL Source 21:15
9 MTP METUPALAIYAM 06:15 Destination

19th Jan – The heritage journey begins…

Train No Train Name Runs From Source  
56136 MTP UAM PASSR METUPALAIYAM    
SNo Stn Code Stn Name Arrival Time Dep. Time
1 MTP METUPALAIYAM Source 07:10
8 UAM UDAGAMANDALAM 12:00 Destination

19th Jan After-noon’s – Ooty visit & exploration.

Return journey starts via Bangalore…

Jai Bhole!!

Vizag – Araku Valley trip: Part- I Borra Caves

Part [0] [1] [2]

It was Saturday, last day of August. I was destined to travel but was not lucky enough to get confirmed ticket. I was struck at WL 2 (waiting list). Started late from home, result was in front of me; a long queue at the ticket counter. Though AP was half closed due to strike, travellers are travellers, no one can stop them.

Anyway got a general boggy ticket, train was already at the platform with general boggy packed. My fate has been written to travel entire 14 hrs. journey standing by the door side, witnessing everything whatever came along the railway track.

One incident that happened with me first time; the railway police checking. I was enjoying my sleep sitting at the door, suddenly everyone was rushing inside and till the time I realised, it was too late to skip from the police and I got two hard punches in my legs. Lesson was learnt; never sit at the door when halt approaches.

Train was in time and there was a gap of 3 hrs. to next train. That was a passenger and the only train on that route, covering Shimiliguda station, which was once India’s highest broad gauge railway station. Now Qazigad (J&K) station is the highest one.  

The journey on this route is an epic in itself. I stopped counting the tunnels coz there are plenty of them. One after one, a lot of tunnels, bridges and splendid views across. My ticket was booked till Araku, where plan was to stay overnight. However, I got down at Borra Guhalu station to visit famous Borra caves.

At the station I got the news that the entire tribal region was closed today due to AP strike. Damn! what now? The guard at the Borra caves, which is just nearby the station said that they will be opening the gate at 02:00 o’clock. There was much time to explore the area so I went along the railway track just to hit the clock 2 to visit the world famous Borra Caves.

Borra caves are located in the Ananthagiri hill ranges of eastern ghats. It was a british, William King, who discovered the cave in 1807. Borra means hole in Oriya language (this reminds me a story of my childhood, makes me lough. I’m not going to share here) Borra caves are naturally formed and believed to be 150 million year old. It is basically formed through some chemicals and minerals forming the rock. Inside you can different structure, which locals have named like Shi Parvathi, human brain, Shivling, crocodile, Jesus etc. etc. One baba was sitting inside a tiny hole where the natural Shivling was. There was no light so couldn’t see and discuss much. The total length of the cave is about 200 meters and above the caves the railway track is there.

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Preparation chat at AP tourism website. Later I found the office to be open but closed for business!

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Perfect weather and greenery around..

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Small villages and tribal habitat can be found at regular interval.

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Perfect day! perfect ride!

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One of so many bridges..

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The first destination! Borra caves are about 200 meters from this station..

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Distance and fare from Borra Guhalu station..

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Gates were closed… see that generator kind of thing, they use this for lighting inside the cave.

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Time to kill time till 2, walk along the track.

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Finally inside… first view of the cave.

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One of such so many structures… Ignore the writing, that’s what we Indians are good at…

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They have given names to every structure there, according to the shape and legendry.

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Returning time… sunset ride! beautiful.

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The return train departure time is 03:30 officially but the guard at railway station said train comes at 5 o’clock and ticket will be distributed half an hour before that. And train dropped me at Vizag at 10 o’clock in the night. Ate two plate of idli, gently slide myself on newspaper below, towel above me and bag pillow.

Continued….

Srisailam–Hampi Trip–Part 2–Hampi

Part [0] [1] [2]

The Innova dropped me at some fruit market in Markapur town. Pretty much crowed place that was, may be due to the evening time, whatever it was but like any other desi town, crowded, polluted, noisy everywhere. Crossed the road and took a shared auto for railway station, which was 3 kms. away from there.

Unexpectedly, there was a long queue at the counter. After standing about 30 minutes in that queue got general boggy ticket to Hospet for 105 Rs. Train 17225 was schedule to come at 22:20, wait of an hour.

Its never easy to travel in general boggy, packed already. Exhausted, previous night was tough in the bus, then whole day of standing in queue for darshan, scaling Srisailam up n down, and now in general boggy standing! Pretty much horrible, standing by the door side, eyes were closing blink by blink, air was blowing like hell. Finally closed the door, sat down by it and within minutes I was flat sleeping on the floor like anything. Nice experience!!

Reached well in time, morning shower of rain welcomed in Hospet. Damn tired, searched for return train, no luck. Boarded a shared auto to bus stand, missed the only bus to Hyderabad by a minute, bad luck again.

Having no option left, had morning breakfast of idli and rice. There are plenty buses for Hampi, 13 kms. away. Situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river, the ruins of Vijayanagara (capital of the Vijayanagara Empire) are spread across for about 25 kms. It takes good 2-3 full days exploration to see the legacy. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi. The history goes like this –

It was around the year 1296, when Alla-Udin-Khilji invaded southern India. People started to unite themselves to protect their religion and culture. The kingdom of Vijayanagara was founded and was ruled by four dynasties. The first one was Sangama dynasty founded by Harihara the first. It is said the sangama came from Warangal and some says they were Kannadigas. Sangama has five sons, Harihara, Bukka, Kempanna, Marappa and Muddappa. The first two played a vital role establishing the Vijayanagara Kingdom. Sangama dynasty ruled till 1447, when Narasimharaya established Saluwa dynasty. The next was Tulu dynasty, then came the great, Krishnadevaraya, who not only expanded the kingdom also did welfare of his pupil. He was a genius in many respect, composed so many literature, he himself was ‘’Kannada Rajya Rama Ramana’’

There are so many nice views, stayed there for 4-5 hrs. only. Seeing the Tungabhadra river, lying down on huge stone was an unique experience. Slept there for an hour before heading to the return journey.

Again no bus for Hyderabad, the only train leaves at 17:00 hrs. No energy left now, reaching Hyderabad was the only mission for the day. The bus conductor said Sindhanur is the place for you, there are 3-4 buses to Hyderabad from there. It was some 90 kms. west. It was really a bad day, missed the last bus. Conductor said Raichur is the place for you now, again some 90 kms.

Travelling with local was fun. I was clueless about the local language, Kannada, and they had upper edge due to little Hindi knowledge. A little girl, sitting besides me, wearing flowers (gajra) was cute and very talkative.

From Raichur, got the direct bus to Hyderabad with destination time of 10 pm. And local bus no. 147K dropped me outside my hotel at 12 mid-night.

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The first view of Hampi, bus stand and small market place ..

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View from the sunset point, two towers; right one is Bistappaya Tower, the VirupakSha Temple and the left one is Raya Tower. The Tungabhadra flows just beside these towers.

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VirupakSha Temple… This is the entrance point as well, near bus stand.

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A group of temples….

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This covers entire Hampi …….

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So much greenery, loved the view.

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Another one..

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Stone steps to sunset point – Hemakuta Hill.

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The Sunset point – Hemakuta Hill. Nice view from here, Slept almost an hour at this point praising & admiring the view.

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At last one signature pose!!.

Kharcha – Pani

Travel – 1345/-

Food – 370/-

Miscellaneous – 300/-

Total – Rs. 2015/-