I usually travel on trains as I feel train journeys are more comfortable compared to the bus. This time wanted to try out something new so decided to take a train to Bangalore from Mangalore in the morning. I knew that I had to sit for around 10 hours but the thought of the scenic Western Ghats made me go ahead and book tickets that too on the AC coach to beat the heat and to feel more comfortable.
Starting from Mangalore Junction Station around 12 ‘o clock in the afternoon was a different experience altogether. I was comfortably placed in the centre of the coach. The other half of the passengers were all facing towards me as there was no seat just in front of me.
The train started on its scheduled time of departure. It was around 9 hours of journey to reach Bangalore. I had heard about the picturesque beauty of the train trail along the Western Ghats. I had created an opportunity to witness it.
I had a Kindle ebook reader along with me just in case I felt bored. I just saw people around talking and some kids playing. These kept me entertained for some while.
I started reading Kindle, deciding on what to read as my reading list was quite long. Finally, I settled down for a book and started reading it.
It was around 1:30 p.m. we were in the Subramanya Station. I could see a large number of people boarding the train and the train was jam-packed in no time. All these are pilgrims visiting the Kukke Subramanya Temple. I started feeling hungry. I opened my packed tiffin box loaded with Mangalore Buns, Boiled Rice with Amaranthus Curry and a Pulav.
I looked around to see everyone having their lunch. The people who were already there and the people who just boarded the train all of them. It felt like some trigger initiated all of them to have lunch at the same time.
It was a nice feeling to have a home cooked delicious food, and my hunger was extinguished as soon as I finished my lunch.
The stretch from Subramanya to Sakleshpura was a Western Ghats belt and we are entering into it. There were no houses seen besides the track. It was all filled with the lush greenery. We were greeted by a tunnel, around 100m length and no lights inside, people around were excited as the train entered the darkness, though there were lights lit inside it to ensure we were not in dark.
Apparently, the track stretching from Kukke Subramanya to Sakaleshpura is called Green Route, which is around 52 Kms long. There are around 57 tunnels and 109 bridges.
The bridges were so steep down that one could not literally see the river flowing underneath. There is a river that flows alongside the railway track along the trail. It was as if the river is accompanying the train in its journey, though the river is headed towards the west in the opposite direction to that of the movement of the train.
Suddenly, I saw a group of hills approaching and they came closer and closer. At some point, I felt as if I am familiar with the hills. It was the thoughts of the Kumara Parvatha that came up in the flash, which I had trekked a few years back.
After Sakaleshpur, the train is passing through the grassland, open space, through the cities. I opened my Kindle and started reading books, I knew this would come handy in the journey.
I would recommend not to take trains during monsoons. This route is prone to landslides during Monsoons and chances that the train is cancelled or delayed is high. We might feel that the lush green environment is better seen during monsoons. But still, I would say somewhere around October-November should be an ideal time to be here.
We reached Bangalore finally around 8:30 p.m. and the train was slightly delayed. It was a blend of excitement initially which then went to being idle, bored and tired and looking at the time every now and then, at the maps to see the distance remaining to be covered to reach the Bangalore. In fact, I read each and every station name to track where we were and compared that information with the google maps, which also made the phone battery drain quicker and the phone was crying low battery. Then I decided not to look at the phone every now and then. I calmed down and sat there with patience until we reached Nelamangala. This place always excites me as it indicated we are close to Bangalore.
The train was in Bangalore station around 9 p.m. I had my dinner near the railway station and headed back to home.
It was mixed feeling to cherish, even though I made up my mind not to travel in the day train for long distance journeys. But it was worth exploring the train journey along this wonderful trail. I wish I could ride a bike sometime along this trail in future. A trek here would also be a good idea if anyone wants to explore more on the Western Ghats.
Thanks to — travelvigo for a Picture of the misty trail.