Goa, an experience – II (Journey)

There were four choices to reach Goa from my place, Mumbai.. .. by air, by cruise, by road or by train. The distance is around 600 Kms by road.
Since we had heard about the Konkan belt with all its ghats being extremely beautiful to watch, we decided against the first two options. Also, they were to take either too short or too long duration. Traveling by road was again rejected on three points.

1. It would have meant spending around 15 hours by any overnight Volvo bus taking into consideration all the stops and ghat (hilly terrains) roads. It would also have hampered our wish to enjoy the scenic route.
2. Hiring a car for nine days from Mumbai itself was just not a feasible option. We didn’t want to take our own car as DH really wanted a break from driving for all those nine days. Also there was a risk of car breakdown and not able to take the car everywhere.
3. I have an irritating habit of feeling nausea on hilly road journeys.

So very coolly (and to my excitement) we booked our journey by train for both directions. AC chair car in Jan Shatabdi train makes the journey even more enriched. The travel time is 8 & 1/2 hours. The tickets are around 700 INR each. For non-AC chair car on the same train, the fare is around Rs 200/- There are some overnight trains as well but we decided against them.

Traveling to Goa by Konkan Railway is a real pleasure as the train passes through breathtakingly beautiful sights and many tunnels… the best part of this train journey. I had never seen as many as over 50 tunnels on a single route !! I think Konkan railway and tunnels can be treated synonyms. Some of the tunnels are very long ones & take time to pass through. Initially I kept track of the number but after some time I had to let it go. One snack vendor told us they are 58 or 59, he was also not sure of. On some places the walls, when we could see them in the pitch black, are very close to the train.

It was raining throughout the journey and we were quite wary of our tour with bemausam ki barsaat. But seeing the beautiful greenery, passing through fields, palm & coconut trees with chain of hot cup of coffee or chai (tea) has its own experience. As usual, traveling in Indian trains also means continuous supply of hot tea/coffee and snacks.

There are three stops in Goa province, one north, one in the central (north)  and one south, and if you do not know exactly which one your stop is, it is a long way between them. There are many towns and beaches and many more not on the map.
An important railway station which most tourists tend to miss is Thivim which is just 20 minutes away from Calangute beach by taxi. The train passed Thivim, crossed over the Mandovi River Bridges, a brief halt at Karmali (Old Goa) station, over the massive bridge over the Zuari River and proceeded cautiously towards Madgaon (Platform 1).. .. the place where train ends its journey and where we were to put up for next few days.

Because of the rains and the ghat area, our train got delayed by more than three hours. By the time we reached hotel, there was just enough time to walk down to the beach which was 1 & ½ Kms far from the hotel.
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15 thoughts on “Goa, an experience – II (Journey)

  1. Hi Cuckoo! Thanks for having been so kind to comment on Blogtrotter while I was absent! I’m back and trying to catch up with your posts!
    So your trip was to Goa. Beautiful pictures of a fabulous land. Our friends spent ten days there in February and my next time in India will definitely pass by Goa. Meanwhile, the closest approach is the restaurant of the Casa de Goa (House of Goa) owned by my friend Sebastião Fernandes… ;))
    Hope you have a great week!

  2. Gil,
    Awwww, that’s something interesting having your friend’s restaurant in Goa. Next time I will sure meet him if I have the complete address !!

    Thanks for taking out time to comment here.
    Keep coming.

  3. thats a funny name -chiplun !!! (I wonder how it came to its existence) And yeah green coloration is vey pleasant to eyes…..! Last pic you took from a moving train -right !!

    Will check out later…..your rest of Goa post….! Off for long weekend and yup -your adopted land is where i am heading.

  4. hey, love the train journey ..I remember the first time we went to goa, we virtually sat next to the door of the compartment and soaked in the view..i havent blogged abt it though ..shd sometime 🙂
    lakshmi

  5. I have travelled on the Konkan railway just a few months back and indeed the scenery passing by is a treat to the eyes.

    Chiplun by itself is a place with beautiful scenic views, a place for spending leisure time I believe.

  6. hmmm good read, totally reminded me of my goa trip back in my 11th standard…
    and now i remember even i had written a report but i never posted it anywhere, had written for the school mag…i think i might put it up on my blog sometime…
    🙂

  7. BTR,
    Chiplun !! Ha Ha… it reminded me of chip munks ! The photo was from the moving train but not the last one. 🙂

    Oh Oh, you are always on weekend trip. I wonder when your weekdays start.

    Backpakker,
    I love the train journey the most. Would wait for your account on that.
    Thank you.

    Celine,
    Yes, Now I know what Konkan belt means. 🙂
    Will have to find out more about Chiplun.

    Vandita,
    Will wait for your account on Goa. 🙂
    Keep coming.

  8. I always wanted to go to Goa by train……I mean day train:-)…long back I did do Pune-Goa by train but was no fun since most of the journey is done in the dark….was nice to read your description…..And your below Delhi Metro post made me think of home too;-)

  9. Hi Cuckoo ! Amazing misunderstanding: you have to fly to Lisbon to get to the House of Goa and to Sebastiao’s delicious cuisine… ;))
    Thanks for your comment on Blogtrotter, where I’m exploring a new country now. Surprise! 😉
    Hope you have a great weekend!

  10. Sid,
    Welcome here.
    Well, we avoided night train for the same reason.

    Thank you for liking my Delhi Metro post. 🙂

    Merci pour votre visite. Keep coming.

  11. Gil,
    Oh, I misunderstood then. I know you are talking about Morocco. Have read the post already. 🙂

    Will go there and comment sometime.

    Peter,
    Yes, I agree and if I don’t have time constraint I enjoy it the most.

  12. We too booked our tickets for Goa to Bombay on the train, as we had heard a lot about the beauty of this Konkan railway strectch. And deliberately booked it for the day, instead of overnight. And I must say we werent disappointed.

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