Monday, 11 Dec 2006: A ride on the Brahmaputra Mail January 12, 2007Posted by Arun Rajagopal in Indian Railways, Travel.
The 4056 New Delhi – Dibrugarh Town Brahmaputra Mail departed a little after 11.40pm. Settled into my berth for a rather uneventful journey. The 780km journey to Mughalsarai took over 15 hours. The train, which was hauled by a WAP5 – Vijay Utkarsh, halted at Aligarh, Tundla, Kanpur, Allahabad and Mirzapur. The highlight of the journey was idly crossing the spectacular Yamuna on a really long bridge. Got to Mughalsarai around 2pm, 3 hours after ETA. From the train, North India looked pretty green but quiet. Took a ride from Mughalsarai to Varanasi in a really strange vehicle called Vikram, which is a cross between a mini bus and an auto rickshaw. Held for dear life in the cramped and crammed vehicle which deposited us in front of Varanasi Railway Station. Went to the International Tourist Bureau to get train tickets for our next destination. Was advised by the very helpful officer at the counter not to get the IndRail pass, but to buy tickets for point to point travel, as I would be saving more money that way. We got two sleeper berths on the 2166 Varanasi – Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Ratnagiri Superfast departing next evening. Had a walk around the railway station at Varanasi, was enamored by the monkeys goofing around the platforms. Met a rickshaw driver outside the station, struck a deal with him to explore Varanasi and Sarnath for a day in his auto and then get dropped at the station, all for 400 Rs. Checked into the Hotel Surya, loved it. Enjoyed the food in their restaurant, splurged on indigenous Sula white wine and hit bed. Pure bliss.
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