Travel is often not a very pleasant experience; it is long, tedious and tiresome. Still, the joys and wonder of soaking in new sights and encounters can be life-changing. India is an enormous country, with an efficient and expansive railway system. They ferry over eight hundred million passengers annually and more than two million daily. And most trains in India are slow, a long journey over thousands of kilometres can take days to complete.
Journeys over long distances are gruelling, and they test the body, mind and soul. The time it takes to complete the trip also makes a big difference; the longer it takes, the more it tolls on one physically. The most remarkable part about these long-distance voyages is the sights they cover. Trips such as this need more than twenty hours to complete and traverse thousands of kilometres, they cross multiple states and varying degrees of temperature and terrain. Such a journey often stops over thirty times and seldom goes fast.
The trains pass forests, national parks, historically and culturally important places, metropolitan cities and the list goes on. Such a dynamic change in scenery and spectacle can leave a lasting impression on people’s minds. Even though such travel is usually very tiring, one has to patiently sit in one place for hours on end. The sights and sounds along the way, however, can quickly lift spirits and overwhelm people with a rushing feeling.
Some journeys of marvelling distances
One such gargantuan journey that is both the longest in terms of kilometres travelled and time is the Dibrugarh-KanyakumariVivek Express. This weekly express train journeys through the entire eastern coast of India. This journey of epic proportions takes over eighty hours and covers about forty-two hundred kilometres, all the while halting a whopping fifty-five times. This delightfully long journey starts at the Dibrugarh Station, in the North-Eastern state of Assam and ends all the way down south, at the very tip of our country Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu.
Another such arduous journey that traverses north to south is the Ten Jammu Express, an unbelievably long journey. It takes about seventy-one hours to complete, travels over thirty-five hundred kilometres and halts at nearly sixty-two different places.
Both of these epic journeys cover over ten states and pass through some unbelievable sights and scenery. Photographers, filmmakers and writers can draw inspiration from all the forests, sanctuaries, parks and valleys that the train passes through. In addition, they go though many noteworthy places such as the Eastern Ghats, Deccan Plateau, and travel over rivers such as Cauvery, Narmada and Brahmaputra.
A lot more information on such long-distance journeys like train or railway running status, route details, and ticket fares can be found on various travel websites. One can also book tickets online, track the timings of the train and the number of stops.
Journeys such as this can be a quest to find what is missing inside, and be an evoking experience for travellers. The distance, combined with the time one can spend with his own thoughts act as an incubator for change in a travellers perspective.