From the town in the desert to Rajasthan’s Blue City, this trip on Indian Railways was perhaps not as memorable as others I’ve taken. Why? Well, I was asleep about five minutes after we left, the scenery was mostly arid, and I’d already done this 301km segment of rail before. Mind you – I hadn’t done it in daylight hours.
But nevertheless, (I am aware I probably should have started on a positive note here) it’s still a great experience. This one was pretty much bang on time, although we left maybe 15 minutes late it didn’t seem to affect our arrival in Jodphur.
The train had an early morning departure, at 645am. Jaisalmer was quiet as I rose at 530am or so, 95% packed, quick shower, met my pre-organised auto-rickshaw outside and away we went, getting to the station by 615am, maybe a little earlier.
Cool and dusty, the sun was yet to suggest it would be returning to provide daylight for yet another day. The train station was probably the place with the most activity in the whole town. It was bustling, quite a few tourists taking the train, the platform already had filled up quite a bit, and as usual a bag x-ray was required.
The train pulled in pretty quickly as I met a South African couple and we started talking. A long train as so many are in India, twenty carriages or more, people alighted and then there was a short pause for cleaning. Not sure what time it was due, but I don’t think it arrived terribly late, so they don’t give a lot of time for the changeover.
The last main station out there in India, it actually has a bit of character to it, and not being quite as busy as Jodphur or Jaipur, it’s more pleasant. The sun began to warm the land as we were let on board. This time I was in 3AC, three beds each side of the ‘compartment’ and two at the end, I scored the bottom of those two which worked well. I had a window to myself. And the price for 301km in one of the best classes available (don’t know if this train had 2AC) – just 550 rupees. $11 Australian. $8US.
Most people just got on board, lay down and fell asleep. Not me though, I was getting footage and a couple of photos. The train pulled out, and it wasn’t until 715am that I was fast asleep. Seriously, some people chatter away for 12 hour journeys, other people get on their bed and sleep until they get off.
The video displays the trip better than words can. Six hours to get to Jodphur, I was awake for at least four of them. I expected we’d be late, but in fact I think we arrived up to five minutes early. Pulling into Jodphur I presumed for a bit it was a different city, and then came to the realisation I better make sure I was already to get off the train!
Jodphur station was pretty big and hectic. But I had free pickup outside the station, and I would come to think of Jodphur as my favourite Rajasthani city. And as always, taking the train was the best way to get there! May the Journey Never End!