20 May , 2015
I have been on innumerable train journeys in my life. Honestly, I find travelling in train more fun than in a bus or even flights for that matter. A semester project in my graduation on Indian Railways, prompted me to build my ‘Bucket-List’ of Must Travel Train Journeys in India. With time, somehow this list got buried deep down and I forgot about it. It was only last year, when I was researching on some places to visit around Bangalore, that I came across the Nilgiri Mountain Train Ride which reminded of the forgotten list. It was then, that I started planning for my trip to Ooty for the heritage Nilgiri Mountain Ride and check this off my list.
It was a bonus that my friend Raksha, decided to fly down as well and accompany me on this trip. For the entire two months, whenever we spoke, Raksha and I were always discussing on how this ride would be and we ended up planning a week long vacation in Ooty , around this train ride !!!
Since, I knew that getting tickets for this was not that easy, I had booked the tickets 2 months in advance on http://www.irctc.co.in. On the day of the journey, we were so excited about this , we got up as early as 6.00 AM to catch the 9.15 AM train to Coonor. Due to some early morning hassles, we got delayed by the cab from our resort to the Ooty Station but thankfully, we reached just in time to catch the train.
There was a long queue already for people to board the train in General Section, but since we had reservations, we did not join that queue. We went to the TC directly, got our tickets checked and got into our coupe.
We were so thrilled with getting on this train, that even the younger kids in our coupe got embarrassed by our squeals of joy! After our initial elation on being in the train ride died down a little and we were through with selfies, we settled down to enjoy the breathtaking views of the ride.
The early morning cool breeze, spectacular view of the Blue (Nil) Mountains (Giri) , the view of villages nestled among this ranges, was totally worth the wait of last few months.
Even before we even realized, 1.5 hour passed and we were in Coonor. Though a little disappointed at the end of the ride, we set off for a Coonor day trip as we were lucky to to be getting back to Ooty in the evening again via the return train.
This heritage train ride is unforgettable and I would recommend this for all ages. After all, there must be some reason that Shah Rukh crooned Chaiyya Chaiyya on the very same ride.