The railway in Kerala has a history that dates back the 1860 with the first narrow gauge laid between Tirur and Beypore. From then on, at different stages the rails has extended throughout the lengths of Kerala and these narrow gauges were converted to meter gauges on course of time. Post independence, the railways is a government of India owned organization and one of the highest employer in the world. Today a big population in Kerala travel in trains and depends even for their daily commuting. The best part of the train journey in Kerala is the green beauty of the state.
I should definitely suggest to go for a train journey if you are in Kerala. It’s inexpensive and the experience would be different from what you can imagine if you are in for the first time. The stations, the vendors, the greenery outside the window, and the ticket examiner with a black coat. You might not get a chance to see a government servant with a coat anywhere other than in a train in India, especially in Kerala. When you travel north to south, you find Kerala fresh and green. Travelling during monsoons is also a different experience altogether. You see many of rivers, there are railway over bridges the Barathapuzha River, Periyar River and many more plus on top of the backwaters too. One will easily spot many Lush green paddy fields with the contrasting colors of the paddy clay, this is something slowly disappearing from the land. There are a very few farmers who do paddy based agriculture in Kerala and the figure is diminishing. You will find, if these fields are unused, most probably it will be the playground for children either for playing cricket or football, at some places you will even spot larger crowd with these games. Finally, just like anywhere in Kerala, you will find infinite numbers of coconut trees everywhere through the grilled or glassed window.
The food made within the running train pantry may lack quality and taste, and as an alternative the food available at the stations would be the only reliable solution. The Idle vada at the shornur station is one of the best bet. Shornur is the longest railway platform in Kerala and is one among the prime stations in the district of Palakkad. It is a rail junction that connects all the trains from different directions and has the highest number of trains passing at this station. Every station has a long stop here.
To book a ticket in an Indian train, all you need to do is log on to https://www.irctc.co.in/ (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) – type in the stations, the dates, the class of ticket – book – make the payment online and your reservation is done. If you are opting for a wait listed ticket, there is no assurance that it may get confirmed – all you can do is to keep up the hope. To check the train routing anywhere in India – try http://erail.in/ – most trains are named after the final destinations i.e. Kanyakumari Bangalore express or by an Indian destination name. Always go by the train number, this is five digit number to identify a train. It is always suggested to have AC coach reservation ticket if you are on a very long overnight journey. Happy Journey!!
Written by Benjamin John