Train journeys often offer a wild view of great sceneries, farmlands, and places which are less likely to be seen otherwise.
We traveled through the parts of four South Indian states, Telangana, Andra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala by train recently and the beauty that our eyes received was incredible. The geographic features changed as the train moved further which consisted of a mixture of mountains, barren land, rocky area, concrete jungles, farmlands, paddy fields, rivers and lush green since the railway lines run through the outskirts and inner villages mostly. The backdrop of clear and cloudy sky added more charm.
It was almost 29 hours journey which started at noon and I had a book handy. Sooner, I found myself watching my husband taking possession of the book which I was supposed to be reading. He started reading along with me playfully and finally kicked me off! I had a few other books packed, but to take them did not seem to be a great idea as they were beneath the seats. I have not seen him investing his time in books much and hence I decided to spend my time scrutinizing him as he enjoyed his read for a while.
On the second day, I was taking a nap in the morning when my husband woke me up to the gorgeous view through the window. A mountain range in the far end, with the white cloudy sky as the backdrop and I did not find any other better reason for the sleep to bid adieu as I started experimenting with my mobile camera. A thick line of coconut trees separated the mountains from the field below. It was the Palakkad Gap in the Western Ghats in between Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and Palakkad in Kerala. Their heads touched the clouds as if whispering some secrets in the ears.
In no time we reached Palakkad station. The train moved to the beautiful view of paddy fields on either side which was plowed, some sowed and in some others women were planting rice seedlings, the process called “njaru nadeel (ഞാറു നടീൽ )” in Malayalam.
White herons in brown and green fields looked like contrasted small designs from a distance. There were a lot of them- flying and feeding in flocks.
From Shornoor we traveled over the river Bharathappuzha which is also known as Nila. Bharathappuzha is the second longest river in Kerala with a length of 209 Kms which has a great significance in the cultural map of Kerala. Also, Nila was featured in a lot of Malayalam movies with all its grace. But now it is struggling to survive because of sand mining. Another catastrophe by selfish humans!
Our train stopped for a while near a small station, Vallathol Nagar. A board in the station read “Alight here to go to Kerala Kalamandalam.” I was too excited. Kerala Kalamandalam, which is on the banks of the river Bharathappuzha is a renowned institution to impart training on the classical art forms of Kerala like Kathakali, Koodiyattam, Mohiniyattam, Thullal and a lot more. The unique training center has given birth to eminent artists who are invincible in their respective fields. Kerala Kalamandalam was established by one of the greatest Malayalam poets, Vallathol Narayana Menon in 1930.
The train dashed from stations to stations. The crops cultivated changed. The people outside and inside changed. The color and beauty of the sky and land changed. After a few hours, our station arrived and we alighted. The train kept moving and the views through the window kept changing!
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