After a long semester break, it was a time to leave home and get a refreshing start to the next semester in college. My college, which is situated in the heart of Konkan region of Maharashtra, i.e. at Kudal in Sindhudurg district, was about to begin with the last semester of the year.
I left my home, which is at Kalyan in Thane district, early in the morning at 5:30. My father came to drop me till I get into the train. My train was scheduled to depart on 6:30 am from Thane station. So I had to catch a suburban local from Kalyan to Thane. After reaching Thane, I waited for the train to arrive.
Then, here comes the awaited train, 22119 Mumbai CSMT - Karmali TEJAS Superfast Express. It's like, everytime when I here the announcement of this train, I get excited that many times! When the train arrived at the station, the door opened automatically and then, I boarded the train. My father bid me goodbye and wished me for my next semester. Here the journey starts!
My journey is from Thane to Kudal, which is around 485 kms. The train will cover the journey in around 6-7 hours. The train TEJAS Express is India's premium semi-high speed train between Mumbai and Goa started by Indian Railways and operated by Central Railway. The train has some unique features which includes automated doors, sensor fitted water taps, CCTV cameras, etc. The train departed on time from Thane Railway Station at 6:30 am. I was on the window seat and started filming for my vlog for my very own channel - 'Travelling High' on YouTube. The train has six scheduled halts between CSMT and Karmali, viz. Dadar, Thane, Panvel, Chiplun, Ratnagiri and Kudal.
The train was about to reach Panvel and hot breakfast meal arrived at my seat! The train has on-board catering service, which serves meal prepared by IRCTC caterers at main railway station. The meals are packed in containers and loaded in trains, which get served hot in plates. (Meals are kept in cold storage before packing and packed meals are loaded in the trains and then subjected to heat and served hot). My breakfast meal includes Premix Tea with biscuits, Idli Sambhar with chutney, Bread & butter with cupcake & juice. I, thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast and sat comfortably, enjoying the view and shooting for vlogs. It was a bit foggy morning but as the train moved ahead onto Konkan Railway section, there was a dense foggy condition everywhere.
While the train nears to its next halt at Chiplun, there was a sunny condition outside with some greenery of the Western Ghats. One gets to enjoy the rich flora and fauna, along the Konkan Railway route. It's one of the most amazing railway routes of the country, engineered at it's best, to enjoy the natural beauty and serve a purpose of travelling through nature. After departing from Chiplun, a series of tunnels passed by, and sometimes it appears to be the day and suddenly appears like night time, due to the large tunnels on the route. The train has the large windows to enjoy the scenes on the outside world. As the train passed by, at it's max permissible speed (MPS), the next halt was on it's way, i.e. Ratnagiri.
At Ratnagiri, some delicious meal got delivered inside for the passengers on-board! It was the lunch time! Before the lunch, light snacks were served, which include tomato soup, breadsticks with butter. After departing from Ratnagiri station, hot lunch meal got served. The lunch menu include Paneer Mutter Masala, 3 Tawa Chapati, Dal Fry and Plain Basmati. The taste of the food was immensely better than any other IRCTC food I had during the journey! I am travelling in this train from last couple of years and the food I had during this journey was greatest of all! And for the first time during this journey, the dessert served was an ice-cream! Everytime they serve - Sheera (Sooji ka Halwa) as a dessert. It's also good but I like the change very much!
The train rushed through tunnels and bridges with an average speed of 110 kph and the trees, mountains, everything passed by too quickly. The semi-high speed train was moving towards my destination, which was coming next, roughly 2 hours from Ratnagiri. It moved on and on, then the staff served a refreshing drink locally, called Sol Kadi, made from crushing coconut and kokam, with a dash of spices. It's good for health! The train nearing my destination and I got my luggages and waited near the doors to de-board quickly as the doors were automatic. It never felt to de-board the train, but the destination was not too far away. Although, I am regularly enjoying the journey by this train from last 2 years and it keeps fascinating me everytime. Finally, the destination was on the left and the train arrived at Kudal by 1:30 in the afternoon. The door opened automatically and I de-board the train and quickly grabbed a picture for posting on my social handle!