Believe me, it was the toughest one in every sense. Starting from the planning phase, choosing a trek, end moment train bookings to the trail, it was not an easy trip. It all started as soon as we got to know of a holi long weekend which was a week away. All 3 of us applied for an extra leave and started looking for a fruitful 4- day trip. We explored options such as Goa, Mumbai, Bir-Billing, Gangtok, and what not.Finally, we settled with Rishikesh and Nag Tibba. I know it sounds weird obviously after exploring exotic locations like Goa but last moment airfare hikes do this to your trip. So a piece of advice, please make your bookings in advance.You can check out some more interesting trips by clicking here
We took the early morning Shatabdi from New Delhi Station, and reached Chandigarh around 12 PM. From the station we took an Uber to our hotel-Hotel Mountview in Sector-10. It was a 20 minute drive. Coming from Delhi, the clean air hit my face, and I was thrilled. The roads were clean and wide, lined with contemporary markets in places. I could see many of the Delhi cafe's had opened shop here.The location of the hotel was brilliant. We were greeted by a riot of colorful flowers as we entered.
Once out of the airport take a transit shuttle bus to the express line metro station. It costs around Rs. 50. Once at the metro take express line to New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS), if you are planning to go by train. Else, you may also go to Kashmere gate for a bus or Old Delhi Railway station if your train is departing from there. Ensure you check from which station your train will depart.
It's said to be early to bed and early to rise, but we only had a early rise. Morning before even the sun appeared, we started off from the hotel, at 5 AM to catch our train to Agra. Staying near by to the railway station, we managed to be well in time at the station and as the train arrived at the platform, we got settled fast and enjoyed the comfort of a Shatabdi Train. The train starts sharp at 6, giving us the beautiful view of sunrise in the farms we pass through. Being one of the elite and fastest trains of India, they generally don't have delays and makes you reach Agra just as you finish the breakfast- served finely on the train.
In the month of December, amidst the din of delayed and cancelled trains, I boarded the notorious Magadh Express on my journey to Patna. Magadh Express, just like Bihar, had a glorious past and was known to be a fast and reliable train in some age. However, today it has become an epitome of Indian Railways’ lack of punctuality and a 10 hour delay is considered normal on this train. So besides my plan to travel to Bihar, the fact that I was doing it in Magadh Express, drew both alarm and amazement from my Patna friends. I wasn’t surprised when a 16 hour journey turned into a 28 hour crawl through East UP and Bihar, with regular unscheduled stops in the middle of nowhere.