Rickshaw from South Extension 2 to New Delhi train station: Rs 90
Train Delhi – Amritsar:
Swarna Shtbdi # 12029
Class: AC Chair Car (CC)
Fares/pax: Rs 631 (with meal :D)
Depart 07:20 New Delhi (NDLS)
Arrive 13:25 Amritsar Jn (ASR)
Distance: 448 km Duration: 6h, 5min
Our very first Indian train. We chose seat because it’s a fast morning train recommended by Manu if we want to stop in Amritsar for a quick half day visit before continuing our way to Jammu. I didnt know much about Amritsar apart from Golden Temple whose postcard I used to receive from Manu back then (long story about Manu, I’ll talk about him in separate post later :P) Apparently Amritsar is conveniently located on the same route heading North to Kashmir, so right when I knew it is near to Manu’s hometown, I just thought I had to meet him! Although there was a contemplation at first, as when had I checked Cleartrip.com earlier, return direct flight Delhi – Srinagar was somewhat cheaper than combined train Delhi – Amritsar, Amritsar + Jammu and flight Jammu – Srinagar and way back (even if we take direct flight Srinagar – Delhi on way back, it was NOT cheap for one way fare). And return flight can save alot of time!
Despite cheap return flights, we finally decided to take train and therefore make a stop in Amritsar BECAUSE MANU HAS BEEN SO EXCELLENT AT GUIDING ME WITH OUR INDIA TRIP THAT IT WOULD BE TOO CRIME NOT TO VISIT HIM! XD Okay okay, again I will spare the rest of story about Manu in next post.
After saying goodbye to Mr Bashir early morning, we quickly took a rickshaw directly to New Delhi train station. The train was on time, and we got to see our name in a passenger name list (click thumbnails below), although we were not that surprised anymore coz I had earlier read from Farah’s about the name list, then again it was still so exciting to see that we had to take a picture of the list :D.
The journey could have been uneventful but being on our first train, we just couldnt stop watching views along the way. Oh, something interesting to tell here is, we kept on getting SMS “Welcome to Haryana/Punjab/put-a-state-name-here roam with put-a-mobile-SP-here for cheaper rates bla bla bla..”.. I mean, seriously, roaming? It took us a while until realizing that India is too large that traveling from a state (e.g. Delhi) to another state (e.g. Haryana) was considered ‘roaming’.
This train might be the only one we booked that has meal with it! Let’s say it’s breakfast, and as usual, we expect to taste yet another vegetarian meal. It was not good, you know. The meal was served with a cup of coffee / tea. Also, there are some snack and sweet together :)
The toilet in the train was far beyond expectation – they’re very clean! As if there’s hardly anyone using it. I’m not sure if in other classes the toilets are like this as well. You can expect two types of toilets in an Indian train: Western and Indian style (squat).
We arrived in Amritsar EXACTLY at 13.35 in the afternoon and again we were surprised that it was THAT punctual. Hey, have you ever ride a Malaysian train (specifically, Senandung Wau) without arriving late by at least one hour? =,=
Oh yes, look, Manu’s waiting for us at the station! :D