Crowds mill around the procession car on display during the feast at St.Mary’s Basilica, Shivajinagar in Bangalore. The car contains the “idol” of Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus. The procession is part of St.Mary’s feast held once every year. St.Mary’s Basilica is the oldest existing church in Bangalore and Karnataka, with a rich history. The church was founded in 1803 after Tipu Sultan’s reign ended and the British took over the Mysore Kingdom. Shivajinagar was known as “Blackpally” back then. Thousands of people from all faiths visit the church during the feast.
The blue-green waters of the Ashtamudi Lake in Kerala lie calm and serene as the reflect the clouds which hover far above them in the sky on this balmy afternoon. This is the farthest Southern part of the lake near the Kollam – Thenkasi National Highway 5 kilometers out of Kollam city. Thickly vegetated and palm fringed fingers of land extend into the lake, typical of Kerala backwaters. The Ashtamudi Lake is one of the tourist hotspots of Kerala, a shining example of Kerala’s natural beauty. It is one of the locations not fully utilized by the Kerala Tourism department. It is also a bio-diversity hotspot.
The bright orange WDM3A 16459R Diesel Locomotive of the Ernakulam Diesel Shed goes full steam as she nears home with the 22150 Pune-Ernakulam Superfast, one of the fastest trains and trains with least stoppages on the Konkan Route, at Kalamasserry, Ernakulam, Kerala. The orange livery is an intermediate home livery of the Ernakulam shed.
A set of railway tracks branches off to the right after Ernakulam Junction coming from the station, Alappuzha side, while another set moves on towards Thrissur and Shornaur and Palakkad. The line that branches off goes towards Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram via Kottayam and Chengannur. The line going ahead from Ernakulam via Alappuzha joins this one at Kayankulam. These are the two routes from Ernakulam to Trivandrum. There is a locomotive waiting up ahead too.
The Bangalore Central Mall on Commissariat Road at the junction with Residency Road, off MG Road, Bangalore. It hides behind a huge Albizia Saman evergreen tree which casts a shadow over the entire area. The tree is also known as “Rain Tree” in Bangalore, one of the most widely seen trees in the city and also responsible for its cool climate. Kudos to the builders to let the tree stand! It stands opposite Mayo Hall at at the Mayo Hall circle. The Mall stands on the location where the historic Victoria Hotel (established in 1845) once stood. Its erstwhile clientele included Sir Winston Churchill.
The 16525 Kanyakumari-Bangalore Island Express was pulled onto the loop line at Kalamasserry and barely five minutes later came the double-headed freight consist of Tankers and Wagons thundering down the mainline headed by Erode’s WDG3A #13536. The Island does not have a halt at Kalamasserry but being the least-prioritized train in Kerala is routinely pulled aside to give way for other Expresses, often Passenger trains and once in a while even for freights! That day, the TVC-Kozhikode JanShatabdi also passed the Island 15 minutes after the freight passed and only then was it allowed to move on its pathetic journey after an unscheduled halt of more than half an hour.