“Aerial” View of Old Madras Road – Quintessential Bangalore!

View of Old Madras Road, one of Bangalore’s arterial roads from atop the railway line overbridge that crosses above it just after the Tin Factory junction. This shot in short captures a microcosm of Bengaluru. The looming mall on the right (the dome of the Gopalan Signature Mall), the steel-and-glass IT tech part (RMZ Infinity) opposite it, the chaotic winner-take-it-all traffic bunching together on the road totally oblivious of lanes, vehicles moving in all directions at the junction, autos everywhere, double-parked cars, a BMTC bus, pedestrians (including a schoolboy and a lady – under the ‘a’ of the ‘vadakkus’ watermark) struggling to cross the roads with vehicles vehemently denying them, a traffic policeman helplessly watching the entire scene, the typical yellow Bengaluru street name board (left), Bangalore City Police’s nakabandi barrier (right), flex boards of smiling politicians, petty shops, enormous hoardings, bumpy uneven roads, KFC, McD… And of course, the general greenery and climate reflected by the overcast atmosphere. Bengaluru rocks! Now, if only people followed traffic rules…

Indian Railways’ AC First Class Cabin (on the Island Express)

This is how the interiors of an AC First Class cabin on an Indian (Railways) train looks like. A cabin can seat/sleep four people as opposed to a coupe which is for two people only. Both feature lockable doors ensuring complete privacy along with wardrobes etc. This cabin is from the 16525/6 Kanyakumari – Bangalore – Kanyakumari Island Express. The Island got AC First Class albeit only half a coach (the other half of the coach is AC 2 tier) for the first time in its history from September 01 2014 and predictably is sold out the year round, being the most preferred train from Bangalore to Kerala. It has two cabins and one coupe. The berths are a meter wide and the cabin is squeaking clean. This is the old type ICF coach with steel frames. The new LHB coaches feature aluminium frames and larger windows which make them more airy and pleasant. But this is not bad either. Note the curtain rods.

Full Length: WAP4 “Rear View Mirrors” 22221 with 13351 Tata Express

The average Indian (Railways) passenger train is so long that its other end cannot even be viewed properly. In this case, the 13351 Alappuzha – Dhanbad Express rushes towards Aluva in Kerala with the far end of the train shrouded in the early morning mist. The 13351 “supercrawler” isn’t even among the longest trains in India. It is headed by Erode’s WAP #22221, famously known for its Rear View Mirrors, possobly the only Indian Locomotive to have rear view mirrors! (Railfans, correct me if I am wrong).

A KSRTC Superfast on a Rollercoaster Ride!

Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) Superfast bus RNK 447 of Poovar depot in Trivandrum district careens around a sharp bend at high speed between Koothattukulam and Muvattupuzha on the MC Road in Kerala, on its run from Poovar to Thrissur. This particular stretch of road is filled with almost continuous sharp twists and turns making it it a challenging road to drive on but KSRTC drivers make it look easy. KSRTC Superfasts are known for their speed and vicious, unforgiving, fast and furious driving style which also makes them a hot favorite among travelers. The body seems to be about to rip itself off the chassis!

Aluva Puzha, Aluva Sky, Aluva Manappuram…

Blue everywhere during early morning as one end of the Aluva Manappuram, where the mighty Periyar river splits into two flows along calm and composed in the morning, as its banks are seen as apit of green between the blue sky and the blue river… The famous Aluva Manappuram Mahadeva Temple (Shiva Temple) can be seen along with the “Manappuram Kadathu”. Aluva Manappuram and its surroundings are steeped in Kerala culture and history as locations for the annual “Balitharppanam” and also of the historic Mamankam festival and many wars. It was the spot where many ancient and medieval kingdoms flexed their muscles of power and where much blood had been spilled, now lies silent and contended… Note the reflection of the apartment highrise in the water.

A Dirty WAP7 With a Dirty AC Double Decker near Bayappanahalli

The very dirty Royapuram WAP7 30362 rolls past Sadananda Nagar near Baiyyappanahalli with the 22625 Chennai Central – Bangalore AC Double Decker with all its 12 coaches trailing behind. Check out the patterns someone had drawn on the dirty locomotive! It was about to rain and actually quite dark for that time of the day that I had to crank up the exposure bias. The Double Decker coaches were also all very dirty with fading paint and cracked windows. Anyway, the train belongs to Southern Railway which is not exactly known for its maintenance and cleanliness.