Trainspotting in the Middle of India
Traversing around India is an adventure in and of itself. One of the greatest ways to do this, and to truly see the interesting cultural facets of this country, is to go by train. I elected to get from Mumbai to Goa via a ten hour rail ride through the countryside. Now trains in India are like nothing you will see in the states. Think of all the amenities you are accustomed to. Got that image? Now take every single one of them away and you have the train I was on, which was fantastic. Since it was monsoon season, the landscapes that I passed were incredibly rich and full of vibrant greens, and a fair amount of reddish mud as well. Due to the open air nature of the train though, I was able to literally hang out the doorway, take in the fresh air and the spray of water on my face, and really get a feel for the land. Sometimes these amenity-free trains are referred to as "people's" trains. But if you want to truly get in touch with the cultural and the people, then this is the train for you.
By Matthew Keesecker, AFAR Local Expert
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Dapoli, Maharashtra, India