This year, Simon from WILDFOOT went on an Indian adventure and documented his journey for you to read on the WILDFOOT blog. In this update, Simon makes a journey to Jaipur by train.
I travel to Jodhpur station at 5:30am for my 6:10 am trip to Jaipur by early morning train. Built in the 1900s, Jodhpur was one of the most important railway inclusions for the British rulers in Victorian India. The Indian railway system was started in 1857, and the first line was Bombay to Rajkot in southern Gujarat, so it is great to be here and to take in some of the history.
We have individual seats booked in an air-conditioned carriage, but take a peek at the unreserved non-air conditioned carriage. We imagine sitting in the carriage in the midday heat of 43 degrees today. During the height of the summer, the temperature is likely to top 50 degrees, so we are glad we opted for an air conditioned carriage to make our journey!
Comparing my journey to UK trains, I am surprised to note that train doors are generally left open and passengers are free to lean out of the door regardless of speed. Manoj, my travelling companion, reminds me that there are no full stops in India, referencing the title of a book by author Mark Tully, who has written prolifically about India. In other words, India is a never-ending surprise and around every corner, there are scenes and experiences delivered as if on cue!
I’ve not scratched the surface in my comments as to the unique Indian culture surrounding you everywhere you turn, but my wildlife tour of North West India has kept me highly entertained and educated so far.
As we take our seats on the train, we see that two ladies are eating food in front of us. They insist that we share with them, so we enjoy authentic Indian cuisine on our journey to Jaipur. Shiva Rathi is an industrial and engineering student from Jodhpur, travelling with her professor and mother Rashmi Rathi. The journey demonstrates the exceptional kindness of the Indian people, especially on Indian trains. We decide to offer them a cup of chai when the chai wallah comes through the carriage by way of thanks.
In Simon’s next installment, he will spend a night in Jaipur and learn more about the Bishnoi religious tribe. If you are interested in finding out more about your own possibilities for an Indian wildlife adventure, get in touch with the WILDFOOT team today.