What about a trip to explore the enchanting beauty of rains from Bengaluru for just Rs 155? What if that tour is a 10-hour train journey that unravels the pristine charm of waterfalls and rivers that flow from the lofty heights of Sahyadri and touches the pitch-dark tunnels and verdant forest? Irresistible, isn’t it?
Three trains running from Bengaluru to Mangaluru via Sakleshpura during day time are perfect moving platforms to enjoy the magic of monsoon on the stretch. You can capture the monsoon vistas of Sahyadri (the Western Ghats) by boarding the train that chugs off from Yeshwanthpur in Bengaluru at 7 in the morning.
It’s not that other trains are not running on the stretch, it’s just that other trains run during night hours and it won’t be possible to behold the magnificent sights of the rains.
The 55km stretch from Sakleshpur to Subramanya is replete with the raw charm of Sahyadri and tunnels that create a sense of trepidation in the minds of the travellers. While heading to Subramanya, there is a descent in altitude from 906m to 120m above sea level.
The enchanting sights on the route can be savoured by boarding the train running between Mangaluru and Bengaluru in the morning. This exotic stretch for obvious reasons is known as the railways’ green route. Interestingly, the mentioned trains start their journey from the Deccan plateau and travel through Sahyadri to reach the Konkan shores.
The monsoon train
Don’t be late to the Yeshwanthpur railway station to catch the train as it starts at 7am sharp. Though all the three trains concerned have vista dome coaches in the rear, a second class travel is more than enough to sink in the wonderful sights on the way to Mangaluru.
One disadvantage of travelling on vista dome coaches is that the view through the glass covering can be hazy when it starts to rain. The ticket fare of vista dome coaches is Rs 1,572 per person.
While travelling on the stretch, you can see the ginormous Bahubali statue at a distance while approaching the Shravanbela Gola railway station. It is worth noting that Hassan is the main town on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru route.
Eye-catching natural vistas
The views on the stretch are breathtaking as rains provide perfect backdrop to the surreal natural settings. The exotic combo of floating mist, lofty hills and verdant forest could be seen passing by at a distance. As the train slows down while maneuvering the numerous curves, you can savour the charm of nature quite leisurely.
It is a great experience to be on the train when it cuts through the darkness of the plethora of tunnels that dot the route. After exiting the ninth tunnel, one could see a wooden narrow pathway across a bubbling stream flowing below the rail lines.
It is a heart-in-the mouth moment when the train passes through a mammoth iron bridge that connects two tall hills. While crossing the iron bridge, you will feel like floating in the air as you glide above the canopies of the jungle.
On the way to Mangaluru, the train will touch stations such as Donigal, Kadagaravalli, Yedakumari and Harebetta. It is noteworthy that mainly railway officials board from and disembark at these stations. The rather steep slope near the Shiribagilu station is like going down a rollercoaster ride of sorts.
The green route ends after the train reaches the Subramanya station and many people alight here to visit the Kukke and the Dharmasthala temple. The train will reach Mangaluru by 4.45pm.
An awe-inspiring route indeed
The Yeshwanthpur-Mangaluru stretch is an engineering marvel that is riddled with steep ascents and descends, tunnels, bridges and curves. The route boasts of as many as 57 tunnels and 109 bridges. The length of the bridges ranges from a few meters to nearly 750 meters and the height at some points of the bridges touches close to 200 meters.
It is interesting to note that cascades adorn the sides of the entry and exit points of the tunnels. The passengers are treated to spectacular views as the train comes out of the pitch-dark tunnels. It is noteworthy that incidents of rocks falling onto rail tracks are quite common on this route. The passengers are warned not to alight while the trains slow down or stop while passing through the forest.
Trains from Bengaluru at 7am
1. Yeshwanthpur-Mangaluru Express (16539) – Saturday.
2. Yeshwanthpur-Karwar. Karwar Express (16515) – Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
3. Yeshwanthpur-Mangaluru. Gomateshwara Express (16575) – Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Trains from Mangaluru
1. Mangaluru-Yeshwanthpur Express (16540) – Sunday at 9.15am.
2. Mangaluru-Yeshwanthpur Express (16576) – Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11.30am.
3. Karwar-Yeshwanthpur Express (16516) – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 5.30am.