Once upon a time there was this quiet town in India renowned for its great weather, doddering pensioners and slow & steady factories. And a few hundred kilometres away was another small town on the sea, with a massive smell of drying fish as its unique signature.
Life went well for everyone till a crazy Texan came to town (the first town with great weather) and in a short span of time had so corrupted the place that it was overflowing with cars, traffic jams, call centres, multi-milionnaires and java coders. While all this was going on, the second town was still on its placid path, with its unique olfactory imprint intact.
But a few souls in the sleepy, smelly town decided they wanted to get to the big city that the other town had now become. They too wanted ‘success’. So they fought hard for a railway line between the two towns.
Energised by the pleas of its people, the government decided to set up a railway line between the two towns. And started a project. The project went on. And went on. And went on. Soon, everyone in the two towns forgot about this railway that was being built. They went by car, by bus, by plane. By everything but by train. And the two towns bustled.
Till one day, when somebody suddenly said, the railway is now open. Old folks, who had heard of the railway in their youth, now started talking excitedly about it. Youngsters read the news in confused wonder. And the minster of railways announced that the tyranny of the bus mafia was over. The railway project which had apparently taken over a couple of millennia to build had taken so much time because the rascal bus operators had provided such an efficient transport service that people had forgotten about the railway. Everyone agreed that the bus operators were very bad people indeed. But the citizens of the two towns were magnanimous in their moment of triumph and decided to pardon the bus operators and allow them to ply their trade.
Ok, enough of the sarcasm. Go to www.irctc.co.in. Search for a train between YPR and MAQ. You will find Train no 6517, departing at 20.35 and reaching at 08.35.
If you want to find a great beach once you get to the Konkan coast, click here.
(Video of an old rail track in Sakleshpur used by intrepid trekkers)