There is nothing better than a train journey if you want to really experience the culture and feel of Kerala. It is possible to have a very close and intimate look at the the emotions of people – their emotions, culture, the way they dress, the way they behave in stress and at leisure.
This time when I landed in Kerala, I decided to travel the rest of the journey from the airport in Cochin to my home in Aranmula by train.
I had to first reach the nearest railway station from the airport called the Aluva Railway Station and then board any train that was heading south from the station towards Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram as it is called now. The ticket booking counter had a lady attendant who helped me with the required information on the next arriving train and timings. I purchased the ticket and waited at the station for the arrival of Kerala express – the train that comes from new Delhi. And as I boarded the Kerala express from Aluva station, I was all excited.. like a small little girl out on her first bachelor expedition. I was alone but I felt confident.
The train reached Ernakulam station in about 15 to 20 mins where it rested for about 30 mins! I could get hold of some vada and chutney to soothe my tummy.
It takes about 3 hours from here to reach Chengannur – the nearest station from Aranmula, the chengannur railway station.
The view and the travel was absolutely breathtaking. The greenery was overwhelming. I could see trees covered by creepers from the roots going all the way to the top touching the sky. The emotions and feelings that gets evoked when we see coconut trees lined across the borders of rice and paddy fields is just indescribable. It can just be felt. There is an immense sense of calmness and joy that permeates our being..
There were ponds scattered across the way covered by green algae and lotus leaves, mountains passed by in quick succession covered with rubber trees. Temples and churches adorned the landscape with intermittent frequency.
Overall, it is a pleasurable experience to be in Kerala and this train ride was just a prelude to all the good things that I was going to be with, to enjoy, to savour and to relish!