This is our first West-East long-distance train journey on this trip – so we’re seeing new landscape and new stations, which is really nice. This train from Delhi to Guwahati is one of the faster ones – it takes 33 hours with just about 6 scheduled stops on the way (although ours did a few extra ones) and travels through UP, Bihar and West Bengal before reaching Assam.
The route it takes is surprisingly beautiful and the entire day of the 2nd we spent speeding past stunningly green fields of paddy and brimming rivers and ponds. The monsoon is still very much here, so we had thunderstorms and really dark clouds every now and then, but most of the time, just a refreshing cool breeze and a lovely soft light through which we saw all the possible clichés of idyllic farm life – the paddy rustling in the wind, men cycling their carts with sacks of paddy, a guy leading his herd of pigs across a stream, a group of young girls in school uniforms cycling on a mud road that cuts across the farms, birds skimming the water surface, lazy bullock, women dressed in colourful saris knee deep in the paddy-water, you get the general idea…
We couldn’t really take photos of most of this thanks to our super fast train, but here’s a couple that we did manage to get of the fields in UP and Bihar.
The next morning, our train was a about five hours late so we spent the morning chugging through more paddy fields, but this time in Assam. The difference in these fields were the large number of banana, coconut and bamboo trees surrounding the rice fields, and women dressed in kimono-like outfits with conical straw hats. So here are some Assamese paddy fields.
The other nice thing on this train is that many of the small stations had vendors selling local snacks, aside from the usual aloo-puri which seems to have taken over most of the country.