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Old 9th August 2011, 22:22   #31
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plat

Some random pictures
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030824.jpg

Can this transport the rain clouds?
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030825.jpg

White reflections
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030831.jpg

Where is the rain?
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030832.jpg

Fields
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030857.jpg

A Vodafone funded village building?
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030842.jpg

Man and the machine
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030875.jpg

Getting ready for a new season of crops
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030876.jpg

Clouds of hope
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030881.jpg

More fields
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030884.jpg

When you travel in the trains, electrcity cables and posts are your steadfast companions
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030818.jpg

We do have electric locomotives
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030819.jpg

The lifelines of the trains
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030823.jpg

A communication tower?
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030827.jpg

The lifeline of the country
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030836.jpg

The winds of power
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030838.jpg

Powering the clouds
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030840.jpg

Double the power
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030844.jpg

Memories heaped up
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030850.jpg

A simple station
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030865.jpg

I have always wondered what those steering wheels are for
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030868.jpg

Did I mention about the towers?
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030925.jpg

You can see the dark clouds towering the sky
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030919.jpg

Another one
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030915.jpg


-To be contd.

Last edited by pjbiju : 9th August 2011 at 22:45.
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Old 9th August 2011, 23:21   #32
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plat

At one point, the train stopped to let another train pass. And I saw a scene, a typical village scene. The only thing missing was a mud hut with thatched roof and a mud road.

Now I did not take this with a wrong white balance setting. One of the windows of our train seats was very sepia like. I tried to shoot through that window, instead of going to the door. Somehow I liked the shots and the way it brought to life the scene. I then changed the pictures to look like paintings.

From another era
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030891_canvas.jpg

The kids planning
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030893_1.jpg

A passerby
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030894_1.jpg

Kids at play
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-village_children.jpg

A working lunch
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030862.jpg

We moved into Maharashtra. Still no signs of rain.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030901.jpg

Ready for a ride
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030902.jpg

Water waitng for the rain
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030903.jpg

Farming by the backwaters of the lake
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030908.jpg

Fertile lands
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030909.jpg

These pictures are from the Ujani dam reservoir. I felt sorry for the reservoir. You will soon know why.

To be contd.

Last edited by pjbiju : 9th August 2011 at 23:38.
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Old 10th August 2011, 09:47   #33
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plat

The waters of the Ujani dam
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030955.jpg

Sand mining
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030947.jpg

A beautiful place to graze and gaze
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030932.jpg

Sand heaped up
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030945.jpg

Dam water
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030927.jpg

The Ujani reservoir
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030939.jpg

The Ujani dam is built across the river Bhima which originates from Bhimashankar. As per wikipedia the Bhima river flows for a length of 725 km after which it meets the Krishna river.

The rivers Mula and Mutha (and therefore Pavana too) flows into the Bhima river. This is the reason why I feel so sorry for this reservoir. All Pune folks know the state of these rivers. These rivers are the open drainage system of Pune and Pimpri/Chinchwad areas. So all the filth that this city generates ultimately flows into this reservoir. I am sure this reservoir will have a slow and painful death as Pune progresses.

After this I was busy getting ready to unload our luggage and come face to face with the dirty Pune Station. I am ashamed that this is my station.

But the good news was that as we rolled into Pune, we brought the rains with us. And after a dry spell, it started to rain again. Wonderful.

Although my journey ended, I still have some photos taken while visiting my relatives.

Yellow Flower of a vegetable
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030511.jpg

You have to pay more than Rs. 200 to get a medium sized jackfruit in Pune. And here nobody wanted them.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030514.jpg

We did take home a few. For free.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030517.jpg

I just liked the texture and the ant
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030586.jpg

Mangostin, a fruit now found commonly in Kerala. Rs. 90-100/kg
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030635.jpg

They taste just great
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030638.jpg

Welcoming the rain
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030648.jpg

After a happy shower
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030652.jpg

Drop of life
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030654.jpg

This later turned itself into cutlets and they were yummy. Please remember that this flower of all varieties of banana trees are not edible. I will try to get the names of the varieties whose flowers are edible
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030656.jpg

An integral part of every Kerala home
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030670.jpg

Pineapple - Kerala is one of the largest producers of this in India
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030672.jpg

Coconut trees in areas filled with water all the time
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030674.jpg

Once upon a time, they used to cultivate paddy here
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030677.jpg

Youngest to the oldest sibling standing in line
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030689.jpg

The buffalo still refuses to eat?
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030690.jpg

-To be contd.

Last edited by pjbiju : 10th August 2011 at 10:11.
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Old 10th August 2011, 12:59   #34
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plat

This area is close to Paravoor. Therefore sometimes salty water enters the paddy field from the backwaters around this area. However paddy used to be cultivated in this area. Now these vast tracts of land have been lying idle with nobody cultivating paddy. Sad.

2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030691.jpg

I was told that some people have bought all these fields as a long term land investment. They have no plans to cultivate it. Is this not a crime to own agricultural land and not cultivate it? Should not the government provide all that is necessary so that the farmers can get back to their work without worrying about debt and bad crops?

2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030693.jpg

When I was a kid, we lived in a very small house. Part of the walls of the house were made with mud bricks baked only by the sunlight. And the other walls were made of bamboo mats (panambu). And the only furniture in the house was a long table, a bench and a stool. Yes there was a cot too, much like the ones we see at Punjabi dhabas. However there were no matresses. We would use what were called as "thazha paya", "metha paya" etc. My son has not seen one. And so I am sure a lot of Keralites too would not have seen one.

These are mats made from the leaves of "Kaitha" or screw pine. Those were our bed and bedding. You can find more info on them here.

The screw pine or Kaitha that grows abundantly by streams or paddy fields
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030694.jpg

A wild non-edible fruits of a shrub. I do not recall the name of the shrub
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030696.jpg

Another one. I was seeing these for the first time.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030698.jpg
Look carefully and you will see some large red ants called "neeru" in our area. They are ferocious attackers and people have fallen from trees because of their attack. They make their dwelling on trees by sticking together leaves.

One more picture of the yellow fruit
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030784.jpg

Rambutan. A distant hairy relative of the litchi. Look at this and you will feel that the litchi had been to a laser hair removal clinic.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030702.jpg

Malabar Tamarind or Kodampuli. This is an essential ingredient of many of the Kerala fish recipes. You can find more info on this here. The price of this has gone up many folds in recent times.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030700.jpg

Ripe Malabar Tamarinds. You can open them and eat the pulp covering the seeds inside. You can eat this as well. But it will leave a yellow stain on your teeth.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030706.jpg

They are then dried in the sun and later on I believe salt is applied to them and then they are smoked dry. Every time we visit Kerala we get at least 1 kg of this. We had a tree at home, but it was cut down a few years back.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030731.jpg

Fuits of the labour of my parents.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030714.jpg

Going bananas
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030719.jpg

Lololikka or loobikka. This is a very sour fruit when ripe. It becomes dark red when ripe and is used to make pickles. Kids love to eat them and make funny faces
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030733.jpg

An umbrella, a cooking accessory, bio-degradable plate, a bio-degrdable wrapper all rolled into one.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030717.jpg

-To be contd.

Last edited by pjbiju : 10th August 2011 at 13:23.
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Old 10th August 2011, 13:13   #35
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plat

Hey Biju,

This is helluva lovely journey man!! Monsoon and trains make awesome combination. To add is Konkan and Kerala!! Seeing the pictures is so refreshing and rejuvenating. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10th August 2011, 17:48   #36
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@biju - I must say you have a keen eye for photography Like the sepia effect on the photographs. Appears like we have been taken into flashback mode just as they show in the movies.

Some of the mundane activities/photos also arouse interest because of your lovely captions.
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Old 11th August 2011, 11:42   #37
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plat

The final set of pictures

A beautiful wild flower
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030738.jpg

They are conical shaped, pointing to the heavens. And they are found commonly in our village
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030740.jpg

An abandoned quarry. This has clean water. I was standing at least 30ft above on the edge and the pool itself is quite large. It must be 30-40 ft deep.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030752.jpg

An active quarry, a future waterbody.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030764.jpg
My parental home is somewhere among the trees on the slopes of the facing hill.

How do you tuck in a million legs? The millipede
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030783.jpg

Rubber trees.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030744.jpg
I have had a love hate relationship with the rubber trees.

How many of you would like to get up at 5:00 a.m. every day except on Sundays? At least I did not like it as a kid. For my parents who used to get up at 4:00 a.m., 5:00 a.m. was too late an hour to get up. They still wake up at around that time even now.

And I have been trying to push my morning alarm back to 5:00 a.m. for a long time now. No matter what time I set, the clock knows me and does not sound the alarm before 6:30 a.m. But then there is always hope and new year resolutions.

And that was the reason for my hatred towards the rubber trees - having to get up at 5:00 a.m.

In the 1980s while in school, my younger brother and I would get up at 5:00 a.m., do our morning wash, gulp down a cup of black tea and head out into the darkness and into the nearby hill (the one with the active quarry shown above) criscrossing through the yards of many neighbours. It was a hill that only had rubber trees on it. And my father would be tapping these trees, around 420 of them. This was double work. Normally a person taps only about 200 trees a day. My father had to do twice the work since he did not like us to be wanting anything. We had to climb over the hill and get to the far side since these 420 trees were located there. I will not get into the details of rubber tapping. I will do that may be next year, after I take some photos and videos.

Our task consisted of going ahead of our father and peeling of the dried rubber sap from the groove/step on the tree trunk. There would be around a million mosquitoes among these trees waiting for us. They made sure that we were very quick in what we were doing. They would swarm us and before they could settle down on us, we would rush to our next tree. The mosquitoes would get frustrated and come after us with a loud buzz, their war cry. Trousers were as alien as UFOs in those days in our village. Else they would have saved us a little bit from these daily attacks. We would work till about 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. by when the breakfast would arrive. It was mostly tapioca and pickle or rice (kanji or rice with the water in which it was cooked) with tapioca or pickle. We would eat breakfast sitting on the rocks and then head back home.

My father would finish the work only by 12:00 noon or so. And he was paid Rs. 25 a day.

Another quarry by the side of the other active quarry. It was hard physical work in the olden days. Drilling of the holes for putting in the explosive powder, exploding the rocks, breaking them into mangeable sizes, loading them into the trucks etc. were all done manually. Today you have machines for all the work.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030768.jpg

Piercing the heart of the earth
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030770.jpg

Tears shed by the heavens
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030937.jpg

And there is always a hope that we will stop this plunder one day. Light always overcomes the darkness.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030371.jpg

Thank you for reading and travelling with me.

-Biju

Last edited by pjbiju : 11th August 2011 at 11:55.
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Old 11th August 2011, 12:04   #38
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plat

Thanks for sharing with us Biju, liked your narration, pictues and captions.!
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Old 11th August 2011, 12:31   #39
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plat

Hello Biju,

Many thanks for the excellent journey you have made us undertake. Nice of you sharing all those lovely photographs and narrations.
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Old 11th August 2011, 12:46   #40
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Hi Biju,

Wonderful narration and equally good pics.

I think you should write a book on your childhood life and include some great pics in the book too. The connection with nature in your narration is captivating. Many people would love to experience the rustic, simple rural life and only a book with pics and your lovely narration will do justice to your talent in making others experience this.

Do give it a thought. Probably a long term project but you surely have started the background work

Thank You for sharing

Rgds

VW
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Old 11th August 2011, 14:44   #41
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plat

One final picture that I had lost in the clouds.
2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plateau-p1030895.jpg

Thanks again Latheesh and Rajesh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VindyWheels View Post
Hi Biju,

Wonderful narration and equally good pics.

I think you should write a book on your childhood life and include some great pics in the book too. The connection with nature in your narration is captivating. Many people would love to experience the rustic, simple rural life and only a book with pics and your lovely narration will do justice to your talent in making others experience this.

Do give it a thought. Probably a long term project but you surely have started the background work

Thank You for sharing

Rgds

VW
Thank you VW for your kind words. Now that you brought up this subject of a book, I did remember jotting down a lot of my childhood memories in a document somewhere. The idea was to share it someday on Team-Bhp. I will try to find where I have hidden it on the computer. Although it is no book material, it could definitely be a pamphlet.
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Old 11th August 2011, 15:46   #42
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plat

Wonderful Travelogue with beautiful pictures. I travelled for my Honeymoon to Kerala, it is actually a "God's Own Country" .
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Old 11th August 2011, 21:37   #43
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plat

Biju,

Absolutely beautiful pics. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Nature is so beautiful. Wish I could take the train and travel to southern India especially the coastal areas.

Cheers!
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Old 11th August 2011, 23:01   #44
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Default Re: 2011 Monsoon Trips : Romancing the rains. Postcards from the Konkan & deccan plat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Hey Biju,

This is helluva lovely journey man!! Monsoon and trains make awesome combination. To add is Konkan and Kerala!! Seeing the pictures is so refreshing and rejuvenating. Thanks for sharing.
Fauji, initially I had no intentions of sharing these photos. It was only after reading through your Malnad travelogue, I thought I will share these pictures, at least those that looked good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SinghBHP View Post
Wonderful Travelogue with beautiful pictures. I travelled for my Honeymoon to Kerala, it is actually a "God's Own Country" .
Nice of you too have chosen Kerala for your honeymoon. One is spoilt for choices in India. We go to our parental home in Kerala at least once a year. And every time my wife tells me that I have not taken her to visit any of the famous tourist spots in Kerala. I hope the next time, we are able to visit a few places there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
Biju,

Absolutely beautiful pics. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Nature is so beautiful. Wish I could take the train and travel to southern India especially the coastal areas.

Cheers!
Thanks R2D2. I think one should definitely try the Konkan railway and the route of the Poorna express at least once in their lifetime, especially during the monsoons.
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