Every month we visit Bangalore (officially known as Bengaluru) . My daughter is currently working as a software engineer in a reputed MNC located in Marathahalli, a suburb of Bangalore. We go there since it is an opportunity to travel in exposing ourselves in the presence of our nature and culture in addition to being there to stay with our daughter.
JOURNEY: Although there are number of Volvo buses to Bangalore that takes average 8 to 10 hours during night, I prefer to travel in a train for such journey duration. There is only one direct day time passenger train to Bangalore. The train is Karaikal-Bangalore (56513/56514) passenger train that connect Karaikal, a port city of east coast of India and one of the four regions in the Union Territory of Puducherry with Bangalore. The train has 16 carriages (all unreserved coaches), 53 halts and runs at an amazing average speed of 40 KMPH. All other trains depart from far away station from Chidambaram.
The train leaves Chidambaram 7.30 in the morning and reaches Carmelaram (a nondescript station is used for entry into Sarjapura road, Electronic city, Marathahalli and ITPL areas of Bangalore’s IT hub) at 5.30 in the evening covering a distance of 430 KM in almost 10 hours with a miniscule fare of only 75 Rupees and without an agony of advance reservation.
The train goes to Cuddalore and turns almost 120 degree back to reach Vriddhachalam via number of sleepy villages and Neyveli (A township of large thermal power plant with mines of Lignite).
The train reaches to Vriddhachalam station at around 10.00 AM from where it runs opposite direction to take Vriddhachalam –Salem (pronounced as Selam) route.
As the train leaves Vriddhachalam towards Salem city it provides ample opportunity to click panoramic views of KALRAYAN HILLS (situated in the Eastern Ghats of Tamilnadu, Avg MSL 2000 ft – 3000 ft) and overlooking lots and lots of lush green fields- in between nature’s shades through many towns and villages.
The train passes through three stations of Salem city (Town, Market and Junction), a steel city of india and also a gateway (25 KM from the city) to Yercaud, a part of the Servarayan range of hills in the Eastern Ghats known as the’Prince of Hills’.
Our destination, Carmelaram: The station is an unfamiliar one to most people in Bangalore, and even to call taxi operators. It is situated on the south-eastern corner of the Bangalore city amid vacant grasslands, high rise buildings under constructions, and marble shops. It is nestled in a grove of tall trees off Sarjapur Road, a little after the Wipro IT office. A large number of people from the south-eastern part of Bangalore use Carmelaram station to board and alight from many trains to minimize travel time.
After about 10 hours of journey, the train reaches Carmelaram in the late afternoon, ready to travel further through Sarjapura road towards needed area of Bangalore IT hub.