Delhi-Bikaner overnight train journey

Prologue: The first anniversary of my epic Ladakh trip fell on July 31, 2014. While I was thinking how to commemorate this occasion, I came across an offer by Spicejet – they were offering air tickets at almost 50% off. I felt it would be interesting to celebrate the anniversary of visit to a cold desert, Ladakh with a visit to a hot and humid desert state – the Rajasthan. I will be visiting Bikaner, Jodhpur and Jaipur in Rajasthan during this trip. The initial plan to visit Jaisalmer was dropped because of lack of time. I’ll also squeeze-in Agra (Uttar Pradesh) in this itinerary in order to visit the world wonder, Taj Mahal.

Rajasthan trip route

The conventional plan of tourists is to move in clockwise direction starting from Delhi. If I do the same, I won’t be able to visit Taj – since August 1, 2014 being Friday, Taj will be closed and I will be forced to spend an extra day at Delhi. Hence, I decided to travel in anti-clockwise direction and my first stop was the less touristy Bikaner. The tickets – air and rail along with hotel reservations were booked 2 months prior to the trip.

July 31, 2014: Spicejet SG 216 Trivandrum-Delhi fight was scheduled at 2:45 pm. After 2 hour layover at Mumbai Airport, flight arrived at Delhi, at 9:15 pm. I quickly collected my luggage and caught a pre-paid taxi to Delhi Sarai Rohilla railway station (DEE). I need to board Delhi-Bikaner Superfast Express train (train number: 12457) which is scheduled at 11:35 pm. I had booked an upper berth in 2-tier AC compartment in order to sleep comfortably during the 8 hour journey. As I was preparing to sleep, Railway Ticket Examiner checked my ticket and collected balance amount due to fare revisal (Indian Railways increased the fare 2 weeks after I booked the tickets. I was intimated through SMS that Ticket Examiner will be collecting the balance amount once I board the respective trains)

Related: Overview of my 3 day Goa trip

Delhi-Bikaner train journey

Delhi-Bikaner train journey

August 1, 2014: I woke up at 6 am in the morning and walked towards the door of my compartment, opened it and stood there experiencing the charisma of the desert state. In about 2 hours I reached Bikaner railway station. I’ll be spending only a day in this city. On August 2nd, i’ll be travelling to Jodhpur. Read more about Bikaner

Indian Railways

Delhi-Bikaner train journey

Delhi-Bikaner train journey

Delhi-Bikaner train journey

I caught an auto from the station to Hotel Basant Vihar Palace where I have booked my room. After reaching hotel, I negotiated with the auto guy, Sonu for a 1 day trip of Bikaner. This was my first long distance train journey and it was a different experience compared to flights. Indian Railways has one of the largest rail networks in the world and is continuously growing. I am hoping to utilize this network for my further travels across India.

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