Uttar Banga Express


I just couldn’t resist making a post about this one, eat yer heart out Bunghit Din  and the Burpa Rifles. You might notice the similarity between the dress sense of Kenneth Williams  (known as The Kharsi in Carry on Up The Khyber) and another Afghan leader with a farcically similar name that you may have heard of.

Anyone fancy a spot of Tiffin ?

We need to give our visit to the Sun Temple more time than I had first realised as it’s a good 90 minutes by taxi from the station. So as a direct result of giving Konarak an overnight stop we are now scheduled on the sensationally titled Uttar Banga Express overnighter from New Jalpaiguri to Kolkata. We then have 6 1/2 hours to test Gordon Ramsay’s claim that Kolkata is the food capital of India, before spending the afternoon on the  Coromandal Express down to Bhubaneswar, then a taxi and a night in Konarak, perhaps at the brand new ITDC guest house.

The Sun Temple

This also has the advantage that we can attempt to imitate the above night shot. We need to be back in the car for 10:00 AM the following morning in order to be in good time back at Bhubaneswar for a 12:00 kick off and another overnighter down to Chennai and the Dosa fest. We might need to get a slightly earlier train down from Howrah depending on when they turn the lights out at the Sun Temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site don’t you know.

We’ve ditched the Kangra can-can and mingling with the monks due to lack of interest. We now have a 30 hour contingency plan in New Jalpaiguri (base camp for the Darjeeling Railway). so you can do the Darjeeling run and re-live your late teens (on a student grant!) as long as nothing has gone awry in Assam.

We are now discussing the details of the Assam section with our contacts on the ground. I think we’re probably going to be looking at further changes to the itinerary which I’ve just updated, but we couldnt have a better person to work this out with as he works near Tipong and his home town is Dhemaji where we get the train back to Rangiya on the other side of the river. If you are wondering what all the fuss is about crossing the river at that point, take a look at this

The Brahmaputra at Dibrugarh, click on the image for a closer view

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Uttar Banga Express

  1. skk

    Yeah lovely over the area shot – the google hybrid image I mean. This all truly gives an instant- devoid of current visuals – of what India “is”.

    I won’t comment about the “Kenneth Williams – Carry On” – of course I found it amusing – but were they laughing with me or AT me ? I don’t have to tackle the question any more – this is the sort of peace that geographical relo can achieve but sure some N of some k population consider this issue and come to their own conclusions.

    I had to answer this question at an young age – check out a starter website : http://www.pestalozzivillage.com

    Yeah yeah I’m doing SEO friendly stuff touting out there but underlying this there is serious stuff that’s being discussed. I for sure know that.

    Take care,
    skk

    • Lester

      I knew you’d bite at this😉. I might do a sub post on Michael Bates et. al. (“even the Indians found him funny”, er, no, they did not!). My least favourite of the “blacked up men” was Alec Guinness in passage to India, that really was appalling. 1984 for pity’s sake.
      I’m hoping that as this one is set in NWFP “we” can all consider that we’re taking the Michael out of someone else🙂.

  2. The Darjeeling Mail is a better train, it departs at 20:00 and gets to Sealdah at 06:00, it’s got a booked connection with the toy train from Darjeeling, so will wait if that train runs late, the Darjeeling Mail is also one that’s monitered by officials for punctuality.

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