In December I visited Palampur and the adjoining areas. One such stop was Baijnath temple. I went there by a local bus which covered the 15 kilometers or so in one and a half hours. It was a fun ride. The bus would stop at every turn to pick up or drop a passenger.
Baijnath Temple, Baijnath, Himachal Pradesh
The temple was peaceful on the day I went there. Though photographing it was difficult as it has a boundary wall and a lot of light poles which completely destroy the pictures. After a short while I decided to head back to Palampur. As Baijnath is a small town I decided to have food at Palampur itself.
However while going back I was interested in boarding the narrow gauge toy train from Baijnath Paprola to Palampur. I asked about the directions and a furit vendor told me to take a bus from Baijnath up to Paprola as the railway station was there. I did as told and got down at Paprola which was just 2 km away. There once again I asked around for directions. I was told to climb down the stairs at the market and I would end up at the station itself.
Baijnath Paprola Railway Station
After getting down the steps I reached the station and it was fun. Though I stood out like anything among the locals with my SLR, no one bothered me really. The day was cloudy which I did not like at all, it takes away so much from the view and pictures. When I inquired about the ticket they said it is available 20 minutes before the train time. So the ticket window would open only then.
A Peaceful Place for a Peaceful Conversation
After spending quite some time at the station including some at the lone tea shop, I realized that the ticket window was open. So I went there and stood in the queue. And I was so surprised to find that the ticket from Baijnath to Palampur was Rupees 2!
After buying the ticket I went to the tea shop again to get some pakori and chai. And then I settled down for the journey. There was a coach in the train that was for ladies only!
Pakori and Chai
The journey was short and peaceful. I didn’t get much of a view because of the clouds. But I would always do this again even on a cloudy day, even when it would rain!
Palampur Railway Station, Himachal Pradesh
When I got down at Palampur I ran up to the front of the platform as I wanted to click a picture of the departing train. The people in the engine asked me if I was making a documentary film! I told them I was just a tourist who liked to take pictures.
Palampur Railway Station is a little far away (4-5 km) from the city. I got out from the railway station and after crossing the road I waited for a bus that would take me back to Palampur and food. So this is how my Rupees 2 train adventure went!
It is only when I get out I realize how stereotypical is the definition of beauty around me! Particularly in the ads and movies.
I am no street photographer! I am a big chuha when it comes to clicking strangers. But I don’t know what I liked about these women that I had to click it! I was sitting inside a local bus at Baijnath. Initially these women were standing close to my window. But true to my form I hesitated. Then they moved away and were standing at some distance. It was then that I got desperate. I decided I had to try and click. I took out my 75-300 zoom, changed the kit lens and clicked a few pics. Now 75-300 is a heavy lens and I am not too steady with it. But I am glad I took a picture. I like their jewelry a lot! Probably that is the first thing that attracted me so strongly to click this! Maybe the colors they are wearing. I don’t know what but this was one picture that I took some trouble to click!
I wonder why I decided to post this picture now. I have so many posts inside my head, but somehow they are refusing to come out. But all in good time I guess!
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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