Day 1: 28th July 2012 : I had decided to carry a backpack which weigh around 12 kg when full. I had packed my bag and boarded the Garib Rath from Borivali at 5:30 pm, the train was few minutes late(scheduled arrival was 5.25 pm). The train is comfortable for the price, but the coach vibrates. My train ride was comfortable, the train hardly have 5 stops till Hazarat Nizzamuddin(Delhi). I had food in the train, it’s a private catering service, the food is average at its best. Its better to carry your food. I also had the bed-sheets provided by railways which cost Rs 25 per person extra. They where good. I woke up just before the Mathura station arrived. The journey was not eventful. The distance travelled is 1366km at average speed of 81km/hr, time taken is 16 hrs and 50 mins. Its one of the faster trains in India.
The food cost for the day was Rs 250.
Day 2: 29th July 2012 : The train reached before time(9.20 am) at Hazarat Nizzzamudin(scheduled arrival 9.40 am). I had connecting train at 11.30am(Indore-Derhadun Express 14317) the same day. In between couple of hours on the platform, I had breakfast, inquired about the train, etc. The canteen service on the railway station is expensive and the food quality is average. My next train to Haridwar arrived on time. I was travelling in 2nd class reserved compartment, my favourite compartment as far as travelling in India is considered. Here you can find all kinds of personalities. I was seated along with an experienced group of travellers who had extensive travel experience within India.
Though the train compartment was ment to be reserved, lot of general class ticket holder where there in the compartment. It was full. The train reverses direction from Saharanpur Junction. It has a halt of 35 mins there. The train reached Haridwar by 5:30 pm which was good 40 mins late. after reaching Haridwar, the first thing I did was brought a book titled ‘Uttarakhand Tourist Road Atlas’ which cost me Rs60, it’s very handy book. Initially I had decided to stay in Haridwar, but after reaching Haridwar I enquired about the bus service to Gaurikund and found that most buses leave from Rishikesh, so I decided to goto Rishikesh that day itself. The bus depot is near to the railway station. The distance from Haridwar to Rishikesh is about 30 kms and travel time by bus is approx 1 hour. I was seated next to a person who was a Maharashtrian, so I enquired about him. He was in his 60’s and visits Haridwar and Rishikesh often. He had climbed the one of the Gangotri group peak sometime back in 1987.
After the bus journey ended, I checked into nearby hotel which cost me Rs 500 per night, that was the costliest hotel of the tour. Before that I had enquired about the bus to Gaurikund, which starts at 5:00 am early morning. I bought the ticket that night itself. I went back to the hotel had a shower, had food and went back to sleep. The hotel was average, I was not knowing of cheaper hotel in the vicinity, so ended up staying there, also I was too tired to go from one place to another.
The travel cost Rs 40 from Haridwar, the room rent was Rs 500 and the food cost for the day was Rs 70.