Mumbai to Goa by Train: A Travelogue of Konkan Kanya Express

 I boarded the Konkan Kanya Express from Mumbai CSTM at 11:05 pm on a Friday night. I was excited to visit Goa, the land of beaches, churches and parties. The train was crowded with tourists, pilgrims and locals, but I managed to find my seat in the AC 3-tier coach. I settled down and looked out of the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of the city lights before falling asleep.

The next morning, I woke up to the sound of the train horn and the announcement of Thane station. I rubbed my eyes and saw the sun rising over the horizon, painting the sky in shades of orange and pink. I got up and went to the washroom to freshen up. As I returned to my seat, I saw a vendor selling hot tea and snacks. I bought a cup of tea and a packet of vada pav, a popular street food in Mumbai. I enjoyed my breakfast while watching the scenery outside.

The train soon left the urban sprawl of Mumbai and entered the lush green countryside of Maharashtra. The landscape changed from flat plains to rolling hills, dotted with farms, villages and temples. The train crossed several bridges over rivers and streams, offering a glimpse of the waterfalls and rapids below. The air was fresh and cool, and I felt a sense of calmness and peace.

As the train approached Ratnagiri, I saw the Arabian Sea sparkling in the distance. The train ran parallel to the coast for some time, giving me a spectacular view of the blue water, white sand and palm trees. I saw some fishermen on their boats, some children playing on the beach and some tourists sunbathing on the shore. I felt a surge of excitement as I realized that I was getting closer to Goa.

The train stopped at Ratnagiri for 10 minutes, and I got down to stretch my legs and buy some water. Ratnagiri is famous for its Alphonso mangoes, which are considered to be the best in India. I saw some stalls selling fresh mangoes and mango products, such as juice, pulp and pickle. I bought a bottle of mango juice and a packet of mango pickle for myself and my friends.

The train resumed its journey and entered the Konkan Railway zone, which is considered to be one of the most scenic and engineering marvels in India. The Konkan Railway was built in 1998 to connect Mumbai with Mangalore along the western coast of India. It passes through three states: Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. It covers a distance of 760 km and crosses 91 tunnels and 179 bridges.

The train sped through the tunnels and bridges, creating a thrilling experience for me. I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride, as the train plunged into darkness and emerged into light, as it climbed up and down the hills, as it curved around the bends and as it swayed from side to side. The train also passed through some beautiful valleys, forests and fields, where I saw some peacocks, monkeys and cows.

The train reached Pernem station at 9:45 am, which is the first station in Goa. I saw some signs welcoming me to Goa in English, Hindi, Marathi and Konkani languages. I also saw some posters advertising various attractions and events in Goa, such as beaches, churches, forts, casinos, festivals and parties. I felt a rush of adrenaline as I anticipated the fun and adventure that awaited me in Goa.

The train stopped at Karmali station at 10:15 am, which is the nearest station to Panaji, the capital city of Goa. Some passengers got down here to visit Panaji or other nearby places such as Old Goa, Dona Paula or Miramar beach. I decided to stay on the train till Madgaon station, which is closer to my destination: Calangute beach.

The train reached Madgaon station at 11:35 am after 12h 30m of journey. Madgaon is the largest city in South Goa and a major commercial hub. It has a railway station, a bus stand, an airport and a market. It also has some historical and cultural attractions such as churches, temples, museums and art galleries.

I got down from the train with my luggage and looked for a taxi or an auto rickshaw to take me to Calangute beach. As I walked out of the station, I saw a huge crowd of people waiting for transport or bargaining with drivers. I also saw some shops selling souvenirs, clothes, handicrafts and food items. I smelled some delicious aromas of fish curry.

I finally found a taxi driver who agreed to take me to Calangute beach for a reasonable fare. I got into the taxi and told him to drive fast. I was eager to reach the beach and start my vacation. I thanked the Konkan Kanya Express for taking me on a memorable journey through the Konkan region and bri>nging me closer to my dream destination: Goa.


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