Nabadwip Ghat - Shantipur Ng trip
by Vikas Singh
Reached Nabadwip Dham station by Katwa local at 1815 hrs. Nabadwip is the birthplace of Chitanya, a devotee of Lord Krishna. The town is famous for its numerous temples. It is also famous for ISKON temple. Despite large inflow of Indian and foreign tourists, Nabadwip has no decent hotel. After a futile search for more than an hour., I had to settle for a lodge near the ghat. Since there was not much to do, I hired a cycle rickshaw for a grand temple tour. We covered 12 temples in two hours.
The lodge was situated at Baral Ghat. Nabadwip ghat station is on the other side of Ganges. There is a ferry service from Baral Ghat to Sarabganj Ghat. Nabadwip ghat station is a 10-minute walk from Sarabganj Ghat. Since there was no regular service in morning I had to reserve a boat for princely sum of Rs.10. This recent NG trips in Bengal made me realize value of one rupee and two rupee. One can have a meal for Rs.10, a rickshaw ride for Rs.2 and even a reserved boat for Rs.10. Back in Delhi; one and two rupee coins are hardly in circulation.
Reached the Nabadwip Ghat station at 0515 hrs. There is no pucca road to the station and tached dwellings from all sides surround station. The last steam ran in 1984.There is small tea stall, which was open that time. Hardly a soul could be seen at station. The rake soon arrived from Shantipur at 0530 hrs. It was a three-coach rail car. The details were:
- E ZZSR 7045 Second sitting cum guard coach
- E ZZSR 7040 Second sitting
- EZZS 7041 second sitting cum driver's cabin.
There is a turntable on which the engine was turned around. Soon the stationmaster arrived and booking window was open. The station has two people staff only. Had hot chai with driver and guard at tea stall. Within minutes all the three coaches were fully occupied.
At 0610 hrs the train left. Though the Bradshaw shows Maheshganj and Amghata stations between Nabadwip and Krishna nagar, these stations have now been closed down. Till Krishna nagar the rail tracks follow the road. Motorcycles and trucks almost always overtook us. Sometimes small children ran along with the train. At Krishna nagar station most people got down and the train was almost empty. After a ten-minute stop we again commenced the journey. The track now passed thru beautiful countryside. Banana plantations and paddy fields could be seen on both sides. Thatched houses line both sides of the track. Because of this the speed of train was less than 5 kmphs. The next stop was Dignagar station. No building or shed could be seen here except the board.
We finally reached Shantipur station at 0810 hrs, a journey of 28 kms covered in 2 hrs. There is small diesel shed for rail car at Shantipur. Old coaches have been converted to office for the shed staff. Shantipur is on Lal-Gua Sealdah section of ER. Immediately went to the BG platform for the 0830 hrs local to Sealdah.
We reached Sealdah at 1130 hrs. Since my flight was in evening, spent the whole day traveling in trams and photographing them. For the first time in my life, I was prevented form taking photographs in Raza Bazar tram depot. No amount of persuasion could convince the old guy there to relent. Finally I gave up and shifted action to Esplanade depot. After a very hectic day finally took the 2000 hrs flight back to Delhi.