Thondebhavi Trip Report

by Karthik M.V.


Nov 1st is Karnataka Rajyothsava day. A holiday for every one in karnataka.

Three SBC fans had gone to a 'Thondebhavi trek cum train spotting trip' on this day. The Irfcaites who made it to the trip are:

  • Mr. P.V.S.Praveen
  • K.N.Manoj
  • Yours Truly

NOTE: senior members were not invited because the trip included a steep, treacherous and energy sapping climb to the peak of adjacent hills.


Thondebhavi (TDV) is a small scenic and lonely station at 746m MSL. It is 75km from SBC. It lies on the Bangalore-Dharmavaram-Guntakal Trunk route. This is a single line non-electrified section. Due to a fall of about 250m altitude from SBC to TDV the 12km section between makalidurga and TDV gives way to lots of hillocks in this section. The track goes along the foot of one set of hillocks.

Thondebhavi snippets:

Thondebhavi upon translation to English literally means 'Monkey well'. As name indicates there are lots of monkeys at the station. TDV has a main line and 2 loop lines and a single platform. Only passenger trains stop here.

Trip Objectives:

To enjoy the entire journey and sharp curves between TDV and makalidurga. Enjoy the scenery and carry out an energy sapping climb up the hills. Also our aim was to take semi aerial snaps of trains at TDV from top of the adjacent hills. All our objectives were met except for Mr. Manoj struggling to handle a complex manually operated camera.

Trip description:

We travelled to and fro by the 434/433 SBC-guntur passenger. Yours truly joined Manoj at chennasandra(CSDR) at 9:30am. The train had left SBC 30mins late. Mr. Praveen could not be traced. Manoj and I travelled by the empty second coach and snapped some pictures. Usually the 433 is a 8 coach train. But on this day it had an extra 8 coach rake attached to it. Unfortunately praveen was in the last coach and either of us could not trace each other till we alighted at TDV at 11:20am. After seeing the 2628 KK exp zoom past us we climbed up the adjacent hill. We camped at the peak for some 30-40minutes. Took photos, had lunch and then climbed down to TDV.

We rested at TDV under shady trees. It was entertaining to be in the company of about 10-15 monkeys. At about 2:15 pm we saw the KJM WDM2 heading the Coimbatore-Kurla exp, zipping past TDV at about 90km/hr. We also saw several other trains at TDV. We boarded the return 434 Guntur-SBC pass at 3:30 pm and reached CSDR at 5:30 pm. Manoj and Praveen proceeded to SBC. At YNK we saw the empty rake of the weekly Howrah-Yesvantapur exp. This train had a GS coach with a Malayalam AD on it. Can any one say how a coach from kerala strayed into YPR-howrah route??

Following were the photos taken from the Hill:

  • An aerial view of the 9775 SBC-Jaipur exp. with the KZJ WDM over a culveret.
  • An aerial view of the entire 9775 rake negotiating a curve after TDV.
  • 'Self' photos with the entire station and tracks as background.

At TDV station:

  • 2628 KK exp. (twin Itarsi WDMs)
  • My self and praveen hanging out of a stationary KZJ WDM. This was a packed goods train headed by twin KZJ WDMs. This train was headed towards whitefield. The train stopped at TDV for a crossing with 1013 Kurla Exp.
  • The departure of the same train from TDV, belching out black smoke.
  • Of course some monkeys playing around.
  • The dead straight track right through the TDV limits.

From the train:

  • The rear end of the train curving along the hill side after Makalidurga.
  • The guntakal WDM2A belching out smoke while climbing towards Makalidurga from TDV.
  • An old abandoned MG bridge over a deep gorge.
  • An abandoned cabin at Makalidurga with some interesting text on it!!

Finally,I hope that the photos have come out well. Manoj will be shortly hosting it on his web site. I also hope that the semi-aerial views will be a special treat to fellow IRFCAites.

A foot note:

We have planned for a similar trip by the RailBus between Bangarpet and Kolar some time later. I hope a large number of SBC fans can participate in this trip.

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