In all the train trips we’ve ever done, none have been in Sleeper Class, which is the first class down from carriages with air-con. Sleeper class is a slightly misleading term as it’s perfectly fine for using solely for day time travel which is what we did.
It wasn’t actually possible to book from Kanyakumari to Trivandrum as the distance is short at around 100km, so I had to book up to Kochi, which at 310km is three times the distance. Total cost for the trip up to Kochi was Â£9 for all three. NINE!
Let’s let the photos do the talking…
Obligatory selfie, each carrying 9-13 kilos on our backs and 3-5 on our fronts:
We were in carriage S10, i.e. the 10th Sleeper Class carriage, it was the 12th out of 23 carriages, so it was a long walk in the searing heat along the platform:
There’s no air-con in Sleeper Class but the lack of windows means there is air con.
As well as the open windows there’s lots of fans:
Amy and Kev doing the standard let’s-look-through-the-open-door-as-we’re-hurtling-along thing:
I’d never really thought much about coming to Kanyakumari to see India’s southern most tip as I guessed it would be a little like the Land’s End disappointment I felt upon seeing it: “is that it?”. But Amy really want to see it so I planned our journey around it, changing our intended train from Chennai to Trivandrum (for Kovalam) to Chennai to Kanyakumari. Trouble is we’d have full rucksacks with us so sightseeing wouldn’t be fun, and we’d still need to get to Trivandrum/Kovalam. The problem was easily solved with another train booking in sleeper class from Kanyakumari to Trivandrum, which then entitles you to use the luggage cloakroom for Rs30 (36 pence) per rucksack for 24 hours. Our train out left at 10:30, giving us 3 or so hours to see what we could.
First we needed breakfast so relying on the Lonely Planet we walked sans-rucksacks to Hotel Seashore and their much appreciated a/c seventh floor restaurant. The view was stunning and being the first visitors at 7:15am we got prime position.
Realistically we only wanted to see the view, we weren’t interested in visiting the temples, or seeing anything else. We did venture down towards the ferry to the islands but with not enough time we decided against that and headed on down to accidentally discover the fish market which was a hive of activity, and well worth seeing. Hardly something you’ll find in recommendations on TripAdvisor, proving yet again just getting out there and building your own experience is the way to go. Also saw this man which I thought was interesting:
Last night we slept on a train, well, kind of sleep, kind of didn’t. It was our first train of this trip and the longest one to boot, 750kms, taking 13 hours to go from Chennai to Kanyakumari, which is India’s southern most tip.
It was good fun, we all love the trains.
We used 2AC class which has air conditioning and usually cubicles of 4 berths, 2 below, 2 on top, with a curtain between the cubicle and the walkway, plus it has lines of side berths, 1 up, 1 down. This time though we had the only coupe – 2 berths one about the other and one lower side berth.