Friday, November 03, 2006

passage to India     [travel research]

Googling the puzzle of affordable air travel, this site (Make My Trip) helps.

Points (per Bhopal Travel Guide) about Bhopal:
Regular flights connect Bhopal with Delhi, Gwalior, Indore and Mumbai.
Bhopal is an important railway station, as it is on the main Delhi-Madras route.
Maps of India

Rail Transport in India (Wikipedia)

Indian railway timetables and maps.

Indian Railway -- reservation site

The Rajdhani Express (recommended for Bangalore-to-Bhopal). The Chennai Rajdhani is noteworthy:
The Chennai Rajdhani covers a distance of 2194 kilometers in just over 28 hours. It is one of the fastest trains in India. It departs from Delhi at 1530 and arrives in Chennai at 2000 the next day. From Chennai it departs at 0620 and arrives in Delhi at 1100 the next day. It is an important train and is a wonderful and fast substitute to the overbooked GT and TN expresses.

NOTE: the route of the Chennai Rajdhani is "Hazrat Nizamuddin [station in Delhi] to Chennai via Bhopal."

Ah, and here are specific "abstract timetables" -- including:
Train No. 2429: Bangalore - Nizamuddin [Table No. 9a = pdf]
Days of service M,W,Th,Su
Bangalore (Dep) 18.35
Secunderabad (Dep) 06.55
Nagpur (Dep) 15.10
Bhopal (Dep) 20.50
Nizamuddin (Arr) 05.15
So this is the Bangalore Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express. Via this route, the distance from Bangalore to Bhopal is 1760 km (1,094 miles).
[current online schedule seems to show departure at 20:00 hours, arrival next day at 20:50 hours = basically a 25-hour trip, Bangalore to Bhopal]

/ / / / /

Thumbnail notes about Madhya Pradesh -- Gwalior, Bhojpur, Ujjain, Khajuraho, Sanchi.

(Picture imagining the poet Kalidasa -- per online gallery from the Kalidasa Academy, Ujjain.)

Tansen Music Festival -- in Gwalior (city where his tomb is), also known as the Tansen Sangeet Samelan or Tansen Utsav. Said to happen in December. (But, alas, evidently early in the month.)

Other festivals.

/ / / / /

The Alauddin Khan Samaroh, Maihar (16 to 17 February - 2006, per a Madhya Pradesh site; exactly when in 2007?) may be worth catching.

The other festival I may be able to catch is in Kolkata -- the Dover Lane Music Conference, running approx. January 20-25. (Or this site says, Jan. 22-26. Not yet seen exact dates for 2007.)

It seems worthwhile to catch one or both of these -- to immerse myself in hearing the maestros in all-out day-after-day mode.

Also note: the Khajuraho Dance Festival (one week, sometime in Feb. or March). That could prove a superb occasion to visit Khajuraho.


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