Cochin, Mumbai, Aurangabad-Planes, trains, and automobiles... oh my!

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May 25th 2009
Published: June 22nd 2009
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From Cochin, took a flight to Mumbai, then from Mumbai, hired a car to take us to train station and our driver drove us through the Dharavi slums (as in the movie, Slumdog Millionare), then took an overnight train at the Mumbai CST train station (formally known as Victoria Terminal) to Aurangabad... and boy, what an adventure.

When we first arrived at the station, we were overwhelmed by this really nasty awful stench... that smelled of feces. I really can't describe the smell that well but it was the most awful smell I have encountered. Maybe in a lighter description, it smelled as if 100 people used a toilet w/o flushing and if you put your head in the toilet bowl, that is what you would imagine the smell would be like. That was the smell throughout the station.

When we got to our first class car, we were upgraded to a 2 bed coup instead of the 4 bed. Wow, for 20 usd, I didn't understand why some of the other tourists didn't get the first class sleeper tix but opted for the regular sleeper car... which was just a bunch of benches(not sure if they had cushions)
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Passing through the Dharavi slums
but it wasn't private at all and no ac. After breathing in some fresh air, I actually enjoyed taking the sleeper train. Just watching regular commuter trains passing by with overcrowded cars and seeing some of the station stops was very interesting... kind of romantic like reading this scene in a book. Many people were out at night, some waiting for the next train, some selling anything to everything, but most of them sleeping on the station platforms.

After sleeping on the train for 6 hours, arrived at Aurangabad at 4am. Thank goodness for our driver who was waiting patiently for us since I don't think I would be so nice to all those aggressive taxi cab drivers shoving cards in our faces that early. We'll get a couple of more hours of sleep at the hotel and shower before heading out for sightseeing.

Additional photos below
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Mumbai train station...
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Our first class 2 bed coup train car
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Inside one of the Ellora Caves
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Ellora Cave no. 16

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