I haven’t seen city but I have been on railway station…
Outside in the opposite there are mostly hotels that are often very busy. On the road there are also some shops and stands with sugarcane and orange juice. The town has its own university, astronomical observatory, some pretty Islamic architecture, numerous – sometimes very nice – Hindu temples.
In Gorakhpur we immediately went to organize tickets to Kerala.
According to the ticket you should find your carriage, then the place. The place is set to the position of the bed.
The beds are arranged in three levels:
LB – lower bed
UB – upper bed (under the fan)
MB – middle bed (folded during the day)
The other side has only lower bed and upper bed.
Buying a train ticket in India for the next day – and especially on such a long distance – is a complicate process. We learned that the Reservation Counter is about half a mile away from the main Indian Railway station building. We filled form for tatkal train ticket and went to the window. Rapti Sagar Expres, however, is a treacherous commodity – as it turned out – because to buy a ticket from day to day you have to come one day before departure at 5.30 am next to the window for the token number for the correct purchase.
Getting the token
At 4.30 in the morning my mom left our hotel and walked to the Gate No. 8 Indian Railway. There were already a dozen of people waiting in the ticket hall. The Indians jointly organized themselves – the first in line made up a list of people and to this list she entered as fourteen. The list featured two classes Sleeper and AC – in the AC list were barely two people. There are less seats in AC than in Sleeper class. This is why AC ticket buyers have to take part – same as ordinary Sleeper Class users, the most popular rail travel class – in this dreadful morning masquerade getting up and hunting tickets despite a much higher ticket price.
As the window service came up, men quickly created two lines. An official with camera appeared and the line was documented photographically. She genuinely stood on the side, as a woman in India never pushes between men. Sometimes you can see the window described “Only for women”. Similarly, last year, during the Indian economic changes organized by Minister Modi, people had lined up for cash at ATMs – because it was difficult to form two lines in front of ATM, women were passed from time to time.
So she calmly waited and looked at the course of the event at the line and, in case she had an eye on the thirteenth person, as he was on the list in front of her. Meanwhile, the first window served two AC users and then invited my mom to the window. She received a token on the form, which is an appropriate set of stamps, which showed that at 5.30 she appeared and the ticket should be given to her without a doubt. The proper purchase is made with this token in the next window at 10.00 am.
Buying the actual ticket
In the mean time she came back to the hotel and then at 10.00 again went. In the window was a thick official with the words “Supervisor” on a big badge pinned on the chest. He watched the completed form and informed that she should come in an hour.
After a breakfast made of sabji puri sold right at the gate for 50Rs. She came back to the bench in front of the window for further wait. Earlier, in the tourist information of the Indian Railway at the main train station we were told that the ticket for 1 adult person should be around 600 – 700 rupees. By buying a ticket from day to day, you can sign up for a Waiting List and not be sure of your place (you are then in queue to places that are getting free when someone gives up on a ticket because of changed plans). The cash is refundable at 100% if the ticket can not be purchased due to lack of seats. We thought yesterday that this price was for our tatkal, a ticket bought for sure and we were pleased to calculate the price of 2400 rupees for our four places.
Just before 11 am she went to the window. The thick supervisor in the window said – 3600Rs. But I should still wait, because the ticket will be available in fifteen minutes.
After 15 minutes it turned out that the ticket costs 4660 rs. It is known that in the last moments of sale the ticket price is growing fast and we do not know in principle why she had to wait. That time she have not stepped away from the window, the supervisor had already our 4 thousand in the drawer, so she waited for the final price of the ticket.
It was already the final price, but there came a need to go to the ATM. The supervisor, assured that he recorded 4,000 in the drawer, the ticket is in print and the price will be unchanged.
There is also the longest platform in the world! It have 1366 meters – as shown on the information board shown in the photo. We don’t have the photos of the platform as it was dark already.