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Close Shaves & Photos From an Indian Rail Journey

by Globetrooper Todd | 10 Responses
Indian Rail Journey

After travelling through 6 continents, on a range of budgets, in a range of styles, there’s nothing more thrilling, culturally immersive, and enjoyable, than a shave at a local barber.

I had a shave in Ledo today, the Easternmost railway stop in India. A couple of the other guys had shaves in Udhampur too. From having my shave, to hanging out the door of a local train to, today was one of those days I really enjoyed. So rather than spoil the fun by retelling it in detail, I’ve put together some of our favourite photos from the Great Circular Indian Railway Challenge.

Steve’s shave in Udhampur

Steve getting a shave in Udhampur

This barber wanted to give us shaves for free, we are not sure why, but paid him 100 Rs

Warrior at India-Pakistan Border Crossing

Border Crossing Warrior

He stood almost 7ft Tall and marched the goose-step with ferociousness

Lauren at Golden Temple

Golden Temple Amritsar

Lauren at the Golden Temple in Amritsar - feed for free with hundreds of other pilgrims - Photo by Fogg Odyssey

The GCIRC Team


The GCIRC Team huddled into a single cabin on the way to Dibrugarh

Lauren at the Window

Lauren at the window

I took this from outside the train door looking in, a perfect day for a non-AC carriage

Sharing Photos

Sharing Photos

Troy sharing a photo with a local cycle driver - the big DSLR really helps to make local connections

Locomotive at Jamnagar Junction

Jamnagar Locomotive

We took a bus from here to Amritsar to see the Golden Temple and border crossing

Smile! You’re on GCIRC Camera


Everyone, so far, has loved being in our photos, especially if we show them the results afterwards


Steve and I hopped off the Rajdhani earlier than the others at New Tinsukia station. Why? Because we would have to backtrack to get the train to Ledo anyway. The others want to stay on to get more sleep. So rather than hopping off at 3am, they could sleep until 5am.

  • Train: Dibrugarh-Ledo Passenger
  • Depart: Dibrugarh @ 07:05 on 25-Feb-11
  • Destination: Ledo @ 10:45 on 25-Feb-11 (estimated)
  • Distance: 102 km, over 3.5 hours

We then hopped aboard the local train to Ledo, which the rest of the team were already on, and we all headed to India’s Easternmost railway station, the 3rd objective of the GCIRC. I spent most of the local ride sitting by the open door with the warm wind blowing by. Steve and I spilt again to spend time in Ledo, while the others headed to Tipong to see the steam engine. We all met again at an eco lodge in Margarita for a couple of beers and some food, before heading off to Tinsukia station by taxi.

  • Train: Rajdhani Express
  • Depart: Tinsukia @ 19:55 on 25-Feb-11
  • Destination: New Jalpaiguri @ 11:55 on 26-Feb-11 (estimated)
  • Distance: 925 km, over 16 hours
Posted in GCIRC 2011, India | February 27th, 2011

10 Responses to Close Shaves & Photos From an Indian Rail Journey

  1. This is such a cool adventure! Apparently I’ve been in the dark because I’m just seeing this now. Where does it wrap up? What’s next after that?

    • Hi Cam, the GRICR wraps up in a few days in Matheran. As for what’s next, we’ll be living in Kerala or Goa for a few months to catch up with our work. Lauren will leave me in May for the Gobi 2011 Expedition, and I’ll stick around to launch our new project. Loving India so far though. Amazing place, very cheap, lots of diversity, great food, etc.

  2. Excellent travelogue and photos.

    You’ve wondered why the barber wanted to give you a free shave. I can think of a couple of reasons. One, the Indian concept of “Atithi Devo Bhava” (Guest is God). Now, that might sound pulpy, especially when you encounter people who want to rip-off everything that they can of you, but then that is India. Paradoxes at every step. The second reason could be that you gave his business free publicity. If a couple of “firangis” (foreigners) find his shop worth patronizing, surely his shop and services are more than worthy for the local populace.

    All the best for the remainder of the journey, and keep the posts coming.

    • Hi Samir, thanks for the thoughts on the barber. We’ve really only had two ‘rip-off everything they can’ encounters, both at hotels. At one hotel in Delhi, I couldn’t believe how they tried to rip us off in every way possible. Otherwise, everyone else has been very honest with money. And we’ve been very surprised how cheap food is here. In Ledo, chai was 4 Rs and samosas were 3 Rs. You could have a full meal for 13 Rs, which is about 30 cents.

  3. This is soo cool !! I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks so much for your photos!

  4. I’m very interested to make a trip to Moscou and further to Siberia in a train etc . in June. I will be in London in May 2012. I can join a group or Travelpartners. I’m very flexible with time,going places and mode of travel? Please Send me some travel plans. ThankU.

  5. I hope you had fun in our country. hope you visit next time too.

  6. esta es una buena aventura

  7. In June I am leaving for 3 months in India, & I would like a camera (such as yours) to capture my experiences. Which camera have you got, & would you recommend a camera to take? Thanks, in advance :D

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