Hyderabad and Gujrat are not only in India

Have a look at these pictures and decide whether they are in India or somewhere else:

Note the Sindhi signboard in the right picture, which should help you to locate it. The first one is in Pakistan’s Punjab.

The “other” Hyderabad can be reached from India by the Thar Express, which you board at Zero Point after leaving India from Munabao.

Up to Partition, one had to refer to Hyderabad (Sind) and Hyderabad (Deccan) as both were important cities in undivided India.

Also this one:

Jhelum

While the river of this name flows through a part of India, this town is in Pakistan’s Punjab. One Indian Prime Minister (not Manmohan Singh) was born nearby.

The railways of Arunachal Pradesh

Updated with additional information in May 2018.

First, a sidetrack:

Arunachal

But is this in Arunachal Pradesh? The top script is in Bengali.

It is indeed adjacent to Silchar, in a part of Assam where Bengali and not Assamese is the official language. This picture was taken in metre gauge time. The large number of concrete sleepers strewn around indicates that broad gauge is on its way, and it has already been converted. This is the first station to the west of Silchar, on a BG line which now sees trains from Kolkata and Delhi. It is also the junction for the branch to Jiribam, presently one of the two stations in Manipur:

Jiribam-manipuri

A limited passenger service served this station in metre gauge days, and broad gauge services are expected to start soon.

The line mentioned here is from Harmuti in Assam (on the Rangiya-Lakhimpur section) to Naharlagun (near the capital Itanagar) with an intermediate station at Gumto (which is also in AP). You can trace the route here (by expanding the map if needed). Note that the line to Naharlagun makes a U-turn from the main line at Harmuti.

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Harmuti+Junction+Railway+Station/@27.1225941,93.8239808,14z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x3746acd30fe01975:0x81330bfea204e39b!8m2!3d27.1191784!4d93.860541

The three stations:

And a quick look at the trains which serve Naharlagun today:

http://erail.in/naharlagun-railway-station

It includes a daily express from Guwahati and a (sort of) Rajdhani from New Delhi, which does not seem to have catering facilities. Also the average Indian citizen will not be allowed into the state without an inner-line permit or whatever it is called nowadays. More about this at the end.

Here is the timetable of the train from Guwahati to Naharlagun:

http://erail.in/15617-ghy-nhln-i-c-ex/route

But what is forgotten is that there was a metre-gauge connection to Bhalukpong in the western corner of AP which was opened in the 1980s. In 1994 the timetable listed one pair of passenger trains between Rangapara North and Bhalukpong.The junction was at Balipara. They seem to have stopped running around 2000. More recently the line was converted to broad gauge.

The wayside stations are all in Assam including Bhalukpong station which appears to lie just inside the border. Most of Bhalukpong town is in AP. You can see the map here and trace the path from Tezpur:

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Bhalukpong+Railway+Station/@27.0021598,92.6426437,15z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x3744a509499d68a3:0xd49629361597570f!2sBhalukpong+Railway+Station!8m2!3d27.002155!4d92.6448324!3m4!1s0x3744a509499d68a3:0xd49629361597570f!8m2!3d27.002155!4d92.6448324

Also see the timetable of the present pair of trains, which run from Dekargaon which is now the station for Tezpur. The original station at Tezpur may have been abandoned as there was not enough space for a BG terminus there.

Passenger services on this line must have started in the last couple of years, but without the publicity that accompanied the line to Naharlagun which served the state capital. This line connects a town which may not be that important in AP.

http://erail.in/?R=55719-DKGN-BHNG#

http://erail.in/?R=55720-BHNG-DKGN#

These are some of the stations on this route:

Dekargaon

Rangapara NorthBalipara

And finally Bhalukpong in metre gauge days and the present.

Bhalukpong old

Bhalukpong new

So you have now seen the full extent of the railway system in Arunachal Pradesh. Perhaps one day the rails will reach the borders of Tibet and Myanmar.

Footnote 1: Anyone from the rest of India wishing to enter Arunachal Pradesh needs a permit. This is apparently available online as well as from various offices of the AP government in Delhi, Kolkata and several cities in the Northeast.

It is not clear where the checking of the permit is done. Logically it should be at Harmuti (which is somewhat larger than Gumto, the first station in AP).

In the case of the Bhalukpong line, there seems to be a road checkpoint a little beyond the station and presumably you cannot proceed beyond this without a permit. It is also mentioned that you can get a permit at this point after a few hours wait.

Footnote 2: see this map extract:

https://www.google.co.in/maps/@27.6968092,94.8153323,14z

It can be seen that the Rangiya-Murkong Selek railway line briefly enters AP between the small stations of Dimow and Dipa. This stretch may be around 500 metres long, and presumably the AP authorities do not bother about “outsiders” passing through their state this way.

Oddities in station signs in India-1

First, we look at examples of station signs in some languages which you may not see often.

The only major station with Maithili:

Darbhanga station Maithili

And the only station in Manipur, which naturally has Manipuri:

Jiribam-manipuri

Note the brand new broad gauge line above.

As you would know, the language policy for railway stations (and most Central government buildings, such as post offices) would be to have English, Hindi and the regional language. If Hindi is the local language then there would be two languages on the board, and more if some other language is common in that area.

Examples of English + Hindi are common in Rajasthan , Haryana and Madhya Pradesh although a few stations do have Urdu as well.

From Rajasthan:

Note that the picture from Jaipur shows a metre gauge line which will not be around for long.

From Haryana:

 

Now we move to some states where English is the main official language (although other spoken languages are commonly used). You would probably not heard of most of these places:

Dimapur, Nagaland:

Dimapur

Bairabi, Mizoram: (This is from metre gauge days but broad gauge has now come here)

Bairabi

Mendipathar, Meghalaya:

Mendipathar

Naharlagun, Arunachal Pradesh:

Naharlagun

Note that in Hindi-speaking states the Hindi inscription is at the top. In most states the regional language (say Bengali or Tamil) is at the top. In the signs above from Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya English is at the top but in Arunachal Pradesh the Hindi inscription is at the top.

At the moment Sikkim is the only state with no railway line at all, though the mileage is negligible in several of the North-eastern states (Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland). In some states there is precisely one station about a kilometre inside the border. Assam and now Tripura are somewhat better served.

A typical trilingual sign would be this one in Gujarat, much beloved of cricket fans:

Sachin

Meanwhile, there are signs in four or even five languages elsewhere on the Indian railway network. More on these later.

Same bowling figures in both innings (Revised on 26/02/2017)

This is a logical follow-up to the last post

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/same-score-in-both-innings/

Here we consider cases where bowlers have recorded the same bowling analysis in both innings. This means that wickets and runs were the same in both innings. We are not getting into overs and maidens.

Taking a minimum of 3 wickets in an innings, this has happened only 8 times in all Tests:

same-bowling

Only three instances of tenners. The second one was historic as India recorded their maiden Test win in Australia. This was a victory by a large margin, while India had lost the first two Tests of that series by narrow margins.

Strangely Hyderabad in India figures in two of these instances, though at two different grounds. Abdur Rehman recorded this on debut.

Looking at Indian bowlers alone with a minimum of 1 wicket in an innings, we get:

Same bowling-2

On debut, there are only two who have taken at least 1 wicket in an innings:

Same bowling-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Same score in both innings

It is fairly well known that Duleep Mendis scored 105 and 105 in a Test against India, and that this is the highest case of identical innings in a Test. Here we look at all such cases above 50. We have considered both dismissals and not outs.

Same score in both innings (Excel)

Or (in a compressed form):

same score in both innings

None of these instances were on debut. The highest such double on debut was 36 and 36 by the lesser-known South African Dan Taylor. All such instances above 25 + 25 are given here:

Same score debut

Abid Ali also took 6 wickets in an innings (and 7 in the match).

A more detailed post on same scores in each innings on debut (as of May 2015) can be seen here: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/an-unusual-record-same-score-in-both-innings-in-debut/

Eclectic score cards for ODIs

This is a follow-up from the last post

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/eclectic-score-cards-for-tests/

Now we take up ODIs in the same way. Though others interested in cricket statistics may disagree, I have removed ODIs involving multi-national teams such as the ICC World XI, Africa XI and Asia XI.

First, the highest scores at various batting positions in all ODIs:

ODI eclectic-1

Interesting that Kapil’s 175* in 1983 is the oldest record standing, followed by Viv Richard’s 189* in 1984. That was the only ODI played at Tunbridge Wells, and there is no video of this match available because of a dispute with the BBC at that time.

Now for Indian players:

ODI eclectic-2

Interesting that the records for numbers 9 and 10 came in the same match.

Now we look at all debutants in ODIs:

ODI eclectic-3

Interesting that Haynes’s record of 1978 still stands.

No debutant from India in the above table. Their details are here:

ODI eclectic-4

Oddly enough Brijesh Patel’s 82 from India’s very first ODI in 1974 is still a record.

Some may be thinking of Yuvraj Singh’s 84 at No 5 in 2000. But that was in his second ODI, while he did not bat in the first. (Shahid Afridi’s 37-ball century had a similar story).

 

Eclectic score cards for Tests

One of the first cricket books I acquired about 40 years ago was “Figures of Cricket” by Sudhir Vaidya which had records up to 1976. It was perhaps the only inexpensive book on cricket statistics available in India at that time. He brought out one more edition in 1990, and does not seem to have written any books after that.

One of the interesting topics in this was the “Eclectic score card” which listed the top scores for each batting position in Tests. (ODIs were not significant enough then to attract the attention of statisticians). As a tribute to Mr. Vaidya and his book, here are some eclectic score cards under different conditions. Points of interest are mentioned in the Remarks column.

First, the highest scores at all 11 positions for all Tests as of April 2016:

Eclectic1

The record set by Ben Stokes earlier this year may not have attracted the attention it deserved. The previous record for No 6 was 250 by KD Walters, Aus v NZ in 1976-77.

While WW Read’s record has stood from 1884, there is one better-known record set in the very first Test in 1876-77 which still stands-Charles Bannerman scoring 67.34 per cent of his team’s innings. See Link

Next, the highest scores at all positions scored by Indian players:

Eclectic2

Now we come to the highest scores made by debutants from all countries:

Eclectic3

And finally, the highest scores made by debutants from India:

Eclectic4

Plenty of food for thought here if you go through it closely. Will take up ODIs later, although data for T20Is may be too scanty at the moment.

DC traction on India’s railways-sidelights

Much has been written about the final days of DC traction in Mumbai, more specifically on the Harbour line from CSTM to Vashi which was the last holdout of this form of electrification on the Indian railways. This is not exactly true – the Kolkata metro will continue to be on 750 V DC indefinitely, and it is officially a part of the Indian Railways (unlike the metro systems in Delhi and elsewhere).

At its peak, the 1500 V DC system in Mumbai covered these sections:

WR: Colaba to Churchgate to Virar

CR: CST Mumbai to Pune and Igatpuri via Kalyan

CST Mumbai to Mahim and then in parallel to WR up to Andheri

CST Mumbai to Kurla via Harbour branch and then to Mankhurd,Vashi and Panvel.

(Mankhurd was the terminus until the 1990s).

Diva-Vasai Road

(Apart from CR and WR, some lines of the Bombay Port Trust were electrified with DC as well).

A typical news item about the conversion of the last route:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Harbour-line-trains-run-on-new-25KV-AC-traction-from-today/articleshow/51762468.cms

What most railfans may forget is that 3000 V DC existed on some routes out of Howrah for about a decade and 1500 V DC on one metre gauge route out of Chennai for several decades.

From an official IR publication of 1964, we can get the early history. It makes things simpler if we use the names of places which were prevalent at that time

The years of completion were:

Bombay VT to Poona and Igatpuri: 1930 (299 route km) on the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, predecessor of the CR

Churchgate to Virar: 1936 (60 route km) on the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway, predecessor of the WR.

Madras Beach to Tambaram: 1931 (29 route km, metre gauge) on the South Indian Railway, predecessor of the SR.

Howrah-Bandel-Burdwan

and Seoraphuli-Tarakeswar: 1958 (142 route km) on ER.

Coming back to Bombay, the VT-Reay Road section was opened in 1925 with electrification, as the 1 in 34 gradient at Sandhurst Road was felt to be an insurmountable obstacle to any other means of traction. Diesel traction existed but was not considered a serious option at that time.

Reay Road to Kurla had been running on steam since it was opened in 1910.The extension from Kurla to Mankhurd was completed by 1927 and was electrified in 1936.

The Karjat-Khopoli branch was one of the first lines opened in India (in 1856, when it became the railhead for Poona for some years). It seems to have been electrified only in the mid-90s and timetables of 1994 show diesel-hauled passenger trains on the CR main timetable (not the suburban timetable).

The Diva-Vasai Road line was built in the 1980s and was electrified with DC soon after it was opened.

On what is now the WR, electrification was completed to Borivli in 1928 and to Virar in 1936. Colaba was the terminus for long distance and local trains until Bombay Central was opened in 1930, and the lines between Colaba and Churchgate were electrified but this line itself was closed at the end of 1930. Churchgate has been the terminus for local trains since then.

The short stretch from Madras Beach to Tambaram was electrified at 1500 V DC in 1931. Apart from the EMUs on this route, long distance trains continued to run on steam from Madras Egmore. By 1967 the Tambaram-Villupuram section was electrified at the then standard voltage of 25 KV AC and the Beach-Tambaram section was converted to AC to enable through running up to Villupuram.

After independence, the first steps towards electrification of ER lines out of Howrah were taken with Howrah-Bandel-Burdwan and Seoraphuli-Tarakeswar being completed by 1958. These too were converted to AC in the mid-60s, and virtually all subsequent electrification in India was at 25 KV AC. The only exceptions were the extensions from Mankhurd to Vashi and then Panvel, Thane to Vashi and extensions,  and electrification of Karjat-Khopoli in the 90s which had to match the existing DC system in Mumbai.

Some of the DC locos from ER were converted to 1500 V DC and sent to CR, where they continued to serve for many years on the slopes of Bhor Ghat and Thull Ghat. Some EMUs were also converted and sent to WR and CR with mixed results.

More about DC locos, AC/DC locos and operational aspects to follow.

Summary of the extreme points of India

Hope that some have found these posts informative. I am listing them below:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/the-extreme-points-of-india/

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/the-northernmost-points-in-india/

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/the-easternmost-points-of-india/

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/the-westernmost-points-of-india/

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/the-southernmost-points-of-india/

The southernmost points of India

The standard answer to this one is Kanyakumari (also called Cape Comorin), which is indeed the southernmost point on the Indian mainland. Unlike the other extreme points, this is well populated and linked to other parts of the country. It is officially at 8.078 N, 77.541 E. Here is the main tourist area:

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Kanyakumari,+Tamil+Nadu+629702/@8.0829211,77.5446251,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x3b04ed3d2a087861:0x1e790e896aeffaa0

The southernmost point on the mainland would probably be the place marked “Hidden twin beach”.

The railway station seen on this map has trains to all corners of India, including Katra in Kashmir and Dibrugarh in Assam.

Kanyakumari was earlier in Travancore state, then Travancore-Cochin state and was finally transferred to Madras state (now Tamil Nadu) when linguistic states were formed.

But the true southernmost point of India lies in the Andaman and Nicobar islands (not the islands of Lakshwadeep as their southernmost point is around the same latitude as Thiruvananthapuram). To be precise, the southernmost point is a settlement called Indira Point on the southern tip of Great Nicobar island.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indira_Point

This article mentions that there are 4 households in this settlement with a total population of 27 (all males). It also mentions how many are literate and how many are from reserved categories. Presumably most (if not all) of them are connected with the lighthouse.

Here is a video of the area shortly after the tsunami of 2004:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRA4sCNTN4E

Note how the lighthouse has sunk into the water. It is functioning again now.

There appears to be a helipad nearby. Also note the numerous small buildings near the lighthouse.

While tourism is being encouraged in some parts of the Andamans, even Indian citizens cannot visit Nicobar district without permission from the union territory’s government. There are ships and helicopter services to nearby Campbell Bay, which has India’s southernmost airport and naval base. This could be described as the southernmost village in India (population around 5700). Due to the military presence, it has amentities such as banks and a Kendriya Vidyalaya (school run by the federal government).

It is not often appreciated that these islands, particularly in the Nicobar group, are considerably closer to other countries than to India. This map should give an idea:

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Indira+Point,+Andaman+and+Nicobar+Islands+744302/@12.2829531,91.787832,6z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x30693681c618213f:0xf4a05f017d87b04a

The straight-line distances from Indira Point to various places in India:

Port Blair-554 Km

Chennai-1646 Km

Kolkata-1855  Km

And to some places in other countries:

Banda Aceh, Indonesia-215 Km

Phuket, Thailand-515 Km

Colombo-1538 Km

Yangon-1153 Km

Think about it. Indira Point is closer to Indonesia and Thailand than to Port Blair. And Yangon and Colombo are closer to it than any mainland Indian city.

The Andaman and Nicobar islands were occupied by Japanese forces during WW2, and were nominally governed by the Indian National Army.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andaman_and_Nicobar_Islands#World_War_II

Regarding the research stations in Antarctica starting with Dakshin Gangotri, it appears that India does not have any territorial claims over Antarctica while some other countries do.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Antarctic_Program

 

 

The westernmost points of India

According to the Wikipedia article on “Extreme Points of India”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extreme_points_of_India

the westernmost point of India is Guhar Moti in Lakhpat taluk of Kutch district of Gujarat. This article mentions that it is at 23.71307 N, 68.03215 E. This appears to be wrong as it gives a point in the sea. However, the village of Guhar Moti is actually at 23.6076 N, 68.5022 E

which you can see here: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Guhar+Moti,+Gujarat+370601,+India/@23.6201256,68.5272452,14z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x395238a1259c106f:0x66b28d5fd5388930?hl=en

More about this place can be seen here and in line 55 of this

We note that the population of 242 (in the last census) includes 186 belonging to the scheduled castes, 55 to the scheduled tribes and 1 in the general category. In line 56, we see the nearby pilgrimage centre of Narayan Sarovar with a population of 1156. This is larger than the taluk HQ of Lakhpat which is described as a ghost town with a population of 500-odd. It did figure in the 2000 film “Refugee”, which marked the debut of Abhishek Bachchan and  Kareena Kapoor.

Some say that the temple at Koteshwar near Narayan Sarovar is the westernmost point of India, but you can see from the above link to Google maps that this is not true.

Remote as this area may be, it is well connected with roads. There was even a proposal to connect Koteshwar by rail to the nearest railhead at Naliya, but that may have to wait until the closed line from Bhuj to Naliya is converted from metre gauge to broad gauge. Naliya is also the site of India’s westernmost air force base, which hosts Mig-21 fighter aircraft. One of them shot down a Pakistani Navy aircraft near the border in 1999 (more about this below).

This part of Kutch district has a number of industries, mainly based on lignite (brown coal) which is mined nearby. The westernmost industrial unit in India may well be the Akrimota lignite power station on the coast, at 23.7721 N, 68.6442 E.

An overall view of the India-Pakistan border can be seen here

Note the complex border around the Sir Creek. The border is also disputed here, as India and Pakistan differ on the interpretation of a treaty signed between the government of Sind and the ruler of Kutch in 1914. The basic issue here is connected with borders formed by rivers-what happens when the river changes course? More details about the dispute and ongoing negotiations can be seen here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Creek

Also read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantique_incident

Some literature mentions that the lights of Karachi can be seen from Koteshwar. This may not be true as the distance from here to the centre of Karachi is 200 km.

The border here consists of uninhabited marshlands, which are flooded during the monsoons. Patrolling by boats and aircraft is carried out by both countries. Also see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Rann_of_Kutch

The Kutch war of 1965 did not concern this area and was confined to the northern borders of Kutch.