Good places for hanging around

Some may need an explanation:

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/hindi-english/%E0%A4%AB%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%82%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%80-%E0%A4%A6%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%A8%E0%A4%BE

Next, we proceed to one of Guwahati’s main markets:

Fancy Bazar

Those familiar with the city will point out that the market is near the jail, where hangings were carried out. The trading community must have thought that Fancy Bazar sounded better than Phansi, which would be bad for business. Hence the present name.

Then there is this small town near Siliguri. It is important enough to be marked on highway signs. Here is one sign which indicates its name:

Phansidewa TTI

It is unclear why this nondescript place was associated with hanging.

You can see the town here.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Phansidewa+734434,+Bangladesh/@26.5891217,88.35675,15z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x39e45b3050a20c8d:0xbd2dd4a74361baa1!8m2!3d26.5885778!4d88.3712796?hl=en

The nearby station was indeed named Phansidewa. By the early 1970s it was renamed:

Nijbari

It is on one of the main routes leading to North-East India.

There are, of course, other places with morbid-sounding names. One of the better known ones is Tombstone, Arizona which was the site of many shootouts in the days of the Wild West:

Tombstone welcome sign

 

Tombstone sign 2

Examples of the town’s history (with a lot of graveyard humour) can be seen in this tourist brochure:

https://tombstonetimes.com/following-the-gunsmoke-trail/

Quiz on old station names in India-1

Here we have a list of names of railway stations which were being used in timetables between the 1930s and 1970s.

Do you know the current names?

1. Begamabad

2.  Cambay

3.  Cannanore

4.  Chakki Bank

5.  Chicacole Road

6.  Chutiapara

7.  Contai Road

8.  Daman Road

9.  Ellis Bridge

10. Ellora Road

11. French Rocks

12. Futwah

13 Goya Gate

14 Hyderabad (MG)

15 Kankanadi

16 Kirkee

17 Kothapetta

18 Manipur Road

19 Margao

20 Mhow

The best effort is by Bharat Prashar, 18/20.

Answers are given below:

Old and new names-1

Chutiapara was associated with the Chutia tribe of Assam.

Ellis Bridge is a locality in Ahmedabad near the British-era bridge of that name. There is still a Vidhan Sabha constituency of that name.

Potul is between Manmad and Aurangabad.

Kothapetta became Sirpur Kagaznagar when a paper factory came up there. The station to the south was Sirpur which became Sirpur Town.

Manipur Road was listed as Dimapur Manipur Road in the 1960s before it became Dimapur.

 

Odd station signs in Chennai

Note these station signs where the Hindi inscription seems to have been taken from Tamil rather than English:

Now compare the sign of Park Town above (top right) with the nearby Park:

Chennai Park

One wonders about the logic.

Finally, a similar one from Coimbatore:

Coimbatore North

The land of long names

Undivided Andhra Pradesh was the land of long and unpronounceable place names. Make special note of the full names of Shivrampally and Jogulamba at the end. Shivrampally has to accommodate 4 languages on its board.

Bugganipalle CementMachilipatnamVenkatTondalagopavaram

 

ShrungavarapukotaSingareni1

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

NPA Shivrampally

 

 

 

Places with bad names-2

As we have seen in the previous post, a name of a place or person may become offensive if it means something else in another language. We start with this station in the outskirts of Kolkata:

Nangi

Though there are many words common to Hindi and Bengali, this is not one of them. In any case, the Bengali inscription indicates that it should be spelt Nungi or Noongi. This locality is known for the manufacture of fireworks, possibly the largest such centre in India after Sivakasi.

India has many place names such as Bangarapet, Bangiriposi, Banganapalle of mango fame and the former Bangalore. Then there is Bangkok, where you will find:

Bang-sue

Poor Susan! She will have to be particularly careful there – especially as this is to become Bangkok’s main station in the near future.

There are other things traveling Indians will run into, such as this place in Sweden:

Lund sign-2

I have passed that way by train many years ago, although no suitable picture of the station sign is available on the net.

While this is not one of the largest cities of Sweden, the University of Lund is highly ranked.

Surnames such as Hammarlund are common in Sweden. The Hammarlund Radio Company was one of the leading manufacturers of radio receivers in the US. Back in Mumbai, there is this long-standing establishment near the Gateway of India:

lund-and-blockley-opticians

We close with this sign which causes amusement in northern India:

Mr Banchhod

Names like this are found in Gujarat. Morarjibhai’s middle name was Ranchhodji.

To be continued.

Long and short names of stations in India

Most readers will know the identity of the stations with the longest and shortest names in India.

Copyrights of all these pictures rest with their creators.

We take a look at some other long names, after the undisputed leader;

Venkat

 

Here are some others. They are from both North and South:

periyanaikanpalayamCheruvu MadhavaramOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Tondalagopavaram

Giani Zail...Romana Albel SinghFatehabad C'watiganj

KolhapurNP Murail

This category involves initials, which would make a long name if spelt in full: NPA Shivrampally

BEML NagarVOC

This one is not that long, but may be the most difficult to pronounce by non locals:

Shrungavarapukota

As for the shortest names, there are two with two letters. One is well known, the other is not so well known though it is odd:

IbOd

The person seen in the “odd” sign is Vimlesh Chandra, a railway engineer who has collected a vast number of pictures of stations and other items of railway interest.

There are several other stations with 3-letter names:

AitAraBapBarDETOrrPen

 

And this one used to have 3 letters, which was changed to 4 letters for obvious reasons:

Baad

This listing is not intended to be comprehensive, but does include the longest name (Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta) and the shortest names (Ib and Od).

Also see this for a global viewpoint:

http://www.railwaystationlists.co.uk/information/trivia.pdf

 

 

From Gandhinagar to Gandhinagar

As we have seen in

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/indian-railway-stations-with-matching-names/

there are many pairs of railway stations in India which are situated far apart but have similar (if not identical) names. In general, there are no convenient connections between these pairs, such as Udaipur City (Rajasthan) and Udaipur (Tripura) or Chandrapur (Maharashtra) and Chandrapura (Jharkhand).

Except for one pair:

Gandhinagar Jaipur

and its better-known namesake

Gandhinagar Capital

The one above has now developed into an important secondary station for trains heading on the routes from Jaipur to Delhi and beyond as well as to Agra and beyond. Thus we have the Ajmer/Delhi and Jaipur/Agra Shatabdis halting there, as well as several other prominent long-distance trains.

While Gandhinagar is the capital of Gujarat, it has relatively poorer train service as it is not on a main line, but on a loop between Ahmedabad and Kalol which is used by a handful of long-distance trains as well as locals connecting it with Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad itself has secondary stations such as Sabarmati and Maninagar.

The relative importance of the two Gandhinagars can be seen from the lists of trains serving them:

http://indiarailinfo.com/departures/jaipur-gandhinagar-gadj/363

and

http://indiarailinfo.com/departures/2474?

Recently I did have reason to make a round trip between the two Gandhinagars, in connection with work at IIT Gandhinagar, which many feel is the best of the “newer” IITs.

There is, in fact, precisely one daily train which connects the two stations, as you can see below:

https://erail.in/?T=GADJ::GNC

and

https://erail.in/?T=GNC::GADJ

That is the 19031/19032 Yoga Express, which was the Ahmedabad/Haridwar Mail until 2013 and the 1/2 Delhi/Ahmedabad Mail still earlier. Until the 1970s it was considered to be the most prestigious train between Delhi and Ahmedabad, but this mantle then passed to the Ashhram Express (for the regular traveller) and the Rajdhani (for the premium traveller). Somehow the Mail never got superfast status.

There is also the Garib Rath which runs 4 times a week between Bandra Terminus and Delhi Sarai Rohilla. But taking that would be “cheating” because it does not stop at Gandhinagar Jaipur but only at Jaipur Junction.

So if you have to start from the southern half of Jaipur, Gandhinagar Jaipur is preferable.

For the hard-core timetable fan, here are the details for the up and down journeys between the two Gandhinagars:

GG1 001

GG2 001

Although the Yoga Express is supposed to be a train with reasonable prestige (as it has AC-1 accommodation), it does not have a pantry car and passengers make do with informal arrangements. For instance, the northbound train had provision for meals to be delivered at Beawar, although this did not seem to be part of the e-catering system which IRCTC tries to push.