Can anyone help, although having been to Goa 25+ times, i am now intending to travel by rail down to Kerala for a week and do a houseboat cruise. So many websites and so much info, esp with the timetables on the Shatabdi Express - does anyone know an approx return fare A/C exec, and do i get on at Margao - but where in Kerala should i get off for the houseboat?
Can i just turn up and book a houseboat? And what is the easiest way to book rail tickets as i know i must book well in advance.
Any info greatly appreciated!!!!!
If you are getting down in Kerala then Cochin/Kochi (Ernakulam) is the city you need to be in. From there are many places that offer boat rides. Even near by towns like Kovallam are famous for boat rides but Cochin is probably the centrepoint from where you can make further decisions. I say Cochin, because it's the commercial capital of Kerala & also the tourism centre of Kerala.
I'm Clinton, and live in Benaulim, quite close to the Margao Station. Besides the shatabdi, there are many other trains going to the south. Avalablity of seats on the train is difficult at the last minute, but if you are a month ahead, you can get the ticket quite easily. Another option would be to travel in the week to avoid the weekend rush.
The following trains depart from Margao to Kochi:
Train Number , Train Name , Frequency
2618 , Mangala Lakshdweep Express , Daily
1097 , Ernakulam Express , sun
6337 , Okha Ers Express , thur, sun
6345 , Netravati Express , daily
A comfortable 3 Tier Aircondition Class ticket by an express from Margao to Kochi costs 870 Rupees as on date. Faster the train, higher the price.
I usually book my tickets online from www.irctc.co.in and pay by card. Tickets are home delevered (in india only), and if you need a booking, i could do it for you.
TO get to a houseboat, you need to get off at Kochi, the capital of Kerala. Kerala Tourism has excelent faclilties and you could get your houseboat booked in advance off the net or in Goa too.
have a nice stay in Goa, and keep your surroundings clean!
Thanks so much for your replies!
Out of those trains which are the faster ones? Would you say Benaulim is easier for accommodation than Colva over new Year?
Many Thanks for any advice!