Arrival at New Delhi
It was a weekend holiday in the month of March 2020 and I arrived at New Delhi by traveling from Mumbai onboard 12954 Mumbai Central to Hazarat Nizamuddin August Kranti Express. The train arrived at Hazarat Nizamuddin near New Delhi railway station at 10.55 am. My flight to Bengaluru was at around 4.35 pm on board Spicejet airline with flight number SG-197 from New Delhi's Indira Gandhi Domestic Airport Terminal 1D. I had planned to travel to New Delhi by local train and then hop on to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation's (DMRC) airport metro to reach Indira Gandhi Domestic Airport Terminal 1D.
The first thing I did after disembarking from August Kranti Rajdhani Express was to enquire about a zonal timetable published by Northern Railway. Several Indian Railway zones publish the annual zonal time tables and it is available only in the railway stations falling under respective railway zones. I had to walk up to the main entrance of Hazarat Nizamuddin railway station to enquire about the timetable book. As I arrived at the lobby area it was abuzz with many passengers and I had to stand in the queue to make an inquiry. After waiting for about ten minutes my turn came at the booking window and enquired about the railway timetable. It was not available. As also I had to travel to the New Delhi railway station, I purchased a local train ticket which cost me INR 10.
This was my first visit to Hazarat Nizamuddin railway station. I made a visit to the entrance of the railway station and returned to platform number 2. The platform was designated a place for the arrival of my local train to New Delhi. It was around 11.30 am that I arrived on platform number 2 and I sipped a cup of instant coffee available with the coffee vendor. As I waited I made some observations related to the train movements at the railway station. The train number 12626 New Delhi to Thiruvananthapuram Kerala Express arrived on platform number 4 but had no commercial stop.
Then on platform number 2, the train number 12715 Nanded-Amritsar Sach Kand Express arrived at around 11.40 am and left for New Delhi within two minutes. Later an announcement was made regarding the delayed arrival of Indore bound 12920 Malwa Express arriving from Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra and the arrival of 12649 Yeswanthpur-Hazarat Nizamuddin Karnataka Samparkranti Express via Pune and Hubballi. As also platform number 1 witnessed the arrival of 12192 Jabaplpur to Hazarat Nizamuddin Sridham Express. It was a railfan's delight the arrival of several trains at the railway station.
Entering the Airport's Terminal 1D
My local train to New Delhi was delayed by about ten minutes. The expected arrival time was at 12.00 pm but the train from Palwal arrived only at 12.10 pm. I was not much worried as I had much time to reach the Indira Gandhi Domestic Airport Terminal 1D. The train to New Delhi was as usual busy with the passengers and crowded. Soon my destination arrived at New Delhi at around 12.30 pm after stopping over at Tilak Bridge railway station and Shivaji bridge railway station en route. After getting down from the local train at New Delhi railway station, I headed towards Ajmeri Gate side of the railway station to hop on to the metro. The metro station was just a five-minute walk from the Ajmeri gate of New Delhi railway station.
I arrived at the New Delhi railway station and enquired about the train to the metro. I was asked to go to the basement floor of the metro station and buy the tokens. I found an elevator that took me to the basement of the metro station and soon found out the ticket counter and stood in the queue. The ticket cost to New Delhi's Indira Gandhi Domestic Terminal 1D was INR-50 and paid the exact change to obtain the tokens. The train to the airport was ready when I arrived at the platform and there was no crowd in the metro station. I found a comfortable seat as we proceeded to New Delhi's Indira Gandhi Domestic Airport Terminal 1D at around 12.45 pm. The ride to the airport lasted for about thirty minutes. The moment you step out of the metro station, you can hop on to shuttle buses arranged by DMRC to reach Terminal 1D and one had to pay INR-30 for the bus ride. The shuttle bus soon left the metro station and reached Terminal 1D in a span of 15 minutes by 1 pm. As I got down from the shuttle bus, I spotted another air-conditioned shuttle bus operated by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal 3 from Terminal 1D.
The entry to the domestic Terminal 1D was smooth after checking my e-ticket and identity cards at the entrance. Then I proceeded to Spice Jet's check-in counter located in the main concourse area. There was a long queue for the economy class check-in and I had to wait for about fifteen minutes to arrive at the ticketing desk. The airline staff verified my e-tickets and identity cards. I insisted on a seat in the last row of the aircraft and I was allotted the same. Next, I proceeded to the security check available next to the Spice Jet's check-in counter. Yet again there was a long queue for the security check and I finished the same within twenty minutes. My boarding gate was located on the ground floor of the airport. Hence after the mandatory security check, I proceeded to the ground floor but the boarding gates were yet to open as it was only 2 pm, with just two hours left for the actual departure of the flight.
Embarking the Aircraft at New Delhi
I took this opportunity to visit the airport restaurant and have some food as I could not have any lunch during the day. I opted for vegetarian fried rice, a water bottle, and a hot cup of coffee. I relished the lunch which tasty and wholesome. Soon the boarding gates were announced and I move to the lobby area near the boarding gates. The passengers were already waiting in the lobby area to board the plane. We still had some time as it was only 3.15 pm by the time I reached the boarding gate.
I was getting bored and listened to music on my cellphone for a while. At 4.15 pm the airline's ground staff announced the delay in departure by thirty minutes i.e.the expected departure time was pushed to 5 pm from the existing 4.30 pm. At around 4.40 pm, the boarding gates were opened and all the passengers formed a queue to get into the shuttle bus to reach the aircraft. The shuttle bus dropped all the passengers till the aircraft parked on the tarmac.
I quickly boarded the Spice Jet flight and settled in my seat. The flight then took off from New Delhi at around 5 pm and this was my maiden flight journey from New Delhi to Bengaluru and was immensely overjoyed to undertake this flight journey.
Arrival at Bengaluru
It took about three hours to reach Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport at around 8 pm. As I carried a single backpack, I was able to get out of the plane and reach the arrival gates quickly. After exiting the arrival gates, I headed to Hatti Coffee house to sip a cup of hot coffee.
Next, I walked up to the airport's BMTC bus terminal to hop on to BMTC's air-conditioned shuttle service 'Vayu Vajra'. The route number KIAS-9 was ready to leave from the airport's BMTC bus terminal to its destination at Kempegowda Bus Station. The ticket fare to the destination was INR-235.
I reached the Kempegowda Bus Station within an hour's time at around 9.15 pm. I then proceeded to Bengaluru city railway station to hop on to my two-wheeler parked in the designated two-wheeler parking stand. I reached home within twenty minutes at around 10 pm and slept early upon reaching the place.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Varun Dambal (author) from Bangalore on June 04, 2021:
Liz Westwood from UK on June 04, 2021:
This is a very well-illustrated and interesting article. You are building up a comprehensive travel series.