I arrived at Madurai by Chennai Egmore-Madurai Tejas Express at around 12.30 pm. You can read the detailed trip report at this link. Lunch was not served onboard Tejas Express and I had to make an immediate arrangement to have lunch at Madurai Railway Station. I had already booked my stay at IRCTC's lounge in Madurai railway station. I enquired with the reservation clerk regarding the entry to the Madurai IRCTC lounge. I was directed to proceed to the first floor of the railway station.
I was welcomed at the reception desk by the hotel staff. IRCTC had operated neatly furnished retiring rooms in Madurai through a private franchise network. The staff at the reception desk verified my e-ticket and retiring room details and provided the key to a vacant room on the same floor. The hotel staff escorted me to the room. I had opted for a twelve-hour stay at Madurai IRCTC retiring room soon upon my arrival at Madurai at Chennai Egmore. I had made a twelve-hour booking as I had to return to Bengaluru on the same night from Madurai by Nagercoil-Bengaluru Express arriving at 12 am at midnight.
The entry to the retiring room was refreshing. The room was neatly furnished with a neatly vitrified floor, clean bedrolls, tea/coffee kit, tea/coffee maker, air-conditioner, and tidy restrooms. As soon as I settled down in the room, I quickly took a brief rest over the table. Soon it was lunchtime and it was already 1.30 pm on a hot Thursday afternoon in Madurai.
IRCTC's Retiring Room at Madurai
IRCTC had recently launched an executive lounge on platform number 1 at Madurai Railway station. The franchise was also responsible to maintain the refurbished IRCTC retiring rooms on the first floor. The entry to the IRCTC lounge is greeted by the reception desk who enquire about your requirement either for lounge access or food. I was informed that I could pay for food after lunch as I was asked to head to the buffet section of the lounge.
A complimentary water bottle is provided to every guest upon arrival at the lounge. The lounge had an exceptional ambiance with an air-conditioned facility and clean restrooms. The visit was worth every penny spent in the lounge. The buffet section had pure vegetarian dishes that included roti, rice, vegetable curry, dal tadka, papad, and curd rice. After lunch, the guests were served with desserts usually consisting of fruit juice or a choice of ice cream.
After having sumptuous lunch at the IRCTC lounge on platform number 1 at Madurai railway station, I returned to my room on the first floor of the IRCTC executive lounge. As I had plenty of time till midnight, I decided to take some rest before heading out in the evening. I woke up at 5 pm in the evening and prepared a fresh cup of coffee from the coffee maker. It was very refreshing and tasty. I decided to venture out to get some fresh air. The railway station was abuzz with announcements of several trains on different platforms.
Return to Bengaluru
I ventured out to make some interesting observations of Madurai city. Madurai is very hot as I visited in the summer of April 2019. I headed to the famous West Veli street opposite the Madurai Railway station. The street is famous for food and has many pure vegetarian restaurants. One of them 'Saravana Bhavan' is a popular eatery on this road. I visited the restaurant which was abuzz with many tourists like me. I requested for idly and vada and a hot cup of coffee. It was very tasty and relishing.
After having evening snacks at Saravana Bhavan, I returned to my IRCTC retiring room and took some rest. Around 8.30 pm I headed to the railway station to make some observations as an avid railfan. At around 10 pm I decided to return to my room and start preparing for my return journey. I packed my belongings and finally checked out of the room at 11 pm. My train was expected to arrive on platform 1 of the railway station. The platform was heavily crowded with the simultaneous departure of trains to Chennai Central and towards Renigunta and Tirupati.
My train arrived bang on time at 12 am in the midnight. My ticket was not confirmed and it was under Reservation Against Cancellation status (RAC) at the time of train charting. I enquired with TTE regarding my ticket status and was allocated a side-upper berth in coach A1.
I had a smooth and good night's sleep in the side-upper berth of the train. The train arrived on time at my destination at around 8.30 am and I reached home within thirty minutes of the arrival of the train at Bengaluru.
Journey to Madurai onboard Tejas Express
- Journey to Madurai onboard Tejas Express
Chennai Egmore to Madurai Tejas Express is a brand new premium category of train introduced by Southern Railway in India recently. I had the privilege of traveling by this train from Chennai Egmore to Madurai via Tirucharapally and scenic Kodaikanal
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.