I was invited by Pravin – a farmer from *Ambajogai (Maharashtra) to visit his Shepwadi farm to join hurda party (हुरडा पार्टी).
*famous for Shri Yogeshwari Mata Mandir
As it will be a new experience, I immediately said – Yes, I am coming.
The day of the hurda party was not too far, I checked Mumbai to Ambajogai travel options.
- There were evening A/C Sleeper buses available via redBus from Mumbai to Ambajogai.
- There was night train from Mumbai to Latur and from Latur to Ambajogai by bus.
As it was a long bus journey more than 10 hours, I opted for night train journey.
First, I tried to book 02043 / CSMT BIDR SPL. sleeper class train ticket via irctc.co.in.
Few Sleeper berth were available but the talks between Pravin and myself about – How to reach Ambajogai from Mumbai? Where to stay in Ambajogai? – took time and sleeper berth was fully booked.
AC 3 Tier (3A) ticket was available – immediately booked.
Rs. 940.89 – paid.
530 KM and journey hours: 9 hours 25 minutes.
Note: There is Latur and Latur Road. Book your train ticket from Mumbai till Latur to reach Ambajogai.
The best was – I received SMS in the evening hours, stating – Your ticket has been upgraded to the higher class and you are allowed to travel in the higher class without paying any extra cost.
I with a very happy heart reached Dadar railway station (central-Line, platform no. 4) to board the train.
Train was on-time and super clean (including toilet).
By 10 pm train reached Kalyan station. It was time for dinner.
I had homemade dry green chickpeas (सूखे हरे चने) and rotis (round flatbread) and went for sound sleep with a sheet I was carrying.
Note: Earlier, Indian Railways used to provide bed-sheet (चादर), blanket (कंबल) and pillow (तकिया) in air-conditioned coaches but this time maybe due to COVID-19 pandemic, it was not provided. No complain.
Anyway, 6:25 am was the right-time for train to reach Latur and it was on-time.
After getting-down from train, I walk outside Latur railway station.
Autos and Buses were parked. I enquired with a bus about – How to reach Ambajogai?
I was told that the bus going towards Golai will drop you at New Bus Stand, Latur and from there, there are buses for Ambajogai.
I enter the bus and had a seat. Rs. 7 the bus fare from Latur railway station till Juna RP Nak.
The bus soon started and only after 10 minutes ride stopped at a cross-road.
Force Trax Cruiser was parked. The driver of the jeep was waiting for passengers for Ambajogai.
About 12 passengers hired the vehicle including myself and soon we were towards Ambajogai.
Latur to Ambajogai via Force Trax Cruiser? – Rs. 70 fare per passenger.
The road-condition was very good except few patches as road-construction work was going-on.
Within one hour we reached Ambajogai Bus Depot.
I remember, Pravin suggested to have Dahi-Poha at Appa stall (since 20 years – the first one near bus depot) opposite Ambajogai bus depot.
As there were two stalls both selling Dahi-Poha, I enquired about Appa and was at the correct stall.
Two plates of Dahi-Poha I had. Rs. 15 per plate. It was delicious though the shop is make-shift.
Now the urge was to have tea. Near-by, opposite Paradise lodging and bar there was a tea-stall. Had two cups of tasty tea.
And finally reached Pravin’s Shepwadi farm (3/4 km) via auto by paying Rs. 70.
Most of the auto wala’s were asking for Rs. 100 – maybe because the road construction work was going on and there were not passengers available. Bus I was not aware but later, I discovered that buses to Parli (famous for Shree Vaijnath Jyotirling) pass nearby Pravin’s farm.
Anyway, for return journey, I had already booked 02208 / LATUR CSMT SPL. sleeper class. Rs. 363.19 – paid.
Latur- Mumbai train departure time was at 10:30 pm and the last bus from Ambajogai bus depot to Latur railway station was at 8 pm. That means maximum by 9:30 pm I will reach Latur railway station.
There is one more option: from Royal Bakery (near Sawarkar Chowk – nearby bus depot), Ambajogai, you can hire sharing jeep for Latur railway station but only if there are 10-12 passengers present or if you hire an entire jeep for your journey.
Anyway, I had talks with Yogeshwari Yatri Niwas (where I stayed) care-taker Mukesh.
I was suggested to leave Ambajogai around 6 pm to reach Latur railway station early because if last bus from Ambajogai had any mechanical issue on the way then you will not find any other vehicle on highway to reach Latur railway station. Don’t take risk – He suggested.
As per advise, I reached Ambajogai bus depot around 6 pm and board bus that was going to Latur. I was told, the bus will drop you at Sai Chowk, Latur and from there hire an auto that will drop you at Latur railway station – 3 km maximum.
Ambajogai bus depot to Sai Chowk, Latur bus fare – Rs. 75.
The bus reached Sai Chowk, Latur within one hour and from there I hired a sharing auto for Rs. 30 (bargain) for Latur railway station.
The train was already parked but I have to wait for door to open. What to do till 10:30 pm?
I decided to charge mobile battery and have a walk around Latur railway station.
It was clean and there was separate way for person with disabilities, free vehicle for disable and older people, free RailWire Wi-Fi, दोहा (couplet) by Kabir Das, Rahim Das and many more..
Finally around 10 pm train doors were opened.
The train left Latur railway station on time i.e., 10:30 pm reached Dadar next day morning around 7:45 am.
As Mumbai local train for general public was allowed only from 12 noon due to pandemic, I hired a taxi to reach home.
The journey from Mumbai to Ambajogai via Latur (to and fro) was very comfortable. Thoroughly enjoyed. The journey continues..