From Sikandarabad to Gwalior, 27 and 28 January 1893

From Sikandarabad station to Daund we used the same route we used to get from Bombay to Hyderabad. From Daund we took the Daund-Manmar State Railway, which connects at Manmar station into the North-eastern Great Indian Peninsula Railway.  From the crossing at Manmar, the railway continues in a North-eastern direction up to Itarsi; There the line to Bhopal turns towards the North-west.

We left the „South“, Dekhan, and entered Central India. Shortly after the crossing at Bhusawal, where the direct line via Nagpur leads to Calcutta, we crossed Tapti river over a large bridge. The central part of that river runs through a strange hill formation with narrow valleys and characterized by basalt. Continuing through cut, wild and game rich terrain, we reached Khandwa and crossed at Harda, the wheat growing plain south of the Narbadaf river. Turning North-west at Itarsi on the Indian Midland Railway tracks, it crosses the narrow and rocky river bed of Narbada — flowing north along the Vindhya mountain range — and arrives on the Malwa plateau at a height of 500 m, having crossed the Vindhya mountain range. On this plateau are the stations Dhip and Bhopal.

As interesting the geological profile, its fauna and flora of the region we are passing through is, a railway traveler can only see hilly countryside alternating with thick jungle of teak woods. Here are traces of regular forestry, as teak is formidable lumber.  Planted offshoots can be seen everywhere and in all stations are large stocks of logs ready for export.

The railway cuts across a fertile plain in Malwa: the now completely refilled bed of that huge water pond that once had been made by the dam constructed during the rule of Raja Bhoja of Ujjain. This dam Bhoja-pal — dam is „pal“ in Hindi, its constructor being Bhoja — has given the city of Bhopal its name.

Bhopal, the next station, is the capital of the state of the same name. This is one of eight native states on the Malwa plateau and is ruled —  female emancipation on the throne — by the Duchess Sultan_Shah_Jahan Begum,  the daughter and since 1868 successor of the active Sikandar Begum (1847 to 1868). The duchess is described as a smart and clever woman. She lives in an extended palace  at a distance of 5 km from the railway station,

From Bhopal the railway continues via Bhilsa,  known for the »Bhilsa topes« — artificial semi-spherical Buddhist grave domes at Sanchi. The largest of these domes built out of bricks and stones has a diameter of of 36 m and a height of 14 m.

At Jhansi crossing station we enter the territory of Bundelkhand, famous for its richness in diamonds and even more for its century-long struggles for the territory’s rule and which only ended in 1858 by the British conquest of the Jhansi rock fortress.

Links

  • Location: Jhansi, India
  • ANNO – on 27.01.1893 and 28.01.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. Empress Elisabeth has departed Spain from Cadiz in direction to Gibraltar on board of a steam ship. Her stay in Spain has been reported as „pleasurable“. The wedding gift for Franz Ferdinand’s sister from the city of Vienna has been a silver miniature copy of  Vienna’s Donner fountain. The crisis in France continues to fill the pages. The anniversary of the German Kaiser on the 27th was honored by the Austrian Emperor dining with the German ambassador and guests.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is performing the play  „Der verarmte Edelmann“ on the 27th and the tragedy „Narciss“ on the 28th, while the k.u.k Hof-Operntheater is playing Mozart’s opera „Magic Flute“ on the 27th and on the 28th once again „Cavalleria Rusticana“ as a replacement for „Othello“ cancelled due to hoarseness of a Mr Sommer.

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