|We embarked on a 34 hr journey by train to the deep south. Since this was our first train trip in India and since it was pretty hot out, we opted to pay a little more for such a long train ride. We went A/C 2 tier, which meant that we had 3 bunk beds in our berth, with a curtain separating 2 of the bunk beds from the 3rd, which was out in the hallway. We shared ours with a lovely family from Mumbai, who were on a pilgrimage down to Guruvayur.
The ride down was very comfortable, and unlike the train conductors in China who liked to screech to a halt a each station, the journey was very smooth. We slept through the entire night. There was a pantry car onboard and chai (tea) and coffee wallahs would walk up and down through the cars calling out 'chai! chai?' 'coffeeeee? coffee coffee coffeee!'. At each stop along the way, vendors would get onboard and sell snacks also. It took us a while to figure out what they were saying, so we missed a few things that looked good. We had samosas, vegetable cutlets, and other vada (fried snacks). The meals onboard were great, too. We had our first masala dosas in India for breakfast.
The scenery was also pretty amazing. It was sunny when we left Mumbai, so we had pretty good visibility up until almost Goa, when it got dark. The landscape changed and gradually became greener and greener as we got further south. By the time we reached Kerala, we saw palm trees, rice paddies, and rain. Lots of rain.
It was late in the evening when we arrived in Trivandrum, so it was off to find a hotel and a good dinner.