City Landmark – Most Beautiful Railway Station, Ghaziabad Junction
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
It isn’t every day one can lay claim to a new discovery.
But in fact the most beautiful railway station in the entire capital region has been pinned down.
Old Delhi railway station, perhaps?
Well…not really. It is the other colonial-era station in Ghaziabad opening way back in 1883 (Old Delhi came up in 1864 but its present building is newer).
As the No. 1 choice, the edifice combines lovely red-bordered arches running along in a loop. And also, some spectacular murals depicting Indian history. Such as Rani Lakshmi Bai–the famous queen fighting the Brits with her infant son tied to her back.
The choice of sheer beauty is, though, focused exclusively on the original station on tracks 3-4 where a single platform is positioned between two tracks. The newer extensions have virtually nothing to commend them.
A tunnel-like corridor is lined with benches as a dandy spot for settling into a suitably long novel. The murmur of train announcements and passengers offers the kind of pleasure akin to reading alongside a window seat during an extended journey.
You’ll also spot a small police lockup providing a clear view of the imprisoned. They are perhaps quietly watching you while you watch them.
This afternoon the diminutive figure of a sole labourer is diligently sweeping the platform against the massive backdrop of the signature arches. There’s this sudden sense of contemplating some grand painting in a European museum.
Now, an express train to Ambala Cant intrudes into this conjured artwork.
The consolation of arches