Kristian Bertel | Photography
Archive story
In this archive story we are meeting a waiting woman at the Varanasi Junction in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
India has one of the busiest railway networks in the world that yearly transports 8.1 billion passengers and over 1.1 billion tonnes of freight, operating 8,000 locomotives, 50,000 passenger coaches and 200,000 freight wagons. This passenger portrait of an Indian mother and her child was taken at the Varanasi Junction in India, while she was waiting for the train.
India has one of the busiest railway networks in the world that yearly transports 8.1 billion passengers and over 1.1 billion tonnes of freight, operating 8,000 locomotives, 50,000 passenger coaches and 200,000 freight wagons. This passenger portrait of an Indian mother and her child was taken at the Varanasi Junction in India, while she was waiting for the train.
Kristian Bertel, Photographer By Kristian Bertel, Photographer
– Updated on March 21, 2024

Varanasi Jn portraiture

Varanasi Junction, popularly known as 'Varanasi Cantt Railway Station' is the rail hub in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The Varanasi Cantonment Railway Station ranks 30 in overall ranking in the country and the railway station handles large number of passengers, with more than 250 trains daily.

How many daily passengers from Varanasi Junction?

Varanasi Railway Junction is commonly known as 'Varanasi Cantt Railway Station' which is one of the highest revenue generating stations in India. This station has rush of more than 150,000 passengers and more than 240 trains passing through it daily. Mughal Sarai Junction is the other major railway station about 8 kilometers away from the city.

An integral part of the country's transportation network
Train stations in India are an integral part of the country's transportation network. With an extensive rail network that covers over 63,000 kilometers, India boasts of one of the largest railway networks in the world. Train stations across India come in all shapes and sizes. From bustling metropolises to small towns, Indian train stations are a microcosm of the country's diversity. Some of the busiest train stations in India include New Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin, Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus also known as 'CSMT', Chennai Central and Howrah station in Kolkata.

Each train station has its own unique charm and character. The 'CSMT' in Mumbai is one of the busiest stations in the country. It is an architectural marvel, with its Victorian-Gothic style buildings and grand archways. Another popular station is the Howrah station in Kolkata and this station is known for its sheer size and is often referred to as the gateway of the East.

The train stations in India also offer a wide array of facilities. Passengers can find information kiosks, book stalls, restaurants, shops, waiting rooms and even medical aid. For a comfortable journey, many stations have air-conditioned waiting rooms and premium lounges.

Train stations in India are also known for their unique culture. From the hawkers selling tea and snacks to the porters carrying luggage, the stations offer a unique blend of hustle and bustle. For travelers, train stations in India are a great way to explore the local culture and meet interesting people. In recent years, Indian Railways has taken steps to modernize the train stations in India. Many stations have been equipped with advanced ticketing systems and digital payment facilities. There is also a focus on providing better amenities and services to passengers.

Overall, train stations in India are a vital part of the country's transportation network. From providing a gateway to explore the country to offering interesting cultural experiences, Indian train stations are a must-visit for any traveler.

"In India, train junctions are an important part of the country's railway network. They serve as important stops for cross-country travel and are a vital part of the country's transportation infrastructure. The Indian Railways operates over 12,000 train junctions across the country, providing travelers with access to a vast network of routes. These junctions are often the busiest in the country, with trains passing through them on a daily basis"

Major junctions and minor junctions
Train junctions in India are divided into two categories, which are major junctions and minor junctions. Major junctions are typically located in major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, while minor junctions are often found in smaller towns and villages. Major junctions are usually well-developed and equipped with modern amenities, while minor junctions tend to be more basic. At each train junction, there are several tracks and platforms and the tracks are typically numbered, allowing travelers to easily identify the route they are taking. At the entrance to each platform, there is usually a ticket counter where travelers can purchase tickets for travel. Train junctions in India also provide passengers with access to amenities such as restrooms, waiting rooms and refreshment stalls. Depending on the size of the junction, there may also be shops and restaurants.

Train junctions play an important role in connecting different parts of the country. They are an important part of the country's transportation infrastructure and are essential for those who travel by train, where train junctions in India are an integral part of the country's transportation network. These junctions are responsible for connecting different parts of the country and are essential for the efficient functioning of the Indian railway system. Train junctions in India are a major part of the country's railway system, which is one of the largest in the world.

India has more than 7,000 railway stations, but there are only a few major train junctions that are responsible for connecting the various regions of the country. These junctions serve as major transit points for both passenger and freight trains and are crucial for the efficient functioning of the Indian railway system and these junctions are usually the busiest stations on the network, handling thousands of passengers and goods every day. They are often equipped with a variety of amenities, such as ticket counters, restaurants, waiting rooms and luggage storage facilities.

Most of the major train junctions in India also have large parking lots, allowing passengers to park their vehicles while they wait for their train and the train junctions in India are also important for freight services, as they are often the main junctions for goods and services to be transported from one region to another. This is especially important for the transport of agricultural and industrial goods, which often need to be transported over long distances.

Railway and trains in India
Some other important railway stations in Varanasi are Sarnath, Bhulanpur, Shivpur, Babatpur and so on. Indian railways was founded in 1853, is the fourth-largest railway network and the world's eighth-largest employer. India's deadliest rail accidents were the Bihar train disaster, where 500 to 800 people lost their lives. In the Bihar train disaster as mentioned here, a passenger train carrying more than 800 passengers between Mansi or Dhamara Pul and Saharsa, India derailed and plunged into the Bagmati River while it was crossing a bridge. India has the second largest rail network in the world that is also why accidents happen often. That, combined with the fact that 23 million passengers a day ride its rails, help to explain why its trains are so overcrowded that you can often see passengers hanging out the side.

It is a long-standing tradition to take the train in India – the oldest train in the world, built in 1855, also runs on the India rail network between New Delhi and Rajasthan. If you think your commute is bad, or airport lines are giving you the travel blues, just take a look at these insanely crowded trains in India. You might feel a little less claustrophobic. After 5 days, more than 200 bodies were recovered, with hundreds more missing that were feared washed away by the river. The cause of the accident is uncertain as the accident was not well documented. Nearly all trains in India are operated by the government-run Indian Railways also known as 'IR'.

"This Junction make you available to take a lot of trains here, particularly to eastern India. Manduadih is a rail terminal situated 4 kilometers far from Varanasi Cantt Station and this station has made for passing the trains of North Eastern Railway"

Indian Railways is the third largest rail network in the world and the rail system is efficient, if not always on schedule. Tracks running well over 60,000 kilometers help connect about 7,500 stations, ferrying nearly 20 million people every day. Although distances in India are long and Indian trains are not the world's best, traveling in them can add a fascinating new dimension to a visitor's experience, as the photographer experienced. There is virtually no better way to make friends with the local people and see the spectacular and diverse Indian countryside. On many routes the railways are the fastest and cheapest way to get around.

Luxury train traveling in India
One of the luxurious ways to explore the most prominent tourist destinations and attractions in India is to opt for luxury train travel. The history of luxury train traveling in India dates back to the days of erstwhile maharajas who used to travel in opulent personal carriages for purpose of state visits, hunting and personal occasions. In the beginning of the 1980s, 'Palace on Wheels' began its train journeys in collaboration with Indian Railways to revive the art of elegant traveling in India. It was launched to promote tourism in Rajasthan and cater exclusively to the overseas traveler and offer them a hassle free, all-inclusive and opulent option of traveling to the royal destinations in Rajasthan and it is still the most revered luxury train in India.

Sadness in the photograph
As a traveler the photographer is often seen and noticing the people around him and the subjects that he wants to photograph in India. It can be in streets or at the train platform, where the photograph above is from. And one of the emotions that he is drawn of in photography is the sadness emotion. Sadness is an emotional pain associated with or characterized by feelings of disadvantage, loss, despair, grief, helplessness, disappointment and sorrow. In India and many other places in the world an individual experiencing sadness may become quiet or lethargic and withdraw themselves from others. For instance a severe sadness is depression and crying can be an indication of sadness.

See this video from the Varanasi Cantt Railway Statiom made by Indian SRJ.

The photographer's own experience of being in India
"- India has left an indelible mark on me, both personally and professionally. It has opened my eyes to new perspectives and taught me the importance of cultural sensitivity and appreciation. As a photographer, I've captured some of the most beautiful images of my career in India, but more importantly, I've gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for the people, their culture and their way of life. So my journey as a travel photographer in India has been an enriching and unforgettable experience. It has opened my heart and mind, allowing me to see the world in a whole new light. I'm forever grateful for the opportunity and can't wait to return to this incredible country and continue capturing its beauty through my lens", the Photographer says.

"- People deal with sadness in different ways and it is an important emotion because it helps to motivate people to deal with their situation. Some coping mechanisms can be getting social support and or spending time with a good friend or engaging in some activity to express sadness. Some individuals, when feeling sad, may exclude themselves from a social setting, so as to take the time to recover from the feeling", the Photographer says again.

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More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of a woman in Varanasi. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.