Karnataka train station turned museum on R K Narayan’s fictional town Malgudi

Malgudi may have been a fictional village dreamed up by writer RK Narayan, but it has been a real part of many childhoods for years now. A railway station in Shivamogga in Karnataka now brings the writer’s words to life. 

The Indian Railways has revamped an old railway station a few hours from Mysore into a Malgudi Days museum. Arasalu railway station was also where parts of the television show based on the book were shot. 

The 1943 slice-of-life book was a collection of heartwarming short stories based on the simple-minded townsfolk of Malgudi. It was the simplicity in his words that struck a chord with many. In 1986, his book was adapted into a television show by director Shankar Nag on Doordarshan, and had children of the pre-cable TV era hooked. 

A number of artists have now breathed life into the station, including sculptor John Devraj, who was part of the television crew during its shoot. Scenes from the serial have been sketched on the walls, including portraits of the lead character ‘little Swami’. A coach has also been revamped into a team shop called ‘Malgudi Chai.’ 

Surrounded by lush green landscapes, Arasalu station was considered the perfect backdrop for the show. At the time, only two trains passed by the location. RK Narayan apparently approved of the location himself after he visited it for an episode based on his story, The Old Man at the Temple. 

Today, the station has been expanded to accommodate a 28-coach train as opposed to a 12-coach train. The project to revamp the station cost Rs.25 lakh, as per reports.

Magudi Days – A Doordarshan show based on R K Narayan’s book by Shankar Nag had kids hooked.

Images courtesy of (Photo courtesy: Deccan Herald) and (Photo courtesy: Star of Mysore)

Share this post