Ten Best Railway Journeys in India
Kalka Shimla Railway: A beautiful toy train runs between Kalka and Shimla. Meandering through the hills and rich vegetation of Deodar and Pine trees the train journey is through 102 tunnels and 800 bridges. The total journey time between Kalka at 656 above the sea level and Shimla at an altitude of 2,076 meters is around 5 and a half hours. The 96 km Km Kalka Shimla Railway track was declared as world heritage site by UNESCO in 2008.
Kangra Valley Railway
Though Kangra Valley Train can be undoubtedly said as one of the best hill trains of India, still it is not so popular among domestic tourists. The 164 km long meter gauge train service originates from Pathankot in Punjab and ends at Joginder Nagar in Himachal Pradesh. The trains traveling at a very slow speed on this route passes through valley, rivers and many scenic places. The best part of the journey is left towards the last stretch when with a little luck snow capped Dhauladhar hills are visible.
Darjeeling Himalaya Railway
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway one of the engineering feats of the world originates from New Jalpaiguri, the plains of West Bengal to Darjeeling the charming hill station nestled in the Himalayas. During the course of the 88 km long journey the train passes through breathtaking scenarios consisting of dense forests, verdant valley, lush green tea gardens, snow capped peaks et al. DHR is also accorded a world heritage status by UNESCO.
Nilgiri Mountain Railway
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) a 46 Km long journey on Meter gauge railway track connecting Mettupalayam (1069 ft) at the foot of the Nilgiris to to Ooty Udagamandalam at 7228 ft. Trudging along at speed of 10.4 kph the toy train passes through some 250 bridges and 16 tunnels. The whole journey is an amazing experience as it runs across tall girder bridges, green hills and through rolling tea estates. NMR is also a world heritage site.
Matheran Hill Railway
Matheran Hill Railway connects Neral on the Mumbai- Pune route to Matheran, the beautiful hill station. The distance of around 20 kms is covered in a time period of one and half hours over a narrow gauge track. The train ride is a great experience as it zig zags up the side of the hill passing over large swathes of forest amid the beautiful Western Ghats. The train service was started way back in 1907.
Kottavalasa Kirandul line, highest BG line in India
A train journey from Vizag to Kirandul in Chattisgarh state is an experience of its own. It is supposed to be the highest Broad gauge train line in India with Shimiliguda at 996.32 mt above MSL, being the highest broad gauge station of India. The passenger train on this beautiful stretch passes over 84 bridges and 58 tunnels. The famed hill station of AP-Araku Valley falls on the route.
Konkan Railways connecting Mumbai with Kerala passing through the Konkan Coast is perhaps India`s best railway route in terms of enroute scenery. One of the engineering feats of Indian Railways, the 760 km route starting from Roha to Mangalore passes through 92 tunnels and 1,998 bridges. Best time to board the trains is undoubtedly after monsoons, with greenery and streams all around. Mandovi Express is a good option for the views.
Jammu-Udhampur Rail Link
The Train journey between Jammu and Udhampur is very scenic with hills and a series of tunnels in between. There are some 158 bridges and 10 tunnels on the route. So buy a ticket and set out on journey to see how the trains pass on some risky terrain.
Jaipur- Jaisalmer Train Ride
A train ride from Jaipur to Jaisalmer is great way to see the vast barren stretches of Rajasthan deserts. A few hours from Jaipur and the setting changes completely with rustic landscapes, colourful settlements of mud huts with red clay bricks, grazing Camels- all in the barren patch of flat desert.
Vasco Da Gama – Londa, Dudhsagar Waterfalls
On a train journey from Vasco Da Gama to Londa Junction you will pass through the unforgettable falls at Dudhsagar. The slow climb of the train takes you through Ghats and thick forests that brushes past your train. Nearing, you can have an occasional glimpse of the massive falls, through the trees and then finally after a huge loop around a horseshoe shaped "glen" the train passes right next to the falls. Best time to enjoy and get the best pictures is genuinely after the monsoons.