INDIA’S MOST BEAUTIFUL RAILWAY ROUTES

Nowadays planning a vacation rarely encompasses a train expedition, but if it does (and when it does), takes us back to the childhood days when holidaying was always about travelling in a train. Glancing through the changing landscapes, conversating over warm tea in earthen cups. The train routes in India is a beautiful canvas of diverse landscapes- mountains, slopes, valleys and seas.

WORDS BY- AABHA TIWARI

TRAVELLING via train is a fascinating way to explore India, it showcases the country’s diverse culture and people and over long journeys, you will observe a variety of change in the culture and heritage.

Train travel in India can be experienced in two ways- on public rail network, 12,000 trains carrying 23 million passenger a day, or get a fancy experience on a luxury train.

With the leatherette- covered seats, curtained-off bunk beads (second AC and above coaches), sheets and pillows are provided free in the Air-Conditioned coaches, whereas the basic carriages are more crowded and challenging to first timers.

HIMALAYAN QUEEN (KALKA TO SHIMLA)
Cherishing the picturesque valleys, steep pathways and foggy meadows, travelling to Shimla via Kalka Shimla toy train covers all.

Now considered as World Heritage Site by UNESCO, starts from Kalka and travels around 96km upslope through 102 tunnels (Barog being the longest tunnel), 82 bridges, deep valleys, steep curves, forest of deodar, pine and oak.

The journey is truly enchanting, but the slow pace of the train beautifully transcends the slope rhythmically

Himalayan_Queen

through stations of Dharampur, Solan, Kandaghat, Tara Devi and Summerhill to reach Shimla. It is truly one of the best north Indian train journeys to experience.

DARJEELING HIMALAYAN RAILWAY (JALPAIGURI TO DARJEELING)
Another beautiful toy train journey; that runs from Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling. It is one of the most breath-taking routes that takes you on a series of landscapes, altitudes and climate changes; Jalpaiguri being a plain base and Darjeeling, the hill station.

This trip hooded by the Himalayas, takes you through tea valleys, gardens and forest and one can even spot Kanchenjunga, over a clear sky.

The journey takes to the mesmerizing smell of tea gardens. It runs on metre gauge and is UNESCO world heritage site since 1999.

JAMMU- BARAMULLA
This railway track connects you to Jammu, Udhampur, Srinagar and Baramulla. It is not only appreciated for its aesthetically pleasing views but is the most challenging railway route, located in the earthquake prone zone with undulating and rugged terrain with extreme cold temperature.

JAMMU- BARAMULLA
This railway track connects you to Jammu, Udhampur, Srinagar and Baramulla. It is not only appreciated for its aesthetically pleasing views but is the most challenging railway route, located in the earthquake prone zone with undulating and rugged terrain with extreme cold temperature.

VASCO-DA-GAMA TO LONDA
The beautiful and nature dominating journey from Vasco-da-Gama to Londa in Karnataka gives you an immense pleasure of pristine Goan villages through the windows. As it passes by, it moves up to the western ghats with scenic beauty of greenery to mountains, waterfalls to steal the shows and sprinkles of water on your face because of the force it is gushing with.

THE XEROPHYTIC ROUTE FROM JAISALMER TO JODHPUR
The colourful trip of Rajasthan can have an extra bright shade if you travel to Jaisalmer from Jodhpur in Delhi-Jaisalmer express via train called the ‘Desert Queen’.

It takes close to 6 hours to reach the destination, but the route isn’t monotonous at all. With the topography of typical desert landscape with xerophytic vegetation, yellow soil and sand dunes, it is no less than a desert safari before reaching to the land of Golden Fort.

Konkan
rameshwaram

MANDAPAM-PAMBAN-RAMESWARAM

It is the most dangerous railway route in India as it runs on a thin bridge, but it is an adrenalin rush for adventure birds. This bridge is the second longest bridge in India, connecting Mandapam in Tamil Nadu to the island of Rameswaram, it is a route to fall in love with instantly.

BOMBAY TO GOA
The two most talked about place; one for its glitz and glamour, another for the vacation. The train that connects the both places is one that gives an equally stunning experience running between Sahyadri hills on one side and Arabian sea on the other. Passing between 92 tunnels and 2000 bridges, this route gives you the awe- inspiring moments every 10 seconds with an endless stretches of water, transition to Goan villages under shades of coconut tree.

KANYAKUMARI TO TRIVANDRUM
The short route with one packed journey of coconut trees gliding through the trails of Tamil and Keralite architecture, ornately decorate temples and typical Keralite churches. It portrays a beautiful combination of two different cultures of two different states, a train ride
of South India’s most picturesque locations.