Fascinating train journeys – Part 1

Joining the length and breath of India and touching the heart like no one else does, the Indian Railways has entranced dreamers, intrigued authors and inspired film-makers from Danny Boyle to Paul Theroux for a very long time.  Sneak in to the undiscovered cultures of Indian nooks and crannies, gaze into unexplored landscapes and soak in the invigorating air on scenic train journeys that will certainly change your perspective about travelling in the country.

kashmir railway snow(1) The Snow Sojourn : {Qazigund – Srinagar – Barmulla} ——— Connecting Jammu to Srinagar and Baramulla, this journey promises jaw-dropping views of snow-capped peaks standing guard over this delicate, beauteous vale and quaint frost-covered villages as the train weaves through pine forests.  Travel through the Banihal Tunnel which, at 11.2km, is India’s longest railway tunnel and truly a great engineering feat.  Let Kashmir overwhelm you with its wild beauty.
kashmir railway bridge(2) The Kashmir Railway : {Jammu – Udhampur} —– Taking you to the lap of the Himalayas, Jammu to Udhampur stretch offers resplendent views of the mighty mountains and the gorgeous valleys of magnificent chinar trees and proud poplars marching into the blue yonder.  Jammu rail crosses as many as 158 bridges and passes through 20 major tunnels that pique one’s interest.  And, if you are waiting for the frequently delayed train, the station restaurant, at Jammu Tawi, makes the best omelette sandwiches and masala tea.
himalayan queen(3) The Himalayan Queen : {Kalka – Shimla} —– Take a ride on India’s pretty little metre-gauge railway, the Himalayan Queen, as it takes you to one of the most beautiful destinations in India.  Drink in the splendid sight of orchards blooming with tiny red flowers and rivulets gurgling down the mountain slopes as you cross the famous 102 tunnels, 87 bridges and 900 curves on this beautiful journey.
(4) Aroma of Assam : {Lumding – Silchar } —– Watch vast stretches of emerald green paddy and tea assam railwayplantations go by as the train inches into the lush green Haflong Valley before meandering along the lively River Jatinga into the enchanting countryside of the Barak Valley.  Feel the invigorating mountain air lift your spirits as you gorge on some hot tea and local snacks, bor and pakori.
arakku valley 1(5) The Arakku Valley Railway : {Vizag – Arakku } —— From the palm-fringed coast to thickly forested hills and coffee plantations, the train journey from Vishakhapatnam to Arakku Valley is charming and dream-like  The train meanders through lush green valleys, towering cliffs and thundering waterfalls, before passing through the famous BORA CAVES, the deepest caves in India.
New Jalpaiguri-Darjeeling train
(6) The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway : {New Jalpaiguri – Darjeeling } —- This cute little toy train is your ticket to a delightful tour of the gorgeous, undulating hills of Darjeeling, replete with tea plantations, and forests of cherry and pear.  Traverse through the bustling main road, enjoy the reverse loops and the spiral at AGONY POINT, trundle through the risky curves and, if lucky, see the snowy tip of the majestic Mount Kanchenjunga.

mandovi express

7) The Konkan Coastal Saga : {Ratnagiri – Mudgaon – Honnavar } —- The stunning of the Konkan Railways hug India’s south-west coastline and takes you on a breath-taking journey sun-lit paddy fields lined with coconut and mango trees, small villages bursting with life and over glistening stretches of water leading out to sea.  You will love this one, especially in the monsoon, when the world outside explodes in green.

dooars (8) The Dooars Voyage : {Siliguri – New Mal-Hasimara – Alipurduar } —– Passing through the deep forests at the foothills of the Himalayas, the new Jalpaiguri – Alipurduar passenger train offers the surreal experience of a wildlife Safari by train.  Travel through the jungle of Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Chapramari Forest, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary and Buxa Tiger Reserve, teeming with wild life, with the feisty River Teesta playing hide-and-seek with the rushing train.
sethu express(9) The Sea Bridge Ride : {Mandapam – Pamban – Rameshwaram } —- Watch the sun’s rays play on the sparkling azure water of the Indian Ocean and soak in the serenity of the panoramic vista as the Sethu Express traverses over the bridge to reach the Pamban Island in the Gulf of Mannar.  This is a journey that will remain etched in your memory for a long time to come.
ooty(10) The Nilgirii Mountain Railway : {Mettupalayam – Udhagamandalam } —— Remember the famous “Chainya, cahinya ” song.  Well, it was shot on the rooftop of  the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, which puffs up and down the Blue Mountains in Tamil Nadu.  The vintage train snakes through mountains, slithers through narrow tunnels, clings to the edges of deep cliffs and rattles over archaic bridges as your eyes feats on a patchwork quilt of deep green forests and manicured tea plantations.

One thought on “Fascinating train journeys – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Fascinating train journeys – Part 1 | SPEAKZEASY

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