Most of our childhood memories still revolve around playing with our friends, holding each other’s shoulders, forming a line and pretend to move like a train! After childhood, it were the days, we bunked classes or planned a trip with our college-buddies. With no hefty amount of cash in the pocket, trains were our ultimate medium of transportation. Gone are those days, but the memories still get us nostalgic in no time!
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Those livelier memories of old days, when gets mixed with the fun and excitement of travelling with the Indian Railways, simply makes for an amazing experience! To take this experience further, here are 10 of the most wonderful train routes that you must enjoy in India:
Kalka-Shimla, Himalayan Queen
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Already been acclaimed by the ‘Guinness Society’ for completing the steepest track, the Kalka-Shimla route on the Himalayan Queen is a must for people who seek thrill and excitement. Passing through 102 tunnels and over 82 bridges, this pictorial route also entices the nature lovers and the usual holidayers to Shimla.
Completing a circuit of 96km, this rustic yet appealing railway track was founded in 1903 and holds all the charm to captivate its passengers! It has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.
Image Credit: R~P~M – Flickr
This route is indeed one of the most popular tracks in the country. And in case, you feel you are not yet familiar with it, just recall popular Bollywood movies like ‘Aradhana’, ‘Parineeta’ or ‘Barfi’! Originating from Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, though this 78km track was laid during the British era, it is still the most enticing thing to do in Darjeeling which always attracts the visitors.
Running alongside the famous Hill Cart Road, a journey through this narrow gauge line is in fact the best way to witness, discover and enjoy the eternal beauty of Darjeeling. During the course, it takes its passengers through several loops; the Batasia Loop being the most prominent, local markets, waterfalls, lush mountains and enthralling zigzags.
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Ratnagiri-Madgaon-Honnavar-Mangalore, Konkan Railway
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If you want to enjoy the pristine and untouched beauty of the nature, you must take a ride on the Konkan Railway that runs through Ratnagiri-Madgaon-Honnavar-Mangalore. Running along the coastal regions of the mighty Arabian Sea and the gracious Sahyadri Hills, this 741km track passes through three different Indian states: Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka.
While most of the route is jotted with lush greeneries, enchanting views of waterfalls and exhilarating bridges, the single-line track is truly an engineering marvel and makes it for a must experience train journey in India.
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Guwahati-Lumding, Northeast Frontier Railway
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Laid during the late 1900s, the Guwahati-Lumding railway track is often referred as one of the most enthralling tracks in India. Originating from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam, it is one of the proud tracks of Northeast Frontier Railways.
Sharing its history with the pre-independence era, the track was laid with the sole purpose of transporting the tea leaves from different parts of Assam. Though this adventurous journey can be completed with trains like Jan Shatabdi, Dibrugarh Express, Inter City Express and several others, the fun and excitement of the journey remains the same, and takes around 3 hours to complete. However, one can enjoy indian train journeys along with there family and friends.
Udhagamandalam-Coonnor, Nilgiri Mountain Railway
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Yet another amazing railway track laid during the British era, the Udhagamandalam-Coonoor railway line in Tamil Nadu is one of the most celebrated tracks in India. Though it is a short trek of 26km, the experience it offers to the passengers can hardly be compared to any other track in the country.
Within this short distance, the track passes through more than 200 curves and around 16 tunnels. Running on the ‘ABT Rack and Pinion’ system, this serene and enchanting train route offers the most promising views of Ooty and its nearby attractions.
Kanyakumari – Trivandrum, Island Express
Image Credit: – Wikipedia
Though this route offers a short train route experiences; around 2 hours, it is known to be one of the most scenic and amazing train journeys in India. Originating between Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu) and Trivandrum (Kerala), it is a part of the entire journey, the Island Express completes daily from Bangalore to Kanyakumari (930km).
From God’s Own Country to the Land’s End, this journey is all about the pristine and enchanting beauty of nature. An amalgamation of the lush beauty, the dewy freshness of nature and the most rustic views of local life, it is a must to have experience in South India.
[Click here to see list of places to visit around Bangalore]
Siliguri- Newmal-Hasimara-Alipurduar, Dooars Voyage
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For the nature lovers, the train route from Siliguri (West Bengal) to Alipurduar (West Bengal) in the Dooars Express is a journey filled with fun and wonder. Hidden away from most of the world, the Dooars Valley in West Bengal is embraced by the alluring charm of the gurgling Teesta and Sankosh rivers with the Eastern Himalayas serving as the backdrop!
The route, most of which is cosseted by dense and scenic patches of forests, is known for offering amazing views of wildlife and the great Himalayan Range as well. During the course of journey, it will take you through sanctuaries like Mahananda and Jaldapara, Buxa Tiger Reserve and also the lush Chapramani forests.
Chennai-Rameswaram, Sethu Express
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Known to be one of the most beautiful and highest travelled routes in the country, the Chennai-Rameswaram train link is truly an awe-inspiring experience you can have in India. Rameswaram, which is considered as one of the most holy places in the country, is the main attraction of this alluring train route.
According to the mythological legends, Lord Rama built a bridge in Rameswaram to cross the sea and rescue Sita. This train journey will surely make you feel the aura of the legends along with offering an overwhelming experience while crossing the sea over the narrow Pamban Bridge.
Jammu-Udhampur, Kashmir Railway
Image Credit: Wikipedia
When talking about amazing and memorable train experiences, one simply can’t miss out the charm and beauty of Kashmir. The snow-capped locales, mountains and peaks, the magnificent and splendid views all around and the crispy strokes of pleasant breeze make this train journey a must for everyone!
Originating from the pictorial valleys of Jammu till Udhampur, this train route completes a track of around 53km through exhilarating terrains, some of the major earthquake zones and the gracious Shivalik Ranges. Along the way, it takes its passengers through more than 20 enthralling tunnels, around 158 bridges and in some places, it passes over the edges of the mountains and the picturesque valleys.
Mumbai-Goa, Mandovi Express
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A journey from the entertainment capital city of Mumbai to the city of beaches and parties aka Goa. A fun-filled and exciting experience! But when it comes to a train journey between these two destinations, it really makes a journey for a lifetime!
Not just a usual train experience, this quintessential route offers the contrasting views of how we can overcome the busy schedules of life and enjoy serene moments in the lap of nature. Over the journey of 580km that takes around 12 hours, you will witness several rivers, scenic bridges, lush thickets, sleepy villages and lot more.