“Kasto Mazza hai railama, Ramailo ukali oraali.” This pretty song translates to “It’s fun to be in a train when it goes up and down through the hills” and I agree. As kids we all have fond memories from the train journeys, playing cards with family, sharing homemade food with people sitting next to you, and getting down at every station. Travelling in India is best experienced through trains. They not only take you through the towns and cities, but also through the different cultures and experiences our country is famous for. Below are the prettiest train journeys in India:
Him Darshan Express
Duration: 6 hours
We all know about the cute little toy train of Shimla. But this one takes the experience to a whole new level. The train has all vistadome coaches, meaning the train has glass ceilings so that you can enjoy a panoramic view. The train travels on a route that moves upwards passing through forests of pine and rhododendron, picturesque valleys, foggy meadows, small bridges and 102 tunnels. The journey is slow-paced and truly enchanting.
Duration: 1.5 hours
The train journey will take you through the serene Indian Ocean, crossing a beautiful bridge and reaching the island of Rameswaram . The views are spectacular with an ocean sprawling over and I bet it would look more beautiful during sunset. The Palk Strait is the second longest sea bridge in India and connects Rameswaram to the mainland. This route is also known as one of the most dangerous routes in India as it runs on a thin bridge. You can catch one of the 11 trains running on this route and enjoy this thrilling beautiful journey.
Duration: 12 hours
You are not best friends if you haven’t travelled to Goa together atleast once. And even though everyone wants to do that ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ Mumbai-Goa road trip, I urge you to choose the stunning train ride the next time. The train running between the Sahyadri hills will take you through thick forests, immense valleys and along the rivers. You will keep looking out as the scenery changes every few hours offering new surprises at every bend.
Toy train, Darjeeling
From: New Jalpaiguri
Duration: 7 hours
Another toy train in India, this one takes you through the forests and tea plantations in the Eastern Himalayas. The train moves slowly through various twists and turns, passing through quaint little towns and villages. You will be mesmerized by the stunning vistas and enthralling fragrance coming from the tea gardens. And if the weather is clear, the Kanchenjunga might show itself.
Duration: 6 hours
The list will be incomplete without including Royal Rajasthan. The train journey is the best during monsoon when the sand is glistening, the weather is pleasant and the colours of this desert state are bright and beautiful. This feels like a desert safari on a train. You will see typical desert landscape with yellow soil, dunes and camels grazing on your way. What are you waiting for? Padharo Mhare Des!
Note: Do you know that Wes Anderson’s famous movie ‘The Darjeeling Unlimited’ was filmed in Rajasthan and not Darjeeling?
Click here to check out the luxury trains in India!