We all have childhood memories of reaching the railway station all excited, buying magazines and goodies for the journey and enjoying the train ride. For most Indians, and people who have lived and grown up in India, train journeys have been an essential part of our lives.
Nothing quite compares to travelling by train in India, an experience that engenders wonder, nervous anticipation and heady exhilaration in equal measure.
Here are the 8 most scenic train journeys in India:
1. Konkan Railway (Ratnagiri-Madgaon-Honnavar-Mangalore)
The Konkan Railway offers amazing natural beauty around the routes, which includes the majestic and magnificent Sahyadri mountain ranges, number of stunning curves, river bridges, lakes and other water bodies.
2. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (New Jalpaiguri-Ghum-Darjeeling)
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is one of the five Mountain Railways of India World Heritage Site known for its beautiful and amazing journey. Ghum railway station on the Darjeeling rail line is India’s highest railway station.
3. Rameswaram Express (Mandapam- Pamban- Rameswaram)
The most amazing train ride in India, through the second longest sea bridge in India, connects Rameswaram on Pamban Island to rest of India. This route is considered one of the most thrilling and dangerous as it is a thin bridge.
4. Himalayan Queen (Kalka to Shimla)
The heritage railway between Kalka and Shimla features in the Guinness Book of World Records for offering the steepest rise in altitude in the space of 96 km. It passes through 102 tunnels and 864 bridges, flanked by the picturesque Shivalik Mountains on both sides. The fresh air, and the whizzing views of oak, pine and maple trees are just some things that make this journey memorable.
5. Goa Express (Vasco Da Gama to Londa)
A train ride from Vasco da Gama takes you from the serene beaches to the precarious curves of the Western Ghat Mountains offering a breathtaking sight of the Dudhsagar Waterfalls, one of India’s highest and most exquisite falls.
6. Mandovi Express (Mumbai to Goa)
People are always talking about these two places! One for its glamorous and busy life and the other for the vacation mood it sets you in! The train that connects you to both these special places is one that gives an equally stunning experience running sandwiched in between the Sahyadari hills and the Arabian sea. Cruising through 92 tunnels and on 2000 bridges, this route gives you postcard worthy moments every five seconds with endless stretches of water, paddy hues, small villages under shades of coconut trees.
7. The Snow Sojourn (Qazigund – Baramulla)
It is a refreshing ride through the Kashmir Valley, weaving through the snow-capped peaks at a distance and the Chinar trees all around. The best time of taking this journey is during the winters when the surroundings are covered with snow.
8. The Matheran Hill Railway (Neral – Matheran)
The only heritage railway in Maharashtra, Matheran still is a favourite among locals and visitors. This narrow-gauge rail line was built by Akbar Peerbhoy between 1901 and 1907. It runs through large patches of forest and covers a total distance of 20 km.