Buying a couple of magazines, comics and packets of munchies, and fighting for the window seat are the memories of a rail journey. For most Indians, the train journey is an integral part of life. Indian Railways is undoubtedly the perfect amalgamation of speed, efficiency, comfort and a pocket-friendly mode of travel. It inspires authors, filmmakers, and writers to pen down their journey experiences.
The zeal of watching the green earth, covering the hills, seas, plains is much more than just watching blue clouds and sun rays while flying. Nostalgic Rail journeys are always memorable when compared to other modes of transportation. India is well-known for its diversity and every railway ride shows you a glimpse of that vast diversity. However, there’re many amazing train journeys across the length and breadth of the country that are breadth-taking and sensationally out of this world. Here are some best train journeys in India.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling)
It is a majestic toy train journey that runs from Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling. The journey makes you awe-struck when the train route takes you through the strings of landscapes, high altitudes along with climatic changes. Get everything set for the trip to this awesome place wrapped by the Himalayas, through tea gardens, forests and layers under the blue skies. If the skies are clear, you can spot the magnificent Kanchenjunga. The journey takes you as close as possible to the tea gardens where you can feel the mesmerizing aroma of tea plantation.
An interesting thing to note about the toy train is its wheel which operates on meter gauge. The picturesque Darjeeling Himalayan Railways is a perennial favorite for Bollywood directors. Songs from the movies Aradhana and Parineeta like “Mere sapno ki rani” starring Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna and “Kasto Mazza” starring Saif Ali Khan was shot in the Darjeeling toy train. The best part of this scene is when a bunch of children sings the refrain “Kasto mazza he relaima,” meaning “What fun it is to travel by train.”
Vasco Da Gama to Londa Waterfall:
The journey from Vasco Da Gama in Goa to Londa in Karnataka offers you the satisfaction you can only derive by watching pristine villages and buzz by your window. It rolls on to the Western Ghats with the scenic changes to lush greenery, mountains and enrapturing waterfalls. As the train crosses through the gushing waterfall; the sprinkles of water on your face will land you to the world of extreme ecstasy. You can best experience this journey after the monsoon with vibrant red-colored clay soil all over the land. Goa offers a wide array of seafood and exotic drinks. If you want to relish your journey with exotic and tasty food in train, then we’re just a call away. Dial 8102202203 or visit RailRestro’s official website to order scrumptious food for the train journey.
Adventurous Himalayan Queen (Kalka to Shimla):
If you are ‘filmy’ and ‘selfie addict’ capturing beautiful photos among the greenery and hills; this rail journey by the “toy train” is a must. The toy train in this route awakens the inner child in you. This route is recorded by the Guinness book of world records for the steepest rise in altitude in the span of 96 km and passes through 102 tunnels and 82 bridges. During the five hours of your journey on this pretty little train, you will pass through enchanting scenic beauty that will surprise you.
The pine trees, oak, valleys, Deodar, Rhodendron forests cover your way till it moves upwards and reaches Shimla. Toy train in this route offered by Indian Railways is an eye arresting creation. It might be a relatively slower way to reach Shimla from Kalka, but the rail route is possibly the journey that will not disappoint the thrill-seekers along the steep track and sharp curves which will keep your adrenaline level very high.
Matheran Hill Railway:
Being the only heritage railway in Maharashtra, Matheran is a favorite among people of India for t’s peace and tranquil atmosphere it offers. The Matheran Hill Railway loads passengers and the toy train crawls in a zigzag manner and covers 20 kilometers (12 miles) up the hill from Neral to Matheran. This narrow-gauge rail line was built by Akbar Peerbhoybetween the years 1901 to 1907. It runs along with the large swathes of forest territory. Whether you are alone or with family and friends, this journey will surely take your mind off things for the little while it carries you. It also passes through one short tunnel named “One Kiss Tunnel”.
It is known as one of the most dangerous routes in India as it runs on a thin bridge. This route is thrilling and is a must-try for the adventure birds. The route connects Mandapam to the island of Rameshwaram in Tamil Naidu. You may instantly fall in love with this route with the velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air. The bridge is shown in the movie “Chennai Express”, the Pamban Bridge is one of the mighty wonders of the country and known as the second- longest bridge in India. This bridge is the only link from the mainland to the Island town of Rameshwaram. The Cantilever railway bridge was India’s first sea bridge.
Desert Safari: A Ride from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer
If you haven’t enjoyed the view of the golden hues of the desert sand and camels grazing at you; you’re missing something. Plan a desert safari with this train and experience the visual delight when the golden sand is enveloped by the warm red glow of the sun rising or setting. A journey that chugs off in the Desert of Thar, from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, eliminates stereotype thinking that deserts are just barren land.
The travelers are welcomed to the sand city by the locals felicitated by the colorful traditional mud huts, Rajasthani thali and dance. The sunrise is an awesome scene to witness. It is one of the train routes that will challenge your tastes and take you on a ride making you feel, happy and content. One can also order pure Rajasthani food during your tour to Rajasthan. Our special food delivery in train service is active at 450+ stations serving local delicacies.
Mumbai to Pune is a fun train ride as it crosses many interesting places. Starting from Mumbai for the three hour journey to Pune, you pass through Karjat, known for the best vada pavs. After which you come across Lonavla, Khandala and other beautiful hill stations you shouldn’t dare to miss. Lonavla is known for its chikki and jelly fruits. While reaching these places, travelers are treated to sights of beautiful waterfalls and also the monkey hill with lots of monkeys.
Nilgiri Mountain Railway: Mettupalayam-Coonoor-Ooty:
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway starts from Mettupalayam to Udhagamandalam (Ooty), via Coonoor, in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu. Crossing through hills of Nilgiri ranges, it encompasses majestic and most captivating views of nature which makes the journey even more enlightening. The Railway passes through many tunnels and almost hundreds of bridges.
This picturesque railway route is encircled with rocky terrains, ravines, tea plants, and thickly forested hills. Furthermore, the most spectacular scenery and best views are situated along the stretches from Mettupalayam to Coonoor. The iconic song “Chaiyya Chaiyya” from the movie “Dil Se” was filmed on a moving train of the Nilgiri Mountain Railways.
Konkan Railway (Ratnagiri-Madgaon-Honnavar-Mangalore):
Konkan Railway passes through beautiful regions of hills, mountains, rivers, fields, tunnels, bridges, etc, offering amazing natural beauty around it. It has numerous bridges and tunnels, which are much more than any other part of the country. Also, it is one of the most overwhelming journeys for the nature lover. Visitors find themselves lost in the majestic and magnificent Sahyadri mountain ranges, stunning curves, river bridges, lakes, and other water bodies.
Coastal Kerala (Ernakulam-Kollam-Trivandrum):
Ernakulam–Kayamkulam railway line runs along the two coastal areas of Kerala that is Alappuzha and Ernakulam. The majestic backwater train journey along Arabian Sea coastline of Kerala offers an exotic view of coconut trees line, green paddy fields, and water channels. The striking landscapes and the waterscapes chugging past offset by the dense greenery and bathed in the golden sun offers the all-time best experience the visitors.
Orissa Tribal Odyssey: Koraput-Rayagada:
It is settled in the tribal heartland of the Eastern Ghats and cover over the distance of 173 km, the Koraput to Rayagada railway line passes through the dark and dense forests, meadows, waterfalls and terraced valleys. This route is extremely astonishing and encompasses majestic green cliffs, horse-shoe curves, emerald forests and rich farmland that make the journey even more interesting.
However, the Rayagada region is rich in mineral resources and offers a unique mix of tribal heritage, scenic beauty, and industrial development and is often regarded as an unexplored paradise of Odhisa.
Mumbai to Goa:
Both cities are amongst the most visited tourists’ spots in India. These cities are known across the world. Mumbai is known for its glamorous and busy life and Goa is referred as the Party capital of India which is always set on for the vacation mood. It is also titled as the Best Beach Destinations in the World. Running between the Sahyadri Hills on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other is an exceptional scene to gaze throughout the journey; the train connects to both these special places and gives stunning experience to its visitors. The train passes through 92 tunnels to and over 2000 bridges. This route offers endless stretches of water, paddy hues and villages under shades of the coconut tree to make your trip memorable.
Dooars Voyage (Siliguri-Newmal-Hasimara-Alipurduar):
It is one of the best train routes in India as it passes through dense forests and wildlife sanctuaries namely Mahananda Wildlife sanctuary, Chapramari forest, Jaldapara Wildlife sanctuary, and Buxa Tiger Reserve along with numerous stream crossings. The Train route is converted to broad gauge minimizing the traffic. It is worth every moment for the fascinating amounts of flora and fauna one can find there.
Chilka Route (Bhubaneswar to Brahmapur):
At the crack of dawn, a morning ride from Bhubhaneshwar to Brahmapur is more than sufficient for Orissa to prove its glory. Bunched between the Eastern Ghats and the Chilka Lake, this train route make sure to wipe off your wide range of worries and rejuvenate your senses. One of the interesting facts to note that Chilka is the second largest lagoon for migratory birds and this place is a gift for bird lovers all around.
These are some of the most beautiful rail routes in India. The diversity in climate makes India the most beautiful county to visit and travel. These train routes along with tasty food is a unique entertaining diversity in Indian culture. Along with the Indian climate and the extravagant pulchritude, food becomes a mandatory part of any train journey. In that case, RailRestro, an e-catering partner of IRCTC is a pro in the sector of food delivery in trains. Our network of premium restaurants at 600+ cities prepares restaurant-style food for the passengers traveling trains. Any passengers can order food via RailRestro food ordering app available for android and IOS devices.