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iXiGOers Jul 29 2013

Which are the most scenic railway routes in India?

Reet Cheema Jul 29 2013
24 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Well, all set to explore the memorable rides across cities with most scenic railway routes in India? Train Journey is not only a fun way to travel but also a breather in this fast paced life where we are always in a hurry to reach the destination. Be it traveling for work or vacation, we prefer travelling above the clouds rather than enjoying the finest view of the most breathtaking and spectacular landscapes from a train window.

Photo of Indian Railways

A train ride is the best way to visit the beautiful India as it gives us an opportunity to look into the undiscovered culture, gazing into unexplored landscapes and soak in the fresh and invigorating air along the way. The journey is not only rejuvenating but also becomes part of the experience which will stay with you forever. Here, we give you a list of most scenic rail routes in the country that will leave you spellbound!

The Toy Train- Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

The Toy Train, being the most common train shown in the movies is not only the oldest of all mountain railway but also a World Heritage Site as declared by UNESCO in 1999. It is a 2ft narrow gauge railway that runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling in West Bengal covering a distance of around 83 kms. The Railway also crosses the village Ghum, which is India’s highest railway station.

Photo of The Toy Train

This rail journey is said by many to be the most scenic rail journey in the world. Travelling at a speed of 12 kmph, the Toy Train emerges into dense forests, curving around tea plantations and bringing you as close as possible to the tea-pickers with baskets strapped on their heads. The railway follows the road, sharing the same bed and uses an interesting system of reverses and loops to navigate the steep climb. Batasia Loop is one such loop which offers you a stunning view of Darjeeling town and snow capped Mt. Kanchenjunga on a clear day. So, board this joy ride to experience the beauty of nature in its raw form and you'll find yourself humming your favorite tunes on the journey.

The Konkan Railways

Extending over a length of approximately 738 kms, Konkan railways covers three states- Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. The Konkan Railways chugs across the beautiful Konkan coastal belt, covering the region between the Arabian Sea and Sahyadri Hills.

Photo of The Konkan Railways

From the mesmerizing beauty of the Western Ghats to the coastal charm of coconut trees and cloudy weather makes this rail route one of the most sought after train travel experience for any railway enthusiast in India. The scenic view when the train crosses the Zuari river bridge in Goa is enthralling and something no traveler should miss on. With a total number of over 2,000 bridges and 91 tunnels built through this mountainous terrain containing many rivers, the project is also an example of the high spirits of the engineers of this country.

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway, running for over a 110 years is another train journey you wouldn't want to miss on. It covers a distance of approximately 42 kms from Mettupalayam to Ooty and is one of the steepest rail route in Asia.Led by steam engine, it takes around five hours to fully complete the route. UNESCO added the Nilgiri Mountain Railway as an extension to the World Heritage Site of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in 2005.

Photo of The Nilgiri Mountain Railway

The unique feature of this line is its oldest and the steepest ‘rack and pinion technology’.Not only passing through the innumerable tunnels and the lakes on the route will make the journey exciting but the mesmerizing blue colored Nilgiri forest will truly leave the passengers in awe. If thats not the reason enough to hop on to this ride, maybe you should play the video of “Chaiyya Chaiyya" song starring Shahrukh Khan and see it for yourself!

The Kalka-Shimla Railway

The Kalka-Shimla Railway is a narrow-gauge railway which covers the mountainous Himalayan terrain of Himachal Pradesh in North-West India. The journey takes you through numerous tunnels and villages in this mountainous route uncovering the picturesque landscape which will keep your eyes occupied during the entire route.

Photo of The Kalka-Shimla Railway

During the journey, you get to take a glimpse of some beautiful villages like Dharampur, Solan, Kandaghat, Barog, Salogra and Summerhill.The slow speed of train is actually part of the charm as you can feel close to nature and breathe in the fresh rejuvenating air. The Kalka–Shimla Railway was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the World Heritage Site Mountain Railways of India in 2008. The rail route has 102 tunnels and more than 800 bridges. Another interesting feature on this railway is the Railbus with a glass roof and possibility to look out to the front.

The Goan Railway

Goa maybe known as the beach capital of India with beautiful pristine beaches but there is another side which cannot be missed. A train ride from Vasco Da Gama, Goa to Londa Junction, Karnataka takes you from serene beaches to the curves of Western Ghats uncovering dense jungles, lush green villages and numerous waterfalls during the ride.

Photo of The Goan Railway

While traveling, you can also check out the breathtaking sight of the Dudhsagar Waterfalls, one of India’s highest and most exquisite falls. Get aboard and ride this train to experience wide variety of scenic beauty and you won't get disappointed.

Kangra Valley Railways

The Kangra Valley Railways belongs to the sub-Himalayan region in Himachal Pradesh and covers a distance of 164 kms starting from Pathankot in Punjab till Jogindernagar in Himachal Pradesh.The Kangra valley railway is under consideration to be listed for an UNESCO world heritage site like its counterpart the Kalka-Shimla railway.

Photo of Kangra Valley Railways

Meandering through numerous passes, rivers and valleys, every moment of the journey is a joy to the eyes owing to the postcard perfect sceneries one gets to witness. In this laid back journey, you also get to see the most fascinating little villages in the Kangra Valley and the snow capped Dhauladhar hills which rejuvenates the tired soul exuberantly.It is one of the prettiest train rides you can ever take plus you get to interact with the local population travelling with you.

Matheran Hill Railway

Matheran Hill Railway connecting Neral to Matheran, is a heritage Railway in Maharashtra, India. It covers a distance of 21 kms and comes under the administration of the Central Railways.

Photo of Matheran Hill Railway

It is preferred mode of transport from Neral to Matheran (favorite weekend destinations for busy Mumbaikars) as no vehicles are allowed in Matheran. The journey offers breathtaking views of the Western Ghats (Sahyadri range).The picturesque of surroundings will leave you awestruck and you can feel the tranquility this ride offers.

These most scenic railway routes in India serve as a complete treat for the eyes of any traveler and will make you understand why the journey is more important than the destination in literal way. You will feel rejuvenated by the time you reach your destination. Also, make sure you keep your camera handy for the routes have something exciting for everyone. So, explore India the traditional way with these railways and the cherished memories of the journey will stay with you forever!

Sumit Garg May 22 2015
1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes
Ramshwaram rail track is a wonderfull rail line on sea....India only one track..On sea...
selva kumar May 22 2015
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes
Ernakulam - Kanyakumari is the wonderful rail route and also Kollam - Senkottaha section
Debojeet Dutta May 24 2015
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes
Lumding Silchar Meter gauge line in Assam.. now being converted to broad gauge. North East Frontier Railway.
Imtyaz Ahmed May 27 2015
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes
Wait for Jammu to Kashmir rail link, it will sure outshine all other rail links.
Ashutosh Upadhye Nov 20 2015
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes
These are some snapshots of Konkan Railway. The Konkan Railways connects the Konkan region the Western Parts of the western Ghats; without touching the nature's bounty. The nature has been prevented from huge damages. The nature is at its glory.

If you choose a Route thru onkan Railways make sure you choose day time for travelling. I assure you that you won't keep your camera back into our bag. You could choose a train from Surat to Vasco Da Gama (Goa), or from Panvel to Ernakullam. If you love nature; go experience this, You will fall in love with the journey! Your FB and INSTA will be flooded with photos as the ones attached...
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