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India’s Most Beautiful Train Journey Routes

Spanning across 121,407 km in track length, the Indian railways are the most used mode of conveyance in India. Traveling by train is a treat in itself- meeting new people, carrying food for the journey, buying comics as you go along the way, fighting for the window seat, jumping from one berth to another! A little birdie told us that there are plenty of long weekends coming in 2020, so here is a list of India’s most beautiful train routes:

1. Ratnagiri – Madgaon-  Mangalore

Bringing to you the charms of Konkan railways, it is bound to leave you mesmerized by the deep tunnels and seasonal streams. The train passes through hills, bridges and the mighty Western ghats. It paves its path around the Sahaydari mountains as well, and gives you a chance to see the beauty of India in it’s full form. Covering 765 kms, this train journey is one of the most beautiful routes of Indian railways that runs along the Konkan coast.

2. Tamil Nadu – Rameshwaram

The Pamban bridge

Known for the peace it offers to tourists, this train route takes about 12 hours, and connects India to Pamban island via the Indian Ocean. The Pamban bridge is located in Rameshwaram, and is a major tourist attraction. The central part of this bridge opens up to allow ferry movement. The feel of breeze on your face and vast expanse of water touching the horizon will surely call you back for another ride on this route.

3. Kalka – Shimla

One of the most beautiful routes of North India, it is India’s best toy ride, and is also considered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. En-route to the summer capital Shimla, this train journey takes about 5 hours and covers 96 km. It was started in 1903, and takes you through beautiful bridges and tunnels. It also holds a Guinness world record for the steepest rise in altitude in a railway route. The pine, oak and deodar trees along the way will fill your journey with beauty. Although this toy train takes more time to cover the route, the view is worth it!

Also read about Mountain railways of India HERE

4. Jalpaiguri – Darjeeling

This toy train starts from the plains of Jalpaiguri and takes you to the hills of Darjeeling- which gives India’s best tea. Along with this, this route lets you witness not only a change in landscape, but also a change in altitudes and climate. If you are lucky enough to be traveling when the skies are clear, you may even spot Kanchenjunga. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. This train route is towered by the Himalayas, and takes you closest to tea gardens. At times, the trains on this route pass through villages and through Ghum, the highest narrow gauge railway station in India.

5. Mettupalayam- Ooty

Going strong since 1908, the “Nilgiri Passenger” takes tourists from Mettupalayam to Ooty. It travels 26 km on a steep slope in almost five hours. Going via Conoor, the total journey is of 46 kms and takes you through green landscapes, tea plantations and forested hills. It offers both first class and second-class tickets, and until recently relied on steam-powered trains. The train runs to and fro every day, but this frequency increases in summer to help tourists. This route has featured in various Bollywood movies as well.

6. Hubli- Madgaon

You will recognize this route from the movie Chennai Express. You can have one of the most thrilling train journeys while traveling from Hubli to Madgaon. The trains on this route give it’s passengers a view of the magnificent Dudhsagar waterfalls. Once near it, you will be able to see the vigour of this fall. You can also get down at the Londa station if you wish you explore better. This journey of 180 kms is completed in 3-4 hours.

Apart from these breath-taking routes, here are some luxury trains that you must try at least once in your life:

7. Palace on Wheels (Delhi- Rajasthan- Delhi):

Launched by Indian railways in collaboration with Rajasthan tourism in 1982, this is a luxury train service. It was re-launched in 2009 after making some changes to its look, cuisines offered and other things.

Each of the 23 coaches in the train are names after Rajput states and the interiors and décor matches it. It has a 7 nights and 8 days itinerary, wherein it departs from New Delhi and returns to the same after touring Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur and Agra.

Know more about Palace on Wheels HERE

8. Golden Chariot:


It is a luxury train that connects the southern states of Karnataka, Kerala, Pondicherry, Goa and Tamil Nadu. It is a result of an MoU between Indian Railways and Karnataka State Development and Tourism Corporation.

The Golden Chariot offers 11 coaches that are named after dynasties. It offers two routes to choose from- pride of the South and Splendour of the South. It was awarded Asia’s leading luxury train in 2013. You are served luxury, comfort and beautiful views as you watch the grandeur of Indian landscape from the windows of this train.

9. Deccan Odyssey:

Based on the model of Palace on Wheels, this luxury train was started to push tourism on the Maharashtra route of the Indian Railways, and is a product of a MoU of both these and the government of India. This train has a sauna, an Ayurvedic massage centre, business centre, and many other facilities that are provided  by 5-star hotels.

There’s more than one routes that you can choose from to travel on this train, each with a different itinerary. The train travels through Western ghats, Konkan coast, Decan plateau, and some of the most iconic places of the West-Central Indian region.

Bon Voyage!  

Written by Saanica Wahal

Currently waltzing through life at Indian Institute of Mass Communication(IIMC) Delhi while studying advertising and public relations, Saanica is passionate about animals, shayari, and Octobers.
Her educational background in psychology and Journalism has helped her to have a broad base from which she approaches different genres that she likes writing on, namely travel, lifestyle, food, philosophy. She in an avid traveler and reader, and has worked in the fields of social media marketing, artist management, and event planning.

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