Traveling by train is nostalgic for most Indians because a family vacation in childhood necessarily involved a train journey. The rhythmic movement of chugging trains, the fresh air rushing through the windows and the scents it carries, the breathtakingly beautiful scenery outside the windows make train journeys in India a memorable experience.
As one of the world’s largest rail networks, Indian railways cater to 30 million passengers. The country’s railway network covering the length and breadth of the country reaches even the remotest corners, and these account for some of the most scenic train routes in India. Traveling by train along the following routes is something that you should not miss out on. Take that international flight to India[ku1] and once you are here in the country, choose trains for domestic travel to experience the real India.
Kalka to Shimla (Himalayan Queen):
Kalka to Shimla is one of the most picturesque train routes in India. A ride in this heritage toy train (also a UNESCO world heritage site) is more about the journey than the destination itself. You will get to witness the scenic beauty of hills, valleys, mountains, foggy meadows, dense forests of pine, oak, deodar, and rhododendrons.
Get ready for this dreamy train journey that passes through 20 railway stations, 103 tunnels, 864 bridges, 912 curves during its 5-hour journey from Kalka to Shimla. It has also made its place in the Guinness book of world records for the steepest altitude rise during its 96-km-long course.
New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling (Darjeeling Himalayan Railway):
Another beautiful toy train journey in India is the one from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling. This toy train is one of the beloved tourist attractions in Darjeeling, and the 88-km-long narrow-gauge railway track runs through the enchanting landscapes of Darjeeling. Get on this toy train and soak in the natural beauty of misty landscapes, tea plantations, and hillside villages. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a century-old Himalayan Mountain Railway, has also been listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Also Read: “Top 7 Forest In The World Which Are Worth Visiting!“
Mumbai to Goa (Konkan Railway):
What awaits you during this train journey from Mumbai to Goa is the postcard-perfect views of the Sahyadri mountain ranges on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other side. Go for a window seat and get lost in the views of the rugged coastline, lush mountains, smaller rivers, seasonal streams, paddy fields and quaint villages. The Mandovi Express crosses 92 tunnels and 2000 bridges while traversing the 580 km distance between Mumbai and Goa. When you from fly to Mumbai from San Francisco[ku2] don’t miss this journey.
Jaisalmer to Jodhpur (Desert Queen):
While the above train journeys in India are cherished for the stunning views of lush landscapes, this particular train journey from the Golden City of Jaisalmer to the Pink City of Jaipur unveils the awe-inspiring beauty of the desert landscape. As the train cruises through the vast Thar Desert of Rajasthan, you will find yourself admiring the raw beauty of barren desert lands and everything about it, from the sand dunes and desert wildlife to the grazing camels and traditional mud huts of the desert inhabitants scattered here and there.
Jammu to Baramulla (Kashmir Valley Railway):
Not including the Jammu to Baramulla route would do injustice to this article on the most scenic train journeys in India. This rail route which is overlooked by the Patni and Pir Panjal Range offers spellbinding views of snow-covered Himalayan Mountains, Chinar trees, and the oh-so-charming Kashmir Valley. A train journey along this route in winter months seems otherworldly with the blanket of white snow covering the place.
Another worth-mentioning detail about the Kashmir Railway is that it is one of the most challenging railway projects of the Indian rail system as it is laid along the high earthquake intensity zones, rugged terrains, and high-altitude mountain passes.
Vasco Da Gama – Londa (Goa Express):
The train that chugs its way along the Western Ghats from Vasco Da Gama in Goa to Londa in Karnataka
offers soothing views of the lush green mountains, forests, beautiful Goan villages, and there comes the
highlight of the Vasco Da Gama-Londa route – the magnificent frothy white sheet of roaring Dudhsagar
waterfalls that rush down the mountains vigorously. Lucky are the ones going on this picturesque train
journey in India during the monsoon season. This is when the dense vegetation assumes a refreshing green look, the clay soil wears a vibrant red hue, and the mighty waterfalls gush down in full glory!