Indian Railways which is the largest railway network in the world carrying 30 million passengers and joining 65,000 km, is not only known for its unique numbers but also for the diversity it offers to the tourists. Getting on a train is perhaps the easiest and most economical way to discover hidden cultures, unexplored regions and experience the country’s myriad offerings. There are numerous train journeys in India, which are already famous for uniqueness. Listed below are some of the lesser known yet exotic train journeys that you should not miss on your holidays in India.
|Qazigund-Srinagar-Baramulla Route, Kashmir|
Kashmir Traverse – The Kashmir railway has been a very challenging engineering project in India, due to the high altitudes and unfavourable terrains. The verdant beauty coupled with landscape sceneries make it one of the most exotic train holidays in India. The Jammu-Udhampur train route passed through 20 major tunnels and 158 bridges which offers eye pleasing scenic beauty to the tourists. The train route Qazigund-Srinagar-Baramulla is part of the greater Kashmir railways and promises the tourists with best of sceneries. During the winters the region is covered with snow thus increasing the beauty of these train journey multi-folds.
|Kangra Valley Route, Himachal|
Kangra Valley Stretch – Starting from Pathankot in Punjab till Jogindernagar in Himachal Pradesh, the Kangra valley railways is part of sub- Himalayan region and is the only unreserved operational train in this route. A laid back 165 km ride from Pathankot to Jogindernagar takes 10 hours and tourists are greeted with the best of natural splendors with the white peaks of Dhauladhar in the backdrop. It is among the list of tentative UNESCO world heritage site and one of the two railways that run in Himachal Pradesh.
|Konkan Train Route, Maharashtra/Karnataka|
Konkan Delight – The Konkan rain journey which takes the route Ratnagiri-Madgaon-Honnavar-Mangalore is a perfect route for any railway enthusiast planning a trip from Mumbai. Passing though charming greenery, numerous water bodies, striking curves and the Shayadri Mountains, this is truly a journey to remember. Running along the Konkan coast from Mumbai to Mangalore, it travels a total distance of 741 km. The hostile loose terrains with frequent landslide tendency make the Konkan train route one of the most difficult and ambitious engineering projects in the country.
|Train Crossing Dudh Sagar Falls|
Goan Voyage – While Goa holidays is famous all over the world for its beaches and water delight, very few know about the enchanting way that tourists can reach Goa. The blockbuster film ‘Chennai Express’, put this scenic train route on the spot. On this route tourists will travel through thick jungles, green villages and numerous waterfalls. Hop on the train from Vasco and travel on this route to see vast stretches of unexplored beaches and cross the might and exquisite waterfall, Dudh Sagar.
Dooars Odyssey – The experience of travelling on routes less explored is truly amazing. One of such route is the Siliguri-New mal-Hasimara-Alipurdua route which takes the tourists across the dense jungles, towering hills and numerous streams and waterfalls. The fascinating diversity of the route will take your breath away. Some of the places which tourists can sight on this route are – Mahananda wildlife sanctuary, Chapramari forest, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary and Buxa tiger reserve. The Assam rail routes covering Guwahati-Lumdin-Silchar is another scenic trail journey in North East India.
|Araku Valley Train Route, AP|
Araku Express – If history and culture is your thing, then this is a not to be missed train journey in South India tours. A rare broad gauge hill railway in India, this train is the best way to travel to Araku Valley from Vishakhapatnam where the train slowly chugs tourists through numerous caves and waterfalls.
Chambal Saunter – The ravines of Chambal have much more to offer than the horrifying stories of dacoits, murder and robbery. Take the train from Agra to Gwalior that passes through this deserted terrain. A trip across Chambal is a delightful experience that will excite, enthral and entice you.
|Koraput to Rayagada Route, Orissa|
Orissa Tribal Tours – With downhill depths and horseshoe curves, the Orissa tribal route which is also known as KR line takes tourists from Koraput to Rayagada. The journey begins from Koraput which is at 800 mts above sea level and ends at Rayagada which is at just 200 mts and take the tourists through thick forests and undulating landscape.
Chilika Lake Tour – The Chilika Lake tour is a must indulge for those planning a holiday in Orissa. Tourists can take the morning train from Bhubaneshwar to Brahmapur to experience the grandiose of this lake. With the lake on one side and Eastern Ghats on the right, this journey will take your breath away.
Some of the other lesser known train journeys in India are - Shindavane and Ambale on Pune-Satar route, Gir safari on Junagarh-Delvada route, Aravalli on Himmatnagar – Udaipur or Mavli – Marwar route, Dhone and Cumbum on the Guntakal – Guntur route, Punalur to Sengottai on Kollam-Punalur-Sengottai route, the backwater tours on Ernakulam-Kollam-Trivandrum route and the sea bridge ride on Mandapam- Pamban- Rameswaram.