|Photo by Vishwaant Avk.|
We asked our Facebook fans what the greatest train journeys in India are. The ones that take you through stunning natural beauty, timeless villages, and make you forget your destination. The ones that stay with you, long after your journey. We promise our fans' picks will make you want to go track-bashing yourself.
Suggested by Sandana Mullai, Aditya Tiwari, Jason Monserrate, Girdhar Singh Sodha, Vimal Dixit, Deepika Nandal, Indomania Cultural Tours, Venkatesh Reddy
Stations: Thokur near Mangalore, Karnataka to Roha, Mahrashtra (passing through Goa)
The most popular route, by a margin, was this one. Of course, a number of different subroutes and branching routes of the Konkan Railway were suggested, but the common features of verdant scenery, numerous water bodies and the presence of mountains were present in all of them. We thought it might be best to simply travel along the entire route :)
Although not exactly on this route, one offshoot that was suggested was a Bangalore-Goa journey, which again is home to similar sights.
|Konkan Train by Shyamk (Flickr Creative Commons)|
KANGRA VALLEY RAILWAY
Suggested by Vipin Gaur
Stations: Pathankot, Punjab to Jogindernagar, Himachal Pradesh
A train for the unhurried traveler, it takes about ten hours to complete its 165 kilometer journey from Pathankot to Jogindernagar. However, what it lacks in speed it makes up for with views of the beautiful Himalayan region with countless rivers and valleys.
|Kangra Valley Railway by tourcompanies (Flickr Creative Commons)|
NILGIRI MOUNTAIN RAILWAY
Suggested by Aditya Tiwari
Stations: Metupalaiyam to Udagamandalam (Ooty), Tamil Nadu
The infamous Chaiyya-Chaiyya train traverses through hills with lush forests and expansive tea plantations (as is well seen in the video of the song!). This railway has the steepest track in all of Asia, which should explain why it takes almost five hours to complete its 42 km journey.
|Nilgiri Mountain Railway by The World Through My Eye (Flickr Creative Commons)|
KALKA TO SHIMLA
Suggested by Chaitanya Jothi, Siddharth Doshi, Vipin Gaur
Stations: Kalka, Haryana to Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
It seems the best part about a lot of trains in India is how slow they are, rather than how fast. Nevertheless, that would allow passengers on this little toy train to absorb breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and villages, and also the blooming fields of flowers as they near Shimla.
A couple of toy trains to add - Neral to Matheran (Maharashtra) and Darjeeling Toy Train (West Bengal)
|Shimla Kalka Express - Toy Train by Siddhartha Das (Flickr Creative Commons)|
LUMDING AGARTALA RAILWAY
Suggested by Gargee Bhattacharjee
Stations: Lumding, Assam to Agartala, Tripura
The beauty of the northeast is both incredible and unexplored, and taking a train right in the heart of it certainly seems a wonderful way to take everything in. One can just sit by the window, looking at tea gardens and then plains, and experience a region not many Indians venture out to.
|View from the train to Lumding by Peter Dixon (Flickr Creative Commons)|
MUMBAI PUNE RAILWAY
Suggested by Siddharth Doshi, Amlan Dutta
This train runs through a barren section of the Sahyadris, forging narrow paths through the mountains. In fact, Amlan Dutta states that even though there are a number of scenic journeys in India, the one he remembers is this one, owing greatly to it being a magnificent engineering feat.
|Mumbai Pune Railway hidden in green by Aseem Jindal (Flickr Creative Commons)|
ANUPPUR TO AMBIKAPUR (CHATTISGARH)
Suggested by Divya Rai
A suggestion previously not commonly seen, we have Divya Rai to thank for something that may not have been discovered that easily! Described by her as a very beautiful 4 hour journey into Chattisgarh, it is in fact her favourite one in India!
|Beautiful railtrack through Chattisgarh by Pareekshit Singh (Flickr Creative Commons)|
A big thank you to everyone who contributed their suggestions, we think it made a pretty great guide for the budding train freaks out there!