8 Great Train Journeys in India!

best rail journeys, indian railways
Photo by Vishwaant Avk.
By Alap Parikh.

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)

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)

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
Nilgiri Mountain Railway by The World Through My Eye (Flickr Creative Commons)

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
Shimla Kalka Express - Toy Train by Siddhartha Das (Flickr Creative Commons)

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. 

Views from the train to Lumding, Assam in India
View from the train to Lumding by Peter Dixon (Flickr Creative Commons)

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
Mumbai Pune Railway hidden in green by Aseem Jindal (Flickr Creative Commons)

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!

Waiting for a train to pass by in Chattisgarh
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!

For more ideas on offbeat and responsible destinations in India, visit www.indiauntravelled.com or join India Untravelled on Facebook and TwitterTo contribute guest posts / photo essays to this blog, please see our contribution guidelines and send your story ideas to blog@indiauntravelled.com.


  1. I love your blog. Great Tips. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Here is 9th one -Mangalore To Hassan by train no 16517/16523
      suggested by M DAMODAR PRABHU

  2. WOW!! Thank YOU for featuring my suggestion :D

  3. Yeah, I have traveled on Kalka to Shimla and Mumbai-Pune :) Great list!

  4. have been to 3 routes(mumbai-pune, neral-matheran and konkan railways) among the list.
    More to come this year, with ooty in the mind . Thanks for ur suggestion

  5. have been to 3 routes(mumbai-pune, neral-matheran and konkan railways) among the list.
    More to come this year, with ooty in the mind . Thanks for ur suggestion

  6. there was a train from miraj to goa earlier..its no longer there..

  7. Thank you for sharing this beautiful list. Pics are really beautiful.

    But i am able to count only 7. Please see if something is missing else correct me. I have been to 2 rides : Shimla one and konkan. Both were amazing beyond words.

  8. Another good route is the Bombay to Nasik route which also goes through the Sahyadri's and has beautiful scenic views


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