Undying Delight of Kids and Adults
Whether a battery-operated set or a hand-made, down to scale model, trains have held the fascination of kids and grownups alike. All through the ages, these cars that transit on iron-and-wooden tracks have delighted imaginative spirits and taken young minds on several breathtaking fantasies. Today, we delve in India’s best train routes that promise to enchant you and carry you into diverse realms. Some of these destinations are so dreamlike that it will make you wonder where reality merged with an illusionary world.
Every Inch and Nook
Perhaps the biggest lead that trains have over flights is that, while flying takes lesser time and is more convenient in many ways, there is always at least one train that can inch its way to that little corner, where an airplane cannot land. Introduced initially by the British, the profuse network and highly efficient railway system in India brings more and more surprises as you explore more of her terrain. We have picked out the best of the lot for your reading pleasure, so dive into the magical expressway and get ready to be gleefully ticketed into some dreamy places!
1. The Toy Train- New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling (West Bengal)
Economical, comfortable and sheltered in a pleasant air that takes you through one of the most scenic routes possible in India, the Toy Train is a big plus for the lover of old styled trains. Still a steam engine, it inches its way through one of the most bewildering routes and shows you sights that seem to leap out of a children’s book! If it happens to be your lucky day and the skies are clear, you’ll be able to look straight at Kanchenjunga’s peak. If not, fret not! The Toy Train, transverses through dense forests, blankets of tea plantations and even narrow street-like crevices, which run very close to the neighboring fruit stalls.
2. The Blue Sea Ride- Mandapam- Pamban- Rameshwaram (Beyond mainland southern India)
This makes for one of the most fantastic routes. Palk Strait, the tiny dotted islands between mainland India and its southern neighbor, Sri Lanka, carries this train journey on India’s second longest sea bridge. Be enthralled as the waves come so close to the train that you can practically feel the splashes on your face!
3. Island Express- Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu) to Trivandrum (Kerala)
The enduring southernmost tip of the Indian mainland, Kanyakumari, is the point where three oceans meet. Hop on the Island Express and jut your way through the sands and quaint little houses to the dense greenery that quickly approach as your ride trudges on. Vast expanses of tall grasses, palm-trees and the local populace can be viewed comfortably as your eyes are soothed with the therapeutic effect of the green sights that run parallel to your route.
4. The Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express- New Jalpaiguri (West Bengal), Tinsukia (Assam), and Ledo (Assam)
Known for its speed, this Rajdhani track zooms through a 16 hour journey and lets you witness the change in scenery as you move through West Bengal and traipse your way into Assam. This course consists of two trains, the latter of which isn’t possible without the first. You can’t help but immerse yourself in the gemlike sparkling countenance of the mighty Brahmaputra River and trudge through the flat green paddy fields which cover vast expanses of land. You get really close to the local laypeople as you pass the city’s slums and slowly enter the backdrop of local houses that lie immediately adjacent to the tracks.
Other Must-Rides: The Indian Maharaja Deccan Odyssey (Mumbai to Delhi) is modern royalty on wheels, the Jewel of Thar Desert (Jaipur-Jodhpur-Jaisalmer) in the land of the royal Rajputs and the Himalayan Queen (Kalka to Shimla) is another toy train that takes a charming route passing through dense greenery and amiable local people.
No matter which of these incredible routes land in your pick, make sure to take home endearing memories and stash your wondrous experience in your little log-book of dreamy destinations!
Rohit loves travelling and takes to it as a fish does to water. He enjoys recording his travel stories in his various writings and finds great pleasure in sharing them with the world on his blog – Transindiatravels.com.