Tourists are attracted to explore India’s famous scenic hill stations the Darjeeling in North of West Bengal, Shimla in Himachal Pradesh and Ooty in Tamil Nadu. These three hill stations are accessible by road, however the launch of mountain railways in India back in the late of 19th century, remain a call in mind for tourists to experience a unique journey with beautiful view. These three hill stations were the summer retreat during the British era which had influenced a lot in the development of mountain railways. The establishment of the mountain railways was aimed to connect the Himalaya and other mountain ranges to the rest of India which was under the British Raj authority. By the years, Indian Mountain Railways and Indian Tourism emerge growth, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Kalka-Shimla Railway and Nilgiri Mountain Railway began in gaining the importance and were announced as UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will take a short trip to Indian mountain railways from the following further description.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railways…unlock the luxury of Darjeeling Tea
Passing through the lush green hills of Lesser Himalaya in the state of West Bengal, from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling, the Darjeeling Himalayan journey is becoming one of the enchanting experiences for tourists from all over the world. It is also famously known as the Darjeeling toy train, which runs for 80 kilometers cutting through cascading the lush green tea gardens and then ascending quite steep through some riveting loops and reverses. The Darjeeling Himalaya journey has its turn through Batasia Loop, which will fall in between Ghum at 2,258 meters and Darjeeling at 2,050 meters, unlock a breathtaking panorama of the valley and Mount Kanchenjunga in the background. Some route can be taken from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling via Siliguri, Kurseong and Ghum also will pass over 5 major and approximately 500 minor bridges.
Was completed in 1881, The Darjeeling Himalaya Railway is announced as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it operates a number of tourist train services. “B’’ Class steam locomotives has sorted combinations of first and second class carriage, which runs the “Daily Train Service” which departs at 9 a.m via New Jalpaiguri and arrives in Darjeeling at 4.15 p.m. In the other hands, shorter routes run by Joy Rides and Jungle Safari Holiday Train. From Darjeeling to Ghum return and Siliguri Junction to Sukna return, the Joy Rides offer the tourists the opportunity to experience unforgettable Indian mountain railway holiday passing through several tea estates and other touristic sites. Especially during the weekends and public holidays, the Jungle Safari Holiday Trains run from Siliguri to Tindharia return, with the highlight beautiful view of Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary and “Z” reverses.
Kalka-Shimla Toy Train…an extravagance on mountain railways
Swirling the steep upwards route along the narrow gauge through the mysterious pine forest of the Himachal Himalayan region, the Kalka-Shimla Toy Train is yet another historical mountain railways in India. Kalka-Shimla Toy Train was built in 1903 by the British, it connects Kalka and Shimla, it has 96 kilometers long route and passes about 20 railway stations. During the journey will pass 102 tunnels, 800 bridges and 900 amazing curves on its route, the Kalka-Shimla Toy Train is operating three main tourist train services.
Experiencing a journey on the Shivalik Deluxe Express is worth as one of the luxury train holidays in India. The luxury train has carpet on floor, equipped with wide glass windows that can be opened, also has cushioned seats, plays pleasant music and offers food service. The Shivalik Deluxe Express has no stoppages, the train departs in Kalka at 12.10 p.m.
Nilgiri Mountain Railway (Ooty)…the whistle breaking the blues
In 1899, the railway successfully completed, took 45 years after its first plan were drawn, connecting Metupalaiyan to Udagamandalam (Ooty), it called as the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Has 46 kilometers long narrow gauge via Coonoor snakes through the beautiful forested hills and tea plantations. The railway passes 26 viaducts, 16 tunnels and several bridges which will be unforgettable scenic mountain railway holiday. Departs st 7.10 a.m. in Metupalaiyan and arrives in Ooty at noon.