Sneak into the undiscovered cultures of India’s nooks and crannies, gaze into unexplored landscapes and soak in the invigorating air on scenic train journeys.
1. Orissa Tribal Odyssey (Koraput to Rayagada)
Taking you to the tribal Odisha, this train journey will take you through the sprawling meadows, roaring rapids, whispering forest and terraced valleys of the mystical Deomali hills. Observe the beautiful intermingling of natural beauty and ethnic treasure on this fascinating train journey
2. Island Express (Kanyakumari – Thiruvananthapuram)
More of a cultural stroll through South India, Island Express takes you through the forest canopies and long grassy verges of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Look beyond the hanging creepers and green lushness for glimpses of everyday life – women and men working in fields against a backdrop of little white-washed churches and tiny houses.
3. The Travancore Railway (Punalur-Sengottai)
Journey on an erstwhile rail line through the lushly forested Cardamom Hills as you listen to the symphony of chirping crickets, cooing birds and gushing streams. Travel atop the 13 pillar ‘Kannara Bridge’ parallel to the river and road to enter a tunnel under a mountain in Kerala and emerge seeing the endless paddy fields in Tamil Nadu!
4. The Goan Experience (Vasco Da Gama – Londa Jn)
Lose yourself in the impeccable splendour of the Western Ghats as the Goa Express takes you from lively beaches to the precarious curves of the rugged mountainside. Travel through unspoilt Goan villages and savour the beauty of the vibrant biodiversity of the Ghats. Feel the misty spray of Dudhsagar Waterfall on your face as you pass by one of India’s most exquisite waterfalls.
5. Hues and Views of Chilika (Bhubaneswar- Brahmapur, Konark Express )
Take a morning ride from Bhubaneswar to Brahmapur in Orissa to experience the pristine natural beauty of the serene Chilika Lagoon on your left and the gently undulating slopes of the Eastern Ghats on your right. This journey brings alive the rustic life of Orissa in all its natural beauty, something that will definitely catch your eyes.
6.The Kerala Anubhavam (Ernakulam-Kollam-Trivandrum, Trivandrum Express)
Take a peek into the life of rural Kerala, witness the locals working in the lush green paddy fields and feast your eyes on the stunning beauty of the sparkling backwaters fringed by swaying palms as you pass through Ernakulam to reach Trivandrum via Kollam. With a plethora of sights to enjoy, this very pleasant train journey is definitely worth travelling on!
7.The Desert Queen (Jaipur-Jaisalmer, Delhi Jaisalmer Express)
Watch the city lights shrink into the horizon as you journey through a semi-arid desert peppered with golden sand dunes and thorny acacia trees, enlivened by women in brilliantly-hued local garb, men in colourful turbans and plodding camels. At the temple town of Osian, get a glimpse of the largest dune of the Thar desert.
8.The Matheran Hill Railway (Neral-Matheran, Matheran Hill Railway Toy Train)
One of the nicest ways to get to the forest hill station of Matheran nestled in the Western Ghats, the Matheran Hill Railway’s heritage train passes through large swathes of misty forests and cascading green hillsides offering panoramic views and unmatched tranquillity. Just the perfect note to kick-start a weekend!
9. The Sea Bridge Ride (Mandapam- Pamban- Rameswaram, Sethu Express)
Watch the sun’s rays play on the sparkling azure water of the Indian Ocean and soak in the serenity of the panoramic vista as the Sethu Express traverses over the bridge to reach the Pamban Island in the Gulf of Mannar. A journey that will remain etched in your memories for a long time to come.
10. The Konkan Coastal Saga (Ratnagiri-Madgaon-Honnavar-Mangalore, Mandovi Express)
The stunning route of Konkan Railways hugs India’s southwest coastline and takes you on a breathtaking journey through sunlit paddy fields lined with coconut and mango trees, small villages bursting with life and over glistening stretches of water leading out to sea. You will love this one, especially in the monsoon, when the world outside explodes in green!
11. The Arakku Valley Railway (Vizag – Arakku, Vishakhapatnam-Kirandul Passanger)
From the palm-fringed coast to thickly-forested hills and coffee plantations, the train journey from Vishakhapatnam to Arakku Valley is charming and dreamlike. The train meanders through lush green valleys, towering cliffs and thundering waterfalls before passing through the famous Bora Caves, the deepest caves in India.
12. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (New Jalpaiguri – Darjeeling, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Toy Train)
This cute little toy train is your ticket to a delightful tour of the gorgeous undulating hills of Darjeeling , replete with tea-plantations and forests of cherry and pear. Traverse through the bustling main road, enjoy the reverse, loops and the spiral at Agony Point, trundle through the risky curves and if lucky, see the snowy tip of the majestic Mt. Kachenjunga.
13. The Snow Sojourn (Qazigund-Srinagar-Baramulla, Baramullah Banihal DEMU Train)
Connecting Jammu to Srinagar and Baramullah, this journey promises jaw-dropping views of snow-capped peaks standing guard over this delicate, beauteous vale and quaint, frost-covered villages as your train weaves through pine forests. Travel through the Banihal Tunnel which, at 11.2 km, is India’s longest railway tunnel and truly a great engineering feat. Let Kashmir overwhelm you with its wild beauty!
14.The Kashmir Railway (Jammu – Udhampur, Jammu Mail)
Taking you to the lap of the Indian Himalayas, Jammu to Udhampur stretch offers resplendent views of the mighty mountains and the gorgeous valleys of magnificent chinar trees and proud poplars marching into the blue yonder. Jammu rail crosses as many as 158 bridges and passes through 20 major tunnels that pique one’s interest. And if you’re waiting for the frequently delayed train, the station restaurant at Jammu Tawi makes the best omelette sandwiches and masala tea!
15. The Himalayan Queen (Kalka – Shimla, Himalayan Queen)
Take a ride on India’s pretty little metre-gauge railway, Himalayan Queen, as it takes you to one of the most beautiful summer destinations in India. Drink in the splendid sight of orchards blooming with tiny red flowers and rivulets gurgling down the mountain slopes as you cross the famous 102 tunnels, 87 bridges and 900 curves on this beautiful journey.