Travelling by train in India is an experience like no other. From luxury trains with comfortable cabins and fine dining on board to scenic mountain railways, commuter trains and long-distance journeys, there is certain to be a trip to suit everyone. Here are our recommendations for the top 5 train journeys to take in India.
Kalka – Shimla Railway
The Kalka to Shimla narrow gauge railway opened in 1891 to connect the summer capital of the British Raj – Shimla – with the Indian rail network. Today, the journey on the Unesco toy train is like travelling back in time. Winding its way steeply up the narrow track, through spectacular mountain scenery and pine forests, the 96-kilometre-railway passes through 20 stations, round 900 bends, over 800 bridges and through 100 tunnels, the longest of which is over a kilometre. For the best views, make sure you sit on the right side going up and the left coming down.
The 14-hour journey on the Konkan railway from Mumbai to Mangalore is seldom used by tourists but is a contender to be one of the country’s most scenic routes. Travelling down India’s west coast, the train passes paddy fields, mountains, rivers and beaches. A highlight has to be crossing the 2km bridge over the wide Sharavathi river in Karnataka state.