If you love traveling and have not undertaken Indian train journeys then it is a lot that you are currently missing out on. The mode of transport is just as important as choosing the destination since you enjoy the duration of travel first and then the final stop. Therefore, in order to relish the best travel experience, one should surely book a seat on the crowded Indian trains.
The country is known for its 13,000 daily passenger trains that run from one corner of the nation to another. The railway lines and stations connect all 1.3 billion people all throughout. Not only that, the train journeys range from a mere 10 minutes to as long as four days (even higher if your train is delayed). Some might think that train travel in India is uncomfortable but there is definitely a different perspective to them if you consider how entertaining it is. The multiple personalities you encounter, the chai wala crying, and the smell of forests the train dwells into, intensify your traveling adventure.
So take a break from your luxurious car or airplane journeys and book a train ticket soon. However, for onboarding such train journeys one needs to know the beautiful destinations they will appreciate for life. Therefore, this article is aimed at providing places that one should visit for savoring the best of Indian train journeys.
Destinations For The Best Indian Train Journeys
The best places to visit by Indian trains are mentioned. A guide for reaching there is discussed in detail since we obviously don’t want you to get lost while trying something new.
1. Indian Heritage And Royalties
It is impossible to visit India and miss out on the diverse heritage of the country and the royal places of course. These constitute the destinations of some of the best train journeys in India. The particular train we will be highlighting to relish such an opportunity is the Deccan Odyssey. This train is one of the most luxurious trains in India for those who do not want to sacrifice their comfort and want to enjoy the experience of the Indian train trips. The ambiance it provides is so elegant that at times you might forget you are on a traiṇ.
The rail travel lovers are going to be amazed by the services offered on this trail runner. Further, it covers some of the most alluring places in the country from Agra’s Taj Mahal to World heritage sites such as Ellora and Ajanta. The train’s passage starts from the Indian Capital, Delhi, and encounters royal Rajasthan cities like Jaipur (the Pink City) and Udaipur. The exquisite places and the variety of food these cities are home to would surely melt your heart. Further, the majestic palaces add indefinite value to your travel.
One can have a good time while enjoying the services provided on the train until you reach the last stop, Mumbai, after traveling for a long eight days and covering 1,524 km, making it India’s longest train journey. The final destination itself is loaded with unique adventures and opportunities that would elevate your travel feel. The city is home to the Bollywood industry so why not check out the imperial bungalows those celebrities own. Also, the indefinite number of beaches and the amazing Maharashtrian cuisine awaits you.
2. Goa ─ Pearl Of The Orient
Let’s continue the journey from where we left at the last stop. If you love coastline and sea adventures, then this is the right travel destination for you. The Mandovi Express begins its path from Mumbai CST to the Madgaon Junction and continues its journey for 11 hours. The Konkan Railway that stretches between the Sahyadri Hills on the left and the scintillating Arabian Sea on the left is surely your go-to mode of transport if you love eyeballing the blue sea landscape. Moreover, the above-mentioned rail express has crossed all obstacles of dangerous landslides, flash floods, and even crashed tunnels. All of this is just to take you from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Station in Mumbai to the beguiling Goa beaches.
Though there are a lot of train routes to reach this destination, the Mandovi Express aces the race as a national wealth owing to the huge army of local vendors who walk down the aisle offering you freshly prepared pakoras or fritters, fiery hot and crispy samosas, and delicious biryani in earthen pots. While traveling on this train, sheerly avoid booking tickets for the air-conditioned chambers with translucent windows that obstruct the beauty of natural scenery and also hinder the fresh air from coming in.
If there are no unnecessary glasses between your eyes and the scenery out there, you can surely live some of the best moments of your life glaring at the bending coconut trees along the route. The train sails through over 2,000 bridges and covers 92 tunnels on the run and one can even hear river water running beneath the rail routes. The heavenly encounter with nature will leave you bamboozled and mesmerized.
3. Darjeeling ─ The Queen Of Hills
Let’s take a stroll from the west to the eastern part of India. Our next stop is at the splendid hill station of West Bengal, Darjeeling. The train we will be talking about is not the mainstream passenger train but a cute little toy train. One of the loveliest Indian train journeys is boarding a Darjeeling toy train that will lift you from New Jalpaiguri and land you straight at the Queen of hills. This little toy train has been rumbling down the hills since the early 1800s thus adding a historical touch to your ride.
It takes about seven hours to reach the destination. Till then you can look at the breathtaking view of clouds covering most of your path. Further, the fresh air, surrounding greenery, and the mild cold temperature will uplift your mood. During its journey, it passes through Hill Cart Road wherein all trucks and carts stop for the petite passenger vehicle to pass. While it does so, it glides closer to the shops situated there and you can even stick your hand out to touch some of the indigenous specialties like the juicy red apples.
The Darjeeling toy train was originally built by the British Colonial Government and was initially utilised for the transportation of tea and rice from the hills to the plains. However, it has now entered the UNESCO World Heritage list and often witnesses Indian families and other tourists enjoying Bollywood songs. The passengers also cheer loudly at the exhilarating segments of the rail track, notably, the Batasia Loop.
The train covers the zig-zag rail routes from New Jalpaiguri through the dense bamboo and pine grooves and even hovers around the heavenly green tea plantations before actually arriving at Darjeeling every day. If you are lucky enough to board it on a clear day then you will be able to spot the sun-kissed peak of Mt Khangchendzonga which is 8586 m high and floats above the horizon.
4. Kanyakumari ─ Where The 3 Imperial Blues Meet
Now when you have wandered into the north-eastern territory of India, let’s take to the southernmost point of the subcontinent. Get into the Dibrugarh–Kanyakumari Vivek Express from Upper Assam to land at Kanyakumari (also known as Kanniyakumari), in the state of Tamil Nadu. This is the place where three majestic blues meet, the Arabian sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the vast Indian ocean. This scenery itself is enough to complete the benevolence of your trip.
It is recommended to book a Tier 2 AC sleeper ticket for the perfect fusion of beauty and comfort. This will allow you to lie under pure white sheets that are just so peaceful to adorn and look at the bright sky from the train windows. Since the journey is about three days long, you can choose to play cards, dumb charades, and antakshari with your friends and family at complete ease.
Local hawkers wander down the aisle to get you a plate of pakoras or vadas and chai, which you can savour while chit-chatting with your loved ones. Also, try sauntering up and down the 16 compartments of the train to gaze at the various aspects and personalities of Indian society. One important tip to note is always keeping notes of small denominations with you else the plate of snacks you might be eyeing would become outta reach.
There is another train that would take you to the same destination, however, the pick-up point is distinct. The Island Express operates from Thiruvananthapuram and takes you to the peak of the Indian peninsular region. This express travels down the dewy bowels of Kerala and encompasses the backwaters between Kerala and Kanyakumari. It passes through an array of villages where sugar-pink houses are built along with soulful white churches.
The open doors of the train are a source of eyeballing the specialties of waterlogged paddy fields, bending bony and slim palms as if giving you a warm welcome, and the steams that come straight from the kitchens of this area. No one would want to miss an opportunity of sitting beside the windows or open doors to capture the authenticity of the place. One can see carts trundling down the kaccha roads, older men wearing dhotis (Indian traditional wear for men), and young children playing cricket. Most of these traditional sights have faded from other parts of the country and therefore, are definitely worth watching here.
5. New Delhi ─ The Indian Capital
Now, let’s end our list of destinations for the best Indian train journeys with the starting point itself. Circling back to the start point is also important since you should try traveling through the lanes of New Delhi before you bid adieu to train trips. The services and facilities in Indian sleeper trains are fairly distinct as we hop from one to another. So, in order to experience the best of it, you can consider onboarding the Pune–Hazrat Nizamuddin Duronto Express for the level of excellent services they offer.
The train will pick you up from the heart of Maharashtra, Pune, and take you all the way to New Delhi within about 19 hours. The transport vehicle is easily recognisable the bright yellow and green colour combinations used to decorate it and the sleek structure make it even more appealing. Moreover, it offers one of the fastest rail rides in the country. The elegant scenes of nature stretching from Pune include running rivers, semi-arid regions, and simple beautiful villages, which add to the entire value of your journey.
The delicious meal provided to the passengers elevates the overall comfort. One can start off with tangy tomato soup served with breadsticks and butter. Then multiple items including steamed rice, yellow dal fry, fresh chapatis, and chicken curry would be served as the main course. On the sides, one can expect yogurt and sour pickles. In the end, you can relish a small portion of vanilla ice cream as dessert. Once you reach the destination, do not forget to visit the Humayun’s Tomb which is near the Hazrat Nizamuddin station in Delhi.
Wrapping It Up
Indian train journeys are totally fun since they are not monotonous as most luxury modes such as airplanes are. So, after going through the list of impeccable destinations mentioned above make sure to check the availability of trains to arrive there. Then book a ticket and savour the simple yet magnificent rail trip. Don’t miss out on devising a proper plan of the tour before you onboard the carriage vehicle.