Trains were and are significant for every kind of traveller. Gone were the days when we used to play, holding onto each other and building a train. Affection to this mode of transportation is from ages. It also meant admiring the changing landscapes as the train passed through towns and villages; playing cards or memory games; chitchatting over warm tea in earthen cups (locally called Kulhad); yummy munchies and a lot more. What if recalling the memories provides you with some stunning sights to see during the ride. Below are the 20 most beautiful rail journeys in India.

Go through the list of these most beautiful train rides in India and make sure you head to one of them, the one that you find to be truly out of this world. You will realize the journey is nothing short of a dream. There are mountains, waterfalls, rivers, plains, deserts and every possible landscape that you can imagine. They are spread across the northern frontier to the southern frontier. Have a look!

Kashmir Railway (Jammu-Baramulla)

Kashmir Railway
Kashmir Railway Gifts you Travel Charisma. The railway track connecting Jammu, Udhampur, Srinagar and Baramulla is not only picturesque and enthralling but also one of the most challenging railway projects. It is located in the high earthquake intensity zone with undulating and rugged terrain, and extreme cold temperature, and is the most beautiful railway route in India.

This route has 20 tunnels and 158 bridges which make you see some astonishing views of the rivers and valleys around the gorgeous Shivalik Mountain Ranges. One simply cannot dare to miss out on the charisma and exquisiteness of Kashmir. Along the way, it takes its passengers all the way to more than 20 beguiling tunnels, around 158 bridges and in some exquisite places.

Train Journey Time: 4 hours

Pathankot – Jogindernagar

Himalayan Railway enroute Jogindernagar

Mystics of Kangra Valley, If you want to enjoy the thrills of Kangra Valley, the river bridges, deep gorges and exclusive flora, enjoy the pleasant but quite slow ride of 164 km from Pathankot to Jogindernagar in Himachal Pradesh. It is not only located at a challenging height but is also one of the most scenic train routes in India.

Train Journey Time: 8 hours

Kalka-Shimla

Kalka-Shimla
Going through 102 tunnels and over 82 bridges, this picturesque journey captures the spirit of the travellers to Shimla. This has been much-admired by the ‘Guinness Society’ for completing the steepest track. The Kalka-Shimla pathway on the Himalayas is a must for people who look for adventure and thrill.

If you want to cherish picturesque valleys, steep pathways and foggy meadows, travel to Shimla on the narrow gauge train. This little toy train, now considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, starts from Kalka and travels 96 km upslope through 102 tunnels: (the longest tunnel located at Barog), 82 bridges, deep valleys, steep curves, rolling bends, forests of deodar and rhododendron, pine and oak.

Few trains like Siwalik, Kalka-Shimla, Himalayan Queen, Rail Motor and Siwalik Queen ply on this route. The journey is truly enchanting but at a slow pace as the train ascends the slope rhythmically through stations of Dharampur, Solan, Kandaghat, Tara Devi, Barog, Salogra, Totu, and Summerhill to reach the summer capital. It is one of the best in north Indian and the most beautiful train journey in India.

Train Journey Time: 5 hours

Jaisalmer – Jodhpur

Dessert Queen through Jodhpur-Jaisalmer

The Rajasthan trip which is otherwise full of colours can have an extra bright shade if you travel to Jaisalmer from Jodhpur in Delhi Jaisalmer Express. The travel time in the train called the ‘Desert Queen’ takes close to 6 hours to reach the destination.

The journey is not at all monotonous. In fact, you see diversified topography like a typical desert landscape with xerophytic vegetation, yellow soil, dunes, grazing camels and scattered settlements of the desert inhabitants. The passengers will surely get a feel of the desert safari before reaching the land of the Golden Fort. This is amongst the most beautiful train journeys in India.

Train Journey Time: 5 hours

Mumbai-Goa

Mandovi Express (Mumbai-Goa)
This train ride between these two destinations makes it a journey for a lifetime! Not just a usual train experience, this perfect path offers the life journey along with enjoying the tranquil moments in the lap of nature. This ride of 580 km takes around 12 hours, making you witness several rivers, stunning bridges, lush thickets, sleepy villages and the experience to cherish forever.

The journey from Mumbai to Goa intersecting through the gorges of Sahyadri and fringes of the Arabian Sea is equally or perhaps the most scenic train ride in India. Mandovi Express, as a part of the Konkan Railway network, travels between Mumbai and Goa.

The route is full of scenic landscapes, ranging from tunnels, bridges, coastal peripheries, steps of Western Ghats (another name for Sahyadri), innumerable small rivers, seasonal streams and lush green meadows. Do not forget to take out your handicap or camera and capture the highlights of one of the stunning and beautiful train journeys in India.

Train Journey Time: 12 hours

Vasco Da Gama – Londa

Goa Express (Vasco Da Gama - Londa)
A train trip from Vasco da Gama takes you from the serene beaches to the wobbly curves of the Western Ghat Mountains presenting a wonderful sight of the Dudhsagar Waterfalls. The perfect time to travel for this experience is after the monsoon when you can enjoy the picturesque landscape.

Once the train reaches the waterfall, you will be amazed at the cascading beauty and force of the thrilling and best train journeys in India. If you decide to enjoy it closely, quickly get down at Londa junction, which is the nearest station to Dudhsagar falls.

Train Journey Time: 10 hours

Matheran – Neral

Train from Matheran to Neral

The narrow-gauge railway running between Matheran and Neral passes is one of the best train routes in India. It passes through the rugged terrains of the Ghats and gained immense tourist attraction. This only Heritage railway of Maharashtra running a distance of 20 km is surely included in the list of India’s best train journeys. This is one of the best train routes in India.

Train Journey Time: 2 hours

Karjat – Lonavala

Karjat to Lonavala is one of the most beautiful train routes of India

Another line that passes through the Western Ghats is the journey from Karjat to Lonavala through Thakurwadi, Monkey Hills and Khandala. It is very scenic and one of the best train routes in India known for its mystic nature. Monsoon season is recommended because of the lush green views and beautiful rain scenery that it offers. The ride is pure scenery and being hill stations connected by train, it is the most adventurous way to reach the destinations.

Train Journey Time: 1 hour

Konkan Railway (Ratnagiri- Mangalore)

Konkan Railway
For experiencing some exceptional beauty of nature, one must travel on this railway journey that runs through Ratnagiri-Madgaon-Honnavar-Mangalore. Going along the coastal regions of the Arabian Sea and the glorious Sahyadri Hills, this track offers experiences for a lifetime.

One of the most mesmerizing railway tracks lies in the Konkan Railway network, in the Ratnagiri to Mangalore sector. The is one of the most scenic train journeys in India which is truly absorbing and wherein the dense forests, mighty Western Ghats, deep tunnels, river bridges, sharp bends and innumerable seasonal streams will leave the travellers spellbound and hypnotized.

Train Journey Time: 10 hours

Chennai – Rameshwaram

Train from Tamil Nadu to Rameshwaram on the Pamban bridge

The Chennai-Rameswaram train connection is an inspiring journey you can have in India. Rameswaram is considered the most appealing holy place in the country for this train route. According to the mythological legends, Lord Rama built a bridge to rescue Sita. This journey offers an awe-inspiring experience while tripping the sea over the narrow bridge.

Besides thrill and adventure, train travel from Mandapam in Tamil Nadu to Rameshwaram on Pamban Island oozes calm and serenity. It is certainly one of the top ten best Indian train journeys. One of the most beautiful train routes in India, it passes over the second longest bridge in India, the Palk Strait, which is the only route that connects mainland India to Pamban Island.

Train Journey Time: 1 hour

Mettupalayam – Ooty

Nilgiri Passenger’s journey from Mettupalayam to Ooty is a scenic one

Voyage in Landscapes of Nilgiris, Running since 1908, ‘Nilgiri Passenger’ still runs on the steam engine, going from Mettupalayam to Ooty. As the train ascends the Nilgiri Mountain, thick pine, oak and eucalyptus forests, bends, curves and tunnels, it moves along Asia’s steepest track with a maximum gradient of 8.33 per cent. Nilgiri Passenger travels 26 km up the slope in almost 5 hours via stations like Kallar, Adderly, Hillgrove, Kateri, Runneymede, Kateri, Coonoor and Lovedale.

Train Journey Time: 5 hours

Udhagamandalam-Coonnor

Nilgiri Mountain Railway
This small ride of 26 km in Tamil Nadu is one of the famous tracks in India offering a serene and enchanting train route, going through 16 tunnels. This incredible railway track laid during the British era presents the most stunning sights of Ooty during the travel.

Vishakhapatnam- Araku Valley

A Train Journey to Araku Valley in Monsoon | Suyash Chopra

This train line passes through 84 bridges and 58 tunnels. This broad gauge electrified line starts from Kothavalasa, a small station located between Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam stations of Howrah and Chennai main line. From Kothavalasa the line takes a left turn ( if you are coming from Visakhapatnam towards Vizianagaram – Howrah ) and connects Kirandul station at the other end. So this line is popularly known as the Kothavalasa Kirandul line or KK train line. Train line passes through Koraput, Jeypore ( in Orissa ) and Jagdalpur ( Chhattisgarh state )

Train Journey Time: 3 hours

Bhubaneshwar to Brahmapur

Chilka Route

Another of the most beautiful train journeys in India is from Bhubaneshwar to Brahmapur, with lush green Malyadri on one side and serene Chilika Lake on the other. You may be lucky enough to see lots of migratory birds, so don’t forget your camera. You can capture a glimpse of the best lakes in Odisha while travelling on this train. 

This route from Bhubaneshwar to the Brahmaputra offers a whole lot to give the grand experience of Orissa. The Chilka lagoon is a destination for migratory birds and a famous travelling spot for birdwatchers.

Train Journey Time: 3 hours

Bangalore – Kanyakumari

Banglore kanyakumari train route

Another scenic journey through the typical landscape of South India – the picturesque villages, plantations, meadows and water bodies is from Bangalore to Kanyakumari. The Island Express travels 944 km in about 19.5 hours and surely takes you to the land of ‘Malgudi Days’, undoubtedly paving its way to the list of best train journeys in India.

Train Journey Time: 15 hours

Hassan – Mangalore

India’s scenic train route from Hassan to Mangalore via Malnad

Witness a pleasant train journey through scenic waterfalls, lofty mountains, palm plantations and rice meadows from Hassan to Mangalore. A railway voyage along this stretch of the Malnad region is truly refreshing and a perfect delight for travellers.

Train Journey Time: 1 and half hours

New Jalpaiguri – Darjeeling

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

From Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, this track offers some striking beauties and is known as the most popular track in the country. From memories from movies like Parineeta and Barfi, next to the famous Hill Cart Road, This ride through the narrow gauge line is in fact the best way to observe, discover and enjoy the everlasting beauty of Darjeeling.

A pleasant upslope journey from the foothill region through loops, turns and bends can be experienced from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling. The 78 km long quaint journey takes almost 8 hours and passes through Siliguri Town, Siliguri Junction, Sukna, Rangtong, Tindharia, Mahanadi, Kurseong, Tung, Sonada, Ghum, Rongbul, Jorebunglow and Batasia Loop.

Though the journey, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is sluggish but certainly leisurely. The surrounding hill-valley topography, especially from Ghum (the highest narrow-gauge railway station in India) and Batasia Loop, adds extra flavours of delight to your trip.

Train Journey Time: 7 hours

Alipurduar – Jalpaiguri

An elephant crossing the rail tracks

For enjoying through dense forest and seeing elephants and rhinos while passing by Plan a train journey in the foothills region of North Bengal. Travelling to Alipurduar, Jayanti, Moorti, Samsing, Baux and Jalpaiguri will take you through the reserve forests of Gorumara, Jaldapara, Mahananda and Buxa while crossing seasonal streamlets.

Train Journey Time: 3 hours

Guwahati – Silchar

Train from Guwahati to Silchar

This journey meanders through river Jatinga, lush green Assam Valley, tea plantations and undulating Haflong valley. The route from Guwahati to Silchar via Lumding and Barak Valley makes it one of the most beautiful train journeys in India. The train makes you witness the beauty of hill stations in Assam.

Train Journey Time: 9 hours

Mumbai – Delhi

Indian Maharaja Deccan Odyssey
One of the luxury trains which provides an ayurvedic spa centre, steam baths, a gymnasium, library and much more. The Deccan odyssey’s lavish ride offers sights to capture your heart during its travelling route from Pune to Delhi. It stops at all places near to the tourist destination for an exploring ride.

Train Journey Time: 8 Days

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