Reach the railway station early, grab packets of munchies and fight for the window seat with siblings, almost all of us have been through the experience of a train ride in India. From the deserts of Rajasthan to the caves of Konkan, some rail journeys are truly memorable. However, there are some routes which remain unknown to many. Here are 5 lesser-known scenic railway journeys you must take in India.
Mandapam to Pamban
If you are someone who looks for an adventure on every trip, this is the ride to be on. Running over a thin bridge stretching 2 km over the sea, the Pamban bridge route is as exciting as it gets. The bridge connects Mandapam in mainland Tamil Nadu to the island of Pamban in Rameswaram. Dating back to 1914, it is India's first (and for a long time, the longest) sea bridge. The record was later bested by the opening of the Bandra-Worli sea link in 2010. The sea breeze playing over your face, the sound of train wheels chugging on iron, and sea water stretching as far as the eye can see, this journey is truly unforgettable.
Kendujhar to Bhubaneswar
The eastern state of Odisha has a treat up its sleeve – the train route connecting Kendujhargarh to Bhubaneswar. Simply put, a traveller can experience both sides of Odisha on this ride starting from Kendujhargarh, a small town known for its many waterfalls, and ending at the busy city of Bhubaneswar. The 5-hour journey is highlighted by the constant presence of gorgeous landscapes, paddy fields followed by beautiful villages surrounded by hills. An evening ride offers an evocative sunset, probably the best in Odisha.
Goa to Londa
This route traversing the Ghats and connecting Vasco Da Gama in Goa to Londa in Karnataka is probably one of the most stunning ones in India. Drink in the village and church domes on this three-and-a-half hour mini rollercoaster of a ride. The train moves up the Western Ghats with a zoom transition into lush green, wet mountains dotted with waterfalls including the magnificent Dudhsagar gushing down from a height of 1,000 feet.
Mumbai to Pune
This three-hour journey passes through misty hill stations in the Ghats. Don't forget to dig into what are probably the best vada pavs on the journey's first major stop at Karjat. Then the train climbs up the craggy hills.Cling onto the windows like a child and enjoy the waterfalls. It gets a tad wet and chilly, perfect weather for that cup of chai from a station pitstop.
Siliguri to Alipurduar
Known as the Dooars Voisyage, the 3-4-hour journey is a gateway to the hills of North-Eastern India. It passes through several major forests and wildlife sanctuaries including Mahananda, Chapramari, Jaldapara, and Buxa. There are numerous stream crossings along this path, so keep your eyes peeled for herds of elephants, deer, monkeys, and birds. If are lucky, you can even spot a tiger at Buxa.