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Top 25 Indian Rail Journeys

Top 25 Indian Rail Journeys
Last Updated: December 3, 2018

From its inception in 1853 to the present times, Indian Railways has never ceased to woo us! Ranging from flamboyant trains like Duronto to the class apart Palace on Wheels and Maharaja Express, from Toy Trains that seem to have appeared from one of those Thomas the Train or Noddy cartoon shows to the infamous yet lively Mumbai Locals, Indian railways have many a tricks up its sleeve to impress and captivate its riders.  Comprising of over 64000kms of rail network, which cuts and run through several tunnels and tracks and offers galore of breathtaking natural scenery, Indian railways has indeed transcended the point where it can merely be deemed as a basic means of communication; today it proffers a travel experience that you will cherish for a lifetime. What we have got for you is a list of best Indian rail journeys here that will certainly change your perspective about India and travelling in the country:

Kalka-Shimla – Toy Train Journey:

kalka-shimla-railway Taking you to one of the most beautiful summer destinations in India, the Himalayan Queen aka Toy Train runs between Kalka and Shimla. This one of its kind journey lets you pass through more than 100 tunnels and many gorgeous bridges and water rivulets. It also offers some spectacular views of nature’s beauty. This journey is absolutely a great idea for camera-wielding travellers, as they can capture many splendid shots.

Train: The Himalayan Queen

Duration of the Journey:  5hrs 10mins

Ratnagiri-Mangalore – Journey in Konkan Railways:

Ratnagiri-Mangalore This is one of the most magnificent Indian rail journeys that you will never forget! Pristine and unspoiled natural beauty throughout the route leaves you awe-inspired. You shall pass through lush green forests and cross several river-bridges and view many lakes; this Konkan railways experience can be extremely exhilarating.

Train: Matsyagandha Express

Duration of Journey: 10hrs 15mins (On an average)

Jaipur-Jaisalmer – A Stroll through Royalty

Jaipur-Jaisalmer The opportunity to see the dramatic changes in the landscape is what makes this train journey so special. When you cut and cross through what you assumed as a barren desert, you will be directly up for a reality check! Instead of golden sand and treeless stretches, one can see lush green surroundings, thick woods and well-maintained mud houses. Well, of course we can’t ignore the desert; after all it is the USP of Rajasthan. You will certainly sight grand patches of desert with camels grazing here. This journey will be completely a topography shock for many.

Train: Delhi Jaisalmer Express

 Duration of the Journey: 11hrs 30mins

New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling – Enjoy the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway:

Darjeeling-Himalaya-railway The Toy Train between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling takes you on one of the most incredible rail journeys in India. . Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this toy train is your ticket to a delightful tour around the undulated hills that are replete with tea-plantation estates. In this dreamlike journey traverse through market areas and the fruit stalls, enjoy the reverse, loops and the spiral at Agony point, trundle through risky curves and turns and if lucky see the tip of majestic Mt. Kachenjunga.

Train: Toy Train

Duration of the Journey: 7hrs 15mins

Nilgiri Mountain Railway:

nilgiri-mountain-railway You just cannot miss out on this train journey in India and the reason is simple: the exquisite and ever so pristine nature’s beauty. Starting from the plains of Mettupalayam and reaching the hills of Ooty via beautiful Coonor, this is a journey that you will cherish for long time. Remember the famous Chhaiya Chhaiya song? Well, it was the shot on the rooftop of Nilgiri Mountain Railway on the same railway track. Inarguably, this will be one of the most unforgettable train journeys in India for any ardent traveller. The train passes through the Nilgiri mountains and covers many tea estates and the twists and turns are simply the cherry on top!

Train: Toy Train

Duration of the Journey: 4hrs 50mins

Vasco Da Gama-Londa – Nothing Short of a Mystifying Journey:

Vasco-Da-Gama-Londa This particular Indian rail journey offers a profound insight of India’s biodiversity. As Goa Express traverses through the unspoiled Goan villages and passes by the ever so majestic Dudhsagar Waterfalls only to reach the red-clay land called Londa in Karnataka, it unravels the unseen beauty of both the states. In this 3 hours journey, one seems to lose oneself in the impeccable splendor of the Western Ghats. Truly a journey to savour!

Train: Goa Express

Duration of the Journey: 3hrs 30mins

Mumbai-New Delhi – Feel Royal at Indian Maharaja Deccan Odyssey:

Mumbai-New-Delhi Reckoned to be one of the most exotic Indian rail journeys, Deccan Odyssey breaks the clichés of inconvenient commutation in India. Maharaja Express is a royal journey that takes you through the great deserts of Rajasthan and to the ultimate love symbol Taj Mahal in Agra and offers you the tour around the prestigious Ellora and Ajanta Caves.  Along with offering splendid view of the landscape, the onboard activities like watching movies while you lay in a giant duvet, drinking some fine drinks and eating at two great eateries in the train are the highlights of this train.

Train: Indian Maharaja Deccan Odyssey

Duration of the Journey: 7 to 10 Days

New Jalpaiguri – Tinsukia- Ledo: Explore the Hues of North East India

Enjoy the colours of North East India as Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express takes you on the journey from New Jalpaiguri to Tinsukia. You will be giving the mountains a miss and will be out looking at vast stretches of paddy fields. Crossing the Brahmaputra River, Dibrugarh Rajdhani reaches Tinsukia. From here you can change the train and board a passenger train that will further take you on an unforgettable journey to Ledo. On this journey encounter some awe-inspiring landscape that truly will remain cherished in your memories.

Train: Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express

Duration of the Journey: 16hrs 30mins (Dibrugarh Rajdhani Exp) and 1hr 30mins (Tinsukia to Ledo)

Pune to New Delhi on Duronto: Trundle through Gorgeous India

Get awe-inspired with diversity that you will be witnessing during this exhilarating train journey in India. The Nizamuddin Duronto Express takes you on a one of its kind rail journey in India. Deserts, mountains, salt pyramids, green fields and rural settlements are all part of this kaleidoscopic voyage and you will be nothing less than thrilled when you take this wonderful journey between Delhi and Pune.

Train: Nizamuddin Duronto Express

Duration of the Journey: 20hrs

 Madgaon to Mumbai on Mandovi Express: Set your eyes on the Sahyadris

The Madgaon-Mumbai train journey is amongst the most popular train journeys in India.  Scenic beauty is the reason behind its popularity amongst travellers. Ranging from dense woods to flat green fields to the array of mango and coconut trees are the highlights of this incredible train journey. The train also passes through a large number of tunnels, beautiful rural settlements and offers spectacular view of vista of sea.

Train: Mandovi Express

Duration of the Journey: 12hrs 15mins

Kanyakumari to Trivandrum on Island Express: Refresh Yourself with a Rustic Journey

This train journey is more of a stroll through the cultural road in south India.  Island Express offers you the best of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in a very short span of time. The train passes through the lush forests and offers a lively show with a large number of churches and houses visible from the middle of dense forests. Rural women can be seen carrying out their routine chores and men enjoying squatting in group to play cards. During the entire journey one can witness different shades of green and vast stretches of scenic beauty.

Train: Island Express

Duration of the Journey: 2hrs 15mins

Bangalore to Goa on Golden Chariot:

Golden-Chariot Enjoy one of the best luxury train journeys in India, as Golden Chariot offers a wonderful trip to South India. Along with an exhilarating travelling experience, you shall also be able to witness incredible hospitality. Carefully designed to cater to the needs of a traveller, this luxury train in India takes you on a journey of some of the most popular heritage tourist attractions in India. Great dining experience and the accommodation comfort is what people have appreciated in Golden Chariot. Stop by to see the Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary, the enigmatic ruins at Hampi and ancient relics at Badami. En route enjoy the gorgeous landscape and indulge in several onboard activities to make each moment worthwhile during this train journey

Train: Golden Chariot

Duration of the Journey: 8 Days

Palace on Wheels: Travel Royal in India

palace-on-wheels Offering a delightful and royal Golden Triangle tour, Palace on Wheel is amongst the best ways to travel in India. While you enjoy the plush interiors and hospitality, there are magnificent destinations like Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Ranthambore National Park, Agra, Jodhpur and Bharatpur that offers an unmatched travel experience in India.

Train: Palace on Wheels

Duration of the Journey: 7 Days

Jammu to Udhampur on Jammu Mail: An Encounter with the Mighty Himalaya

Taking you to the lap of Indian Himalaya, Jammu to Udhampur stretch offers resplendent views of the mighty mountains and the gorgeous valleys. Jammu Mail crosses as many as 158 bridges and passes through 20 tunnels that pique one’s interest. The Jammu to Udhampur stretch is one of the most scenic railway lines in India that traverse through high altitude bridges any many earthquake prone areas.

Train: Jammu Mail

Duration of the Journey: 3hrs

 Qazigund- Srinagar-Baramulla on DEMU Train: Most Anticipated Snow Sojourn

Although still at a construction stage, this train journey in India looks extremely promising. Connecting Jammu to Srinagar and Baramullah, this train journey also promises jaw-dropping views. It is also believed that this journey will be most enjoyable during winters when the snowfall takes place because then the view will be further enhanced.  Currently an unreserved DEMU train is available for this route.

Train: DEMU

Neral to Matheran in the Matheran Hill Railway: Find Sheer Beauty and Tranquility

An alluring one and half hour train ride from Neral to Matheran can bring a smile to any traveller’s face. Dense forest blankets the surrounding with rolling green mountains to accompany; a pleasant sight in every sense.

Train:  Neral-Matheran Toy Train

Duration of the Journey: 1hrs 15mins to 2hrs

Siliguri to Alipurduar: Journey to the Gateway of North East India

Offering a holistic travel experience, this Indian rail journey between Siliguri and Alipurduar is absolutely an eye opener! Scenic nature seems to keep a grip on your interest with long chains of mountains and tea gardens, rivers and rivulets. The train also passes through two important wildlife sanctuaries namely, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary and Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary before it finally reaches Alipurduar, the gateway of Bhutan and North East Indian states.

Train: KYQ Capital Express

Duration of the Journey: 3hrs

Vizag to Arakku Valley: Breathe the Fresh Mountain Air

From the coast to the hills, your train journey from Vishakhapatnam to Arakku Valley is dreamlike. With the changing topography,  see how the coffee plantations take place of the tall palm trees, you shall be able to experience the fresh mountain air and the natural vistas  will increase in number as well.. The train passes through a number of caves and waterfalls, which definitely adds to the charm of this journey.

Train: Vishakhapatnam-Kirandul Passanger

Duration of the Journey: 3hrs 50mins

Hassan to Mangalore: Glimpse of Nature’s Best

As your train passes through Sakleshpur and Subramanya stations during your journey from Hassan to Mangalore, you can’t help but feel proud about your decision to take up this Indian rail voyage. Cooing, the train chugs through 57 tunnels and offer a fascinating view of the hulking high mountains, cascading waterfalls and azure sky.

Train: Yeshvantpur-Kannur Express, Yeshvantpur-Karwar Express

Duration of the Journey: 6hrs 9mins (Yeshvantpur-Kannur Exp), 7h 9mins (Yeshvantpur-Karwar Exp)

 Mandapam to Rameswaram: Explore the Magnificence of the Indian Ocean

It is one of the journeys that will remain etched in your memories. Crossing the second largest sea bridge in India, this journey offers galore of splendid views and sights. The train starts from Mandapam and traverses through the bridge to reach Pamban Island in the Gulf of Mannar. Watch sparkling azure water of the Indian Ocean and experience the serenity that it has to offer.

Train: Sethu Express

Duration of the Journey: 1hr 15mins

Koraput to Rayagada: an Enchanting Train Journey down Odisha

Taking you to the tribal Odisha, this train journey has a charming feel to it. Along with scenic beauty, witness the inhabiting tribes in Odisha from the windows of the train. The journey is an awe-inspiring experience down the hill. The lush green forests and the horse-shoe curves are the highlights of this fascinating train journey.

Train: Hirakhand Express

Duration of the Journey: 3hrs 48mins

 Ernakulam to Trivandrum: A Happy Go Lucky Voyage

It is undoubtedly a holiday in itself. You will get an opportunity to peek into the rural life of Kerala, witness the stunning backwaters and sparkling lakes as you pass through Ernakulam to reach Trivandrum via Kollam. This indeed is one of the best train journeys in India that will remain engraved in your memories forever!

Train: Trivandrum Express, Kerala Express, Kanyakumari Express

Duration of the Journey: 5hrs (On an average)

Kollam to Sengottai: Enjoy the Beauty of Travancore

Mesmerized is how you will feel after completing the train journey between Kollam and Sengottai. The lush green forests accompanied by cardamom hills are a sight to capture here. Also, the excitement of crossing the famous 13 arched bridge adds to the exhilaration of this incredible train journey in India. At the moment only a passenger train is available on this route that runs at night; however in years to come there will be more trains operating on this route in the daytime.

Train: Kollam Nagore Passanger

Duration of the Journey: 2hrs 6mins

Pune to Satara: Lose yourself in the beauty of Natural Splendors

This is one of the best journeys of the central railways in India. The train passes through the sky-kissing Sahyadri Mountains. The railways cuts through hills and often traverse through places that are surrounded by loose rocks on both sides. The sparse trees and the golden brown landscape is something that will definitely catch your eyes.

Train: CSMT Kolhapur Nizamuddin SF Express

Duration of the Journey: 2hrs 35mins

These incredible train journeys in the ever so incredible India are the lifeline of tourism. A traveller would be full of praises once he experiences one of these wonderful voyages in the country. If you are someone who is in continues search of exploring something new in India, then these journeys are definitely meant for you. AND if you are still wondering how to plan a perfect train journey in India then let Tour My India help you through it. Just let us know your preferences and then leave everything to us!

For more detailed please check out Indian Railways official website at

Published: 07 Aug, 2014
Nidhi Singh


From the Lake District, Nainital, Nidhi Singh is a travel writer whose love for mountains can be seen in her write ups. Talk about solo travelling, indulging in adventure activities, binging on good food, planning budget trips or the Aurora Borealis and you will get all her attention. It is the wanderlust that keeps her going and if at all she could get one wish granted she would love to live a life less ordinary. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

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