20 Best Train Journeys in India
It is often said, journeys make a destination worth remembering and it is something that you will relate to if you are in India. The Indian Railways has made it possible to reach every nook and cranny just by riding a train. Train journeys are something very close to our hearts especially when we were kids.
Admiring the scenic vistas through the glass window while reading a book is what we all love doing even today. If you are one of them who cherish beautiful journeys, here is a list of 20 Best Train journeys in India.
1. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (New Jalpaiguri – Darjeeling)
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, popularly known as the Toy Train is a UNESCO declared World Heritage Site that runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. It started in the year 1881 and is operational even today. The total distance covered is 80 kilometres and it passes through the towns of Kurseong and Ghoom. Ghoom Railway Station At 7400 feet is the highest point in this route.
The journey is scenic and the most exhilarating amongst all is the Batasia Loop. As the name suggests, it is a spiral pathway enclosed in lush greenery that reduces the steep gradient of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The train stops for 10 minutes at Batasia Loop and you can soak up the unparalleled views of the Darjeeling town and the snow-capped Kanchenjunga. The small engine pulling the coaches through picturesque landscapes and hilly terrain is a sight to behold and it is an experience that you will remember forever.
Pro-Tip : There is a lot of rush particularly during the peak season. So try to book the tickets well in advance.
- Diesel Engine Rides: INR 805 (first-class seat)
- Steam Engine Rides : INR 1405 (first-class seat)
Also Read : Tips for First Time Darjeeling Travellers
- 5 Days – Darjeeling Tour Packages
- 7 Days – Darjeeling Gangtok Tour Packages
- 8 Days – Darjeeling Kalimpong Gangtok Tour Packages
2. Palace on Wheels
If you want to experience luxury at its best, there is no better option than Palace on Wheels. The train wins for being one of the most luxurious trains across the globe. It is an initiative by the Indian Railways in collaboration with Rajasthan Tourism Cooperation to promote tourism in the state of Rajasthan. This exquisite train originally started in the year 1982 but was relaunched with new decor and itinerary in the year 2009.
This train exudes an aristocratic opulence and resembles the royal coaches of the ancient rulers namely the Rajput, Nizam and the British. There are a total of 23 coaches that showcases Rajasthan’s rich culture through handicrafts and paintings. The interior is tastefully designed with world-class amenities and internet connectivity. There are two dining options serving authentic Indian and international cuisine. The train follows 8 days and 7 nights itinerary and starts from Delhi covering prominent cities in Rajasthan.
Palace on Wheels Info :
About Palace on Wheels Train:
- Palace on Wheels Coaches
- Palace on Wheels Facilities
- Palace on Wheels Cabins
- Palace on Wheels Restaurant
- Palace on Wheels Lounge & Spa
- Palace on Wheels FAQ
- Palace on Wheels General Information
Also Read : How to Book Palace on Wheels Train
3. The Himalayan Queen (Kalka – Shimla)
The Himalayan Queen Express operates between the regions of Kalka and Shimla passing through Taksar, Dharampur, Barog, Jutogh, Summer Hill and more. It covers a total distance of 96 kilometres and comes with first and second class non-air conditioned coaches. This train route opened during the British era in 1903 and it is one of the most scenic routes in the country.
It passes through jagged mountains and pine forests offering enchanting vistas along the way. The train climbs up a steep gradient and as a result, the speed is greatly reduced. The Himalayan Queen runs through 20 railway stations covering 103 tunnels and over 500 bridges and curves. This mountain railway is also a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site.
- Adult : INR 470 (one way)
- Child : INR 255 (one way)
Also Read : List of Luxury Trains in the World
Suggested Tour :
4. Mandovi Express (Mumbai – Goa)
Started in 1999, Mandovi Express runs daily between Mumbai and Goa covering a total distance of 580 kilometres. This train is named after River Mandovi and is jointly managed by the Konkan and the Central Railway.
Mandovi Express departs from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and arrives at Madgaon Junction and back. This express train also comes with pantry facilities. The journey is an interesting mix of panoramic vistas accompanied by the call of nature. The time taken is around 12 hours and gives passengers a break from their chaotic daily life.
- Second Sitting : INR 210 (one way)
- Sleeper Class : INR 370 (one way)
- AC 3 Tier : 977 (one way)
- AC 2 Tier : 1416 (one way)
- AC 1 : INR 2423 (one way)
Also Read : Top Tourist Attractions in Mumbai
Suggested Mumbai Day Tours
5. Matsyagandha Express (Ratnagiri – Mangalore)
This is one of the most picturesque rail routes in India that you cannot afford to miss. Matsyagandha means ‘smell of fish’ and the train is named as such because it runs through Western India’s fishing coast. The superfast Matsyagandha Express operates daily between Mangalore and Ratnagiri covering a total distance of 741 kilometres.
The rail track passes through the states of Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra filled with lush greenery and varied topography. The route is extremely gorgeous and you can get a glimpse of towering trees, cascading waterfalls and massive bridges. To top it all, the Arabian Sea adds to its unending beauty.
- Sleeper : INR 490
- AC 3 Tier : INR 1286
- AC 2 Tier : INR 1876
Also Read : 15 Top Places To Visit In Karnataka
Suggested Tours : 16 Days – Karnataka Tour
6. Deccan Odyssey
Deccan Odyssey is another luxury train that started with the aim of promoting tourism in the state of Maharashtra. The train features 21 luxury coaches, spa, multi-cuisine restaurant, conference car and a massage cabin. Each of the coaches derives its name from prominent destinations in Maharashtra. The decor is inspired by the royalties of the bygone era. The cabins are air-conditioned and come with attached bathrooms and modern amenities.
There are two dining options that serve Continental, Oriental and Indian dishes to the guests. It passes through World Heritage Sites, timeless forts and monuments that let you rediscover incredible India. Deccan Odyssey is a leading train in Asia that gives a taste of elegance while travelling.
Deccan Odyssey Fare :
Suggested Deccan Odyssey Train Itineraries:
7. Nizamuddin Duronto Express (Pune – Delhi)
The superfast train Nizamuddin Duronto Express connects Pune to New Delhi. The train runs between the two major cities within 20 hours. This train passes through rugged terrain, green valleys, waterfall cascades and small hamlets. Duronto Express also offers excellent onboard facilities and tasty meals that are included in the price itself.
The interiors are clean and feature reading lights, bottle holders and mobile phone sockets for your convenience. Duronto means ‘quick’ in Bengali and this train is always on time. No wonder, it is one of the most comfortable and economical ways to travel between Pune and Delhi. The train is equipped with air-conditioned coaches with different price ranges.
- AC 1: INR 3890
- AC 2 Tier: INR 2210
- AC 3 Tier: INR 1455
Also Read : Top Tourist Attractions in Delhi
8. Delhi Jaisalmer Express (Delhi – Jaisalmer)
Delhi Jaisalmer Express is one of the most popular train routes in the country. This extraordinary route takes you through the vast desert and exudes a spiritual charm. It covers a total distance of 920 kilometres, starting from Delhi and ending in Jaisalmer. The travel time of the train is approximately 18 hours.
The jagged terrain accompanied by the camels and the inhabitants is a visual treat that gives you an experience of a desert safari. The region is carpeted with golden sand that depicts sheer magnificence and ignites the imagination. The timings are convenient and the journey is comfortable.
- Sleeper Class : INR 440
- AC 3 Tier : INR 1185
- AC 2 Tier : INR 1715
- AC 1 : INR 2915
Also Read : Topmost Places To Be Visited In Jaisalmer
Suggested Tour : 8 Days – Rajasthan Tour from Delhi
9. Maharaja Express
Maharaja Express is reputed for being the most expensive luxury train in our country. This train features exotic dining, lounge, bar, internet facilities as well as attached bathrooms. The train journey between Mumbai and Delhi lets you experience the lavish life of the royalties. Maharaja Express is managed by the Indian Railway and the Tourism Corporation.
The handpicked itinerary takes you through urban Mumbai to the ancient Ajanta Caves continuing to the Lake City of Udaipur and passing through Jodhpur and Jaipur. It will also give you a taste of India’s wildlife in Ranthambore and the eminent wonder, Taj Mahal. The journey finally comes to an end after reaching Delhi.
Also Read : How to Book Maharaja Express Train Tickets
10. Nilgiri Passenger (Mettupalayam – Ooty)
Nilgiri Passenger is the one and an only toy train that operates between Mettupalayam and Ooty. This train passes through countryside landscapes, bridges and tunnels to reach its destination. Nilgiri Mountain Railway is also a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site in 2005. It was built in 1908 by the British with the motive of retreating to a hill station during the scorching summers.
As Nilgiri Passenger is the only train operating in this route, the rush is always high. It is necessary to make the bookings well in advance. The train climbs steep gradients and passes through narrow tracks before reaching Ooty, ‘Queen of Hills’. This train journey is an effortless blend of serenity and peace.
Fare : INR 500 (First Class)
Suggested Ooty Tours :
11. Hubli – Madgaon
Vasco da Gama route is one of the most enthralling train journeys in India. The train passes through the majestic Dudhsagar Falls and the sight is too beautiful to be true. The water gushing at a very high speed makes this place a photographer’s paradise. The nearest rail station is the Londa Junction where you can get down and immerse in its beauty.
The approximate distance to be covered is 180 kilometres and the time taken is around 4 hours. There are a couple of trains that operate in this picturesque route including Tirupati Vasco da Gama Express, Amravathi Express and Chennai Vasco Express.
- Sleeper Class : INR 205
- AC 3 Tier : INR 540
12. The Golden Chariot
Derived its name from the Stone Chariot in Hampi, the Golden Chariot is another luxury train in our country. This train connects the prominent attractions in the states of Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. It lets passengers experience the charm of underrated destinations in India. In 2013, The Golden Chariot has earned the title of the leading luxury train in Asia.
This train makes the journey very comfortable and it is the ideal way to start a sojourn. The Golden Chariot has a customized itinerary so that you can explore this region at your own pace. Pristine beaches, wildlife sanctuary, temples and vast expanses of greenery, this train journey have everything to satisfy the wandering soul.
South India Tour (7 Nights and 8 Days)
Single Occupancy: INR 50560 (per night)
Twin Sharing: INR 37760 (per night)
13. Island Express (Kanyakumari – Bangalore)
Island Express is one of the most preferred trains to travel from Bangalore to Kanyakumari via Kerala. The train is managed by the Indian Railways and covers a total distance of 944 kilometres in 20 hours. This train journey is truly absorbing passing through green meadows, tranquil water bodies, quaint villages, thick forests and whatnot. Thus, it gives passengers the typical South Indian vibe.
The train moves at an extremely slow speed and stops 44 times during the journey. However, it is clean and well maintained so this train is a favourable choice for the people. Island Express features 22 air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned coaches.
- Sleeper Class : INR 425
- AC 3 Tier : 1117
- AC 2 Tier : 1626
- AC 1st : 2797
14. Glass Train (Visakhapatnam – Araku Valley)
The Vishakapatnam – Araku Valley route is the true embodiment of nature. The Government has introduced the glass train so that the tourists can immerse in the scenic beauty of this region. This train departs from Vishakapatnam and reaches Araku Valley via Borra caves.
The glass train operates daily and takes around 4 hours to cover a distance of 116 kilometres. Presently, there is only one coach which is the executive chair car. The Vistadome train ride is an experience of a lifetime where they can escape from the monotony of urban life.
Fare : INR 665 (per person)
15. Doars Voyage (Siliguri – Alipurduar)
Doars Voyage covers one of the most alluring train routes in West Bengal. The route goes through Siliguri and Hasimara to reach Alipurduar. This rail track is a hidden gem and passes through dense forests and gurgling streams. Some of the top attractions of this route include Jaldapara, Chapramari Forest, Buxa Tiger Reserve, Mahanada Sanctuary, Teesta and Sankosh River. Keep an eye for wild animals and birds that considers the forests their home.
The train takes around 3 to 4 hours to reach the destination and the journey is incredibly beautiful. It has 16 coaches and the glass windows are perfect to soak up the unparallel views. It is indeed fascinating to experience a train journey through this rail route.
Fare : INR 140
16. Matheran Hill Railway (Matheran – Neral)
Matheran Hill Railway lets you enjoy a train ride amidst the lush greenery, free from the stress of commercialisation. This journey transport passengers into an old world where they can have a rendezvous with nature. This toy train started in the year 1907 and the one you see today is relaunched in 2018. It climbs up a steep slope which is over 2600 feet. Hence, the train ride is slow and it takes more than 2 hours to cover the short distance.
The toy train stops at three stations and crawls its way through valleys and tunnels. The small engine comes with first and second class carriages accommodating around 100 passengers. There are shared jeeps that ply in this route but riding the toy train is an experience that you will cherish forever.
- First-class : INR 300 (adults), 180 (children)
- Second Class : INR 75 (adults), INR 45 (children)
17. Chilka Route (Bhubaneshwar – Brahmapur)
If you want to experience Odisha at its vibrant best, the Chilka Route is all that you need. Chilka Lake is one of the largest lagoons that host countless migratory birds across the globe. Hence this train route is a slice of heaven for nature lovers. The Chilka Lake View is mesmerizingly gorgeous where you can make use of your photography skills.
The most popular train in this route is the Coromandel Express and runs daily between Bhubaneswar and Brahmapur in 3 hours. So, if you are a thrill-seeker willing to encounter wildlife, this route will give you memories to cherish forever.
- Sleeper Class : INR 170
- AC 3 Tier : 540
- AC 2 Tier : 745
- AC 1st: 1245
18. Mandovi Express (Mumbai – Goa)
The train journey from Mumbai to Pune is breathtaking. The trains connecting these destinations cross some of the most exotic hill stations filled with majestic sight. Making their way through gushing waterfalls and pristine villages, it offers the most stunning experience imaginable.
The trains take around 3 hours to cover the distance and pass through major railway stations – Karjat, Lonavala and Thane. Most of the trains operate daily and they also come with pantry facilities.
Fare : The fare varies for different trains
- Sleeper Class : INR 390
- AC 3 Tier : INR 1070
- AC 2 Tier : INR 1395
- AC 1st : INR 2610
19. Goa Express (Vasco Da Gama-Londa)
The train journey between Vasco da Gama and Londa will fill your heart with exemplary views. Sit by the window and relish your eyes to the stunning nature views packed with scenic locales, jagged terrain and mountains. The main highlight is the waterfall that adds to the irresistible charm of this ride.
The Superfast Goa Express is one of the most favourable trains running in this rail route. It is the only passenger train that crosses the Dudhsagar Waterfalls daily. The train has air-conditioned and non-air conditioned coaches and covers the distance of 75 kilometres on time.
- General Coach : INR 435
- Sleeper Class : INR 780
- AC 3 Tier : INR 2065
- AC 2 Tier : INR 3020
20. Kangra Valley Railway (Pathankot – Kangra)
Kangra Valley Railways is one of India’s jewels in the lap of the Himalayas. The train journey begins at the Himalayan foothills and moves upward in a zigzag manner offering stunning views of the mighty Dhauladhar Range. No wonder, this route gives passengers a glimpse into the surreal beauty of rural India.
It takes around 5 hours to cover the distance and the train crawls because of the steep slopes that it has to cross. There are very few tourists who opt for this train route and the train is mostly frequented by the locals. In case, you are travelling solo, it is a nice opportunity to interact with the locals and know about these places.
Fare: There are several trains operating in this route
Have you ever experienced these train routes? Share your thoughts in the comments.