10 Best Indian Railway Journeys: A Detailed Guide to Routes and Ideal Travel Times - Tusk Travel (2023)

Step aboard the enchanting realm of Indian railways, a network that doesn’t just connect places, but also hearts, cultures, and a kaleidoscope of breathtaking landscapes. From the soaring Himalayan peaks to the serene backwaters of Kerala, the lush tea gardens of Assam to the sun-kissed beaches of Goa, Indian railways offer a window into the country’s soul. Embarking on these journeys isn’t merely about getting from one point to another; it’s about diving into an ocean of immersive experiences.

Ready for an unforgettable voyage? Join us as we embark on the 10 Best Indian Railway Journeys, your detailed guide to India’s most spectacular train adventures. Hop on and let’s unravel the magic of India, one track at a time!

Know about 10 Best Indian Railway Journeys

1. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Exploring the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway: A Picturesque Adventure

Picture a miniature train chugging its way through the serpentine tracks laid across the lush green Himalayan terrain. That’s the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway for you, affectionately termed as the “Toy Train.” As you travel, you’re treated to panoramic views of verdant tea plantations, majestic mountains cloaked in mist, and charming hill stations, each more picturesque than the last.

Train Route:

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway covers a distance of approximately 88 kilometers, connecting New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling. It wends its way through scenic towns like Siliguri, Kurseong, and Ghoom, which holds the title of India’s highest railway station. The journey is famous for its unique narrow-gauge tracks, charming loops, and challenging gradients, adding a distinct allure to the experience.

Best Time to Experience:

The best time to embark on this unforgettable journey is from March to May and October to November. During these months, the weather is just right and offers crystal-clear views of the scenic vistas that unfold along the way.

2. The Konkan Railway

Discover the Konkan Railway: A Coastal Delight in India

Next on our list is the Konkan Railway, a route that beautifully encapsulates the essence of India’s Konkan coast, stretching through Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka. This journey takes you through lush greenery, enchanting villages, and sun-kissed beaches, making each moment on this train truly delightful.

Train Route:

Covering a distance of 741 kilometers, the Konkan Railway starts from Mumbai and stretches all the way to Mangalore, punctuated with numerous scenic stops en route. It’s a showcase of the stunning natural beauty of the Konkan region, marked by verdant landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea.

Best Time to Experience:

To witness the Konkan in all its glory, plan your trip during the monsoon season, from June to September. That’s when the region turns into a lush paradise, and the waterfalls are at their vibrant best.

3. Palace on Wheels Train

Relive the Royal Era with The Palace on Wheels

Next, we’re whisking you away to a world of luxury and grandeur. Welcome aboard the Palace on Wheels, a luxury train that takes you on a royal odyssey through the majestic state of Rajasthan. Decked up with regal splendor and equipped with modern amenities, this train offers a peek into the opulent lifestyles of erstwhile Maharajas.

Train Route:

The Palace on Wheels is a seven-day spectacle that begins and ends in Delhi. Along the way, it touches the royal cities of Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, and Bharatpur. Its luxurious interiors, gourmet cuisine, and onboard cultural performances create a truly palatial experience.

Best Time to Experience:

The ideal time to hop onto this royal journey is from October to March when the weather in Rajasthan is pleasant, perfect for exploring its rich architectural heritage, vibrant markets, and iconic forts and palaces.

4. The Kashmir Railway:

The Kashmir Railway: Your Ticket to Paradise

As we reach the halfway mark, let’s set our sights on the ethereal beauty of the Jammu-Baramulla line, also known as the Kashmir Railway. This rail route is a marvel of engineering, navigating through the enchanting valleys and snow-capped mountains of Kashmir. As the train glides along, you’re treated to awe-inspiring vistas of pristine lakes, verdant meadows, and charming hamlets.

Train Route:

The Kashmir Railway stretches over approximately 345 kilometres from Jammu to Baramulla. This route passes through iconic locations such as Qazigund, Anantnag, and Srinagar, offering breathtaking views of the Himalayas and the mesmerizing Dal Lake.

Best Time to Experience:

To truly appreciate the beauty of Kashmir, embark on this journey during the summer months, from May to September, when the weather is pleasant and the valley is in full bloom.

5. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Ride Through the Blue Mountains with the Nilgiri Mountain Railway

Chugging along the majestic Blue Mountains, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, transports you to a world of enchanting landscapes. With its lush tea estates, mist-covered valleys, and quaint hill stations, this journey is nothing short of magical.

Train Route:

Covering a distance of approximately 46 kilometers, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway connects the town of Mettupalayam to the hill station of Ooty. This journey takes you through 16 tunnels, over 250 bridges, and offers mesmerizing views of the Nilgiri Hills.

Best Time to Experience:

To make the most of this journey, plan your trip between October to June. However, avoid the monsoon season when the region experiences heavy rainfall.

6. The Mandovi Express

The Mandovi Express: Experience the Serene Charm of Goa

As the Mandovi Express traverses through the tropical paradise of Goa, it’s impossible not to be swept away by the region’s idyllic charm. Goa is synonymous with pristine beaches, swaying palm trees, and vibrant culture, making it a haven for travelers seeking relaxation and fun. The Mandovi Express is your perfect companion for soaking in the laid-back charm of this coastal paradise.

Train Route:

Connecting Mumbai to Goa over approximately 580 kilometers, the Mandovi Express route offers a glimpse into the stunning beauty of the Konkan region, with its scenic landscapes, quaint villages, and picturesque coastal towns.

Best Time to Experience:

To experience Goa at its best, hop onto the Mandovi Express between November to February when the weather is pleasant and the region bustles with various festivals and events.

7. Matheran Hill Railway

The Matheran Hill Railway: Your Perfect Retreat in Maharashtra

The Matheran Hill Railway is an eco-friendly, narrow-gauge heritage train that provides a tranquil escape from bustling city life. This train winds its way through dense forests, steep cliffs, and cascading waterfalls, transporting you to the serene hill station of Matheran in Maharashtra.

Train Route:

Covering a distance of approximately 20 kilometres from Neral to Matheran, the Matheran Hill Railway treats you to breathtaking landscapes, including deep gorges, lush greenery, and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

Best Time to Experience:

The ideal time to hop onto this charming journey is from October to May, when the weather is pleasant and the hill station offers a cool respite from the scorching summer heat.

8. The Kangra Valley Railway

Traversing the Himalayan Foothills with the Kangra Valley Railway

Tucked away in the foothills of the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, the Kangra Valley Railway offers a breathtaking journey through lush valleys, terraced fields, and quaint villages. As the train snakes along the scenic route, you’re treated to panoramic views of snow-capped peaks and gushing rivers.

Train Route:

The Kangra Valley Railway connects Pathankot in Punjab to Jogindernagar in Himachal Pradesh, covering a distance of approximately 164 kilometers. This journey showcases the natural beauty of the Kangra Valley, with views of the Dhauladhar Range, tea gardens, and picturesque hamlets.

Best Time to Experience:

The best time to experience the Kangra Valley Railway is from March to June and from September to November when the weather is pleasant and the valley is at its scenic best.

9. The Pamban Bridge

Crossing the Sea on the Pamban Bridge: A Unique Indian Railway Journey

The Pamban Bridge in Tamil Nadu is a marvel of engineering that connects the island of Rameswaram to the mainland. This journey is unique as the train glides over the sparkling waters of the Palk Strait, offering panoramic views of the vast ocean and surrounding landscapes.

Train Route:

The Pamban Bridge is part of the Southern Railway’s Chennai-Rameswaram line. The train journey takes you from Chennai to Rameswaram, spanning a distance of approximately 600 kilometers. This route offers stunning views of the Bay of Bengal and the Gulf of Mannar.

Best Time to Experience:

To make the most of this journey, plan your trip between October to March when the weather is pleasant and the region is filled with a festive atmosphere.

10. The Golden Chariot:

Luxury on Wheels: Aboard the Golden Chariot in South India

The Golden Chariot is a luxury train that whisks you away on a lavish journey through the historical and cultural wonders of South India. With its opulent interiors, world-class amenities, and carefully curated itineraries, this train offers an immersive experience into the region’s rich heritage and architectural marvels.

Train Route:

The Golden Chariot covers two different itineraries: “Pride of the South” and “Southern Splendor,” spanning across Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry. These journeys showcase iconic landmarks such as Mysore Palace, Hampi, and the backwaters of Kerala.

Best Time to Experience:

Experience the grandeur of the Golden Chariot between October to March when the weather in South India is pleasant and the region is vibrant with various cultural festivals.


Embarking on a railway journey in India is akin to stepping into a treasure trove of diverse landscapes, vibrant cultures, and rich history. Whether you choose to explore the stunning Himalayas, unwind on the sandy beaches of Goa, or indulge in the royal heritage of Rajasthan, Indian railways offer a unique and unforgettable travel experience. So, pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready to embark on an extraordinary adventure through the 10 best Indian railway journeys.


Which is the most beautiful train route of Indian Railways? ›

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

As you travel at an altitude of more than 2000m, you will be treated to stunning views of sprawling tea plantations and the breathtaking Mt. Kanchenjunga. The route is famous for its loops, where the train turns in a full circle and thus climbs 20ft higher.

What are the major train routes in India? ›

Here is a list of most beautiful rail routes in India:
  • Himalayan Queen (Kalka to Shimla ) ...
  • Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling ) ...
  • Vasco Da Gama to Londa. ...
  • Mumbai to Goa. ...
  • Kanyakumari –Trivandrum. ...
  • Matheran Hill Railway. ...
  • Dooars Voyage (Siliguri- Newmal – Hasimara- Alipurduar ) ...
  • Mandapam – Pamban – Rameswaram.

Which is the most profitable route of Indian Railways? ›

East Coast Railway remains India's most profitable railway zone with freight traffic crossing the 200 million ton mark for the second year in a row. With an operating ratio of 47.71%, ECoR remains the most profitable zone of Indian Railways.

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