Ride the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway – India’s Historic Affordable Train

in India

When traveling large distances in any country, it can be tempting to simply hop on a plane. However air travel can burn a hole in your wallet, and force you to miss much of the landscape. So resist the urge to take to the skies while you’re traveling in India and take a journey on the country’s famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

This old-fashioned train, also known as the Toy Train, travels the passage from Siliguri to picturesque Darjeeling. This is just a short trip of 53 miles, but it climbs almost 7000 feet so the journey is quite spectacular. Along the way you’ll see the area’s famous tea plantations, its historic bridges, and the rolling green hills of the Himalayas.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was built way back in the 1800s, but its significance was only recognized in recent times. In 1999 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, guaranteeing its future preservation. It’s one of only two railways in the world to enjoy this honor; Austria’s Semmering Railway also has this accreditation.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Train

The Darjeeling Himalayan Train

Despite its fame, you can travel on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway for far less rupees than you’d expect. You can splurge on a first-class ticket for around 145 rupees, or $3.50 US, or take a seat on one of the simple second-class benches for a mere 20 rupees. That’s equivalent to just 50 cents!

A ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway makes a great day trip, or way to reach your next Indian destination.

[Image Source: Abhishek Kumar/Flickr]

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