Toy Trains of India
There is nothing so challenging as the engineering feat of the mountain railway toy trains in India. The height above mean sea level, precarious gradients, long tunnels through solid rock and above the scenery along the route of magnificent character. Flanked by towering hills, these narrow gauge tracks cling perilously to the sides of steep cliffs, venture gracefully over quaint arched bridges where hundreds of feet below the mountain streams and turbulent rivers gush and sparkle in sunlight. Besides serving their basic purpose of transportation these trains are a treat for the passengers as they pass through wonderful scenic terrain.

The glory of the Himalayan ranges is unmatched and can best be appreciated as you ride along these tracks. The Indian railways have made awe-inspiring contribution by bringing the mountain ranges closer to mankind. Enjoy these Joyce journeys on these mountain Toy Trains.

a) Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
b) Nilgiri Mountain Railway
c) Shimla - Kalka Toy Train
d) Neral - Matheran Toy train
e) Kangra Valley Railway


a) Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

The first hill railway, DHR's tracks were laid in 1881. The route extends from New Jalpaiguri, in the plains to hills of Darjeeling, covering a distance of 87.48 km. The entire Narrow Gauge train runs on a 2 feet track covering the delightful journey in 8 hours.

In 1941 the train was fitted with the first indigenously manufactured diesel locomotive and in 1999 UNESCO bestowed the World Heritage Site status to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways.

Day  01
Arrive Kolkata. Transfer to hotel. Afternoon tour of Victoria Memorial, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Raj Bhawan, Town Hall, Marble House, Indian Museum. Evening transfer to Sealdah Railway station to board train for New Jal Paiguri. Overnight on board the train.

Day  02
Early morning arrive New Jalpaiguri connect Darjeeling Himalayan railway. This fascinating Toy Train will travel pine, Oak, Magnotia and rhododendron forests with the Kanchendzonga mountain ranges at the track drop. You will pass through the bustling Siliguri town. From Sukhana the steep mountain climb begins till in reaches Kurseong. At Ghoom 8000 ft. altitude, is the high railway station in the world. Thereafter you descend to Darjeeling town through the Batasia loop, steaming into Darjeeling you will feel the exhilaration similar to that of a voyager after a long odyssey. At leisure. At the hotel.
 
Day  03
Early morning drive to Tiger Hill to watch the Sunrise over the Kanchendzonga range. On return visit Ghoom Tibetan Monastery and Batasia War Memorial. Late morning visit Chowrasta with its conglomerations of handicraft shops, restaurants, bakeries, observatory hill with Mahakal Temple of Lord Shiva and Buddhist shrine, Bhutia Busti Monastery, Victoria falls, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute , Zoo. 

Day  04
Drive to Gangtok visit Rumtek Monastery.

Day  05
 Visit Institute of Tibetology, Orchid Sanctuary, Phurba Chorten, Enchay Monastery.

Day  06
Drive to the Hill resort of Kalimpong.

Day  07
Drive to Bagdogara airport for onward flight to Kolkatta or Delhi.


b) Nilgiri Mountain Railway

This railway starting at Mettupalayam Station, at the foot of the Nigiri Hills, takes its course through rugged and densely wooded forest. A marvel of engineering skill in the construction of the railway line that runs on a single track metre gauge. The entire journey to Ooty (Udagamanglam) is punctuated by long and eerie tunnels piercing through the mountains, numerous bridges over deep ravines and gushing mountain streams, perilous gorges, precariously over hanging boulders and precipitous cliffs. Built around 1899 and chugging for more than a century the Nilgiri mountain train journey is a non –chalant experience. This journey will take around 4 hour 30 minutes to reach Ooty station.

Day  01
Arrive Chennai transfer to hotel. Afternoon visit Marina Beach, San Thome Cathedral, Parthasarathy Temple, Museum, St. Thomas Mount, Fort St. George and St. Mary's Church. Late evening transfer to railway station for train to Mettupalayam. Overnight in air-conditioned sleeper carriage.

Day  02
Early morning arrive Mettupalayam connect Nilgiri Toy Train to Ooty. Mid. Morning arrive Ooty. This beautiful scenic mountain resort is at an altitude of 2240 mts. Spread out amongst rolling bills and valley.

Late afternoon visit Doddabetta Peak, the highest point of the Nilgiri Hills at 2623 mts, was scintillating views. 

Day  03
Visit Wenlock Doms, Hindustan Photo Films, Botanical Garden, rose Garden, Mysore Palace, Ooty Lake. Optional rowing in the lake. 

Day  04
Drive to Coonoor. Situated at an altitude of 1712 mts, the hill resorts is the home to various tea estates. Visit Sinn's Park established in 1874, Lamb's Rock, Dolhin's Nose, Lady Canning's seat.

Day  05
Coonoor at leisure. 

Day  06
Drive to Coimbatore the Manchester of the East with its various textile mills and the "Detroit of the South" for its various motor pump manufacturing units and engineering goods.
Afternoon visit Peru Temple on Noyyal river, Maruthamalal Temple.

Day  07
T
ransfer to Coimbatore airport for onward flight to Chennai / Delhi or Mumbai.


c) Shimla - Kalka Toy Train

A charming hill train connects Kalka to Shimla, through Barog and Solan. Considered the greatest narrow gauge engineering feat in India, the extension from Kalka on to Shimla connected in 1901 with a two feet six inches narrow gauge for mountain railway and opened to traffic in November 1903 with a whooping cost of Rupees 1,65,25,000. A combination of scientific and scenic character, the route is flanked by towering hills, the tracks cling perilously to the sides of steep cliffs and ventures boldly over stately bridges.

Day  01
Arrive Delhi . Met by India Calling representative and transfer to hotel. .Morning tour of New Delhi visit India Gate, Parliament House, President's Palace, Lotus Temple, World Heritage Site of Humayun's Tomb and Qutab Minar. 
Afternoon visit Old Delhi - Raj Ghat ( Mahtma Gandhi's memorial), red fort, Peal Mosque, drive to Chandini Chowk, Jama Majid on return visit Birla Laxmi Narayan Temple. Late evening transfer to old Delhi railway station for train to Shimla. Overnight in air-conditioned sleeper carriage.

Day  02
Early morning Arrive Kalka and connect toy train to Shimla. Late morning reach Shimla. Transfer to hotel.
Evening visit the ridge - The mall. This main promenade is overlooking with shops , bazzars, restaurants. The spires of century old Church at Scandal Point. Since vehicles are not allowed on the mall, you will vist the mall on foot.

Day  03
Day trip to Mashobra with pine forests, ideal for nature walks.

Day  04
Transfer to Shimla Airport to connect flight to Kullu. Transfer to Manali via tour of Naggar Cattle and Nicholas roerich art Gallery. Afternoon vist Hadimba Devi Temple and Bashist Sulphur Springs.

Day  05
Day trip to Mari and Rotang Pass. Return to Manali.

Day  06
Drive to Kullu enroute visit Manikaran Hot springs and Sikh Gurudwara.

Day  07
Transfer to Bhuntar airport to connect flight for Delhi.


d) Neral - Matheran Toy train

A delightful toy train takes visitors from Neral town to the wooded hill station of Matheran . What is most unique about this peaceful retreat is that it is the only hill resort which is totally out of bounds for vehicular traffic. Beautiful walks and dramatic vantage view points are part of its charm.


Day  01
Arrive Mumbai. On arrival transfer to hotel. Afternoon visit prince of Wales Museum, Mani Bhawan, Mahalaxmi Temple, Kamla Nehru Park, Hanging Garden, Crawford Market, Victoria Terminus. Evening at leisure on marine drive and Chowpatty beach. 

Day  02
Breakfast. Motor launch excursion to Elephanta Cave Island. Afternoon explore the shopping malls at Colaba Causeway.

Day  03
Breakfast. Drive to Neral. Connect the tiny toy train to Matharan. Evening visit Porcupine point, Monkey Point and Hart Point on the north western ridge. Below you will see the lights of Mumbai twinkling in the distant plains ( car will follow the train).

Day  04
At leisure in Matharan.

Day  05
Morning board the toy train for Neral ( car will follow the train. Drive to Mumbai. 

Day  06
Transfer to airport for flight to Pune. Transfer to hotel Visit Raja Dinakar Kelkar Museum, drive past Jhanwarwada 18th century Pehwa Palace to the 8th century Pataleshwar Temple with a massive shrine of Lord Shiva and Nandi bull, both carved out of a monolithic rock. Afternoon visit Agha Khan Palace, spend your time at leisure at the charming Budha Gardens. Evening visit Main street with its shopping malls, huge book stores, various cafeterias and restaurants. The city retains its old charm as a former British Army Cantonment and concentration of Jewish population with a synagogue built by Sir David Sassoon.

Day  07
Breakfast. Those interest to visit to Osho Centre of Maharishi rajneesh for discourses and meditation can visit the centre at Koregaon Park. Later transfer to airport for onward flight to Mumbai / Delhi or Goa




e) Kangra Valley Railway

Few places can match the scenic beauty of the Kangra Valley. Stumble across a land that has cast its magic spell, the Kangra Valley lies between the Dhauladar ranges of the Himalayas in the north and the tiny strangling foothills to the South, roughly covering 90 miles in length and 30 miles in breadth with massifs rising from 13000ft. to well over 16000ft. where after a perennial snow line. The Kangra Valley Railway is ample proof of how railway engineers can create work in harmony with nature, without destroying the grandeur of the mountain and revealing to the traveller and enchanted fairyland. 

The symphony emphasizes the tremendous depth of the gorges through which sparkling streams tear their impetuous way to the great plain of India. "Go easy on the curves" could have been the motto of the engineers, for the Kangra Valley railway presents a chance for the traveller to gaze as long as he likes on the ever present panorama of snowclad mountain peaks, gold-green grassland, tiny mountain hamlets and grasp the fresh misty breeze. The total 103 miles covering the stretch, is ample compensation for the extra distance covered as compared to getting there by road. The 18 miles stretch between Mangwal to Kangra lies through countryside of unsurpassed majestic grandeur with the majestic Ban Ganga Ghorge and the deep Kangra charm are two "piece to resistance". From Palampur onwards the Dhauladar range runs parallel to the track, barely a few kilometers away, no other mountain railway brings the eternal snowline so close to view.

Day  01
 Arrive Delhi. Met by India Calling Representative and transfer to hotel.

Day  02
Breakfast. Morning tour of New Delhi visiting India Gate, drive past Parliament House, President's Palace thereafter drive to Lotus Temple, proceed to the World Heritage sites of Humayun Tomb and Qutab Minar. Afternoon visit Old Delhi visiting Raj Bhat, Red Fort, proceed to Chandini Chowk visit Jama Masjid. Return to hotel enroute visit Laxmi Narayan Temple. Late evening transfer to New Delhi railway station to board train for Pathankot overnight in air-conditioned sleeper carriage. 

Day  03
Early morning arrive Pathankot. A gateway to Jammu & Kashmir and the beautiful Valley of Himachal. Tour of Shahpur visiting the ancient fort and Jama Masjid. Overnight at hotel.

Day  04
Board the Kangra Valley Toy train for a thrilling experience of an unmatched way to savour the beauty of Kangra Valley. The rugged mountain terrain, the Rajput Fort( which now lies in ruins after the havoc earth quake of 1905), the picturesque Ban Ganga river flowing below the cleft, fields with the glorious colours of wild rambler roses, oleander, rhododendrons and various fruit blossoms. 

The train chugs along on the steep hill tracks for a span of 6 hours covering 103 miles passing through from Pathankot - Kangra - Palampur - Joginder Nagar. 
At leisure to explore the neighed. Optional Herbal mesasage. The are is known for medicinal plants.

Day  05
Drive to Manali passing through Raison, Katrain visit Naggar Castle and Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery. At leisure on the mall for shopping Himachal’s traditional Woolen Shawls , caps, rugs etc.

Day  06
Day trip to Mari and Rohtang Pass. R eturn to Manali.

Day  07
Drive to Kullu - the valley of Gods, enroute visit the Sikh Gurudwara and the hot springs at Manikaran. Late afternoon Bijli Mahadev Temple of Lord Shiva. 

Day  08
Drive to airport for flight to Delhi to connect onward flight.






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