10 Legendary Scenic Railways in Southern India

10 Most Scenic Railway Routes in South India

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Traveling by train is an experience I cherish! Train journeys allow my mind to travel through the childhood memories, like the mock trains we used to make by holding on to our friend’s shoulders and chugging along in long lines, or the fights with siblings to get the window seat on real journeys!

The adventure and thrill of train travel has always been an amazing experience! To take this experience further, here is a rundown on the 10 most beautiful & most fascinating train routes that cover enthralling and diverse landscapes in South India. Just do not forget to capture these wonderful sights to take back home!

  1. Udhagamandalam–Mettupalayam –Nilgiri Mountain Railway

One train journey you simply cannot miss is the Nilgiri Mountain Railway- one of the most celebrated tracks of India! The train that runs on this scenic route resembles toy trains you used to play with as a child.

The track winds through stunning curves and tunnels through the rocky terrain, before slowly meandering into the sprawling tea estates.The misty blue hills of Nilgirisform an idyllic backdrop for this journey which has an old world charm and reminds travelers of the legacies of the British Raj.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway India
Image by Hans.Mayer.Berlin via Wikipedia

  1. The Konkan Railway(Ratnagiri – Madgaon – Honnavar – Mangalore)

For those of you who are connoisseurs of beauty, a ride on the Konkan route holdsights galore! The lush green meadows, water bodies, stunning curves and the glorious Sahyadris make this route an experience that cannot be missed.

Konkan Railway Souothern India
Image by Veeresh Malik via Flickr

  1. Tamil Nadu – Rameshwaram

Thrilling is the word that defines the journey from Mandapam in Tamil Nadu to Rameshwaram on Pamban Island,which will leave you spellbound and hypnotized with its tranquility.

It is one of the most beautiful train routes in India and it passes over the second longest bridge of India, the Palk Strait, which is the only route that connects mainland India to Pamban Island. This adventurous journey over the Indian Ocean will offer you grand vistas of turquoise blue waters and stunning sunsets.

Tamil Nadu Rameshwara Railway
Image by Prabhu Shankar via Flickr

  1. Shornur–Nilambur

Include this route when you plan your Kerala trip and you’re sure to instantly fall in love with it. Take this incredible journey through one of the most picturesque locations of Kerala, God’s own country, set in the background of the scenic Western Ghats.

The route winds through the countryside with the swaying coconut trees, ornately decorated temples and churches, and vast stretches of paddy fields which complete the picture.  The whole train route commands a glorious view of nature and enchanting scenic views are unveiled to you.

Shornur - Nilambur Railway India
Image by Akhil Sanjeev via Flickr

  1. Malnad Magic (Hassan – Mangalore)

Feel the magic in the air as you pass through lush forests and vegetation, scenic green paddy fields, and Areca nut palm trees of the Malnad region on this picturesque route.

The stretch between Sakleshpur and Subramanya stations is the most charming, as the train chugs through 57 tunnels. You get a stunning view of the misty mountains, and the sparkling waterfalls all around leave you gasping for more.

Hassan Mangalore Railway
Image by PetarM via Wikipedia

  1. Kollam –Punalur

Experience the magic of Kerala, the green paradise, on a train journey from Kollam to Punalur. The first train on this route was flagged off by the erstwhile Maharaja of Travancore in 1907.

The route has the beautiful Cardamom Hills in the background and passes through the flourishing countryside. The lush green pastures, serene and tranquil environment, and unadulterated ambience on this route are a visual treat that delights your senses. It’s a journey that’s sure to refresh your mind!

Kollam Punalur Railway India
Image by Sktm14 via Wikipedia

  1. Vizag – Arakku

This amazing train route connects Vishakhapatnam, an important port city of East India,and Arakku Valley,a popular hotspot for nature enthusiasts and an amalgamation of thick forests and coffee plantations.

One of the rare broad gauge hill railways of India, it was built to transport iron ore from the mines of Chattisgarh to the port city of Vizag. The rail route is one of the best ways to travel and it crosses quite a few caves and waterfalls on the way.’

Vuza - Arakkyu Railway India
Image by Vijay Simha Gotur Chandrasekar via Flickr

  1. Kanyakumari – Trivandrum

The journey from Kanyakumari to Trivandrum brings to you a short train experience, around 2 hours, and is known to be one of the most scenic and amazing train journeys in India. The pristine and enchanting beauty of nature unfolds before your eyes as the train passes through the green countryside.

From God’s Own Country to the Land’s End, this journey is all about an amazing blend of the lush beauty, the freshness of nature and enchanting views of local life. This surely is a not to be missed experience in South India.

Kanyakumari Railway India
Image by kumarinet .com via Flickr

  1. Guntakkal– Guntur

The Guntakal to Guntur route in Andhra takes you on an enchanting ride through the majestic Eastern Ghats. The stretch between Dhone and Cumbum is a treat for the eyes. From Cumbum station,you get a lovely view of the Cumbum Lake, known to be the oldest man-made lake in Asia.

Guntakkal Guntur Railway India
Image by MayurWCAM3 via Flickr

  1. Bangalore – Kanyakumari

This is an amazing train journey through the typical landscape of South India – the quaint villages, plantations, meadows and water bodies add extra flavors of delight to your trip from Bangalore to Kanyakumari. This journey takes you to the land of ‘Malgudi Days’, undoubtedly paving its way to the list of the best train journeys in India.

An Indian train journey is a unique experience that one is sure to cherish for days to come. Include one of these scenic railway routes on your next trip to South India and you will not be disappointed!

Bangalore Kanyakumari Railway
Image by Emma Croyden via Flickr

About The Author:
  Sunu Phililp is the Inbound Marketing and Creative Head for Paradise Holidays, Cochin – a Kerala based tour operator. She loves reading, exploring new places and trying out different cuisines!

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