A Joyride on train to ‘the Queen of the Hills’
Updated: Aug 1
· For a long time we cherished a dream to have journey to Darjeeling, ‘the queen of the hills’ in the famous mountain train popularly known as ‘ Darjeeling Himalayan Railway’(DHR). And finally we got a chance to visit Darjeeling but we have to board the DHR at Kurseong Railway station since train was not operating from New Jalpaiguri due to landslide in some stretch.
· The journey from Kurseong to Darjeeling in Toy-train is very fascinating. It covers about 31 Km . The picturesque view all along the route is superb. The stretch is dotted with lush green trees, waterfalls, small culverts/bridges. The railway track and road crisscross at several location, but no barrier at level-crossing is provided in entire length. Vehicular traffic stops on seeing the train passing the track. No tunnel has been provided. Only zig-zag and loops have been used in track to negotiate steep gradient. Train passes in close proximity to shops and houses in market area.
· It is indeed an engineering marvel wherein initial structure , tiny steam engines, toy type rolling stock , Loco-shed, old signaling system using flags, Turn-table to change orientation of steam engine and much more original features are preserved and still functional. Ghum, India’s highest Railway station (altitude 2258 m) is situated on this route. Due to its unique features preserved for more than 140 years and still operational, it was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999.
Video of DHR
· En-route we can enjoy magnificent view of Kanchenjunga peak , the third highest mountain , 8586 m above mean sea level. Besides the Mount Everest can also be viewed from Tiger Hill in a clear day which is about 125 km North-West side of Kanchenjunga.
· A number of Monastery can be visited out of which Ghum Monastery is the oldest one.
· The War Memorial at Batasia Loop is a landmark from where we can have panoramic view of Kanchenjunga.
· Besides Darjeeling is home to a number of famous schools which have iconic building architecture of British period. St. Paul’ School is also pictured in Hindi film ‘ Main Hoon Na’. Other films Aradhana, Barfi, , Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman and many more have scenes from DHR , Darjeeling & Kanchenjunga.
· Here a modest attempt has been made to present a pictorial journey through DHR . A number of interesting photographs and videos have been presented for visual delight. Enjoy the journey and beauty of Nature.
View of Kanchenjunga during Sunrise
Hope the train journey and scenic beauty will fill with peace & happiness.