Travelling on a train brings back memories. We all have some good old memories of our childhood when the commotion of people would wake us up and chai wala giving “garma-garam chai” in the morning would refresh our mind. Indian train journeys are full of happy and unforgettable memories. One of the best train journeys in India would be the sleeper class of superfast trains. As time progressed, Indian Railways started different types of trains such as Rajdhani, Duronto, Garib Rath, etc. Apart from that, there are some luxury trains in India that are for people with heavy pockets. Some of the trains started by Indian Railways have become a lifeline for many people and some of them run from one part of India to another making the best train in India for travellers. We have curated a list of best top 10 trains in India that everyone should ride on to fully witness the beautiful geography of the country.
1. Vivek Express
The Dibrugarh-Kanyakumari Express also known as Vivek Express is currently the longest-running train in India. The train’s incredibly long journey begins in Dibrugarh in Assam and ends at Kanyakumari after stopping 57 times. Vivek Express replaced Himsagar Express that runs from Jammu Tawi to Kanyakumari as the longest train connection in India. The train route is so long that it was the last train to stop when India went into total lockdown mode in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. It passes through 7 Indian states viz. Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. A train journey on Vivek Express will take you to the mountains and tea gardens of Assam, fertile plain lands of Bihar, forests in West Bengal, sea-side view in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, and coastal plains of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. You will feel like you travelled to the whole of India by this train. The Dibrugarh-Kanyakumari Vivek Express has a weekly service. It leaves Kanyakumari at 11 pm and reaches Dibrugarh at 06:40 am on the fifth day.
2. Himsagar Express
Those who have travelled on Himsagar express know that they cross the whole of India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. It remained the longest running train in India for a very long time and while travelling on this train, you will see beautiful views of Indian terrane. Sitting on the train, you can see the beautiful scenery from Kerala backwaters to green paddy fields in Madhya Pradesh and picturesque views of the Himalayas in Jammu. Himsagar Express offers one of the best train journeys in Indian Railways. You also get to witness half of India’s civilization and culture because this train traverses twelve of India’s states including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab, and Jammu & Kashmir. It takes 71 hrs 10 mins to reach from its source to the destination. The etymology of the Himsagar tells us that the term ‘him’ indicates the great Himalayas in the north and ‘sagar’ represents the colossal Indian Ocean in the south of India.
3. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts a large number of travellers from all over the world every year as it runs amid the queen of the hills, the Himalayas. It is one of the few remaining toy train routes in India and serves an important link between the two hilly areas in India, New Jalpaiguri, and Darjeeling. In the past, it was connected to the plains of Siliguri by a cart road, now called Hill Cart Road. Opened in 1881, it is the oldest railway still operating in the Himalayas and one of the oldest in India. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is one of the most beautiful train routes in India. With a majestic view of the Himalayas and the evergreen enthralling tea gardens all around you, it becomes an incredible journey. For travellers travelling to the foothills of the Himalayas in India, the Darjeeling Himalayas Railway is one of the most iconic sights.
4. Palace on Wheels
Palace On Wheels is a luxurious Indian train that takes you on a journey through India, enabling you to experience royalty at its finest. Inspired by the personal carriages of former maharajas, nizams, and viceroys, the Palace on Wheels is the most authentic way for travellers to explore and rediscover the royals of Rajasthan. Experience the royal hues and vibrant culture of the desert state as you travel through the historic city of Jodhpur on Palace on Wheels. It will not be an overstatement to say that this train offers one of the best luxury train journeys through India. The route of this train covers some of India’s biggest tourist destinations. It leaves Delhi and takes you through the royal city of Jodhpur, one of the most historic places in the world. The Royal Palace of Rajasthan’s capital, Jaipur, offers a traditional Indian-style welcome on the carriages of a royal family. Enjoy a pink spectacle as you travel through a city that used to be, in a bygone era, the only planned city in this world. If you’ve booked a ticket to Palace on Wheels expecting to have a look at the glorious beauty that is lavishly scattered across Rajasthan, you won’t be disappointed. It has a natural ambiance that blends perfectly with a touch of fascinating charm.
5. Golden Chariot
The Golden Chariot is a luxury train in India that connects all major tourist destinations as well as some lesser-known locations in Karnataka from Bangalore to Mysuru, Badami to Hampi. The southern states of India have a rich culture and heritage, and if you want to experience this culture through a railway journey, the first name that should come to your mind is the Golden Chariot train. Each carriage of this train is named after the last reigning empire of the city. It is a luxurious train that offers you the comfort of a 5-star hotel and has all the amenities such as a private dining room, spa, indoor pool, gym, as well as an outdoor pool. This makes the Golden Chariot one of the most luxurious trains in India. The ride on this train gives you a memory you will never forget and will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. There are a number of places where you can experience the hospitality of the “Golden Chariot” train. You can select one and book your ticket on the official website of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation of India (IRCTC).
6. Maharaja Express
Although there are several luxury trains in India, the Maharaja Express offers the most grandeur and is the only one of its kind in the country. In the 7 years that have passed since it was first started, Maharaj Express has won many of the best travel awards. Maharajas Express runs every year and covers dozens of destinations, mainly in Rajasthan during the tourist months of October to April. Whether you want to rekindle the romance in your relationship or cherish some sweet moments with your spouse, the Maharaja Express Train offers you a luxurious experience that will blow you away. This trip will show you a new meaning of Indian tourism and leave you with a sense of awe and reverence for the beauty of this beautiful country and its people. The Maharaja Express adheres to the highest standards of safety and comfort of any train in its class. If you are a foreigner planning to visit India, then Maharaja Express will offer you one of the best train journeys from India.
7. Deccan Odyssey
The Deccan Odyssey, one of the best premium trains in India, offers the highest comfort and luxury of any train in the world. The décor speaks volumes of extreme elegance, with each cabin being a private space where travellers can move around freely. The train is peppered with attached washrooms, dining cars, and private dining rooms, reminiscent of the past era of wealthy maharajas. Each of the 21 carriages is decorated in such a way that the train looks like an old-fashioned train, while at the same time being equipped with modern facilities that help make your journey comfortable and relaxed. This gives way to a unique travel experience with style and a sense of comfort and convenience in your own home. Deccan Odyssey’s journey begins from Mumbai and then stops at Sindhudurg, Goa, Goa- Vasco, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Nashik, and returns to Delhi afterwards. The Deccan Odyssey shows the best of the heritage and culture of Maharashtra and Goa while enjoying a kingly journey. Visit historic forts and sites, beaches, museums, etc on this magnificent train.
8. Maitree Express
The Maitree Express (pronounced “Moitree Express”) is the first fully air-conditioned regular night train connecting Dhaka in Bangladesh with Kolkata in the Indian state of West Bengal. Typically, the train journey from Kolkata’s Chitpur station to the Dhaka is around 10 hours and 12 hours, including immigration. Operated by Indian Railways, this train is a pride for our country as it is one of the few international trains in India. It has made export/import of goods easy and hassle-free for both the countries. The train carries many Bangladeshi workers who come to Kolkata for work. Also, many Indians go to Dhaka for tourism purposes through Maitree Express. You can experience the hustle and bustle of Kolkata and the highly-dense streets of Dhaka through a trip on this beautiful train. It currently operates six days a week and its authorities are waiting for approval from the Indian Government to operate it daily and make the train more attractive to international travellers.
9. Howrah-Jaisalmer Express
If you are a little tight on budget but still want to travel from one part of India to another, this train will serve the purpose. Started on 3 March 2012, it starts from Howrah, the twin city of Kolkata, and travels through different states of India to finally reach Jaisalmer. Some of the popular stops of this train en route are Dhanbad, Gaya, Varanasi, Lucknow, Delhi, and Bikaner. You can get off at any of these stations and travel to the city. The train connects passengers from the eastern part to the western part of India. Howrah-Jaisalmer Superfast Express starts from Howrah every ‘Monday at 8:15 AM and reaches Jaisalmer the next day at Night 11:50 PM IST. On its return journey, the train starts from Jaisalmer, Rajasthan every Thursday at 1:25 AM IST and reaches Howrah the next day at Evening 4:55 PM.
10. Island Express
Island Express connects Bangalore with Kanyakumari. It runs daily and traverses some of the important and beautiful cities of India like Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, and Palakkad. The train covers the 944 km journey in about 19 hours 15 minutes. There is one funny mnemonic given to this train because of its extremely slow speed: “Supercrawler Express of Kerala”. Still, the train is very important to Keralites and the travellers who want to visit Kerala. For many years, it was the only train connecting Bangalore with the Southern state of Kerala. Are you thinking about why this train is called “Island Express” despite the fact that its route has no island? This is because the predecessor of this train had its destination at Cochin Harbour Terminus station in Willingdon Island, Cochin, until the mid-1970s.
We hope you liked the list of top 10 Indian rail journeys. The list is not complete because there are more than 10 trains running in our country that offer beautiful train journeys through India.
Recommended Read: Most Beautiful Snow Parks in India: Enjoy the Snow All Year Long