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Beautiful Rail Routes in India…

Train Tourism mat not be a much hyped ‘tag word’ in international travel and tourism scenario. But traveling through vast scenic lands in a train is an experience with few equals. Especially in a big country like India, which possesses natural wonders in abundance, some train journeys give indescribable joy of travelling. Let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful railway routes in India…

# 1  Konkan Rail Route:

Stretching about 760 kilometers in length, almost parallel to the Southwest Coastline of India, Konkan railway route is indeed a marvel in terms of scenic beauty as well as engineering creation. Built in a very difficult terrain with frequent landslide tendencies, Konkan railway project was a landmark in the history of Indian Civil Engineering – an achievement that seemed impossible for even the renowned engineers in the British colonial era.

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With bewitching greenery, pleasing water-bodies, stunning curves, artistic landscapes, formidable bridges, tunnels and viaducts, the Konkan Rail route’s eye feats are too many; with sights such as the ‘Dudh Sagar Waterfalls’ (at the Karnataka-Goa state border) ranking high in the list.

Indeed a rail journey much sought after by the train enthusiasts!

# 2 Mandapam-Rameshwaram Rail Route:

This is a rail route with a difference…  in fact it is a journey through a 2+ kilometers long sea bridge that links the sacred pilgrim spot Rameshwaram with the main land of India.

Known as the ‘Pamban Bridge’, this was incidentally the first sea bridge in India – built more than a century ago. Withstanding the time, this colonial architecture remained the longest sea bridge in the country till the completion of the Bandra-Worli sea bridge at Mumbai.

Though this rail route is mainly meant for pilgrims bound to the Southern Banaras – Rameshwaram, this sea bridge journey will enthrall all alike, whether devotees or not.

With the Bay of Bengal Sea roaring below in scary depths and strong winds whistling past the ears, this train journey evokes thrills and chills.

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# 3 Nilgiris Mountain Rail Route:

This is a rail route that takes you to the old world charm. Vintage-era Swiss steam engine locomotive with toy-like compartments (they are very narrow!) puffing through inaccessible mountain ranges!

Starting from Mettupalayam, near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, and terminating at Udhagamandalam aka ‘Ooty’ the prime hill station in South India, this train journey consists of 108 curves, 16 tunnels and 250 bridges in a span of 42 kilometers along lush high ranges and sprawling tea estates. In fact some of the en-route terrains are so steep that the speed will be 5-10 Kmph; prompting the commuting enthusiasts for a walking competition with the locomotive!

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Covering landscapes of crude beauty and few hill stations that still exhibit the British colonial touch, this train covers the forty+ kilometers in four & half hours. After many huffs, puffs, twists, turns and gentle speeds, once the destination is reached it will feel like a re-entry to the modern world from the old.

The centuries old British engineering works and the Swiss loco continue to entertain the public…

# 4 Vizag-Arakku Valley Rail Route:

Linking the important port city of Southeast India Vishakhapatnam aka Vizag (in Andra Pradesh) with the scenic valley of Arakku, this is the only hilly rail route in India that runs on broad gauge. Though originally built to transport iron ores from Chattisghad state to Vishakhapatnam port, this route provides some fascinating panoramic views of unspoilt nature.

The train journey to Arakku Valley – a beauty spot with thick forests and coffee plantations – consists of numerous visual delights like big and fall cascades, caves, tunnels, hilly areas… not to mention the enchanting river and green valley combination, as the journey nears its climax.

Shimiliguda, the highest broad gauge station of India lies on this rail route.

# 5 Thiruvananthapuram-Palakkad Rail Route:

Last but not the least…

….this route is the best way to explore the beauty of Kerala, the God’s own country, by rail.

A train journey from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram in the south to the town of Palakkad in the north – via Kollam and Alappuzha – will bring a feast of sceneries that anyone will cherish for long.

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Beautiful backwaters dotted with tiny islets, the pristine rural life that continues unaltered along the water banks, lush paddy fields, gentle coconut trees swaying along the landscape, lakes and canals on one side and sea on the other, soothing winds, buzzes of nature…

… all these are more than enough for any tourist to dub the tiny state as God’s very own!

Life in a village: a brief pictorial journey through Kumbalangi, an island village in Kerala

The village of Kumbalangi is a marvelously rustic specimen of Kerala, the Indian state which is often hailed as ‘God’s own country’.  Wed-locked to Vembanad lake, Kumbalangi is a lovely, serene island which has been developed under the Integrated Tourism Village project of the Kerala Government as a model tourism village.
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Rustic path: In Kumbalangi, one can see how tourism flourishes without disturbing the natural beauty and ecological balance of a place.

Neighbored by… : Kumbalangi is surrounded by Vembanad Lake. More than a hundred Chinese fishing nets form a ring around the village, indicating both the occupation of the people here and the rich aquatic life in the area.

‘Beauty check-up’: Coconut trees look in the ‘river mirror’. A signature scene at Kumbalangi.

‘Natural Netizens‘: At Kumbalangi, you can closely watch or be a part in different forms of fishing using Chinese nets and ordinary nets, explore the marvelous waterways in country boats tasting mouth-watering local cuisine,  and walk through the ripening paddy fields…

A ‘good catch’: This tiny island is  also hailed as a model fishing village. Quite naturally, ‘the Kumbalangi cuisine’ is a rich combination of sea food. Presence of dense mangroves ensures enough breeding ground for prawns, crabs, oysters and small fishes.

Organic farming: Kumbalangi is also recognized for the organic form of agriculture “the patented pokkali farming”. In this form farming is generally done in the water logged areas. The farmers do rotate cultivations between rice and fish or prawns, based on the salinity of the water.

Postscript: Kumbalangi is 15 km away from Kochi and can be reached by road or by boat.Reflecting The stunning green village with its charm and cheer, this rustic experience will  revitalize your mind. If you want to explore Kumbalangi, inform us. elatrip.com has arranged an ideal package which will help you experience the beauty of Kumbalangi at its full form.