Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Memorable Train Journey

Last year when visiting Darjeeling I asked my kids and friends how to go to Darjeeling from New Jalpaiguri? The answer was clear! Everyone opted for the toy train! I told that it will take at least 3 times of the time than if we go by car; but all were ready to spend 7 hours in toy train. I also wanted that but asked before hand everyone so that no one can blame me later :)

This Toy train recently awarded World Heritage Place by Unesco. This tour is also ranked in the first 25 best Train Journeys of the world.

It is really a splendid experience to ride on narrow gauge train. It starts its journey from the city at its own pace. Slowly it gains the altitude leaving behind the city. many times it cross the road and the cars going to Darjeeling wait for the train to cross. Everyone waves and cheer up each other. It is literally like a toy train one can easily get down and get up when it runs at slow speed. From a distance if you look it looks like a toy! Some times the train goes through the deep forests, sometimes through the small towns of the hill. There are total 12 stations between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. Th
e 9th station is Kurseong; from where we started to feel little cold and took out our woolens from the bag. The next important station before Darjeeling is Ghoom (7407 Ft.), the highest point in this route. Batasia Loop is interesting the train passes through unique loops in a short span. The ticket collector explained the loop to my son.

From Ghoom the next station is Darjeeling. It took long 7 hours to reach Darjeeling but all of us enjoyed the trip thoroughly. If you don't have crunch of time reach Darjeeling by toy train, a journey you will remember for long.


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