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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

AN EXCITING JOURNEY BY A HILL TRAIN




TRAIN JOURNEY IN THE MOUNTAINS

'F' is for a fun experience.


Friends I must tell you here that I took two short videos to acquaint you about the natural beauty of the hill terrain which i witnessed during the journey , but failed to upload here due to some error.

Traveling in the hills by train and a historic one at that, which runs between Kalka and Shimla, is an  exercise worth taking, in its novelty at least. ‘The Kalka–Shimla Railway is a 2ft.6 in, narrow gauge railway in North-West India, passing along a mostly mountainous route. It is known for its fascinating view of the hills, surrounding villages and hamlets on far off slopes.’

In July 2008, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The train covers 96 Km. to reach Shimla. It is an enthralling journey from many angles. For one, it is considered  a technological marvel. It climbs from 2152 ft.above sea level at Kalka and terminates at an elevation of 6811ft. at Shimla. En route the train passes through more than hundred tunnels. 'The Barog Tunnel' (No. 33) being the longest tunnel on the line at 3,753 ft. in length between Dagshai and Solan and 890 ft. below the road.'

It negotiates 864 bridges and scores of sharp curves. “The Kalka–Shimla Railway was built to connect Shimla, the summer capital of India during the British Raj, with the Indian rail system. Now, Shimla is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh and is popularly known as the ‘queen of hills’ and Kalka is a town in the Panchkula district of Haryana. Spectacular scenery along the whole route, and the marvels of its construction, keeps the traveler on this line spell bound. On leaving Kalka, (2,152 ft.) , the railway enters the shivalik foothills and immediately commences its climb and touches Shimla at 6811 ft.



Above is the Summer Hill station our destination

 The railway station at Salogra.


A Shimla bound  train passing over this complex but artful bridge build by the British. Courtesy Wikipedia


 I had  repeatedly heard about the spectacle of abundant scenic beauty flanking the rail tracks of this famous rail route from Kalka to Shimla. I made up my mind right then to experience the nature’s  magic at the earliest opportunity. Last week the chance knocked at our door when we thought of visiting a friend and his family at Summer Hill, 3 kilometers short of Shimla after a gap of many years. Summer Hill has the charm of a better-developed hill station and houses the state University and an advanced research center.



Our train at one of the stations.


The decision to undertake the momentous journey was finalized. According to the plan, we boarded the small KALKA- SHIMLA EXPRESS TRAIN with seven bogies from Dharampur and got down at Summer Hill station. On the way we passed many important towns like Barog, Solan, Shogi, Kandaghat,Tara Devi and a few others.

The journey no doubt was  once in a lifetime experience. The train rushed passed  lush green forest cover which looked lustrous in the virgin morning light. Shallow valleys, deep gorges and sometimes  the heart stopping moments when the train moved on the edge of a gaping gorge keep your senses animated with wonder.These spell binding sensations keep you hooked throughout. At places, the brave hearts could even touch the rocks or the thick vegetation. Surrounding the railway track you could observe stately pines, rugged deodars, sprawling bushes, common cacti and sundry vegetation. A photographer’s delight no doubt!

The  negative points were all due to the inefficiency of the human element in the journey. The catering at stations was sub standard.The seating area and toilets needed better cleaning, even in the first class compartment. This as we all know is the bane of public services in the country.

The  whole experience is unforgettable though! I'm happy that I could do it. 

Friends,welcome here!

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful :) Loved the photo of train passing over the Bridge :)

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  2. Its one journey which, whoever experiences, raves about... I am dying to be on this train... You gave a beautiful account with nice images.. guess I am little closer to it :)

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  3. My better half finds train journey exciting while I persoanlly prefer driving to all these areas. The deeper the ravine the better :)


    PhenoMenon,ABCW
    http://throodalookingglass.com/2014/08/faith1/

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  4. That bridge is FANTASTIC!

    ROG, ABC Wednesday

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  5. Well that must have been quite a spectacular journey! Thanks for your post.
    Have a great week.
    Wil, ABCW Team

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  6. Love that artful bridge photo...glad you made the trip♪ http://lauriekazmierczak.com/firefly/

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