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Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Toy Train Journey from Siliguri to Darjeeling

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” 
― Pat Conroy

I have always wanted to explore the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway by taking a toy train ride from Siliguri to Darjeeling. It takes about 8 hours to reach Darjeeling from Siliguri in Toy Train, but the journey is rewarded with beautiful views that is a treat for any nature lover.

I can proudly say that the toy train journey became my most favorite part of my Darjeeling trip this year. Plenty of songs have been shot in the Darjeeling Himayan Railway such as"Mere sapno ki rani", "Kasto maza hai relaima".etc, Movies like Barfi,and Mein Hoon Na have also featured the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. 

So, it was a great adventure to explore the toy train ride amidst the hills and greenery.

All set to start the journey from Siliguri

Sukna (altitude: 533 ft): This is the first station that comes after Siliguri. Sukna implies 'dry place'. The station is situated at the foothills of the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary. The uphill journey to Darjeeling begins here, taking the traveler through dense tropical forests. 


The dense tropical forests of Sukna
The uphill journey to Darjeeling begins from Sukna
Heading to the next station

Tindharia (altitude: 2822 ft): The next station is Tindharia which means 'three streams'. 


The tea plantations

View of the plains below
Kurseong (altitude: 4864 ft): The next station is Kurseong which means 'white orchids'. Kurseong and Kalimpong are hubs of orchids. Last year, I went to Kalimpong, which is located close to Kurseong, where the flowers mesmerized me. From Kurseong, the entire view of the plains below , Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri can be observed. 

The toy train halting somewhere in the midst of the journey, allowing me to take some photographs.



Tung (altitude: 5656 ft): Tung is an intermediate station along the Hill Cart Road. The area is covered with evergreen coniferous trees and has the Senchal Sanctuary.


The evergreen and lush coniferous trees

Sonada (altitude: 6552 ft): This is the next station on the way to Darjeeling. The weather is very cold here and you can see trees wrapped with clouds.



Ghum (altitude: 7407 ft): Ghum means 'turn'. It is the highest point along the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway route, after which the train travels downhill to Darjeeling. It's extremely cold and misty in Ghum. 

The Ghoom Railway Station

Batasia Loop: Batasia Loop is a feat of Railway Engineering that eliminates the requirement of reverses. It is a U-shaped loop where the toy train travels after crossing the Ghum railway station and reaches Darjeeling. Batasia offers a panoramic view of Mount Kanchendzonga (only if the weather is clear). A Gorkha war memorial has been built within the Loop.

The train travelling through the Batasia Loop to reach Darjeeling


So that was my Toy Train Journey from Siliguri to Darjeeling, full of beauty, adventure and thrill. I am glad that I could tick off one of the things in my bucket list: to explore the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and get lost in the enchanting, mystique hills.

"We travel, initially to lose ourselves, and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again-to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more." ~ Pico Iyer



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47 comments:

  1. Beautiful captures. You have travelled to such beautiful places. Travelling always brings internal joy and with this post you have spread it all around. Loved reading it.

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    1. So true. I will always cherish this journey. I am so glad that you loved reading the post. Thanks a lot, Gaurab :)

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  3. What a beautiful post. I have always wanted to visit Darjeeling. Thank you for sharing your experience Purba!

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    1. You will surely love Darjeeling, dear. Do visit the hill station, sometime. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  4. Hey Purba,

    What a journey through your page. We have been there 2 weeks back. Just loved the weather and the breathtaking scenic beauty. I missed the toy train though, but your snaps satisfied that need :)

    Thanks for sharing. Take care :)

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    1. Oh wow...that's great to know dear. I am sure you must have enjoyed a lot in the queen of hills.
      Glad to see you here. thanks for stopping by :)

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  5. Nice to read your beautiful post. Awesome pics.

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  6. A beautiful post dear. You seemed to have enjoyed the trip a lot. The pictures and your ride is amazing! :)

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    1. Thank you so much dear. Yes, it was indeed a wonderful trip sweetie :)

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  7. Beautiful you and beautiful post. I love the idea of taking toy trains too, we did it recently when we went to New Hope during New Years!
    You look super cute in the first pic... 😊

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    1. Oh wow...that's lovely dear. You must have enjoyed a lot. Thank you so much. Glad you liked it :)

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  8. What a cool getaway. Nice pics. Thanks for sharing. There's a sonnet in this I think.

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    1. Yes, it is :)
      Thank you so much for stopping by. Glad you liked the post.

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  9. What a beautiful journey. The BBC has made a film on this train called Hill Railways or something like that...

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    1. Oh wow! I wasn't aware of it. Thanks for stopping by and yes, it truly was a beautiful journey :)

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  10. naaice :).. Reliving the child within :)

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  11. I last visited Darjeeling two years ago! Your pictures have made me feel to be there, NOW! Ei jaygaTa barbar dekhleo purono hoyna... :-)
    Looking so sweet, Purba.... <3

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    1. Yes, Darjeeling is such a lovely place. Amar to chere ashtei iccha korchilo na.
      Thank you so much dear :)

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  12. Lovely captures and description. You're also looking great in that train pic. :)

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  13. Beautiful and scenic locales.

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  14. Thanks for sharing such lovely pictures. My hometown is less than 100 kilometers away from this place and yet I have not gone there. Your pictures have once again enticed me. Hope I visit this year.

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    1. You must visit the place soon. Great to know that you live so near to the mountains. Thanks for the wonderful comment :)

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  15. a beautiful journey.. lovely photos :)
    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​A R​​at'​​s​ ​Nibble ​​

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  16. Lovely picturs and great journey.. We also have one from kalka to shimla :)

    Bikram's

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    1. Yes, I need to experience that too. Thanks a lot, Bikram :)

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  17. What a beautiful journey! I love toy trains but I have not been on this one. I ned to try this and you the kalka Shimla one!

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    1. Yes, it was an amazing journey. Thank you.
      I will surely try the Kalka-Shimla one once I visit that place :)

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  18. Beautiful pictures. You reminded me my toy train journey to Shimla.. Hope I will get opportunity to visit Siliguri :)

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    1. That's lovely dear. Thank you so much :)

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  19. The pictures are strikingly beautiful, Purba. Surely, it is an amazing ride, indeed!

    I didn't know the DHR link from Siliguri to Darjeeling had opened up now (it had been terminated when I went to Darjeeling about 4 years ago). It appears to be in service again, and I couldn't have been happier.

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    1. Thank you so much, Sagnik. I really enjoyed the ride :)

      Yes, it was terminated for years, but thankfully it's open now. You must try it soon :)

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  20. I can see that that was a lovely trip. Taking a train through the hills is always such a pleasure. I was reminded of some of my trips through such routes.

    I love how you presented this travelogue -- with the names of stations and their meanings. Very nice.
    Have a great weekend, Purba.

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    1. So true, Divya. I just love the adventurous feeling of travelling amid the hills in a toytrain.

      Thank you so much for your generous words. You too have a great weekend, dear :)

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  21. Cool photo essay with an apt narration!

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  22. Hello didi :)

    In love with pictures! The description and pictures made me feel that I was in Darjeeling! Wonderful post. Keep smiling :)

    P.S : Yes I want to travel with you! :D

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    1. Hey Sachin, thank you so much. I am so happy that you liked the post. You must visit Darjeeling once :)

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  23. Toy trains are so much fun. Your pics are lovely.

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    1. Indeed, Swati. It's really fun travelling in a toytrain. Thanks dear :)

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  24. A great Post.. The Reader of the Post instantly feels satisfied that he/she had performed half of this marvelous travel.. Hats off to your presentation Skills, Purba!

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  25. Fog effect on photos makes them mysterious. Wonderful adventure.

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