Thursday, August 11, 2016

Safar - The Journey To Shimla, Kalka to Shimla Train Journey

If you are a traveler and a nature lover, then I would recommend you to visit Shimla in rainy season with the great heritage railway journey. It will not only take you to back in time but will leave you wrapped in a lot of wonderful experience and the golden memories. Its an amazing journey which you can experience only by doing it.

The History and Heritage : 
When the British made Shimla, the Summer Capital of India in 1864, they built Kalka - Shimla railway track to commute. The Chief Engineer of the project was H.S. Herlington. It opened for traffic in 1903, inaugurated by Viceroy of India Lord Curzon. 
Now, awarded by UNESCO in 2008, as a one of the great heritage railway journey, Kalka - Shimla Railway Journey is one of the best  journeys in world to enjoy beauty of nature, offering the most scenic train journeys in India and enlivening passengers as it gradually winds its way steeply upwards along the narrow track, through rugged mountains and pine forests.

The Kalka - Shimla Railway Route 

The Kalka - Shimla rail route is a 96 kilometers long journey, having 20 railway stations, 103 tunnels, 864 bridges, and 919 curves out of which most are having curve of more then 48 Degrees. 
The longest tunnel, tunnel umber 33, 1143.61m long, is near the main railway station at Barog. 
The Second longest tunnel is KOTI tunnel, 693.72m long. 
Tunnel and Station Barog has been named after Engineer Colonel Barog, who dug the tunnel from both ends and could not align them and was symbolically fined one rupee. He couldn't live with the shame and committed suicide inside the incomplete tunnel. Later Chief Engineer H.S. Herlington completed the tunnel with help from Bhalku, a local saint. Read the details about Barog here. 
The route is most spectacular scenery offering a lot of opportunities for nature photography. 

Clik here to see The Journey from Kalka to Shimla in Toy Train in Images. 

The Journey From Kalka to Shimla in Shivalik Express : 
We had boarded the Shivalik Express from Kalka for our journey upto Shimla. The train's speed is greatly restricted by the steep gradient that it has to climb, but this allows for plenty of fascinating sightseeing along the way. It was raining at some tunnels and due to it, views were more beautiful in its true colors. It was like train had brought us to heavenly beautiful scenic views. With such a beauty of nature, at some points I wanted it to be a never ending journey.  

Other train services from Kalka to Shimla: 
We got our tickets in Shivalik Express, beacuse we wanted to enjoy the early morning views, which is recommended. though there are other train services too. You can choose one of these as per your comfort and schedule.  

KLK SML PASS ( Train No - 52457)
RAIL MOTOR ( Train No - 72451
KALKA SIMLA EXP ( Train No - 52453) 
HIMALYAN QUEEN ( Train No - 52455) 

All the trains take approx 5-6 hours to cover the journey. Click here for more details. 

- Safar The Journey
Alok Upadhayay

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