Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) is famous for the joyride that it provides for the tourists & visitors coming here with great expectation in mind. The DHR toy train never fails to amuse people since they provide such an experience that not a single person would like to miss! The ride over a hilly terrain, enjoying the celestial views of the mountains and other mind-blowing panoramic vistas are so thrilling that you can never forget this experience throughout your lifetime.
The joyride will offer you some unparalleled views of the whole Darjeeling town and the peaks of Kanchenjunga covered with snow. Your visit to Darjeeling will be meaningless if you don’t enjoy hopping on this toy train & make some evergreen memories there!
About the DHR
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway runs in between Darjeeling and New Jalpaiguri- two towns both of which are located in the northern West Bengal, India. The DHR owns a narrow gauge railroad and the distance it travels is 78 kilometers measuring from Darjeeling to New Jalpaiguri.
The interesting fact about this joyride is it starts from only 100 meters altitude in New Jalpaiguri, runs along an elevated terrain and when it reaches the last station at Darjeeling the altitude reaches to 2,200 meters!
Photo by Peter G Trimming
Within the distance of 78 kilometers, the toy train stops at thirteen railway stations which are- New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri Town, Siliguri Junction, Sukna, Rongtong, Tindharia, Gayabari, Mahanadi, Kurseong, Tung, Sonada, Ghum, and Darjeeling. The journey from Ghum to Darjeeling is the most wonderful ride among all & is certainly one of a kind! The Jangle safari trip from Siliguri Junction to Gayabari is also a must-take journey.
The toy train moves at a snail’s pace over the steep mountains allowing you to experience some mesmerizing views of the mountains & snow clad hill peaks. With the help of authentic engineering technology, the train makes it possible to overcome some seemingly impossible curves and gradients to make the trip as thrilling as nothing else! Though the modern toy trains embody four diesel engines, original steam engines are still used in some sections of DHR especially for the joyride.
The headquarters of DHR is situated in the town of Kurseong. They kept their services from New Jalpaiguri to Kurseong in a pause in 2010 owing to the incidence of land sliding. The situation remained unchanged till 2014 & they decided to resume their services again since 2015. All the parts both moveable & fixed ones such as – rail tracks, vehicles, lines are owned by the Ministry of Railways, India.
The DHR is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999 which is a matter of great pride for the whole nation of India since it’s the second only railway station to achieve such honor. There’s an organization called The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society in the United Kingdom that works for letting people know of this amazing joyride & enhance their curiosity about this place.
Joyride from Darjeeling to Ghum & Back
The ride from Darjeeling to Ghum covers a distance totaling to 14 kilometers and it takes 2 hours to have a round trip in between these stations. While running along this route, the train takes a 10 minutes break at the Batasia Loop where it rounds a beautifully manicured garden in the form of a loop.
The War Memorial of Darjeeling built to exhibit tribute to the Gorkha soldiers is located in the middle of this garden. The view of these places along with the divine sightseeing of the surroundings is the best thing about this trip.
Ghum is the highest railway station in the Darjeeling Himalayan Rail track where’s situated the DHR museum. The trains stay here for 30 minutes so that the passengers can visit the museum. The entrée fee is included in the ticket price for your convenience.
It’s highly suggested to visit the DHR at least once in your lifetime. The experience of this joyride is something that cannot be measured with money or time.
Photo by Abhishek_Kumar