BOAT MAIL EXPRESS
Snaking along the coast of Tamil Nadu, the Boat Mail Express connects Chennai in the north to the temple town of Rameswaram on Pamban Island, in the southeastern part of the state. It passes through the port town of Cuddalore, offering lovely coastal vistas. But the high point of the journey is when the train gets on to Pamban Bridge, connecting the town of Mandapam on the mainland to Pamban Island. Waves lash about in the Palk Strait underneath as the train crosses the bridge at an easy pace, filling the last minutes of the journey with scenic bliss.
The Mandovi Express travels through an endless montage of enchanting vistas, including at some points, the Arabian Sea Impossibly green swathes of the Western Ghats, cliffs, and endless fields punctuate the journey between Mumbai and Goa. One of the highlights is travelling on the 213-foot-high Panval Nadi viaduct, believed to be the highest in India. But the main perk of the journey is that the sights change rapidly, from the 90-plus tunnels to a valley, followed by a stop at a low-key station.
The most charming section of this route that connects New Delhi to Goa is the coastal section between Goa and the town of Londa in Karnataka. It is here that the Goa Express winds through forests and hills, passing peaks and valleys of the Western Ghats. But the undisputed highlight of this joyride is when passengers get to see the long silvery cascade of Dudhsagar Falls. This is best viewed on the outbound journey from Goa to Delhi when the waterfall is visible in the clear light of day.
Seated at the window of the Island Express, passengers can watch the swaying palm trees of Kerala, and view the backwaters between Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam. The Island Express runs between Kanyakumari and Bengaluru, but it is especially scenic on the stretch between Kanyakumari and Thiruvananthapuram. It offers travellers an opportunity to see the southwestern coast of India and glimpse life as it unfolds along the way.
For a journey back in time, book a ticket on the Steam Express Tour from New Delhi to Alwar. Visitors travel in an air-conditioned saloon car pulled by a steam locomotive built in 1965. It’s a photogenic engine, with a buIging nose and a siIver star on it. The journey includes a safari to Sariska National Park.
Other Beautiful Indian Rail Routes: