Tourism @ Kerala
Kalka–Shimla Railway - Travelogue by Rogen Joseph
My dream to travel in a mountain climbing train was fullfilled during my visit to North India. The Kalka–Shimla Railway was built in 1898. This extraordinary marvel of mechanical and civil engineering is one of the best gift given by the British to the Indians. I catch New Delhi - Kalka Shatabthi Express and drop down at it's last station Kalka.
Now i'm in Kalka. Kalka is a town in the Panchkula district of Haryana. Toy trains to Shimla, capital city of Himachal Pradesh begins journey from Kalka. I purchase the tickets from the ticket window and take a window seat. Train i was travelling departs from Kalka at 04:00 AM to reach Shimla at 09:20 AM. There are five trains running between Kalka and Shimla, but this is the only train with unreserved seats..
The Kalka–Shimla Railway is a railway in North-West India travelling along a mostly mountainous 96 KM route from Kalka (Haryana) to Shimla (Himachal Pradesh). The Kalka–Shimla Railway was built on 2 ft 6 inch narrow gauge tracks built over 889 short to long bridges in the foothills of the Himalayas. Kalka - Shimla train also passes through 102 tunnels. The Kalka-Shimla Rail route is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site under Mountain Railways of India along with Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and Nilgiri Mountain Railways. The Kangra Valley Railway and Matheran Hill Railway are also heritage sites in India.
Train passes through various stations namely Kalka, Taksal, Gumman, Koti, Sonwara, Dharampur, Kumarhatti, Barog, Solan, Salogra, Kandaghat, Kanoh, Kathleeghat, Shoghi, Taradevi, Jutogh, Summer Hill and Shimla. Train stops en-routes at a station for few minutes and i take some snaps as well.
The longest tunnel on this route is the Barog Tunnel near Barog Station. This tunnel was named after Mr.Barog, who started the digging of this tunnel, but only to commit a mistake. He started the digging of the tunnels from the both end simultaneously to only realized that these two ends were not aligned. The British government fined him INR 1 for wasting government time and money. Barog was upset by this humiliation and shot dead himself. After the death of Barog, Chief Engineer H.S. Harrington construct new tunnel
Train takes nearly five and half hours to reach Shimla from Kalka. But sitting in train running at 20 km per hour gives an opporunity to enjoy beauty of the region. Now i'm in Shimla Railway Station at an altitude of 2,076 meters. Shimla is one of the major hill stations in India. Beauty of hills can be visible from Shimla Railway Station itself. I exit from Railway Station and proceed to Shimla Town. Affter exploring few destinations i proceed to Chandigarh from Shimla in Punjab Transport Bus.