Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

DHR_780_on_Batasia_Loop_05-02-21_08

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the “Toy Train”, is a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow-gauge railway that runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal, India. It is the first, and still the most outstanding example of a hill passenger Railway. Built between 1879 and 1881, the railway is about 86 kilometres (53 mi) long. Its elevation level varies from about 100 metres (328 ft) at New Jalpaiguri to about 2,200 metres (7,218 ft) at Darjeeling. When the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, inscribed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1999, started running in the 1880’s, it was the beginning of a new economic and social life for the surrounding communities. 

Darjeeling_Toy_Train_at_Batasia_Loop Four modern diesel locomotives handle most of the scheduled services: however the daily Kurseong-Darjeeling return service and the daily tourist trains from Darjeeling to Ghum (India’s highest railway station) are handled by the vintage British-built B Class steam locomotive, DHR 778. The railway, along with the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka-Shimla Railway, is listed as a Mountain Railways of India World Heritage Site. The Mountain Railways of India are outstanding examples of hill railways.

The headquarters of the railway is in the town of Kurseong. It is still fully operational and retains most of its original features intact. While Darjeeling was growing, Rowland Macdonald Stephenson was crusading his battle for railway extension in India.   Operating on narrow gauge tracks since 1880s and providing an important transport link to various parts of Darjeeling hills and lower plains, the Toy Train is still unmatched when it comes to absorbing magnificent beauty of the mountains. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway System is the spectacular example of the technical and cultural traits of the colonial era. These trains illustrate different phases of technical developments in the hill areas of the country.

Toy_Train The trains became known as toy trains as the loco engines and the coaches were far smaller than normal broad gauge trains. But there was no such thing as toy railway construction. It was like any other proper railway project, but much more complex because of the terrain. The narrow gauge line did restrict the weight and size of the engines.

DHR was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999, only the second railway to have this honor bestowed upon it,the first one being Semmering Railway of Austria in 1998. The site must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria. The protection, management, authenticity and integrity of properties are also important considerations. 

How To Reach:

By Air: The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport (96 m), which is well connected to all major city of India.

By Rail: The nearest railway station is Jalpaiguri (62 m), which is well connected to all major city of India. 

By Road: The road network in Darjeeling is quite good, There are regular buses including Rocket and Volvo services between Kolkata (Calcutta) and Siliguri Main Bus Terminal (known as Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus located on Hill Cart Road).

 

 

 

Sikkim & Darjeeling Fiesta

With the majectic mountain Khangchendzonga towering over Sikkim, it is the perfect antidote to the hassles of daily life. Plunging mountain valleys, Tibetan-style Buddhist monasteries, lushly forested lands are some of the sights your eyes will feast on. Relish the virgin greenery all around, peppered with multi coloured facets. The hills of the north east have a charm of their own.

Day 01: Bagdogra / New Jalpaiguri Railway Station – Darjeeling

Today morning after breakfast you arrive at Bagdogra Airport / New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. At the airport / raiway station you are met with our local representative. You are driven by an air conditoned car to Darjeeling (approx 90 Kms / 3 Hrs). Upon arrival you check-in at the hotel. Darjeeling is fondly called “Queen of the Hills”. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Meals: None

Day 02: Darjeeling

Early Morning (at 04:00 am) drive to Tiger hill to watch the spectacular sunrise over Mt. Khangchendzonga (28,208 ft. Worlds 3rd highest peak), on your way back visit Ghoom Monastery and Batasia Loop. After breakfast visit Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, P.N. Zoological Park (Thursday close), Tenzing Rock, Tibetan Refugee self-help Centre (Sunday closed), Tea Garden (outer view) and Japanese Temple (4 hrs from 9.00 to 13.00 hrs). Evening is free for shopping & leisure. Overnight stay at Darjeeling
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 03: Darjeeling – Kalimpong

After Breakfast transfer to Kalimpong (4,100 ft.). On arrival you check-in to your hotel. Afternoon enjoy half day tour of Kalimpong visiting Mangal Dham, Deolo Hill, Dr. Graham’s Home, Golf Garden, Durpin Dara Hills & Flower Nurseries. Overnight stay at Kalimpong
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 04: Kalimpong – Excursion to Lava & Lolegaon

After breakfast start for full day excursion to Lava & Lolegaon. Evening, you are driven back to Kalimpong. Overnight stay at Kalimpong
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 05:Kalimpong – Gangtok

After breakfast transfer to Gangtok (5,480 ft.). On arrival you check-in to your hotel. Afternoon proceed for a city tour visiting Banjhakri Falls, Cottage Industry and Handicraft Centre, Flower show, Do-drul Chorten & Institute of Tibetology (maximum 3-4 hours). Overnight stay at Gangtok
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 06: Gangtok – Excursion to Tsomgo Lake & Baba Mandir

After breakfast start for an excursion to Tsomgo Lake (12,400 ft.) & Baba Mandir (13,200 ft.) which is 55 kms from Gangtok city. Overnight stay at Gangtok
Meals: Breakfast

Day 07: Gangtok – Bagdogra Airport / New Jalpaiguri Station

In the morning after breakfast you are driven by car to the airport / railway station (approx 123.81 Kms / 5 Hrs) for your journey back home with beautiful memories of your holiday.
Meals: Breakfast