After the trip to the Happy Valley tea estate, the next thing which I decided to do was take a ride in the toy train of Darjeeling. The world famous toy train is known as Darjeeling Himalayan railway and it is used by passengers for transport through the eastern side of the Himalayas through the lush green tea plantations of Darjeeling. Like many other hill stations in India, Darjeeling was a also a colonial retreat during the summers under the British rule. This railway was completed in the year 1881 and today it is listed as a UNESCO World heritage Site.
The train has a route of total 80 km from the New Jalpaiguri station to the Siliguri, Kurseong and Ghum town of the Darjeeling. The toy train climbs up steeply through number of loops and thereverses. The most iconic and beautiful of these which I found was the Batasia loop which lies between Ghum and Darjeeling, and it also gives an iconic and panoramic view of Darjeeling and also the Mount Kanchenjunga in the background. The train passes over some 500 bridges ranging from very small to big.
The train is a lifeline for the people of Darjeeling and they use to go to their work and business and daily chores. The train also features in the latest movie Barfi of Ranbir Kapoor. Witnessing this toy ride in fromt of my eyes and experience the ride personally was a lifetime experience. There are many services which are exclusively for the tourists in the area like Joy Rides and Jungle Safari Holiday Trains. This is a ride you must take to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Darjeeling and also capture some iconic images of the mountains and the valley in your camera.
This was the most enjoyable moment of my Darjeeling trip so far. The train ride I took will always be cherished by me throughout. I also clicked some amazing snaps of the place. The next place which I had visited after the toy train ride was the famous Neora valley National park of Darjeeling which is another prominent attraction in the town.