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Travel experiences

Exploring the railways of India

5th February, 2021

India is a spectacular country to visit, boasting breathtaking landscapes, incredible food, famous landmarks, and warm, friendly people. It brings the phrase ‘a feast for the sense’ to life, awash with colour, life and vibrancy.

In fact, there’s so much to see and do in this vast and varied country that sometimes knowing where to start, or how to fit it all into one adventure, can be the challenge. But fortunately for visitors looking to explore, there’s another jewel in India’s crown - its railways.

Train travel is one of the best ways to explore India. Not only does it give you a different view of this magical country, but it also allows you to travel between destinations in a fast and effective way; sometimes even overnight. Long distance trains in India are inexpensive, safe and comfortable, and can take you right to the heart of the country’s UNESCO World Heritage listed monuments; as well as showing you some of the beautiful scenery along the way.

Get to the heart of the action

Railway travel in India can help you to explore the country’s most famous sights - from the incredible Taj Mahal to witnessing the Bengal tigers that call the land home.

Plus, thanks to the speed and ease of this form of transport, you’ll be able to spend more time exploring what India has to offer - fitting as much as possible into your stay. On our The Great Indian Railway Journey holiday we include six memorable rail journeys, taking you to all of Northern India’s highlights. From the awe-inspiring majesty of the Taj Mahal in Agra, to the Golden Temple near Amritsar, to Ranthambore National Park. One leg of your journey even includes a trip on one of the country’s UNESCO World Heritage Mountain Railways - built in the 19 century. At just 30 inches wide, you’ll wind your way through some of the world’s most spectacular mountains and valleys - a truly memorable experience.

Awaken the senses

Railways are an undeniably brilliant way to experience Indian culture, whether you’re looking to get back to nature or marvel at the maze-like city streets. A real insight into the culture of the country can be found in Rajasthan, which translates to Land of Kings.

This state in the north of the country is the largest by area, and famous for its forts, palaces, and historical structures. Pair these with the lakes of Udaipur, the Thar Desert’s dunes, and the dense beauty of Ranthambore National Park, and it’s all you could wish for from a holiday. Witness it all aboard the Palace on Wheels train as part of our tour of royal Rajasthan, with city tours, fort visits, camel rides, sightseeing adventures and more.

Further north, the Himalayan Heritage Trail takes you to the walled city of Amritsar, not far from the border with Pakistan, which is home to the Golden Temple - one of the Sikh’s most sacred monuments. You’ll also witness the historic changing of the guard ceremony in the town of Wagah, which has taken place every day since 1959. You’ll soon realise why so many people line the borders each day to enjoy the spectacle!

Top the experience off with a railway journey on the UNESCO-listed Kalka-Shimla railway, aboard the Himalayan Queen Express, and it soon becomes undeniable just how special it is to see India by rail.

Get ready to explore India’s railways

With its rich heritage and vibrant culture, India is a must-visit destination. And when it comes to planning your adventure, no holiday to this country is complete without experiencing the bustle and beauty of its railways.

Find out more about our Indian railway holidays, or get in touch with our team for more information.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.