Kangra Valley Railway through the Himalayas costs just 41p

  • The Kangra Valley Railway runs through the Himalayan foothills from Pathankot to Joginder Nagar
  • The journey takes ten hours and crosses 950 ornate bridges with mountain views along the way
  • Despite its charms, the railway is little-known to tourists and mostly transports passengers native to the area

It might just be one of India’s best-kept secrets – a railway which winds its way 100 miles through the Himalayas and costs less than a second class British stamp.

The Kangra Valley Railway whisks passengers – albeit very slowly – from Pathankot in the north Indian state of Punjab, to Joginder Nagar in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

At a cost of only 35 rupees, equivalent to around 41p, the old-fashioned train rarely ferries tourists, despite boasting breathtaking views over the Dhauladhar mountain ranges for the whole duration.


The Kangra Valley Railway winds its way 100 miles through the Himalayas over lofty bridges from Pathankot in the north Indian state of Punjab, to Himachal Pradesh, pictured

The train – which reaches heights of nearly 4,000ft, and makes 33 scheduled stops – crosses a staggering 950 ornate bridges along its way.

The Kangra Valley route is hardly one you’d opt for if you’re in a hurry, taking a total of around ten hours from start to finish. Driving the same journey takes under four hours.

And it’s so little-known as far as tourists are concerned that it only has seven reviews on Trip Advisor spanning the last eight years. 

One reads: ‘This is one of the prettiest train rides you can ever take […] catering to real people – housewives, farmers, students, tradesmen, shepherds, business people.

‘It’s not terribly clean, but who cares? Just stick your head out of the window and enjoy!’

Another, written just last month, states: ‘This train ride would have never happened if not a friend of mine told me. It’s the best way to explore a wonderful landscape.’   


At a cost of only 35 rupees, equivalent to around 41p, the old-fashioned train rarely ferries tourists, despite boasting breathtaking views over the Dhauladhar mountain ranges, pictured, for the whole duration


The very definition of the ‘scenic route’, it takes a total of around ten hours from start to finish (driving takes less than four) and transports mostly locals, pictured here waiting at one of its 33 stops


Commissioned in 1929, the Kangra Valley railway is one of India’s only five ‘toy trains’, otherwise known as narrow-gauge mountain railways. Better known is the Kalka–Shimla line, pictured, which also runs through the Himalayan foothills

According to Telegraph reporter Stephen McClarence, who recently explored the route, you can’t buy tickets ahead of time – so getting a decent seat is a bit of a gamble. 

It’s charm, however, more than make up for this.

‘Every few stations, men climb on with trays of snacks,’ he describes. ‘Chai-wallahs with great chrome teapots pass cups of tea through the windows. After a couple of hours, the uplands open out: dense forests, broad rivers, deep gorges, plateaux with grazing cattle.’

Commissioned in 1929, the Kangra Valley railway is one of India’s only five ‘toy trains’, otherwise known as narrow-gauge mountain railways.

Better known is the Kalka–Shimla line, which also runs through the Himalayan foothills but attracts considerably more tourists.  







Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

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