“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
It is true in every context. If you have been reading only one page so far, i.e. you have been avoiding traveling for any reasons, stop being into your shell. Yes, you need to come out and head off to explore the beautiful world around you.
Recently, I got an opportunity to do a little poking around my city. I will be sharing the entire journey with you in the coming posts. However, firstly I will begin with the most amazing part of this trip- i.e. the TOY TRAIN.
Let me take you to the journey of Trains, Track, Trees, Mountains, Hills, Bridges, and yes, Tunnels.
When we started off from our place, we were aware that it won’t be easy for us. Why?
Actually, we had a planning to travel through the TOY TRAIN, and we reached our station without having any reservations done. So, we were without tickets!
“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”
There was only one thing which we were confident of- WE HAVE TO GO! With the same aim, we approached the station master. But, we were denied of tickets with ‘zero’ availability. It was not an easy game, we knew that! Still we were not hopeless.
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
Seriously, this was true for us. We had no hint how exhilarating it was going to be. The journey began in a dramatic style. While the guard blew the whistle, we were still far away from the train. There was only one of mine friend in the train. Standing on the door, she was waiting for us to reach. And the train started moving. We ran horribly to catch and it was awesome to reach there.
Excursion To Nature
Covering 96 km long distance, the narrow gauge track passes through not one or two, but 103 tunnels! It crosses more than 800 bridges and viaducts. And this made our day more special.
Being one of the most beautiful hill railways in India, it offers more than you expect.
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.”
And in our case, we got to touch different places, lives, and even souls, altogether. Wondering how?
Whistling through the deodar, oak, pine, ficus, and maple woods, our train went somewhere at a speed of 20 km an hour. The most revitalizing part of the journey was the experience to sit by the window, breath in the cool breeze, and gaze at the greenery outside. I can still recall the chirping of birds, the smell of fresh dew on the vegetation, and the sight of cattle grazing around the track.
I fail to explain through words. Have a look at the video here.
As we were riding to hill station, mountains and hills was something obvious. But there was something more than we expected. Among those 103 tunnels, there comes a TUNNEL NO. 33 which is said to be haunted one.
With a length of 1143.61 m, it is said to be the longest tunnel in the Kalka – Shimla Railway. It took about 3 to 4 minutes for our train to cross the tunnel. Named after Colonel Barog, who was a British railway engineer and in charge of creating the same tunnel, THE BAROG TUNNEL is famous for its scary stories.
The Colonel killed himself near the present Pine Wood Hotel, after he was fined Rs. 1 for his failure to build the same tunnel. And people say, that his soul still stays there, in the same tunnel. Honestly, we didn’t find him anywhere.
Finally, winding our route through the Himalayan Shivalik Hills foothills, we crossed some beautiful places including Dharampur, Salogra, Totu (Jutogh), Solan, Kandaghat, Taradevi, Barog, and Summerhill, we reached our destination Shimla.
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
Hope you enjoyed this journey! For the remaining journey, will see you very soon.
Till then let me know you your travel experiences and stories.