Monday, 8 April 2013

Shimla: Kalka - Shimla Railway


Kalka-Shimla Railway line has been granted 'World Heritage Status' by UNESCO. If you're planning a journey please make sure that you check the departure timings and grab your seats well in advance as theres a huge crowd of holiday makers.
The journey is long (5-6 hours) and takes you through a picturesque landscape full of green hills, oak trees, wild pomegrenates, brick viaducts, himalyan springs. You can criticize it for its long duration (if you go to shimla by road, it wont take more than 3 hours), but the long time is only reason why people take the train so that they can enjoy it.
In between the journey, you reach the station of Barog where in during the British Raj the trains were halted so that a lavish lunch could be served. This station has its share of intrigue as well- according to the local lore, at the time of construction of the railway, a british engineer was designing the tunnel close to the railway station of Barog. however, due to small flaw in his calculations, the tunnel couldnt be built as designed. To save himself from the embarassment, the engineer committed suicide. His younger brother then finished the tunnel, which is now one of the longest tunnel on the line ( the authenticity of this story cannot be vouched for).
Another interesting feature on this railway is the Railbus (shown in the picture). During the 1972 Shimla Agreement,  Benazir Bhutto, Mrs Indira Gandhi and Mr Zulfikar Bhutto took a ride in