Steaming to Darjeeling by Toy Train

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November 27th 2004
Published: April 18th 2006
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London to India

Kids jump on Toy TrainKids jump on Toy TrainKids jump on Toy Train

Denise took this photo (she's getting good!)of local kids jumping on to the Toy Train as it makes its way up to Darjeeling in the Himalayas.
The Indian Railway system is amazing in as much as you can book tickets over the Internet in Britain (or anywhere else) which is what we did for the train journeys throughout our trip in India. When you arrive at the platform to wait for your train, miraculously your name is printed out with details of your coach and seat number and pinned to a notice board, and when the train turns up, again your name is attached to the outside of your particular coach. Denise was somewhat taken aback to find that her age was also printed out for all to see!

From Kolkata (Calcutta) we headed north to the Himalayas and to the old colonial Hill Station of Darjeeling, home to some of the best tea in the world. I (Gerry) was particularly keen to get away from the cities and head for the hills. We got an overnight train to New Jalpaiguri then picked up the steam toy train (a narrow guage train track built in the 1860's) which climbs the 7500ft up to Darjeeling. It's a fantastic engineering feat and must be one of the world's most scenic train journeys.

The Toy train took about
Darjeeling Darjeeling Darjeeling

The first view of Darjeeling as you round the bend on the train.
9 hours to reach Darjeeling, just as the sun was setting. Rounding the final bend to Darjeeling we could make out the Kangchenjunga mountain range. Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world at over 28,000 ft. The word in Tibetan means "Great snow with the 5 treasures", referring to the 5 peaks. Each peak has its own name:

1. 'Tsa' means 'salt'
2. 'Ser dhang yee' means ' gold and turquoise'
3. 'Dham-choy dhang nor' means ' the holy books and wealth'
4. 'Mtson' means ' weapons'
5. 'lo-thog dhang men' means 'crops and medicine'

Additional photos below
Photos: 6, Displayed: 6


Half way to DarjeelingHalf way to Darjeeling
Half way to Darjeeling

The toy train is a bit of an event, making its way up to Darjeeling.
Toy trainToy train
Toy train

The train mostly follows the road up the mountains.

4th December 2004

Thanks for the awesome photos
Thoroughly enjoyed viewing the photos. Quite unique in that the views are taken from a passenger's perspective. The photos capture the essence of Himalayan life and the excitement of travelling by DHR. A resident of Darjeeling for 14 years before I moved to New Zealand, the photos brought back warm memories. Many thanks.
29th December 2004

nice photos
hope u enjoyed your journey in the DHR...;o) one of the best train journeys, I must say. - Gurans
5th December 2005

Thank you so much
Although I'm sure it's different now, your photos gave me a much needed idea of what Darjeeling looked like. My great grandfather died there in 1899 and without your pictures, it would just be another name on a map or in a book. I may never find his gravesite, but your pictures let me know how it looks. Thanks so very much!!
17th April 2006

perfect beauty
what else can i say more than --- perferct natural beauty !!!!!!!!! its heaven on earth .
21st May 2006

great work
really liked going through the journals........actually i wanted more.......anyways hope u enjoyed out there at the queen of hills.Darjeeling is trully wonderful in every sence.
6th October 2006

Toy train chugs
I would love to see you re-visit Darjeeling in the Toy Train and make a critical assessment now vis-a-vis your last visit. Darjeeling, I understand, is fast losing its charm due to some reckless construction. I've written about it; if you also chip in with some critical remarks, it'd help.
10th November 2006

thanks guys
that was really nice...........such a long time ...........isaw this today only Aand was very happy coz i m staying far away from darjeeling and its really nice to see my place ............thanks guys

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