Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tourism Reviews : Toy Train Shimla

Hi All

This is one post that I have been meaning to write for a month. It's more like a promise that I had
made to myself. Weird thing is that with such desperation, I am not here to suggest something or tell about a beautiful experience... rather, I am here to tell you against something.

So, I took a trip to Shimla earlier this month and while going, we tooka train from Delhi till Katra and from there, we took the Toy Train. Here, is the important part - NEVER, I repeat NEVER EVER take the Toy Train, if you are going to go to Shimla for a vacation.
[I know that I should definitely write about the places to visit... but this is more important, trust me!]

Anyways, well, I must really credit the Governent and all the involved people, especially the local people of the state, for having such a wonderful thing there. I mean, having a train run through 103 tunnels (yes!! a hundred and three... or maybe it is a hundred and four and the joy of shouting in each and every one of the tunnel... wow!!), is definitely phenomenal. I mean, everytime you come out of a tunnel, the view is breath-taking.

Let's start from Katra... well, you board this train around 12:30pm from platform no. 6. And if you really want to go in this train, think twice before stepping in... the compartments are pretty small... and the seats are made of such foam that will make your body ache. Anyways, because the compartments are really small, you better not be carrying anything, for the seats are small for even two people to sit.
Also, if you can, carry some cushion/pillow, because there is no head rest or place to rest your head...
and in the 5 hour long journey, you will sooner or later, need to do that.

Now that I have already written most of the horrible parts, I would still write them in plain language - the journey is 5 hours long. If you take a cab or something, you will require at max, 2 hours. But in this train, you will need to stay put for 5 hours and you can't do anything. Even if you think of jumping down, make sure there is a valley or something deep, for if you just jump and there are tracks, the train is pretty small, you will only be left behind a few meters.
Further, the space is very much compromised. So, if you are on the heavier side, like me and my family, be prepared to make a lot of adjustments.

Now there is no food in the train but you can buy some from Katra. I would suggest that in the few short minutes that you get before the train starts, you should eat it. Once the train starts, there will be very little time and space to do anything.

The most important thing is, that about a minute after the train starts and till the time it stops at Shimla, the entire journey, you just need to look outside the window and hold your breath. Everything is just so beautiful that at alot of times, you would find it hard to believe your own eyes.
I mean, I love the mountains and I have special affinity towards Himachal and Shimla especially, but still, when I was looking outside the window, I couldnt just believe how beautiful my land is.
Even the small Railway Stations.. they are really very clean and well-kept.

Important Tip - Don't forget to take the local HPMC juices (Apple and Lichi are my favorite) and the chaats at the stations. Totally delicious!

Long Story short, if you live there, in or around Shimla, then you should definitely travel by this train. Or you are like celebrating your 60th Wedding Anniversary and taking your spouse to a heavenly destination, then you could go and definitely have a ride... or like you are on your honeymoon, then keep your luggage someplace else and go ride this train... or even if you are with your friends, to laugh and cry and not care about sitting down and then shouting at each tunnel.... totally worth it!! Otherwise, don't tell me later that I didn't tell you ;)

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