National Geographic Traveller (UK)
Big countries offer epic train journeys. From Australia to Canada, South Africa to the US, traversing a nation by rail can offer insight into a destination rarely achieved by any other means of transport.
But with one of the largest rail networks in the world, India is perhaps where this unique perspective really comes into its own. With 40,000 miles of track, 25 million passengers a day and more than 13,000 trains, this vast country is best explored from the seat of a carriage.
The first Indian passenger train departed Bombay on 16 April 1853. Our cover story this issue, nearly 170 years later, shines a light on what’s gone on to become one of the world’s most celebrated networks, taking in mountains, cities, jungles, rivers, villages and everything in between.
Whether you’re jumping aboard the desert train from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer; exploring the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur; heading south from Mumbai to Madgaon; or treating yourself to a journey in one of India’s luxury trains, there’s an adventure to be found in all four corners of the subcontinent.
As our writer Monisha Rajesh says, ‘There’s simply no finer way to discover India in all its beauty and complexity than by rail.’ And with the return of the online eVisa, there’s never been a better time to visit, either.
Pat Riddell, editor
Editor of the Year – Travel (BSME Awards)