- West Bengal
Best Time To Visit
- March-May or September- November
You have seen it chugging away happily in many Hindi film songs like Mere
Sapno ki Rani and Kasto Mazaa.......the Darjeeling Toy Train is indeed a
small wonder pleasing every jaded soul. This Toy Train is the folklore of
the hill people of Dajeeling. It has become the part and parcel of their
lives. Here a person starts his/ her day with the whistle of the train and
sees it in disappearing in the mist. Huffing and puffing its way from
Siliguri to Darjeeling, this toy train captures the mind and hearts of every
tourist who sits on for a ride. This Toy Train was built by Franklin
Prestage, an agent of the Eastern Bengal Company between 1879 and 1881. It
takes a total of 8 hours to cover the stretch of 86 km from Siliguri to
Darjeeling. However there are no tunnels on this stretch.
The train runs on a zig zag railway track that is about 2 feet wide. In the
8 hours of a journey a tourist can relish the scenic beauty of Darjeeling to
the fullest. The tea gardens, Sal, Oak, Chestnut and cotton trees stand as
if passing the green signal. The orchids are also an ultimate delight.
truly stated by Mark Twain:
" The trip on the Darjeeling Hill Railway is the most exciting day
I have spent on the earth...The railway journey is 40 miles and it takes
eight hours. It is so wild and exciting that it ought to take at least one
The Train in Detail
Over hundred years old Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, was constructed in
order to cope up with the increasing traffic as earlier the Hill Cart road
was the only link between Siliguri and Darjeeling. Therefore, Franklin
Prestage, an agent of Eastern Bengal Railway proposed a plan of the
construction of a 2 feet railway gauge. Thus came the Darjeeling Toy Train -
the Small Wonder. Toy train is indeed a marvel of miniature engineering.
What mostly fascinates about the Toy Train is that even after 100 years,
little seems to have changed about the journey. Along the 86 km stretch
travellers can see magnificent trees dotting the Bhutan range, and the
On some stretches the train runs parallel as on the same level as the Hill
Cart road and provides mesmerizing sights of the nearby areas.
Feather to the Cap
The Darjeeling Toy Train was listed in the 1999 as a UNESCO World Heritage
Site. Whoever visits to Darjeeling cannot think of going back without
enjoying the fun one relishes in the toy train. The train also passes
through Ghum, the highest station in India.
The Toy Train is one of the most important means of conveyance along the
steep inclines of the Himalayan region.
As the tourists enter the Toy Train, they are bowled over by the idea that
perhaps the Lilliputian World described in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's
Travels has finally come to life.