India being the country of thousands of unique diverse cultures has architecture rooted within its history, religion, and culture. The architectural practices in India have been a result of established traditions and foreign cultural interactions. One example of the best architecture to be seen in India are the various railway stations situated all over the country. Indian Railways has progressed through decades becoming world’s 3rd largest railway network covering almost 92,081 kms. The network comprises both of long distance as well as short distance (suburban) rail system and has about 8000 railway stations all over India. Let’s travel across India’s 10 Most Beautiful Railway Stations in a jiffy!
Top 10 Most Beautiful Railway Stations in India
1) Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) – Mumbai
Formerly known as Victoria Terminus, CST is a well-known UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in the year 1887 by Fredrick William Stevens, the design is influenced by Victorian Italianate Revival and famous Mughal buildings. Situated in the heart of the country, Mumbai (Bombay), one cannot miss the opportunity to visit this railway station. This historic structure is known to be one of the best and busiest railway stations all across the nation serving both long distance trains as well as the local trains of Mumbai.
2) Ghum – Darjeeling
Located in the scenic beauty of Darjeeling, Ghum is located at an altitude of 7,405 feet and is the highest located railway station in India. Located between the Himalayan ranges, Ghum is the last stop on the Darjeeling-Himalayan railway a narrow route between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. The picturesque view and the extraordinary location also makes this railway a part of the UNESCO world heritage site list and a must visit for people all around the world.
3) Howrah Junction – Kolkata
Popularly known as the oldest railway station in India, Howrah is also one of the largest and busiest railway stations of India with 23 platforms and can handle large volumes of passengers in a day, than any other railway station. The city of West Bengal was the capital during the days of British Raj, therefore making it the oldest one. It is situated on the west bank of the Hooghly river in Kolkata and the structure still holds the charm of British style architecture.
4) Charbagh – Lucknow
Charbagh railway station of Lucknow is not less than any architectural masterpiece. Travelers and tourist have mistaken it to be a monument and not a railway station. Built in the early 20th century and designed by J.H. Hornimen during the British Raj. This structure depicts domes, minars, Saracen design and beautifully blends in the harmony of the other heritage buildings in Lucknow – the city of Nawabs. It is one of the major railway stations in Lucknow and well connected to other parts of the country.
5) Barog – Shimla
Located in the hills on the way to Shimla, Barog railway station is a narrow rail route on Kalka-Shimla popularly known as the ‘toy train route’. The station is famous for Tunnel No. 33, which is the longest tunnel on the route next to the station. It was built in the year 1903 and has the history of being haunted by Colonel Barog, the person in charge for the construction. The station is highly popular among the visitors mainly because of its location and the panoramic view of the hills.
6) Cuttack – Odisha
The Cuttack railway station is inspired from the famous Barabati fort, which is located in the Kalinga region of Odisha. It has an attractive architecture of the fort and does not give the look for a railway station. It is one of the top 100 booking stations of Indian railways and operates under the Khurda division of east coast. This beauty needs to be visited and adored.
7) Chennai Central Station – Chennai
One of the most profitable and important railway station in the southern part of India, the Chennai central station is a prominent landmark and the main hub of the city. Designed in the gothic revival style, the station has 17 platforms and is busy all around the year.
8) Jaisalmer Station – Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer – jewel of the city also known as the Golden city is situated between the Great Indian Desert and the Thardesert. Located in the golden city, this railway station is appealing and also famous for India’s luxurious trains. The station consists of 3 platforms and 5 tracks and is a must visit to get a feel of Indian living.
9) Dudhsagar – Goa
Ideally located on the border of Karnataka and Goa, the Dudhsagar railway station is not as popular among people as it should be. The station is situated near pristine Dudhsagar waterfall and surrounded by deciduous forests is a complete package for nature lovers.
10) Srinagar – Kashmir
Located 8kms from the city center in Nowgam, Srinagar railway station is one of the most beautiful stations one can visit. The design of the station features traditional Kashmiri architecture in wood that compliments the royal local surrounding. One traveling to Kashmir, must take a ride and visit the Srinagar station.
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