Route: Palampur- Pathankot- Jawalamukhi- Kangra- Joginder Nagar
The Kangra valley railway is one of the most fascinating railway networks in India. A train that travels through the breathtaking valleys of the Himalayan region, the Kangra Valley railway is truly unmatchable. Few places can match the scenic beauty of the Himalayas, where the train travels. One will stumble across a land that has cast its magic spell upon those who planned the railway and those who built the line. The result is there for all to see- an achievement that in every way makes one proud of the fine record that the history of Indian railways has always had.
The Kangra valley is the name given to the entire region that lies between the Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas to the north and the last strangling foothills to the south. The Kangra valley railway is an excellent proof of how railway engineers can create a work in harmony with nature. This they have done without destroying the majesty of the mountain, and at the same time, revealing to the traveler, an enchanted and beautiful land.
The unique line of Kangra Valley Railway has just two tunnels, one of which is only 250 feet and the other 1,000 feet in length. Certainly the scenery through which the train passes is ample compensation for the extra distance covered as compared to getting there by road.
The most picturesque parts of the valley come to the view - the stretch of 18 miles from Mangwal to Kangra, for example, lies through country unsurpassed for its majestic grandeur with the majestic Ban Ganga gorge and the deep Kangra chasm as two piece de resistance. As one approaches Palampur, the ever-present background of snowy chain peaks, 15,000 and 16,000 feet in height is barely ten miles away. From here onwards, the line runs parallel to the Dhauladhar range and much nearer to it than any other railways in India that ever comes so close to the eternal snows.
Just before Baijnath, the line enters a stretch of country far superior to the journey by road. Here, the train threads its way among the pines of the Bhir gorge. This stretch between Baijnath and Joginder Nagar is the steepest. Over here the train moves at a snail's pace till it reaches the highest point on the track at Ahju. Not far from here are the popular Para-Gliding and Hang-Gliding sites of Bir and Billing. As the train approaches Joginder Nagar, the White Mountains gradually begin fading away.
Further up the line is the Bathu Khad, which is spanned by a long viaduct, constructed on a graceful curve with the rails about 100 feet above the bed of the Nullah. Between this point and Kangra are the only two tunnels: at mile 53 is the Dhundi tunnel, 250 feet long. Four miles ahead is the Daulatpur tunnel, which is 1,000 feet in length