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Barog – Place with straightest tunnel in the World
Situated in the Choor Chandni hills of Himalayas, Barog is a small hill station in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh in India. It lies on UNESCO World Heritage Site Kalka- Shimla Railway. Situated at the height of 5,120 ft., Barog tunnel at 1144 meters is the longest tunnnel on the Kalka- Shimla Railway and appears just before the Barog railway station. It is the straightest tunnel in the world. A train at a speed of 25 kilometers per hour takes about 2.5 minutes to cross the tunnel.
Tragedy behind the Barog Tunnel
Barog tunnel has a tragic tale associated with its construction. Colonel Barog, an engineer was responsible for designing the tunnel in 1903. He instructed the crew to bore the tunnel from both (opposite) ends of the mountain which is a common practice as it speeds up the construction. The crew started working according to the colonel's calculations with the objective that both the tunnels would meet in the middle to become a single tunnel.
Due to some miscalculations on Barog's part, it was found that two ends of the tunnel didn't meet as the alignments of the tunnels were wrong. The crew was furious as their hard work had gone waste. The British Government levied a fine of Rs 1/- on Colonel Barog for wasting the property of the government. Colonel Barog couldn't withstand the humiliation and committed suicide by shooting himself. He was buried near the incomplete tunnel. The area was named Barog after him.
There have been rumours of Barog's ghost being seen lingering in and around the tunnel. He however is believed to be a friendly ghost who doesn't even shy away from mingling with the living. Many people have claimed to have met Barog's ghost during a walk in the tunnel.
Completion of the tunnel
Chief Engineer H.S. Herlington was given the charge to bore a new tunnel ater the unexpected demise of Colonel Barog. Similar problems in finding proper alignment was faced by Mr. Harrington too. It is said that a local saint Baba Bhalku who possessed natural enginering skills helped him with the task. The tunnel was constructed approximately one kilometer away from the earlier point. The work on the tunnel commenced in 1900 and was completed in 1903 at an expense of Rs 8.40 lakhs.
Places to see in Barog
Barog is a small, scenic hill station with a few tourist attractions:
Choor Chandni Peak – At a height of 3650 m above sea level , the peak is close to village and adventure lovers go for trekking there. The pine forest closeby is ideal for jungle streaming. Tourists enjoy the serenity of Barog while trekking. This is also an ideal destination for photography enthusiasts to click some breathtaking shots of snow capped mountains and pristine valleys all around.
Graveyard of Barog – Colonel Barog was buried close to the railway line with a well maintained courtyard.
Dolanji Bon Monastery – It is popularly known as Yungdrung Bon Monastery. The monastery is managed by the Yungdrung Bon Monastic Centre and around 120 monks live here. It was established in 1969 by Abbot Lungtog Tenpai Nyima and is a center of Tibetan Buddhist learning. This peaceful monastery is 5 kms away from Barog and is worth a visit. Bon dance performances are the highlight of the New Year celebrations in the monastery premises .
Barog Camping Grounds– It is the only registered camping site at Barog which is perfect to have a blissful experience of camping with friends. One can enjoy mesmerising views of Choor Chandni peak as well as Solan valley from here. Activities like bonfire and trekking are also available.
Suketi Fossil Park – It is the first park to be built at exactly the same place where fossils were found. Lying on the banks of Markanda river, fthe park is amous for some mind blowing life – size models made of fibreglass of pre – historic animals and skeletons whose fossils were found here. The fossils are believed to date back to 8.5 million years and the park showcases some amazing models of the animals that existed around that time like hippopotamus with six incisors, Sabre toothed tiger, giant land tortoise, extinct grand elephant etc.
Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God.— John Muir
Places to visit around Barog
Karol Goofa - Karol Goofa is regarded as one of the longest caves in the Himalayas which starts from Karol and ends near Pinjore. Besides Goddess Kali and Lord Hanuman temples, Thakur Mandir on top of the hill are some of the tourist attractions. It is around 17 km away from Barog.
Jatoli - Jatoli is famous for its Shiva temple which is considered as Asia's highest Shiva temple. It is at a distance of 15 kms from Barog.
How to Reach Barog
The distance from New Delhi to Barog is 294 kms. It takes about 5.45 hours to reach Barog from New Delhi by car. By road, Chandigarh is 62 km and Shimla is 55 km.
The route to be followed is as follows:
New Delhi – Panipat – Karnal – Pipli – Ambala – Panchkula – Kalka – Continue on NH 22 via Dharampur – Barog.
The closest airport is at Jubbar-Hatti which is 65 km away. The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Barog itself.
Train Going to the Barog Tunnel, Himachal Pradesh, India
© 2018 Shaloo Walia