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Konkan Railway, India's Amazing and Spectacular Railway Route

Updated on March 30, 2017
sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

A travel enthusiast, Sunil Kunnoth finds pleasure in making long train journeys with a mind to observe things around.


Frankly speaking, I need to be a poet to describe the charm of Konkan rail route precisely. Sorry, I am not a poet. Yet I admit anyone becomes a poet when he makes a journey through this spectacular route on the Konkan coast of India. It is world’s one of the most amazing rail routes. A passage through the Konkan coast offers you some great travel experience. It is a romantic safari. Let's begin our pleasant journey now. Be cool and enjoy yourself.

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Amazing bridges add beauty to the already charming locationIt is green everywhereThe enchanting Konkan How to describe the nature's feel!Plants, fields, the greenery will welcome you throughout the journeyA Staton on the wayDon't fear, it is another tunnel.When the train stoppedThe Goan panorama is another attraction of the Konkan coast.My son Atul Krishna poses for a photographIf Goa is your destination, alight here.Uduppi Station. Alight here to visit the famous Sri Krishna TempleSitting on the platform, you can take plenty of photos like thisThe fascinating rivers.The rivers, hills, greenery,  the Konkan offers you a different experienceTrucks are being ferried. It is cost efficient and saves on  fuel consumption.  It is called RoRo Service.Small stations (stops) like this helps you relax and take some fine snaps, when the train stops.To bite some delicious snacks on the platform. You can collect good Cashew Nuts from the platform.
Amazing bridges add beauty to the already charming location
Amazing bridges add beauty to the already charming location | Source
It is green everywhere
It is green everywhere | Source
The enchanting Konkan
The enchanting Konkan | Source
How to describe the nature's feel!
How to describe the nature's feel! | Source
Plants, fields, the greenery will welcome you throughout the journey
Plants, fields, the greenery will welcome you throughout the journey | Source
A Staton on the way
A Staton on the way | Source
Don't fear, it is another tunnel.
Don't fear, it is another tunnel. | Source
When the train stopped
When the train stopped | Source
The Goan panorama is another attraction of the Konkan coast.
The Goan panorama is another attraction of the Konkan coast. | Source
My son Atul Krishna poses for a photograph
My son Atul Krishna poses for a photograph | Source
If Goa is your destination, alight here.
If Goa is your destination, alight here. | Source
Uduppi Station. Alight here to visit the famous Sri Krishna Temple
Uduppi Station. Alight here to visit the famous Sri Krishna Temple
Sitting on the platform, you can take plenty of photos like this
Sitting on the platform, you can take plenty of photos like this | Source
The fascinating rivers.
The fascinating rivers. | Source
The rivers, hills, greenery,  the Konkan offers you a different experience
The rivers, hills, greenery, the Konkan offers you a different experience | Source
Trucks are being ferried. It is cost efficient and saves on  fuel consumption.  It is called RoRo Service.
Trucks are being ferried. It is cost efficient and saves on fuel consumption. It is called RoRo Service.
Small stations (stops) like this helps you relax and take some fine snaps, when the train stops.
Small stations (stops) like this helps you relax and take some fine snaps, when the train stops. | Source
To bite some delicious snacks on the platform. You can collect good Cashew Nuts from the platform.
To bite some delicious snacks on the platform. You can collect good Cashew Nuts from the platform. | Source


Geography


The Konkan Railway (KR) connects Mangalore, a major Town in Karnataka with Roha in Maharashtra. It is a short way to reach Mumbai, the Commercial Capital of Maharashtra and one of the Chief Metropolitan cities of India, from Mangalore. The route starts from Karnataka’s Kankanadi (better known as Mangalore Junction) and passes through Goa and Maharashtra. Udupi, Kundapura, Byndoor, Mookambika Road, Murudeshwar, Bhatkal and Gokarna, the famous tourist and religious spots in Karnataka and Madgaon of Goa and Ratnagiri of Maharashtra are some of the major stops or fascination you will find during your onward train journey to Mumbai.


Throughout its total length of 741 km journey, you will experience the most amazing and spectacular scenery of the nature along the west coast of India and the other wonder of nature called ‘the Western Ghats’ or ‘Sahyadri’ hills. Plenty of tunnels and bridges are what make it a different rail route in India apart from other attractions. I have travelled almost the length and breadth of India but never have witnessed such a beautiful panorama as what Konkan coast offers. I must admit that the Konkan even beats Kerala’s spectacular sceneries, a land known as the God’s Own Country.


Google Map of Konkan Coast, Goa Region

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History


The Konkan railway was formed for the very reason that there was no rail connectivity from Mangalore to Mumbai. Since Mumbai is the commercial capital of India and a paradise for job seekers, thousands of people were travelling to that great city every day. They had to travel very long to reach Mumbai by taking a road trip. It was time-consuming, expensive and above all strenuous too.


The people living in the Konkan region naturally felt and pressed the need for a rail route through their area. Apart from Karnataka, if materialised, the new rail route would be beneficial to passengers of other South Indian states like Kerala, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu and Goa and Maharashtra of the Western region greatly.


Being termed as the brainchild of veteran parliamentarian from Ratnagiri, Barrister Nath Pai, M.P, other political leaders like Madhu Dandavate and George Fernandez of the Konkan region played a decisive role in the conception of the Konkan railway.


Soon, a separately incorporated Railway Company was formed for the construction and operation of the Konkan line. The Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) was thus constituted. The foundation stone of the project was laid on July 1990. Mr Sreedharan, a senior railway official (Chief Engineer too) was appointed its first Chairman and Managing Director.


Engineering, the Toughest Challenge


The route passes through the toughest terrain. Obstacles were plenty. Full of mountains, hills, rivers, lakes, dense forest, coastal region, everywhere it was a hostile terrain. The weather too was so tough on this sector with the occasional attack of flash floods, landslides, strong wind and continuous rain. The Monsoon rain hit the region so harshly. Above all, the route was remote, deserted and the roaming of wild animals were a permanent menace. Most of the area had agricultural fields. The human settlement was so thin thanks to the tough terrain nature of the Konkan area.


Then, how to build a railway route facing all these challenges? That was the great question and concern. Reputed Engineers from the advanced countries too were of the opinion that even the idea of building a rail route itself is unthinkable, leave alone constructing. Here comes the magic of E. Sreedharan, popularly known as “India’s Metro Man”. His mastery craft had built many engineering wonders in India, and the most famous being the reconstruction of Pamban Bridge when a cyclone hit the bridge damaging it completely.


His ability is more counted when the task is tough. He introduced several innovative methods, strategies and a decent work culture. Quick, prompt and very scientific, his brain had a lot of ideas and that reflected in the construction of the Konkan railway. Beating all the harsh challenges, the world’s toughest rail construction was completed in a record time of seven years.


When the 741 km long line was inaugurated on the Republic Day of India, that is January 26th, 1998, the whole nation was thrilled of a rare accomplishment. It was a great day of a greater achievement. The nation also paid homage to the 76 great lives lost during the construction of the challenging route. The whole world was shocked on India’s engineering marvel. It was another proud moment for the workaholic Sreedharan. The Konkan Railway is beautifully described as ‘Indian engineering skills go poetic and heroic in the Western Ghats”. Some international Dailies mentioned that even technologically advanced countries too cannot finish such a great work in such a short period. India’s glory went high when the train service started through the route.


Sharavati Bridge.  Enjoy the breathtaking panorama around.
Sharavati Bridge. Enjoy the breathtaking panorama around. | Source
Source
Sharavati Bridge.
Sharavati Bridge. | Source
Source
Rajdhani Express, a fully air-conditioned train.
Rajdhani Express, a fully air-conditioned train. | Source
A train crossing a long tunnel
A train crossing a long tunnel | Source
Source
Source
Source
Panval Viaduct, India's tallest and Asia's third tallest rail bridge
Panval Viaduct, India's tallest and Asia's third tallest rail bridge | Source
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Source
E. Sreedharan, the master brain behind the Konkan Railway.
E. Sreedharan, the master brain behind the Konkan Railway. | Source

Points to Remember


  • Konkan is a one-line railway track (single track) and not electrified.
  • Train run so fast here. Stops are very limited. Hence, trains can go fast.
  • To enjoy the Konkan panorama, you need to travel in a non AC coach. This is to help you taking some fine snaps.
  • Ensure a side seat for observing the scenery.
  • You need to travel in the daytime to watch the beautiful panorama.
  • Take a break journey like from Mangalore to Madgaon or from Mumbai to Madgaon.
  • To enable passengers to visit many tourist spots along the route, the KRCL has arranged some tour plans. Please visit their official site: http://www.konkanrailway.com
  • To watch the Konkan beauty, it will be fine if you opt a passenger train as it moves in a limited speed with frequent stops.


The Poetry


A picture is worth thousand words. As admitted earlier, I don’t have enough vocabulary to describe the charm of the amazing Konkan route. Rather than the pen, here what works better is my digital camera. Konkan route is so marvel, spectacular and truly incredible. The photos were taken by me as well downloaded from the official site of KRCL) will give a feast to your eyes. These photos are the real poetry.


The sleepy villages, green fields, sea, rivers, lakes, forest, small huts, coastal life, nature is at its best on the Konkan coast. It is exactly picture perfect. It is nature’s wonder.


Certain journeys do not require any destination. The journey itself is a pleasure. To enjoy it all what you need to do is just reserve your ticket and ensure a window seat. You will read the mind-blogging poetry written by nature while passing through this enchanting panorama.


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References: Wikipedia, Official Website of Konkan Railway Corporation Limited and The Hindu Daily.

© 2014 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth

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    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thank you for the comments. I hope you have a good chance to visit India. God bless you.

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 2 years ago

      Hi sunilkunnoth2012!

      Yes, I loved it. I don't know if I will get the chance to do this journey now - I live in the UK and am a little over 60 years old.

      However, I enjoy travelling in my imagination - and I'll certainly check out your fine hubs about Indian natural history!

      Bless you :)

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      @stuff4kids

      I am happy that you liked this route and my hub covering its features. I hope you make a journey through this wonderful place once. I have done another hubs featuring the diverse nature of India. Hope you will find and read the same as it may help you when you travel through this great country. Thank you for your visit and nice comments.

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 2 years ago

      Wow! I would just love to do that journey. I've always loved the railroads. The longest rail trip I ever did was with my oldest boys. We went from London in the UK to Varna in Bulgaria. It was quite an adventure.

      This looks stunning. India is such a beautiful country. So romantic! Thank you for sharing this amazing article. :)

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving some comments. I am happy that you have decided to make a trip through the track. Happy journey!

    • pateluday profile image

      Uday Patel 2 years ago from Jabalpur, MP, India

      You have created an amazing hub with all those wonderful photographs and details. I must visit this track someday.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hackslap

      It is high time you make a train trip and more so through the enchanting Konkan coast. Please come to Kerala, The God's Own Country through Konkan route. You are right it is really a spectacular journey and I am sure you will never forget it. Thanks for your comments.

    • Hackslap profile image

      Harry 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I actually grew up in Delhi and lived there until 2003 .. but have never travelled on a train since 1998 lol .. .. should place this on a list of things to do before I die ... seems like a spectacular train journey.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thank you for stopping by and expressing your wish here. I am happy that you wish to make a journey through this enchanting route. I hope you will sooner or later. Thanks also for voting up.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      This was a beautifully presented hub, enjoyed the journey with you on the Konkan Railway. The building of the railway was informative too. Photo's and video added more enjoyment. I would love to travel on this route. Thank you. Voting up.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thank you Chitraji for your kind words. Glad to know that you had some experience on this marvel route. On the Konkan charm, I have plan to write one more hub. Please wait for. Thank you again for your visit and comments.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very nice presentation about the Konkan railways!

      I had the privilege of traveling through this route at least thrice and I have always loved watching outside the window of the train.

      Amazing pictures and a well presented hub!

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      MSDora

      Thank you fro stopping by and leaving some comments, which is very encouraging too, Hope and pray you make a ride through this enchanting cost in the near future.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you for that enjoyable train ride on the Konkan railway. I wish I could visit India and do that for real. Your article is enticing.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      goodnews11

      Thank you very much your appreciation. Konkan Railway was one of India's greatest engineering accomplishments. Like E. Sreedharan, there are many people behind the big challenge. Some even lost their precious life during the construction period. So their great work, sacrifice, everything need to be acknowledged and appreciated. The same is what I did through the above article. Glad to know that my presentation is wonderful.

    • goodnews11 profile image

      OSBERT JOEL C 3 years ago from CHENNAI

      Great work!! You have projected our nation to the world in a wonderful manner.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Nitin,

      Thank you very much for your fabulous comments. I am happy that it makes you feel to plan an immediate trip through the route and that is what my mention too. Your visit and comments appreciated.

    • profile image

      Nitin Trichy 3 years ago

      The Aricle was an Fabulous one.The Writer just made us eager to travel this place very soon.Video attachment was a fantastic one.Justb gave goose bumps seeing the Sceneric beauty...Wow

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