The next adventure on our list was the Toy train. There was so much hype around it that we decided to check it out, more so because of my kids as they saw the pictures of the train at the hotel and wanted to take a ride on it.
The Toy Train of Darjeeling, India, is officially called the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, is a historic railroad that runs between the hill station of Darjeeling and New Jalpaiguri.
These days, the Toy Train is not used as much as a means of transportation, but it is known to be more of a tourist attraction. The railroad has gained popularity internationally also as it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. It is a must see sight for all the tourist coming to Darjeeling.
To take a ride of the toy train one has to take tickets which can easily be done at the Darjeeling railroad station and purchase a ticket for the ‘Joy Ride.’ Upon reaching the counter the attendant told us that the tickets can also be booked online. Unfortunately we weren’t aware of this, as it would have saved us a lot of time, as we arrived about 30 mins early to book tickets, fearing there would be a long queue.
The toy train started at 10:50 am, and it went along the road way, cutting off vehicle traffic occasionally (not with the usual barriers, but with a man waving a flag to alert people about the train), and winding around the mountain.
Gazing through the window, it was exciting to see how close we rode past mountain, houses, and even shops and stores.
After travelling through the hills, the toy train stopped as the crew added more coal to the furnace. We started off again until stopping at the Darjeeling War Memorial, a site that honors the Indian army.
The overall ride of the toy train was quite enjoyable and the kids also had a jolly time. The entire round trip took about an hour and a half.
The view of the mountains and the historical significance of riding the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway made the trip a fun and memorable experience.