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Friday, August 28, 2015

iExplore | Dibrugarh to Kanyakumari - 4240 Kilometres. 58 Halts. 7 States. 4 days. 1 Train.

We were chatting up about all the things related to travel when he said, “You should travel by the Vivek Express sometime. It runs between Dibrugarh in Assam and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, and is India’s longest train journey. You don’t have to be travelling to either place- just take the train for the experience of it all!”

Train No 15905/15906 Kanyakumari bound

And when you’ve taken a little over 20 trains even before the first half of the year, itching to do something more (the wackier, the better), the thought of executing that idea, sown in your head about 6 months ago, seems very enticing!

Keeping that in mind, I booked myself a ticket on not just India’s but the sub-continent’s longest train journey. Starting off at Dibrugarh – the farthest point in East India that one can take a train from – I journeyed through 7 states, with 58 halts en route, to reach my destination, some 4240 kilometres away, 4 days later. It was then that I understood what they meant by the adage '…in the end, it’s the journey (not the destination) that matters'.

It is often asked, “What do you do in the train for over 80 hours?”
And my answer always is “There can be no Bharat Darshan better than this! It’s a lot like lounging on your couch at home in front of the television set – except for what you get to see, which is better than what is shown on your LED.”

Losing count of just the types of bridges

Where else would you be --

  • Watching hills as they disappear into the horizon with the change in ground elevation after Guwahati 
  • Seeking peacocks through the mango groves as you pass Bihar
  • Trailing cycle pathways as they zig-zag their way into fields and villages around Balasore in Odisha
  • Losing count of the different types of bridges that you glimpse – from handmade bamboo ones connecting houses to the main street to the mud-mortar ones, connecting towns and cities to each other. The variation in types of houses as well as the attire worn by people. That’s when you begin to see the influence of the weather on people’s way of life. 
Chugging past a game of gully-cricket

Whether you’re in the east, the middle, or the south, some colours never go out of style. (Think about Gulabi pink, Kesari orange, Sunny yellow…) Like children who never seem to tire from waving excitedly as another train chugs alongside!

In addition to this, all meals are served with exquisite care to ensure your convenience. This has to be better than lounging on your couch!

To journey in one’s own country with the Indian Railway through some of its lesser explored parts is not a feat many can claim to have completed. After all, who decides that the coolness quotient for a cruise or a road trip ranks higher than a ‘train journey’?

As for me, I’m grateful to that chance conversation that led me to not just embark but also complete something as unusual as this journey!

Disclaimer: This post has been written in collaboration with Cleartrip. All opinions are my own.

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Logophile | Tree-hugger | Wanderer | Cynophilist |

Heart+Mind behind ‘Be You For You’ and ‘Have Feet Will Travel’. At the core of what I offer and what I do best are three keywords: Storytelling. Expression. Authenticity.


  1. Replies
    1. Feet itch to do the Kanyakumari - Srinagar train route now ;)

  2. wow. utterly brilliant. Although I myself LOVE train journeys I'm not sure how I'd go on a four day trip on Indian trains. I've done nearly 2 days on one in Pakistan I guess... two nights it was. But wow. Simply amazing - well done!

    1. Thanks! These work out quite well actually - even from an economic point of view :)

  3. Wow...now I want to get on that train. I am not sure I will last 4 days on the train though ;)

    1. With eyes trained to take in the views along with books and music for company, I am sure you'll be able to outlast the train journey, Aparna :)

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  5. wow! 4days 7 states 1 TRAIN.. that journey would be one awesome journey... :)

  6. Nice trip. Thanks for sharing your trip experience. Dibrugarh is situated at the northern most tip of Assam. Lush and green tea plantations set the backdrop for this small town. Situated along the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra, Dibrugarh is one of oldest and most important cities in Assam. You can also check train 14056 running status which goes to Dibrugarh.

  7. Woohoooo! Someday, for sure. Akin to the conversation six months ago, a journey to remember.

    Very very excited. SHubham

    1. Please do. I can't insist or emphasise enough how much of a beauty this journey is. It definitely took my love for train travel to an all new level