Home > Andhra Pradesh, General, Travelogue > Vizag – Araku Train

Vizag – Araku Train

Vizag – Araku Train

~ Broad Gauge Mountain Railway ~

As our Kirandul Fast Passenger made its way through the numerous tunnels and bridges I made a desperate attempt to capture the train meandering train on my camera. Sadly my SLR camera (Vivitar v3600s) was too big to pass through the grilled window of the train.

Kirandul Fast Passenger, with Eastern Ghat in backdrop

Kirandul Fast Passenger, with Eastern Ghat in backdrop

Suddenly I noticed my wife clicking photos with her newly purchased point and shoot digital camera (Olympus Fe310). I grabbed the camera and it easily passed out of the window grill and captured the Kirandul Fast Passenger making a huge loop with the lush green Eastern Ghats in the background.

Araku Valley, viewed from Kirandul Fast Passenger

Araku Valley, viewed from Kirandul Fast Passenger

Our journey to the lush green Araku Valley started a couple of hours early from the Vizag station. We have taken the rail cum bus tour of the Araku Valley conducted by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC). Definitely the highlight of the journey is the remarkable train journey between Vizag and Araku.

In India most of the mountain railway runs on narrow and meter gauge. But the Vizag – Araku train exception and also has the distinction of housing the highest broad guage train station in India.

Shimiliguda Station, India's Highest Broad Gauge Station

Shimiliguda Station, highest station on Vizag – Araku line

Located North West of Vizag the beautiful valley is connected by a 150 km long rail track. An engineering marvel the rail tracks meanders through the Eastern Ghats passing through 58 tunnels and 84 bridges.

The train follows the Chenni – Howrah line till Kottavalas from where it takes a left diversion towards the Eastern Ghats. After about two hours of journey through the lush green coastal plains merges into the even greener Eastern Ghats, marking the starting points of tunnels and bridges. The line meanders past lush green valleys, towering cliffs and thundering water falls, passing through several tunnels some couple of meters long while several others stretching over 100 meters. The longest tunnel has length of 520 meters.

Araku Station, journey ends

Araku Station, journey ends

Through out the hill region of this line patrolling staffs of Indian Railway give clearance to all passing by trains as they continuously monitor the track for any land slide, tree falling or any other type of damages. The train also passes Bora Caves and a small plaque located inside the Bora Caves shows the exact point through which the rail line pass.

Most of the time valley falls in right side of the train while going towards Araku from Vizag and waterfalls remain at left side. We were lucky to get a seat on the right side thus had a opportunity of having great views of the lush green valleys but missed out on the waterfalls.

Just before reaching Araku the train stops at the Shimiliguda Station, located at a height of 996.32 feet it is the highest station on the Vizag – Araku route and formally the highest broad gauge rail station in India. I was aware of the fact and was out at the door to have a snap of the Shimiliguda station. Luckly out coach stopped straight in front of the Shimiliguda station board which not only had the station name but also the height 996.3 mts above Mean Sea Level (MSL). This time also my wife’s point and shoot digital camera came handy. We were soon in Araku station ending a memorial train journey.

Note:  Now the highest broad gauge railway station in India happens to be Qazigund (1722) meters on the Jammu – Srinagar railway.

For more information read my Vizag Araku Travelogue

  1. Prasanta Mallik's Tourism
    September 17, 2012 at 10:46 AM


  2. May 17, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Would like to make this journey.

    • May 17, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      Thanks for the comment. Its a journey worth taking.

  3. May 17, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    Nice clicks!

  4. Nandkishor
    June 12, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Nice info & pics…

  5. July 6, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    Rangan, your trip reminded me of mine back in 2008. Till now I haven’t blogged about it. Though I don’t have great photographs like yours, I’ll blog about my experience too 🙂

    • October 30, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      Thanks Anunoy for the comment. In fact I also visited Vizag & Araku in 2008, during the Durga Puja time.

      Blogging is all about sharing personal experience, it doesn’t mater what photographs you have, but you can always put up a nice story.

      Keep blogging!!!!

  6. Saptarshi
    June 29, 2015 at 11:17 PM

    Hi Rangan,
    Wonderful blog. Just one query why is it that everyone goes to Araku from Vizag by Kirandul and no one shares experience of the reverse . Is the return journey not as good? or any other reason?
    Any information on this would be helpful.

    • July 2, 2015 at 10:00 AM

      Thanks Saptarshi for the interesting question. The Kirandul fast passenger leaves Vizag early in the morning and since the Eastern Ghats are located next to Vizag you can see it in the morning light.

      For the return journey the Kirundal Fast Passenger passes through the Eastern Ghats in night, so this is the reason every one talks about the Vizag – Araku journey but not the reverse journey.

  7. March 30, 2016 at 7:30 PM

    Hi Rangan, pls visit my tourism website on Vizag, http://www.vizagtraveller.com. Looking forward for your suggestions. Thnq.

  8. November 19, 2016 at 9:26 PM

    Hello Rangan,
    I have just updated the FAQ on the Vizag Araku Valley Train.
    Kindly visit and let me know should I require anything else.

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