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The Nilgiri Mountain Railway

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway is located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu and was constructed by the British in 1908. It connects the town of Mettupalayam with the hill station of Udagamandalam or Ooty as it is known, in the Nilgiri hills, popularly known as the 'Blue Mountains' of Southern India. The train runs on a track of approx. 3 ft. gauge and covers a distance of 41.8 km, travels through 208 curves, 16 tunnels, and 250 bridges. The uphill journey takes around 4.8 hours and the downhill journey takes 3.6 hours. It has the steepest track in Asia with a maximum gradient of 8.33%. Starting from Mettupalayam, a small place that sits on the banks of river Bhavani, the train passes through plain areas for the first five miles or so. For the next 12 miles the line rises to an impressive 4363 feet, and passes through nine tunnels. Along the way you enjoy outstanding views of the eastern slopes of forested Nilgiris. The train passes amidst tranquil and serene views of Coonoor, Wellington, Lovedale to finally reach Ooty.