Love traveling in trains and watch the magnificent landscape around? You must then experience the spectacular train journey from Banihal to Srinagar in the Jammu and Kashmir region. Furthermore, the train journey will thrill you as it passes across the longest railway tunnel in India. Yes, I am talking about the famous Pir Panjal tunnel, and today’s article is about that tunnel.
Located at an elevation of about 5770 feet, the tunnel had been enchanting travelers with its captivating charm. The train takes almost 9 and half minutes to pass through the tunnel. Each moment fills the mind with joy and delight. The construction of the tunnel has attained high accolades due to its engineering brilliance. Travelers now include the tunnel into their mandatory itinerary while planning for a visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
Interesting Facts About the Tunnel
Pir Panjal tunnel is the outcome of the relentless effort of India’s talented and expert engineers, architects, and civil experts. The 11.2 km long tunnel was completed in 7 years, creating a remarkable example in India’s history. The tunnel is a testimony about the enormous effort and appreciable talents of construction designers, engineers, and workers. Their massive initiative resulted in the creation of one of the enchanting marvels in India’s engineering and architectural history. The natural beauty of the Pir Panjal mountain range coupled with the adventurous trip through the tunnel is a memorable experience to be cherished.
The tunnel has conveniently established an efficient communication and transportation mechanism between Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of India. It is extremely difficult to operate in the region during the winter snowfall. The locals are stranded and are unable to commute elsewhere. The tunnel has helped the locals significantly by establishing an efficient transport and communication system. Besides, tourists from different parts of India can enjoy the astonishing beauty of the region, while boarding the train through the tunnel.
The History Behind the Construction of The Tunnel
The tunnel was constructed between the years 2005 and 2013 by HCC. The engineers and designers leveraged the newly invented tunneling method from Austria for the construction. This was essential to overcome the geographical challenges present in the region. The Banihal region comprises 8 layers of strata beneath the earth’s crust. Careful planning and drilling strategies were devised to create a boring and dig a tunnel in such a region.
Pir Panjal tunnel is also the second-longest railway tunnel in Asia. It has enabled tourists to overcome the rugged mountain stretches conveniently. Besides, travelers and nature admirers can easily venture into the panoramic landscape of the Banihal region. No doubt the region has experienced an influx of tourists to engulf the mystic beauty of the surroundings.
How to reach the tunnel?
The best way to arrive at the tunnel is to first reach Banihal. if you are traveling via road, you can hire a cab or board a bus from Udhampur or Jammu Tawai. Once there, you can board the train for an exhilarating journey through the mountain terrain and the thrilling tunnel pathway.
The tunnel has been constructed following all the safety and security standards and protocols. There is no dearth of protection inside the tunnel since it’s waterproof and well equipped for fighting any kind of fire hazards.
Best Time to Visit
Tourists normally visit the Jammu Kashmir region during the summers, starting from the month of February till June. The weather is pleasant and soothing during those months. The train journey provides a stunning experience of the natural wonders of the region. The tunnel further enhances the thrilling nature of the wondrous rail trip.
The tunnel has been a boon to the locals especially for those who travel for and study in different parts of the city and state. They can easily return back to their home without spending overnights or encountering long journeys through difficult roads. The heavy snowfall in the region during the winters also does not cause any hindrance in availing the train and moving across the tunnel.
Tourists have termed the journey as very comfortable and convenient; allowing them to soak into the intriguing beauty of Mother Nature. They can also plan their trips with ease, covering maximum destinations within a shorter frame of time. Pir Panjal railway tunnel is now truly pride of India.
A travel enthusiast craving to explore the exotic destinations in the world, deciphering the mysteries and the thrill concealed in them.