Ever since the first train steamed past bewildered locals between Bombay (as it was called then) and Thane, in 1854, the country’s love affair with trains have only grown. Soon trains steamed their way into popular consciousness and their imprints could be found from popular art to movies.
Trains, in a way, united India more than any ruler or any ideology ever could. For a century and a half, most train routes were laid and trains were introduced primarily to transport people and goods. If there happened to be a tourist destination on that route, you got off and visited it.
All this was about to change in 1988, when the Government of India, to celebrate the birth centenary (shatabdi in Hindi) of Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru introduced the first Shatabdi Express between Delhi and Bhopal, for the sole purpose of promoting tourism. It was so successful that over the next twenty years, 21 more such Shatabdis were introduced across India. That’s almost one new Shatabdi per year.
If you are a traveloholic like most of us here, chances are that you have gone on one of your trips using this fantastic train. Was it to Kalka on your way to Shimla? Or was it to Jhansi on your way to Orchha and Khajuraho? Now you can tell us all about it in our Holidays by Shatabdi contest. And what’s more, you can win a set of our Short Escape travel guides (Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai) every week.
Read the terms and conditions here. Very important!