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Life In The Slow Lanes- Barog Railway Station


Not a hill station but a railway station! I needed to mince up my words when my eyes caught the first its view. The word 'Barog' reverberated my mind again and again as my thoughts curled up in my mind about the scenery I would come to glance just before I did really. Barog Railway Station is a quaint station that built under the British rule. One can really feel the spirits rising from the reticent Barog, doubtlessly it was built hundred years ago under the British Raj.

The loud din here evades in the thin layer of evanescent refreshing air. Delhi is far far away and Barog brings in the mind the tranquility from the place. My journey to Shimla has proved this. Barog is a place abuzz with actions but with pristine pine wilderness of the Shivalik ranges, it is one journey packed with a perfect retreat for the travellers. Amazingly, the hills here have maintained the quietude inspite of its loud yet quiet railway station that sees numerous trains in a day.

Charming encounter
The most noted thing about Barog is its beauty that just refuses to fade away. The station is build up in the In Gothic architectural style bearing a bungalow-ish look - replete with a red roof, a porch with wooden pillars and railing decked with bright blue, white and planters hanging from the ceiling - makes Barog come beautiful. The comfortable wooden benches on the spotlessly clean platform with the bell-shaped orange tecomagrandiflora in the backdrop, neatly trimmed hedges along the track, and the small fountain in front of the retiring rooms only enhance the scenic splendour of the station.

Chuk.... Chuk trail
No glamorous malls and shiny deck will accompany you at all. Barog is one place to be explored on one's own, on it's own. There is no fixed itinerary to halt here with the railway station being the epicenter that only breathes for 10 whole minutes when the chugging rakes of a toy train halts with a screech. Your brush with life at railway stations begins here. Soon after that you come across a long Barog Railway Tunnel, between 1900-03. Sending the mind to gather some information is very natural as the tunnel's build is set in a manner to do. Strange it is to see the tunnel alive at one moment and deserted at another moment. It is only that the toy train blows life in it.

Dealing with ten minutes of fame
Barog is imputed with just ten minutes of fame. Just a fraction of second there are flurry of activities. The sight is beautiful and the lineman is out with his 100 years old lantern to just just see any kind of errors in the line. The signal man is ready too. There is much more awaited at the station. The catering staff gets ready to display their packed food stuff, especially the cutlets that waters your mouth with a glance. There are many more in-line like chole-bhature, samosas and puris and chai.

When the train finally arrives just check the rush. Ten minutes within that time the whistle is blown and a green flag emerges out of guard cabin. The sound chugging kicks in again as the train moves out. After the train moves out what is left is complete serenity. The morning mist and the wintry chill only add to the unique experience. Chillzzz.... the charm doesn't finish with these at all. Barog offers you much more in terms of sightseeing. You can follow the jungle trails, trek in the pine forests, thrill your self with a hiking sessions or fish in the Girganga rive, 30 minutes away from the stations.

Here and there...
But just once cross this station you come to realize that Barog is full with adventure one oh...so close hill station to Delhi that will compel you to take a trip. A ten minutes of thing together with Barog made me quickly reshuffle my travel plan and add it for one night in the lap of unspoilt nature, and also many other nights at Chail Palace in the lap oppulence.

At the back of Barog ....
No body is aware that the beauty of Barog here holds a distinct past in it. Barog is named after an engineer who committed suicide after failing to assign both sides of the tunnel. Had he succeeded, it would have been world's longest railway tunnel. After Barog death, HS Harington and local Sadhu Bhalku designed a new tunnel at the cost of 8.5 lakh.

A million dollar tunnel trek ....
The trek through the tunnel is a unique experience in itself. The tunnel is in a straight line, so if you stand at one end, the other end is clearly visible. The tunnel looks amply day lit from outside but once you are 300 m into it, there is pitch darkness. Every few meters there is a cut in the tunnel to enable gang men to stand by . But for heritage lovers the meaning is hidden in the original tunnel, which took away Barog's life. But once you are through the tunnel take out time to visit bygone eras in 85 pieces of crockery, a long array of large sinks and antique looking taps in the washroom. Without these your journey to Barog is not complete.

Writer's Account
Clara Rays
Taken several trips round the world, Clara Rays incessantly recite her memorable travel tales to her clients. Clad in loads of Indian jewelery and large bindi ( a small dot kind of make up put on forehead) she has learnt a lot, like travelling in trains, waiting for buses and knitting sweaters, in India. Rays is a senior travel consultant with our company. Many have written on Shimla but Clara leases out an unique travelogue on a railway station called Barog. Go ahead to read what did she discover in the quietudes of Skiing at Auli.
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