Here we provide you with the different train options for South India. Not to deny that train travel within South India is not as extensive when compared to the North. The popular places (for eg in Kerala) are not well connected and most of the time, it is more convenient to hire a car or fly. Having said this, the Konkan Railway (Southern railway) is the most scenic, and taking a train is well worth the effort.

Listed below are a few of the best train options for South India.

Places to visit in South India Trains passing from both direction (Photo Credit – Belur Ashok)

1. different train options (Mumbai to Goa)

Train Name: 10103 Mandovi Express
Station of origin: Mumbai CST up to Madgaon
Departure time: 07:10 hrs (CST)
Arrival time: 18:45 hrs (Madgaon)

*if staying in North Goa, alight at Pernem or Thivim.

Pros: As it is a day train, the countryside is best explored. You chug through the winding waterfalls, mountains, rice fields, and lush greenery.

Cons: The train has the most stops and one that takes the longest to reach Goa. The train is for those who enjoy long journeys.

Return Journey: (10104 Mandovi Exp) departs from Madgaon at 09:30 hrs and reaches Mumbai CST at 21:40 hrs.

There are different trains options available for South India; such as Konkan Kanya which is an overnight train and Jan Shatabdi which is the fastest, reaching Goa in 7 hours time. However, as all Shatabdi’s, it has chair car seats so not the most comfortable.

Things to do in South India Watch the beautiful countryside pass you by on your journey (Photo Credit – Belur Ashok)

2. different train options (Goa to Hampi)

Train name: 18048 Vsg Howrah Express
Station of origin: Vasco Da Gama up to Howrah (Kolkata)
Runs on: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
Departure time: 07:10 hrs (Vasco)
Arrival time: 14:53 hrs (Hospet Junction)

*Hospet is the nearest station to Hampi.

Pros: This is the only train to Hampi from Goa. However, the biggest plus of taking this train is that you pass through the very famous Dudhsagar Falls (Sea of Milk). It one of the most scenic waterfalls and if travelling in the monsoons, a definite must-see. The train halts for about a minute in the falls.

Cons: As the train does not run every day, you have to plan your itinerary accordingly.

Return Journey: We suggest avoid the train if going from Hampi to Goa. The train starts from Kolkata and hence in all likelihood would be delayed by the time it reaches Hospet and would also be used and dirty. Alternatives are taking a bus/ renting a car, but please note that the roads on this route are not very good.

The Howrah Express passing through Dudhsagar Falls (Photo Credit – Benjamin Rualthanzauva)

3. different train options (Hospet to Mysore or Bangalore)

Train Name: 16591 Hampi Exp
Station of origin: Hubli Junction up to Mysore
Departure time: 20:45 hrs (Hospet)
Arrival time: Next day 09:40 hrs (Mysore)/ 06:10 hrs (Bangalore City)

Pros: It is the most convenient and inexpensive alternative. The train is well-timed. You do not waste a day travelling.

Return Journey: (16592 Hampi Exp) Departs from Mysore at 18:15 hrs (Bangalore City – 21:50 hrs) and reaches Hospet next morning at 07:40 hrs.

Train journeys in South India Trains are a convenient and inexpensive way of travel (Photo Credit – Rolling Okie)

4. different train options (Goa to kochi)

Train Name: (16345) Netravati Exp
Station of origin: Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (Mumbai) up to Trivandrum
Departure time: 23:00 hrs (Madgaon)
Arrival time: Next day 14.10 hrs (Ernakulam Junction)

Pros: Cheapest way to get to Kochi. There are rarely direct flights on this route. Flights are via Mumbai, Bangalore or Hyderabad.

Cons: One of the most-used trains, especially by Indians, hence tickets have to be booked well in advance (two months before departure date) as they get sold out quickly.

Return Journey: (16346 Netravati Exp) Departs from Ernakulam at 14:05 hrs and reaches Madgoan next morning at 05:00 hrs.
*There are other trains on this route that take less travel time, however, they do not run on all days. Check your travel dates to see if they are available.

Rail routes in South India An old man reading newspaper while waiting for his train to Ernakulam (Photo Credit – Vishwaant Avk)

5. differet train options (Alleppey to Varkala)

Train Name: (12075) Jan Shatabdi
Station of origin: Kozhikode (Calicut) up to Trivandrum
Departure time: 18:15 hrs (Alleppey)
Arrival time: 20:05 hrs (Varkala)

Pros: Quicker than driving and much cheaper too. Also, if only on a Kerala trip, there are not many instances where one can travel by train so if both these places are part of your itinerary, take a train, just for the experience.

Return Journey: (12076 Jan Shatabdi) Departs from Varkala at 06:32 hrs and reaches Alleppey at 08:15 hrs
This train starts from Calicut and halts at Kochi (Ernakulam Junction) too.

Top train journeys in India Station name display board in yellow (Photo Credit – LushLitBlog)

6. different train options (Mumbai to Aurangabad)

Train Name: 12071 Jan Shatabdi Exp
Station of origin: Dadar Station up to Aurangabad
Departure time: 14:00 hrs (Dadar)
Arrival time: 20:35 hrs (Aurangabad)

Pros: The fastest train with the fewest halts. You can also fly to Aurangabad, however, flights are either very early in the morning or late evening.

Return journey: (12072 Jan Shatabdi Exp) Departs from Aurangabad at 06:00 hrs and reaches Dadar at 12:30 hrs

Train options across South India Mumbai railway lines (Photo Credit – Satish Madivale)

7. Different train options (Chennai to Pondicherry)

Train Name: 12635 Vaigai Exp
Station of origin: Chennai Egmore up to Madurai
Departure time: 13:20 hrs (Chennai)
Arrival time: 15:45 hrs (Villupuram Junction-nearest station to Pondicherry)

Pros: Again the cheapest and most convenient way to get to Pondicherry. Rented car fares in Tamil Nadu are the highest when compared to other regions and taking trains when possible makes it easy on the pocket. If not delayed, the train takes lesser time than driving.

Return journey: (12636 Vaigai Exp) Departs from Villupuram Junction at 11:42 hrs and reaches Chennai Egmore at 14:40 hrs.
*The train goes up to Madurai. You can take this train either from Chennai or Pondicherry to get to Madurai.

We hope reading this article on the different train options in South India has inspired you to take on this adventurous a journey. Just click on Plan Your Trip for any assistance.

Rail routes across South India Chennai Central Station (Photo Credit – Vellupura)

Harsh Sonawala

About Harsh Sonawala

Harsh Sonawala is the co founder of India Someday and since his childhood, he has travelled to different parts of India and the world. The thrill of travelling and sharing his experiences with others was the reason behind starting India Someday. Other than the office where he is conjuring up marketing ideas, he can be found scuba diving in the Andamans or relaxing in a chalet in the Himalayas.

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