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Reaching the Misty Hills of Amboli by Train - A Traveler's Guide

As an avid traveler who loves exploring offbeat destinations in India, I recently visited the incredibly scenic hill station of Amboli. Nestled high up in the Sahyadri hills of Maharashtra near the Karnataka border, Amboli offers a welcome respite from hot Indian summers with its cool climate, mist-laden hills, and abundant nature.

However, reaching Amboli can be tricky given its remote location. Though well connected by road, reaching Amboli by train requires a bit of planning if you are not familiar with the area.

Having learned through experience, I wanted to share this guide for travelers looking to visit Amboli by train.

Overview of the Train Route to Amboli

Reaching Amboli by train involves taking a train to Sawantwadi Road railway station, which is the nearest railhead at only 29 km away. From there, you need to take a bus or taxi to cover the last leg of the journey to Amboli.

The major railway station to target as the source point is Mumbai. Excellent train connectivity exists between Mumbai and Sawantwadi Road via the Konkan Railway route. The journey takes around 10-12 hours depending on the train you choose.

how to reach amboli by train

Choosing the Best Trains to Reach Sawantwadi Road

The most convenient overnight trains to take from Mumbai to Sawantwadi Road are:

  • The Mandovi Express

  • Koyna Express

  • Mahalaxmi Express

Of these, I highly recommend the Mandovi Express as it offers the most optimal timings. It departs Mumbai at 21:50 hrs and arrives early morning at 07:00 hrs at Sawantwadi Road, perfect to catch the early buses to Amboli and make the best use of your first day.

The return trains also suit the onward journey quite well. You can take the evening train back to Mumbai after exploring Amboli to your heart's content on the last day.

Hopping Across to Amboli

Reaching the hill station from Sawantwadi Road station is the easier part. Plenty of state transport buses ply the 30 km route frequently taking around 1 hour. Buses start as early as 06:00 am in the morning at rates around ₹50-60.

An even more convenient option is to directly hire a taxi from Sawantwadi Road station. You can either pre-book through your hotel or negotiate with the drivers at the station itself. The one-way taxi fare comes to around ₹900-₹1000. I found this to be the best hassle-free option.

Making the Return Journey

You can take the same routes to return - either by bus or pre-booked taxi. Do keep in mind that the last buses from Amboli leave before 18:00 hours. So I would advise against taking that risk if your return train is in the evening.

With taxis, coordination is key. Inform your hotel in advance while checking out about your train timing. They will arrange for a taxi pick-up accordingly. For afternoon and evening trains, keep a safe buffer of 2-3 hours to account for traffic and breaks.

Pro Tips for the Train Journey

Here are some additional tips for making your train trip to Amboli smooth and enjoyable:

  • Book tickets well in advance: As the route is popular with tourists, trains fill up fast. Book at least 15-20 days in advance.

  • Carry ID proof: Keep your ID proof handy as the Konkan Railway mandates ID verification given the sensitive route.

  • Pack light with essentials only: Lugging huge bags up and down the hills is no easy task. Keep luggage light.

  • Have snacks/food with you: The trains have pantry cars but carrying your own easy snacks helps. Journey times can be unpredictable.

Why Visit Amboli?

After the effort to reach Amboli by train, I can assure you the magical hills wrapped in mist are worth every bit! From breathtaking jungle treks to cascading waterfalls and bubbling creeks, Amboli packs the best of the Western Ghats.

The weather stays pleasantly cool even in summer. Early mornings you can barely see a few feet ahead with thick clouds engulfing the landscape - an unforgettable sight.

As a quiet peaceful retreat, Amboli is perfect for unwinding amidst virgin nature and feeling rejuvenated in body, mind, and soul. I highly recommend adding it to your travel bucket list.

I hope this guide gives you a clear idea of how to reach Amboli by train. Let me know in the comments below if you still have any other questions about planning your journey.

Happy travels.


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