How to get to Khandala from Hyderabad

Bhor Ghat

TEXT_FOTO = View in south direction to the Reversing Station
at the Bhor Ghat near Khandala, India, from 1884.
The Duke's Nose can be seen at the top left.
The Pune track comes from the left, that from
Mumbai from the right. The one ending on the hill
This is the track Catch siding.



Bhor Ghat (Marathi: भोर घाट) or Bhore Ghaut is a pass at 622 m above sea level about 65 km southeast of Mumbai in the Western Ghats. The Ghat is on the trade route from Mumbai via Pune to Hyderabad and Calcutta and creates a connection from Mumbai to the Deccan Plateau in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent. The Bhor Ghat along with the Thal Ghat are the only places near Mumbai where the Western Ghats can be overcome. The railroad crosses the pass from Palasdari to Khandala and the road from Khopoli to Khandala - all places mentioned are in Maharashtra, India.


The discovery of a pass that enabled a route to be traveled by vehicles probably goes back to the tip of a local Dhangar shepherd by the name of Shigroba. This route was used to build the Bhor Ghat Road to Pune in 1830, which was soon to become an important trade route for goods from inland to the port city of Mumbai.

Construction of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway began before the British Indian era in January 1856. Approximately 25,000 workers died from accidents and illness during construction. Building a railroad across the Bhor Ghat was, according to a message in the Engineering Magazine From 1899 a masterpiece of colonialism, which compared the construction of the line with the military actions of an effective and long-lasting attack, and that the railroad, the canal and the port are the real weapons in building a colony.

During the construction work, the number of workers rose from 10,000 in 1856 to 20,000 in 1857 to a high of 42,000 in January 1861. For the original mountain route, 25 tunnels and eight stone viaducts were built, 1.5 million m³ of rock were blasted and removed as well as embankments made of 1.9 million cubic meters of material. The total price was £ 1,100,000. H. £ 70,000 per mile.

At the opening ceremony held on April 21, 1863 at Khandala near the highest point of the mountain range, the Governor of the Bombay Presidency, Sir Bartle Frere, mentioned in his speech that he was certain that the work of the English engineers on the ghats will take the place previously occupied by the demigods of the cave temples of West India, which the simple rural population regarded as a symbol of superhuman strength and immortal knowledge of construction.


Route description

The Palasdari – Khandala railway from 1863 is 24 km long and has a decisive gradient of 27 ‰. The route section has 28 tunnels and 22 stone viaducts. From Palasdari the route follows a spur that protrudes from the main flank of the Western Ghats at Khandala and forms the left side of the Ulhas Valley. Starting from Palasdari, the route follows the western flank of the spur for the first six kilometers, which is formed at this point by the Songiri. The slope in this area is 20 to 25 ‰. At the block office Jamrung the route crosses a pass in the spur and then follows its eastern flank, where the stopping point located on a terrace Thakurvadi is achieved. The route continues along the valley flank and after almost six kilometers passes Monkey Hill on its east side. From there the route followed practically on the crest of the spur to the. She left this in a northerly direction, gained height along the western flank of Battery Hills, circumnavigated the upper part of the gorge below Duke’s Nose and disappeared eastward in a tunnel. The route then led south to Khandala, where it was led into the train station from the west.

The line from 1863 was rebuilt between 1926 and 1928. The switchback station was canceled. The new route leaves the old route below the entrance to the switchback station and continues to climb along the foothills of the Duke’s Nose and crosses under it with a tunnel so that it arrives at Khandala station directly from the west. Traces of the hairpin are barely to be seen, the former route is used by the Mumbai – Pune Expressway, with the lane in the direction of Pune using the old tunnel No. 24.

In 1982 a third track on the Bhor Ghat line was put into operation. It runs from Khandala through a 2.2 km long tunnel under the Khandala plateau and only follows the existing route at tunnel 24. Below Money Hill, the track runs on the western side of the terrain spur emanating from Khandala. In Nagnaht there is a guard track, at Jamrung the existing tracks were reached again.

The three tracks on the Palasdari – Khandala line will be Up-line, Middle line and Down line called. The names have no relation to the trains going up or down the valley, but to the directions as defined in the timetable. The trains going downhill therefore use the up-line.

The station Khandala, the block posts Monkey Hill and Nagnath as well as the breakpoint Thakurvadi are equipped with. They are used to bring trains traveling downhill to a safe stop if the brakes fail. Should a train not be able to brake, it will be led into the guard rail, which leads steeply uphill and is supposed to bring the train to a standstill.


At first, steam locomotives were used for passenger and freight trains. Operation on the mountain route was complex, which is why electrification was prepared in the 1920s.

From 1929-30, the Great Indian Peninsula Railway was electrified on the route from Bombay (Mumbai) to Poona (Pune) with 1500 volts direct current. The freight trains were driven by EF / 1 class locomotives, which were later referred to as the WCG-1 class by Indian Railways. These locomotives were also used to push passenger trains. The locomotives of the EA / 1 class, which Indian Railways referred to as the WCP-1 class, were used in front of the passenger and express trains. Both locomotive classes were based on Swiss technology. When it was delivered, the EA / 1 class was the fastest mass-produced electric locomotive in the world, with a top speed of 85 miles per hour (137 km / h). The locomotives of the EF / 1 class belong to the family of crocodile locomotives. The locomotives from the early days of electrical operation showed signs of age towards the end of the 1960s. Initially, they were to be replaced by locomotives of the WCM class, but these did not prove themselves in front of freight trains on the Bhor Ghat.

Therefore, from 1970 locomotives of the class WCG-2 were procured. When delivered, these locomotives were the heaviest and most powerful locomotives available from Indian Railways. They led the freight trains over the Bhor Ghat and pushed the passenger trains over the pass.

In May 2010 the electrical operation was switched from direct to alternating current. The pushing service was taken over by WAG-9 locomotives. The WCG-2 locomotives no longer had a job and were therefore scrapped after 40 years of service.

All trains are pushed along the Bhor Ghat ramp. The pushing service is usually carried out by a double or triple traction, which is detached in Lonavala and returns to Palasdari via the middle line. The push-pull locomotives are used by the local population as a means of transport. People are not allowed to get into the driver's cab, but are tolerated if they ride on the buffer beam.

Trains going downhill have to make a technical stop of a few minutes in Khandala, Monkey Hill and Nagnath or Thaurvadi. Should the trains not be able to stop, they will be directed to the guard rail. The stop must be long enough for all auxiliary air tanks in the cars and the main air tanks for the locomotive to be completely filled again. This is the only way to ensure that the compressed air brake is fully functional.

Railway stations and stops

Railway stations at the Bhor Ghat
No.Stop namedescriptionkm
EnglishMarathiStation code
1PalasdariपळसदरीPDI begin0
2ThakurvadiठाकुरवाडीTKW Breakpoint9
3Monkey Hillमंकी हिलMNLC Technical stop, no ticket sales16
4KhandalaखंडाळाKAD end21


The first road from 1830 led from Khopoli with around 40 hairpin bends to the top of the pass. It was three miles long.

Today's pass road between Khopoli and Khandala is 18 kilometers long. The Mumbai – Pune Express Highway has six lanes, while the old Mumbai – Pune Highway has four lanes. Two four-lane tunnels are to be built between the Khalapur toll station at Khopoli and the Sinhagad Institute in Lonavala to bypass the pass when the Mumbai – Pune Express Highway is expanded to eight lanes. The old Mumbai – Pune Highway will then be routed over the current stretch of the six-lane Mumbai – Pune Express Highway, which will also shorten the route from 18 to 12 kilometers.

Web links

  • Ian Kerr: '' The Building of the Bhor Ghat Railway Incline in Western India in the mid-19th Century ''. Grupo de Estruturas Históricas e de Alvenaria of the Universidade do Minho, pp. 343–355 (PDF, 460 kB; English).