Bhubaneswar: The play of light and dark atop the hills as we ride through the 0.2-km tunnel between Koraput and Jeypore of Odisha leads to picturesque vistas.
Welcome to Maliguda Tunnel, the highest broad-gauge railway tunnel in India and coincidentally, the second highest in the world. It is also considered the biggest after Banihal-Quazigund Tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir.
The tunnel draws its name from the nearby Maliguda village, which has turned into a picnic spot allowing people to soak in the scenic beauty in the lap of nature.
Situation 35 kn eastward of Jeypore and 50 km from Koraput, the tracks on this 430-km stretch, which includes the tunnel, were laid in collaboration with Japanese engineers between 1961 and 1966.
It served as the iron ore supply route from Kirandul to Vizag Port via Dantewara, Jagdalpur, Jeypore, Koraput, Padua, Araku and Kottavalasa, among others. Today, it continues to be an important link on this route, ensuring smooth railway operations.