10 Longest Tunnels in India - Rail and Road Tunnels in India

While airways and waterways may rise in their popularity in recent times, it is safe to say that the Indian network of railways and roads are the most common method of communication for the common man, and the proposition and construction of every tunnel – be it road or railway – is just another effort to bring two places closer together and somewhat more accessible than it formerly used to be. 

Compiled in the list below are the top ten longest Rail and Road Tunnels in India:

1. Atal Road Tunnel, Himachal Pradesh - Longest High-Altitude Tunnel Inaugurated on October 3, 2020

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Formerly referred to as the Rohtang Tunnel, the magnificent Atal Road Tunnel has been named after Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister of India. The construction of this tunnel began in the year 2010, and once it reaches completion, it is expected to decrease the distance between Keylong and Manali by at least forty-six kilometres. Being built below the Rohtang Pass, in the eastern part of the glorious Pir Panjal Range, the Atal Road Tunnel, with a width of ten meters, is at an altitude of around three thousand meters. It was inaugurated on October 3, 2020, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Length: 8800 meters, or 5.5 miles, approximately.
Places Covered: West of the Rohtang Pass in the hilly terrain of the Pir Panjal Ranges on the highway that links Leh with Manali. It shall also cover parts of Dhundi as well as the Teling village.
Location: Leh – Manali Highway, beneath the Rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh.

2. Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel, Jammu and Kashmir (Longest Railway Tunnel)

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Running across the heart of the Himalayan ranges in Jammu and Kashmir, the Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel, also called the T-80, is the longest transport tunnel in India. This single-track railway tunnel was opened in the year 2013 and has been unrivalled in its position ever since. With an elevation of about one thousand and eight hundred meters, the Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel is raised to a height of about seven meters and is around eight and a half meters wide. The approximate time taken to pass through this tunnel is nine minutes.
Length: 11,215 meters, or 11.22 km.
Places Covered: Begins at the northern part of the town of Banihal and comes to an end at Hillar Shahabad. It is a constituent of the path that links Jammu to Baramulla, and traverses through places such as Tawi, Udhampur, as well as Srinagar, in between.
Location: Forest Block 185102, Pir Panjal Range, the Himalayas, Jammu and Kashmir.

3. Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Road Tunnel, Jammu and Kashmir (Longest Road Tunnel)

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Also referred to as the Chenani Nashri Tunnel, the Patnitop Tunnel, or simply, the Syama Tunnel, the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Road Tunnel was inaugurated in the year 2017. The tunnel consists of two tubes that run in parallel directions to each other. While the primary traffic tunnel has a diameter of around thirteen meters, an additional safety tunnel of a diameter of six meters is also present right next to it. Located at an elevation of about four thousand feet, the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Road Tunnel has successfully reduced the distance between Jammu and its capital from forty-one kilometres to a little over nine kilometres. Now, the time taken to travel between these two places is two hours less than it used to be.
Length: 9280 meters, or roughly, 9.34 km.
Places Covered: Starts from Chenani in NH44 and comes to an end at Nashri. In between these two, this tunnel also gives one access to places like Patnitop, Batote, as well as Kud.
Location: NH44 of Chenani, Jammu and Kashmir.

4. Trivandrum Port Railway Tunnel, Kerala

Trivandrum Tunnel
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Currently under construction, the Trivandrum Port Railway Tunnel is all set to be hailed as the second-largest railway tunnel in India. The proposal to bring this tunnel into existence was made in an attempt to link the Vizhinjam International Multipurpose Deepwater Seaport, which is also a work in progress, to the upcoming railway network. Being a part of a railway track that shall run along a length of about eleven kilometres, the Trivandrum Port Railway Tunnel is expected to reach its completion in the year 2022.
Length: 9020 meters, or 9.02 km.
Places Covered: Balaramapuram Station, which is a part of the railway track that connects Kanyakumari to Thiruvananthapuram and will come to an end in Vizhinjam.
Location: Balaramapuram Station, Kanyakumari – Thiruvananthapuram Railway Line, Kerala

5. Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel, Jammu and Kashmir

Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel
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At an altitude of about one thousand and eight hundred meters above sea level, the Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel is a tunnel that consists of two tubes running parallel to each other. With a collective width of fourteen meters, these two tunnels are linked to each other through cross passages at regular intervals. Having been under construction since the year 2011, the Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel is expected to begin its operation from 2021, after which it shall reduce the distance between Banihal and Qazigund by at least sixteen kilometers.
Length: 8500 meters, or roughly 8.5 km
Places Covered: The Tunnel would two cities of Banihal and Qazigund, along with the places in between
Location: Pir Panjal Range of Jammu and Kashmir.

6. Sangaldan Railway Tunnel, Jammu and Kashmir

Having reached completion in the year 2010, the Sangaldan Railway Tunnel has been open to the public from 2017. At present, it is the second-longest railway tunnel in India. Being a constituent of the railway line that links Jammu and Baramulla, the Sangaldan Railway Tunnel falls under the sections of Katra and Banihal railway stations.
Length: 8000 meters, or approximately 8 km.
Places Covered: Lahli, Baramulla, Banihal, as well as Katra, among many others.
Location: Lahli Station, under the section of the Katra – Banihal, Jammu – Baramulla Railway Line, Jammu and Kashmir.

7. Rapuru Railway Tunnel, Andhra Pradesh

Rapuru Railway Tunnel is the first as well as the longest electrified railway tunnel in India. Built-in the shape that resembles a horseshoe, the tunnel was inaugurated in the year 2019 and has successfully decreased the time taken to travel between Obulavaripalli and Venkatachalam by at least five hours. With a height of about six and a half meters, the Rapuru Railway Tunnel also provides the shortest distance between the cities of Chennai and Mumbai, as well as Chennai and Howrah.
Length: 6642 meters or roughly 6.65 km.
Places Covered: Cherlopalli and Rapuru, as well as the places in between, including the Krishnapatnam Port.
Location: Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.

8. Karbude Railway Tunnel,  Maharashtra

Karbude Railway Tunnel
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Situated in the midst of the mesmerizing Western Ghats in Maharashtra, the Karbude Railway Tunnel was constructed when the revered Konkan Railways decided to link the coastal cities of Mumbai and Mangalore. It holds the position of the longest railway tunnel in the Konkan railway line that is located between the stations of Ukshi and Bhoke.
Length: 6506 meters, or approximately 6.5 km.
Places Covered: The Tunnel connects the Ukshi and Bhoke Stations.
Location: Ratnagiri, close to the Western Ghats in Maharashtra.

9. Natuwadi Railway Tunnel, Maharashtra

Natuwadi Tunnel
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Having been in operation since the year 1997, the Natuwadi Railway Tunnel is the second-longest tunnel in the Konkan railway line. Often referred to as the T-6, this railway tunnel runs along the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. In spite of facing several challenges owing to the rugged terrain of the Western Ghats, the Natuwadi Railway Tunnel has successfully reduced the time taken to travel from Maharashtra to Mangalore.
Length: 4389 meters, or roughly 4.39 km.
Places Covered: The Tunnel connects Karanjadi and Diwan, while also passing through Goa.
Location: Between the railways stations of Karanjadi and Diwan Khavati railway stations in Maharashtra.

10. Tike Railway Tunnel, Maharashtra

Tike Railway Tunnel
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Having reached completion in the year 1997, the Tike Railway Tunnel is situated on the hilly terrains of the Sahyadri Range. It too is a part of the zonal Konkan Railway Line and succeeds Natuwadi Tunnel in terms of length. Also referred to as the T-39, the Tike Railway Tunnel has always been revered as a prestigious achievement of India.
Length: 4077 meters, or 4.08 km approximately.
Places Covered: Nivasar, Ratnagiri, as well as Goa, among many others.
Location: Between the railway stations of Ratnagiri and Nivasar in Maharashtra.
The construction of tunnels has made it a lot easier for people to pay a visit to the various places of incredible India. How many of these longest tunnels in India have you crossed? Tell us on the comments.

This post was published by Soumita Ghosh

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