From 1853, when a steam engine chugged along in India for the first time, trains have come a long way.
Today, the country is home to one of the world’s largest railway networks. And though the trains are often squalid and unbelievably overcrowded, there’s something magical about journeys that cut through the subcontinent’s mountains, lush forests, and sandy beaches.
It’s these experiences that The Window Seat Project on Instagram seeks to capture. Founded by filmmaker Shanu Babar in 2015, the project emerged as Babar and his friends filmed their travels across the country for his dissertation at Pune’s Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication. Along with snippets of their film, the itinerants also uploaded the wonders of train travel in India through their stunning images.
The collection grew as the group began crowd-sourcing. Today, The Window Seat Project has over 14,000 followers on Instagram and its feed features everything from India’s diverse landscapes to the quirks of local train design.
“…In my own way I hoped to capture the changing landscapes, terrain (and) weather, along with the changing mindsets and responses of the people, all while maintaining a continuous thread of what India is,” Babar said in an email.
Warning: Serious wanderlust ahead.