Pilatus, like a lot of other geographical beauties has a captivating story behind it. It was apparently named after the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate whose cadaver was discarded in a lake on the summit and whose ghost continues to haunt this 2132 metre peak, Southwest of Lucerne. Then there are the truthers who believe that the name is merely derived from the Latin term 'Pileatus' which roughly translates into 'cloud-capped'. A heaven for hikers, Pilatus is accessed by virtue of a Golden Round Trip which basically entails a boat trip on Lake Lucerne till Alpnachstad followed by a ride on the steepest cog railway in the world that takes you to the top. Panorama cable cars bring you down from the peak to Kriens from where you get a bus back to Lucerne. Walk around and click a lot of pictures of the bright blues and the gorgeous greens dotted here and there with winsome whites-typical Swiss beauty.
www.pilatus.ch will provide you all the information you need about the timetables and the ticket prices. Having a Swiss Pass will enable you to get massive discounts on your trips.
We first experienced the cogwheel ride when we visited Mount Pilatus, one of the many nearby mountains from Lucerne. To reach Pilatus Kulm, we bought tickets for the whole ‘Golden Round Trip’ at one place that made the process of getting the tickets and traveling easier. The cruise from Lake Luzern took us to Alpnachstad; from there we boarded the cogwheel train to reach Mount Pilatus. We came down by cable car to Kreins and by bus we reached Lucerne.
Speaking of cogwheel, it is a kind of mountain railway meant to climb steep slope. Pilatus Bahn takes you past lush forest greenery into snow-clad mountains as it makes an ascent during half an hour-long nearly perpendicular journey that was little short of an adventure sport for me. The Bahn claims to ride its passengers at an inclination of 48 percent, making it the steepest cogwheel in the world. This is the technology we’re talking about of the year 1889 when it first opened and was steam operated! In India, one could ride the cogwheel train in Tamil Nadu on Nilgiri Mountain Railway, between Mettupalayama and Coonoor. It’s qualifies to be the UNESCO world heritage site.