india modes of the transtport differ widely from region
to region and even city to city .While one area may
be served by
rail network,another may rely entirely on its buses.
In other, you will find that hiring a private vehicle
can be helpful. Auto-rickshaws, Tempos, Cycle -rickshaws
are also very popular in most of places
a long time, the government-owned Indian Airlines was
the only domestic airline service in India. But in the
early 90's the private sector was also allowed to operate
airline services in India. For passengers, this has
meant increased choice and better on-board facilities.
Domestic airlines in the country include Indian Airlines,
Jet Airways and Sahara Airlines. Getting flight tickets
do not generally pose a problem, but there are peak
seasons when tickets may be difficult to come by. Avoid
hassles by getting a reliable agent to make bookings
you wanted to travel across India by elephant, you're
in the wrong century. Still, camel safaris are still
available in Rajasthan and if you are in rural India,
you will come across bullock-carts, tractors and even
tongas (horse-drawn vehicles) being used.
|These are three-wheeled
vehicles that are common to many Indian cities. They carry
up to three passengers and charge less than taxis. Here
again, get a rate-card to determine the fare, or negotiate
a price before using one.
|These are more
commonly used in states like Goa, Kerala and along the
major rivers of India. Some can even carry cars as well
are a cheap and handy way of getting around the country.
These range from inter-city buses to those that move
between towns and cities. Buses are favoured for short
distances, because tickets are easier to get (unlike
the railways). Buses that make cross-country trips are
usually divided into State Transport (ST) buses, semi-luxury
buses and luxury buses.
are absolute boneshakers, so be prepared for some rattling.
Reserve your seats in advance to avoid any problems.
The other classifications usually indicate whether you
will have cushioned seats, tinted windows and air-conditioning.
But don't go by empty titles, since the operator's idea
of luxury may not be your own. If you can, check out
the bus before you book your ticket. The video coach
is a luxury bus that has a TV and usually screens a
local movie during the trip. Avoid this if you want
a quiet trip, or if you want to sleep on an overnight
journey. On the other hand, if you haven't had the chance
to catch a Hindi movie, this could be your chance.
also feature a stereo system which will play popular
music for hours on end, also to be avoided if you want
a quiet trip. Some buses may not allow you to reserve
seats, in which case be prepared to jostle your way
in for a seat. If you have large suitcases or backpacks,
you will have to stow them on the luggage carrier which
is either on top of the bus or in the undercarriage.
Either way, you will have to part company with your
luggage, so make sure it has strong locks and your name
visibly printed so that you can locate it at the end
of the journey. Leather bags or expensive soft luggage
could be ripped in the undercarriage; moulded luggage
is a better option.
buses will serve food or have w/c facilities. Most will
stop at intervals on a journey at selected places, where
you can find toilets, food and bottled water, but not
much more. Some facilities do not have very high standards
of hygiene, so you might want to carry your own food
or stick to packaged stuff. Toilets will almost certainly
be a nightmare, so only use them if you can't hold it
in any longer. Think about a night journey instead,
unless the area you are travelling through has spectacular
These are more commonly used in states like Goa, Kerala
and along the major rivers of India. Some can even carry
cars as well as passengers.
are modified bicycles that can carry two passengers,
but not in comfort. Some seats gravitate down, so sitting
pretty may be a bit of a task.
|Once you have
hooked up with a reputable travel service, this is a hassle-free
way to travel around the country. Simply choose your car
model, (a driver is recommended) and gain complete flexibility
in planning your itinerary.
is a special service only available to foreign travellers.
Indrail passes permit unlimited travel on Indian trains
for the period of their validity. Indrail Passes can
also be bought overseas or through some travel agencies
in India. Payment in India can be made only in either
US dollars or pounds sterling, cash or travellers cheques
or in rupees backed up with exchange certificates. With
Indrail, children aged 5 to 12 years pay half fare.
Second class passes are not available outside India.
Indrail Passes cover all reservation and berth costs
at night, and they can be extended if you wish to keep
on travelling. They can be purchased in foreign exchange
only at most major railway ticket booking offices. Although
the pass covers the cost of reservations, it doesn't
get you to the front of the queue, so is of little help
there, and you join in the wait-list like everybody
else if the train is fully booked.
occasion when it's going to save you time is if you
want to travel unreserved on a train, when you can simply
hop on without queuing for a ticket. However to get
the full value out of the Indrail passes you need to
travel around 300 km per day; with the speed of most
Indian trains that's at least six hours' travelling.
This can be quite a daunting task; also buying individual
tickets may work out much cheaper if you only plan on
taking a few rail journeys. A white Indrail pass allows
first class air-conditioned travel, a green one is valid
for air-conditioned two-tier sleepers and chair cars,
and the yellow one is valid for only second class travel.
A half day air-conditioned two-tier pass would be around
26 US dollars, while a similar pass for 90 days would
work out to 530 US dollars.
|Taxis generally run within cities, although
some can be hired for excursions to nearby tourist spots
or cities. If you choose to travel by the meter, then
get a rate card showing how the numbers on the meter match
up to the actual fare. In some cities, meters are either
rigged or don't work, in this case it is best to fix a
Very few cities in India
have inter-city train services and Kolkata is the
only Indian city to boast a metro. On the other hand,
the Indian Railways have the world's fourth-largest
railway network. The Indian Railways is also the single
largest employer in the world. This means that while
you can be sure of getting to almost everywhere by
train, most Indians also have the same idea, which
can make train travel both exciting and frustrating
at the same time. Even now, around 10 million Indians
use the railway network daily. This means that during
certain times of the year, like summer vacations and
festivals, reservations are impossible to get unless
tickets have been booked months ahead.
are a wonderful way to get to the heart of India and
to meet ordinary Indians. That experience starts at
the booking counter when you queue up to get a ticket.
This can be a hassle, which can be avoided by getting
a travel agent to do the bookings, (who will charge
a commission), or by bypassing the railways altogether
and flying to your destination.
buying a train guide available at most railway stations
and finding what trains run to your destination. All
cities have ticket reservation offices with a multitude
of queues to book tickets. Boards at the reservation
office display the reservation status for various trains.
This indicates how soon you will be able to get a ticket
for a particular train. Before you join the queues,
you will need to fill a reservation form stating your
travel dates, number of passengers and the class of
travel. At some stations, there is a separate ladies
queue, which can be used to book tickets for passengers
of both sexes. Check if there is a separate queue for
foreign travellers, some offices do have them.
cannot get a confirmed seat, you can get a RAC (reservation
against cancellation) ticket. This entitles you to get
on board the train and get a seat. The Ticket Collector
will then try and get you a berth during the journey,
but this is not guaranteed. You may be split up if you
get berths in different compartments or bogies. This
is different from a wait-listed ticket, which means
that if there are a sufficient number of cancellations,
(unlikely but possible) you might move up the list to
being RAC or actually secure a berth. A wait-listed
ticket does not entitle you to board the train.
usually have air-conditioned and non a/c compartments.
Most trains have berths, although trains running for
short distances of three to four hours may have chair
cars. The Rajdhani (capital) trains are a special service
that connect Delhi to major towns and cities.
|Tempos are vehicles that generally
carry up to eight passengers. They are used to travel
short distances. But in some towns, the drivers will squeeze
in as many people as he thinks he can carry.