Transportation Options in India

Travel in India by planes, trains, taxi or bus - Guide for tourists traveling within India

Driving is preferred in Europe and North America but driving a car is not advisable for visitors to India. However there are several excellent alternatives. Travel by Planes, Trains, Taxi or Bus Flying to your destination in India is perhaps the only choice if you are pressed for time. Air Travel in India has changed quite a bit now with several new airlines providing service to various parts of India. More airlines have also resulted in competitive airfares. Travelers with some planning can save money on their airfare in India. Price wars amongst airlines has resulted in stiff competition especially to sectors of popular routes.  Visit India air fares for tourists - Save money on airfare Tourists traveling within India may be able to save money on airfare when flying to India's various cities by purchasing an airline pass known as 'Visit India.' Using the 'Visit India' fare is marketed as a cheaper way of flying around the country for tourists visiting India than buying individual airline tickets if you intend to travel to a few cities in India during your visit. Visit India fares are available to foreign tourists and non resident Indians. The fares are based on the time period chosen. Visit India Fares are presently available for 7, 15 or 21 day periods. See fare examples below: Period Above 12 years Under 12 years Under 2 years 07 days $ 350   $ 175   $ 35 15 days $ 650   $ 325   $ 65 21 days  $ 925   $ 463   $ 93 Check the websites of the airlines to view all the terms of visit India fares. Visit India Fares work out to be cheaper ONLY if you plan to visit several cities in the chosen time frame. Please note, while Visit India air fares have some restrictions on travel. The Railway Indrail Pass does allow unlimited travel all over India.

TRAVELING BY TRAINS IN INDIA

The Indian Railways is one of the best travel options in India. Visitors while traveling by trains in India have an opportunity to get to know the cultural diversity of the country. Train travel has become quite popular with tourists. Indian Railways have made quite an improvement over the last few years. The government of India also gives a preference to foreign visitors in getting priority reservations when buying train tickets. Train travel is usually cheaper than air travel and can be quite comfortable. While there are some luxurious trains for the elite class to travel like royalty in India. For the average tourist there are two important train names to remember when choosing train travel in India. 1. The Rajdhani trains 2. Shatabdi. Trains These are fast, air conditioned trains with  attendants. Passengers on these trains can only board the train with a reservation and this ensures that your seats are allotted to you at the time of your reservation. It is an offense to board these trains without a reservation, even if you have a train ticket. Both these trains offer you a choice to reserve a full sleeper seat so that you can sleep comfortably during the night. A blanket, sheets and pillow are also provided for each passenger. When making a reservation chose sleeper berths if your trip includes a night journey. Meals are also included in the price of your ticket and best of all both these trains are air conditioned. Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains offer different class of travel. There is a choice of first class or second class. India has now done away with the third class option.

Example of the Rajdhani train showing the time and cost for traveling from New Delhi to Mumbai.

Train departs from Delhi station at 4:25 PM and reaches Mumbai at 8:35 AM. The fare for a first class sleeper seat from Delhi to Mumbai is Rupees 4680 ($80 approximately) this includes your reservation, all meals as well as bedding to sleep during the night journey. An attendant will make your bed for you at night and wake you up with coffee in the morning. There is also a second class two tier or three tier reservations available on these two trains. The cost for a second class two tier reservation from Delhi to Mumbai is Rupees 2810 ($48 approximately). Meals, Bedding are also included with this price. * Prices shown are as on November 2014. NOTE: Tourists who wish to travel to various cities in India can get priority reservations for train travel and can also save money by buying a travel pass for unlimited rail travel for a fixed period of time. Details on 'Travel Incentives' page with the title Travel Benefits - Incentives for Tourists Visiting India

TRAVELING BY BUS IN INDIA

Unless it is absolutely necessary, travel by Bus is not the ideal way to travel in India for tourists visiting from abroad. Government buses are not that great, are over crowded and even though quite cheap they are not what one would prefer to use during their vacation. Some luxury private buses are available but they have no firm time schedule and stop any and everywhere to pick up passengers to fill their bus. If you are traveling in a group and luxury bus is arranged by your hotel they may be fine to use. However if you have the option choose a private taxi. Renting a car to drive yourself, as in the west has not caught on in India yet. When you rent a private car in India, it usually comes with a driver.

TRAVELING BY TAXI IN INDIA

Taxi services are available in all major cities in India. A taxi rented in Delhi for a day at present costs approximately Rupees 600. This is for a maximum travel of 80 kilometers and for an 8 hour period. This may be suitable for local shopping and site seeing trips. Some cities have three wheeler taxis and these are called ‘auto rickshaws” these are cheaper and can accommodate two passengers comfortably. Taxi Taxis from airports and railway stations are available also on a prepaid basis. This is the smart way to hire a taxi. With prepaid taxi service you pay the fare to your destination up front at the taxi control office. The fees are set by the government so there is no bargaining required and the charges are quite reasonable. The taxi control office will issue you a prepaid voucher and after you reach your destination you hand the voucher over to the driver as his payment. He will have to return the voucher to his office and then get paid. Prepaid taxi has the benefit of not having to worry that the taxi operator will take you on a longer route or charge you a higher fare. Getting a prepaid taxi is also the safer way to travel from airports. A copy of your prepaid receipt is kept on record at the airport which shows the destination you are going to. When leaving the airport the police also record the prepaid drivers name, taxi number and destination. From airports prepaid taxi is the only smart way to hire a taxi.

PRIVATE CAR RENTAL IN INDIA

Private cars (unmarked taxi cars) can also be rented in almost every city. Car rental in India are usually with a driver and most visitors would prefer not to drive in India anyway.  There are several private car rental companies in every major city. I have found that quite a few of them though are not licensed as taxis. Some of these are local citizens who decide to rent their cars out. When renting check if they are licensed as a taxi or not. Unlicensed taxis may decide not to drive you to certain areas like airports as they are worried of being ticketed for operating as taxis without a license. If you plan to spend some time in a city then hiring a private taxi for a number of days may be a good option. I find the drivers act as excellent guides when it comes to shopping etc as they know the local markets. Prices for private taxis can be negotiated depending on the number of days you need the taxi. Private taxi charges also vary with the make of the car you choose. In Delhi most taxis will quote a price of Rupees 600 (approximate US $ 14) for an 8 hour day and 80 kilometers. Waiting time is included in the 8 hour day rate. The best way for sightseeing in cities is to hire a taxi on a daily basis. The taxi drivers can given you a lot of information about their area and guide you on what to see. Taxi rates in the larger cities are about Rupees 1000 for the day for an air conditioned compact car. Local buses in most cities are not recommended for tourists to travel. Avoid Buses if possible. Some luxury buses are fine, but these are scarce and hard to find for short trips. Depending on the city where you are the other options may be manual rickshaws and auto rickshaws. Some cities still have the horse drawn carts called ‘Tanga’. The hotels that you stay in can also arrange a private taxi for you. However this will be at a higher cost as they have their own commission included in the price. On the other hand this may to some extent be safer.    
Tourists Waiting For Train taxi railway track scenic route scooter rickshaw and elephant sharing road
Auto Rickshaw India
© Copyright TravelIndiaSmart.com  2006  - All rights reserved

Travel India Smart

 
Complete Touring Guide for exploring India
We are not associated with any tour or travel business
TRAVEL INDIA SMART previous next page Top
Transportation Options in India

Travel in India by planes, trains, taxi or

bus - Guide for tourists traveling within

India

Driving is preferred in Europe and North America but driving a car is not advisable for visitors to India. However there are several excellent alternatives. Travel by Planes, Trains, Taxi or Bus Flying to your destination in India is perhaps the only choice if you are pressed for time. Air Travel in India has changed quite a bit now with several new airlines providing service to various parts of India. More airlines have also resulted in competitive airfares. Travelers with some planning can save money on their airfare in India. Price wars amongst airlines has resulted in stiff competition especially to sectors of popular routes.  Visit India air fares for tourists - Save money on airfare Tourists traveling within India may be able to save money on airfare when flying to India's various cities by purchasing an airline pass known as 'Visit India.' Using the 'Visit India' fare is marketed as a cheaper way of flying around the country for tourists visiting India than buying individual airline tickets if you intend to travel to a few cities in India during your visit. Visit India fares are available to foreign tourists and non resident Indians. The fares are based on the time period chosen. Visit India Fares are presently available for 7, 15 or 21 day periods. Check the websites of the airlines to view all the terms of visit India fares. Visit India Fares work out to be cheaper ONLY if you plan to visit several cities in the chosen time frame. Please note, while Visit India air fares have some restrictions on travel. The Railway Indrail Pass does allow unlimited travel all over India.

TRAVELING BY TRAINS IN INDIA

The Indian Railways is one of the best travel options in India. Visitors while traveling by trains in India have an opportunity to get to know the cultural diversity of the country. Train travel has become quite popular with tourists. Indian Railways have made quite an improvement over the last few years. The government of India also gives a preference to foreign visitors in getting priority reservations when buying train tickets. Train travel is usually cheaper than air travel and can be quite comfortable. While there are some luxurious trains for the elite class to travel like royalty in India. For the average tourist there are two important train names to remember when choosing train travel in India. 1. The Rajdhani trains 2. Shatabdi. Trains These are fast, air conditioned trains with  attendants. Passengers on these trains can only board the train with a reservation and this ensures that your seats are allotted to you at the time of your reservation. It is an offense to board these trains without a reservation, even if you have a train ticket. Both these trains offer you a choice to reserve a full sleeper seat so that you can sleep comfortably during the night. A blanket, sheets and pillow are also provided for each passenger. When making a reservation chose sleeper berths if your trip includes a night journey. Meals are also included in the price of your ticket and best of all both these trains are air conditioned. Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains offer different class of travel. There is a choice of first class or second class. India has now done away with the third class option.

Example of the Rajdhani train showing

the time and cost for traveling from New

Delhi to Mumbai.

Train departs from Delhi station at 4:25 PM and reaches Mumbai at 8:35 AM. The fare for a first class sleeper seat from Delhi to Mumbai is Rupees 4680 ($80 approximately) this includes your reservation, all meals as well as bedding to sleep during the night journey. An attendant will make your bed for you at night and wake you up with coffee in the morning. There is also a second class two tier or three tier reservations available on these two trains. The cost for a second class two tier reservation from Delhi to Mumbai is Rupees 2810 ($48 approximately). Meals, Bedding are also included with this price. * Prices shown are as on November 2014. NOTE: Tourists who wish to travel to various cities in India can get priority reservations for train travel and can also save money by buying a travel pass for unlimited rail travel for a fixed period of time. Details on 'Travel Incentives' page with the title Travel Benefits - Incentives for Tourists Visiting India

TRAVELING BY BUS IN INDIA

Unless it is absolutely necessary, travel by Bus is not the ideal way to travel in India for tourists visiting from abroad. Government buses are not that great, are over crowded and even though quite cheap they are not what one would prefer to use during their vacation. Some luxury private buses are available but they have no firm time schedule and stop any and everywhere to pick up passengers to fill their bus. If you are traveling in a group and luxury bus is arranged by your hotel they may be fine to use. However if you have the option choose a private taxi. Renting a car to drive yourself, as in the west has not caught on in India yet. When you rent a private car in India, it usually comes with a driver.

TRAVELING BY TAXI IN INDIA

Taxi services are available in all major cities in India.  A taxi rented in Delhi for a day at present costs approximately Rupees 600. This is for a maximum travel of 80 kilometers and for an 8 hour period. This may be suitable for local shopping and site seeing trips. Some cities have three wheeler taxis and these are called ‘auto rickshaws” these are cheaper and can accommodate two passengers comfortably. Taxi Taxis from airports and railway stations are available also on a prepaid basis. This is the smart way to hire a taxi. With prepaid taxi service you pay the fare to your destination up front at the taxi control office. The fees are set by the government so there is no bargaining required and the charges are quite reasonable. The taxi control office will issue you a prepaid voucher and after you reach your destination you hand the voucher over to the driver as his payment. He will have to return the voucher to his office and then get paid. Prepaid taxi has the benefit of not having to worry that the taxi operator will take you on a longer route or charge you a higher fare. Getting a prepaid taxi is also the safer way to travel from airports. A copy of your prepaid receipt is kept on record at the airport which shows the destination you are going to. When leaving the airport the police also record the prepaid drivers name, taxi number and destination. From airports prepaid taxi is the only smart way to hire a taxi.

PRIVATE CAR RENTAL IN INDIA

Private cars (unmarked taxi cars) can also be rented in almost every city. Car rental in India are usually with a driver and most visitors would prefer not to drive in India anyway.  There are several private car rental companies in every major city. I have found that quite a few of them though are not licensed as taxis. Some of these are local citizens who decide to rent their cars out. When renting check if they are licensed as a taxi or not. Unlicensed taxis may decide not to drive you to certain areas like airports as they are worried of being ticketed for operating as taxis without a license. If you plan to spend some time in a city then hiring a private taxi for a number of days may be a good option. I find the drivers act as excellent guides when it comes to shopping etc as they know the local markets. Prices for private taxis can be negotiated depending on the number of days you need the taxi. Private taxi charges also vary with the make of the car you choose. In Delhi most taxis will quote a price of Rupees 600 (approximate US $ 14) for an 8 hour day and 80 kilometers. Waiting time is included in the 8 hour day rate. The best way for sightseeing in cities is to hire a taxi on a daily basis. The taxi drivers can given you a lot of information about their area and guide you on what to see. Taxi rates in the larger cities are about Rupees 1000 for the day for an air conditioned compact car. Local buses in most cities are not recommended for tourists to travel. Avoid Buses if possible. Some luxury buses are fine, but these are scarce and hard to find for short trips. Depending on the city where you are the other options may be manual rickshaws and auto rickshaws. Some cities still have the horse drawn carts called ‘Tanga’. The hotels that you stay in can also arrange a private taxi for you. However this will be at a higher cost as they have their own commission included in the price. On the other hand this may to some extent be safer.  
Tourists Waiting For Train taxi railway track scenic route scooter rickshaw and elephant sharing road Auto Rickshaw India

Travel India Smart

 
Complete Touring Guide for exploring India
We are not associated with any tour or travel business
TRAVEL INDIA SMART previous next page Top
       © Copyright TravelIndiaSmart.com  2006  - All rights reserved