India is the second most populous and seventh biggest country in the world. The distant parts of the different states suppose also a very good organization of the transportation. In India it is frequent and cheap, although in most cases it is crowded with passengers and has delays. The trains, busses and shared cars work almost anywhere anytime. And of course, you can often see serious delays. If you want to save time, think about domestic flights, long distance busses and trains. The public transportation is cheap and frequent, and its alternative are taxis, rikshaws and others.
Traveling by airplane
In 2018 341 million passengers passed through India’s airports. The country is the third largest domestic market for civil aviation in the world after USA and China. The domestic flights are easy and inexpensive and the best way to travel if you want to see as many destinations as possible. Security at airports is strict, especially in the bigger cities. It is important to know that there are different check lines for men and women in India. Be there early and try to organize a transfer between the airport and the hotel. There are over 400 airports and 34 of them are international. In 2018 two of the popular airports in India – “Indira Gandhi” in Delhi (IGIA) and the one in Mumbai were classified on first place for their services of high quality by Airports Council International – a trade association comprising of 1953 airports in 176 countries. The one in the capitol provided services to more than 60 million passengers in the last year. Some other famous airports in India are those in Hyderabad, Kochi, Bengaluru, Chennai and others. It’s interesting to note that the Indian airline Go Air saves $10000 per month because it hires only women as flight attendants. Women in general weight less than men, which leads to serious fuel savings.
Traveling by train
India is the country with the longest railroad networks in the world. The 163-year-old system today is with a total length of more than 60 000 km, used by around 11 000 trains daily. This is the most important means of transportation in the country. The improvement in the railroad communications lately plays a very important role in India’s domestic development. Traveling by train can be romantic but be prepared for a chaos at the station. The traffic in the cities can be extreme during rush hours, and sometimes it can take you hours to reach from one end of the city to the other. India’s railroad network is the biggest one in the world, but it is also one of the most overcrowded. This transportation is also extremely cheap. The tickets are of very low prices because they are subsidized by the government. For example – traveling from New Delhi to Calcutta, which takes about 18 to 24 hours, is priced around $10. It also has a dark side and it is that every day around 9 people find their death on the railroads in India. There is also one very luxurious train – Maharajas’ Express, working since 2010. It is a richly decorated and beautiful train from India railways, and undoubtedly all its named qualities impact the price, since traveling on this line is among the most expensive in all Asia. Within 8 days this panindian train takes India’s guests around the country’s most beautiful and most popular destinations – Taj Mahal, Khajuraho temples, the wild almost untouched nature of the Ranthambore National park, Fatehpur Sikri and the holy city Varanasi. The cheapest option to enjoy this extraordinary experience is $2910 per person in a double bed coupe. According to the conditions in the rooms, their size and the included extras the prices rise from $2910 to $8520, $13800, reaching $23700 which is the price of the presidential suite. The train is composed of 24 wagons which include sleeping premises, several eating establishments, a bar, common lounge, computer room and shops.
Traveling by car, ferryboat
It is really not recommended to drive in India because even if there are rules there, they are not really followed. Instead everyone honks when they want to turn or pass through anywhere. Many of India’s cities are populated by millions and this means just one thing – heavy traffic on the streets and difficulties moving around different places in the city. If you get into an accident on the road you can call 100 – Police number, 102 – Health Emergency number, and 101 – Fire Safety number. Different types of local boats offer also transportation on India’s rivers – they range from big ferryboats to wooden canoes. There are also other means of transportation in the big cities. The velorikshaw for example is a mass means of transportation in Delhi, which you can rent for small amount of money in Rupees and travel within 1-2km. They have their territory and don’t go out of it, which means that if you want to reach further you would have to change several rikshaws on the way. You can also rent motorikshaw which has a driver and you can travel 10-15km on its backseat. The price is low too. A while ago a law was passed which states that all vehicles servicing citizens cannot use diesel or gasoline but should use gas instead. This way the air in the bigger cities improved significantly. You can also count on a taxi. They usually drive on tariffs per kilometer, but the drivers often do not switch on the taximeter and so you should be careful not to be cheated. For each transportation without a fixed tariff, you can negotiate the price before you start your trip and make sure that it covers your luggage and travel. The tariffs usually are doubled during the night. There are also prepaid taxis. You can find them in the big Indian airports and railroad stations, where there are radio-taxi cabins. Here you can rent a car even for long distances, for a fixed price (which will include luggage) and this way you can avoid commission cheats. Another interesting means of transportation which is used in the mountainous regions are the so called “shared jeeps”. They have five or six passenger seats but often take more people. The seats next to and right behind the driver are more expensive than the tight ones in the back part. The jeeps leave only when they are full. The drivers will leave immediately if you pay for all empty seats and “reserve” a vehicle for yourself.
Public transportation in the city
The public transportation in Indian cities is very cheap, however it is not so comfortable and is often crowded. It is well set and covers almost all points of the big city. In the big cities there is also metro, which is quite developed, especially in Delhi, and continues to develop towards the neighboring towns. It is not expensive and is very overcrowded during rush hours. You can easily buy a metro card, in which you can deposit money and travel as much as you want to wherever you want, while you have money in it. If you have a card the “checking” is done much faster because you don’t have to wait at the pay desks, and you would save 10% on the price of the travels.