ON THE GO
Traveling by plane
The national airline in domestic traffic is called Indian Airlines (IC) (Internet: www.indian-airlines.nic.in). There are also the following private airlines: Jagson Airlines, Jet Airways (9W) and Jetlite (S2). The flight network connects over 70 cities.
According to dentistrymyth, Indian Airlines offers various discounted flight tickets for foreigners as well as for Indians living abroad. All tickets are available year round and must be paid for in hard currency (such as US dollars or euros). Detailed information on Indian Airlines’ airfare discounts (Internet: www.indian-airlines.nic.in).
Jet Airways offers the Visit India Airpass. This is valid for 7, 15 or 21 days and can be used within India on the Jet Airways route network with the exception of flights to Port Blair, Colombo and Kathmandu. The Visit India Airpass can only be purchased by permanent residents outside of India.
AlsoJet Lite offers special rates. Contact the airline for more information.
On the way by car / bus
Bus: An extensive bus network connects all parts of the country and is particularly useful in mountainous regions without rail traffic. However, public transport is often overcrowded and not particularly comfortable. The regional tourist offices can provide more information.
Ashok Travels & Tours (ATT) offers bus tours from Delhi and Agra, from Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) to Tirupati, from Chennai to Tirupati, from Bengaluru via Mysore and Ooty back to Bengaluru, from Kolkata via Siliguri and back to Kolkata and from Mata to Vaishnodevi. More information is available online at www.theashokgroup.com.
Cars: There are National Highways and State Highways(Federal roads) in generally good condition, as well as country and village roads that are usually not paved. The highways are used by cars, buses, trucks, rickshaws and auto-rickshaws, bicycles, mopeds, cows and pedestrians, which often makes getting around quite slow. Horns and bicycle bells play a major role in road traffic. The toll expressway between Delhi and Agra, where the famous Taj Mahal is located, is new.
Rental cars: In the best-known and most visited areas, government-approved tourist cars with a chauffeur (and often air conditioning) can be rented, the costs are slightly higher than with normal taxis.
Documents:A Carnet de Passage with full insurance and the green insurance card are required for people who bring their own car to India. An international driver’s license is also required. A temporary driving license can also be issued by the local authorities on presentation of a valid ID and driver’s license.
in built-up areas: 50 km / h.
Note on traveling by road
Service hotline for tourists: Tel: 18 00 11 13 63 or under the speed dial 1363 around the clock.
Traveling in the city
Taxis and rickshaws (mostly three-wheeled motorized rickshaws, sometimes also bicycle rickshaws) are available in the larger cities ; the fare is calculated per kilometer. Rickshaws should only be used by travelers with strong nerves, as the sometimes adventurous traffic can be experienced first hand. Most taxis are metered; one should insist that the taximeter, if present, be switched on. The tariffs change from time to time, so it often happens that the price asked does not match the total on the meter; however, drivers should provide the latest lists upon request.
Public transport is cheap but often overcrowded.Mumbai Electric Supply & Transport (BEST) operates an excellent local transport network in Mumbai, but you should avoid rush hours and be careful of pickpockets, especially on the buses.
There is a subway in Delhi and Kolkata.
On the go by train
India’s national rail network is operated by Indian Railways (Internet: www.indianrail.gov.in or www.indianrailways.gov.in) and is the largest in Asia and the second largest in the world. The entire rail route is approx. 62,000 km; there are over 7,000 train stations and around 11,000 trains run, of which about 7,000 are passenger trains.
Train travel is relatively cheap. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.irctc.co.in. Express trains connect all major cities, local trains the rest of the country. All long-distance trains have dining cars and offer 1st and 2nd class (air-conditioned) as well as 1st class sleeping cars. Main routes:
Mumbai-Ahmadabad (5 times a day), (middle west coast);
Mumbai-Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) -Mysore (twice a day), (from the central west coast to the south);
Mumbai-Kolkata (3 times a day), (from the west coast to the east coast);
Mumbai-Chennai (3 times a day), (from the middle west coast to the south east coast);
Mumbai-New Delhi (4 x daily), (from the middle west coast to the north);
Mumbai-Patna (5 times a day), (from the central west coast to the northeast);
Mumbai-Pune (5 times a day), (on the central west coast to the south);
Kolkata-Allahabad (3 times a day), (from the east coast to the north);
Kolkata-New Jalpaiguri-Darjeeling (historic narrow-gauge railway, once a day), (from the east coast to the northeast);
Kolkata-Chennai (3 times a day), (from the middle west coast to the south east coast);
Kolkata-New Delhi (3 times a day), (from the middle west coast to the north);
Delhi-Agra (Taj Express, 5 x daily), (in the north a little towards the south);
Delhi-Ahmedabad (4 x daily), (from north to southwest);
Delhi-Allahabad (5 times a day), (from north to east);
Delhi-Jaipur (5 times a day), (north to south-west);
Delhi-Chennai (3 times a day), (from the north to the south-east coast);
Chennai-Ernakulam-Kochi (1 x daily), (from the southeast coast to the southwest coast).