Different Ways to Travel Around India


Whether you’re travelling to India for the first time or you’re a return visitor, with such a vast and diverse country to explore your head’s bound to be spinning a little: how on earth are you going to fit everything in? If you’re travelling on a budget it can seem even more overwhelming – you’re going to need to get to grips with different transport methods to plan your trip. Don’t panic: there’s a wide range of options available to travellers, and there’s lots of handy information online to help you out. Have a look at our helpful guide to find out a little more about the different ways to explore this vast country.

City Transport

Indian cities are pretty bustling – with 108 million people populating India’s largest cities and Mumbai alone housing more than 16 million, its no wonder getting around can seem confusing. But with high population comes modern transport solutions: Delhi and Kolkalta have amazingly clean, efficient metro systems, while Mumbai and Chennai have a good suburban train system. And hopping on a city bus is a rite of passage in India for any tourist interested in travelling authentically.

An auto-rickshaw is another must-do experience – an icon of Indian travel, these are comprised of the first half of a scooter with two seats mounted on the back. Cheaper than taxis and nifty at navigating the heavy traffic, these exhilarating rides will have you speeding to your destination with your heart in your mouth! A less racy and even cheaper option is a cycle-rickshaw, where the scooter engine is replaced with a manually operated bike.

Taxis are another strong option for city travel – the local knowledge of the driver can be invaluable and, while more expensive than buses or rickshaws, they’re the most comfortable way of getting about.

Cross-County Transport 

Flights may be the perfect way of travelling to India, with flights from Chicago to New Delhirunning regularly. But by catching a domestic flight to travel within the country, you could be losing some of that authentic travelling experience – buses go pretty much everywhere in India, including remote regions like the Himalayas (which aren’t covered by the rail network), and are generally more frequent than trains. If you want to up your comfort level, catch a private bus, rather than a government one – these offer extra legroom, tinted windows, padded seats and are less crowded.

Alternatively, you could always hire yourself a car – the vast majority of Indian tourist rentals offer not just a vehicle, but a driver as well. You can arrange a rental through any tourist office or taxi firm. Self-drive rentals are available, but considering the nuances of driving in India, it’s probably best to leave the driving to the locals – and driver-included services are comparatively reasonable at about £17 a day.

Trains are probably the most comfortable method of long-distance travel, though they do need to be booked in advance and India has seven classes of travel – its worth remembering that the cheapest, second-class unreserved, is fine for day travel, but it’s probably worth paying a little extra for long-distance or overnight trips.

So there you have it – getting around India doesn’t need to be stressful, in fact, the more colourful methods of transport can be a key part of the tourist experience. And remember, you can always check with a local tourist office if you have any specific queries. But the first thing to remember is always – choose the route which gives you the chance to see the most of this spectacular country.

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