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Travel Guide: India Getting Around

12th Jun 2016 1:58am | By Editor

Whatever your mode of transport India is a joy to explore

Getting There

Flying

The easiest way to get to India is to fly to either Delhi or Mumbai. Direct flights run from the UK and North America and Australia. Carriers flying non-stop from London include Air India, Jet Airways, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways. European and Middle Eastern carriers offer non-direct flights. If coming from the US there are direct flights from New York to Delhi and Mumbai on Air India and Continental, and from Chicago on American Airlines. If you are travelling from the Antipodes Qantas offer the only direct flight to India – from Sydney to Mumbai — but there are plenty of non-direct options available on some of the Asian airlines. Alternative destinations easily reached by plane include Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru.

For those wanting to fly to Goa, there are no direct scheduled flights from the UK or Europe. Your best bet is to check out the package deal, or charter flight options from here. Alternatively you can fly to Mumbai and take a domestic flight from there.

Overland

India is not especially accessible overland unless you want to arrive via Nepal. In which case there are direct buses from Pokhara and Kathmandu to Gorakhpur. These “through” tickets can be pricey so another option is to break your journey in the border town of Sunauli.

Further east you can take the bus from Kathmandu via the border town of Raxaul to Motihari and then take a train to Patna.

 

Getting Around


Train

India has an extensive rail network making train travel one of the most efficient and enjoyable ways to see the country. Don’t be put off by Indian rail’s reputation for chaos. The system is actually very well organised and good value for money. See Indian Rail. What’s more India is famous for its scenic train journeys. Some of the classic routes include the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (known as the toy train) and the journey from Mumbai to Goa on the Konkan railway.

Metro

Both Delhi and Kolkata have a modern efficient metro system for intercity travel.

Air

If you’re short on time India has a raft of domestic airlines allowing you to hop from one city to the next. For cheap tickets check out Air Deccan, Go Air, Indigo  and Spicejet . Tickets can booked through travel agents or on the web.

Bus

While train travel is usually preferable, there are times when taking the bus will be necessary, such as in parts of Rajasthan and the Himalayas, which are not covered by the train network. The advantage of bus travel is that it tends to be cheaper and booking is less hassle. Plump for the state government run bus companies which tend to be safer and more reliable.

Car

Don’t even go there unless you are a very experienced driver: Indian motorists are a law unto themselves. So are the cows. A better option is to hire a car AND driver, but be sure to agree terms and conditions at the outset. For getting 'around town' taxis are plentiful, the driver should use the meter however it may be wise to agree a fare before getting in the taxi.

Auto Rickshaw

Essentially half a scooter with a couple of seats on it - the auto rickshaw is cheap, nimble and sometimes slightly scary but worth a try - when in Rome and all that! Again though, agree a fare before getting in.

Cycle Rickshaw

Cheaper and slower than anything else.