Transport

In India you can travel by road, rail, air or boat!

Road options include public buses (generally pretty basic but there are luxury options on some routes), hire cars/buses, motorbikes, bicycles, auto-rickshaws (3-wheelers), cycle rickshaws, 4-legged beasts, or your own two! In places you can even be carried.

Cars in India generally come with a driver – for very good reason, as the Indian road rules are there to be largely ignored and a driver has the uncanny knack of being able to read the minds of other road users and thereby avoid them! This is not an expensive option either and gives you the freedom to travel – and stop – where and when you want. However, it pays to remember that distances in India are considerable and road conditions do not allow of great speeds – the average would be about 30mph!

Whereas in the past the Ambassador (Morris Oxford) ruled the road, vehicles of all descriptions are now available, the ones most commonly used for tourists being MPVs like the Toyota Innova which seats 7, but is generally used for 2 or 3 for extra comfort on longer journeys) – or larger wagons like the Tempo Traveller which seats 9, 4/5 for comfort. Then there are mini buses or full size buses for larger groups.

For longer journeys, trains can be good, and can save hotel expenses if used overnight. Some trains now only have reclining seats, but most have sleepers where linen (sheets, blanket, pillow and towel) is often provided. Carriages consist of several sections which in the most widely used class consist of 4 berths (2 upper, 2 lower) which can be curtained off on one side and 2 berths along the other side, also with curtains.

Air travel in India is now becoming much more competitive with new carriers forcing the prices down. Some very good deals can be obtained if you can book ahead – but often these are not refundable so you need to be sure of your plans. Where time is of the essence and distances are great this can be the way to go.

Boats will generally be used for pleasure cruises eg Kerala backwaters or on the Ganga at Varanasi.