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Getting Around India

India is a developing country with varied landforms. As varied as its topography are the different ways to get around India. Chose to travel by air, by road or by rail. The vast country allows you to discover it in the way you want.

Train, airplanes and car are some of the common modes of traveling in India. Some cities or towns have metros, local trains, cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws, which are ideal for local traveling. At some places like Goa, you can hire a vehicle and be the master of your itinerary.

Let us give you a brief idea of how to travel in India and how to access the different modes of transport.

Air Travel

One of the best ways to visit India comfortably is by choosing to explore the country by air. India has some world-class airports that connect the country with different towns and national and international cities. There are different airlines that strive to serve the best facilities; some of which are Jet Airways, Indigo Airlines, Air India and Spice Jet.

The air network connects more than 76 cities in India and abroad. There are about 12 international airports in India. Flying is always a great option if you have limited time to explore India. However, this mode is costlier when compared to other modes of transport.

You may book the flight tickets online via the particular airline's website or travel sites. For children under 12 years old, you need to pay half the price of the ticket. And, for toddlers less than 2 years old, pay only ten percent.

Bus Travel

There are some regions in India where the most comfortable and affordable mode of transport isn't functional (railways). Hence, traveling in the bus is sometimes the best option whenever you are stuck with the confusion of where to go in India. Not just in the Himalayas, buses are the preferred mode of transportation to cover short distances.

Buses mostly go almost everywhere, unlike railways which are bound to tracks. This mode of transportation saves the fuss of booking tickets in advance. You have a choice between government-run bus services or private bus services. The former is cheaper but the latter offers better-sitting arrangements.

You can buy a bus ticket in India by visiting the bus terminal of the particular city or sometimes you can do it from the internet or agent too. Prior bookings are available at times and you are given the registration of the bus. Also, all the buses have plates that inform about the destination and route.

Car Travel

Traveling around India in a car is a comfortable option. This will get you anywhere, as per your convenience. However, this is a somewhat costlier mode of transport too. There are many agencies that provide car rentals along with drivers. Cars cost around Rs 1500 for about 200 km. This amount tends to fluctuate depending on which car rental service you are going for.

A complete guide about India travel suggests the shortest routes to travel in the country. Thus, a few international tourists opt to drive on their own. But, it is better to avoid self-drive unless you have good experience of driving in India. However traffic rules are same here, but different states react to it differently. So, it could be chaos for you to manage sometimes.

Train Travel

India has a beehive of railway networks and it is mostly a beautiful experience to board a train in India. It might look chaotic but when you have a reserved ticket in hand, there is nothing to worry about. There are many trains that travel on time and are merely canceled (the unlikely situation takes place during extreme weather conditions like fog or rain).

An overnight train will save you a day of traveling and hotel bills. There are three types of trains, Inter-city (called express or mail), Superfast (connects major cities of the country within an 8-hour travel time) and Passenger trains (which stops at every station and is ideal if you are planning to de-board in a lesser important railway station). Let us not forget the dedicated tourist trains that are usually functional in hilly areas and they are called Toy Trains. These trains are smaller and slower.

There are about seven classes in Indian Railways. Different types of train offer different classes for passengers. Some of the common classification is Second Class Unreserved (Usually packed and anyone can hop aboard even without reservation), Second Class Sleeper (Non-a/c, requires reservation and are ideal for overnight journeys. Provision for bunks is given for person per seat reservation. This class has basic facilities and vendors come over frequently.), First Class (Non-a/c with comfortable sitting). Then there are a/c compartments with three categories- First Class a/c, Second Class a/c and Third Class a/c, where the facilities are brushed up according to the fares. Some trains also have ladies' compartment to ensure solo women travelers in India are safe.

Furthermore, to make your Indian train travel memorable, you have the choice of luxury trains in India. At present, the five luxury trains in India are the pride of the country. Decked with elegant interiors, these trains offer an experience of a lifetime.

Railways in India are solely handled by the Indian Government. You can reserve Indian train tickets online, through an agent or by going to the station. The sooner you book, the better. Otherwise, you might get your name in the Waiting List of the reservation.