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Travel and International Links

International Links      Air     Rail     Road     Sea     Journey Times

 

International Links

India has a huge network of international air services, operated by Air India and many other carriers. Indian airlines also operate services to some of the surrounding countries (see below). In addition, there are various sea/overland routes to these countries :
 

To Pakistan : Currently, the only crossing point is between Amritsar and Lahore.
 

To Nepal : The most practical and popular route is by train to Raxaul (Bihar) and then bus to Kathmandu. Also train to Nantanwa (UP) and then bus to Kathmandu/Pokhara, or Bhairawa to Lumbini for Pokhara. It is also possible to go by bus from Darjeeling to Kathmandu across the southern lowlands.
 

To Bhutan : Train to Siliguri, then bus to Puntsholing. (There is also an air link from Calcutta to Paro (Thimpu) by Druk Air).
 

To Bangladesh : Calcutta to Bangaon (West Bengal) by train, rickshaw across the border to Bengal, with connections via Khulna or Jessore to Dhaka. Also from Darjeeling via Siliguri then train or bus from Jalpaiguri to Haldibari.
 

To Burma and China : No Land frontier open.

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Air

There are 4 major international airports in India:

  • Mumbai, 29 km (18 miles) north of the city. (Travel time 40 mins.) Coach to Air India office & major hotels. Taxi service (with fixed rates) to city.

  • Calcutta, 17 km (11 miles) northeast of the city. (Travel time 20 mins). 24 hour coach service to Indian Airlines city office A. major hotels. Bus every 10 mins from 0530-2200. Taxi service to city.

  • Delhi, (Delhi International), 21 km (15 miles) southwest of the city. Coach and taxi service to city.

  • Chennai, 16 km (10 miles) southwest of the city. (Travel time 15 mins). Coach meets all flight arrivals from 0900-2300. Train every 20-30 mins from 0500-2300. Bus every 25 mins from 0500-2200. Taxi service to city.

Note: All these airports have money exchange facilities, tourist information offices, hotel reservation services & airport to city buses operating 24 hours a day.

Domestic air services are operated by Indian Airlines, a government corporation. The network connects over 70 cities. Indian Airlines also operate regular flights to the neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and the Maledives.
 

Baggage Allowance: 20 kg per adult passenger; 30 kg per international adult passenger with a 1st class ticket.
 

Alliance Air Flights Resume
Alliance Air has started the operation of its flights CD 7407/7408 from 29.10.2000. Flight scheduled is as follows :
 

CD 7407 Daily

B 0737

CD 7408 Daily
1130 Dep.

Delhi

Arr. 1800
1205 App. Agra Dep. 1720
1235 Dep. Agra Arr. 1650
1315 App. Khajuraho Dep. 1610
1345 Dep. Khajuraho Arr. 1540
1345 App. Varanasi Dep. 1500


For detailed information please contact Indian Airlines office/authorised travel agents.

Special Fares
: There are special Indian Airlines fares available to foreign national & Indian nationals residing abroad. All are available throughout the year, and many be purchased from IATA member airlines or from Indian Airline offices in India. Please contact Indian Airlines on arrival at the airport.

Discover India
: Validity : 21 days from first flight US$750. Validity : 15 days US$500. Application: Unlimited economy class travel on all domestic Indian airline services. No stop may be visited more than once, except for transfer.

Youth Fare India :
Price : 25% discount on normal US$ fare. Validity : 120 days. Application : available to those aged between 12 & 30 at the commencement of travel for journeys on economy/executive class of domestic air services and Indo-Nepal services.

India Wonderfares
(North, South, East & West). Price : US$300. Validity : 7 days. Application : Economy class travel between all or any of the stations shown on the relevant sections of the map below. No station may be touched more than once, except for transfer.

New Domestic Airlines

In the last few years the Indian government has slowly opened the skies to private national airlines which operate under the name of Airtaxis. As well as the national domestic carrier Indian Airlines these 9 private airlines have been able to establish themselves and offer interesting connections throughout India.

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Rail

Rail General : The Indian international railway system is the largest in Asia and second largest in the world. There are 62,300 km (38,900 miles) of track, over 7030 stations and over 11,200 locomotives, many of them steam engines. Travel is relatively inexpensive. Many express services link all the main cities, and a selection of timetables is given below. The main map of India (see inside back cover) shows the major routes. Other trains, many of them leisurely local services, link most other parts of the country. Buses connect with trains to serve regions not on the rail network.
 

Special Fares : There is a special Indrail Pass consisting of a single, convenient ticket which enables a tourist to travel on any train without restriction within the period of validity. It is sold only to foreign nationals & Indians residing abroad holding a valid passport & replaces all other concessional tickets. It can be obtained in India or through some foreign travel agents. Payment is accepted only in foreign exchange. Children between 5 - 12 years are entitled to a Child Indrail Pass, & pay half the fare rounded off to the nearest US$. Children under 5 years travel free.
 

Indrail Pass

i) Indrail Passes are sold only to foreign nationals and Indians residing abroad holding valid passports against payment in US $ or pound sterling. A tourist traveling on Indrail Pass is exempted from paying reservation fee, sleeper charges, supplementary charges for traveling by super fast trains or for meals provided in Rajdhani & Shatabdi Express train.

ii) In Europe Indrail Passes are sold through General Sales Agents in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Helsinki
 

Fares : Indrail Pass prices (in US$), for air-conditioned 1st class (ACI), 1st class and 2nd class are as follows: (prices subject to change).

Indrail Pass is personal, non-transferable, and travelers must have their passport available for inspection at all times, Holders of an Indrail Pass are exempted from all reservation fees and sleeping car charges. Once the ticket is bought there is no need to go through other formalities or the worry of having to buy a different kind of ticket for each journey. Validity: A ticket can be used within l year of its issue. Validity period is from the date of commencement of first journey up to midnight of the date on which validity expires.
 

Refunds : The Indrail Pass is neither refundable nor replaceable when lost, stolen or mutilated. A full refund will, however, be given if it is surrendered at the office of issue before commencement of the first rail journey, providing no advance reservations have been made. Advance reservation is essential, particularly on overnight journeys, and arranged through travel agents. Reservations are on a first come first served basis. For individuals or small groups a 1 - 2 month notice is normally sufficient. Reservations can be made up to 360 days in advance.
 

Where to buy Indrail Pass in India : Railway Tourist Guides/Central Reservation Offices at New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Calcutta, Chennai, Hyderabad, Rameswaram, Vasco da Gama, Aurangabad, Agra Cantt, Jaipur, Chandighar, Amritsar, Thiruvananthapuram, Secunderabad and Gorakhpur or through several authorised travel agents in New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai. The passes can also be purchased at the international airports at Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
 

Railway Enquiries

Bangalore City : Arr. and Dep. 258465 Cantonment General, Enquiry: 27088


Calcutta Centralised Railway Enquiry : 203535, Reservation Enquiry : 280370 Recorded Information: 203545 Howrah Station : 263535, 603542 Sealdah Station : 359213/15


Delhi General Inquiry : 131, 3313535 Reservation Inquiry : 3348686, 3348787, Computerised Confirmation / Reservation : 1330

Chennai Central General Enquiry : 563535 Arr. & Dep. Enquiry : 567575
Egmore-General Enquiry : 566565
 

Mumbai Central Railway Passenger Information Update.
Computer Enquiry for reservation status for CR/CW : 2695959
Comp. Enquiry for Train Arr. k Dep. : 2656565,
Gen. Enquiry, Fare, Connections, etc. 134
Comp. Reservation status Enquiry 135.

LINKS

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Road

Road : Of late, the overland route to India has become very popular, but travelers should be sure to seek accurate information about border crossings, visa requirements and political situations en route. See the "International" section above for details of border crossings into India; these should also be confirmed - contact the Government of India Tourist Office or the High Commission. Several "adventure holidays" companies arrange overland tours by bus to India. There is large network of bus services which connect all parts of the country, particularly regions where the trains do not run such as in very mountainous regions. Details of services and routes may be obtained from local Tourist Offices in India.
 

Taxis and auto rickshaws are available in large cities and fares are charged on a kilometer basis. These do not always have meters; where they do, insist on the meter being flagged in your presence. Fares change from time to time and therefore do not always conform to the reading on the meter, but drivers should always have a copy of the latest fare chart available for inspection.
 

Tourist cars : There are a large number of chauffeur-driven tourist cars (some air-conditioned) available in important tourist centres in India. These unmetered tourist cars run at a slightly higher rate than the ordinary taxis, and are approved by the Department of Tourism, Government of India. Self-drive cars are not generally available at present. Hertz is operating in certain cities.
 

Documentation : A Carnet de Passage with full insurance and Green Cards are required by persons bringing their own vehicles into India. An International Driving License is recommended. A temporary license to drive is available from local authorities on presentation of a valid British or Northern Ireland Driving License. Traffic drives on the left.

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Sea

Sea : The main passenger ports are Mumbai, Calcutta, Kochi, Chennai, Calicut, Panji (Goa) and Rameswaram. Damania Shipping, Live In Appartments, Bernart Gredes Road, Panaji - 403001 Tel.: 0091 832 220056 or 226196 or 223730 There are further services from Calcutta and Chennai to Port Blair in the Andaman Islands. Services are often seasonal, and are generally suspended during the monsoon. Indian ports are also served by several international shipping companies and several luxury cruise lines.
 

One particularly attractive boat journey is the "backwaters" excursion in the vicinity of Kochi in Kerala. Several local tours are available - for example Calicut/Kochi and Allepey/Kottayam.

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Journey Times

 

Travel by :

Air Hours

Road km

Rail Std.
 Delhi/Bombay 1.50 1407 17.30
 Delhi/Calcutta 2.00 1495 18.00
 Delhi/Madras 2.40 2278 32.50
 Bombay/Calcutta 2.30 2060 32.00
 Bombay/Madras 1.40 1355 26.30
 Bombay/Goa 0.55 597 25.00
 Calcutta/Madras 2.00 1616 27.00
 Calcutta/Darjeeling 1.00 667 21.00
 Calcutta/Bhubaneshwar 0.50 499 8.20
 Madras/Madurai 0.50 481 13.00
 Madras/Bangalore 0.40 331 6.30
 Madras/Trivandrum

2.00

668 17.00

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  Information provided by Department of Tourism. Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Government of India.
 

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