India has the second largest network of railways in the world which has over 63,000 Km of track laid between 7000 stations divided into 9 Zones - Western, Central, Eastern, Northern, North Eastern, Northeast Frontier, Southern, South Central and South Eastern. It is one of the most convenient and popular mode of transport for traveling in India. The last stations of the four directional boundaries are West-Mumbai, South-Kanyakumari, East-Guwahati, and North-Jammu. Therefore, Culture Holidays offers an exclusive opportunity to explore and to have close look into the lives, culture, philosophy, religion, bustling markets, crowded places, geographical variations, cuisines, dress styles, languages and so many other facets of Indian people with the Indian Railways. Be it the cultural tour, the wildlife tour, the South India tour, the North India tour or the West, central and East India tour, the railways network takes you to the place of your choice. Indian railways offer you a lot of options when you choose to explore India by train. The types of class available are 1st class, AC 2tier, AC 3tier, 2nd class sleeper and Chair Car.
Discovering India Through Indian Railway Passes
To explore the splendor of multi-faceted India, INDRAIL PASSES provide excellent value for money and enhance the charm of holidays for visitors from abroad. INDRAIL PASSES offer visitors on a budget, the facility to travel as they like, over the entire Indian Railway System, without any route restriction within the period of validity of the ticket. These passes can only be purchased by foreign nationals and NRI's on payment in US Dollars, Pound Sterling and other convertible foreign currencies.
Tips for Train Travel in India
1. Checking your reservation
Your train, coach and berth number is printed on your ticket. Reservation lists for each long-distance train are posted on the notice board at each station about two hours before departure, showing the name, age and sex of each passenger reserved in each berth in each coach. The reservation list for each coach will also be pasted on the train itself, next to the entrance door. Check to see that your name is listed.
2. Food and drink on Indian Trains
There are no restaurant or buffet cars on Indian Railways , but on long distance trains an attendant will appear in your coach and ask you if you would like to order food. He will note down your order on a bit of paper. An hour or so later he will reappear with some rice and curry in small foil containers from the kitchen car. Attendants also regularly pass down each car selling soft drinks, snacks, or excellent hot sweet Indian tea for a few rupees. On the premier Rajdhani Express trains and the premier daytime Shatabdi Express trains food is included in the fare, served at your seat.
3. Cleanliness, Toilets and Crowding
On fast long-distance trains in AC1, AC2, AC3, or AC Chair Class, all passengers have an assigned seat or sleeping berth so there's no overcrowding. All these classes have fairly clean, with both western-style and squat toilets. On the other hand, Sleeper Class gets much grubbier than the AC classes and unreserved passengers can sometimes enter the coaches making it crowded. 2nd class unreserved can be incredibly crowded.
4. Security on Indian trains
Indian trains are quite safe to travel on, even for families or women traveling alone, and you are unlikely to have any problems. Having said that, theft of luggage is not unheard of, so just for peace of mind take a long bicycle lock or medium-sized padlock to secure your bags. In the sleeping-cars, there are wire hoops hanging down underneath the seats to which you can padlock your luggage.
Dr. Minhaj Alam has completed his Ph. D from Centre For Nehru Studies, Department of Political Science, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh and has done extensive research works on Jawaharlal Nehru. His major Research Publications are “Nehru's Contribution to Democracy", “Episode of 1937 Election in India". Besides, he has done many works for publishers as freelance. He is Chief Editor in the IT Department of Culture Holidays . For comment mail to Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org