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Rail through India!

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1. Posted by boozle (Budding Member 32 posts) 5y

Hey People,

I am new to this forum! nice to meet you all!

I am looking at starting travelling around November time. The 1st country i am going to visit is India. im looking at being in India for around 6/7 weeks so in no rush. Im thinking of landing in Delhi, and then visiting the golden triangle as i want to see the Taj Mahal especially, then working my way down to goa and kerala before departing to thailand via mumbai.

Anybody on here travelled India before who can recommend any other great places to visit whilst i am there?

Also back to my main question, what would the cost/route be to travel via rail through india from Delhi to Goa?

Anymore info would also be greatly appreciated!

Thanks.

Keith

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Aug-2011, at 04:56 by boozle ]

2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1827 posts) 5y

If you have several weeks you should do more than laze on a beach in Goa.

I've done two seven week trips around India by rail, often sleeping overnight on a train and sightseeing by day. Get yourself a 30 day rail pass. First class is best. Don't let anyone kid you that second class is almost as good. It isn't. Queuing up to get a seat on a train can be a pain as Indians don't like queues and women are allowed to push in.

From Delhi you can travel to Kolkata, stopping at Kajuraho on the way. Then down the east coast to Varanasi then to Chennai and Pondicherry. you may wish to pop across to Sri Lanka for a visit, flying back to a different destination in southern India. Traivandrum, Cochin, Mangalore, Goa, Mumbai. Leaving Goa you often have to book ASAP (on arrival) as trains tend to fill up quickly.

You see some amazing sights and sites in India in the most unexpected places.

I visited endless temples, saw a gold coloured lake (algae I suppose), fed fish with pop corn, saw vultures feeding on a dead cow in the middle of a road (which upset the Indians), saw hundreds and hundreds of bats rising from trees by a lake as it started getting dark, a huge fair on a beach, various markets, fishing in Cochin, etc, and of course the Indians going about their daily business.

Do be careful of taking photos of people, particularly women. If close, think of asking permission. If you can use a telephoto from a distance, OK if not noticed.

Some people get a bit of third world shock when seeing great poverty sometimes. You should make allowances for the unworldliness of some Indians (you'll know what I mean when it happens) and they can try your patience. Smile, even if you feel like kicking them up the backside.

Also being generally overcharged (it is often very little, but annoying just the same) and pick pockets in some of the larger cities.

Meals are served on train at a price, and are usually cold. You can often get some food from sellers at stations where they stop for 10-15 minutes (be ready to jump on the train if it starts). Always have a bottle of water with you and a toilet roll.

A spoonful of salt followed by a sugary drink can often cure diarrhoea. Do remember your malaria tablets and take them as long as necessary after leaving India (malaria parasites can still be alive in your body). A can of insect or mosquito spray can be a good investment, especially last thing at night around your room.

3. Posted by boozle (Budding Member 32 posts) 5y

Thanks for the reply Cyberia!

sounds like you know india like the back of your hand! :)

i have been to Goa twice before but only for 2 weeks at a time, loved every minuite of it!

am looking forward to seeing 'incredible' india now!

how much am i looking at for a 30 day rail pass?

thanks. boozle

Posts 4 & 5 were removed by moderators
6. Posted by jsonam (Budding Member 31 posts) 5y

hey boozle,
depends on what you want to see in india...people know of taj mahal, the golden triangle and kerela and goa..yet india has such a lot of diversity...
from high altitude mountain ranges to the deserts, to pristine beaches where you would hardly find many people.in essence i am saying is that there is a lot more to india
rail..are you travelling alone or with friend/partner? in india most trains have second class sleeper/ac3 tier/ac 2 tier and ac 1st class.as one would imagine the ac compartments are all closed up and hardly offer a view of the landscape as you chug along...second class sleeper is the way to travel if you want to interact with people, have the windows open and the wind blowing through your hair...this comes at the expense of dirty toilets, often overcrowded trains and hot weather(although november should be ok)-- second class is very cheap...a ticket from delhi to trivandrum(thiruvanathapuram)-capital of kerela should cost you no more than 25AUD and this would be probably a 2 night 3 day journey..
let me know of your travel destinations, type of place you would like to visit and perhaps you may find my suggestions useful.also the book "shantaram" by gregory david roberts is a good read to prepare you for the culture shock that awaits you in india

7. Posted by jsonam (Budding Member 31 posts) 5y

ps..cyberia has given you excellent suggestions

8. Posted by boozle (Budding Member 32 posts) 5y

thanks for the info jsonam.

I will be travelling alone on the rail! is this a safe option? second class sleeper sounds good as the reason I plan on using the rail is to see the landscape as I travel through the countryside & also want to interact with people. locals and travellers, but also fancy ac :).

Is there a website where i can check the prices?

Boozle

9. Posted by jsonam (Budding Member 31 posts) 5y

hey mate
travelling by train on most routes is a safe option.dont eat any stuff offered by strangers, drink only bottled water and make sure you have your luggage in sight all the time.when you need to go the loo, make sure its locked and secure.the food served by the railways is quite ok and on certain routes is excellent.also i have always liked getting off at various stations and getting something from the railway platform!! dont carry much cash on you...dont have more than rupees 1500 (aud 40) on you.plenty of atm's all over india, may charge you bank fees for international withdrawals but well worth the expense i tell you
the indian railways website is a bit tedious but gives you all the information you want.once you are in india there is a book called "trains at a glance" published by indian railways which gives you all the info that you want.generally in india most of the trains that are either rajdhani/shatabdi class are excellent.plus a few other trains that are numbered starting with 23 or 24 are good(in india most trains have 4 digit numbers which indicate the train number), although this might have changed.
in college and for a few years after i always loved second class sleeper...it was always an adventure...let me know if u need any other info

10. Posted by Theguide (Budding Member 4 posts) 5y

beware of being ripped apart of ur money.look no further if your looking for the best deal and the most memorable stay in india.get in touch with me or send me a message