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India Virgin... a few questions?

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1. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru, 5336 posts) 12 Apr '13 13:37

Hi everyone,

I may need my head examined but I will be flying into Delhi in mid-May, just a few weeks from now!

1) While it's been snowing in Ireland, I'm reading about the horrors of 40+ degree heat at that time of year in India. I'm not planning to stay more than one night in Delhi and I'll be on a train North to Dharmasala the next day.

So, I'm wondering, exactly how bad is the heat? As a lily-white Irish girl, will I explode into flames or is it that bad?

2) Just went through the crazy convoluted process of booking train travel and my ticket is 'Waitlisted/RAC". I've been reading a bit about the terminology associated with Indian rail tickets, but what I can't figure out is how good a chance I have of getting this ticket confirmed to travel. I was #10 on the waitlist.

3) Female solo travellers - how have you found overnight train travel on 2AC?

4) Kangra train to Dharmasala from Pathankot sounds amazing but slow. Anyone got a recommendation on this - is it worth it, or just better to take a bus?

Ok, done with the questions for now! :)

Appreciate your help. Thanks!
x
samsara

2. Posted by Buffalo (Full Member, 120 posts) 12 Apr '13 16:02

Samsara I'm heading over in July/August (Feckin Monsoon!!) Might give you a shout when you're back for some advice!
Ian;)

3. Posted by amanku05 (Budding Member, 8 posts) 12 Apr '13 21:19

hii samsara...
in may yes its hott in india.. but in dharmshala u vl find good weather..dnt forgt to bring things that protect u from dirct sunlight.
travelling in 2nd AC alone wont b a problem
waitlist 10 ..it should get cleared but not sure (in 2nd AC smtime its difficult).. parallely check for other train tickets that are confirmed or atleast in rac.. check in 3rd AC.

am

4. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru, 5336 posts) 13 Apr '13 06:18

Quoting Buffalo

Samsara I'm heading over in July/August (Feckin Monsoon!!) Might give you a shout when you're back for some advice!
Ian;)

Sure, no problem :)

5. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru, 5336 posts) 13 Apr '13 06:20

Quoting amanku05

hii samsara...
in may yes its hott in india.. but in dharmshala u vl find good weather..dnt forgt to bring things that protect u from dirct sunlight.
travelling in 2nd AC alone wont b a problem
waitlist 10 ..it should get cleared but not sure (in 2nd AC smtime its difficult).. parallely check for other train tickets that are confirmed or atleast in rac.. check in 3rd AC.

am

Thanks am

I've now booked a second ticket on the same train, this time in 3AC. I'm also waitlisted on that. Hopefully, one or other of those tickets will be confirmed in the next month. I'm a little confused because on my e-tickets it says "waitlisted/RAC" - does that mean it's an RAC ticket or a fully waitlisted one?

Thanks again for your advice.
sam

6. Posted by MattyRex (Full Member, 117 posts) 13 Apr '13 20:27

Think Delhi wont be too bad as far as heat goes. But if you are only staying there a dayr it wont really matter. As far as the train ticket waiting list, pretty sure you will get a seat! Theres always no shows.

A piece of advise if you use the Delhi metro. Use the womans carrages at the front of the train. Some Indian guys cant keep their hands to themselves.

7. Posted by amanku05 (Budding Member, 8 posts) 13 Apr '13 22:56

hii sam..
thats gud move... just keep checking the status. if one got confirmed cancel the other one... if ny of tickt not get cnfirmnd they will automaticaly get cancelled and money refund to ur account. one more option is tatkal booking.. here u have to book ticket 1 day before of the journey ..u can get ticket through some agent he will take his fees in that case..
ur RAC ticket vl get cnfirmed surely..
just wear full sleeves cloths in delhi (protect direct xposure to air and heat).. coz its not just heat.. its a hot wind.. which feel like flames if temp goes up.. so avoid direct contact..

8. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru, 5336 posts) 14 Apr '13 05:49

Good tip on the metro, thanks Matty!

Ok, thanks again amanku. I will take all of your advice. Appreciate your help.
sam

9. Posted by srb (Budding Member, 4 posts) 18 Apr '13 11:09

Quoting samsara2

Hi everyone,

I may need my head examined but I will be flying into Delhi in mid-May, just a few weeks from now!

1) While it's been snowing in Ireland, I'm reading about the horrors of 40+ degree heat at that time of year in India. I'm not planning to stay more than one night in Delhi and I'll be on a train North to Dharmasala the next day.

So, I'm wondering, exactly how bad is the heat? As a lily-white Irish girl, will I explode into flames or is it that bad?

40+ is indeed a reality. It really feels very hot.

2) Just went through the crazy convoluted process of booking train travel and my ticket is 'Waitlisted/RAC". I've been reading a bit about the terminology associated with Indian rail tickets, but what I can't figure out is how good a chance I have of getting this ticket confirmed to travel. I was #10 on the waitlist.

An example scenario
Chennai to Del
Travel Date : 2013 Mar 1
Booking Date : 2013 Feb 1
Sleeper : WL 40
-> This will 80% get confirmed.

Instead if you tried 2nd AC
2AC : WL 30
-> This will 10% get confirmed

Since a lot of cancellations happen on sleeper compared to AC

Best thing is to book tickets atleast 2-3 months early. Even if you dont have a fixed plan, better book a few extra tickets. Later you cancel the ones you dont use. You will need to do some research to understand this well.

Also, in cases of emergency, tatkal tickets are available one day prior to the journey. The counters open at 10am across the country. You can book online as well, but due to the server load, you might risk not getting the ticket at all.

Flight charges on last days (3 days prior to deparure) are exorbotant. Best would be to book atleast a month a ahead.

3) Female solo travellers - how have you found overnight train travel on 2AC?

2AC,3AC and sleeper all are safe. Since there are many people in sleeper, problems are rare. If you book early on (atleast 2 months earlier), you will be allotted seats from the fresh pool of seats, and not against cancellations. The initial allocation takes care that single female travellers are allocated near families etc. Indian railways do take care of any potential risks. But if you do get a waitlisted ticked confirmed, then the system allocates you on first come first serve basis.
Do keep the phones numbers of : Police (100), Source and Destination Railway Station Numbers, Your Indian friends numbers safely. Also, in case you feel uncomfortable, get acquainted with some family on the train coach and inform them your seat. This will help in case of an emergency.
Do pull the red chain on the train in case of any risk - the train will halt!

4) Kangra train to Dharmasala from Pathankot sounds amazing but slow. Anyone got a recommendation on this - is it worth it, or just better to take a bus?

I Hope to try this some day. No idea yet!

Ok, done with the questions for now! :)

Appreciate your help. Thanks!
x
samsara

Rahul

[ Edit: Edited on 18-Apr-2013, at 11:12 by srb ]

10. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru, 5336 posts) 18 Apr '13 11:21

Thanks so much Rahul! Really appreciate the information. Have my fingers crossed for my train tickets but I have booked bus journeys now as a back up and they are confirmed so I'm covered. Hoping for the train travel though as I hear it's the best way to get around in India!

Thanks again :)

samsara