India is home to lip-smacking culinary, beautiful historical monuments, serene atmosphere and royal culture. It can be worth a whole experience in every aspect.
Railway network in India is well connected and an affordable means to commute across the country but traveling in train in India without proper information can be very rough and messy. It can be very hard to navigate routes, there can be a problem with facilities availability, coaches selections, etc.
So, here are some tips provided that will help you go through every problem and will make your journey smooth and unforgettable.
Indian Railway – Beginners Guide
Taking trains in India is a bit complicated, thrilling and adventure in itself. A vast iron box will be carrying a lot to think about before boarding that. So first thing first.
Make your account on IRCTC before getting started
Indian Railways has a well-functioning website and an app named with IRCTC. This website / App has a special foreign quota to help people out of India. It is a paid service for them and charges 100 INR for registration. This service can provide you genuine information about the train schedule and seat availability in English.
Snag a Foreign Tourist Quota Ticket
While booking tickets from IRCTC, select the “Foreign Tourist Ticket Booking” link under the “Services” option. This will get your tickets in 365 days advance. It will also help you with class selection and will give you a 50% refund in case of cancellation.
Take knowledge Which Class is Right for You
Indian Rails comprises of three classes generally :
- AC that is classified into three further classes based on berth level: 1A,2A,3A. They here provide bedrolls, blankets, hand towels, and windows that are covered with curtains.
- Sleeper (SL)has three berths upper, lower and middle. Windows here has no curtains and no blankets are provided, passengers have to bring their amenities.
- Seating that is categorized in EA that is Executive Anubhuti, EC means Executive chair ca, CC means AC chair car, 2S is the second seater.
Get to the Station Early
One of the important things to do in India while the following trains are always on station earlier than train. This can help you with platform allocation.
Due to being one of the largest networks, stations in India can have more than 5 platforms, sometimes it can be overwhelming to keep track of the train.
Pay Attention to an Announcement on the Station
Indian Railway has done a good job of making proper announcements about train arrival, departure, being late and announcing platform numbers where the train will arrive. Passengers have to pay very close attention to everything and be ready for it. They also have LED notice boards, which displays the coach number of the train while stoppage.
Other things to take care of while taking train in India
You are well prepared with all officials, now its time to make your journey comfortable, memorable and exciting.
Here are some tips you can follow to have a smooth experience on the train and the station as well.
Take Care of Luggage and Baggage
Approximately 1.1% of the population of India commute through trains. This makes it very rushy and a little vulnerable to theft. To save yourself from the inconvenience of losing your possession, it is important to take care of them properly.
Always place them below your seat and keep checking on them and keep your valuable stuff like a camera, phones, etc with you only.
Be Aware Of the en-route Stations"
While traveling on the train, it can be tricky to keep tabs on en route statins and that might lead to missing deboard stations, chances of this are high especially at night. So travelers should pay proper attention to the map and keep checking the live status of the train whereabouts.
Eat Healthy food and Avoid Food Offered by the co-passengers
Indian cuisine has a lot to offer and tempt. The food here is spicy, tasty and authentic but while traveling it can be funny for your stomach. Train journey is long and can be very ehausting, in this case, your body needs to keep it's cool.
Don't eat from vendors coming on the train, order online from the catering provided by the train. Don't take any edible offering from strangers, this falls under train rule book 101 in India. They might add some toxic stuff in your food and make you unconscious and rob you, such incidents have happened in the past.
Always Carry Passport /visa for Verification Purposes
Keep your passport and visa with you while boarding the train for verification purposes. The ticket collector will ask for a ticket and Passport /visa to verify. In case you are unable to present those documents you might have to pay a penalty or deboard the train.
Bring your toiletries
While packing your stuff, don't forget to pack all your toiletries like paper soap, santizer, toilet papers. Washrooms in Indian are pretty messy so try to use best of it while you can and also be ready for everything is thrown your way.
Bargain with the porter(coolies)
While traveling to India bargaining has to be a natural skill. From taxi to coolies who can carry your stuff on minimal pay needs good bargaining to save some bucks.
Be aware of traps of scammers, frauds, and thieves
Indian trains can also be a little threatening especially when you are not from around here, the first rule is already been told that not to take any food from strangers. another keeps your wallet safe to save yourself from pocket pickers.
- Do not buy anything from local vendors, they are mostly scamming you with price and products.
- Do not leave your luggage unattended and go somewhere, that can be stolen.
- Do not entertain beggars, in some states, it is a criminal offense.
- Always take good care of everything that belongs to you.
- Do not sleep unconsciously.
When you are in India, you should experience India's best luxury train ride such as Maharaja Express, Palace on Wheels, Golden Chariot and Deccan Odyssey Train.
Carry your entertainment with you:
These tips will help you keep safe and sound while traveling in Indian Railways. Don't be overwhelmed with all those rules and regulations. Try to enjoy the colors, loudness, and rush of train.
Trains in India tend to be delayed very often. In such a case try to get yourself into a rest house build in the station with all the facilities and bring yourself some entertainment like a laptop, phone, etc to kill your time in and out of trains. Enjoy your ride with a little caution and lots of fun.