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Indian Subcontinent >> India >> Getting around in India

Getting around in India

India is a vast country but luckily for the traveller, it is extensively linked by public transport. All major towns and cities have airports. Even very small towns are connected by rail with Indian Railways maintaining the biggest network in Asia. ‘Toy trains’ are quaint, neat and narrow gauge; pretty like the hillsides they chug up. The roads and highways may not be state-of-the art multi-lane expressways but if it’s basically about getting to places, they serve the purpose well! The bus network, privately run and state operated is extensive.

Traffic drives on the left hand side and it is possible to hire cars, but more easily chauffeur driven ones. Self drive cars are hard to come by as the government does not issue licenses for these. That’s fine, believe us, because you will appreciate your driver here! Roads are reasonably good in parts, specially the major highways. Near towns and villages they deteriorate and depending on the season, crumble into tracks in some areas. Valid documentation is an International Driver’s License. Taxis and three wheeler auto rickshaws are ubiquitous in the Indian urban and even semi rural landscape. Most small towns have motorcycle rentals.

Travel by water is not popular but there are ships to the Andamans from Calcutta, Chennai and Vishakhapatnam. Backwater cruises in converted rice boats called Kettuvalams are a delight in the lazy lagoons of Kerala.

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