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India Transportation


There are 11 international airports and around 90 domestic airports in India. The major international airports include Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata. The international flights connect the country with the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, etc. Domestic flights cover the cities including Agra, Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

Indira Gandhi International Airport (Code: DEL)
It is located 24 km (15 mi) south to the downtown of Delhi, the capital. The airport is named so to commemorate Indira Gandhi, a former prime minister of India. Flights of this airport connect India with a lot of countries including the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, China, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, and Dubai.

From the airport to downtown, you can take an Airport Express for around 20 minutes at the cost of about 150 rupees; take a bus for around 40 minutes at the cost of 50-75 rupees; take a prepaid taxi which costs about 130 rupees. To transfer between Terminal 1 and 3, free shuttle buses run every 20 minutes.


Railway network of India is the fourth largest in the world, following China, Russia and the USA. To cross the border, there are three international railway routes available: from Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. However, these routes are not well developed so it is not recommended to choose. Now the routes from Bhutan, Myanmar and China are under plan or construction.

To travel inside the country, taking a train is generally cheaper than taking a flight. The domestic railway routes cover almost every city of the country. Generally the trains are divided into two kinds: Mail/Express and Ordinary. The former is faster. The ticket price differs depending on the seat and class. You can book the tickets online or go to the railway station to buy on site.

Long-distance Bus

There are two international buses at service, connecting India with Pakistan and Nepal. From Lahore in Pakistan, it generally takes 8 hours to arrive in Delhi at the cost of 2,400 to 4,000 rupees. The bus service is run by two companies now every day except Sundays. From Nepal, buses depart from Lumbini and arrive in Sunauli to cross the border, and then travelers can take long-distance buses to get to Varanasi in around 12 hours or Gorakhpur in around 3 hours. As the highways of international routes are in a relatively poor condition, so it is not a recommended transport.

Inside the country, traveling to some places where trains are not able to reach, you can take a long-distance bus. The facilities are not satisfactory on general. Most buses are not clean and have no air conditioner. However, it has advantages running in special areas like in mountain areas. Besides, it is usually the cheapest way to travel between cities, so you can choose to take one when it is necessary.


Ships mainly serve to connect the mainland with Andaman Islands. They usually depart from Kolkata, Chennai and Visakhapatnam and arrive at Port Blair in Andaman Islands, with three to four ships sailing a month. Except from June to September, there are cruises able to reach Lakshadweep Islands. On the mainland, there are also ferries for short distance at service.

Prepaid Taxi

This kind of taxi can be mainly found in major airports and railway stations. You need to buy a ticket at the counter and pay in advance according to your destination. There is no need to pay to the taxi driver any more in the whole journey. Take your receipt and take a taxi after making a confirmation with the driver to ensure your destination is accessible. Keep the receipt with you until you get off. The purpose of this method is to avoid unreasonable charging from taxi drivers and thus to guarantee passengers' rights.


It is a commonly-seen local transport in India and some Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Cambodia. It is an auto-rickshaw which can generally hold two passengers. Different from Tuk-tuks in Southeast Asian countries that the cost can be bargained, the cost of Tuk-tuks in India is calculated by fare meter. You shall not bargain on the price with the driver. The fare of about 8-14 rupees every kilometer (around 0.6 mile) is reasonable.

Further Reading: 
Things to Do in India   Useful Travel Tips