6 Facts About India Train

11:56:00 AM

Welcome to India !

After 4,5 hours flight journey i finally Landed in Kolkata International Airport. Firstly, let me introduce my only traveling partner in India, his name is Ucup. So, from now on the journey would be covered by the two of us. We arrived in Kolkata at early morning, well yeah i did not know what time actually it was. My handphone battery was die and so did Ucup's. We didn't have watch, so we just wondered what time it was by guessing the colour of the sky. BLANK, is the word which exactly best fit my feeling on the first day arrival in India. I lost my India Lonely Planet book. No, it wasn't stolen, i just  forgot where the last time i put it. So here the next drama started. We got no clue, we didn't have any internet connection to browsing while looking for a wi-fi connection in India is such a sucks, buying a local sim card is impossible, since it needs like 3-4 days to be activated, and the worst thing was we didn't know where to go...Haaa !
How about the tourism centre ? it was closed, all of them were closed. Because you know what time it was ? it was 3.00 AM in the morning. I finally knew it after asked an Indian guy who sat next to me while waiting his family. "Where are you going ?" asked that guy. We don't know, we just arrived, and we don't know where to go, well actually i am gonna follow what my lonely planet book said, but since i just knew that it was lost, so we got confused i answered.

Good information i got from him, there are 3 kind alternatives for dumb people like us who don't know what to do after arriving at the airport.

1. Go to the prepaid Taxi booth counter, it is the safest thing you can do. Do not get ride of meter taxi.
2. There is an India railway reservation ticket counter in arrival terminal. If you wanna continue by taking a train, this could be a good solution. Make sure you don't get out of the building before knowing what to do. Because once you get out of building, you will not be allowed to get inside of the building even for the departure area, unless you have ticket and it should be 3 hours before departed.

3. Wait until the sunrise, then go explore the city. Do not ever going on the night, it is really dangerous.
Long short story, i finally chose the prepaid taxi and asked the driver to go to Travel agent to buy the train ticket from Kolkata to Agra. I got the sleeper class and it cost 1300 rps for one way ticket. The train would departed at 17.00 pm and it would took 25 hours journey. So yeah, that was my first time experience in India Train. From all the india train experiences, i could get some facts about India Train that i purposeful or unaccidently found.

So here 6 facts about India Train :

1. Online ticket/ Travel Agent/ Locket counter/
There are 3 ways of buying india train ticket
- Online ticket
The online webpage is owned by official India Government. http://www.indianrail.gov.in. There, you can find schedule, ticket price, seat availability and reservation form. One thing you should be aware of booking via online, you have to sign up first and be a member, then you have to put a local's phone number for verifying your membership. Though the vantage you will get is they are all on the fix price, there is no commission added. There is also online reservation provided by private company which has a easy and user friendly interface http://www.cleartrip.com
- Travel Agent
Buying a train ticket in travel agent is another solution. There are so many travel agent counters available in India, and the buying process is so fast and easy. Though, you have to pay a little more for company's commission. It was a good option for me since one of my problems why i couldn't buy a ticket via online is i cannot verified my account because i don't have any local number for reference.
- Locket Counter
Ok, this is the last choice, please do not take this option unless you are in emergency. Well, nothing is wrong about buying ticket on the spot. But most of the time, the tickets are sold out, and there will be only no-seat tickets left. It means you will get the general coach ticket where there is no seat provided.

2. AC/Non-AC
First question that will be asked by the officer when you buy a ticket is "do you want AC or Non-AC ?"
For the ticket from Kolkata to Agra in AC class cost around rps 1600 and for the Non-AC sleeper cost around rps 900. The AC class is more expensive but i bet it will be worth it as i have experienced the Non-AC one, and it was definitely stressful. Staying in a non-ac coach train in 40 celsius degree of India for 25 hours journey was really a bad decision.
3. Train Coach Type
The train itself mostly was divided into 4 coaches, whereas the most popular is non-ac sleeper class due to its affordable price yet still comfortable.
- AC 2 tier class
- AC 3 tier class
- Non-AC Sleeper Class
- General Coach (sitting class)

4. Beggar/Hawkers
If you choose the non-ac class, you will find so many beggars and hawkers sell some meals and drinks. If you want to taste the real of India, you'd better choose this option. Because, instead of annoying, these unlucky people made the journey full of unique experiences.

5. Long Time Journey
Well, i am not really sure, but i just feel all the railway journey i've join in India took a lot of times. For example like, from Kolkata to Agra which took 25 hours. I don't know either the long distance between one city to another or the under standard speed of the train. Ah yeah, maybe the not-on time schedule could be involved as the reason why it never match to the timeline should be.

6. Sleeping is a Common Activity
25 hours inside the train where AC is not provided. Can you imagine how does it feel ? And oh in 40 celsius degree. It becomes one of the most frustrating moments in my India journey. It was very hot since due to what local said i was coming in the peak season of summer, so it might be the hottest weather that India has. Alright, i went to the wash-hand stand like a lot in a day, just to wet my skin, though the hot weather will make it dry in less than a minute afterward. Sleeping may be the only way solution to kill the times and i got these different types of Indian while sleeping. 

Sssst...they were all candid, if you find yours on some photos i uploaded below, i apologize for not asking permition taking your photograph while sleeping.

A backpacking journey of India. From the old town Kolkata, the holy Agra, the busy New Delhi, the hippies place of Manali, the amazing Leh Ladakh, Diversity culture of Kashmir were covered in 3 minutes Incredible India video. Enjoy the movie !


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