Monday, October 13

Travel Within India-- The Railway System

With just over a month before we leave for India, I am now focused on coordinating our domestic travel plans within India.  I anticipate that we will be staying in up to five different cities which requires a lot of hotel reservations, at least one plane ride, a few train rides, and many drivers and rickshaws.

For my family and Carlos, this will be the most extensive travel by train.  The Indian railway system is 150 years old and the 2nd largest railway system in the world (I'm not sure what the largest one is).  Fifteen million people travel by rail daily in India.  It is the most common mode of long-distance travel among Indians--I imagine because it is the most affordable and is fairly convenient.  The railway system is run by Indian Railways which employes 1.65 million people.  Traveling by rail allows you to see the Indian countryside in a way that a car does not.  The chai and snack vendors make sure that you're not traveling on an empty stomach and depending on which tickets you purchase, you can lay down and take nap during longer trips.  When traveling to Varanasi last summer, Sulekh's mom packed us a feast!  I was able to eat bhindi masala while watching different villages pass by window.