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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Seaside Travel

Day 1: Cochin
Arrive Cochin. Transfer to hotel. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Cochin including The Dutch Palace at Mattancherry is renowned for its wall murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana. The Jewish Synagogue at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town. The St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India.

Day 2: Cochin - Periyar
Morning drive on a scenic route dotted with plantations of rubber, cardamom, cocoa, green pepper and areca nut, to the wildlife reserve at Periyar. Arrive Periyar and check – in at hotel. Rest of the day free for walk around in the peaceful town known for various Spice and coffee plantations

Day 3 : Periyar - Munnar
Early morning enjoy a boat ride on Lake Periyar to see wild elephants. Afternoon drive to Munnar, the famous hill station of Kerala. Arrive Munnar and check – in at hotel.

Day 4: Munnar
In Munnar Day is free to relax and to walk around. Munnar is situated near the Anaimudi Peak, the highest peak in the Western Ghats.

Day 5: Munnar - Kumarakom
Morning drive to Kumarakom near Kottayam and stay in one of the backwater resorts. The panoramic backwaters here offer an ideal retreat to enjoy nature at its best.

Day 6: Kumarakom - Alleppey
Morning drive a short distance before switching over to a boat for a through many canals and waterways up to Alleppey. The backwater cruise in a country boat is the best way to explore the villages and rural life. In Alleppey you will be taken aboard your floating houseboat, a different boat with a bedroom and en-suite rest room for your comfort. Enjoy unlimited surfing on backwaters, sip a coconut, get disturbed by only the chirping of birds and occasional ripples in water and savor mouthwatering delicacies prepared in front of you by your Kitchen crew. Spend the night on board the houseboat.

Day 7: Alleppey - Trivandrum
Morning board your transport for an interesting drive to Trivandrum. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Trivandrum, visiting the ancient temple of Sri Padmanabhaswamy is one of the major attractions in the city of Thiruvananthapuram. Napier Museum was built in 1880 and shows a harmonious blending of Kerala, Mughal, Chinese and Italian architectural styles.

Day 8: Trivandrum - Excursion
Full day return excursion to Cape Camorin, the southernmost part of the Indian mainland. Visit the Vivekananda Memorial which is built about 400 metres offshore.

Day 9: Trivandrum
Transfer to airport for return flight.

Dream Tour South India

Dream Holidays

Day 01: Chennai
ON Arrival you will be met with our Tour Manager, will assist your hotel transfer and Hotel Check in. Night stay in hotel

Day 02: Chennai – Kanchipuram – Mamallapuram
Post breakfast at the hotel take half day city tour of Chennai covering visit to Fort St. George, St. Mary’s Church, Santhome Basilica, Marina Beach, proceed on to Kanchipuram, visit to Ekambareshwara temple, Kailasanatha temple, Sri Kamatchi Amman Temple and Varadharaja swami temple take lunch in local restaurant and after proceed on to Mamallapuram, check in to hotel and night stay

Day 03: Mamallapuram – Trichy (Over night train)
After Breakfast, tour of Mahabalipuram the city of Mahabalipuram is famous for the seven pagodas. Here on the seashore is an interesting group of ancient rock hewn temples which are the examples of Dravidian style of Architecture. Later in the evening drive to Chengalpattu Railway Station to board your train for Trichy night train, over night journey

Day 04: Trichy
Morning arrive Trichy and transfer to hotel. PM city tour visiting... Trichy was the citadel of the Chola dynasty in the medieval period. In the 18th century it witnessed the Carnatic wars fought between the French and the English. Lord Robert Clive's house is still there to see and so is the Danish Church. The Rock-Fort is the landmark of Trichy. A climb of 434 steps leads to the ancient temple of Ganesha on top and a further climb to a Shiva temple and night stay at Trichy.

Day 05: Trichy – Tanjore – Madurai
Post breakfast drive to Madurai Enroute visiting Thanjavur. At Tanjore, visit the beautiful Chola Temple of Brahadeeswara which is capped by a monolithic cupola made of a single granite block weighing 80 tons which was taken to the top with the help of a 6 km long ramp, an old technique used by the Egyptians for building pyramids. Its bronzes and handicrafts make Tanjore one of the highlights of a visit to South India. Proceed on to Madurai. Arrive and check-in Hotel. Overnight stay at Madurai

Day 06: Madurai
Morning visit the great Meenakshi Amman Temple dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva with its towering Gopurams (rising high above the surrounding country side). Later, visit the Thirumalai Naik Palace - A gracious building in the Indo Saracen style, famous for the Stucco work on its domes & arches, evening visit to Tiruparamkundram Rock temple. Overnight stay at Madurai

Day 07: Madurai – Thekkady
Morning drive to Thekkady the earliest sanctuary to be set up in 1934, it extends to 777sq.kms and forms part of the high mountain ranges, the Western Ghats. Wild life can be seen while cruising on Periyar Lake in a motor boat. Amongst the animals which can be seen are elephants, wild boar, sambar, tiger, leopard, wild dog, languor monkeys, etc. Overnight stay at Periyar

Day 08: Thekkady – Kumarakom
After Breakfast, drive to Kumarakom. Arrive and embark on to the houseboat. Cruise in the backwaters, traversing the narrow canals, witnessing the village life of Kerala. While on board your crew will serve you the delicious food, purchasing the fresh vegetables from the Market, later in the evening the Houseboat will anchor on the Vembanad Lake. Over night stay in the boat.

Day 09: Kumarakom – Alleppey – Cochin
Early morning boat will continue the journey towards Alleppey finishing point Jetty, from there you will be picked by your vehicle and proceed your drive to Cochin. Upon arrival check in to hotel, post lunch city tour of Cochin. Cochin is the natural Harbour created by the famed underwater Malabar mud-banks. Vasco-de-Gamma placed it on the world map. Visit the Fort Cochin, Mattancherry Palace, Jewish synagogue, St. Francis Church and view the operation of the Chinese fishing nets. Evening visit to Cochin cultural centre for viewing the Kerala Traditional Art - Kathakali Opera, performed by Professional Artist. Over night stay at Cochin.

Day 10: Cochin – Departure – (By Flight) - Arrival Bangalore - Mysore
Today post breakfast based on your flight schedule, departure transfer to Cochin Airport to board your flight for your onward journey to Karnataka – Arrival at Bangalore, upon arrival meet and greet assistance to transfer Mysore, drive 3.5hrs to Mysore Enroute visiting Srirangapatinam, the city established by King Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan. The city fell after three repeated wars fought against the British forces. Arrive Mysore and check-in Hotel. Night stay at Mysore

Day 11: Mysore
Post breakfast city tour visiting the palace of the Maharaja built in 1911-12. The palace is of harmonious syntheses of the Hindu and Saracen styles of architecture with archways, domes, turrets, colonnades and sculptures which are magnificent. Visit the Art Gallery; drive up to Chamundi hill to see Chamundershwari Temple & a panoramic view of Mysore. On the way back, see the Nandi Bull, later drive back to hotel for night stay

Day 12: Mysore – Hassan
Post breakfast drive to Hassan, Enroute visiting Saravanabelagola – Monolithic Gomateswara Temple - At Saravanabelagola, hewn out of a single rock and visible from a distance of 25kms is the statue of Lord Gomateswara which is bathed with milk and honey once every 12 years and continue to Hassan. Upon arrival check in and post lunch tour of Belur and Halibid. The Chennakesava temple of Belur built 900 years ago is an exquisite example of Hoysala art. Halebid's 12th century Hoysaleswara and Kedaresvara temples are master pieces of Hindu art, drive back to hotel for night stay

Day 13: Hassan – Hospet
Today Morning drive continues to Hospet. Visit Hampi. The once beautiful capital city of Vijayanagar Empire - greater than Rome, had palaces, temples & sculptures, spread all over. The city was razed to the ground by the Sultanates of South in 1565.

Day 14: Hospet – Hampi – Hospet
After breakfast, visit Some of the interesting ruins remaining are the Virupaksha, Vittala and Hazara Rama temples huge Ganesha and Narasimha images, the elephant stables, the Queen's Bath, carvings on the Ramachandra temple & Lotus Mahal, drive back to hotel for night stay

Day 15: Hospet – Badami
Post breakfast take drive to Badami stopping at Aihole & Pattadakal on the way. Aihole is the cradle of stone temple architecture of the southern Dravida School. The oldest temple, Lad Khan goes back to the 5th century A.D. There are 70 temples in this group. The Durga temple is noted for its sculptures. The Meguti temple is built of 630 small stone blocks. The Ravanaphadi Cave has some beautiful carvings. Pattadakal, referred to as Petrigal, reached its pinnacle of glory under the Chalukya kings from 7th to 9th centuries. The oldest in this group is the Sanghameswara Temple. The Mallikarjuna Temple has pillars depicting life of Krishna. Virupaksha temple has sculptures and panel scenes from the epics, the Ramayana & Mahabharata. The Papanatha Temple has impressive carvings on pillars and ceiling and after exploring the city drive back to hotel for night stay

Day 16: Badami
Today full day city tour of Badami, also known as Vatapi is rich with Hindu and Jain temples carved out of sand stone hills. The carved temples date back to the 6th century. Of these, three are Hindu and one Jain. Sculptured out of solid rock they are adorned with carvings. The Fort, on top of a hill encloses large granaries, treasury & a watch tower. The Malegitti Shivalaya temple set on the summit of a hill is built of stones without mortar. Overnight at Badami

Day 17: Badami – Hospet – Bangalore (By Train)
Today post breakfast check out from the hotel and drive back to Hospet to board your train for your onward journey back to Bangalore, over night journey in Train

Day 18: Bangalore – Departure
Upon arrival meet & greet transfer to hotel. Rest hours free and time to pack your baggage, later night transfer to Airport to board your flight with Colorful Memories of Southern Splendor

Monday, January 19, 2009

Railway Cancels luxury tours

Indian Railways' joint venture with a private tour operator for a luxury package tour from Kolkata to Mumbai via Goa had to be postponed till the end of 2009 after denied security assurances from Goa government, the tour company officials said Saturday.

The Railways' service arm, the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) tied up with Kolkata-based tour operator I-Nova to offer tourists a package tour on a 16-coach luxury train, complete with hostesses, belly-dancers, multi-cuisine food and even a star-studded Bollywood night.

"Director of Goa Tourism department Elvis Gomes told us after the Mumbai terror attacks that there is a threat at the beaches too and he will be unable to provide security to so many tourists (over 700) at the moment," I-Nova group's managing director Rajib Mukherjee told reporters here.

He further noted the Goa government has already banned all beach parties.

"And, one of the USPs of our tour was the beach carnival at Goa that included belly dancers, samba and salsa dancers from Brazil and Russia, a rain dance party and Asian martial arts performance. So, there is no point in going to Goa and not enjoying the beach."

The tour conductors had numerous discussions with the Coast Guard Inspector General (IG) (western region).

"The IG advised us not to take the risk. We too got scared," said Mukherjee.

Mukherjee also said the tour operators wrote to the central home ministry seeking security for tourists during their rail journey.

"The train was to take the Karnataka route from Kolkata and back. But the home ministry has yet not responded to our letter asking to assure security during the journey."

However, IRCTC, which provided the train, has not incurred any loss. But I-Nova has suffered a loss of Rs.70 million.

"IRCTC will not suffer any loss as we will adjust the amount with other tours we conduct round the year," Mukherjee said.

The tour scheduled for Jan 2-11, has been postponed to December 2009.

"Already, 50 percent reservations have been done for the December tour," Mukherjee said. (IANS)

Future Systems - Delhi

Although by 2007 the system was operating at below projected passenger levels, partly ascribed to train capacity proving lower in practice than projected, Delhi Metro is achieving an operating profit. Carrying 5% of the city’s commuters, the project is proving to not only meet the anticipated aim of attracting former road users and reducing road casualties in areas it serves, the Metro is also stimulating economic development in proximity to stations. To further discourage vehicle use in connection with Metro use, a low-cost cycle hire and secure parking trial has been launched.
Development of the Phase 2 lines that will add around 121km to the network is well under way, and a 2010 completion is anticipated in time for Delhi's hosting of the Commonwealth Games.

As with Phase 1, Delhi Metro liases with other Asian mass transit operators, bringing in expertise from Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. In turn, Mumbai Metro is drawing upon operational experience in Delhi.

A welcome part of the system for overseas visitors is the 19.5km (12.1 mile), ten minute interval, extension to Indira Gandhi International Airport. Featuring check-in and luggage facilities, journey times to the centre are cut to 16 minutes from the present one hour by road. The 135km/h (84mph) link will be extended as the airport adds new terminal facilities. The first construction contracts, to Alpine-Samsung-HCC and Afcons, for 7.5km of line were awarded in October 2007.

Delhi Metro is thought to have inspired greater support for mass transit systems. India has many projects now in the planning stage or under construction (Kolkata extension; Mumbai; Bengaluru/Bangalore; HyderabadBangalore). Anticipating the award of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and a possibility of expanding their current small metro operation by then, representatives from Glasgow have visited Delhi to see how the system has become operational in such short time. With confidence in the completion of Phase 2 being on schedule or earlier, Delhi Metro seems likely to reach a master plan target of 241km by 2021.


Line 1 begins at Sharada in the east and was extended to 22km (18 stations) in March 2004 with the inauguration of the entirely elevated Inder Lok-Rithala section.

Line 2 between Vishwa Vidyalaya (Delhi University, North Campus) and Central Secretariat, is underground for its entire 11km length, passing through the city centre and business district at Connaught Place. Stations, 12.85m below ground, were built by cut-and-cover methods except at Chawri Bazar (20m down) where tunnelling was employed.

Line 3, 33.5km long, is mostly elevated or at grade with a short underground section in central New Delhi, and intersects with Line 2 at Connaught Place. It does not connect with Line 1, and runs westwards from Barakhamba Road in the city centre to the western township of Dwarka.

There are escalators and elevators at all stations, with tactile tiles to guide the visually impaired from outside the stations to the trains.

A challenging construction project was Mandi House on Line 3, managed by British company Mott Macdonald. Located under Sikandra Road, an important and busy thoroughfare, much of the station had to be built top-down, with the diaphragm wall panels built from ground level to form the permanent walls of the station. As part of their environmental policy, many Delhi Metro stations are equipped for rainwater collection.


Line 1 begins at Sharada in the east and was extended to 22km (18 stations) in March 2004 with the inauguration of the entirely elevated Inder Lok-Rithala section.

Line 2 between Vishwa Vidyalaya (Delhi University, North Campus) and Central Secretariat, is underground for its entire 11km length, passing through the city centre and business district at Connaught Place. Stations, 12.85m below ground, were built by cut-and-cover methods except at Chawri Bazar (20m down) where tunnelling was employed.

Line 3, 33.5km long, is mostly elevated or at grade with a short underground section in central New Delhi, and intersects with Line 2 at Connaught Place. It does not connect with Line 1, and runs westwards from Barakhamba Road in the city centre to the western township of Dwarka.

There are escalators and elevators at all stations, with tactile tiles to guide the visually impaired from outside the stations to the trains.

A challenging construction project was Mandi House on Line 3, managed by British company Mott Macdonald. Located under Sikandra Road, an important and busy thoroughfare, much of the station had to be built top-down, with the diaphragm wall panels built from ground level to form the permanent walls of the station. As part of their environmental policy, many Delhi Metro stations are equipped for rainwater collection.

Circular Railway - Kolkata

The Circular Railway, which encircles the city, is indeed a boon to daily commuters caught in traffic jams. Beginning from Dum Dum Junction in the North, the Circular Rail passes through Chitpur, Burrabazar, B.B.D.Bagh, Princep Ghat, Hastings, Kidderpore, Remount Road, Majherhat, Ballygunge, Sir Gurudas Banerjee Halt and finally back to Dum Dum Junction.

The need for a parallel system of transport in order to reduce the pressure of road traffic in Kolkata has been the sole aim behind introducing the Circular Railway. As a railway track already existed for transporting goods from the port area to godowns in Chitpur, it was possible to establish a uninterrupted route along the Hooghly for connecting Dum Dum Junction and Princep Ghat.

As the original line was a single line track with loading and unloading sidings and wharfs, a few platforms had to be built and reception facilities were constructed at some stations. The line was commissioned from Dum Dum Junction to Princep Ghat on 16th August, 1984.

Work is on for the extension from Princep Ghat to Majerhat. With this extension, Circular Railway will cover the periphery of entire Kolkata and it will be of great help to the people of Behala and Budge-Budge in South Kolkata. Work is also on for the extension of Circular Railway in the North, from Dum Dum Cantonment to N.S.B. Airport.
Train Name Source Departure Time Destination Arrival Time
Hashnabad Local Princep Ghat 9:20 AM Hashnabad 12:25 PM
Barasat Local Princep Ghat 10:20 AM Barasat 11:45 AM
Naihati Local Princep Ghat 11:05 AM Naihati 12:50 PM
Eden Gardens Dum Dum Local Princep Ghat 11:46 AM Dum Dum 12:30 PM
Hashnabad Local Princep Ghat 12:32 PM Hashnabad 3:38 PM
Barasat Local B.B.D.Bag 1:17 PM Barasat 2:22 PM
Duttapukur Local Princep Ghat 4:55 PM Duttapukur 6:28 PM
Habra Local Princep Ghat 5:33 PM Habra 7:34 PM
Ranaghat Local Princep Ghat 6:28 PM Ranaghat 9:17 PM
Barrackpore Local Princep Ghat 7:05 PM Barrackpore 8:17 PM
Barrackpore Local Princep Ghat 7:42 AM Barrackpore 8:50 AM
Gede Local Gede 5:18 AM Princep Ghat 9:20 AM
Bongaon Local Bongaon 7:25 AM Princep Ghat 9:48 AM
Kalyani Simanta Local Kalyani Simanta 8:18 AM Eden Gardens 10:13 AM
Barrackpore Local Barrackpore 9:30 AM Princep Ghat 10:48 AM
Hashnabad Local Hashnabad 8:18 AM Princep Ghat 11:28 AM
Bongaon Local Bongaon 9:40 AM Princep Ghat 11:55 AM
Naihati Local Naihati 3:15 PM Princep Ghat 4:45 PM
Barasat Local Barasat 3:55 PM Princep Ghat 5:18 PM
Naihati Local Naihati 4:15 PM Princep Ghat 6:00 PM
Barrackpore Local Barrackpore 5:25 PM Princep Ghat 6:50 PM
Dankuni Local Dankuni 6:10 PM Princep Ghat 7:32 PM

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mumbai Local Train Time Table

Local Train Time Table
From CST From Dadar From Kurla From Thane From Kalyan Train Details Neral
4.22 4.39 4.50 5.15 5.44 KHOPOLI 6.28 SLOW
4.43 5.00 5.11 5.38 6.07 KARJAT 6.49 SLOW
5.22 5.39 5.50 6.17 6.46 KARJAT 7.29 SLOW
5.45 6.02 6.13 6.40 7.08 KARJAT 7.51 SLOW
6.54 7.07 7.15 7.3 7.50 KARJAT 8.36 FAST
7.35 7.48 7.56 8.18 8.40 KHOPOLI 9.19 FAST
8.40 8.53 9.01 9.20 9.41 KARJAT 10.24 FAST
9.30 9.43 9.51 10.11 10.30 KARJAT 11.12 FAST
10.44 11.02 11.11 11.25 11.46 KARJAT 12.32 FAST
11.17 11.30 11.38 11.58 12.19 KARJAT 12.59 FAST
11.57 12.14 12.25 12.51 13.20 KHOPOLI 14.04 SLOW
12.52 13.07 13.15 13.37 14.06 KARJAT 14.47 SEMI-FAST
13.45 13.58 14.06 14.26 14.49 KARJAT 15.32 FAST
14.52 15.06 15.14 15.31 15.54 KARJAT 16.37 FAST
15.17 15.32 15.40 15.59 16.18 KHOPOLI 17.01 FAST
16.10 16.25 16.33 16.55 17.27 KARJAT 18.10 SEMI-FAST
17.32 17.45 17.53 18.13 18.34 KHOPOLI 19.16 FAST
18.24 18.39 18.47 19.07 19.27 KARJAT 20.09 FAST
19.00 19.14 19.22 19.43 20.02 KARJAT 20.45 FAST
19.55 20.10 20.18 20.38 20.57 KARJAT 21.41 FAST
20.18 20.32 20.43 21.10 21.41 KHOPOLI 22.24 SLOW
20.52 21.06 21.14 21.35 22.04 KARJAT 22.47 SEMI-FAST
21.12 21.27 21.35 21.55 22.24 KARJAT 23.09 SEMI-FAST
22.40 22.59 21.10 23.39 00.07 KARJAT 00.49 SLOW
23.30 23.48 23.59 00.45 00.52 KARJAT 1.38 SLOW
00.45 1.03 1.14 1.42 2.10 KARJAT 2.53 SLOW

Monday, January 12, 2009

Architectural Grandeur

Konark Sun Temple- The Architectural Grandeur
The experience that a man gets here in the temple cannot be translated in to words. It was rightly said by the poet Rabindranath Tagore that “ Here the language of stone surpasses the language of man". The Konark temple is widely acclaimed for its exquisite and profusion of sculptural work. All the 24 wheels are 10 feet in diameter. The wheels are beautifully carved. Two lions guard the entrance, crushing the elephants. The carvings around the base of the temple and up the walls and roof are in an erotic style.

here are images of animals, foliage, men, warriors on horses and other interesting patterns. There are three images of the Sun God, positioned to catch the rays of the sun at dawn, noon and sunset. The Konark Sun Temple has followed a Central Indian style in its making. However it does not have tall shikharas of the later temples of Orissa and Central India.

Year Of kudos
The temple is one of the most important Brahman Sanctuary and has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984.

Peppery Bulletin
Konark is known by many names. To mention -Konaditya, Arkakshetra.
Konark Sun Temple is also known as “ Golden Pagoda”.
The ruins of this temple were excavated in the late 19th century.
Konark is also home to an annual dance festival, held every December, devoted to classical Indian dance forms, including the traditional classical dance of Orissa, Odissi.
It is said that the temple was not completed as conceived because the foundation was not that strong enough to bear the weight of the heavy dome.
The Sun Temple Museum has a collection of sculptures which is run by the Archaeological Survey Of India.
Legend has it that the temple was constructed by Samba, the son of Lord Krishna. It is said that Samba was afflicted by leprosy, brought about by his father's curse on him. After 12 years of penance, he was cured by Surya, the Sun God, in whose honour he built this temple.

Konark Sun Temple

When Man Singh built his palace at Gwalior, he rashly assumed eight wives were going to be sufficient. Throughout the zenana – the women’s quarters – his architects had designed eight of everything, in accordance with the latest marital count.

I don’t know what the maharajah was thinking. The life of an Indian prince was based on the premise that there was no such thing as enough when it comes to sexual partners. No sooner had the last lick of paint been applied to his splendid palace than he met Mrs Singh number 9, a village beauty who caught his eye at a well in the forest. He was obliged to call the architects and set them to work on a new palace at the bottom of the garden to house his latest conquest.

In the deserted Dancing Hall of Man Singh’s palace, where there is now just the faintest odour of bats, you begin to wonder. Wives were only the tip of the iceberg. Nobody seemed to keep track of the concubines, the courtesans, the dancing girls. It is all very well admiring the tilework, the beautiful stone fretwork, the lovely cupolas in Indian palaces. But what really draws the eye is the size of the harem.

I was travelling to Khajuraho, the famous temples whose reliefs have been called the Kama Sutra in stone. I had the idea they might help to explain what really went on in the mirrored chambers of the harem, among the cloistered concubines and the pampered princes. I tried to see it as an educational jaunt.
Gwalior was the first stop on my road to sexual discovery. I was staying in a lavish guesthouse built for the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1887. Given its size, it would seem that their host, the Maharajah of Scindia, assumed that the royal party would be travelling with a considerable harem. Imagine his disappointment when the Prince of Wales turned up with a single wife.

The maharajah’s own palace lies just across the road. Built in European style in the 19th century, it makes Buckingham Palace look cramped. One wing has been opened as a museum. It proves that royal excess was not restricted to the harem.

There are mountains of Belgian glass, quarries of Italian marble, wagonloads of gilt. There are enough tiger skins to carpet an airport terminal. There are Rolls-Royces, German bubble cars and ornate state carriages. In the banquet hall, a miniature silver train ran round the table with cigars and decanters. Above the table are twin chandeliers that weigh three and a half tons each, so heavy that nine elephants had to be taken up on the roof to check it would take the weight.

And naturally, in a building whose harem may not have fallen far short of triple figures, there is a room of erotica where an enthusiastic Leda is having her way with a swan. I thought of it as prep. It was hot, but not Khajuraho hot. The most erotic sculpture in India lay ahead of me.

In these regions, building palaces for guests is something of a tradition. In Datia I paused to visit the fabulous palace built by a local ruler in the early 17th century for the visit of the Mughal emperor Jehangir, a man who wouldn’t disappoint when it came to consorts. It had seven storeys and 400 rooms, and took eight years to build. Unfortunately, Jehangir only stayed one night. He missed a treat. In its topmost room – a pavilion of winds with ceilings covered with murals of Krishna playing with his numerous girlfriends – the emperor would not have felt out of place with a handful of bed companions.

JUST UP the road in Orchha was another palace built for Jehangir. Deep in rural India, Orchha is now little more than a village. From the pavilions and balconies high up among the roofs of its two palaces, one looks out over fields where bullock carts trail dust into the dry distance. Along the banks of the river, women in bright saris were washing clothes beneath the chhatris, the cenotaphs for the royal dead. In the other direction, one looked down on the village roofs and the Ram Raja temple with its busy forecourt of pilgrims, all desperate for the intercession of the gods.

One can imagine the young women of the harem up here, peering down through the stone lattice screens at a world that was lost to them. Some may have enjoyed the pleasures and status of the harem. For others these ornate palaces were a prison.

Palace architecture, with its repetition and rhythm, seems to insist on the erotic tone. There are the sensual surfaces – marble, polished stone, glazed tiles. There is the slow progress, a kind of unfolding, to more and more intimate chambers. There is the love of secret nooks, of peekaboo seeing without being seen. And, finally, there are the furnishings – the rich silks, the crushed velvets, the endless cushions and divans. Sprawled among the soft furnishings, it must have been difficult to keep one’s mind on affairs of state when the most beautiful women in the kingdom were twiddling their thumbs upstairs in silk pyjamas.

Gwalior, Datia and Orchha are all pleasantly obscure Indian destinations; you are likely to wander alone among the ruined palaces and temples. Though Khajuraho too is little more than a village, it is one of the most popular destinations in India. Sex sells; don’t count on a private viewing.

Much about Khajuraho remains a mystery. It was an important centre of the Chandela dynasty, contemporaries of the Normans half a world away. They were great temple-builders, and may have erected as many as 85, most of them over a 100-year period, from AD950 to 1050. Only 20 remain.

After the Chandela decline in the 13th century, Khajuraho fell into obscurity and it was this that probably saved the temple reliefs from Muslim invaders who were in the habit of desecrating figures, especially those caught with their trousers down. The temples didn’t come to the attention of the outside world until Captain TS Burt of the Bengal Engineers heard of them from one of his bearers in 1838. He found them buried in jungle.

In his report for the Royal Asiatic Society he enthused about the beautiful and delicate workmanship of the carvings, but warned his readers that the sculptor had allowed his subject to grow rather warmer than was absolutely necessary. “Indeed some of the sculptures were extremely indecent and offensive,” he wrote, wondering that a religion could allow such “disgraceful representations to desecrate their ecclesiastical erections”.

According to the guidebooks, the exquisite stone reliefs depict the everyday life of 11th-century India. There are two things you can’t help but notice about everyday life in 11th-century India. First, everyone was gorgeous. Second, they spent a great deal of their time shagging.

Everywhere you look, beautiful women pose and preen like pin-ups. Long-legged, lithe, and clothed in little more than a few silver tassels, they have the kind of figures that, in our own day, are usually acquired surgically. Many have their backs turned, their weight shifted seductively onto one leg, their backs arched to show off their cute bottoms, one arm drawn artfully back to reveal a bare breast, while they gaze over their shoulders, batting their eyelashes at the not so innocent temple-goer.

Just around the corner, in the next panel of reliefs, these visions of perfection are getting sweaty with some equally fit guys. Their sexual experience follows a familiar trajectory. First there is the attempt to expand the repertoire (some new positions), then a bit of kinky experimentation (threesomes) and then, before you know where you are, you are standing on your head, one woman astride you while two others press in on either side enjoying manual stimulation. I think we’ve all been there.

But if all this sounds like a stag night in Amsterdam, you are getting the wrong idea. The reliefs of Khajuraho are some of the finest sculpture in India. They are delicate, almost divine. The sex is beautifully portrayed, not carnal but erotic and elegant. But, like any graphic depiction of sex, it tends initially to overshadow everything else. And then it quickly becomes a trifle repetitive.

So what’s it all about? Why all the sex? Why do the temples of Khajuraho seem to have more in common with a suburban orgy than with your local parish church?

Sexual imagery is not unusual in Hindu and Buddhist iconography. You find it in temples of various periods throughout the subcontinent. Sex is a metaphor for the union of differences, for Creation; part of the quest for enlightenment. What nobody has been able to explain, though, is why the number and variety of sexual images is so much greater at Khajuraho than elsewhere. Like so much else here, that sexual profusion is a mystery.

It does, however, offer a glimpse of what life may have been like inside an Indian palace with its bulging harem – gorgeous women, wild sex, a tendency to experimentation. They also hint at the curious paradox that lies at the heart of the sexuality: that sense that there is no such thing as enough, and the sense that sex alone is never enough.


The capital of India, Delhi, is the third largest city of India. A fusion of the ancient and the modern, standing along the West End of Gangetic Plain, Delhi, revels a picture rich in culture, architecture and human diversity. It has rich history, monuments, museums, galleries, gardens and exotic shows, truly representing India. Delhi comprises of Old Delhi and New Delhi, both very different from each other but providing a rich blend of past and the present to this capital city of India. The city is strewn with pieces of Mughal and British architecture. Delhi has many hustling and bustling bazaars, where you can find all sorts of goods and items. The city is well-planned, there are trees that line the spacious streets and imposing buildings that reflect the progress of the city.

Visit Delhi and experience a fusion of power, politics, invasions, and conquests & of free India. It is one of the most enchanting cities in the world, luring visitors from every corner of the globe to explore and discover the exotic culture which still flourishes along the flows of development.
Attractions in Delhi
» Qubab Minar : It is one of the prime attractions in Delhi, it is regarded as bequest of Islamic culture in India. It also represents the military might of the Turko-Afghan Salve Dynasty ruling India during the 12th century. This 73 meter-high-tower is believed to have been built in 1193 A.D. by King Kutub-ud-din-Aibak to celebrate the victory of the Afghan invader over the Rajputs. Its five stories are graced with fine sculptures made of sand stone. At the foot of the tower, there stands a Mosque which was built in 1197. The tower was repaired for several times due to the earthquake and lightning.

» Red Fort : Lal Quila or the Red Fort is one of the elegant structures in Delh. It lies on the riverbank of Yamuna, surrounded by a wall of about 2.4 km in circumference and built of red sandstone. The construction of the Fort began when the Mughal King Shah Jahan transferred his capital from Agra to Delhi and was completed in 1648. The highlighted structures include the Diwan-e-Am (hall of public audience), the Diwan-e-Khas (hall of private audience). Besides this is the Rang Mahal, the water-cooled apartment for the royal ladies. In the basement of the fort is a market where several traditional Indian goods can be purchased at nominal rates. The Red Fort also has light and sound in the evenings.
Humayun's Tomb : Built in the 16th century as a memorial to the Mughal emperor, this enormous piece of architecture is said to have inspired Emperor Shajahan to construct Taj Mahal in Agra. The tomb was built to dedicate to Emperor Humayun by his widow, Haji Begum in A.D. 1565. The tomb was made of red stone, crowned with the gorgeous marble dome.

» India Gate : India Gate is Located at the end of Rajpath in New Delhi.Designed and built by the British architect Lutyens, it was originally called "All India War Memorial" in memory of Indian soldiers who died in the campaigns of World War I, the North-West Frontier operations and the 1919 Afghan Fiasco. Names of the martyrs are inscribed on the walls with the eternal flames honoring them.

» Rashtrapati Bhavan : Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official residence of the President of India. It is the former the residence of the Viceroy during the British Raj. Perching on the magnificent Raisina Hill, the grandiose building comprises 340 rooms for several functions. Visitors wishing to visit the building are supposed to contact the deputy Military Secretary to The President are allowed to visit the Durbar Hall, Ashok Hall, the Dining Room and the Mughal Gardens only.

» The Ghats : The Ghats along the banks of Yamuna River are marked by memorial places where the leaders and freedom fighters of India were cremated. The most visited among them is Raj Ghat where the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi was cremated after his assassination in 1948. Within the premises there are cremation grounds of Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri also.

» Lakshmi Narayan Temple : Built by G. D. Birla, the industrialist, Laxmi Narayan Temple is known also known as Birla Mandir. One of the most worshiped Hindu temples in India, it is located in the west of Connaught Place, the temple is devoted to Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and God Vishnu, her spouse. After six years of construction, the temple was inaugurated in 1939 by Mahatma Gandhi, and for the first time, the temple was opened to people of all castes, no exemption for the untouchable caste.
Bahai's Temple : Bahai temple built in 1986, is also known as the Lotus temple because of its lotus shape which reaches a height of more than 40 meters. The temple belongs to the Bahai House of Worship, dedicated to the oneness of all religions and mankind.

» Ishkon Temple : Iskon temple is complex of temples dedicated to Lord Krishna and stands on the Hari Krishna Hill at a height of 90 feet above ground level. It is decorated with attractive paintings of Russian artists, depicting stories of legendary personalities of Ramayana epic like Ram, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman. Performances of traditional music are also displayed every Sunday.

» Chandni Chowk : Chandni Chowk, situated in Old Delhi, literally means Moonlight Square. It is a pack of bazaars, where the colorful lifestyle of Delhi can be seen. Here one can buy anything and everything ranging from fish and poultry to second-hand items, gems and gold, garlands, turbans, and spare car parts.

» Jantar Mantar : Located within the area of the Connaught Palace, the stone observatory of Jantar Mantar was built in 1724 by Maharaja Jai Singh, who later built the others on the same lines in Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi, and Mathura. It used as the observatory, boasted for its accuracy in calculating the astronomical movements.

» National Zoological Park (Delhi Zoo) : This zoo was established in 1959 and it covers an area of 214 acres. Considered as one of the finest zoo in Asia, it is a good natural habitat to wide variety of animals and birds form Africa, America, Australia and Asia. The zoo also has a large greenery space, ideal for a picnic.

» Dilli Haat : Dilli haat is located opposite of INA market, it is a one-stop mall selling a large selection of local handicraft from almost every part of the country. Here you can look forward to buy jewelry, handicrafts, garments and artifacts representing the local workmanship.


Modhera is located in the western Indian state of Gujarat. The town extends between the latitude 23.42° in the North to longitude 72.37° in the East. The place is well connected to other places in the region with a good network of roads.According to the Skanda Purana and Brahma Purana, the areas near Modhera were known during ancient days as Dharmaranya. These Puranas mention that after defeating Ravana, Lord Rama asked Muni Vasistha to show him a place of pilgrimage where he could go and purify himself from the sin of 'Brahma-hatya' (the sin of killing a Brahmin). Muni Vasistha showed him a Dharmaranya, which was near the modern town of Modhera. In the Dharmaranya, he settled at a village Modherak and performed a yagna there. Thereafter he established a village and named it Sitapur. This village is about 8 km from Becharaji Modherak village and it subsequently came to be known as Modhera.

The Sun Temple was built by Raja Bhimdev I of Solanki lineage (who were believed to be Suryavanshis) in AD 1026. The temple bears some resemblance to the more renowned Sun Temple of Konark, which it predates by some 200 years. Like the temple at Konark, it was so designed that the first rays of the sun fell on the image of Surya, the Sun God, at the time equinoxes. The temple is partially in ruins, but despite the passage of time, it continues to reveal the architectural genius, the sculptor's virtuosity, and, of course, the devotional fervor of the times.


The Sun Temple at Modhera has been divided into three main compartments. The first is the Surya Kund, a fascinating massive rectangular stepped tank. Because of the restoration work that is being carried out here by the Archeological Survey of India, the tank now stands dry; but in the days of yore it was believed to be full of nirmal jal (holy water). Devotees on their way to offer prayers to the Sun God would be required to first stop here for ceremonial ablutions and only then proceed for worship towards the temple.Small, miniature shrines dot the steps around the Kund. There are 108 of them to coincide with the number considered auspicious by the Hindus.

Besides these, there are four larger shrines dedicated to Vishnu, Ganesha, Shiva and Sitala Mata, the last mentioned being the goddess of the dreaded disease smallpox. And upon letting the imagination wander, one can almost imagine the intense religious activity that once would have been the hallmark of the place-air thick with a soothing incense smell, flowers floating on the water surface, devotees chanting aloud and offering prayers hoping to be blessed by the Lord Surya, all against the backdrop of the benign twin structures.
Several small steps from the Kund lead up to the enchanting Sabha Mandap commonly described as "a magnificent style of pillared splendor". This is the place that was meant for religious gatherings and conferences. Open on all sides with four doorways, the piece de resistance is its unique walnut-shaped ceiling supported by 52 spectacular pillars. Each of these is intricately carved with every inch of available space recounting scenes form Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Krishna Leela (the childhood antics of Lord Krishna). One cannot but be charmed by the artistry and skill of the artisans of the time and, of course, the Solankis to have recognized it and given them due patronage.

Based on a lotus-base plinth, the façade of this structure is also stunning and warrants close attention. Friezes of gods and goddesses cover the walls, besides which one can also see various aspects of human life- the cycle of birth and death and some erotic scenes from the Kama Sutra.

The Guda Mandap contains yet another incredible structure, a surang (tunnel), the other end of which is believed to emerge at Patan, the headquarter of the Solankis. In case of attacks, these tunnels provided the ideal escape routes for the kings and members of the royal family to flee to safety.


Konark (Sanskrit: कोनार्क) is a small town in the state of Orissa, India, on the Bay of Bengal, sixty-five kilometres from Bhubaneswar.It is the site of the 13th-century Sun Temple (also known as the Black Pagoda), built in black granite by King Narasimhadeva I (AD 1236-1264) of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The temple is a World Heritage Site. It takes the form of the chariot of Surya (Arka), the sun god, and is heavily decorated with stone carving. The entire complex was designed in the form of a huge chariot drawn by seven spirited horses on twelve pairs of exquisitely decorated wheels. The entrance is guarded by two lions, which are each shown crushing a war elephant. Each elephant in turn lies on top of a human body. The temple symbolises the majestic stride of the Sun god. At the entrance of the temple is a Nata Mandir. This is where the temple dancers used to perform dances in homage to the Sun god. All around the temple, there are various floral and geometric patterns. There are also human, divine and semi-divine figures in sensuous poses. The poses contains couples in various amorous poses, and are derived from the Kama Sutra. The temple is now partly in ruins, and a collection of its sculptures is housed in the Sun Temple Museum, which is run by the Archaeological Survey of India. The poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote of Konark: "here the language of stone surpasses the language of man."

Indian Culture

The Indian culture is an ancient and dynamic entity, spanning back to the very beginnings of human civilization.Beginning with a mysterious culture along the Indus River and in farming communities in the southern lands of India,the history of the sub-continent is one puncuated by constant integration with migrating peoples and with the diverse cultures that surround India. Placed in the center of Asia, Indian history is a crossroads of cultures from

China to Europe, and the most significant Asian connection with the cultures of Africa Indian history.India is one of the most culturally, linguistically, and ethnically diverse regions one can imagine.In the north, the great mountain barrier. To the south, the great river plains of the Indus and the Ganges,and the large,High plateau of the Deccan. This is the stage on which a complex history took place, and the first act
began along the Indus River.Archaeology has provided evidence of the beginnings of ancient India. Rigveda which is perhaps the oldest document in human history has also provided evidence of life in ancient India.

Rigveda has been transmitted orally from generation to generation; it is like a tape recording, transmitted with astonishing philological integrity. The date of the Rigveda is not known.

WE bring to you this tour which is not only rich in culture, history & archelogical content, but also architecturaly mind boggling, covering the Western, Northern & Eastern, parts of this ancient country,called "Bharat" during the ancient times.

Your Itinerary

Day 1:
Arrive Bombay. On arrival, meeting, assistance & Transfer to the hotel. Afternoon city sightseeing tour. Drive past Flora fountain built in 1869, in honour of Bombay's governer Sir Bently. visit the St Thomas Cathedral,Town Hall,Tower of Silence - Parsi funeral site and the Prince of Wales museum. Later visit Hanging Gardens, Gateway of India and the Marine Drive. Overnight in hotel.

Day 2:
Morning after breakfast,transfer to jetty to take boat journey to visit the Elephanta Caves. These cave temples were built by carving out soild rocks from mountain side,sometime between 450- 700 AD Here you see some unparalled examples of Brahmanical Sculptors. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight in hotel.

Day 3:
Morning transfer to airport to connect flight at 0710 hrs for Aurangabad.Breakfast on board. On arrival,meeting, assistance & transfer to hotel. After fresh & change proceed for half day tour of Ellora Caves. Return to hotel for overnight.

Day 4:
Morning after breakfast, depart by surface for full day excursion to Ajanta Caves. Late evening transfer to railway station to connect overnight express train at 2120 hrs for Bhopal,capital city of the state of Madhya Pradesh,Overnight in sleeper train.

Day 5:
Arrive Bhopal city at 0535 hrs.Meeting,assistance & transfer to hotel. After breakfast proceed for half day excursion to Sanchi, associated with various incidents in the life of Emperor Ashok. He built 8 stupas, out of which only 3 remain today. The Brihat Stupa, started by Ashok & completed around 3-2nd century BC is 16.4m high. Other attractions are the 4 arches or entrances to the stupa, built around 35 BC. Afternoon free. Overnight in hotel

Day 6:
Morning after breakfast, depart for half day city tour of Bhopal. Founded by Bhuj the Parmar king in the 11th century AD, lies on the banks of a large lake. Visit Bharat Bhavan art gallery, Shyamala Hills offering a birds eye view of the city,the Archelogical museum & Laxminarayan temple. Return to hotel. Later in time, after dinner transfer to railway station to connect overnight express train at 2230 hrs for Mathura. Overnight in express train

Day 7:
Arrive into Mathura early morning at 0820 hrs. On arrival, after breakfast at a local restaurant proceed for city tour. Mathura is mentioned in the ancient hindu texts "the Puranas" originally the capital of Yadavas, is described by Fa-Hein (401-410 AD) as being a centre of Bhuddhist culture & leraning. It is one of the 7 well known Hindu Pilgrimage places and was the birth place of Lord Krishna, 1500 years before Christ. Visit Keshab Dev Temple,Bishranti Ghat,the museum.Also visit Vrindavan- the pleasure ground of lord Krishna & Radha. Later proceed by surface transportation to Agra . Enroute to Agra, visit Sikandra- tomb of Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great

Later on arrival, check into your hotel for overnight.

Day 8:
Morning after breakfast,proceed for half day tour of Agra city. Afternoon in time transfer to airport to connect flight at 1440 hrs for Kajuraho. On arrival at 1520 hrs, meeting, assistance & transfer to your hotel.Balance day free. Overnight in hotel.

Day 9:
Morning after breakfast, full day visit of The temples. Khajuraho are India’s unique gift to the world,built by the Chandela kings some 1000 years ago-which probably form one of the best examples of Indian Erotic art.In the morning, you see the Western group of temples and the museum and in the afternoon the Southern and Eastern groups. Return to hotel for overnight.

Day 10:
Morning after breakfast, time at leisure, till transfer to airport to connect flight at 1405 hrs for Varanasi.On arrival at 1445 hrs, transfer to hotel. Enroute visit Sarnath- Lord Buddha gave his first sermon here 2500 years ago.Overnight in your hotel

Day 11:
Early morning,transfer to the Ghats to take an unforgetable boat ride on the Ganges. See the different Ghats(bathing spots) built by kings & noblemen. Watch sunrise before returning to hotel for breakfast.After breakfast,proceed for city tour of this very ancient town, situated on the banks of river Ganges, in the State of Uttar Pradesh.Visit the Ramgarh Fort, Bharat Mata Temple, walk around the narrow bylanes and the ghats.Balance time at leisure & Overnight in hotel.

Day 12:
Arrive into Kolkatta early morning at 0700 hrs. On arrival,meeting, assistance & transfer to your hotel.After breakfast, proceed for half day city tour.Visit The Victorial Memorial, which sits in mejestic splendour at the bottom end of this big green space called the "Maidan".An immence palace of white marble, built in honour of Queen

Victoria by the British. Drive past the Race course to Botanical Gradens, founded in 1786. The 200 year old Banyan tree is the main attraction.Our last halt is the City Museum, constructed in 1814,it presents a 300 feet

footage raising two stories high in Italian architecture. Return to hotel for overnight.

Day 13:
Early Morning after breakfast,transfer to railway station to board superfast express train at 0605 hrs for Bhubneshwar. Later on arrival at 1320 hrs, transfer directly bu surface transportation to Puri.Reach at 1600 hrs and check into your hotel. Balance time free on the beach. Overnight in hotel.

Day 14:
Morning after breakfast, proceed for half day excursion to Konarak Temple. Konarak Sun Temple, a shrine in stone built by king Narasimha in the 12th century AD, is 100ft high, decorated with thousand of sculptures consisting of carved animals, larger than life erotic groupings, statues & honeycombed rocks. The temple design depicts a chariot driven by 7 horses, with 12 immence stone wheels.The temple is dedicated to "Surya" The Sun God.Afternoon visit Jagatnath Temple at Puri.(Non Hindus are not allowed inside the Temple complex).Balance day free at the beach side. Overnight in hotel.

Day 15:
Morning after breakfast,transfer by surface to Bhubneshwar. Enroute visit Pipli Village, world famous for its very colourful Piplique work- manship & Dhauli Shanti Stupa- The place where the great battle of Kalinga was fought in 261 BC and which turned Emperor Ashok's footsteps towards non violence & bhuddhism. Later on arrival check into your hotel for overnight.

Day 16:
Morning after breakfast, proceed for half day tour of this very ancient city.Visit the world famous 11th century Lingaraja Temple. Non Hindus are not allowed inside the complex,so we see from outside.The Bindu sagar lake lying north of this temple is our next halt-it's history dating back to mythological times. Also we visit the Ananta Basudev,Mukteshwar & Parashurameswar Temples. Overnight in hotel. Afternoon half day excursion to Udaygiri,Ratnagiri & Lalitgiri, the budhist caves carved out of granite rock sometime around 2nd century BC, combiningly comprising of

approximately 75-100 such caves. Return to hotel for overnight.

Day 17:
Morning after breakfast,time free for shopping. Later in time transfer to airport to connect flight to Delhi at 1320 hrs.On arrival at 1520 hrs, meeting,assistance & transfer to your hotel. Evening proceed for Son-Et-Lumaire show at the

historic Red Fort. Return to hotel for overnight.

Day 18:
Morning after breakfast,proceed for full day city tour of Old & New Delhi. Return to hotel for fresh @ change and transfer to International airport to connect flight for onward destination.

Khajuraho Tour

Day 01 : Delhi - Agra
Morning drive to Agra, en-route visiting Sikandra. On arrival, check in. Later, sightseeing tour of the city visiting the Taj Mahal, Agra fort, Itimad-ud-Daulah etc. Dinner and overnight at Agra.

Day 02 : Agra - Khajuraho
After early breakfast, transfer to the railway station to board Shatabdi Express. Train to Jhansi. On arrival meet our representative and drive to Khajuraho, en-route visiting Orcha Temples. On arrival in Khajuraho, check-in. The rest of the evening is at leisure. Dinner and overnight at Khajuraho.

Day 03 : Khajuraho
Early morning visit to Khajuraho temples. Khajuraho, once the great capital of Chandela, is now a quiet town. Khajuraho temples here were built during the Chandela period from 950 to 1050 AD. Almost intriguing as the sheer beauty and size of the temples is the question of why and how they were built here as Khajuraho was isolated 1000 years ago, as it is even today. The temples are superb examples of Indo-Aryan architecture and depict images of gods and goddesses, warriors and musicians, real and mythological animals and erotic figures running through the whole Kama Sutra positions and possibilities. Dinner and overnight at Khajuraho

Day 04 : Khajuraho - Delhi (By Train)
After breakfast, drive to Jhansi to board Shatabdi Train to Delhi. Assistance on arrival at Delhi and transfer to international airport for your farewell and outward journey.


Indian Railway Welfare Organisation (IRWO) has been set up under the patronage of Ministry of Railways to promote Social Welfare schemes such as providing help to acquire accommodation to serving and retired Railway Employees as a Social Welfare Measure on “No-Profit, No-Loss” basis. The Registrar of Societies has registered IRWO under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.


The aim of IRWO is to help acquire housing accommodation to the serving railway personnel, retired railway personnel, spouses of deceased railway personnel, personnel of Public Sector Undertakings under Ministry of Railways and personnel of IRWO.


IRWO is engaged in acquiring land from Government Organisations like Local Development Authorities, Housing Boards etc. and private parties in case the Government Organisation do not allot the land. IRWO undertakes construction of houses/flats at no profit no loss basis for its members.


Detailed rules are given in IRWO’s ‘General Rules’ which may be obtained from Administrative officer IRWO Railway Office Complex Shivaji Bridge New Delhi on payment of Rs 100(Rs 150 in case of delivery by post). Some important highlights are given below.


IRWO membership is open to serving and retired railway personnel, spouses of deceased railway personnel, personnel of Public Sector Undertakings under Ministry of Railways and personnel of IRWO. A member may apply for any type of dwelling units irrespective of his scale of pay.

Members are eligible for any number of dwelling units of IRWO, anywhere in the country, provided it is not in violation of existing rules of Local Authority regulations. However the first time applicant will get priority in allotment of dwelling unit.


Enrolment of membership is being done without any restriction as an on-going process. The membership now stands at 70276 as on 30.09.2008. Persons eligible to become Members of IRWO may submit their application in the Membership form as per Annexure A of ‘General Rules’.The applicants are required to pay a non-refundable registration fee of Rs. 1000/- for all types of dwelling Units.


IRWO announces, through advertisements in the newspapers and other means of publicity, self-financing housing schemes, from time to time at locations where land has been acquired or is likely to be acquired by the Organisation.

Applications for IRWO housing scheme are then to be submitted in Application Form in duplicate available in the Brochure for the specific scheme.

The General Rules for becoming member and Brochure for the specific schemes can be had from the Administrative Officer INDIAN RAILWAY WELFARE ORGANISATION, Railway Complex, Shivaji (Minto Bridge, behind Shanker Market, New Delhi – 110 001.

Amarnath Yatra

There is famous Rigvedic Verse that says "Ekam Sat " that is "There is one Being ,the sages call Him by many names." The God (Parmeshwar) has three deities who carry on the world .This is Known as Holy Trinity. Brahma- the creator, Vishnu - the perpetuator of life and Shiva (Mahesh ) -the purifier and perpetuator of good and destroyer of evil. Rig Veda refer Shiva as Rudra as in its following verse . "We Worship Tryambaka (Rudra) , Who spread Fragrance and Increases Nourishment , May He release me ,like the cucumber from its stem , From Mortal Life , But not From Immorality . "(Rig Veda Mandal VII Sukta 59 and Mantra 12)
The Yajurveda describes Shiva as ascetic warrior Whose robe is of Deer Skin and He carries Trishul .
According to the verse Satyam, Shivam ,Sundaram ,the life is described as having three facets Truth (Satyam), Good (Shivam) and the Beautiful (Sundaram).
Shiva is a living God. The most Sacred and ancient books of India, the Rig Veda narrates His presence in the hymns. Vedic myths, rituals and even astronomy testifies to His existence from the dawn of time .The Mohindaro and Harapa findings confirm Shiva worship in the ancient India. According to the older scriptures, He has three places of His residence. One is Kailash Parvat another is Lohit Giri under which Brahamputra flows and third is Muzwan Parvat .
The Amarnath Cave has special significance .
The Legend about the importance of Amarnath Cave is as follows :-
This is The Cave which was chosen by Bhole Shankar for narrating the secrets of immortality and creation of Universe to Maa Parvati ji . The story goes like this . Centuries ago Maa Parvati asked Shiv ji to let her know why and when He started wearing the beads of heads ( Mund Mala) . Bhole Shankar replied when ever you are born I add one more head in my beads . Maa Parvati said ," My Lord, my body is destroyed every time and I die again and again, but you are Immortal. Please let me know the secret of this ." Bhole Shankar replied that it is due to Amar Katha ."
Maa Parvati insisted that she may be told that secret. For long Shiva ji continued postponing . Finally on consistent demand from Maa Parvati He made up his mind to tell the immortal secret . He started for lonely place where no living being could listen it . He choose Amarnath Cave . In preparation to that He left His Nandi ( The Bull which He used to ride ) at Pahalgam (Bail gaon) . At Chandanwari He released Moon from his hairs (Jataon). At the banks of Lake Sheshnag He released the snakes . He decided to leave his Son Ganesha at Mahagunas Parvat (Mahaganesh Hill ) . At Panjtarni, Shivji left the Five Elements behind (Earth , Water, Air , Fire and Sky) which make living being . He is the Lord of these elements. It is believed that as a symbol of sacrificing the earthly world , Shivaji and Maa Parvati had Tandav Dance . After leaving behind all these, Bhole Shankar enters the Holy Amarnath Cave along with Parvati Maa . Lord Shiva takes his Samadhi on the Deer Skin and concentrate . To ensure that no living being is able to hear the Immortal Tale , He created Rudra named Kalagni and ordered him to spread fire to eliminate every living thing in and around the Holy Cave . After this He started narrating the secret of immortality to Maa Parvati . But as a matter of chance one egg which was lying beneath the Deer skin remained protected . It is believed to be non living and more over it was protected by Shiva -Parvati Asan (Bed) . The pair of pigeons which were born out of this egg became immortal having listened the secret of immortality (Amar Katha).
Many pilgrims report seeing the pair of pigeons when they trek the arduous route to pay their obeisance before the Ice-Lingam (the phallic symbol of Shiva).

Discovery of Holy Cave
The story narrated by people about the discovery of this Holy Cave is of a Gujjar ( shepherd) Buta Malik . He is given the credit of discovering this Holy Cave . Story goes like this , that a saint gave Buta Malik a bag full of Coal. On reaching his home when he opened the bag , to his utter surprise the bag was full of gold coins . This made him overwelmed with joy. He ran to thank the Saint . But, what he found was that the Saint had disappeared . Instead , he found The Holy Cave and Shiv Lingam there in . He announced the discovery of this to the Villagers. Then onwards this has become the sacred place of Pilgrimage .
The ancient epics narrate an other story which goes like this. The valley of Kashmir was under water .It was a big lake. Kashyap Rishi drained the water through number of rivers and rivulets . In those days Bhrigu Rishi came that way on a visit to The Himalyas. He was the first to have Darshans of this Holy Cave . When people heard of the Lingam, Amarnath for them became Shiva’s abode and a Centre of pilgrimage . Since then Lacs of devotees perform the pilgrimage through tough terrain and avail eternal happiness.
The trek to Amarnath, in the month of sharavan ( July–August) has the devout flock to this incredible shrine, where the image of Shiva, in the form of a Lingam, is formed naturally of an Ice Stalagmite, which waxes and wanes with the Moon's cycle . By its side are fascinating, two more Ice Lingams, that of Maa Parvati and of their son, Ganesha .

Yatra - India

The land for all seasons, many cultures and ample tourism opportunities, India travel beckons you into a world where every sight will leave you breathless. Home to the magical Taj Mahal, India Yatra offers you a glimpse into the oldest civilization reverberating through destinations like Hampi and Khajuraho.

Traverse Himalayas in Ladakh or deserts of Rajasthan for adventorous getaways; and to excavate the deepest of Indian heritage and culture, there are no place better than forts and palaces of Rajasthan or the sacred Varanasi Ghats.
Some of the major pilgrimage tours and sites in India are: Chardham, Amarnath, Puttaparthi Sai Baba, Shirdi Sai Baba, Tirupathi Balaji, Vaishno Devi, Varanasi, Puri Rath, Kailash Manasarovar, Ajmer Sharif, Golden Temple Yatra, Jain Teerth Yatra, cheap flights to india, Hem Kund, Buddhist Pilgrimage Yatra, Haji Ali, Fatehpur Sikri and many more.

Tata Jagriti Yatra '08 (December 24th 2008 - January 11th, 2009) is an annual train journey that will take 350 of India's highly motivated youth (with some participation of international students) between the ages of 18-25 on a eighteen day national odyssey, introducing them to unsung heroes of India. The aim is to awaken the spirit of entrepreneurship - both social and economic - within India's youth by exposing them to individuals and institutions that are developing unique solutions to India's challenges. Through this national event we will inspire them to lead and develop institutions nationally and within their communities.

Follow Tata Jagriti Yatra as it journeys through India. Yatri's on-board the train are blogging every day about their experiences and posting summaries about their day, poems and also publishing in regional Indian languages.

Rejuvenate you mind body and soul with our religious tour packages to all prime spiritual destinations across the country. Dream tickets offer you cheap spiritual tour packages for all-important pilgrimages such as Char Dham with, Kailash Mansarovar Yatra with , Amarnath yatra with, Puri Rath Yatra, Ajmer Sharif, Mahabalipuram, Madurai, Rameshwaram and many more. Our spiritual tour packages cover all famous temples and sacred sites .Travel with dreamtickets and feel the spiritual ambience of these holy destinations.

The world-famous and holy Mt. Kailash & Manas Lake have been, the source of inspiration for many religions and beliefs. Despite many difficulties and long distances, people are keen to go there at least once in their lives. Continued from centuries, this pilgrimage had been stopped from 1959 to 1980, and when it restarted in 1981 it was welcomed everywhere.

Railway History

A plan for a rail system in India was first put forward in 1832, but no further steps were taken for more than a decade. In 1844, the Governor General of India Lord Hardinge allowed private enterpreneurs to set up a rail system in India. Two new railway companies were created and the East India Company was asked to assist them. The first train in India became operational on, and was used for the hauling of construction material in.

A year and a half later, on1853 the first passenger train service was inaugurated between Bori Bunder Bombay, and Thane. Covering a distance of 34 km (21 miles), it was draged by three locomotives, Sahib, Sindh and Sultan. This was the formal birth of railways in India. The formal inauguration ceremony was performed on 16th April 1853, when 14 railway carriages carrying about 400 guests left Bori Bunder "amidst the loud applause of a vast multitude and to the salute of 21 guns."

The first passenger train steamed out of Howrah station destined for Hooghly, a distance of 24 miles, on 15th August 1854. Thus the first section of the East Indian Railway was opened to public traffic, inaugurating the beginning of railway transport on the Eastern side of the sub-continent. In south the Madras Railway Company opened the first line on 1st July 1856. It ran between Veyasarpandy and Walajah Road, a distance of 63 miles. In the North a length of 119 miles of line was laid from Allahabad to Kanpur on 3rd March 1959. These were the small beginnings which is outstanding path developed into a network of railway lines all over the country.

By 1880 the Indian Railway system had a route mileage of about 9000 miles. The British government encouraged new railway companies supported by private investors under a scheme that would guarantee an annual return of five percent during the initial years of operation. Once established, the company would be transferred to the government, with the original company retaining operational control. The route mileage of this network was about 14,500 km by 1880, mostly spreading inward from the three major port cities of Bombay, and Calcutta. By 1895, India had started building its own locomotives, and in 1896 sent engineers and locomotives to help build the Railways.

Soon various independent kingdoms built their own rail systems and the network spread to the regions that became the modern day states of Assam, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. A Railway Board was constituted in 1901, but decision-making power was retained by the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon. The Railway Board operated under the guidance of the Department of Commerce and Industry and had three members, a government railway official serving as chairman, a railway manager from England and an agent of one of the company railways. For the first time in its history, the Railways began to make a tidy profit. In 1907, almost all the rail companies were taken over by the government.

The following year, the first electric locomotive appeared. With the arrival of the, first world war the railways were used to meet the needs of the British outside India. By the end of the First World War, the railways had suffered immensely and were in a poor state. The government took over the management of the Railways and removed the link between the financing of the Railways and other governmental revenues in 1920, a practice that continues to date with a separate railway budget.

The second world war severely weakened the railways as trains were diverted to the, middle east and the railway workshops were converted into war ammunitions workshops. At the time of independence in 1947, a large portion of the railways went to the then newly formed Pakistan. A total of forty-two separate railway systems, including thirty-two lines owned by the former Indian princely states, were merged as a single unit which was Named as the Indian Railways.

The existing rail networks were abandoned in favour of zones in 1951 and a total of six zones came into being in 1952. As the economy of India improved, almost all railway production units were diagonised. By 1985, steam locomotives were phased out in favour of diesel and electric locomotives. The entire railway reservation system was streamlined with Computerisation in 1995.

Railway Reservations

Journey by rail has its own charm and glitz. And, railway reservation in India is no more a hassle. You can go by online train reservation services or any outlet for that matter. Despite the coming up of cheap fairs in domestic airlines market, a substantial number of passengers and visitors yet journey by train. However, a train travel is both safe & comfortable and cheap. Indian people like to travel by train. A journey by train takes you to unearth the otherwise unexplored sites and mysteries of Mother India. As far as the railway reservation in India is concerned, there are myriad options at ones disposal. You can go by online train reservation system or any railway reservation booking outlet scattered everywhere.

However, Indian railway ticket reservation is no more a hasslesome job. Just lay your hands on any railway reservation booking outlet around you and make your way to the differing journey. With the onset of online railway reservation system things got much simpler for the passengers to book railway tickets online.

Indian railway is working incessantly to endow simply the best services to the passengers in India. Anyone with a system can have rail reservation instantly with no hassle. However, there are also systems of making railway reservation enquiry from virtually any place with your computer. This is how the whole system of booking railway tickets got easier in terms of accessibility and affordability. You are no longer required to sweat and fret over train ticket reservation in India. For any inquiry or for that matter any info you require regarding railway reservations just log onto the official site of Indian railways and you will have it.

Sitting at your home in front of a computer can give you all the relevant information on booking tickets in Indian railways. Booking any train on Indian Railways computerized passenger reservation system (PRS) network from any originating station or train passing through system station to any destination is that much easy nowadays. Be it about booking tickets, reservation enquiry, internet tickets (i-tickets), electronic tickets (e-tickets) or cancellation of tickets, things are just in place for the convenience of passengers.


To further improve upon its services, the Indian Railways have commenced upon various schemes, which are massively motivated. The railway has changed from meter gauge to broad gauge and the people have given it a warm welcome. Now, there are the impressive looking locomotives that haul the 21st-century harbingers-the Rajdhanis and Shatabdis at speeds of 145 kmph with all amenities and comfort. With these, the inconvenience of changing to a different gauge en route to a destination will no longer be felt.

The Research, Designing, and Standardizing Organization at Lucknow the largest railway research organization in the world-was constituted in 1957. It is constantly devising improvements in the signaling systems, track design and layout, coach interiors for better riding comfort and capacity, etc along with improvements in locomotives. The workshops of the railways too have been given new equipment to create sophisticated coaches at Perambur and Kapurthala and diesel engine parts at Patiala. Locomotives are being made at Chittaranjan and Varanasi. This is in sharp contrast to the earlier British belief that only minor repairs would be possible in India, so all spare parts including nuts and bolts for locomotives would have to be imported from England.

More trains and routes are constantly being added to the railway network and services. The British legacy lives on in our railway system, transformed but never forgotten. The network of lines has grown to about 62,000 kilometers. But, the variety of Indian Railways is unlimited. It still has the idealistic toy trains on narrow gauge hill sections, meter gauge beauties on other and broad gauge bonanzas as one visits places of tourist interest. They are an acknowledgement of the Railways that tourism as an industry has to be promoted and that India is full of unique beauty.

The Calcutta Metro is a fine example of highly complex engineering techniques being adopted to lay an underground railway in the densely built-up areas of Calcutta city. It is a treat to be seen. Calcutta is also the only city where the Metro Railway started operating from September 27, 1995 over a length of 16.45 km. There is also a Circular Railway from Dum Dum to Princep Ghats covering 13.50 km to provide commuter trains.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Indian Railway

Indian Railways
Online Railway Reservation
Railways - Telephone Enquiry Services
General Enquiry 131
Reservation Enquiry 132
Train Arrival & Dep (B.G) Central 133
Train Arrival & Dep (M.G) Egmore 134
Reservation Enquiry (Egmore) 135

Interactive Voice Response System Ticket Enquiry
In English 1361
In Hindi 1362
In Tamil 1363

Rail Reservation Centres in Chennai
(Reservation Hrs 08:00-14:00 & 14:15-20:00 Sun:08:00-14:00)
Avadi Rly Station 26555408
Annanagar 26631188
Airport 22560551
Besant Nagar 24901186
Central Railway Station 25353816
Egmore Railway Station 28194579
Mambalam Railway Station 24643755
Mylapore Railway Station 24954252
Perambur Railway Station 25510359
Saidapet Railway Station 24329970
Tambaram Railway Station 22365921
Tiruvotiyur Railway Station 25735314
Beach Railway Station 25234397

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels to roll in January

Riding on the stupendous success of Palace on Wheels, one of the top ten luxury trains in the world, Rajasthan will be launching a second super luxury train in January. The tourist train -- Royal Rajasthan on Wheels -- will be operated jointly by Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) and Railways.
The train will be run from January 11. The itinerary of the train is almost the same as Palace on Wheels except that it will go to Bikaner instead of Sawai Madhopur. The train starting from New Delhi will travel to Jaipur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Bharatpur and Agra before coming back to the capital during its eight-day long journey.
This train is more luxurious than Palace on Wheels as it has facilities like spa, retro lounges, wi-fi connectivity and spacious super deluxe saloon. However, unlike Palace on Wheels, RTDC has to pay haulage charges about Rs 30 lakhs per trip to Railways as per the new policy formulated by Railways for tourist trains. While Railways get 56 % of the revenue, Rajasthan's share is 44 % in Palace on Wheels.

Indian Railway Strength Security

Ministry of Railways is taking several steps to strengthen its security set up. An integrated Security System is being implemented over
stations (including sub-urban stations) of Metro cities of Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai and other 140 vulnerable/sensitive stations of Indian Railways. This system comprises of the following broad areas:-
1. Internet protocol based CCTV system with video analytics.
2. Access control.
3. Personal and baggage screening system.
4. Explosive detection and disposal system.
On the recommendations of Norms Committee, which had been formed for fixing scales/norms for procurement of modern security related equipment, Ministry of Railways have allocated Rs. 60.76 crore for procurement of security equipment to be used by the Railways Protection Force(RPF). - PIB by RAJYA SABHA, December 19, 2008

Friday, January 2, 2009

Train System In India

Second Class (General Compartment) - 2 to 4 coaches in a train, usually 2 just behind the engine and 2 at the end of the train will be allocated general compartment. You'll need not make a reservation to travel in second class. Just buy the ticket from the counter at the railway station, even when the train is standing at the platform ready for departure. This is one of the cheapest ways to travel in India and perfect for a short trip and a great feel of India. The catch is you will not have any seat reservation or sleeping berth. If you manage to get a seat there is no guarantee that you can hold on to it. You need to "reserve" the seat you occupied by keeping your luggage or any other personal objects on the seat when you go to toilets etc.An empty seat is open for anyone, including you, to occupy! The facilities are bare minimum. Food is available from vendors. 4 toilets (squat type) with water are attached to each coach. Fans are provided. Two washbasins are also provided at both the ends. Bring a small chain and a padlock to secure your luggage beneath a seat or to the luggage rack.

Depending on the season, route etc. second class coaches may get overcrowded: you can end up breathing through your neighbour's nose! These coaches get phenomenally overcrowded during the Indian summer season. There is a large passenger overflow into second class from other classes due to the overbooking of reservation seat.

You can see some of the poorer of India in these compartments. If you want to get a feel of the raw India, travelling by one of these is your best bet. People are generally accommodative and more than happy to talk to strangers. A foreigner generates a lot of curiosity. You take the first step in winning the co-passengers’ confidence. Use your commonsense to judge the situation.

An indication of their interest in you is that you will be bombarded with questions. Be prepared to answer a lot personal questions. The first would invariably be ‘from where you are coming?’ ‘What is your profession?’ Then it could be how much you earn a month. Your answers can lead to sub questions! This is how they socialise. Surprisingly they may not ask your name. They think this is too personal a question to be asked! A poorer Indian thinks that all western tourists are infinitely rich: they have loads of money that they don't know what to do with. Otherwise why should they travel around and waste a lot of money? It is surprising that even the well-to-do class of Indian society also at times think along this line. An average Indian is an infinitely inquisitive question bank. Don't get offended. This is their culture. Asking such questions is not considered impolite. Go with it rather than fighting or getting upset about it. Go with it.

Sleeper Class (SL) - This class is the main chunk of a typical express train. About 72 passengers are accommodated in each coach. There are about 10 to 15 Sleeper Class coaches attached per train. You need a prior reservation to get into them. Reservations can be made from 60 days prior to the travel date. Seats are made into berths in the night. The seats are grouped into sort of semi-private sections of 6 seats, 3+3 facing each other. Upper berth (UB), Middle berth (MB) and the Lower Berth (LB). The lower berth is the seat for all three during daytime. The upper berth is undisturbed and can be used for sleeping even in the daytime. The lower berth passenger gets the window seat during the daytime. Generally you can see a lot of co-operation among the "6 member berth family" in berth swapping, setting the middle berth etc during the journey. Then on the other side of the walkway there is a row of "Side Berths". They are twin seats facing each other. If you are more than 5.5 feet, these side berths are slightly short for sleeping. But both of these are window seats and you will offer little trouble for the other passengers if you want to get out of your seat. Don't get offended if an old passenger asks to exchange your lower berth with an upper berth.

Generally the younger people consent to this as a courtesy to the senior passenger. Try to avoid if possible the first and last 16 seats of the 72 seats in each coach. These are close to the doors and toilets. You may be annoyed by the traffic near the door and toilets, and disturbed at night by the light. Chains are provided to secure your baggage (bring your own padlock). Your luggage can be pushed under the seat.
These coaches are provided with 4 toilets (1 western style, carry your own toilet paper). The squat type is more hygienic in a train. Using them in a moving train needs some experience. This is a stainless steel toilet bowl with footrests set into the floor. There are two latches for the toilet. One is a twin latch that can be opened and closed from both inside and outside. The other can be operated only from inside the toilet. Lock this one when you are inside and leave the other one open. This gives the indication from outside that it is occupied. Early mornings are a bit crowded at the toilets. You can use the washbasin located outside the toilet for teeth cleaning, face washing etc. The toilets are more or less similar for all classes.

Your name is listed on a chart stuck next to your coach's door outside. A copy is also displayed at the departing station "Reservation Chart" notice board about an hour before departure. These coaches are indexed as S1,S2, S3 etc. Lookout for a square white paper label to the side of the door with the coach number marked on it. The same is printed on your ticket also. Most of the stations have a notice board indicating the position of the coaches from the engine. If this is not displayed ask any staff you see at the station for your coach’s location. If you can find out the location of your coach prior to the arrival of the train you can avoid madly running up and down along the length of the train with your pack. No bedding will be provided in this class, but without AC it is unlikely to get too cold.

The middleclass mass of India travel by this class. Next to your seat might be a newly married Tamil couple (who can speak reasonably good English), an old lady (who is not very happy with you in the beginning), her middle-aged daughter (who speaks only Hindi) and her inquisitive young boy (who wants to know where are you from). For a budget traveller Second Class sleeper is probably the most suitable mode of transport.

AC 3-Tier Sleeper (3A)- This is the air-conditioned version of the Second Class Sleeper. Most of the express trains have about 2 to 3 coaches of this type. More comfortable than Second Class Sleeper and also a bit more spacious and as with all the following increasingly more expensive classes less likely to be rammed packed and thus much easier to relax and sleep. The windows are tinted and do not open, so you cannot enjoy the sights outside like in Sleeper Class - but it's easy to walk to the next carriage and hang out the door and return when you have had enough for the noise and heat. This is recommended if you need to travel in a bit more comfort, especially during the summer. Bedroll available inside the coach free of charge. Most of the facilities are comparable with Sleeper Class.

AC 2-Tier sleeper (2A) - Many express trains have a couple of coaches of this class. More luxurious than 3A. You can find the well-to-do Indian class in these coaches. This is a good asylum for those who don’t want to join the crowd or expect luxury rather than economy. All the facilities available in SL are available here also. Bedroll available inside the coach free of charge.

First Class AC (1A) - The highest luxury class on regular routes. Cost comparable with economy class airfare. A number of important long distance trains have these coaches. The elite class and business executives travel by 1A. You can travel in this class for days without even having eye contact with a co-passenger. People tend to mind their own business (the usual stuff of newspaper reading, staring at the laptop screen, acting sleepy etc).

AC Chair car (CC) - Generally attached to the day running trains only. Looks more like economy class in a plane, but with a slightly wider seat. Cost is a bit less than 3A. OK for decent day travel. Many day running express trains have this class.

First Class (FC)- This is the legacy first class coach. Only a few meter gauge express trains have them. This is first class but non-AC! Cost between 2-Tier AC and 3-Tier AC. Spacious. You need to ask the station manager prior to getting on the train for a bedroll. Cost Rs20 per bedroll.

Express Trains - There are a number of special trains called Rajdhani (means capital) and Shatabdi (means centenary) express. These trains have only the luxury class coaches. And they are the fastest of all trains in India and well worth taking. Rajdhani Expresses run between Delhi and many important cities. Shatabdi Expresses run between important cities. Shatabdi is a day running (no sleeping berth) train.

Break Van - These are the luggage vans attached at the end of each train. If you have any jumbo size articles (bicycle, Motorbike, camping equipment. etc) you can carry it in the break van of the train in which you are travelling. Luggage need not be booked with your reservation. Just come to the boarding station a bit earlier than the departure time and book your luggage in the break van. The Luggage Office is located near the platform. You need to show your ticket as proof that you are travelling in the same train. Go personally to the break van to supervise the loading and unloading of your luggage. This helps you to avoid any "missing" luggage. If you are not having anything put in the luggage van, but your luggage is more than the free allowance, you need to pay the additional charge at this office. Typically the free allowances are 35kg for second class, 40kg for II Sleeper & III AC sleeper, 50kg for II AC sleeper, 70kg for I AC. About 10kg more than this is OK. If you exceed above that, extra luggage charges must be paid.

Pantry Car - Most long distance trains have this facility. You can get meals, snacks, coffee, tea (chai), cool drinks etc. Staff come to your seat to take orders. Also you can go to the car and order directly. You need to pay for what you buy, except on Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains where meals are included. This is basically a vegetarian facility with egg. Chicken curry and other meals are available at stations for about 1USD per head. Prices are slightly higher for food than the local restaurants. You can get decent food in an express train.

TTE - You have to show the ticket to the TTE (Travelling Ticket Examiner) on request. He wears a dark blazer with a name badge over his white shirt and always carries a chart board with a huge clip over it. You can see a beeline of passengers behind him at boarding stations asking him questions about the status of the waiting list. You can ask him any questions from swapping your seat to the next coach where your friend's berth is, arrival & departure times, which train is the best to reach Shimla, how many children he has (it will be appreciated!) etc. If you want to extend your journey in the same train he can do the same and give you the receipt. He can also upgrade your class based on availability and you can pay and get the receipt during the journey itself.

If there is a medical emergency within the train inform the TTE. He along with other key staffs are trained to administer first aid. Also he can easily locate any doctors from the passenger list. Indian railways encourage medical practitioners to prefix their name with Dr. when booking the reservations. All the passengers are insured by the railways against accidents within the railways premises as per the rules. Typically a TTE is in charge of about 4 coaches. He travels along with you. For very long distance trains a new TTE takes charge every day. He locks the coaches from inside during the nights. Many night running trains have a few policemen as night guards. For any complaint or request during your travel, approach the TTE.

Vendors - Anything is available for sale inside a train and at stations. From safety pins to quiz books to bananas to shoe polishing services to dried fruits - you name it! But not all of them may be the railway’s approved vendors. A train is a big bazaar on the move. It is part and parcel of the system. When a train reaches a station the vendors cover the windows like bees on the honeycomb, everyone shouting what they sell. All the services are thoughtfully customised so that they can be easily sold through the 4inch gap of the window grille! If you are sitting at the window seat, co-passengers may request that you pass their purchases. Generally the train stops for two minutes at a station, but at key stations it can be up to 30 minutes. A frenzy of activity (buying, selling, getting in, getting out) takes place in two minutes before the train slowly starts with a long whistle. Carry a bunch of coins and small change during travel.
Reservations - You can make a reservation at any of the Indian Railway reservation counters in India. There are hundreds of them all around the country. Large cities have counters located at multiple places for passenger convenience. If booking from abroad, you can plan your journey, check seat availability and book tickets relatively easily online at Through this website you can directly book most trains and print out an e-ticket. You need to carry to same photo identity (passport photo copy is okay) that you used to book the ticket to validate the e-ticket for travel. A reservation charge is levied on the total cost of tickets booked over the Internet. You have to register for free and log-in to the site before booking. VISA and Master Cards are accepted. A refund is made on the card if you cancel the ticket later, up to 4 hours before departure of the train. Note down the 10-digit PNR and the Transaction ID. You can do a maximum of 4 bookings a month. Each ticket can be for a maximum of 6 passengers.

There is an Indrail pass available for foreign tourists which can be bought abroad. If you are not travelling so much then it is not worth getting one. Larger hotels in India have a travel desk attached to them. They collect about Rs30 per seat for standing in the queue and booking it for you. This is an easy way to book tickets if you are not curious to go to the reservation counters personally and stand in queue. There are special quotas for foreign tourists. Enquire about this at the reservation enquiry counter for availability on your route. Counters are generally open 8.00am-8.00pm weekdays and 8.00am-2.00pm on Sundays.

When searching for the availability of a particular train online you may encounter a result like WL 40/WL 10. This may look a bit confusing for a new user, but if you know the Indian reservation system this is a useful bit of data. There are two kind of waiting list for Indian trains. Seats are reserved on a first come first served basis. Once all seats have been reserved you go into the 'Reservation against Cancellations' category popularly known as RAC. This is nothing but a waiting list in the conventional sense. You can still get inside a train with an RAC status ticket. You have a confirmed seat but the berth will be allotted based on the availability due to cancellations. After the RAC category is full, the real waiting list (WL) comes into the picture. WL40/WL10 means your actual waitlist position is 40th. Due to cancellation of tickets booked before you, the current status of your waitlist is 10. In other words, 30 bookings have already been cancelled before your enquiry/reservation (40-10=30).

Based on experience, regular travellers know how many sets normally get cancelled on a route. It’s a bit of a chancey issue, but about 200+ seats get cancelled for a Second class sleeper per train. You can take a chance accordingly. When you are searching for the seat availability if you come across with something like AVAILABLE- 0068, it means 68 seats are available for the day indicated. Check the status of your ticket just before getting on a train. You can do this through the internet, the reservation enquiry counter or by phone (Interactive Voice Response System); you can see the telephone numbers on the reverse of the ticket. You need to use the 10-digit PNR printed on the upper left hand corner of the ticket. You will not have a seat allotted for you if the status is still under the WL. Contact the TTE to find out your chance of getting a berth. However you can travel with this ticket in the General Compartment.

Cancellations - You can cancel a reserved ticket and get the refund across the reservation counter. Generally the cancellation charges vary from less than ¼ USD to slightly more than 1 USD, depending on the class. If you cancel a reservation at least a day (excluding the day of travel) before the start of journey, only the cancellation fee mentioned is charged. If you cancel within one day but 4 hours before the train departure, 25% of ticket cost plus the above-mentioned cancellation fee is deducted from the refund amount.

You can cancel the reservation even after the train has left without you! But the refund amount varies accordingly. Typically you will loose about 50% of the ticket cost. For a waitlist ticket, no the cancellation fee is charged if cancelled in advance.

Refund amounts are displayed at all the reservation counters showing various percentages based on class, time of cancellation, distance etc. Tickets reserved at one station can be cancelled at another location. If you have booked over the Internet or using a credit card the refund will be credited only to your card account. Lost tickets will not be refunded. You can get a duplicate for a lost or torn ticket if you know the 10-digit PNR and other details. A charge from 10% to 25% is collected based on the distance for the duplicate ticket. And if you find the original, you can claim a refund of the additional money you paid for it with a 5% charge! Produce both tickets at the reservation counter. For cancellation and reservation of tickets the same form can be used.

Tatkal Scheme - This is an emergency reservation scheme introduced in selected (about 100) trains. Such trains are indicated with a T at the end of their train number. The reservation for these seats starts five days (at 8am to be specific) before the day of the journey. These are in fact the same express trains with 2 or 3 such special reservation coaches attached. All the Tatkal (means immediate) tickets come with a premium of Rs50 to 200 extra depending on the class. You need to produce a photo identity card (passport, Driving license, Credit card etc) at the reservation counter. The same will be required inside the train by the TTE. The ID number is noted on the ticket. This is basically to prevent the bogus booking and black-market sale of hot tickets! If you are booking Tatkal tickets for a group of people (max 6 per ticket), any one member's ID is sufficient. These tickets can't be cancelled or refunded.

You can use credit cards also for booking tickets at the reservation counters. Lookout for the special Credit Card counters at the reservation office. You need to pay Rs.30 additionally as service charge. But generally the credit card queues are shorter than the pay cash queues. Use your discretion.

SMS Service Provider Operators

Service Provided Operators
PNR Alert Service on 7245
Ticket Reservation through R-World( Payment through Credit Cards)
SMS Booking on 7245
PNR Alert Service on 7245
Voice Based Ticket Reservation on 456( Payment through Credit Cards)
SMS Booking on 7245
MTNL Delhi
PNR Alert Service on 7245
SMS Booking on 7245
MTNL Mumbai
PNR Alert Service on 7245
PNR Alert Service on 7245
Voice Based Ticket Reservation on 123( Payment through Credit Cards)
GPRS Based Ticket Reservation( Payment through Credit Cards)
PNR Alert Service on 7245
Voice Based Ticket Reservation on 12900( Payment through Credit Cards)
PNR Alert Service on 7245

Already registered users of can use their existing user id and password to log in and transact through Hutch / Idea/ Tata Indicom / Reliance handsets.

First time users can avail the registration facility offered by the mobile operator or visit and use the normal registration form.