Travelling in India today
by Ujjwal Dey
India is a vast and diverse nation and traveling in India is thus a rich and colourful experience. Popular modes of travel are by roads, railways and airplanes. The booming economy of the country has made traveling easier, safer and more accessible. From the metros to the remote interior villages, the modern Indian citizen now has the ability to be truly mobile.
India has the third largest road network in the world with 3.314 million km of roadway. Marsimik La and Khardung La of India have the world’s highest motorable road along the Himalaya mountains. The Golden Quadrilateral highway project is connecting 13 states of India and consists of building 5,846 km of four/six lane express highways at a cost of INR 60,000 crores (US$13.3 billion).
Indian Railways is the lifeline network for a majority of Indians. It has more than 64,015 km of track and 7,083 stations. It is the world’s fourth largest railway network after those of the United States, Russia and China. The railways traverse the length and breadth of the country and carry over 25 million passengers and 2.5 million tons of freight daily. In the crowded city of Mumbai, the local trains ease road congestion by providing a fast transport to commuters. Mumbai suburban railways carries over 6 million commuters daily. The railways are easily the most efficient way to travel in India and cost effective as well.
With privatization of airline industry many new domestic airlines have come into the travel industry. They offer competitive pricing and connectivity among the metros and smaller cities and towns. Domestic airports have come up in developing cities as a response to the profitable domestic airline industry.
As one travels through India, one cannot ignore the crucial factor of language and cultural changes from region to region. Every state has its own language or dialect. There are 29 languages recognized by Republic of India and so a traveler needs to adapt to these changes. Hindi being the popular language is widely used.
Whichever way one chooses to travel in India, it will be a special and enriching experience. Tourism is a natural consequence of the rich culture that awaits every traveler in India.