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Travel to Delhi

Flying to Delhi

British Airways, Air India, Jet Airways and Virgin Atlantic offer direct flights to Delhi from the UK. Air India and United operate direct flights from the USA. The cheapest time to fly is during the summer when it is extremely hot. Peak-season fares run between September and March. October and February are among the most popular months to fly to Delhi as the weather is pleasantly warm. 

Flight times

From London - 8 hours 30 minutes; New York - 14 hours; Los Angeles - 20 hours (including stopover); Toronto - 17 hours (including stopover); Sydney - 15 hours 30 minutes (including stopover).

Travel by road

In principle, driving in Delhi is on the left. Foreign drivers must be over 18 and possess an International Driving Permit. Driving in Delhi can be a harrowing experience for the visitor, so it's far safer to use taxis or hire a car with a driver, particularly for longer journeys.

Speed limits vary according to location and vehicle type. For cars, speed limits are 50-70kph (31-43mph) in urban areas, and up to 100kph (62mph) outside town. Those taking their own car must obtain a Carnet de Passage from an international motoring association (eg RAC) before entering India. This document guarantees that if the vehicle fails to be re-exported, then the issuing body will pay all duties liable. Motorists are advised to seek cover from an Indian insurer, as insurance is compulsory.

The Automobile Association of Upper India (tel: +91 11 2696 5397; www.aaui.org) can provide more information on driving in India and may offer reciprocal benefits to members of overseas motoring organisations.

Emergency breakdown services

Cross Roads India Assistance (tel: 1 800 419 0199, in India only).

Routes

National Highway 1 links Delhi to Wagah near the India-Pakistan border; National Highway 2 from Kolkata (Calcutta) in the east travels through Agra; and the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, part of National Highway 8, passes through Jaipur in the west.

Coaches

Delhi is linked to six states by bus services, from air-conditioned coaches to bone-jarring 'ordinary' buses. It's worth travelling using the more expensive state government bus companies; these tend to be more reliable (and safer). The chaotic Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT), at Kashmiri Gate, near Old Delhi railway station, is the main terminus for intercity bus services.

State operators based here include Haryana Roadways (tel: +91 11 2386 1262; www.hartrans.gov.in), Himachal Road Transport Corporation (tel: +91 11 2386 8694; www.hrtc.gov.in), Punbus/Punjab Roadways (tel: +91 11 4482 0000; www.punbusonline.com), Rajasthan Roadways (tel: 1 800 200 0103, in India only; https://rsrtconline.rajasthan.gov.in) and Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (tel: 1 800 180 2877, in India only; http://upsrtc.com).

Time to city

From Agra - 4 hours; Jaipur - 5 hours; Amritsar - 7 hours 30 minutes.

Travel by Rail

Services

There are two main railway stations in Delhi: New Delhi station, east of Main Bazaar (Paharganj), about 1km (0.6 miles) from Connaught Place, and Main Delhi station (Old Delhi), west of Red Fort, which is about 7km (4 miles) from Connaught Place.

Railway stations and trains in Delhi are crowded and notorious for theft, and luggage should be securely locked and never left unattended. There is a recorded information service available (tel: 139).

Operators

Delhi is the main hub of the huge Indian Railways network (www.indianrail.gov.in), with trains departing to most parts of the country.

The popular same-day Shatabdi Express trains connect major and regional cities, including Agra, Jaipur, and Amritsar. Rajdhani Express trains offer long-distance express services from Delhi to state capitals. Alternatively, the opulent Palace on Wheels offers luxury rail travel, at a price.

The easiest way for foreigners to make rail bookings is at the International Tourist Bureau at New Delhi station. The office takes payment in US Dollars, Euros or Pounds Sterling; payment can only be made in Rupees if backed up with money-exchange receipts or ATM slips. You may be required to show your passport. If you book rail tickets with a travel agent, expect to pay a small fee and deal with accredited agencies only. The Indrail Pass, valid for up to 90 days, allows unlimited travel but advance reservations are recommended.

Journey times

From Agra - 2-3 hours; Jaipur - 5 hours 30 minutes; Amritsar - 8 hours; Mumbai - 21 hours; Kolkata - 18 hours.

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