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How To Reach North India
India is one of the fastest growing economies and with the kind of strength it is showing today, there is tremendous internal progress that the country has witnessed in the last few years. This makes both parts of India - North as well as South, quite well equipped in terms of roads and infrastructure. If you want to reach North India from anywhere in the world, you have a number of cities to land in as options. Internal transport is also easier than ever, with such well connected and paved roads, highways and bridges. The North Indian heartland is locked by landmass on mostly all sides, therefore waterways are out of the list of options. Hence the best way to reach any destination in North India is by taking a flight to the nearest International Airport and then finding the best road/rail transport.
There are a few International Airports you can choose from in North India. The busiest and biggest of them all is the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, which is also very well connected to the rest of the country. Other airports include the Jaipur International Airport, Amritsar International Airport and Lucknow International Airport. Connecting Domestic flights can be taken from any of these, with local carriers like Air India, Jet Airways, Go Air, Indigo, Vistaara etc. Many cities and towns boast of their own domestic airports, including Udaipur, Jodhpur, Shimla, Agra, Leh, Srinagar, Chandigarh etc.
Trains are almost like a lifeline India, with the Indian Railways building a network of rail lines that connect even the remotest, most interior parts of the country. The Northern and Western Railways command operations in North India and many of the tourist destinations are either major railway stations or railway junctions. Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Amritsar Junction, Mathura Junction, Agra Station, Chandigarh station etc are just a few examples. Up in the hills like Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal and Uttarakhand, railway stations may be limited to major towns like Srinagar, Shimla, Rishikesh, Haridwar etc and you might need to hire cabs or book yourself into a bus for further journey to your chosen destination.
In any case, travelling by trains in India is relatively cheap and makes for an experience of a lifetime, with stops at remote stations, interesting vendors selling food and toys and books in the train, sharing food with co-passengers and a communal feeling that fellow travellers ignite as you journey towards the same destination.
The Indian roadways are in a much better state today than they were earlier. Most National Highways are very well constructed and maintained, connecting major cities. Further, State Highways and district roads wind the connection to more interior locations.
State run buses ply regularly in the north, from the PUNBUS (Punjab), Delhi’s local buses, Himachal and Rajasthan’s State run HPSRTC and RSRTC. You can also avail Volvo buses which are more expensive but have better suspensions and are way more luxurious. Or you can hire a taxi, van or minibus. There is also the option of Ola Outstation and Uber from their respective apps.