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Buying train tickets from outside of India.

Moscow, Russia
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Buying train tickets from outside of India.

Hi all,

Looking for some advice on purchasing train tickets [from Australia] for India, before arrival. Is it actually doable? I will be going as a couple, it is the first time to India for both of us but separately we have covered some travel ground (SE Asia, Japan, Europe, USA, Mexico, Nth Africa just to name a few...)

Our itinerary thus far is:

Fly into Kolkata and take an overnight train to New Jalpaiguri (for Darjeeling) stay Darjeeling 2-3 nights.

Then an overnight train to Varanasi stay for 2 nights.

From Varanasi overnight train to Agra, stay for one to two nights (basically for Taj and Agra fort).

Then a train or bus to Jaipur, stay for 2 nights.

Take a train or bus to Ajmer and change for Pushkar stay 4 nights.

Train up to Dehli, stay one or two nights and then fly out of Dehli.

I have read about Indrail and would like to hear if people think this is advisable option or any other websites to purchase individual train tickets?! It is the first few trains: Kolkata- Darjeeling/ Darjeeling-Varanasi/ Varanasi- Agra that I would like to have tickets booked prior to the trip. Also, advice on the itinerary sketch so far, any longer or other stays warranted? We have a short two to three weeks and would like a taste of several areas; mountains, holy city, big city. We are both creative types who love the act of travel itself.

Cheers!

agra india
Destination Expert
for Agra, Jaipur, New Delhi
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1. Re: Buying train tickets from outside of India.

Your ity. seems to be OK. 4 days in Pushkar seems to me bit too much. In fact if Pushkar fair is on you can spend 1-2 nights there other wise there is nothing to do in that area and half day is enough. You can add Mount Abu and Udaipur instead.

For Darjeeling also better to check political situation there before you go over there because area is prone to long strikes, political agitations and can be unpleasent for a foriegner.

Allternatively you can look in to other interesting places in hills like Nainital, Ranikhet.

Buying train tickets from out side india has become bit cumbersome. They changed the rules for online booking to avoid cornering of tickets by agents but affecting honest people.

You can look at following link to know about system -

www.seat61.com

Look in to following usefull sites to know about train between stations and also to book tickets.

www.erail.in

www.via.com

www.cleartrip.com

deepak

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Buying train tickets from outside of India.

The first part of my trip is very similar to yours, except I am flying to NJP from Kolkata.

I have been booking all my trains from Melbourne as the 120 day window opens and have had no problems. No need to use an Indrail pass. In fact, I cant see any reason to consider it.

The key is to get your userid setup and tested with ITCTC if you have an Amex card). If you dont have an Amex card, you need to use Cleartrip.

Once setup, notify your credit card provider to expect some charges from India and then test book a low price fair somewhere in India. Check the charge comes through OK and then cancel it and check the refund also comes through OK.

Then wait for your 120 day window to open for each train and start booking.

You should read up on how to get your userid setup on

www.seat61.com/India.htm#book - from outside

I used Option 2 as I have an Amex card and it is quite easy if you follow the steps listed there.

I am now about halfway through my train bookings for October / November this year and have had no problems. By getting on as early as possible in the 120 day window, you should have no trouble booking the trains you want.

Edited: 21 June 2012, 01:45
Baroda
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3. Re: Buying train tickets from outside of India.

Which month are you arriving in India?

4 nights in Pushkar are really not warranted. 1 night and 1 day should be enough. You should add Jodhpur and Jaisalmer to your itinerary.

As a general rule: you should avoid using Buses as far as possible in India. Stick to Trains and hired Taxis.

Delhi
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4. Re: Buying train tickets from outside of India.

there is irctc.co.in authorized site of Indian railway you just have to create a user Id and you can individual Book ticket for any place of india .

Edited: 21 June 2012, 12:36
Kolkata (Calcutta...
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for Kolkata (Calcutta), Darjeeling, India
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5. Re: Buying train tickets from outside of India.

Registering an user id at irctc requires an one time password that is sent to any Indian mobile phone number. But there is a workaround as mentioned in an earlier post at www.seat61.com/India.htm

UK
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for Varkala
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6. Re: Buying train tickets from outside of India.

Hopefully you will be lucky with your registration to buy your train tickets Heidi. It seems to work for some and others have problems.

I spent 10 days backwards and forwards to IRCTC; sent all the necessary information to them plus a scanned copy of my passport. And what was the final outcome? I was asked by another person to send a copy of my passport which I had previously done. Also they told me I should be replying to them from the email address from where I registered??? Wait for it; they then proceeded to quote an email address that was quite clearly an Indian one. I have given up and will take a taxi.

Holland
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7. Re: Buying train tickets from outside of India.

Pushkar is a great place to unwind, I spent 7 weeks there LOL..Great shopping, walking and atmosphere..BUT it is a bit of hippy haven, so chillums dance music and spliff are there in abundance but only if you look for it. if that kind of thing bothers you.

For your itinerary I would try to book ahead either online or when you arrive in Kolkata...The New Jaipalguri - Varanasi leg is especially busy...

Edited: 21 June 2012, 16:02
Moscow, Russia
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8. Re: Buying train tickets from outside of India.

Wow, thanks for all the replies. I have had a look on www.seat61.com/India.htm#book and will give cleartrip.com a try as unfortunately I dont have access to an Amex card. Here is hoping.

Re: Darjeeling, wasnt aware of the polical issues but will keep up to date with them as we are traveling in August this year.

cyberhippie : Pushkar seems like a special magic kinda town. I am not a hippie per say but we plan to chill there in a lovely guesthouse, see the desert, take lots of pics. 7 weeks is quite a stay, you must have enjoyed it!

Now to scan my passport and start with the Cleartrip booking process!

Frankfurt, Germany
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9. Re: Buying train tickets from outside of India.

You should remember that Indian trains do not always work on time and sometimes can have huge delays. If possible I would always go by bus if the distance is about 200 kms from the current place where you are. Online tickets you can buy on www.erail.in www.travelguideindia.net www.cleartrip.com

10. Re: Buying train tickets from outside of India.

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