Indian Railways – Tourism in India by Trains
Indian Railways (IR) is a railway company, set-up and owned by the government of India. Established on 16th April in the year 1853, the Indian Railways has since become one of the largest and busiest rail networks in the world. It runs across 28 cities and one union territory, covering 6909 stations in India. It operates over 9,000 trains transporting 18 million passengers across cities on a daily basis.
A plan for a railway system in India was put forward in 1832 during the British Raj, but was put in to action over a decade later in 1844.The first ever passenger train ran from Bori Bandar to Thane on the 16th of April, 1853.The Indian Railways operates many types of trains ranging from long distance goods trains to short distance electric trains. The Indian Railways has been divided in to 7 zones for administrative purposes.
Train is often a better mode of travel, particularly for visiting places in India as it gives you the opportunity to see quaint towns and small villages which are often otherwise missed by tourists.
Indian Railways requires advance reservations for all long distance trains. The Indian Railways passenger enquiry offers a detailed list of destinations and trains that you can pick from. You can then use the IR time table and schedule to pick the train name, timing and check availability of train tickets. Train tickets can be booked online using the IR e-booking services or over the counter at the railway stations. To reserve train tickets and to use other railway services, IRCTC (Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation), an initiative by the Indian railway ministry, is also widely used. It is a one stop platform offering multiple services like e-ticketing (online train ticket reservations), tourist trains, railway tour packages, car rentals and hotels bookings. It has a 24 hour call center to cater to all your queries or enquiries relating to train timings, reservations and tour bookings.
The status of reservation of the Indian Railways ticket can be checked by checking the pnr status. The PNR number is the ten digit number printed on the top left corner of the ticket. The PNR status can be checked by entering this number online on the IR website, by sending the number by SMS to a special IR short code or by calling the call center / toll free number.
The Indian Railways also operates specialized luxury trains to select destinations across India. The list of luxury trains includes the ‘Palace on Wheels’, which takes you through an enchanting royal journey through Agra and Rajasthan; ‘Deccan Odyssey’, a journey through Mumbai, Goa and Ajanta Caves, ‘Royal Rajasthan on Wheels’, which takes you through a royal journey through Rajasthan; Fairy Queen, which covers Delhi, Alwar and the Tiger Reserve, ‘Royal Orient’ , a lavish tour of Rajasthan and Gujarat and Shekhavati train, which takes you on an enchanting trip to Jaipur, Bikaner and Udaipur etc.
What does iXiGO offer?
iXiGO offers quick searches on all trains across India. All you have to do is to select your place of departure and destination from the easy to navigate iXiGO website. You will find all train related information including the Indian Railways time table, schedule and station codes. Choose your travel dates, destinations, class (AX Tier 1, Tier 2, Sleeper etc) and whether it’s a one way or return journey and click search. The IXIGO search engine will pop up all the options matching your search instantly. We guarantee you the lowest train fares. You can pick the train that suits your needs and make a booking instantly. This is your one stop platform to research various trains, destinations and avail of the lowest fares and exciting deals. All this and more is just a click away!
Ravinder Malik is author of this travel article. You can find more information about trains, Indian Railways and IRCTC on ixigo.com.