Skip to main content

What you should and should not carry for a train journey in India


In India trains are a cheap and very efficient mode of transport. It is the largest railway network in the entire world. More number of people travel by train in India in a day than most other countries combined. Though they have a retro look, railways are fully functional and other than Wifi you get pretty much anything you usually get anywhere in the world. Of course, this depends on the class you travel in.

If you are travelling in India for the first time, it would be best if you go for the 1st AC or the 2nd AC class. If you have travelled before you can go ahead and try 3rd AC or even the non AC Sleeper class. Beware of crowding in the sleeper class though. The cost of each class can be understood from the names.

Irrespective of which class you are travelling in there are some things that you absolutely must carry with yourself.

Wear Comfortable Casuals – This holds true for any part of the world and especially so for the hot and tropical weather of India. Wear casuals and you won't have to worry about your suit getting soiled.

Wear chappals or sandals – Chappals is the Indian variant of a sandal. You can easily wear and remove them. Boots or even sneakers will give you a hard time to manage if you get an upper birth.

Drink less water, Eat less food – Try to drink less water than usual! You may want to avoid the toilet as much as you can. It is true that the trains have become a lot cleaner than what they used to be, but even then avoiding a public toilet is always good. Same goes for food as well. But it is not hell and you won't find something very disgusting either. If it's needed feel free to go. If it is very unclean, kindly notify the guard or any other train official and it will be cleaned in the next station. Also most trains allow you to travel laterally from one carriage to another(legally!) In that case you can find a cleaner toilet anyway. Each carriage also called a kamra in India has 4 toilets – two Indian style and two Western style.

Carry as little luggage as you can – Little luggage always helps. You won't need your teddy bear when you are travelling. Take only what is necessary. India is a reasonably modern country. If you need a deodorant, or soap or anything else, you can get it almost anywhere. In trains the space is limited and carrying a single backpack and a small hand luggage should suffice for anybody. If you can't take a backpack, carry a small suitcase that can fit inside the 1st bunk.

Carry an inflatable pillow – Indians can tolerate a lot of discomfort. If you can travel rough carry a spare pillow or a neck rest. They usually provide only one pillow per person, and that can be inadequate for some. An inflatable pillow takes less space and works great.

Paper soap – You can use them when needed for some basic toilet use. The toilets have soap, but if you feel uneasy paper soap is available about in any station in India.

Tooth Paste – For the morning brush carry this and whatever else you need.

You should not need anything more than these things. In most cases these would fit in a side chain of any bag you might be carrying. Above all board the train with an attitude of “I'm loving it”. It is usually a wonderful though retro experience. Have a safe and happy journey.

Popular posts from this blog

Salesmen of God

Christian evangelicals are similar to parasites[1]. The similarities are simply astounding. Among all predatory religions, Evangelical Christianity has done, by far, the greatest harm to humankind[2]. Like leeches, the Evangelical sucks the lifeblood of an unchristian society till it descends either into chaos and incessant civil conflict or the relegation of the culture to the pages of history(Bowden, 1985). Even in the 21st century this unashamed activity continues(Bhosle, 2003).[3]
Evangelicals usually have a similar methodology when it comes to proselytization. Like parasites, the target is usually one belonging to the most vulnerable section of society. This does not necessarily mean that they try harvesting only the most down trodden of the society(Kelly, 2001). And most certainly, the objective is never the upliftment of the persons involved. The target groups may, for example, belong to ethnic minorities, refugees (both economic and political), caste groups, the poor and the si…

Ali The Kargil Boy

I met Ali in the Leh airport,he drove us in our hotel. The very next morning we went for sightseeing. He used to drive very fast. I repeatedly told him to drive slow, he followed for  a short time; again continued in his own speed.
On the way to Nubra valley the road was very stiff and the altitude was very high. As I was sick before our tour it was difficult for me to bear that fast ride.After coming back I complained our tour  operator for his driving and asked for another driver.




Our tour operator assured me that he would tell him to drive  comfortably.The next day Ali came drove the car and I enjoyed my entire remaining  trip.
Sometimes he used to push the accelerator and I just told "Ali.....ahista"...he became consous. We used to chat during this long drive. I asked him "How old are you Ali?he replied "22years mam."He told me "At the age of 16 I started driving without lisence,I used to drive big vehicles ,now I drive tourist cars during the seas…

When birds come home

It is mid March in Mumbai. It is supposed to be hot and humid. As it usually is all the year round with monsoon and December exceptions.
But it's cloudy today. To be fair, yesterday was also cloudy but today is dark. As dark as it usually is just before a downpour. It may rain and I don't have an umbrella with me. It's not that a change of weather is bad. I like rains. But the suddenness is rather strange.
I am not the only one confused with the weather change. The birds seem to be totally messed up by the onset of darkness. It was about 9 AM in the morning. The birds had just perched on the trees for their daily routine. The cloud came. They possibly understood that to be the beginning of the evening and end of day. Next thing I know, I see hundreds (yes, literally hundreds) of birds rushing back to their nests.
This is not a unique scene. I have seen this umpteen number of times in the monsoons. This is the first time I have noticed it in March (as far as I can remember) an…