Why Indian Trains are the ultimate tool while Backpacking in India

Why Indian Trains are the ultimate tool while Backpacking in India

With the incoming of backpacking hostels in our country; it has removed the biggest headache of saving big sums of money on accommodation. But there is still one thing, Transportation, which takes away the majority of expenses from backpacking budgets. So today, I will be telling you my best tip while you are travelling in India; on a shoestring budget and want to save further.

Trains are the cheapest option to travel India

Trains are the best way to travel in India, when you want to save some of your precious budget. The pricing charts in train is excellent; varying between Unreserved Class, Non-A/c Sleeper coaches and A/C sleeper coaches, all of them have excellent rate gap between them. Giving you an example from my own trip; I went to Lucknow from Delhi under Rs 170, in unreserved class category, in which my train covered more than 493 km, calculating further, the price is almost 1/3rd of the distance covered; which is just an excellent deal if you ask me. (guide to Lucknow)

Now, drawing comparison from other transports available in our country for commuting, Bus rates are much much higher than trains; the bus ticket to Jaipur from Delhi, generally costs about 700-1,000, while the average price of train ticket of Sleeper class is Rs 250 – Rs 400. Although the flights ticket prices have been reduced a lot lately, it still not as cheap as a train ticket, and honestly speaking it will never be.

People are gem in Train

Another underrated thing about the train, is the people which you meet on your journey. Honestly, you sometimes find the most jovial people in trains which will welcome you for an introduction and every great conversation in train start with “Aap, Kaha tak jaa rahein Hai ? ” or “Till where you are going ?”. People will help you with any query regarding the city which you are travelling to, they will tell you their best incidents; you will be easily persuaded to fall in love with them and their stories.

Good connectivity of Indian Trains

Talking about the last advantage of the train, which is the connectivity which it offers, I have been to Munabao which is the last railway station of India(read more about it here), and learned so many things about the tough life of the people living in close proximity to border. Trains connects almost every district, sometimes even the villages and almost all of the cities in India has been established around the Railway station of that city. So you will easily find hotels or hostels or a local transportation around the Railway stations.

How to book Train Tickets

IRCTC is the online portal of Indian Government for railway booking, which is the recommended place from where you should book your train tickets.

Now, I will be clearing your confusion regarding on different train coaches provided for a train journey :

  • 2nd Class or Unreserved class – This is the cheapest ticket available for a train journey, although the seats will be unreserved and you have to be very smart and active to get a seat in a coach filled with 500 people which is made for 80 people to sit for.
  • Non A/C Sleeper Class – My favourite option when choosing a train ticket, while it is only 40% expensive than Unreserved class, it gives you the comfort to sleep on a reserved seat with your legs stretched all the way.
  • A/C Sleeper Class – 3rd A/C, 2nd A/C and 1st A/c, have the difference of comfort, service and price. All of them shares a considerable price difference with 3rd A/c being the cheapest of the bunch, but being 70 to 90% more expensive than Non A/c Sleeper class.
Inside of a train, it is not always so quiet in here.

Disadvantages of traveling through Train

1. Getting Late

The most obvious for some of the people who have already frequently traveled with Indian Trains, but for who are not; Indian Trains mostly gets late, which can range from 2 hours late to 14 hours late. The frequency is increased even more when you are Traveling from November to January.

2. Unhygienic Washrooms

If you are a person who is too much sensitive about hygienic washrooms; then a long-train journey can be a pain for you. The washrooms are not cleaned enough, especially in Non-A/C sleeper class and the situation is worse. So, I will not be recommending a train journey for a person who is too sensitive about cleanliness.

3. Sometimes it can be Boring

Yes, this is actually true. Train journeys can sometimes become boring, you don’t have anything apart form you and the people surrounding you. So whenever you are going on a train journey, grab a book which you will like to read or get some of your music to entertain you. And if you don’t have anything to do, then just talk to people surroundings you because there are lots of stories to be heard about people of this country.


In the end, I will only say that in all of the disadvantages, the advantages are way too good for anyone, not to take a train journey, at least once in this country. Because you will always remember the good train journey and forget about all of the hassle you have to go through.

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