Arriving by plane
India’s national airline Air India (AI) (Internet: www.airindia.com) offers flight services from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Austrian Airlines (OS) flies from Vienna to Delhi.
Emirates (EK) (Internet: www.emirates.com/de) flies from Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich via Dubai to Delhi.
Finnair (AY) flies daily from Vienna via Helsinki to Delhi and Mumbai.
Lufthansa (LH) offers direct flights from Frankfurt / M. to New Delhi, Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) and to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) as well as from Munich to New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. the Lufthansa(LH) also offers a scheduled flight from Munich to Delhi.
Swiss International (LX) flies to Mumbai and Delhi from Zurich. The Swiss subsidiary Edelweiss Air (WK) flies to the Indian resort of Goa from Zurich once a week during the winter flight schedule.
According to ehealthfacts, the Indian domestic airline Indian Airlines (IC) (Internet: http://indian-airlines.nic.in) also offers flight connections to Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Middle East.
Etihad Airways (EY) (Internet: www.etihad.com) flies from Frankfurt, Geneva and Munich via Abu Dhabi to Mumbai and New Delhi.
Jet Airways (9W) flies daily in codeshare from Frankfurt and Munich via Abu Dhabi to Chennai.
Note on arriving by plane
The peak season for India is between October and January. In the off-season (mid-March to mid-June), cheaper flights are offered. Flights are particularly cheap in the summer season (beginning of May – end of September).
Frankfurt – Delhi: 6 hours 45 minutes; Frankfurt – Kolkata (formerly Calcutta): 11 hours 30 minutes; Frankfurt – Chennai: 8 hours 40 minutes; Frankfurt – Mumbai: 7 hours Vienna – Delhi: 6 hours 45 minutes; Zurich – Delhi: 8 hours
Arrival by car
When traveling to India by land from Europe, it is essential to find out about border traffic, visa regulations and the current political situation of all countries on the way before departure. Bus and rail connections between India and Pakistan are limited. The following border crossings are currently open:
From Bangladesh: Benapol-Bangaon, Jalpaiguri-Siliguri.
From Bhutan: Phuentsholing.
From Nepal: Birganj-Raxaul, Birganj-Sonauli.
From Pakistan: Wagah-Attari. No land borders are open
from Myanmar and China.
The Nathu La mountain pass between the Indian Sikkim and Tibet has been reopened after more than four decades.
Arriving by train
The only transition point between India and Pakistan is between Amritsar and Lahore. Border traffic between these two countries is currently limited. The most practical overland route to Nepal is by train to Raxaul (state of Bihar) and then by bus to Kathmandu or by train to Gorakphur and from there via the Sunauli border crossing to Kathmandu. It is also possible to take the train to Nantanwa (Uttar Pradesh) and from there take the bus to Kathmandu or Pokhara. However, you can also take the bus from Darjeeling to Kathmandu via the southern plains. After Bhutan is arrived at by taking the train to Siliguri and then the bus to Phuntsholing. There is also a flight connection with Druk Airbetween Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and Paro. To Bangladesh you take the train from Kolkata to just before the border at Bangaon (West Bengal), then by motor rickshaw over the border to Benapol with a connection to Dhaka via Khulna or Jessore. Another route leads from Darjeeling via Siliguri and Jalpaiguri to Haldibari. At the moment there is only one flight connection from Kolkata to Dhaka.
Arrival by ship
The largest passenger ports are Mumbai, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), Kochi, Chennai, Calicut, Panaji (Goa) and Rameswaram. Indian ports are called by international shipping companies and cruise operators, including Cunard Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruises and Silversea Cruises.
Note on rail travel
The luxury trains Palace-on-Wheels (Internet: http://www.palaceonwheels.net/) and Royal Orient (Internet: www.royalorienttrain.com) as well as the new Royal Rajasthan on Wheels (Internet: http: // www .theluxurytrains.com / india / royal-rajasthan-on-wheels /) are trains with steam locomotives equipped in the style of the saloon cars of Indian maharajas, which take travelers to India to fascinating destinations in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
All wagons are equipped with a saloon, bathrooms, two toilets and a small kitchenette as well as four cabins with two beds next to each other. The wagons have air conditioning and a stereo system as well as a cell phone that can be used to call service at any time. In addition, the train has a dining car, a bar, a viewing platform and a fully equipped first aid compartment. Travel expenses, all meals, elephant and camel rides, boat trips, sightseeing trips with a guide and entrance fees are included in the fare. Bookings and further information from the general agency of the Indian Railways Asra-Orient (address see below).
The luxury train The Golden Chariot (Internet http://golden-chariot.com/) drives through South India, past historical sites, palaces, beaches and natural fauna and flora (three different routes, travel time: seven or eight days).
The Fairy Queen runs from New Delhi to Alwar and has the oldest steam locomotive in the world, which is still in service today.
The Deccan Odyssey (Internet: http://www.mtdcdeccanodyssey.com/) offers week-long tours of Maharashtra starting and ending in Mumbai.
Shatabdi Express trains run from New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai to major Indian cities.
The Taj Express runs daily from New Delhi to Bhopal via Agra and back.
The tourist office can also provide further information.
The leisurely mountain ranges that were built in the 19th century connect many hill stations and mountain regions. The Kolkata-Darjeeling route is particularly picturesque, on this train route you cross 500 large and small bridges (travel time 8 hours) and have excellent opportunities to photograph the landscape as the speed of the journey is slow and leisurely.
The Rajdhani Express trains are luxury express trains that connect Delhi with Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), Bhubhaneswar, Guwahati, Jabalpur, Jammu Tawi, Secunderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Ahmedabad and other cities.
The Konkan Kanya Expressconnects the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnatka and Kerala. The route leads through 72 tunnels and over many bridges.
The Indrail Pass is valid for unlimited train journeys within the validity period and must be paid for in a foreign currency (US dollars, euros or British pounds). Children between the ages of 5 and 12 are entitled to the Child Indrail Pass and pay around half the price. Children under 5 years travel for free. Indrail Pass users do not have to pay extra for reservations and supplements. Reservations can already be made from the country of residence. There are three classes: air-conditioned with sleeping car; 1st class with a couch or an air-conditioned chair wagon; 2nd Class.
Validity: The Indrail Pass is valid for one year, within this period the validity begins on the date of the first train journey and ends, depending on the pass, after half a day or 1-90 days later.
Reservation of seats is urgently required, especially for night trips, and can be made in the travel agency in your home country, otherwise at the train station or in travel agencies in India. Reservations are processed in sequence, so on busy routes you should book 2-3 months in advance. Bookings are accepted up to 12 months in advance. Extensions of the Indrail Pass are only possible under very exceptional circumstances, which can be requested from the Railway Divisional office orZonal headquarters are approved and explanatory documents or documents must be attached.
The Indrail Pass can be purchased either in India in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and in Chennai or outside of India from the general agencies of Indian Railways in Finland, Great Britain and Germany from Asra Orient: Kaiserstr. 50, D-60329 Frankfurt / M. Tel: (069) 25 30 98 (Internet: http://www.asra-orient.de/).
On the way by ship
Ferries run from Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), Vishakapatnam and Chennai to Port Blair on the Andaman Islands and from Kochin and Calicut to the Lakshadweep Islands. The timetable is seasonal and generally adjusted during the monsoons. A particularly beautiful boat trip leads through the “backwaters” in the vicinity of Kochi in Kerala. Various local tours are available. For example, Calicut – Cochin and Allepey – Kottayam.