You can find one million of ways, or even more, to describe India. During my staying there I got involved in numerous of different stories and from each of them could paint this country in very various colors. This time I’ve chosen to speak about Indian transportation, ‘cause I’ve tried almost all possible ways of it. Ok, I didn’t go on elephant or camel but that’s for another future story.
If in this text I will make some critics, it is just about reality. Despite those facts I had an amazing travel in this country and really want to come back there once again. I think with India is either you love it or hate it. And I am sure that I am with the first ones.
So, vehicles in India. First of all I want to start with those, which let you to observe so much the outer life, the street life, – rickshaws. They are quite much uncovered, and such condition very easy activates all five your senses. You have an opportunity to watch, listen, smell or even touch the reality of this South Asian country, of people’s daily life. And yes, when your rickshaw’s driver gives you to try local sweets which tastes absolutely like incense – sense of taste as well starts working!
Rickshaw. Really common there is three-wheeled vehicle, cycle rickshaw, which is pulled by a pedaling man. I tried it once, ok, once and a half, and after that never wanted to repeat more. First of all it relates for me a bit with inhumanity, when they are working that hard with their own bodies. And you must understand, that Indian roads have nothing in common with that what we, Europeans, call good quality roads. Another thing is that it is not the most comfortable vehicle in the world. But there’s a moment when I want to contradict with myself, ‘cause if you never try this rickshaw – probably you never try one big part of India. This country is full of them! So about this vehicle I have two opinions and really am not able to make only one. When choosing to use this or any other vehicle – always be beware about prices! When we were going out from our hotel in Agra towards one of the New 7 wonders of the world Taj Mahal, immediately one cycle rickshaw driver stopped us and said exactly ten times higher price, than we paid for another driver, who we caught 15 meters further. Oh, yes, you Must Always negotiate in India. In my opinion, it’s not a suggestion, but a rule, if later you don’t want to feel like robbed.
Auto rickshaw or simply tuk-tuk. It is something similar to rickshaw, but has a motor. That’s definitely unique way to move in the city, discover tiny streets, which are too narrow for cars, and at the same time be faster than using the simple cycle rickshaw. I had quite many experiences with using tuk-tuks and all of them were so memorable. First time I sat in this prince of India in Jaipur, when we used the same one with the same driver for all the days while we were staying in this Pink city. It’s driver Imrancalled his auto rickshaw simply Helicopter. We had so many big experiences together with this vehicle, like, participating in Elephant’s festival or Holi celebration of colors and watching cobra dancing to a flute. As well one of the most important things is that I had a special possibility in the streets of India to drive Helicopter by myself!
Another time I’ve got into tuk-tuk when I was going from Haridwar to Rishikesh. Twenty’n’something kilometers in this vehicle became a bit like a challenge, especially when it’s night, you’re so close to Himalayas and where the weather is really much colder. You must understand, that wind is blowing everywhere where it can, ‘cause tuk-tuks are absolutely open. And of course, if depends only on you, if such conditions will become a problem or simply like an adventure.
Once again we had an absolutely breathtaking trip with auto rickshaw in Kerala region in South-West of India, while discovering tea plantations, bamboo forests, black pepper and cardamom plants. Even a very poisonous snake with a speed of light crossed our path there!
I really could speak non-stop, ‘cause all those stories, closely related with using tuk-tuks, are thrilling and exciting. And it will definitely happen the same for you too! Just I want to repeat one thing: never used tuk-tuk – never touched India. For daily movement – choose them and absolutely forget taxis! But always remember my previously mentioned rule – to negotiate, to agree the price before getting in and agree this price for all travelling passengers.
To be continued…