Indian trains are of good value. If you know your major itinerary well
in advance, try to reserve seats from abroad through your local travel
agent. Inside India you can book your ticket for any train on the Indian
Railways network at more than 600 computerised reservation centres across
the country. To check the actual timetable or the availability of seats
for a specific train, please use the Indian
The nearest railway station to reach Prashanthi Nilayam is Puttaparthi
(a few kilometers outside of town). A new railway line linking Bangalore
and Puttaparthi has been completed in the year 2000.
Most cross-country trains
run in several categories. The most important ones are 2A, 3A and SL
which provide you with a sleeping place. The "A" stands for
Air Condition. "2-Tier AC Sleeper" and "3-Tier AC Sleeper"
insulate you completely from the outside world whereis the "SL
Sleeper" class (without air condition) allows you a first hand
Indian travel experience. For shorter journeys you may also book tickets
in a chair car class. Especially fast, comfortable but somewhat expensive
trains are marked with the label "Rajdhani Express Train"
or "Shatabdi Express Train".
You can usually reserve
your tickets 60 days in advance (restrictions apply to some intercity
day express trains).
For longer journeys an
INDRAIL pass with a validity of up to 90 days is recommended as each
train may have 1 or 2 seats kept aside as a quota to be first given
to INDRAIL holders. Foreigners and non-resident Indians can buy an INDRAIL
pass at major railway stations in India on production of a passport.
If you know you want a rail pass, it may be prudent to buy it before
you go to India from a travel agency. Train reservations are a must
(with or without a rail pass).
The International Tourist
Bureau situated on the first floor of New Delhi Railway Station provides
service and assistance to foreign tourists regarding reservations, itinerary
planning and other inquiries.
Contact: The Manager, International Tourist Bureau, 1st Floor, New Delhi
Railway Station, New Delhi 110 001, India.
Phone 91-11-3734164; Fax 91-11-3343050.