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Getting there & away

Air Deccan has the cheapest fares, flying daily between Ranchi and Kolkata (one hour), and four times a week to Patna (50 minutes) and Delhi (three hours). Indian Airlines (2203042; Main Rd) has flights to Delhi (US$135) and Kolkata (US$82).

Buses to Gaya (Rs 101, six hours, hourly) and Patna (Rs 170, nine hours) leave from the main bus stand from 6.30am, while buses to Daltonganj (for Betla) leave from the Ratu Rd bus stand (Rs 85, six hours, hourly). From the Birsa Vihar tourist complex on Main Rd there are two deluxe buses to Patna at 8am (Rs 170, eight to nine hours) and 8pm (Rs 200).

There are three daily trains to Patna (sleeper/3AC Rs 218/612, 10 to 14 hours, 6.15am, 7.15pm and 10.15pm) and two to Gaya (sleeper/chair Rs 133/291, seven hours, 6.15am and 7.15pm). To Kolkata you can take the 1.45pm Shatabdi Express (chair/executive Rs 645/1220, 7½ hours) or the overnight Howrah-Hatia Express (sleeper/3AC Rs 170/480).