Getting there & away
Delhi is a major international gateway. It’s also a centre for domestic travel, with extensive bus, rail and air connections. Delhi’s airport can be prone to thick fog in December and January (often disrupting airline schedules), making it wise not to book back-to-back flights during this period.
Bikaner House (23383469; Pandara Rd), near India Gate, operates good state-run buses. There are services to Jaipur (non-AC/AC Rs 270/460, six hours, several services daily between 6am and midnight); Udaipur (Rs 518, 15 hours, one daily service at 7.30pm); Ajmer (Rs 36, nine hours, daily at 7.30pm, 10pm and 11.15pm); and Jodhpur (Rs 460, 11 hours, one daily service at 10pm).
Delhi’s main bus station is the Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT; 23860290; Kashmiri Gate; 24hr), north of the (Old) Delhi train station. It has a 24-hour left-luggage facility (Rs 15 per bag). This station can be chaotic so arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of your departure time. State-government bus companies (and their counters) at the ISBT include the following:
Delhi Transport Corporation (23865181; Counter 34)
Haryana Roadways (23861262; Counter 35)
Himachal Roadways (23863473; Counter 40)
Punjab Roadways (23867842; Counter 37)
Rajasthan Roadways (23381884; Counter 36)
Uttar Pradesh Roadways (23868709; Counter 38)
For foreigners, it’s easiest to make ticket bookings at the International Tourist Bureau (23405156; 1st fl, New Delhi train station; 8am-8pm Mon-Sat, to 2pm Sun). Do not believe anyone who tells you it has shifted, closed or burnt down – this is a rampant scam to divert you elsewhere. There are reportedly railway porters involved in scams, so stay on your toes and don’t let anyone stop you from going to the 1st floor of the main building for bookings. When making reservations at the International Tourist Bureau, tickets must be paid for in rupees backed up by money-exchange certificates (or ATM receipts) or in US dollars, euros or pounds sterling; any change is given in rupees. Bring your passport. There’s a train booking counter at the airport.
There are two main stations in Delhi – (Old) Delhi train station in Old Delhi, and New Delhi train station at Paharganj; make sure you know which station serves your destination (New Delhi train station is closer to Connaught Place). If you’re departing from the Delhi train station you should allow adequate time to meander through the often-snail-paced traffic of Old Delhi.
There’s also the Nizamuddin train station, south of Sunder Nagar, where various trains (usually for south-bound destinations) start or finish.
Railway porters should charge between Rs 20 and Rs 30 per bag.
There are many more destinations and trains – consult Trains at a Glance (Rs 45), available at most newsstands, or ask tourist office staff.
The domestic terminals (Terminal 1) of the Indira Gandhi International Airport are around 15km southwest of Connaught Place. Go to Terminal 1A for domestic departures for most Air India & Air India Regional, Go Air, MDLR Airlines and Jagson Airlines. Terminal 1D is used for domestic departures for Indigo, Kingfisher Airlines, Kingfisher Red, Go Air, Jet Airways, Jetlite, SpiceJet and Paramount Airways, while all domestic arrivals land at Terminal 1C. The international terminal (Terminal 2) is a further 8km away. There’s a frequent (free) shuttle bus between the two terminals or you can use the Ex-Servicemen’s Air Link Transport Service. A third terminal is being constructed and is scheduled for completion by the end of March, 2010.
For inquiries, call the international airport (337 6000; www.newdelhiairport.in) or the domestic airport (2567 5126).
Check-in at the airport for domestic flights is one hour before departure. Note that if you’ve just arrived and have an onward connection to another city in India, it may be with Air India, the country’s international carrier, rather than its major domestic carrier, Indian Airlines. If this is the case, you must check-in at the international terminal, not the domestic terminal.
The most convenient Indian Airlines office (23313317; F-Block, Malhotra Bldg, Connaught Place; 10am-1pm & 2-5pm Mon-Sat) is at Connaught Place. There’s also a ticket office at Safdarjang airfield (24631337; Aurobindo Marg; 7am-11pm). For Indian Airlines’ recorded flight arrival and departure details, dial 1407.
Other domestic airlines
Air Deccan (no office; inquiries 9818177008)
Jagson Airlines (23721593; Vandana Bldg, 11 Tolstoy Marg; 9.30am-6pm Mon-Sat)
Jet Airways (39841111; 40 N-Block, Connaught Place; 9am-9pm Mon-Fri, to 6pm Sat & Sun)
Kingfisher Airlines (23730238; 42 N-Block, Connaught Place; 8am-9pm Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm Sat & Sun)
Sahara Airlines (23326851; Gopal Das Bhavan, 28 Barakhamba Rd, Connaught Place; 10am-5pm Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm Sat)
The international airport’s arrivals hall has 24-hour money-exchange facilities, a prepaid taxi counter and a tourist information counter. The train booking counter is only open from 8am to 8pm.
You must have your check-in bags X-rayed and sealed – don’t forget to do this or you’ll be sent back. At the check-in counter, ensure you collect tags to attach to hand luggage (mandatory to clear security later).
Aeroflot (23723241; 15-17 Tolstoy Marg)
Air Canada (41528181; World Trade Tower, Barakhamba Rd)
Air France (23466262; 7 Atma Ram Mansion, Connaught Place)
Air India (23731225; Jeevan Bharati Bldg, Connaught Place)
British Airways (951244120747; DLF Plaza Tower, DLF Phase 1, Qutb Enclave, Gurgaon)
El Al Israel Airlines (23357965; Prakash Deep Bldg, 7 Tolstoy Marg)
Emirates (66314444; DLF Centre, Sansad Marg, Connaught Place)
Gulf Air (23324293; 12 G-Block, Connaught Place)
Japan Airlines (23324922; Chandralok Bldg, 36 Janpath)
KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines (23357747; Prakash Deep Bldg, 7 Tolstoy Marg)
Lufthansa Airlines (23724200; 56 Janpath)
Malaysian Airlines (41512121; Gopal Das Bhavan, 28 Barakhamba Rd)
Pakistan International Airlines (23737791; 23 Barakhamba Rd)
Qantas (23321345; Prakash Deep Bldg, 7 Tolstoy Marg)
Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation (RNAC; 23321164; 44 Janpath)
Scandinavian Airlines (43513202; Thapar House, 124 Janpath)
Singapore Airlines (23356283; Ashoka Estate Bldg, 24 Barakhamba Rd)
Thai Airways International (41497777; Park Royal Intercontinental Hotel, America Plaza, Nehru Pl)