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HAPPY INDEPENDANCE DAY, INDIA!

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  • duplix
    replied
    Very humid over here and about the worst traffic I saw in my life. crossing a street is suicide. But Im doing quite good. I like it out here.

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  • ATLcenter
    replied
    BEST OF LUCK DUPLIX....

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  • duplix
    replied
    I am flying to calcutta tomorrow
    Wish me luck

    Tim

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  • indian airlines
    replied
    I never lived in Calcutta, I just went there for a 2 month holiday, and that was not near Diwali.

    But I'm sure Diwali is celebrated as usual in Calcutta as in the Rest of the country (atleast the North and the West).

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  • ATLcenter
    replied
    Yeah, the few pics I have of Indian airports are all really poor condition (night, thru glass or a plane window).

    Btw, Tanuj, I have a question: How lavishly is Divali/Diwali/Deepawali celebrated in Kolkata? I spent a Diwali near Bhopal once, and the fire works spread for days...just wondering if Tim is in for a sight or not..

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  • indian airlines
    replied
    Tim,

    Buy a decent lock and a small chain, but I suggest you buy it outside the station at some other general store kind of shop. I can tell you what happened with me once, I was travelling on a Train from Delhi to Pondicherry, and bought a chain and lock at a station. It worked fine. However, just as we were about to reach Pondicherry, one of my friends found that he had lost his key, so I tried opening his suitcase with my key, and it opened - so I don't think the ones at the station are very reliable.

    Pics are not a problem, except at airports. Photography at Indian Airports and over Indian Airspace is NOT allowed. Be very careful, they are quite strict about this rule. While sleeping, if you leave your camera outside, then chances are it may get stolen (maybe not in rajdhani/shatabdi). Best is, when you go to sleep, keep it in your handbag.

    All the IIM's in India are top notch management institutions, the best in India, and Internationally recognized. My father did his post graduation from IIMB. And I'm sure any of the other IIM's is just as good. It's a great place to do management.

    Tanuj.

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  • duplix
    replied
    No, you are not scaring me. It is better to expect the worse than get robbed... I guess I'll buy a decent lock and a small chain (but those can be bought at train stations right?).

    I am taking a digital camera with me, so pics should not be any problem. Only thing I am worried about is the cam gets stolen while I am asleep on a train

    As for the air travel: I am not living in the states, so cheap fares from the there wont do me any good . I am flying BA through LHR. It was not the cheapest ticket available, but I got it a student price (STA, fare class o) with flexible conditions. Cheaper carriers were RJ (not really an option, as there are pulling out of BRU in october) and BG (I really considered this one).

    Another question: what reputation does IIMC have in India? Does it have the reputation to be a easy/difficult school?

    Tim

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  • ATLcenter
    replied
    Lol...while it may have sounded that I was trying to scare you, much of the railways info I gave you was based on stuff printed in the timetable themselves (the drugged food bit and the theft o' luggage stuff). I have heard of people get robbde, but it's never happened to me personally. My dad almost lost his passport, visa, etc when some one stole it all near Dlehi, but he caught the guy with his bag getting off the train, the theif was ahem...aprehended.

    If I scared you, I didn't mean to scare you...just giving the worst case scenarios. Well, I guess the mousquitos are suttin to watch out in the backwaters of the South where I am from...

    Course you won't travel Rajdhanhi/Shatabdi express trains the whole way thru! ou should perhaps be stuck in Sleper class trains for a LONG while on your jorneys.

    Yeah, soku, I watched that episode of the Amazing race as well. Those were not the Indian railways trains, they were the local municipality trains in Bombay - ONLY in Bombay. Nothing of the sort ever happens on Indian railways trains.
    Actually, several other Indian cities ahve suburban lines-including Chennia and the other cities I listed. They are MUCH less crowded that Bombay's though.

    So try and head over to Bangalore, it's worth every cent (paise)!

    Btw, just to clear any questions you have, this Southern Railway-Northern railway is just a management thing. If you book a ticket from Delhi (NOrthern railways?) to Bangalore (southern Railways), you won't have to change trains to change rail zones-you stay on the same train.

    Also, if you can take the 2 tier AC coach on the train atleast once-their cutlets are good! Oh, and whether you buy the train food or not is upto you, many people pack their own, some people order on the train. In sleeper class, don't expect full time waiters, etc...the dude asks you if u want a meal....if you want veg/non veg and then he comes back a fter a while with the meal. End o story.

    So I hope you enjoy you trip to India, and please, try to get away from the dirt and grime of the cities.....I think most people who visit india come in a city, lok thru the city, and believe all of India is like that...just a mere 50 kms from Bombay will reveal so much more than just a local train line and a concrete jungle.

    AND TAKE PICTURES!!!!!!!

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  • duplix
    replied
    When I applied for this, I was given the choice between IIMB and IIMC. I guess I took calcutta because it sounded the most "Indian"

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  • indian airlines
    replied
    Yeah, soku, I watched that episode of the Amazing race as well. Those were not the Indian railways trains, they were the local municipality trains in Bombay - ONLY in Bombay. Nothing of the sort ever happens on Indian railways trains.

    Duplix, while whatever ATLCenter said was true, to some extent he's trying to scare you as well. :P

    Locking your bags is essential, and getting a bottom berth is also helpful, but it's not like countless people wake up one morning and find all their stuff gone. Maybe he's talking abt Southern Railways trains. I have travelled far over 50 times on Northern/Western Railways, and never ever had even a toothbrush stolen from me.

    Another thing to watch out for (though I've never seen it personally happen) is that people in your little room will offer you some fruit of a snack, mdrink, etc. They drugged it, and at the next stop, they'll take your things and run. Of course, I'm assuming that is pretty rare....but I dunno
    Never heard of anything such happen in my entire life. Maybe it happens on the southern Railways trains, but if you travel on respectable trains such as the Rajdhani/Shatabdi, I can guarantee 99% that the person sitting next to you will not be a crook waiting to drug you and then rip you off.

    Watch out for mosquitoes, some places more than the others. This is especially important for foreign tourists. Always carry mosquito repellent. Delhi does not have too many mosquitoes, but Kolkata has quite a few. So it's not like every place has hordes of mosquitoes, but yeah, just werar mosquito repellent and you should be fine. And if you're inside a house/restaurant/hotel, you shouldn't worry about mosquitoes. It's only in the open, near sewers etc that you'll find them.

    I have lived in Bangalore for 2 years as well, so I can second that nomination. Possible India's safest, cleanest and most upcoming city, Bangalore is one place you must go. While Cubbon Park is mainly a kiddie park (atleast quite a bit of it), it also has large open grassy areas, which you can go and visit one evening. Try the peanuts that the vendors sell. They are rosted peanuts in a paper cone, and they are delicious, not to mention super cheap. Depending on the size you choose, they can cost Rs.3, Rs.5 or Rs.10.

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  • Katamarino
    replied
    That was nearly as good an image as the little 747 typing on a laptop!

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  • JeffinDEN
    replied
    Damn, that takes the fun out of that visual.....

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  • Soku39
    replied
    Excuse me the trains didn't do the pinching, all the Indians on them did. I'm sure a man of your great intelligence could have filled that in.

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  • ATLcenter
    replied
    Duplix, you've reminded me of something to watch out for:

    LOCK YOU BAGS AS SECURLY AS POSSIBLE!!!

    The trains are extraordinarily public; in sleeper class, you won't find even a door to each room. there are somewhat weak chains at the underside of the lower berth, but that is all I've seen. Also, this brings up another good point:You must get a window seat, cuz then you'll get the lower bunk beds, and then you can phyically touch your bags at night and be sure they are there.

    I have seen countless people to wake up one morning and realize that their passport, money, jewelry, clothes and walkman and thier 54 CD's have mysteriously vanished. So be very cautious of train theft.

    Another thing to watch out for (though I've never seen it personally happen) is that people in your little room will offer you some fruit of a snack, mdrink, etc. They drugged it, and at the next stop, they'll take your things and run. Of course, I'm assuming that is pretty rare....but I dunno

    I'm not too sure I know much about vaccinations-I've carried an Indian passport for many, mnay yrs, and never needed one. But do watch out for HORDES of musquitos. Many sewers are out in the open, with no cover. So mousquitos are rampant.

    And another thing: If you plan to utilize the trains a lot, A railway timetable won't hurt. Be sure to get an All-India timetable though, cuz you seem to be travelling accross a lot of the country. There are several railway 'districts' in India, and all of them get their own timetables out too.

    So for instance, if you buy a Northern Railways timetable, you won't find any trains going from Bombay to Goa. OR if you get a Western Railways timetable, no local train trips around Kolkata will be shown. So just get the Indian Railways Trains at a Glance thingy. Shouldn't be more than 30 Rs.

    As for any other sites, if something seems interesting, stop there. Trust me, you will. If you plan to go by roads, take how long you will think it takes, and then double it. Ive been on 48 km long bus routes that take 2-3 hours. Of course, it was rainy season....which you have managed to dodge a bit.

    Also, I have two more places to nominate for your trip:

    Bangalore, Karnataka: This is India's 'Green city' and offers several fun things to do. You can see BLR's hi-tech city, which is not too amazing, but an Ok drive. Go to Lal Bhag and Cubbon Park, which are HUGE parks/botanical gardens/green houses. It's also a nice city. It gets a bit cold though, because of the elevation. There are also several lakes there all around the city. bangalore also has air service, which has Indian Airlines and Jet Airways.


    Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh: This was INdia's hi-tech city. It is an interesting place, becuase it is where two religions clash: For centureis it was held by muslim kings, and it was finally annexed to India forcefuly? and is now a city. It has attractions like Charminar, and golconda fort. There are several interesting sites around Hyderabad. Hyderabad (HYD) also has a large lake:I forget the name, but it is a beautiful lake, and most people just refer to it as 'the lake'. If you can, go to that lake at bnight, and drive around on necklace road. Nacklace road is a road that goes all around the lake's edge. When you come to a restaurant called The Nest. Stop there; it is exellant. Also, HYD isa twin-just across the lake is Secundrabad, so you'l;l be in an urban area, then a bit rural, and then back in an urban area, and again thru rural, and then back to HYD. So all in all, it is a fun place to visit.

    once again, I hope you enjoy your trip! If you need help finding cheap fares, there's this guy down in ATL that Ive seen as low as 650 r/t from the states.

    Soku: It's funner to be in there than to watch....

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  • duplix
    replied
    ATLcenter, Tanuj, thkns for the advise. It will be very helpfull.

    Do you happen to know anything about malaria and other diseases/parasites? Most information I have is rather simplified. I am taking nivaquine+paludrine as prophylaxis.
    Are there any other places/sites in india I should visit?
    And what about thieves on trains? Is it enough if I lock my bag down when asleep, or do I really have to close it with a lock it people cant take anything out?

    That's all for now
    Tim

    Edit: typo

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