Posts Tagged ‘Mumbai’

For years we have seen them in all colors and shapes moving around the city ferrying people from point A to point B emitting loads of smoke. Today these autos or rikshaws are an essential part of most Indian cities and provide that much needed gap in our transportation network. The only advantage these autos provide is service to your doorstep and at a price which is half that of a cab / taxi.

Yellow Color Bangalore Autos

Yellow Color Bangalore Autos

Cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and even parts of Mumbai are primarily dependent on these autos who charge anywhere from Rs 7 to Rs 10 per kms. But they seldom stick to this pricing and try to fleese their customers at every given opportunity. If you look like an outsider and new to the city, then u’r definitely taken for a ride. So sometimes other options like Government Bus Service or shared cabs could work out as better alternatives.

We have tried to put down a few pointers that could help you get thru this ordeal while travelin on a budget in India.

Before you get to a particular city, collect enough information about the local transport facilities and approximate rates. For Ex: Bangalore city has a reliable Non A/c and Airconditioned Bus service which are quite effecient and connect all corners of the city. Quite a few techies in the city have abandoned their bikes and cars to ride on these aircon volvo buses to their workplace. You can also choose City Taxi service which need about 20mins of advanced notice. The best among them is Meru Cabs which is reliable and charge Rs 15 per km. But if you must take an auto, be well prepared with the destination and key landmarks. Bangalore autos are required to run by the meter but these guys sometimes avoid using them, tend to take a longer routes and act dumb. So make sure they turn on the meter when u get on.

Mumbai on the otherhand has more options – Their local trains are the most reliable mode of transport but could be quite taxing esp during peak hours due to the enormous crowds who choose to travel on them. So stay away during peak hours and beware of pick pocketers. Alternatively, you can choose their local taxis in most parts of the city and Autos in the suberbs. They are not fussy and will rarely try to cheat you.

Cities like Chennai and Hyderabad are the worst when it comes to Autorikshaw’s. Always make sure that you bargain on the fare before you get on. This way, they will not try to take a longer route and get you to your destination on time.

Learning certain key local words will also help you when u’r out on the streets. Stuff like ‘How Much’, ‘I want to go to __’, ‘Good Morning’, ‘Good Evening’, ‘Thank you’ are most commonly used words while on the road. Alernatively, you can always ask the locals for directions and help. India is still one of the most hospitable countries so don’t feel shy to ask.

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Terrorism in India is spreading every passing day. There are terror attacks in all major cities of the nation. Every heart is crying. Everyone is worried about their security while going out somewhere.

Recent serial attacks in various locations of India have affected our daily lifestyle, and a negative affect on Indian economy and its future growth. Another industry that is partially affected after the recent Mumbai terrorist attacks is Tourism especially 3 star and 5 star properties located in metros. Today, you could get lucky with great bargains on room rentals or food n beverages with up to over 50% reduction on the rack rates.

Another reason for this drop is the global slowdown which began in the United States and slowly cascaded onto other countries who have strong trade relations with US. People have become cost conscious with the tightening of jobs and cutting down of perks and benefits.

Analysts predict that this drop in demand will last for atleast a month and should ease down sometime early Jan. Others feel that the extent of damage is much greater and will recover only after 6-8 months.

Tourism overall hasn’t see the kind of slowdown that other industries have witnessed. People still look out for that break to go someplace far from the maddening crowd and relax their nerves in the lap of nature. Guess, this is crucial nowadays with the added pressure at work to sustain revenues during the time of recession.

Another trend i’ve seen is that people have started looking out for Indian holidays and scrapping their international travel plans for the time being be it Thailand, Andamans, Singapore or Malaysia. Many who had planned to celebrate the New Year’s Eve abroad are now hunting for cheaper Indian destinations which has boosted the demand for popular New Year destinations like Goa, Kumarakom, Varkala, Munnar, Masinagudi and the likes.

So if you haven’t planned your Nyears outing, then better get onto to it rite now else your girlfriend / wife / husband will be pretty upset with you 😉

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