Indian low cost air companies are increasing, convenient and cover all states (Khasmir included).
I heard bad comments about air deccan.
Mumbai is one of the main international airports in India. Air India is their international carrier and Jet Airways their main domestic carrier although Air India does operate some domestic flights. Mumbai’s airport is call Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport (formerly known as Sahar International Airport), around 30km from downtown. It is the busiest airport in India. The domestic airport is Santacruz airport, around 26kms from downtown.
This was my first experience of Air India and I cannot say I was impressed. The flight was full to Mumbai, the plane old and in parts I thought some of the interior was falling apart. A coat cupboard door flew open during take off and was left swinging along with coathangers and jiggling bags stored there. A passenger actually managed to kick it shut. There was also a loud crash in the galley during take off. The initial drink was pretty much thrown at you whether you wanted it or not and later when asked if you would like an alcoholic drink, you were advised by the attendant to order two because he wasn’t coming back. Fortunately the departing flight from India was a little better. Jet Airways on the other hand was fantastic. The internal flights were short but the attendants were on the go all the time and you were well looked
Before landing in Mumbai you will be given an immigration form . The form consists of 3 parts, Immigration, Departure and customs.
Fill in the immigration form and hand it in to passport control. The customs part of the form needs to be completed and given in just after you have gone through customs. Ensure the departure part is filled in before you reach the airport to leave to save time.
The Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport has two terminals:
the International one, formerly known as Sahar Airport, at about 30 km (20 miles) north of the town and
the Domestic terminal, formerly known as Santa Cruz Airport, at about 26 km (17 miles) from the heart of the city.
When you get out of the International terminal building, look at your right for the prepaid taxi counter, they offer the fairest prices to reach the centre.
While when you take a flight, don't forget to fill in the tag which must be fasten to your hand luggage: a stamp is put on this tag when your luggage get checked and it's absolutely necessary for passing the custom.
Bombay has two major airports. The Santa Cruz airport serves the domestic areas of India and the Sahar International airport serve as the gateway to the world. There is considerable distance between the two airports and so when someone is taking a domestic flight from Santa Cruz after flying in from abroad, sufficient time should be allowed for transfer.
From Santa Cruz airport, Indian Airlines and Jet Airways provide frequent flights to various parts of India. In the recent years, private carrier Jet Airways has gotten a leg up on state owned Indian Airlines. For more information and planning, try
We had planned on taking a flight from Jaipur to Udaipur. However, there is one plane that starts in New Delhi, goes to Jaipur, then Udaipur, then Bombay. Then it turns around and does the same trip backwards. And then it does the whole round-trip one more time that day. Fun, yes?
Well, as it turns out, Udaipur gets a bit foggy some mornings, and there is not an instrument approach. So the morning flight from Jaipur to Udaipur sat on the ground for a few extra hours before finally allowing the passengers to board. Then, after waiting for another hour, the crew had all those bound for Udaipur deplane, and the flight took off for Bombay, skipping the morning Udaipur landing.
Once back inside the terminal, we were told that we could be on the waiting list for the afternoon flight. Well... we knew that, since it would be the same plane in the morning, that it was already several hours behind schedule. Who knew what would happen throughout the course of the day??
Instead, we worked out a deal with the counterperson... we got a car (an Ambassador) and driver. The car would take my boyfriend and I, along with a British couple, to Udaipur. An Ambassador is really not made for 5 people... Plus, the other couple were traveling around before settling down in India, so they had an enormous amount of luggage.
The trip took us over 8 hours... and our bums were numb by the time we got to Udaipur. To top it off, when we arrived at the other couple's hotel, the cab in front of us was unloading people that had stayed behind and taken the afternoon flight! The joke was on us!
I'm glad, numb bum and all, that we drove. Through empty countryside that was beautiful and rural... sights that we wouldn't have seen any other way.
The only stop we made between Jaipur and Udaipur was at a tea stop. Glasses were dipped in dirty water and filled with steaming tea. I looked at the tea suspiciously, but, 'What the heck' and drank it down. I didn't get sick!
This view of Mumbai's Airport from space taken by a satellite shows the place where I work at the Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport!!! The two runways crossing each other are very prominent and I work on the aircraft at the International Airport (Terminal - 2) which is the C-shaped structure you see above the runways. You may catch me working on one of the Air-India aircraft and sometimes even on the other airlines which we handle!! HAHAHA!!!
Picture courtesy: Australian Earth Data.
For travelling from the Train Stations in Mumbai to the Airport could be any of the five main line stations, so it all depends on which train you are arriving into Mumbai!!! They are Mumbai (Bombay) Central and Bandra Terminus for the Western Railway and Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Kurla Terminus for the Central Railway and Dadar for both the railways!!! If you are travelling with luggage then you will definitely be better off using a taxi from the city and it should cost you something in the range of about Rs.300 from CST or Bombay Central station and about Rs.150 from Dadar but if you are in the suburbs of Bandra or Kurla then you can take a autorickshaw which is a three wheeler semi open cab and cheaper than the taxi and it will cost you about Rs.55 from Bandra or Kurla Terminii. Anyway before travelling just flag down the meter in front of you and pay only according to the tariff card. There are different fares for the air conditioned cabs and they are about 25% more than the normal fares. Also the fares at night are 25% more from midnight to 0530 am. for both the cabs!!! The International Airport is different from the Domestic Airport but both are called by the same name!!! And some flights which are domestic also leave from the International terminal so check in advance where your flight is departing from!!!
If you are arriving into the Airport and leaving for another destination in India by train then the best way is to take a prepaid taxi from the airport where it is slightly more expensive but without any hassles of finding one or being cheated by the driver taking a longer route to fool you!!!
Aurangabad - Ajanta & Ellora
Aurangabad, 400 km from Bombay, is linked by Indian Airlines flights. Spectacular rock cut caves and cave paintings exist at two nearby places, Ajanta and Ellora. The most notable feature of these cave temples is that entire hillsides were cut away with the artisan’s chisel to produce some of the world’s most exquisite sculpture. Ellora’s 34 caves are over 10 centuries old and represent elaborate sculptures of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain faiths. The caves at Ajanta date back to the 5th century and contain paintings and sculptures of major events in the life of the Buddha.
Aurangabad is a convinent base for organising visits to the famous rock-cut temples of Ajanta & Ellora. The town is named after Aurangzeb, the last of the six great Mughal Emperors, who built a mausoleum here for his wife.
Getting there is easy, Bombay is linked internationally by an Airport and by Sea and within the nation by trains and buses and little ships. Although there are private tourism vehicles too available around nearby cities, that can get you to Bombay.
There are excellent train & Bus services that run throughout Bombay, the only problem being that it is too crowded. I would suggest if travelling by train, do so during the off-peak hours and use travel first class toavoid any crowd. Taxis and available almost everywhere and is a convenient way of travelling, although make sure the taxi driver doesn't take you for a ride. Adjoining pic: Victoria Terminus railway station
Lots of flights available.
If you are coming from Pune (Poona) you might also want to consider travelling by bus. But be careful during monsoons. As the ghats connecting Pune and Bombay often experience traffice jams for hours (even a couple of days once) and landslides.
Then there are a lot of trains too.
Taxis (cabs), rent a car.
New to India? Avoid rickshaws, local buses.
Very close to dense city areas, well structured with streets and everything, lies denser and compact ghetto area. Nothing more than one floor, no street to speak of, often with only an ondulated sheet of tin roof.
That is the city paradox in India. People leave the country for the city only to end up in these ghettos.
By plane if you are coming from overseas. When you get to the airport, if you are looking for a normal taxi, ask a fellow traveller, as there is a poorly signposted taxi stand behind all the mega expensive limo companies. The local taxi is fine, safe and very cheap, as long as you have the time.
TAXI CABS are cheap and readily available, but they can be in poor condition. It can be fun to see the road through the rust holes in the floor of the car - I always feel like doing my Fred Flintstone impersonation, as you may be able to run along the road. They are also pretty safe. The rail system is quite old and crowded, but also really interesting - most of the rolling stock belongs in a museum, and they even have separate carriages for women.
Here is a view of Mumbai from the North, facing South toward the bay. Notice the density of buildings.