Most Indians prefer travelling by train, because the railway network in India is vast and all cities and town are very well connected through this network. This is evident from the fact that there are more than 7083 stations in the country, and all these stations are active ones, with trains operating from and to these stations throughout the day.
With a population that’s the second largest in the world, it is but sensible to expect that the demand for trains will be high, although there are countless trains providing services between various locations. If you’re new to India or don’t know much about the existing status, you should know a key fact – it’s always a good idea to book your tickets in advance.
If you’re wondering about how soon you should book your tickets, know that you should book your tickets soon as you plan your trip, that is, a month or two in advance. Where busy routes (like the ones between two metropolitan cities) are concerned, booking your ticket a month before can be too late too. Thanks to India’s predominantly middle class population, sleeper coaches and non air conditioned chair cars are the ones that are most preferred.
There are two ways through which you can book your tickets:
Ticket Counter – Every railway station in India has a ticket counter, where you can book your one way or return tickets easily. You can either manually book the tickets by paying the money in cash to the attendant in the counter, or you can book your tickets through the computerized modules available.
Online Booking – You can also book your tickets online through the IRCTC website. You should first create an account for yourself and register, following which you’ll be allowed to book your tickets. Ensure that you note your user and password details so that you can book your tickets through this website in future. There are many provision involved in online booking, and you can make your payments through credit cards and debit cards. You can even use your online bank account to book tickets.
Once you book your ticket, you’ll receive the PNR number of your ticket. If your ticket is not confirmed, you can check its status later by using the PNR number. You can either do this online through the IRCTC website or through the Indian Railways official website. This can also be done over the phone.
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