theindialog

August 17, 2009

Bus Rides in Punjab

Filed under: Lessons,Punjab,Transport — loggers @ 11:00 pm

In travelling between Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Amritsar, we made extensive use of inter-city buses, a mode of transport that we had seldom used in India prior to this trip. The bus terminals were well kept, and stocked with cafes, snack shops and bookstores. Bus entry points were numbered and organized according to destination, and makeshift ticket counters were maintained outside each bus.

The first bus we took (Chandigarh to Ludhiana) was air conditioned. The ticket vendor gave us three thin strips of paper with our seat numbers written on them. However, in the bus, we found that our seats were occupied so we just assumed random seats and settled in. Soon enough, our seats were challenged by their rightful patrons, and a massive re-shuffling of seats ensued. We found out that some seats were allocated by ticket issuers to multiple people, and some people were not allocated a seat at all. Everyone whose ticket had no seat number on it was forced to stand.

The rest of our buses were non-a/c, and more similar to the HRTC bus we took from Manali to Chandigarh. The bus made several unofficial stops, where hawkers would jump on to try and sell Fanda (fake Fanta) and other drinks/snacks. The Punjabi movie playing on the bus TV kept riders occupied. Not the most comfortable journey, but economical and educational nonetheless.

Making friends on the Chandigarh--Ludhiana bus

Making friends on the Chandigarh--Ludhiana bus

Entertainment in the Ludhiana--Amritsar bus

Entertainment in the Ludhiana--Amritsar bus

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