(Last Updated on : 14/04/2014)
Indian transport modes are responsible for the physical communication of the inhabitants in the nation. In ancient times, people often covered long distances on foot and walking is still the most common method of transport in rural India. Bullock carts have been traditionally used for transport and consequently came horse carts. However, with the passage of years, Indian transport system has improved immensely by introducing the latest cars and automobiles in the market.
Indian Transport Palanquins or "palkee" was one of the luxurious methods of transport used in India by the rich and nobles. In the age old days this was primarily used to carry the deity or idol of the god. Much later, in the 15th century palkee was introduced as a popular form of transportation where the girls and ladies from rich families were ferried in palkee and were escorted by males riding on horses.
From the early days of the century the bicycle rickshaws have also become popular and are still used in rural India. In urban areas auto rickshaws have mostly superseded them. Bicycles are an important transportation mode in India. Motorbikes and mopeds, driven by engines are also a common sight in both rural and urban areas of India.
Tram occupies a nostalgic place in the mind of Indians, dating back to earlier generations. The beginning of the British saw trams being introduced in many cities like Mumbai
and Kolkata. However, tram is not obsolete and is still seen in certain routes of Kolkata
Buses carry over 90% of public transport in Indian cities. Indian transport is incomplete without the service of buses in a plethora of routes all across the nation. All classes of society use buses. They are a cheap and easy mode of transport. The government is also promoting to use the bus since it reduces the number of vehicles on the road thus reducing traffic jams.
Metro is another integral part of Indian transport. Metro is mass rapid transit systems operational in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai
. The first rapid transit system in India, Mumbai Railway, was established in Mumbai in 1867. The Mumbai Suburban Railway witnesses 6.1 million passengers everyday and boasts to have the highest passenger density in the world. Taxis are also used hugely in different cities of Kolkata for the purpose of transportation. Taxis can either be hailed or are hired from taxi stands.
are the longest of any country and one of the most vital modes of Indian transport. Trains can take more than two days to get from one corner of the country to another. The state-owned company, Indian Railways, runs rail operations throughout the country. The Indian rail network traverses through the length and breadth of the country, covering a total length of around 63,000 km. India has a network of National Highways connecting all the major cities and state capitals. Highways form the economic backbone of the country; they have facilitated the development along the route and many towns have sprung up along major highways.
India has a widespread network of inland waterways in the form of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks. The total navigable length is around 14,500 km, out of which about 5200 km of river and 4000 km of canals can be used by mechanised crafts. Boats and launches also serve lesser distances through rivers and canals.
Airways in India
are the fastest means of transport in India. Rapid economic growth has made air travel more and more affordable in India. Air India, India's flag carrier operates a fleet 135 aircraft and plays a major role in connecting India with the rest of the world. Several other foreign airlines link Indian cities
with other major cities across the world. Air Deccan, Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways, IndiGo Airlines and Air India are the most popular brands in domestic air travel in order of their market share. India has world's highest helipad at the Siachen Glacier a height of 6400 metre (21,000 ft) above mean sea level.
Indian transport system has improved greatly in the past few years and the modes of transport have facilitated all forms of travel and communication in all corners of the nation. Indian Transport is important not only as a meaning of travel but also for economic importance. Various goods are supplied from one place to another through roads, railways, water ways and airways.