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To and From India
There are just a few direct flights to India from the United States on a U.S. carrier. Flight times are 14-16 hours.
Getting to South or East India from the United States requires connecting, with the most and fastest options through Europe. United/Lufthansa has a fight connecting through Frankfurt, Delta/Air France through Paris, and British Airways through London. Travelers from the West Coast might consider going through Bangkok or Singapore.
Travel by road in India is dangerous. A number of U.S. citizens have suffered fatal traffic accidents in recent years. Travel at night is particularly hazardous. Buses, patronized by hundreds of millions of Indians, are convenient in that they serve almost every city of every size. However, they are usually driven fast, recklessly, and without consideration for official rules of the road. Trains are somewhat safer than buses, but train accidents still occur more frequently than in developed countries.
In order to drive in India, one must have either a valid Indian drivers’ license or a valid international drivers’ license. However, the vast majority of foreign visitors to India hire a car and driver. This is highly recommended. Travelers should remember to use seatbelts in both rear and front seats where available and to ask their drivers to maintain a safe speed.
Heavy traffic is the norm and includes (but is not limited to) overloaded trucks and buses, scooters, pedestrians, bullock and camel carts, horse or elephant riders en route to weddings, and free-roaming livestock. Traffic in India moves on the left. It is important to be alert while crossing streets and intersections, especially after dark as traffic is coming in the “wrong” direction (i.e., from the left).
If a driver hits a pedestrian or a cow, the vehicle and its occupants are at risk of being attacked by pedestrians. Such attacks pose significant risk of injury or death to the vehicle's occupants or at least of incineration of the vehicle. It can thus be unsafe to remain at the scene of an accident of this nature, and drivers may instead wish to seek out the nearest police station.
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