I have since realised that for multi-point journeys, flights in India are not all that efficient.
BHPian Debasish M recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
When I first heard about Shrikrishna Kulkarnis amazing 1.5-year-long Padayatra from one end of India to another, it got me thinking! What if I could tweak it a bit? And how do I justify it from a professional career standpoint? There was no way I was going to hoof it!
So 45 days later, I have done one leg of it. 8750ish km later, with my car none the worse for the wear, I completed this road marathon which took me from Bhubaneswar- Brahmapur-Hyderabad-Bengaluru-Belgaum-Mumbai-Pune-Hyderabad-Bengaluru-Hyderabad-Bengaluru-Belgaum-Pune-Mumbai-Pune-Nagpur-Bhubaneswar. The notable points being the business meetings in each location. I needed some data to justify this journey and I got it early on. I have since realised that for multi-point journeys, flights in India are not all that efficient.
Add the 1 hour pre-boarding, the trips to the airports at source and destination, occasional flight delays, the waiting for cabs on each working day in the city of your destination and mathematically road travel actually (incredibly so) is more efficient on time! Well, you do need to enjoy driving or even enjoy being a passenger!
Just as a primer:
While not all destinations given above were serviced by air, imagine that the above would need a minimum of 10 flight segments (not to mention some road/rail itineraries to boot) and given current travel time each segment would consume approximately 5 hours. That is 50 hours and more. Each day of outstation stay would have approximately 6 cab trips by Ola/Uber which would mean an avg waiting time (at least totally unproductive time where you are booking, waiting, cancelling, booking, …heck you get the picture) of 20 min. lost per ride
That is 2 hours a day. Which equates to 92 hours over 46 days of travel.
That is already 142 hours of your life gone! And guess how much time I drove on intercity travel: Less than 125!
Now I come to the real deal! 125 hours (most of it at least) spent on yourself, ruminating about life, work, world peace, global domination, heck…I am letting myself run away with it…. well mostly a depth of clarity not experienced in this mundane life!
A slightly better appreciation of the utterly magnificent India around us. An understanding of what makes Indians tick! A journey into the nation that keeps moving ahead every day in ways unknown to us!
An introduction to the multiple hues of Indian cuisine, one gastronomic taste bud at a time, as one came to terms with Benne dosa, misal, ussal, bhakri, huran holige, to name just a measly few out of a smorgasboard of flavours, odours, textures and whatever else goes to make ones salivary glands well….salivate!
It gives me great hope and I dare say more energy for my next circuit. The North, Northeast, and Northwest remain unconquered!
Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:
All the time, brother. All the time. Best example is Goa. We usually go from Sunday to Sunday, so that both Sundays are for the drive and we stay a full week in beautiful Goa. Many people tell me “oh, the drive takes 9 – 10 hours while the flight is just an hour”. My response = the flight might be an hour, but door-to-door, flying took you 4.5 – 5 hours. More importantly, I enjoyed every km of the drive, had 2 amazing meals & some spectacular views. Not to mention, if you are 4 or 5 on-board, it’s far cheaper and when in Goa, you have your own car to roam around in, making holidays so convenient.
Other places I’ll drive to Ahmedabad (great roads) & Delhi. Wanted to drive to Delhi for the Auto Expos, but the strict work schedule meant I had to fly.
Here’s what BHPian Crow had to say on the matter:
I haven’t taken a single flight since the beginning of the pandemic. All interstate travel has happened by road and I’ve loved every single minute of the driving experience. I also get to see different landscapes and come across interesting geographical oddities. Eg: While going from Mumbai to Goa via Chorla Ghat, you start in Maharashtra, enter Karnataka, and start Chorla Ghat in KA. In the middle of the ghat you enter Maharashtra for 10 minutes (a resort is located in this place) and then exit back into Goa.
So yes, I can relate with the sentiment in the OP. Thanks for sharing.
Here’s what BHPian Amrik Singh had to say on the matter:
Working in Dubai, I had to travel to Muscat, Oman every Week to attend Meeting and review the progress of construction work as Consultant Engineer.
What I was supposed to do:
- Reach Dubai Airport 2 Hours before Scheduled flight
- Fly to Muscat. Approx. 1 Hour Flight.
- Obtain On Arrival Visa at Muscat Airport. Another half hour.
- Request local staff for someone to drive me around or Rent a Car.
- Whatever be the unscheduled schedule, return flight would be booked for late in the evening.
What I would do:
- Start driving from home at 4:00 am and be at the Dubai-Oman border by 5:30 am, a little before the shift change of Immigration staff at 6:00 am.
- Visa within 10 minutes and continue driving for another 3 Hours.
- Be at our work site by 10:00 including breakfast break.
Meeting would start punctually at 10:00 and sometimes, if there were no major issues, I would be out of meeting in half an hour and ready for return journey. Total drive of 9 Hours and no fatigue.
Needless to say, all costs were to Company account. Even the Car was theirs for this purpose. Yes, the Pages of Passport that got stamped regularly requiring new Passport, were of my Passport. From randomly stamping at any page that would open up, the guys started stamping Visa, Exit and Arrival stamps neatly and in sequence.
Here’s what BHPian am1m had to say on the matter:
IMHO, if you have all the time in the world, IR is the simply the best way to travel across our country. A dream 2-3 years for me would be to be able to load a light bike like the Xpulse on to trains, go across the country and use the bike to explore each region/stop. Get the real flavour of the nation. The really interesting small towns and mountain roads are not really suited to exploring by car, a bike works best.
IMHO, flying’s the worst way to travel. I hate flying and all the procedures associated with it. Everything has to be pre-planned, that 2 hour trip just to reach the airport, check in 2 hours before, stand in line for security checks, airport security and airline staff acting like they’re doing you a favour letting you on the plane, stay strapped down in your seat for almost the whole time, silly announcements every 10 minutes. International flights are even worse with all the visa and passport related hoopla and rude staff at most international airports. But yeah, time constraints make flights the most efficient way to go long distances.
Driving, depends on the drive I guess. Nothing beats having a vehicle at the destination, but some of the drives, especially on the GQ or expressway are really boring, straight, featureless, and monotonous at high speeds.
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.
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