Where did I go in Rajasthan?
- Took the 6 hour JSL express from Delhi to Jaipur class: sleeper price: 205 rs. time: 1735-2335
- Then the 12 hour JSL express from Jaipur to Jaisalmer class: AC3 but upgraded to AC2 price: 905rs time: 2335-1135
- The 5 hour Leelan Express from Jaisalmer to Bikaner class: sleeper price: 268 rs. time: 23:55-05:20
- And finally the ~15 hour BKN HW Special from Bikaner to Haridwar class: sleeper price: 508 rs. time: 19:45-10:25
My first experience travelling sleeper class
Making a Plan of Attack for Jaipur
Once at the platform I found a McDonalds and sat outside it to get some WiFi. Luckily for me, a sweet young McDonalds worker spied me and came outside to usher me in. No purchase needed, in fact he even used his Indian phone number to register me on the WiFi (note: Free WiFi is available in most Indian train stations, but you will need an Indian phone number to activate it). I managed to book myself into Zostel in Jaipur and message a friend of mine staying there, asking him to advise the reception of my late arrival.
India Trains: Sometimes Early, Sometimes Very, Very Late
Boarding the Train
Key tips & takeaways:
- You can often get last minute seats by being flexible and checking into the tourist counter on the day
- Beware of touts who try and convince you not to go to the tourist desk
- Check your PNR on the Clear trip or Indian Rail app a few times in advance for signs of trains running early (yes, it happens) late (considerably, often) or for spontaneous upgrades to your ticket
Things to bring when travelling sleeper class:
- Make sure to bring a chain or bikelock to lock your back safely away while you sleep. Tip: I have a simple plastic-coated bike lock which does a fantastic job, and costs a fraction of the price of speciality travel-locks from travel stores. This is one item you can definitely cut costs on.
- Sleeper class is an excellent way to experience the real India experience, but BYO blankets and pillows! Tip: If you’re limited on space (like me) I take a pillowcase or laundry bag and stuff it full of my clean scarves and sweaters to create a pillow on the go.
- My sleeping liner is an absolute godsend. It provides a safe space to curl up in, and provides added privacy as your legs won’t pop out in the night. Tip: I have a bug-proof treated one that is antibacterial and has a pocket inside to keep my important smaller bits and pieces safe and secure. I currently have a cotton one, which works well, but the silk ones are even nicer (and way smaller/lighter)
- Except on certain routes, food is not provided. The selections at the train station are lacking in imagination, so bring something tasty of your own.