Arriving in India and Travelling to RUCH
The following information will assist arriving volunteers and visitors in the reaching RUCHI complex.
Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport is the closest port of entry to RUCHI. Unless you plan to travel immediately from the airport to RUCHI, you will need to arrange accommodation in Delhi. Well known guide books such as Lonely Planet and Rough Guide provide accommodation details for all budgets. It is recommended that you book a room in a hotel for the first night that offers an airport pick up.
For movements from Delhi airport to the train station
Pre-paid taxis are the recommended means of travel from the airport to your accommodation or train station. The cost of a taxi (yellow and black) from international airport to New Delhi railway station is about INR 400. There is 25% surcharge on that if the travel is done during 11 PM and 5 AM. There are pre-paid counters at the arrival hall (one immediately once through customs, after the passage through green or red channel and the other one outside the arrival hall). Pre-paid taxi booths are located inside and outside of the airport arrival hall (look for the signs). There is also an Airport Express metro train connecting IGI airport with the New Delhi railway station. For those going straight to ISBT Kashmeri gate, the deluxe AC bus leaving from counter No. 18 of the airport (ground floor) is recommended.
New Delhi train station is about 45 minutes ride from the airport.
Reaching the RUCHI campus will not be straightforward for first time volunteers and visitors, as the small village of Bandh in which RUCHI is located is not widely known, However the nearby towns of Chandigarh and Kalka are along main road and rail transport routes, and can easily be reached by bus or train. RUCHI staff can then pick you up from either of these towns, on request and at your cost, and transport you to the RUCHI complex.
Trains from Delhi to Chandigarh
Below is a list of trains from Delhi to Chandigarh (confirm times with station). All trains except the Jan Shatabdi Express continue on to Kalka (a further one hour from Chandigarh by train). Seats on these trains will need to be booked at least one day in advance, from the station of departure. If you are early at the station you can easily get tickets for these trains on the day at the current counter. It is only in peak season that one should buy tickets in advance.
The only advice I can give to you is to avoid agents/pimps who might surround you at the railway station and try to persuade you to take a taxi to Kalka/Chandigarh saying that all trains are full or your train is cancelled or your ticket is not genuine or…. If you need assistance please contact railway officials.
Shatabadi train normally leaves from Platform No. 1 and is more expensive by Rs. 200 than the Himalayan Queen. It will cost approximately INR 600 (US$10) for Chandigarh. You will need to call the RUCHI offices in advance to advise your time of arrival in Chandigarh or Kalka – Phone 08679078500 or cell 09805836960 (Mr. Mukesh Kumar). There are STD/ISD/PCO booths located everywhere in Delhi, just look for the signs. There is a meter to monitor the cost of the call, but it will not be expensive (approximately Rs. 1.50 per minute).
Alternatively if you do not get on the train you should take a 3 wheel auto rickshaw from outside the railway station or metro train from the New Delhi station and head for ISBT Kashmere Gate (or Kashmeri Gate), Delhi where you can board the Bus for Chandigarh. These do not need to be booked. Standard public buses leave for Chandigarh every 10 minutes (cost 250 rupees). Deluxe air conditioned buses leave every half hour. Deluxe buses are comfortable, swift (5 hours to Chandigarh) and cost approximately 520 rupees. The Deluxe bus is the recommended option compared to the Standard public bus to Chandigarh.
For movements within Delhi, the yellow and green auto-rickshaws are often the best choice. Use one with a working meter, or negotiate the price beforehand.
Travelling all the way to the RUCHI
Below is a map to assist those people confident in travelling all the way to the RUCHI complex themselves. There are frequent buses travelling north to Kalka/Solan/Shimla etc., leaving from the Chandigarh bus station. There are two main options:
- Take a bus north, and exit at Parwanoo. Then catch another bus to Patta. From Patta you can catch another bus to Bandh and RUCHI, but these buses are less frequent. It is 5km from Patta to Bandh, and the RUCHI complex is a further 1km along the road.
- Take a bus north, and exit at Pinjore. Take a bus/taxi to Barotiwala, and from here catch a bus to Patta. Then as in 1. above.