Take the 2-minute tour ×
Travel Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've read that trains in India are very busy and its best to book in advance. So where is the best website to book online? I've found the site www.cleartrip.com and www.makemytrip.com - both of which seem to have a straight forward website, however I found loads of reviews that basically condemn them (i.e. http://www.mouthshut.com/websites/Cleartrip-com-Reviews-925062909)

The journeys I need to book for November are:

Delhi - Varanasi Varanasi - Agra Agra - Jodhpur Jodhpur - Jaipur

Is it best to book online? If not what's the best way of booking?

share|improve this question
1  
Don't think too much about the reviews. Usually, we only leave a review on Mouthshut.com when we are not happy with the service. When we are happy (which is countless times) we normally do not leave a review. The other biggies like MakeMyTrip.com 83% 1-star reviews and Yatra.com 77% 1-star reviews have equally bad reviews. I have used all three services and it has been good for me, so far. –  escist Oct 26 '12 at 12:30
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Have a read of the How to Book Indian Train Tickets from Outside of India section of Seat61. It details exactly what you need to do to get an account (depending on the credit card you plan to use), how to get it verified, and then information on booking the tickets.

It's fiddly, takes a couple of days, but I can confirm that it works as I used it last month to book tickets!

(You'll end up using the official booking sites, either IRCTC or ClearTrip depending on your credit card, but the process of registering for them as a foreigner without an Indian mobile phone is fiddly so you'll need to follow the Seat61 advice!)

share|improve this answer
add comment

Please use the Official Site where you can book railway tickets in advance up to 4 months. Please try to refrain from using other travel sites as they might charge extra money.

I've been using this site for a long time. Also, you can use eRail to find comprehensive information regarding the trains, travel time, average speed, fares etc.

share|improve this answer
3  
I have since tried registering with the official site which required me to email them sending a scan of my passport for them to send me the mobile activation code via email. However, when it came to booking it seems that although they do accept VISA cards now, they only accept VISA cards issued by certain Indian banks. So it looks like cleartrip is the only way to book if you are not from India. –  David Masters Oct 25 '12 at 8:15
add comment

There is an official website (irctc.co.in) maintained by the Indian Government to book railway tickets online.

This is used by most of the people in India (if not all), including me. I don't think there should be any problem for people from outside India, though I also admit I never confirmed it.

makemytrip & cleartrip simply connect to the api's provided to them, plus they add a fee.

share|improve this answer
    
As the link describes....foreigners can use the official site if they have an american express card...the third party sites allow for Visa to be used? –  David Masters Sep 16 '12 at 17:10
    
The resource is a bit outdated I suppose. Cause I have been able to use my Visa card for all the bookings over the past 9 months @ irctc.co.in. –  loxxy Sep 17 '12 at 2:18
    
You can only use IRCTC if you have an Indian mobile phone number, or you follow the Seat61.com instructions for how to work around it (tricky but possible!). Likewise, it'll apparently only accept Indian Visa and MasterCards, but it accepts Amex cards from all over the world –  Gagravarr Sep 17 '12 at 9:41
    
Just to confirm, I tried using the IRCTC site after the workaround for the indian mobile issue, and it does indeed now accept VISA cards. HOWEVER, only VISA cards provided by Indian banks! –  David Masters Oct 25 '12 at 10:57
add comment

it's the only way to book an India train with IRCTC if you are a foreigner...

If you follow the instruction, everything should run smoothly and you will be able to book your train, pay with your foreign credit card and print your tickets now! It worked for me!!!

youtube instruction

share|improve this answer
1  
That's your own video. Please indicate your association with stuff you are affiliated with, as per SE rules, and also indicate in this answer the instructions in the video. Otherwise what happens if the video is removed? This answer would become useless :/ –  Mark Mayo Aug 7 '13 at 4:07
add comment

protected by Ankur Banerjee Aug 7 '13 at 8:02

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.