• Transport system in India consists of transport by land, water, and air.
  • Public transport remains the primary mode of transport for most Indian citizens, and India’s public transport systems are among the most heavily used in the world.
  • Motor vehicle population in India is low as per international standards, with only 24.85 million cars on the nation’s roads as per 2013 records.
  • In total, about 21 percent of households have two wheelers whereas only 4.7 percent of households in India have cars/jeeps/vans as per the 2011 Census.
  • Despite this, the number of deaths caused by traffic is amongst the highest in the world and increasing.
  • The automobile industry in India is currently rapidly growing with an annual production of over 4.6 million vehicles, with an annual growth rate of 10.5% and vehicle volume is expected to rise greatly in the future.

Roads 🗺️1

  • Roads handle around 60% of freight and 87% passenger traffic in the country.
  • Road transport is vital to India’s economy.
  • It enables the country’s transportation sector to contribute 4.7 percent towards India’s gross domestic product, in comparison to railways that contributed 1 percent, in 2009–2010.
  • Road transport has gained its importance over the years despite significant barriers and inefficiencies in inter-state freight and passenger movement compared to railways and air.
  • The government of India considers road network as critical to the country’s development, social integration and security needs of the country.
  • India’s road network carries over 65 percent of its freight and about 85 percent of passenger traffic.

Road classification 🗺️1

National Highways

  • Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
  • 101,011 km
  • 1.80 %

State Highways

  • Public Works Department of State/Union Territory
  • 176,166 km
  • 3.14 %

Other PWD Roads

  • Public Works Department of State/Union Territory
  • 561,940 km
  • 10.03 %

Rural Roads

  • Panchayats, JRY and PMGSY
  • 3,935,337 km
  • 70.23 %

Urban Roads

  • Local governments and municipalities
  • 509,730 km
  • 10.10 %

Project Roads

  • Various State/Union territory government departments, and SAIL, NMDC and BRO
  • 319,109 km
  • 5.70 %


  • N/A
  • 5,603,293 km
  • 100 %


  • Expressways make up approximately 1,208 km (751 mi) of India’s road network, as of 2013. These high-speed roads are four-lane or six-lane, predominantly access controlled.
  • India’s first Expressway, the Delhi Noida Direct Flyway (also known as DND Flyway), is an expressway connecting the cities of Delhi and Noida in the states of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The 165 km Yamuna Expressway, a six-laned controlled-access opened on 9 August 2012. On 21 November 2016, India’s longest expressway – the 302 km long six-laned Agra Lucknow Expressway was opened.
  • While the start of several expressway projects such as the Ganga Expressway have been delayed for 3 or more years, because of litigation and bureaucratic procedures.
  • The government has drawn up a target to lay 18,637 kilometer network of brand new expressways by 2022. Most of the existing expressways in India are toll roads.

National Highways

  • The main highways running through the length and breadth of the country connecting major ports, state capitals, large industrial and tourist centres, etc.
  • National Highways in India are designated as NH followed by the highway number.
  • Indian national highways are further classified based on the width of carriageway of the highway.
  • As of March 2016, India had completed and placed in use 1,01,011 km of national highways.
  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is the authority responsible for the development, maintenance and management of National Highways entrusted to it.
  • The NHAI is undertaking the developmental activities under National Highways Development Project (NHDP) in 5 phases.
  • From 2018, the pending projects under NHDP will be subsumed under Bharatmala.
  • The NHAI is also responsible for implementing other projects on National Highways, primarily road connectivity to major ports in India.

How Indian Highways are numbered?

  • All North-South highways will carry EVEN number
  • All East-West highways will have ODD numbers
  • All major Highways will be single digit or double digit in number
  • North-South highways will increase their numbers from East to West. For example, a particular North-South highway in Central India or Western India will have a higher number than the one in East India.
  • Three digit numbered highways are secondary routes or branches of a main highway. For example, 144, 244, 344 etc will be the branches of the main National highway 44.
  • Suffixes A, B, C, D etc are added to the three digit sub highways to indicate very small spin-offs or stretches of sub-highways. For example, 966A, 527B etc



NH 1       





Batote-Doda-Kishtwar-Sinthan pass – Khanabal


Domel to Katra



NH 2

Delhi-Mathura-Agra-Kanpur-Allahabad-Varanasi-Mohania-Barhi Palsit-Baidyabati-Bara-Calcutta – 1490 km


Sikandra to Bhognipur


Burdwan – Bolpur road (via Talit, Guskara and Bhedia)

NH 3


NH 4

Junction with National Highways No. 3 near Thane-Pune Belgaum-Hubli-Bangalore-Ranipet-Chennai



NH 4A  



Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust near Km 109-Palaspe

NH 5

Junction with National Highways No. 6 near Baharagora-Cuttack Bhubaneshwar-Visakhapatnam -Vijayawada-Chennai


Junction with National Highway No. 5 near Haridaspur-Paradip Port

NH 6

Hajira-Dhule-Nagpur-Raipur-Sambalpur-Baharagora-Calcutta – 1932 km

NH 7

Varanasi-Mangawan-Rewa-Jabalpur-Lakhnadon-Nagpur-Hyderabad-Kurnool-Bangalore-Krishnagiri-Salem-Dindigul-Madurai-Cape-Kanyakumari- 2372 km


Palayamkottai-Tuticorin Port

NH 8

Delhi-Jaipur-Ajmer-Udaipur-Ahmedabad-Vadodara-Mumbai – 1428 km


Ahmedabad-Limbdi-Morvi-Kandla-Mandvi-Vikhari-Kothra-Naliya Narayan Sarovar








Chiloda to Sarkhej




Somnath to Bhavnagar

NH 9


NH 10

Delhi-Fazilka-Indo Pak Border

NH 11


NH 11A


NH 12

Jabalpur-Bhopal-Khilchipur-Aklera-Jhalawar-Kota-Bundi-Deoli Tonk-Jaipur



NH 18

Junction with NH 7 near Kurnool and Nandyal to Cuddapah and Junction with NH 4 near Chittoor

NH 19


NH 20

Pathankot -Mandi

NH 21

Junction with National Highway No. 22 near Chandigarh-Ropar-Bilaspur-Mandi-Kullu-Manali

NH 22

Ambala to Indo China Border near Shipkila

NH 23

Chas-Ranchi-Rourkela-Talcher- Junction with National Highway No. 42

NH 24

Delhi- Bareilly-Lucknow

NH 27

Allahabad to Mangawan

NH 29

Gorakhpur to Varanasi



NH 30

Junction with NH 2 near Mohania and Patna to Bakhtiyarpur

NH 35

Barasat to Petrapole on
India and Bangladesh border

NH 39

Numaligarh to Palel and
Indo Burma Border

NH 47

Salem to Kanyakumari

NH 47A

Junction with NH 47 at Kundanoor to Willington Island in Kochi

NH 47C

Junction with NH 47 at Kalamassery to Vallarpadam ICTT in Kochi

NH 55

Siliguri to Darjeeling



NH 56

Lucknow to Varanasi

NH 58

Delhi to Mana Pass

NH 79

Ajmer-Nasirabad-MP border

NH 151

Karimganj – Bangladesh Border

NH 152

Patacharkuchi-Bhutan border

NH 153

Ledo – Lekhapani – Indo / Myanmar – Border

NH 233

The highway starting from India/Nepal border (connecting to Lumbini) via Naugarh, Siddharthnagar, Bansi, Basti, Tanda, Azamgarh and terminating at Varans

State Highways

  • State highways in India are numbered highways that are laid and maintained by the state governments.
  • It only links a state capital with different district . It is constructed and maintained by the states’ Public Works Department.
  • The state highways are usually roads that link important cities, towns and district headquarters within the state and connect them with National Highways or highways of neighbouring states.
  • These highways provide connections to industries or places from key areas in the state making them more accessible.
  • State Governments have the authority and responsibility to build road networks and state highways. Most of the state highways are developed by State PWD.
  • The State Highways provide linkages with the National Highways, district headquarters, important towns, tourist centers and minor ports and carry the traffic along major centers within the state.
  • As of 31 March 2016, the total length of state highways was 176,166 km.
  • As of 31 March 2016 Maharashtra has the largest share in the total length of SH roads (22.14%), followed by Karnataka (11.11%), Gujarat (9.76%), Rajasthan (8.62%) and Tamil Nadu (6.67%)

District Roads

  • These are important roads within a district connecting areas of production with markets and connecting them with the State Highways & National Highways and are maintained by the Zila Parishad.
  • District roads are sub-classified into – Major District Roads and Other District Roads.
  • As per the classification of roads broadly the MDRs are to have a minimum width of 15 metres with traffic density of less than 10,000 PCUs but more than 5000 PCUs.
  • It also connects Taluka headquarters and rural areas to District headquarters within the state.
  • As on 31 March 2016, the total length of district roads was approximately 561,940 km of which 94.93% of the total length were surfaced.

Village Roads

  • The rural roads in India forms a substantial portion of the Indian road network, constituting 70.23 percent of the total roads in India (as of March 2016).
  • As of March 2016, the percentage of unsurfaced rural roads to the total rural road length (excluding 9 lakh kilometres of JRY) was 66.15%.

National Highways Development Project

  • The National Highways Development Project (NHDP) is a project to upgrade, rehabilitate and widen major highways in India to a higher standard.
  • The project was started in 1998 under the leadership of Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • National Highways account for only about 2% of the total length of roads, but carry about 40% of the total traffic across the length and breadth of the country.
  • This project is managed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) under the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways.
  • The NHDP represents 49,260 km of roads and highways work and construction in order to boost economic development of the country.
  • The government has planned to end the NHDP program in early 2018 and consume the ongoing projects under a larger Bharatmala project.

Project Phases

The project is composed of the following phases:

Phase I: The Golden Quadrilateral (GQ; 5,846 km) connecting the four major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. This project connecting four metro cities, is 5,846 km (3,633 mi). Total cost of the project is Rs.300 billion (US$6.8 billion), funded largely by the government’s special petroleum product tax revenues and government borrowing. In January 2012, India announced the four-lane GQ highway network as complete.
Phase II: North-South and East-West corridors comprising national highways connecting four extreme points of the country. The North–South and East–West Corridor (NS-EW; 7,142 km) connecting Srinagar in the north to Kanyakumari in the south, including spur from Salem to Kanyakumari (Via Coimbatore and Kochi) and Silchar in the east to Porbandar in the west. Total length of the network is 7,142 km (4,438 mi). As of 31 October 2016, 90.99% of the project had been completed, 5.47% of the project work is under Implementation and 3.52% of the total length is left. It also includes Port connectivity and other projects — 435 km (270 mi). The final completion date to 28 February 2009 at a cost of Rs.350 billion (US$8 billion), with funding similar to Phase I.
Phase III: The government on 12 April 2007 approved NHDP-III to upgrade 12,109 km (7,524 mi)of national highways on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis, which takes into account high-density traffic, connectivity of state capitals via NHDP Phase I and II, and connectivity to centres of economic importance.
Phase IV: The government on 18 June 2008 approved widening 20,000 km (12,000 mi) of highway that were not part of Phase I, II, or III. Phase IV will convert existing single-lane highways into two lanes with paved shoulders.
Phase V: As road traffic increases over time, a number of four-lane highways will need to be upgraded/expanded to six lanes. On 5 October 2006 the government approved for upgrade of about 5,000 km (3,100 mi) of four-lane roads.
Phase VI: The government is working on constructing 1,000 km (620 mi) expressways that would connect major commercial and industrial townships. It has already identified 400 km (250 mi) of Vadodara (earlier Baroda)-Mumbai section that would connect to the existing Vadodara (earlier Baroda)-Ahmedabad section. The World Bank is studying this project. The project will be funded on BOT basis. The 334 km (208 mi) Expressway between Chennai—Bangalore and 277 km (172 mi) Expressway between Kolkata—Dhanbad has been identified and feasibility study and DPR contract has been awarded by NHAI.
Phase VII: This phase calls for improvements to city road networks by adding ring roads to enable easier connectivity with national highways to important cities. In addition, improvements will be made to stretches of national highways that require additional flyovers and bypasses given population and housing growth along the highways and increasing traffic. The government has planned to invest Rs. 16,680 Cr for this phase. The 19 km (12 mi) long Chennai Port—Maduravoyal Elevated Expressway is being executed under this phase.

Bharatmala Pariyojana

Bharatmala Pariyojana (Project) is a centrally-sponsored and funded Road and Highways project of the Government of India. The total investment for 83,677 km (51,994 mi) committed new highways is estimated at ₹5.35 lakh crore (US$75 billion), making it the single largest outlay for a government road construction scheme (as of December 2017). The project will build highways from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and then cover the entire string of Himalayan states – Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand – and then portions of borders of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar alongside Terai, and move to West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and right up to the Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur and Mizoram. Special emphasis will be given on providing connectivity to far-flung border and rural areas including the tribal and backward areas. Bharatmala Project will interconnect 550 District Headquarters (from current 300) through a minimum 4-lane highway by raising the number of corridors to 50 (from current 6) and move 80% freight traffic (40% currently) to National Highways by interconnecting 24 logistics parks, 66 inter-corridors (IC) of total 8,000 km (5,000 mi), 116 feeder routes (FR) of total 7,500 km (4,700 mi) and 7 north east Multi-Modal waterway ports.

Logistic Efficiency Enhancement Programme (LEEP)

This programme rests around 4 pillars:

Freight aggregation
Freight distribution
Multimodal freight movement
Storage and warehousing Value-added services such as custom clearances.

Through addressing these, the programme aims to enhance freight transportation in India through improving cost, time by as much as 10% and tracking and transferability of consignments through infrastructure, procedural and Information Technology (IT) interventions.

Under the first phase of LEEP, USD 5 billion have been allocated for development of multi modal logistics parks and 15 locations have been identified for this purpose. These parks will ensure that shifting from one mode of transport to another does not result in excessive time loss and wastage in handling.

Ashgabat Agreement

The Ashgabat agreement is a multimodal transport agreement between the governments of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Pakistan, India and Oman for creating an international transport and transit corridor facilitating transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf. The agreement came into force in April 2016. Ashgabat in Turkmenistan is the depository state for the agreement.
The agreement was originally signed by Iran, Oman, Qatar, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on April 25, 2011. Qatar subsequently withdrew from the agreement in 2013, the same year Kazakhstan applied for membership, which was eventually approved in 2015. Pakistan has also joined the Agreement from November 2016. India formally joined in February 2018.


Country-wide rail services in India, are provided by the state-run Indian Railways under the supervision of the Ministry of Railways. IR is divided into eighteen zones including the Kolkata Metro Railway. The IR are further sub-divided into sixty seven divisions, each having a divisional headquarters.

The railway network travels through the length and breadth of the country, covering more than 7,000 stations over a total route length of more than 65,000 km (40,000 mi) and track length of about 115,000 km (71,000 mi).
About 22,224 km or 34% of the route-kilometre was electrified as on 31 March 2012.
IR provides an important mode of transport in India, transporting over 18 million passengers and more than 2 million tons of freight daily across one of the largest and busiest rail networks in the world.
IR is the world’s largest commercial or utility employer, with more than 1.4 million employees. As to rolling stock, IR owns over 200,000 (freight) wagons, 50,000 coaches and 8,000 locomotives. It also owns locomotive and coach production facilities. It operates both long distance and suburban rail systems on a network of broad gauge.


9.116 billion (2018)


1.106 billion tonnes (2017)

System length



  • 67,368 km (41,861 mi) (route)
  • 121,407 km (75,439 mi) (total track)


  • 25,367 km (15,762 mi) (route)
  • 48,239 km (29,974 mi) (running track)

Longest tunnel

Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel, 11.215 km (6.969 mi)

Track gauge


1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
broad gauge

61,680 km 

1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1/2 in)
standard gauge

Not available

1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3/8 in)
metre gauge

3,479 km 

Two narrow gauges, 762 mm
(2 ft 6 in) and 610 mm (2 ft)

2,208 km

At present India has the second largest railway network in Asia and the fourth largest in the world after the USA (2, 27,736 km), Russia (2, 22,293 km), and China (87,157 km). But India tops world’s leading countries with regard to passenger/ kilometre earned.

It is the largest public sector undertaking of the country comprising a vast network of 6,906 stations spread over a route length of 63,122 km with a fleet of 7,681 locomotives, 39,852 passenger service vehicles, 4,904 other coaching vehicles and 2,14,760 wagons as on 31 March 2003. The growth of Indian Railways has been phenomenal indeed.

Development and Growth of Indian Railways

The first railway line in India was opened for public traffic on 16 April, 1853 between Mumbai and Thane over a distance of 34 km. This line was extended to Kalyan on 1 May, 1854 and to Khopoli on 12 May, 1856. The Khandala-Pune section was opened to traffic on 14 June, 1858.

Meanwhile, the construction of the railway lines was going on in eastern part of the country and the first section of the East Indian Railway, from Haora to Hugli, a distance of 37 km was inaugurated on 15 August, 1854. The Haora-Hugli section was extended to Pundooah on 1 Sept, 1854 and to Raniganj Coal Mines on 3 Feb, 1855.

The line from Kanpur to Allahabad was opened in 1859 and the Haora-Khana-Rajmahal section was completed in 1860. Mughal Sarai also appeared on the railway’ map of India in 1862. In 1860, the Kanpur-Etawah section was opened to traffic and between 1862 and 1866 all the gaps between Howrah and Delhi were filled.

The southern part of the country did not lag behind and got its first 105 km long railway line from Royapuram to Arcot in 1856. This line was extended to Kadalundi (near Calicut) on the west coast in 1861. The Jolar Pettai-Bangalore Cantonment section was opened in 1864.

In 1870, the all-rail route between Kolkata and Mumbai started functioning and the main line from Mughal Sarai to Lahore (now in Pakistan) was completed. In 1871, the Mumbai-Chennai route was also opened. Thus within a short span of 18 years from 1853 to 1871, most of the important cities of India were connected by rail.

The total route kilometreage in 1870 was 7,680 km which rose to 39,834 km by the turn of 19th century and to 66,234 by 31 March, 1940. As on 15 August 1947, Indian Railways consisted of 65,217 km out of which 10,523 km went to Pakistan, leaving India with 54,694 km.

Factors affecting Railways

1. Geographical factors:

The North Indian plain with its level land, high density of population and rich agriculture presents the most favourable conditions for the development of railways. However, the presence of large number of rivers makes it necessary to construct bridges which involve heavy expenditure.

There are practically no railways in the flood plains of many rivers in Bihar and Assam. The plateau region of south India is not as much suitable for railways as the North Plain area. The Himalayan region in the north is almost entirely devoid of railways due to its rugged topography.

Some railway terminals such as Jammu Tawi, Kotdwar, Dehra Dun, Kathgodam, etc. are found on the foothills. Some narrow gauge railway tracks are found in the Himalayan region. A railway link between Jammu and Kashmir valley is being planned at a very high cost. The sandy areas of Rajasthan are also not much favourable for railways.

There was no railway line between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer till 1966. Similarly, forested areas of Madhya Pradesh and Orissa, deltaic swamps of West Bengal, marshy areas of Rann of Kachchh and hilly tract of Sahyadri are also unfavourable for the development of railways.

Sahyadri can only be crossed through gaps like Thalghat, Bhorghat and Palghat to reach coastal trail heads like Mumbai, Vasco-de-Gama, Mangalore and Kochi. Obviously, the railways tend to follow the path of least resistance.

2. Economic factors:

Railways develop more in the economically advanced areas where the need for railway network is felt more. Conversely, railways bring economic prosperity to the areas through which they pass. This is because of the economic linkages that we find the highest density of railways near big urban and industrial centres and in areas which are rich in mineral and agricultural resources.

3. Political and Administrative factors:

The present railway system in India is the legacy of the British rule. The British administration planned the direction and pattern of the railway lines in such a way that they could exploit the valuable raw materials of India for the benefit of their industries and flood the Indian markets with the finished goods from Britain.

Besides, the Britishers wanted to maintain their military supremacy, for which quick movement of troops and arms was necessary and construction of railways became unavoidable. Thus, top priority was given to the big ports of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. These ports were connected with their hinterlands by railway lines to facilitate imports and exports. It is from the ports that the railway network spread to the other parts of the country.

Distribution of Indian Railways:

1. The North Indian Plain:

This region has a dense network of railways from Amritsar to Haora. This is a plain area which is very much suitable for the construction of railways. This densely populated region has highly developed agriculture and industry. Large scale urbanisation has also helped in the development of the railways. The density of railway network is closely related to the agricultural and industrial development.

There are a few focal points such as Delhi, Kanpur, Mughal Sarai, Lucknow, Agra and Patna. However, Delhi is the main point from where railway lines radiate in all directions. For political, administrative and economic reasons, Delhi is connected with major ports like Mumbai, Kolkata, Haora and Chennai through superfast trains.

2. The Peninsular Plateau:

The whole of peninsular plateau has hilly and plateau terrain which hinders the development of railways. The population density is also moderate. For such reasons, excepting, Saurashtra and Tamil Nadu, a relatively open and more loose network has developed here.

However, some trunk routes cross the peninsula and provide efficient rail service between Mumbai- Chennai,’ Chennai-Kochi, Chennai-Delhi, Mumbai-Kolkata, Chennai-Hyderabad and Mumbai- Thiruvananthapuram.

3. The Himalayan Region:

Railways are conspicuous by their absence in the Himalayan region. The rugged terrain, hill and valley topography, backward economy and sparse population are the factors responsible for the sparse rail network in this region. There are only three narrow gauge railway lines in the Himalayan region. These are Kalka-Shimla, Pathankot-Kangra and Siliguri-Darjeeling.

The Kalka-Shimla Railway built in 1903 winds itself through picturesque country from Kalka to Shimfa over a distance of 96.6 km. It has 103 tunnels, totalling 8 km in length; the longest tunnel is 1,144 – metre. The railway track from Kalka to Shimla passes over 869 bridges.

The Siliguri-Darjeeling Railway is 82 km long and was constructed in 1878. There is practically no railway line in the north­eastern states of Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland.

These areas have rough terrain covered with thick forests. The population is sparse and the economy is in a backward state. Construction of railways under these conditions is a difficult and costly affair. However, plans are afoot to provide rail links to Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura, although at a very heavy cost.

The recently constructed 55 km long Jammu Tawi-Udhampur railway line is the first segment of an ambitious and most challenging programme of connecting Baramula with Jammu, thereby providing rail services to areas of rough mountainous terrain of Jammu and Kashmir. Although the work on Jammu Tawi-Udhampur railway line was started in 1984, it took 21 years to construct 55 km long railway line and the first railway service on this line started on 13 April 2005 only.

This rail line runs through a difficult hilly terrain and unstable geological formation. It has 21 tunnels, the largest being 2.4 km across the Shiwalik Range. The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramula rail line will have 80 tunnels measuring 90 km in length. The highest and the longest tunnel will pass through Pir Panjal range and would be of 14.5 km length. Another tunnel of 1 km will pass through Patnitop.

4. The Coastal Plains:

There is a distinct contrast in the rail network between eastern coastal plains and western coastal plains. The eastern coastal plain is quite wide and permits the construction of railways, as a result of which, there is a long trunk route along the east coast from Kolkata to Chennai.

But such a route has been eluding the western coastal plain since long. This is due to the structure and relief of the area. The outcrops of the Western Ghats are very close to the coast, especially near Goa and make the construction of railway lines a difficult task.

However, the completion of Konkan Railway Line from Roha to Mangalore is a dream comes true. It passes through several tunnels and over numerous bridges. This line has the longest tunnel in the country 6.5 km long, about 23 km south of Ratnagiri.

It has become the life line of the western coastal plain. The total saving in travel distance is Mangalore-Mumbai (1,050 km), Mangalore-Ahmedabad (1,218 km), Mangalore-Delhi (707 km) and Kochi-Mumbai (437 km).

The above description leads us to the conclusion that railway services are unevenly distributed in India. The maximum concentration of railway network is found in the Indo-Gangetic plain followed by the peninsular plateau. The railways are practically absent from the Himalayan region. Such a lop­sided railway development has kept many areas away from the railway routes.

Railway Zones

Zonal Railways


Central Railway

Mumbai CST

Eastern Railway


Northern Railway

New Delhi

North Eastern Railway


NE Frontier Railway

Maligaqn (Guwahati)

Zonal Railways


Southern Railway


South Central Railway


South Eastern Railway


Western Railway

Church Gate, Mumbai

East Central Railway


East Coast Railway


Zonal Railways


East Coast Railway


North Central Railway


North Western Railway


South East Central Railway


South Western Railway


West Central Railway


Luxury-Train Services

  • The Palace on Wheels is a luxury-train service, frequently hauled by a steam locomotive, to promote tourism in Rajasthan. The train has a seven-night, eight-day itinerary on a round trip from New Delhi via Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur and Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur and Agra.
  • Royal Rajasthan on Wheels covers a number of tourist destinations in Rajasthan. The seven-day, eight-night tour is a round trip from New Delhi’s Safdarjung station via Jodhpur, Udaipur and Chittaurgarh, Ranthambore National Park and Jaipur, Khajuraho, Varanasi and Sarnath, and Agra.
  • Maharajas’ Express, a luxury train operated by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), runs on five routes to about 12 destinations across north-West and central India (centered around Rajasthan) from October to April.
  • The Deccan Odyssey covers tourist destinations in Maharashtra and Goa. Its seven-night, eight-day tour begins in Mumbai and stops at Jaigad Fort, Ganapatipule and Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Tarkarli and Sawantwadi, Goa, Kolhapur and Pune (Day 5), Aurangabad and Ellora Caves, and Ajanta Caves and Nashik. The Golden Chariot runs on two tours: Pride of the South[84] and Splendor of the South.
  • The Golden Chariot is a luxury train service.
  • The Mahaparinirvan Express, an air-conditioned service also known as the Buddhist Circuit Train, is run by the IRCTC for Buddhist pilgrims. Its seven-night, eight-day tour begins in New Delhi and visits Bodh Gaya, Rajgir and Nalanda, Varanasi and Sarnath, Kushinagar and Lumbini, Sravasti and the Taj Mahal.
  • The Fairy Queen, a tourist attraction as the world’s oldest operating steam engine, hauls a luxury train from Delhi to Alwar.

Metro Rails (Functioning)

 Kolkata (First mass rapid transit system in India)
 Delhi
 Bangalore (Wifi Enabled)
 Mumbai (Public Private Partnership)
 Jaipur
 Chennai
 Gurgaon (India’s first fully privately financed metro + India’s first fully privately financed metro stations)

International links

Rail links between India and neighbouring countries are not well-developed. Two trains operate to Pakistan—the Samjhauta Express between Delhi and Lahore, and the Thar Express between Jodhpur and Karachi. Bangladesh is connected by a biweekly train, the Maitree Express that runs from Kolkata to Dhaka and a weekly train, the Bandhan Express that runs from Kolkata to Khulna. Two rail links to Nepal exist—passenger services between Jainagar and Bijalpura, and freight services between Raxaul and Birganj.

No rail link exists with Myanmar but a railway line is to be built through from Jiribam (in Manipur) to Tamu through Imphal and Moreh.The construction of this missing link, as per the feasibility study conducted by the Ministry of External Affairs through RITES Ltd, is estimated to cost ₹29.41 billion (US$410 million). An 18 km railway link with Bhutan is being constructed from Hashimara in West Bengal to Toribari in Bhutan. No rail link exists with either China or Sri Lanka.

Recent Projects

Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed corridor will have a high speed train, with financial assistance from the Japanese Government. The Shinkansen high speed technology will be used in this train. “National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited”, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) has been formed for the implementation of this project. Indian railways will hold 50% of the equity in the SPV. The project cost is estimated at 1.10 Lakh Crore. Financial assistance has been provided by the Japanese government in the form of a loan upto 81% of the project cost to be repaid in 50 years with a 15 year moratorium at a nominal interest rate of 0.1%. The foundation stone for India’s first high speed rail project was laid by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Sabarmati Station Ground, located in Ahmedabad. The Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) project will cover a distance of 508 kms and is expected to be completed by 2022 (earlier scheduled to be completed by 2023).

The project fulfills the twin complimentary objectives of “Make In India” and employment generation. It is expected to give a stimulus to manufacture of advanced components and create about 15 lakh jobs in India.

Shinkansen Technology

Shinkansen means “new trunk lines” in literal terms, which refers to the high speed rail network in Japan. The train attains a high speed without having to compromise on comfort and safety, through the use of this technology. Unlike conventional rail lines, Shinkansen routes are strictly off-limits to any other kind of traffic. This network makes use of viaducts and tunnels to go through the obstacles, rather than going around them, thereby saving time spent on covering the distance. Due to the lighter vehicles used, chances of damage to the tracks is minimal. These trains offer fast acceleration & deceleration and are electric multiple units.

Silver Line project

It involves laying of semi high-speed trains between the two corners of the state of Kerala.
It is 532- km long. The corridor will be built away from the existing line between Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur.
It aims to connect major districts and towns with semi high-speed trains that will run on their own tracks.
The Kerala Rail Development Corporation (K-Rail), a joint venture between the Ministry of Railways and the Kerala government to execute projects on a cost-sharing basis, will be the nodal agency.

Diamond Quadrilateral

High speed rails project connecting Delhi – Mumbai – Kolkata – Chennai

Freight Corridor Projects

Amritsar-KolakataPunjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand & WBWholly by GOI, funded by WB
Mumbai BengaluruMH, KarnatakaBritain
Chennai-BengaluruKarnataka, TN, Andhra (Rayalaseema region)JICA (Japan International cooperation Agency)
Delhi Mumbai (launched & Biggest)UP, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Air Transport

Air Transport is the fastest means of movement from one place to the other. It has reduced distances by minimizing the travel time. It is very essential for a vast country like India, where distances are large and the terrain and climatic conditions are diverse.
Air transport in India made a beginning in 1911 when airmail operation commenced over a little distance of 10 km between Allahabad and Naini. But its real development took place in post-Independent period. The Airport Authority of India is responsible for providing safe, efficient air traffic and aeronautical communication services in the Indian Air Space. The authority manages 126 airports including 11 international, 86 domes- tic and 29 civil enclaves at defence air fields.
The air transport in India is managed by two corporations. Air India and Indian .Airlines after, nationalization. Now many private companies have also started passenger services.

History of Indian Airlines
1911 – Air transport in India was launched between Allahabad and Naini.
1947 – Air transport was provided by four major companies namely Indian National Airways. Tata Sons Limited, Air Services of India and Deccan Airways.
1951 – Four more companies joined the services, . Bharat Airways, Himalayan Aviation Limited, Airways India and Kalinga Airlines.
1953 – Air transport was nationalized and two Corporations. Air India International and Indian Airlines were formed. Now Indian Airlines is known as ‘Indian’.

Air India: Air India provides International Air Services for both passengers and cargo traffic. It connects all the continents of the world through its services. In 2005, it carried 12.2 million passengers and 4.8 lakh metric tons of cargo. About 52 per cent of the total air traffic was handled only at Mumbai and Delhi airports. In 2005, domestic movement involved 24.3 million passengers and 20 lakh metric tonnes of cargo. Pawan Hans is the helicopter service operating in hilly areas and is widely used by tourists in north-eastern sector.


As of 2013, there are 45 heliports in IndiaIndia also has the world’s highest helipad at the Siachen Glacier at a height of 6400 m (21,000 ft) above mean sea level.
Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited is a public sector company that provides helicopter services to ONGC to its off-shore locations, and also to various State Governments in India, particularly in North-east India.


Shipping plays an important role in the transport sector of India’s economy. Approximately 95% of the Country’s trade volume (68% in terms of value) is moved by sea.

As on March 31, 2014, India had a fleet strength of 1213 ships with gross tonnage (GT) of 10.49 miffion, with the public-sector Shipping Corporation of India having the largest share of 31.30 per cent.

Of this, 367 ships with 9.31 million GT cater to India’s overseas trade and the rest to coastal trade.

Despite having one of the largest merchant shipping fleets among developing countries, among the 35 flags of registration with the largest registered dead weight tonnage (DWT), India ranks 18th with a share of only 0.9 per cent in total world DWT as on Januay 1, 2014 according to the ISL Shipping Statistics and Market Review.

During 2013-14, major and non- major ports in India handled a total cargo throughput of 980.49 MT.

The traffic grew by 5.02% over the previous year 2012—13.

The 13 Major Ports handled traffic of 555.50 MT during 2013—14, representing an increase of about 1.78% over the previous year 2012—13. The capacity of the country’s 12 major ports— Kandia, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, V.0. Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata stood at about 700 MT as on March 31, 2014.

Twelve major ports under the Centre handle about 61 per cent of the country’s total cargo traffic.

Coastal Shipping

Coastal shipping is an energy efficient environmental friendly, and economical made of transport network and a crucial component for the development of domestic industry and trade.

India with 7517 km coastline with 3,80,000 km hinterland covers 9 maritime states, (five states on the western coast and 4 on the eastern coast) a port of Puducherry, Lakshadweep in Arabian sea and the Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal These Islands are dependent on coastal shipping for transportation of Cargo and passengers to the mainland as well as for Island movement.

At present there are 13 big and 200 small ports in India’s

Mumbai, Mahashava (Maharashtra) Kandla (Gujarat) Mudgaon (Goa), Kocchi (Karela) and New Manglore at Western Coast While Haldia-Kolkata, (West Bengal) Paradeep (Odisha), Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Chennai, Tuticorin Ennore (Tamil nadu) are on Eastern Coast.

Major Ports

On the West Coast

1. Cochin Port, Kerala: It is major natural port. It deals in fertilizers, petroleum and general cargo.

2. Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Maharashtra: Major port in Mumbai. It is ranked among world’s top 30 ports. Earlier it was called as Nhava Sheva.

3. Kandla Port, Gujarat: It is a tidal port and a free trade zone has been set up here. Important traffic handles are crude oil, petraleum products, edible oil, foodgrains, salt, cotton etc. It is located in Runn of Kachchh.

4. Marmugao Port, Goa: One of the oldest natural harbour on west coast. It was declared a major port. In 1963. It occupies the fifth position in terms of total quantum of traffic handled.

5. New Mangalore Port, Karnataka: It is an all-weather port. Iron ore of Kudremukh is being exported now here. Other items are petroleum products, fertilizers, molasses, etc. It is an Artificial Lagoon port.

6. Port of Mumbai, Maharashtra: Port of Mumbai has long been the principal gateway of India. Mumbai handles the maximum traffic. It is a natural harbour with wet dock. It handles over one fifth of the total traffic of ports, mostly petroleum products and dry cargo.

On the East Coast

7. Kolkata Port, West Bengal: Kolkata is the oldest major port in the country Kolkata Port is India’s only riverine port. It has the most sophisticated port facilities with extensive storage facility for diverse cargo.

8. Paradip Port, Odisha: One of India’s major ports, located in Paradip. Government of India declared Paradip as the Eighth Major Port of India on 18 April 1966 making it the first major port in the east coast commissioned in Independent India. It handles iron ore and some quantities of coal and dry cargo. It is a wet dock.

9. Port of Chennai, Tamil Nadu: It is the second largest port in the volume of traffic handled. Important items are petroleum products, crude oil, fertilizers, iron ore and dry cargo and oldest artificial port of India. It has artificial harbour and a wet dock.

10. Port of Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh: It is described as the Brightest Jewel of all Indian major ports for its outstanding performance and productivity. It is the deepest port. An outer harbour has been developed for exporting iron ore and a berth for crude oil is located here. It has both artificial and natural harbour.

11. Tuticorin Port, Tamil Nadu: Tuticorin Port is an artificial deep-sea harbour. It is an all-weather port. It handles mainly coal, salt, edible oil, dry cargo and petroleum products.

12. Kamarajor Port Ltd. Tamil Nadu It is the 12th major port and first corporatised major port in India; a Government of India undertaking. It handles coal, iron ore, LNG, chemical & other liquids, & crude since 2001. Artificial harbour is found here.

Ennore Port, officially renamed Kamarajar Port limited, is located on the coromandel coast.

13. Portblair—Andaman Nicobar: It is the latest addition to the major port on June 2010, the thirteen port in the country.

Minor and Intermediate Ports

There are 140 such ports which include Rediport (Maharashtra), Icakinada (Andhra Pradesh) and Calicut (Kerala).

Other ports proposed to be developed as minor ports are Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep and Puducherry These ports can relieve the overloaded major ports and can be used as bases for deep-sea fishing.

These ports mainly serve coastal trade and support passenger traffic where there is no proper nil or road link.

Sagarmala Programme

The Sagarmala Programme is an initiative by the government of India to enhance the performance of the country’s logistics sector. The programme envisages unlocking the potential of waterways and the coastline to minimize infrastructural investments required to meet these targets.[1][2] It entails investing ₹8.5 trillion (2018) to set up new mega ports, modernizing India’s existing ports, developing of 14 Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) and Coastal Employment Units, enhancing port connectivity via road, rail, multi-modal logistics parks, pipelines & waterways and promoting coastal community development, with the aim of boosting merchandise exports by US$110 billion and generating around 10,000,000 direct and indirect jobs. The Sagarmala Programme is the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping to promote port-led development in the country by exploiting India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and its strategic location on key international maritime trade routes. Sagarmala aims to modernize India’s Ports so that port-led development can be augmented and coastlines can be developed to contribute to India’s growth. It also aims at “transforming the existing Ports into modern world-class Ports and integrate the development of the Ports, the Industrial clusters and hinterland and efficient evacuation systems through road, rail, inland and coastal waterways resulting in Ports becoming the drivers of economic activity in coastal areas.”

Inland Waterways

India has an extensive network of inland waterways in the form of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks. The total navigable length is 14,500 kilometres (9,000 mi), out of which about 5,200 km (3,231 mi) of river and 485 km (301 mi) of canals can be used by mechanised crafts. Freight transport by waterways is highly underutilised in India compared to other large countries. The total cargo moved by inland waterways is just 0.15% of the total inland traffic in India, compared to the corresponding figures of 20% for Germany and 32% for Bangladesh.
Cargo that is transported in an organised manner is confined to a few waterways in Goa, West Bengal, Assam and Kerala. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the statutory authority in charge of the waterways in India. It does the function of building the necessary infrastructure in these waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects and also administration and regulation. The following waterways have been declared as National Waterways:
• National Waterway 1: Allahabad–Haldia stretch of the Ganga – Bhagirathi – Hooghly River system with a total length of 1,620 kilometres (1,010 mi) in 27 October 1986.
• National Waterway 2: Saidiya–Dhubri stretch of the Brahmaputra river system with a total length of 891 kilometres (554 mi) in 26 Oct 1988.
• National Waterway 3: Kollam–Kottapuram stretch of the West Coast Canal along with Champakara and Udyogmandal canals, with a total length of 205 kilometres (127 mi) in 1 Feb 1991.
• National Waterway 4: Bhadrachalam–Rajahmundry and Wazirabad–Vijaywada stretch of the Krishna–Godavari river system along with the Kakinada–Pondicherry canal network, with a total length of 1,095 km (680 mi) in 24 Nov 2008.
• National Waterway 5: Mangalgadi–Paradeep and Talcher–Dhamara stretch of the Mahanadi–Brahmani river system along with the East Coast Canal, with a total length of 623 km (387 mi) in 24 Nov 2008.


Oil and gas industry in India imports 82% of its oil needs and aims to bring that down to 67% by 2022 by replacing it with local exploration, renewable energy and indigenous ethanol fuel (c. Jan 2018).

Length of pipelines for crude oil is 20,000 km (12,427 mi).
Length of Petroleum products pipeline is 15,000 kilometres (9,300 mi).

• Noonmati-Siliguri: Pipeline to transport petroleum products from Noonmati to Siliguri. Lakwa- Rudrasagar-Barauni Pipeline, completed in 1968 to transport crude-oil from Lakwa and Rudrasagar (Sibsagar District, Assam) to Barauni Oil Refinery (Bihar).

• Barauni-Haldia Pipeline: This pipeline was laid down in 1966 to carry refined petroleum products to Haldia port and bring back imported crude-oil to Barauni refinery.

• Barauni-Kanpur Pipeline: This pipeline was completed in 1966 to transport refined petro-leum products to Kanpur city.

• Noonmati-Bongaigaon Pipeline: This pipeline was constructed to transport crude-oil to Bongaigaon petro-chemical complex.

• Haldia-Maurigram-Rajbandh Pipeline: This pipeline was completed in 1998.


[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] The National Highway from Amritsar to Calcutta via Delhi is numbered:[1995] (a)1 (b)2 (c)4 (d)8
Ans.(b)National Highway from Amritsar to Calcutta via Delhi is called National highway No. 2. It was called Grand Trunk road and was constructed by Sher Shah. [/tippy]
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] What is the correct sequence of the following Indian states in descending order of their length of surface roads per 100 km2 of their areas?[1998]
1.Haryana 2.Maharashtra 3.Punjab 4.Tamil Nadu
Select the correct answer using the codes given below: Codes: (a)4, 3, 2, 1 (b)4, 3,1, 2 (c)3, 4, 1, 2 (d)3, 4, 2, 1
Ans 38.(a)Arrangement of descending order of the surface roads per 100 sq. km of their area. Tamil Nadu has 158.78 km, Punjab has 127.78 km, Maharashtra has 117.61 km, Haryana has 63.70 km. [/tippy]
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] The four railway junctions shown by numerals 1, 2, 3, 4 on the rough outline map of Gujarat are respectively: [1998] (a)Palanpur, Mahesana, Ahmedabad and Vadodara (b)Mahesana, Surendranagar, Rajkot and Junagarh (c)Palanpur, Kanda, Bhuj and Okla (d)Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bhavnagar and Broach.
Ans.(b) [/tippy]
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Which one of the following sets of states benefits the most from the Konkan Railway?[1998] (a)Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala (b)Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala (c)Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra (d)Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu
Ans.(a)Konkan Railway route connects Roha in Maharashtra with Mangalore in Karnataka. Konkan Railway established with partnership of three states Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. The state of Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala benefit most from Konkan railway. [/tippy]
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Which one of the following pairs of cities has recently been connected through a 6-lane express way?[1998] (a)Ahmedabad:Vadodara (b)Dhaka:Chittagong (c)Islamabad:Lahore (d)Mumbai:Pune
Ans.(d) [/tippy]
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Match the different ports of Union Territory of Pondicherry labelled as A, B, C and D in the given map with their respective names and select the correct answer using the codes given below the lists of ports:[2000]
1.Karaikal 2.Mahe 3.Pondicherry 4.Yanam Codes: (a)A-2; B-1; C-3; D-4 (b)A-1; B-2; C-3; D-4 (c)A-2; B-1; C-4; D-3 (d)A-1; B-2; C-4; D-3
Ans.(a)A – Mahe B – Karaikal C – Podicherry D – Yanam [/tippy]
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Mekong Ganga Co-operation Project is :[2001] (a)an irrigation project involving India and Myanmar (b)a joint tourism initiative of some Asian countries (c)a hydroelectric power project involving India, Bangladesh and Myanmar (d)a defence and security agreement of India with its eastern neighbours
Ans.(b)Mekong – Ganga Cooperation (MGC) was established on November 10, 2000 at Vientiane in the First MGC Ministerial Meeting. It comprises six Member countries namely, India, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. They emphasised four areas of cooperation, which are tourism, culture, education, and transportation linkage in order to be solid foundation for future trade and investment cooperation in the region. [/tippy]
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] With reference to Indian transport systems, consider the following statements:[2002] 1.Indian railway system is the largest in the world 2.National Highways cater to 45 percent of the total and transport demand 3.Among the states, Kerala has the highest density of surface road 4.National Highway No. 7 is the longest in the country Which of these statements are correct ? (a)1 and 2 (b)1 and 3 (c)2 and 3 (d)2 and 4
Ans.(d)Indian railway is the fourth largest railway in the world after USA, Russia and China. National Highways is nearly 2% (1.96%) of total roads, but it carries nearly 40 – 45% of road traffic of India. Maharashtra has the highest density of the surface roads, not Kerala, National Highway No. 7 is the longest in the country which joins Varanasi to Kanyakumari. [/tippy]
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Which among the following National Highway routes is the longest?[2004] (a)Agra-Mumbai (b)Chennai-Thane (c)Kolkata-Hajira (d)Pune-Machilipatnam
Ans.(c)Length of Agra-Mumbai NH – 1161 km Length of Chennai-Thane NH – 1235 km Length of Kolkata-Hajira NH – 1946 km Length of Pune-Machilipatnam NH – 841 km. [/tippy]
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following statements concerning the Indian Railways.[2006] 1.The Head Quarters of the North Western Railway are located at Jodhpur. 2.”Indrail Pass” –a travel as you please ticket has been created especially for freedom fighters and sportspersons who have represented India in any games/sport. 3.Fairy Queen is a train using the world’s oldest working engine and the Indian Railways conducts a journey of wildlife and heritage sites on it. Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (a)2 only (b)3 only (c)1 and 2 (d)None
Ans. (b) [/tippy]
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] The Stilwell Road, built in 1940s, which was recently in news, connects which of the following?[2007] (a)Agartala in India and Yangon in Myanmar via Bangladesh (b)Ledo in India and Kunming in China via Myanmar (c)Kalimpong in India and Lhasa in Tibet via Bhutan (d)Imphal in India and Bangkok in Thailand via Myanmar
Ans.(b)The Stilwell Road built in 1940s by Americans to connect Ledo in India and Kunming in China via Myanmar during Second World War. [/tippy]
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Which one of the following National Highways passes through Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Orissa? [2007] (a)NH 4 (b)NH 5 (c)NH 6 (d)NH 7
Ans.(c)National Highways passes through Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhatisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal. This road is 1,949 km long. [/tippy]
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] In India, the ports are categorized as major and non-major ports. Which one of the following is a non-major port?[2009] (a)Kochi (Cochin) (b)Dahej (c)Paradip (d)New Mangalore
Ans.(b)Dahej is a not a major port of India. [/tippy]
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Between India and East Asia, the navigation-time and distance can be greatly reduced by which of the following ?[2011 – I] 1. Deepening the Malacca straits between Malaysia and Indonesia. 2. Opening a new canal across the Kra Isthmus between the Gulf of Siam and Andaman Sea. Which of the statements given above is/are correct ? (a) 1 only(b) 2 only (c) Both 1 and 2(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans.(b)Opening a new canal in Kra Isthums can reduce the navigation time and distance. The first statement in this question requires an explanation. Its worth note that the Malacca strait is the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and links the India, China, Japan and South Korea. The issue of deepening of the Malacca strait is “linked” to its economic importance rather than “time of navigation and distance”. The issue is that most of the ships can not pass through it and the size of the biggest ships which can enter through it is called Malaccamax. Now the deepening of the strait would certainly help in “Increasing the volume of the business” because ships of larger sizes can pass through it, there is no significance of distance and navigation. [/tippy]
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following pairs : [2014 – I] National HighwayCities connected 1. NH 4 Chennai and Hyderabad 2. NH 6 Mumbai and Kolkata 3. NH 15 Ahmedabad and Jodhpur Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched? (a)1 and 2 only (b)3 only (c)1, 2 and 3 (d)None
Ans.(d)NH 4 is a major National Highway in Western and Southern India. It connects Mumbai with Chennai. NH 6, runs through Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal state in India. It connects Surat with Kolkata. NH 15 is a major National Highway in Western and Northwestern India. NH 15 connects Samakhiali in Gujarat with Pathankot in Punjab. [/tippy]




  • Tourism in India is important for the country’s economy and is growing rapidly.
  • The World Travel and Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated ₹16.91 lakh crore (US$240 billion) or 9.2% of India’s GDP in 2018 and supported 42.673 million jobs, 8.1% of its total employment.
  • The sector is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 6.9% to ₹32.05 lakh crore (US$450 billion) by 2028 (9.9% of GDP).
  • In October 2015, India’s medical tourism sector was estimated to be worth US$3 billion, and it is projected to grow to US$7–8 billion by 2020.
  • In 2014, 184,298 foreign patients traveled to India to seek medical treatment.
  • Over 10 million foreign tourists arrived in India in 2017 compared to 8.89 million in 2016, representing a growth of 15.6%.
  • Domestic tourist visits to all states and union territories numbered 1,036.35 million in 2012, an increase of 16.5% from 2011.
  • In 2014, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh were the most popular states for tourists.
  • Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Agra and Jaipur were the five most visited cities of India by foreign tourists during the year 2015. Worldwide, Delhi is ranked 28th by the number of foreign tourist arrivals, while Mumbai is ranked 30th, Chennai 43rd, Agra 45th, Jaipur 52nd and Kolkata 90th.
  • The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report for the year 2017, ranked India 40th out of 136 countries overall.
  • The report ranks the price competitiveness of India’s tourism sector 10th out of 136 countries.
  • It mentions that India has quite good air transport (ranked 32nd), particularly given the country’s stage of development, and reasonable ground transport infrastructure (ranked 29th).
  • The country also scores high on natural and cultural resources (ranked 9th).
  • However, some other aspects of its tourism infrastructure remain somewhat underdeveloped.
  • The nation has very few hotel rooms per capita by international comparison and low ATM penetration.
  • The World Tourism Organization reported that India’s receipts from tourism during 2012 ranked 16th in the world, and 7th among Asian and Pacific countries.

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World Heritage sites

World Heritage sites

There are 37 World Heritage sites in India that are recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as of August 2017. These are places of importance of cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972.

  • Cultural (29)
  • Agra Fort (1983)
  • Ajanta Caves (1983)
  • Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar (2016)
  • Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989)
  • Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (2004)
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004)
  • Churches and Convents of Goa (1986)
  • Elephanta Caves (1987)
  • Ellora Caves (1983)
  • Fatehpur Sikri (1986)
  • Great Living Chola Temples (1987,2004)
  • Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986)
  • Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984)
  • Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987)

Cultural (29)

  • Hill Forts of Rajasthan (2013)
  • Historic City of Ahmadabad (2017)
  • Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi (1993)
  • Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986)
  • Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (2002)
  • Mountain Railways of India (1999,2005,2008)
  • Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993)
  • Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (2014)
  • Red Fort Complex (2007)
  • Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)
  • Sun Temple, Konârak (1984)
  • Taj Mahal (1983)
  • The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (2016)
  • The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010)
  • Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai (2018)

Cultural (29)

Natural (7)

    • Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (2014)
    • Kaziranga National Park (1985)
    • Keoladeo National Park (1985)
    • Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985)
    • Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988,2005)
    • Sundarbans National Park (1987)
    • Western Ghats (2012)

Mixed (1)

    • Khangchendzonga National Park (2016)


Name of Beach


Colva Beach, Dona Paula, Miramar, Anjuna, Vagator Beach, Arambol Beach, Angoda Beach


Porbandar Beach, Chorwad Beach, Beyt Dwarka, Somnath & Veraval Beach, Mandavi Beach, Gopnath Beach


Devbagh Beach, Om Beach and the Kutle Beach, Parambur Beach, Ullal Beach, Murudeshwar, Malpe Beach, Maravanthe, Karwar Beach


Lighthouse Beach, Rockholm Beach, Samudra Beach, Ashoka Beach, Kappad, Kovalam, Varkala, Thirumullavaram, Vypeen and Gundu Island, Cherai Beach, Alleppey Beach, Veli Beach, Bekal Beach, Shangumugham Beach, Kovalam Beach


Kavaratti, Minicoy, Kadamat, Bangaram


Ganapatipule, Velneshwar, Marve, Manori & Gorai, Juhu, Chowpatty, Bassien, Alibag Murud Janjira, Dahanu, Mandwa, Kihim Beach, Shriwardhan, Harihareshwar, Vijaydurg and Sindhudurg, Vengurla, Malvan


Devka (or Dwarka beach), Jaypore Beach


Jallandhar Beach, Chakratith Beach, Nagoa Beach


West Coast Beaches

Name of Beach


Rishikonda Beach, Bheemunipatnam, Manginapudi Beach, Vodarevu Beach, Mypad Beach

Andhra Pradesh

Puri, Chandipur, Gopalpur-on-sea, Gahirmatha Beach, Paradeep, Bolighai Beach, Konark Beach


Corbyn’s Cove, Beaches of Havelock Island, Beaches of Neil Island, Beaches of Chiriya Tapu, Wandoor

Andaman & Nicobar island

Beaches of Puducherry


Pulicat, Covelong, Marina Beach, Pichavaram, Kurusada Islands, Vattikotai, Sadurangapattinam Beach, Mandapam, Mahabalipuram

Tamil Nadu

Digha Beach, Shankarpur Beach, Frazerganj, Ganga Sagar

West Bengal

East Coast Beaches

Famous Hill Stations

Hill Station



Himachal Pradesh


Himachal Pradesh

Kullu valley

Himachal Pradesh


Himachal Pradesh


Jammu and Kashmir











Hill Station



Tamil Nadu


Tamil Nadu










West Bengal


West Bengal


[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] “You might see a few curious Danes around, but that is because–used to be Danish outpost. This quaint town with its fort and a beautiful church, the New Jerusalem, empty streets and deserted beach front is a quaint gem.” The place referred to in this quotation lies on the:[1996] (a)Tamil Nadu coast (b)Kerala coast (c)Karnataka coast (d)Goa coast
Ans.(a)The New Jerusalem Church was bult by Royal Danish missionary Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg in a coastal town of Tharangambadi, Tamil Nadu in 1718. [/tippy]
[tippy title=“UPSC_Pre_MCQ” height=“300” width=“650”] Consider the following sites /monuments :[2005] 1.Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park 2.Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Station, Mumbai 3.Mahallapuram 4.Sun Temple (Konark Temple) Which of the above are included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO? (a)1, 2 and 3 (b)1, 3 and 4 (c)2 and 4 (d)1, 2, 3 and 4
Ans All the monuments / sites are included in World Heritage list of UNESCO. Sun Temple of Orissa, group of monuments at Mahabalipuram were included in 1985. Champaner – Pavagadh Archeological Park of Gujrat and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus of Maharastra are included in year 2004 in UNESCO list. [/tippy]