BUSES IN INDIA @ THE TRAVEL ROOM
Most people prefer to see India by train because they are quicker (relatively speaking) and more comfortable (well, they are if you can get a seat on an air-conditioned carriage, but otherwise it is a close call!). The advantage of catching a bus is that you can be more flexible; bus tickets can be purchased right up until the departure of the bus and they will always find you a place, it may not necessarily be a seat, but you will get to where your going one way or another. It's great to remember that buses still exist when you get sick of having to book weeks in advance on the train or you want to go somewhere where they are yet to discover broad gauge railway.
Tickets for government run buses (in standard, semi-deluxe and deluxe classes) can be purchased at the relevant bus station in advance, at the station just before you board the bus, or on the bus itself. Government bus fares are extraordinarily reasonable, around 0.75INR/km. For example the bus journey from Jodhpur-Udaipur, a 271km will cost you 187INR on a government run semi-deluxe (Star Line) bus. The main difference between a standard and a deluxe bus is that the seat configuration on a standard bus is "2 by 3" or 2 seats on the left side and 3 seats on the right side of the aisle. Semi-deluxe and deluxe buses have a "2 by 2" configuration, or only 2 seats on each side of the aisle, thus the added comfort.
Private buses are available and may be more comfortable than their government counterparts, though that may not always be true. What is a given is that you will pay more. For the same Jodhpur-Udaipur trip we were quoted 220-230INR. There is the added convenience of being able to buy your tickets through your hotel or a travel agent, but be careful about how much they are charging you (work on a 1INR/km ball park figure.)
JODHPUR - UDAIPUR
Two types of buses ply the 270km Jodhpur to Udaipur route. The standard "express" buses have the 2x3 configuration, where as the Star Line semi-deluxe buses have the preferred 2x2 configuration but are not express but do stop in Ranakpur (for the fabulous Jain Temples). Neither have air-conditioning. The fare from Jodhpur to Ranakpur is 134INR (plus 3INR taxes). The fare from Jodhpur to Udaipur is 187INR (plus taxes).
Timetable as of 18/06/2012 is:
05:30 Star Line (via Ranakpur)
07:00 Standard (express)
08:00 Standard (express)
09:30 Standard (express)
12.00 Star Line (via Ranakpur)
15:00 Star Line (via Ranakpur)
16.00 Standard (express)
DEPARTURES FROM JODHPUR
Departure board (bus schedule/timetable) for buses leaving Jodhpur (India) taken on 18/06/2012
Bus ticket from Jodhpur to Ranakpur
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