Dharamsala - Rishikesh - Varanasi, Bus?
jb510
India > India Travel - Getting There and Around > India Travel > Buses, Automobiles, Motorcycles, and Bicycles
#1
| Member

Dharamsala - Rishikesh - Varanasi, Bus?

I need advice. Are there regular over-night (preferably sleeper) buses from Dharamsala to Rishikesh and from Rishikesh to Varanasi?

I'm asking about buses because I am not booking far enough ahead to deal with trains and I can't find any info remotely on private buses.

I'm traveling to Dharamsala tomorrow and through the other cities within the next two weeks. I don't want to go back through Delhi between cites if I can help it, mostly because I don't have time. I'd fly if there were direct flights but I'm fairly certain there are not. I've looked though and I'm fairly certain there are not, at least none that I've found to Jolly Grant (Hardiway) or Gaggal (McLeod Ganj). Flying through Delhi seems slow and expensive.

BTW, I've done the "hop on the train without reservation and find a TTE to get a sleeper thing" several times. I was usually successful in the south, but in the north I've been denied more often then I've succeeded so I'm starting to favor booking last minute buses instead of hoping on trains with just a general class ticket and hoping to get a bed or at least a seat.

I'll take any advice though?

Thanks!

8 Replies

#2
| Landscape Photographer
On Indian roads, both the routes suggested by you will probably take a whole day and night each, may be more than that.

Even you go by the general compartment in the train, (Rishikesh-Varanasi), that will be better than a bumpy ride on roads.

From Dharamsala, you may come down to Chandigarh and from there you may get a bus to Rishikesh.

Board Doon Express at Rishikesh/Haridwar and get off at Varanasi next day.

:)
....life is a journey.....and the journey is more important than the destination........

Photos in Indiamike :http://www.indiamike.com/photopost/s...0/ppuser/15496

Photos in Flickr :http://www.flickr.com/photos/bhaswaran/
#3
| Member
Thanks Bhaswaran.

On arrival in McLeod Ganj / Dharamsala I discovered there is a bus that goes to Dehra Dun, 13-15 hours. I'm not sure how often it runs yet, I think daily, but at least it exists that was my biggest concern of the bunch.

In other news, I love it here...
#4
| Landscape Photographer
If you can come down to Dehradun by 15 hours from Dharamsala, that will be great. Rishikesh is a little more from Dehradun.

I did not knew about this bus service. Thanks for the information and enjoy India :)
....life is a journey.....and the journey is more important than the destination........

Photos in Indiamike :http://www.indiamike.com/photopost/s...0/ppuser/15496

Photos in Flickr :http://www.flickr.com/photos/bhaswaran/
#5
| retired
How long does a bus from Dharamsala to Pathankot take?

Train 4610 departs Chakki Bank station (3kms from Pathankot station) daily at 20:30 and gets to Rishikesh station at 08:00

2-tier air con = Rs 777
3-tier air con = Rs 548
Sleeper Class = Rs 206 (not air con)

Sorry, I know you didn't want this info, but others will, I wanted to also supply the availability for the next week, but just can't get the Indian Railways website to work.
#6
| Landscape Photographer
Execellent info Steve :)
....life is a journey.....and the journey is more important than the destination........

Photos in Indiamike :http://www.indiamike.com/photopost/s...0/ppuser/15496

Photos in Flickr :http://www.flickr.com/photos/bhaswaran/
#7
| retired

Originally posted by: steven_ber View Post

Train 4610 departs Chakki Bank station (3kms from Pathankot station) daily at 20:30 and gets to Rishikesh station at 08:00

Sleeper Class = Rs 206 (not air con)



availability for Sleeper class.....

18- 4-2007 AVAILABLE- 102
19- 4-2007 AVAILABLE- 10
20- 4-2007 AVAILABLE- 80
21- 4-2007 AVAILABLE- 66
22- 4-2007 AVAILABLE- 145
23- 4-2007 AVAILABLE- 66
#8
| Member
Thanks Steven. I like having all the info in one thread as well. I was waiting until I got all the details on the bus to post them.

FYI, the super deluxe bus from McLeod Ganj (Dharamsala) to Dehra Dun (near Rishikesh) runs every other day and leaves at 7:30pm from Dharamsala road (50 meters from the main square in McLeod Ganj). It has push back chairs only, no sleeper available, but looks new and comfy.

Prices for the bus vary. One place quoted me 600 INR, I purchased tickets through Green Hotel for 450 INR.

Note the area the bus currently leaves from currently has a bunch of construction going on, so it might change.
#9
| Member

Final notes

A couple final notes regarding the bus ride from McLeod Ganj to Dehra Dun:

The bus was not what typically is referred to as super deluxe, although I say it advertised as such. The bus is a mini-bus seating 12-14 people. Most of the seats had decent leg-room, but a couple were insanely cramped. Ours had TOO much legroom which meant every time the driver slammed the brakes it was hard to keep from scooting of the seat. The ride is not comfortable, there are a lot of twists and turns along most of the route. The driver was about average, in other words drove to fast by most rational peoples standards, but having been in India for 2 months I sort of expect it. Perhaps that's what the bus arrived at about 6:30am, rather than the 8-9am we expected.

The bus dropped is off in Dehra Dun near the old bus station, which left us wandering breifly before we figured out we needed a moto-rickshaw to the new train station (about 5km I'd guess).

From the new bus station we got a local bus, about an hour to Rishikesh. From the Rishikesh bus station we argued hard and long with several rickshaws and got a rickshaw to Laxman Juhlan for 60 INR down from 150 INR. The rickshaw tried to let us off short of the destination until we told him to keep going down the hill to the top of the stairs (where you still walk 5 minutes down a road before getting to the stairs at the bridge).

It's doable... it works... it's not very easy or comforatable, but for us it beat the alternative which was going back through delhi.

One last thing.. While we bought our tickets from Green Hotel the main coordinator/booker for the bus is Bedi Travels located just off the main square.

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