Beginners' Guide to the Delhi Metro

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#1 May 2nd, 2013, 02:04
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Last Updated 18/06/2015

Delhi is a sprawling city with some serious traffic problems. The metro system offers a safe, efficient and good value way to get around much of the city. The system is modern and will continue to expand for the next few years. There is an up to date system map here. http://www.delhimetrorail.com/zoom-map.jpg
Stations have distinctive signing and are generally easy to find. If lost you can always ask an auto driver or cycle rickshaw wallah to take you to the nearest metro station.

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Safety
First time visitors to Delhi often ask whether the system is safe. There is a very high presence of security personnel and police. Everybody entering the stations must go through an airport type scanner and their bags are also scanned. There are separate security queues for males and females. Vigilance does not end at these checks. Try taking a photo on the platform and you will soon hear a whistle and a shout. We may think this to be oversensitive but the “No photography” rule is strictly enforced which accounts for the dodgy quality of the illustrations here.
Every train has a “Ladies Only” coach at one end, which is clearly marked on the platform. Ladies may take boys up to the age of 12 in this coach with them. There are seats in each coach marked as reserved for Ladies and the “Aged & Infirm”. When the trains are not too busy young men quite often give these seats up if they think that you fit one of the above categories.
The trains can get very busy and crowded but no more uncomfortable than London’s Piccadilly line in the rush hour. The air conditioning is more effective in Delhi. On train announcements are made in Hindi and English and also displayed in both languages on magic message boards. Some stations, such as Rajiv Chowk, have barriers and crowd marshals on the platforms. Not all users of the system subscribe to the view that it is best to let people off the train before they try to get on. There can be some jostling when boarding and leaving trains.
You need to take normal precautions against petty crime such as pick pocketing which thrive in crowded places. Just as with most Mass Rapid Transport systems there are occasional breakdowns and power outages but the system seems to cope quite well with these.

When can I travel?
Trains start running at around 6 a.m. and run until around 11 p.m. Frequencies are every 12 minutes or better – at peak periods there are only 2 or 3 minute gaps between trains. There are boards over each platform which display the destination of the next train and how long it will be before it arrives.

Links to other transport.

Three of Delhi’s more important railway stations can be accessed by metro. New Delhi ( NDLS) and Anand Vihar Terminus (ANVT) have their own stations, Old Delhi (DLI) is accessible from Chandi Chowk metro by underground walkway. Likewise bus terminals at Kashmere Gate and Anand Vihar can be accessed from their respective metro stations. The Airport is linked to NDLS by an express line. See below.

Where can I go?

I can’t pretend to have been everywhere that the metro covers but here are a few starters. The North – South Yellow line will take you to Chandni Chowk, Rajiv Chowk (CP), Central Secretariat for Lutyens Delhi, INA for the INA market and Dilli Haat and Qutab Minar. For the latter get off the train at Saket station and take an auto. This line will even take you out to Gurgaon. At Sikanderpur there is an interchange with the Gurgaon Rapid Metro which opened in November 2013.
The Lilac line from Central Secretariat will take you to Khan Market or Lajpat Nagar where the market is a short trip on a cycle rickshaw. The East-West Blue line will take you out to Noida.
There is a useful link here http://www.indiamike.com/india/delhi...tions-t111677/ Outside the city centre much of the track is elevated and gives you some great views.

How do I get tickets?
Booking windows are before the security scanners. You can buy a token for a single trip which currently costs between Rs 8/- and 30/- depending on distance travelled. Major stations have information desks where you can buy Travel Cards.

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Minimum purchase is Rs100/- which will give you a card with a 50/- refundable deposit and 50/- of travel. Using a travel card gives you a small discount on the single fare. These cards can be topped up in multiples of Rs 100/- although at some stations this can only be done at machines.
There are also 1-day and 3-day Tourist Cards which allow unlimited travel and cost rs 100/- or 250/- plus a 50/- refundable deposit. Each traveller must have their own card. Delhi Metro Travel cards are also valid on the Gurgaon Rapid metro. With effect from 1st May 2015 Metro Smart cards are valid on the Airport Express.
A single journey can include changing lines as long as you do not exit the ticketed area. Both tokens and cards are held against a reader pad to open the in gates. At the end of the journey tokens are inserted into a slot and cards are touched against a reader to open the out gates.

Luggage

Apart from the Airport line you are not supposed to carry large items of luggage. In the busy periods it would be totally impractical to attempt to do so.

Accessibility
Delhi metro claims to have full disabled access. Stations have escalators and lifts which in my experience are usually working. The train floors are level with the platforms although there can be a gap.

Rules
There are scrillions of these with spot fines. No eating, drinking, singing, sitting on the floor, sitting on the roof, guns, ammunition, etc etc which help make the stations and trains pretty civilised.

Airport Metro Express.
Has had a bit of a chequered history but is currently running again, connecting the Airport and NDLS. The fare structure is separate and higher than the main metro system. Delhi Metro Smart Cards became valid for the Airport Express wef 1st may 2015. There is more about Airport metro fares at #24 below.
There is a separate section for the Airport Express on the Delhi metro website http://www.delhimetrorail.com/Airpor...ming-Fare.aspx

Delhi Metro Museum
This is located at Patel Chowk station. More details in this link. http://www.delhionline.in/City-Guide/Metro-Museum-in-Delhi

Guide Book

The launch of an Official Guidebook was announced in May 2014 http://www.delhimetrorail.com/whatne...KNRklld&rdct=d

There is a link to an article about visiting major tourist attractions by Delhi Metro in this thread http://www.indiamike.com/india/delhi...metro-t228158/ (October 2014)

There is a discussion about the Delhi Metro on Google maps in this thread http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...-maps-t228561/

This post is based on our usage of the system during 5 visits to Delhi in recent years. Please respond if you see any errors or have information to add.
Last edited by Dave W; Jun 19th, 2015 at 15:43.. Reason: Smart cards valid for Airport Express.
#2 May 2nd, 2013, 16:16
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Great work Dave. I think there's an IndiaMike FAQ article right there.
#3 May 2nd, 2013, 16:31
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Great stuff DW... make it sticky.
#4 May 4th, 2013, 19:34
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I thought I would pitch in:

For Women: The first coach in most trains is reserved for women and women may want to use that when traveling

Travel light in Delhi when using the Metro. There are separate baggage check lines which are often longer than the regular checking line.

Having a Metro Prepaid Card is a much better than thing buying tokens each time. You save around 10% fare, and 50% time.

Recharge the metro prepaid card at small stations and avoid time.

What may appear as close on the metro may not necessarily mean you save time and money.

Case is Point is if you live in South Delhi (GK, Kalkaji, South Ex) and need to goto Gurgaon, its better to get to the AIIMS, Hauz Khas / Saket / Green Park metro stations in an auto rickshaw or by bus or walk than take the metro nearest to your origin to first Central Secretariat.

Carry hand sanitizer as you will have to hold rails, pillars, and use support in an overcrowded system.
#5 May 4th, 2013, 19:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaseCampDelhi View Post What may appear as close on the metro may not necessarily mean you save time and money.

Case is Point is if you live in South Delhi (GK, Kalkaji, South Ex) and need to goto Gurgaon, its better to get to the AIIMS, Hauz Khas / Saket / Green Park metro stations in an auto rickshaw or by bus or walk than take the metro nearest to your origin to first Central Secretariat.
Unless you want to avoid polluted roads as much as possible. A comparison of which route is more likely to be crowded at the time would allow good balance.
At peak hours, avoid travelling towards major interchange stations like Central Secretariat, rajiv chowk and kashmere gate.
Check google maps for traffic information from your location to a more convenient metro station. It shows a dot colored green/yellow/orange/red according to traffic conditions. Apart from that it shows KMs and minutes to destination. An avg speed of 30kmph is normal for city traffic, 20kmph is a crawl.

Quote:
Carry hand sanitizer as you will have to hold rails, pillars, and use support in an overcrowded system.
I manage to travel without touching any surface at all.
#6 May 4th, 2013, 19:59
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Originally Posted by BaseCampDelhi View Post I thought I would pitch in:

For Women: The first coach in most trains is reserved for women and women may want to use that when traveling

.
It isn't always the first coach. In some cases it is the last coach. However it is indicated on the platform.

See http://www.delhimetrorail.com/whatne...0w7T2s5OMPolld
#7 May 4th, 2013, 20:03
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Originally Posted by Dave W View Post Beginners' Guide to the Delhi Metro

Attachment 45480 Attachment 45483...
Nice thread, Dave W. But I thought photography was forbidden in the stations. We get yelled at every time we try. Maybe it's different for siderodromologists.
Walt Whitman - Song of Myself

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
#8 May 4th, 2013, 20:08
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I took advantage of the flip up screen on my camera and a quiet station to take the shot at the top right. Not really top notch photography. The first time I tried in central Delhi with a camera at eye level I got whistled and yelled at.
#9 May 4th, 2013, 22:36
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Metro "newbies"...just so that you know....Rajiv Chowk is Connaught Place! And Ramakrishna Ashram is Paharganj.
It might be the best of times or the worst of times...but it's the only time you've got!
#10 May 4th, 2013, 22:59
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Originally Posted by sab kuch milega View Post Metro "newbies"...just so that you know....Rajiv Chowk is Connaught Place! And Ramakrishna Ashram is Paharganj.
And how many names are there for Chandni Chowk? I know only Dilli Main, but I'm sure there must be others.

Also for newbies: count your change.

And keep careful track of the little plastic token you've been given to swipe over a scanner to get past the entrance gate. As Dave W says, you have to insert the token into a slot to get out. But the tokens have the most amazing way of getting lost amongst your pocket stuff.
#11 May 4th, 2013, 23:21
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And the "Nehru Place Bus Terminal" is much closer to the "Kalkaji Mandir" station than to the "Nehru Place" station. The Qutb Minar is more easily accessible from "Saket" station than from the station carrying its name. Getting from "Hauz Khas" station to Hauz Khas village entails Crossing an Indian Road.

More to come!
#12 May 4th, 2013, 23:48
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A tendency to queue in an orderly manner is not genetically programmed into Indian DNA. It is at best a learned behavior pattern, and it is discarded when inconvenient, like in the scrum at some ticket counters at some times of day in some stations.

Societal niceties like Respect for Elders and Guest is God are treated as so much guff and bumff to be chucked out with the rubbish. As elders and guests we get no respect. Neither does anyone else of any age or origin.

We have found only two things that help us in this situation:

First, a booming and commanding voice with which to denounce and defame the behavior and parentage of the son-of-a-bitch who pushed in front of you. It won't shift him one centimeter, but it might discourage anyone else planning similar misdeeds, not so much because they fear being shamed but because they fear tangling with a plainly mad foreigner.

Second, and far more effective, extremely sharp elbows forcefully applied. You will be at some disadvantage here, as the other people in the scrum have so much more experience at this. A bit of advice: it will probably be easier to elbow aside some preposterously skinny young Indian man than his tiny little grandmother. The grandmother may look sweet all swaddled in a sari, but she is excessively fond of chappatis, has the mass and density of a tank, and has a low center of gravity. And probably a lot more vicious determination than her scrawny grandson.
#13 May 4th, 2013, 23:53
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We didn't use our elbows very much but we did get offered seats several times. One time when we had to stand a well dressed Indian man felt the need to apologise for the lack of reserved seats for foreign visitors.

On the whole we found things to be worse on New York's Lexington Avenue line. And Delhi's Metro is considerably cheaper.
#14 May 5th, 2013, 01:03
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Siderodromologists, this old coot had to google the other old coots word. I thought it was an expert on alcoholic apple beverages
#15 May 5th, 2013, 01:18
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Originally Posted by NYTim View Post Siderodromologists, this old coot had to google the other old coots word. I thought it was an expert on alcoholic apple beverages
I'm still learning about those. Usually on the bad days.
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