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Indian Traffic

What more can I say!

I don't understand how there can be a population problem - anyone who drives a vehicle must die young - whether from a car accident, stress related illness, heart attack from shock or high blood pressure from the constant strain! It is MADNESS!

I think one of the reasons why it is so seemingly chaotic is because of the high proportion of very small vehicles - so there is such a high "density of vehicles to space". There do not seem to really be road rules as a westerner would understand them. It operates more like we would walking in a crowd of people. Somehow we get to where we want to despite the crowd and without real rules. Drivers and riders seem to expect the unexpected and there is very little "road rage" despite people going in all directions around you. Everyone seems to be very courteous. Horns are honked relentlessly but it is not in anger or panic as is the case in European/western cities, it is supposed to communicate your whereabouts to other road users!

Here are photos of just a few of the potential road-users!

India Food


Every street was filled with a plethora of small vehicles

Most people did drive in the same direction but sometimes one road-user decided that they wanted to go in the other direction - so they just did! I think these "black bottom" rickshaws were in Jalander.

This is outside our hotel in Ahmedabad.

It was the variety of vehicles that was so confronting - we are so used to having 70-80% of vehicles being cars. In India, cars mostly only seem to make up about 5%.

Buses, cars, bikes, scooters, auto-rickshaws and pedestrians all sharing the road.

It is almost unusual for a scooter to have just one occupant. Two is de rigeur!

But you might also be sharing the road with camels.

Camels are particularly common in Rajistan.

Or maybe it will be a donkey-dray.

Or even a horse drawn cart.

Pedestrians pushing roadside stalls are also a common sight, especially fairly early in the morning.

Another stall owner on his way to work.

Apart from the "auto-rickshaws" (like tuk-tuks), there are the pedal power ones too. On many street corners you will find maybe a dozen drivers resting between fares.

While they vie for the same trade, both are VERY scary to ride in!. I think the blue auto-rickshaws were from Chandagarh.

Around markets is also a favourite place to wait.

Possibly on his way home or on his way to the nearest "taxi-rank".

Simple pushbikes are all very popular and their sheer numbers, combined with all the motor bikes and scooters makes for chaos.!

A sedate rider.

The auto-rickshaws are very popular everywhere. Different cities seem to have them painted differently but apparently there is just one company in India who manufactures them all. Yellow and green - must be Ahmedabad

Plain yellow for Hyderabad.

Yellow - must be Hyderabad!.

Mixing it with scooters and push-bike trailers in Ahmedabad

Indian ladies still dress elegantly - even when riding a bike!

Many bikes and scooters have the whole family on board. And, unless they are the driver, women ride side-saddle.

How cool is this? In the midst of the chaotic traffic, the passenger is a picture of calm and serenity. I even saw one lady nonchalantly reading the morning paper.

The traffic all around our little auto-rickshaw.

More scooter riders. The scarf over the face is to protect from the pollution - not as I originally thought, a muslim head scarf.

Four on a bike - on the bike behind is a muslim family - daughter, dad, mum with the infant in her lap.

You notice the bus has no doors. People jump on and off as the bus moves around. They jump into the chaotic traffic and somehow manage to make their way to the side of the road.

A pedal powered milkman in Punjab.

Traffic never seems to bother the locals. No matter how vulnerable they appear to outsiders.t

You might also find a cow or bullock or two calmly walking down the road or resting on a traffic island.

You can still find bullock drays, but they are less common than in yesteryear.

More traffic in Ahmedabad. While there are actual bus-stops, most passengers look like they jump on and off at will.

Another milkman with a couple of "inter-city" trucks. Delivery vans for around a city are MUCH smaller - like little tuk-tuks with a van back,

And then in Punjab there were these weird things - I never found out what they were. They seemed to be used like auto-rickshaws but were maybe a bit bigger and more powerful.

Side-on view of the "weird-thing"! I don't think they were designed for style!

People got to stand on the back tray of the "weird-thing"! You could probably fit 15-20 people in one of these things.

This must be Chandagarh - the auto-rickshaws are blue and the manual ones in plentiful supply..

While both lights and traffic cops are pretty rare, you do find them on some of the main roads at major intersections.

You also find a lot of tractors on the roads in cities as well as on major "link" roads.

You do feel vulnerable in a rickshaw when so much traffic zooms around you - and it drives so close to you!

You really can taste the pollution in Hyderabad.

The whole family off for the day.

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