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Reaching Kolhapur from Delhi: My Journey Across India

As someone who loves to travel and experience new places, I recently decided to make a long journey from my home in Delhi to the historic city of Kolhapur in the state of Maharashtra. Given the distance of over 1,600 kilometers between the two cities, it required careful planning and preparation to make this trip smoothly.

In this article, I'll share my first-hand experience of how I managed to get from Delhi to Kolhapur on a budget.

Reaching Kolhapur from Delhi

Choosing the Right Mode of Transport

The first decision was figuring out the best way to cover the long distance. Flying would have been the fastest option but with a cost of ₹7,000-₹10,000 for a one-way ticket, it was too expensive for my budget.

I considered taking the train, which would have taken around 28-32 hours one-way with multiple connections. However, I had limited leave from work and wanted to make the most of my time in Kolhapur.

After comparing different options, I finally decided to go by bus. Although longer than taking the train or flying, bus transport was the most economical choice at just ₹2,000 one-way. I could cover the distance in about 36-40 hours if I took overnight buses with minimal stops.

Booking Tickets in Advance

With the mode of transport decided, my next step was booking the bus tickets well in advance to get seats on good buses at reasonable fares. I used RedBus to compare ticket prices and timings for operators like VRL Travels.

Based on departure times, routes, bus quality, and reviews, I booked tickets with VRL Travels. I chose overnight buses to save on accommodation costs. My ticket from Delhi to Nagpur cost ₹1,700 and Nagpur to Kolhapur was ₹600.

Packing Light is Key

Since I would be spending hours on the bus, I wanted to travel as lightly as possible. I carried only one medium-sized backpack with 2 extra sets of clothes, toiletries, medications, chargers, snacks, an e-reader, and documents. The packing light allowed me to be more comfortable and mobile during transit.

I also made sure to keep any valuables, excess cash, and electronics securely in my backpack and not in checked luggage to prevent theft. I kept paper copies of e-tickets handy, besides saving soft copies on my phone, to avoid any hassles during the journey.

My Bus Journey in Phases

My entire Delhi to Kolhapur bus journey was split into two phases with an overnight layover in Nagpur in between.

Delhi to Nagpur

This was the longer 20-hour first leg covered in a sleeper bus. I caught the evening 6 PM bus from Delhi which had single sleeper berths that allowed me to stretch out horizontally and sleep during the overnight journey. We made rest stops every 4-5 hours where I could quickly grab a snack or freshen up.

There were some patches of bad roads where the bus was bumpy and brake usage noisy. But the time passed quickly between napping, listening to music, reading, and gazing out the window. We reached the Nagpur bus stand on schedule by 2 PM the next day.

Layover in Nagpur

I had booked a room in a nearby hotel to get a good night's rest. After checking in and grabbing lunch, I ventured out to see some quick sights of Nagpur. The city has a rich history and cultural heritage that was interesting to absorb even briefly. Late evening, I bought my ticket for the next bus to Kolhapur and retired to bed early after a tiring first leg.

Nagpur to Kolhapur

I took another overnight VRL bus from Nagpur departing at 9 PM. This 16-hour second leg was via rural roads passing through the stunning Western Ghats. There were fewer rest stops but plenty of natural beauty and village scenery to entertain. I reached Kolhapur central bus stand right on a 36-hour schedule by 1 PM.

Final Thoughts

What made the long elaborate bus journey worthwhile was reaching my destination without burning a hole in my pocket. Focusing on keeping costs low, I spent less than ₹10,000 in all including food, lodging, local transport, and even sightseeing.

I highly recommend bus transport to other budget travelers willing to invest the time. Proper planning is key - booking tickets in advance, packing light, staying vigilant en route, and resting well at layovers. Keep costs low but don't compromise on safety or comfort. Hope you too can undertake a successful economic journey across incredible India!

Let me know if you have any other questions about making this trip. Happy travels!


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