No ID proof for IRCTC/railway ticket booked online – Aadhar might be a quick solution

Recently a relative and family visited me and they had some change of travel plans. I booked tickets for them using irctc web site, only after booking did I know that they did not have any valid ID proof acceptable by Indian railways. Photocopies are not acceptable FYI.

As per the FAQ of irctc at 

6.What if I forget to carry Photo Identity card?

A. One of the passenger booked on an E-ticket in a PNR is required to present any of the ten identity cards noted below in original during the train journey and same will be accepted as a proof of identity failing which the passenger will be treated as travelling without ticket and shall be dealt as per extant Railway Rules. Valid Ids:- Passport / Voter photo identity card issued by Election Commission of India / Driving Licence issued by RTO / Pan Card issued by Income Tax Department / Photo Identity card having serial number issued by Central / State Government / Student Identity Card with photograph issued by recognized School/College for their students / Nationalized Bank Passbook with photographs / Credit Cards issued by Banks with laminated photograph /Unique Identification Card “Aadhaar” / Photo identity cards having serial number issued by public sector Undertakings of State/Central Government, District Administrations, Municipal bodies and Panchayat Administrations.

So if you have taken Aadhar card but you don’t have it at hand, you can go in for eaadhar, which can be obtained from

But mind it, you need know your aadhar number and your phone number registered with  UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India). The mobile number is used to send the OTP for downloading the eaadhar pdf. Once you download it put it on dropbox or google drive or just plain mail it to yourself so that it can be downloaded and printed as long as you have net connection and printer. The password for the aadhar pdf file is the PIN code of you gave for your address.

If you don’t have your mobile to receive the OTP you’ll need the enrolment id which is even more difficult to have unless you have scanned it or have it with you.

Coming back to the problem faced by my relative, she did not have her aadhar number, but was able to call home and get it and had the same mobile registered with UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India). I got the eeaadhar and had a color inkjet printer. So printed it out and cut the ID portion of the page put it into a transparent plastic cover to look like original. Legally e-aadhar is considered legal and valid id proof as per the following links

But we know its India, if you just take a black and white printout and the TTE might say its not original, so better take a good color printout, laminate it if possible and then you can use it as original.

And yes, my relative was asked for id proof and TTE happily checked it and went ahead or she would have ended up with a huge fine and harrasment.

Train Timings from Quilandy / Quilandi (Indian Railway Code QLD)

I had to wait for quite some time for my train to Mangalore, thought to make the time worthwhile. Just jotted down the timings from the board on to my Treo using Documents To Go excel.Man.. I had to retype it all. Copy paste from excel does not work.

Train No. Route (Towards Mangalore) Train Name Days Time Notes
6334 Trivandrum- Happa   Tue 1:00  
6336 Nagarcoil – Gandhidam   Wed 1:00  
6338 Ernakulam-Okha   Thu,Sat 1:00  
6329 Trivandrum-Mangalore Malabar Express Daily 5:15  
619 Calicut-Kannur   Daily 7:08  
6347 Trivandrum-Mangalore   Daily 6:45  
2601 Chennai-Mangalore CHENNAI MAIL Daily 8:15 Super Fast-mail
6349 Trivandrum-Mangalore Parasuram Express Daily 16:15  
2617 Ernakulam-Nizamudin MNGLA LKSDP EXP Daily 17:45 Super Fast-mail
6607 Chennai(Egmore)-Mangalore   Daily 17:25  
611 Coimbatore-Kannur   Daily 19:00  
6307 Aleppy-Kannur Execuive Express Daily 21:50  
387 Coimbatore-Mangalore CBE MAQ FAST PASSENGER Daily 13:46  
6604 Trivandrum-Mangalore Maveli Express Daily 4:20  
615 Trichur-Kannur   Daily 10:17  
625 Calicut-Kannur   Daily 15:17  
Train No. Route (Towards Shornur) Train Name Days Time Notes
6308 Kannur-Aleppy Execuive Express Daily 16:10  
610 Kannur-Coimbatore   Daily 7:18  
2618 Nizamudin-Ernakulam MNGLA LKSDP EXP Daily 4:20 Super Fast-mail
6350 Mangalore-Trivandrum Parasuram Express Daily 8:02  
6608 Mangalore-Chennai(Egmore)   Daily 10:35  
2602 Mangalore-Chennai CHENNAI MAIL Daily 16:55 Super Fast-mail
6333 Happa-Trivandrum   Fri 17:15  
6335 Gandhidam – Nagarcoil   Sat 17:15  
6337 Okha-Ernakulam   Tue,Sun 17:15  
6348 Mangalore-Trivandrum   Daily 18:27  
622 Kannur-Calicut   Daily 19:52  
6330 Trivandrum-Mangalore   Daily 22:15  
388 Mangalore-Coimbatore   Daily 12:48  
6603 Mangalore -Trivandrum Maveli Express Daily 21:40  
616 Kannur- Shornur   Daily 16:23  
624 Mangalore-Calicut   Daily 10:27  

Please do point out the mistakes if there are any. I got to add the train names too ! I feel it would be great to have timings for all stations in this format. As its easily rendered on any mobile device and no javascript required.

Trip to Ernakulam

Personal Useless Stuff ; just for twitter 🙂
After a long time I came to Ernakulam from Calicut by car. The intended purpose was staying with my expectant wife till delivery. The road (NH 17) seems to be very much okay when compared to the previous trips. But took a long time to reach Alwaye and felt quite tired. The main reason was the failure of the air conditioner. For many days there were problems with the aircon, but since it was all short trips it was not much of a problem. There was no cooling, but the compressor seemed to get loaded, there was the typical loading sound difference of the engine when the A/C was turned on.

Driving madness and stupidities in India

Yesterday morning I had gone to Mahe by car and I thought I’ll make a note of the usual stupidities or lack of road sense by my fellow drivers. The confusing signals given by some drivers might be helpful for foreigners driving in India.

Here are the most common counter intuitive confusions and tips in surviving road traffic in India.

  • Putting the indicator to the right, to indicate to the vehicle following that you can over take.
    The worst part is if you wait for the vehicle in front to turn right, it will never happen, and if you decide to overtake and if the drive really meant to turn right, you are in for a crash.
  • Hazard warning indicator to go straight
    I don’t know who started it, but I have seen this happening since the hazard warning indicators started to appear in Ambassador cars. If you try to teach someone he’ll never learn goes the old saying. Try convincing a driver about what it is and he’ll reply, you have right and left indicators and how can you indicate that you want to go straight in an A/C car.
  • Beware of bus drivers, they might stop anywhere 
    Buses are like friends, they come in various sizes and shapes. Some may just barge in, some may force you down the road, overtake you and then stop abruptly in front of you at the next stop.And where is the stop you might ask, its the place where the driver feels like stopping, it tends to be the middle of the road, ensuring that you can’t overtake.
  • Humps and bumps
    Can appear anywhere, sometimes with a sign board and sometimes without. Those incredible roads do test to alertness while driving.
  • Road cuttings
    These are found in most places, as the roads are re tarred the thickness increases and the sides end up having cuttings. Sometimes the difference can be so much that it can overturn your vehicle if you make a sudden turn.
  • Potholes, drainage, fountains
    Potholes appear every year in most Indian roads. Kerala roads are well known for their deep holes that can damage your spine and drive you nuts. yes you might find fountains in the middle of the road when water pipes are broken. Be careful of the drainage, the slabs might fall off most of the time if you drive over it.
  • People, Cows, elephants and Tipper Lorries
    Watch out for all these, night or day. In some places you’ll find people who’ll actually bend in such a way that the vehicle can pass without touching their butt, and without moving their feet. Honking makes no difference, they’ll just not move until the vehicle has passed.

That’s it for now, add your comments so that I can I add that to list of things to watchout while driving in India.

What’s the difference between Indian Railway AC Chair car, 2 Tier AC and 3 Tier AC compartments ?

Here’s the excerpt from Wikipedia

The First Class AC: This is the most expensive class, with fares which can be on par with airlines. Bedding is included with the fare in IR. This air conditioned coach is present only on popular routes between metropolitan cities and can carry 18 passengers. The coaches are carpeted, have sleeping accommodation and have privacy features like personal coupes.

AC-Two tier: Air conditioned coaches with sleeping berths, ample leg room, curtains and individual reading lamps. Berths are usually arranged in two tiers in bays of six, four across the width of the coach then the gangway then two berths longways, with curtains provided to give some privicy from those walking up and down. Bedding is included with the fare. A broad gauge coach can carry 48 passengers.

First Class: Same as 1AC, without the air conditioning. Such coaches are not very common.

AC Three tier: Air conditioned coaches with sleeping berths. Berths are usually arranged as in 2AC but with three tiers across the width and two longways as before giving eight bays of eight. They are slightly less well appointed, usually no reading lights or curtained off gangways. Bedding is included with fare. It carries 64 passengers in broad gauge.

Note :- Power plug points are provided on some AC coaches, depends on your luck. One important thing about the power provided is that its 110V AC and not the standard Indian AC voltage 230V AC. For laptops and mobile chargers its okay as most of the current adapters have SMPS that can tolerate input supplies from 100 to 260V AC.

AC Chair Car: An air-conditioned seater coach with a total of five seats in a row used for day travel between cities.

Executive Class Chair Car: An air-conditioned seater coach with a total of four seats in a row used for day travel between cities.

Sleeper Class: The sleeper class is the most common coach, and usually up to ten coaches could be attached. These are regular sleeping coaches with three berths vertically stacked. In broad gauge, it carries 72 passengers per coach.

Seater class: same as AC Chair car, but without the air-conditioning.

General: The cheapest accommodation, with seats made of pressed wood. A seat may not be guaranteed and tickets are issued usually two hours before the scheduled departure of the train. These coaches are usually heavily crowded.


Now what I wanted to note was AC 3tier is more expensive than AC Chair car but Indian Railway Catering and Tourism (IRCTC) doesn’t give any benefit for AC 3 Tier  travel  while using Shubh Yatra Card. BTW the card is the Frequent Traveler card provided with an initial charge. The only benefit apart from getting free tickets on reaching 500 points is that you don’t have to purchase platform tickets when you have the card. Its unfair in not giving points for AC 3 tier as the charges are higher than AC chair car. I wonder who gave such great ideas to Indian Railways