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Enchanting Travels’ guest Elsie Johnstone trained a keen eye on the Indian roads during her travels, and offers us this helpful survival guide to understanding and negotiating the unspoken road rules in India. Practice at your own peril!

1. The white lines are purely there for ceremonial reasons. Drive wherever you want.

2. Only the man riding the motor cycle must wear a helmet. Anybody else on pillion: girlfriend, mate or wife carrying a small baby is exempt.

3. A child must learn to drive at the earliest possible age. By all means sit him on your knee and allow him to steer in heavy traffic. Get him used to the conditions.

4. A good horn is as important as good brakes – and good nerves!

5. Road rules are guidelines. Do what you want if it helps you move forward.

6. When the motorway has either two or three lanes going in one direction then it is permissible for locals in cars, trucks, buses or tractors to travel in the opposite direction.

7. There is no limit to the number of people who are permitted to travel in any vehicle. However, each person must have atleast one foot in or on the said vehicle.

8. When awaiting an approaching train at a level crossing, two lanes can become six on both sides. After the train has passed through it is up to you to sort yourselves out.

9. Motor bikes at train crossings, when the boom is down and the bells are ringing, may take a quick look and dodge around impediments to cross. It is even more urgent if you have your wife and child riding pillion.

10. When waiting in line to pay a toll it is compulsory to toot all cars in front of you in the queue.

Experience India in one of our custom-made itineraries! Here is one that maps a journey similar to Elsie’s.

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