How to book Indian Train Tickets 15

At the outset please understand that to book Indian Train Tickets is a complicated task. However we at Smyle Inn, have tried to decode the process so that you can Book Indian Train Tickets easily. This process will require you to be patient while the registration to book Indian Train Tickets is being done.

In the past, travel agents and other hotels in Delhi used to exploit the system. This way genuine travelers and backpackers coming to India were unable to book train tickets and had to rely on these travel agents who used to sell the tickets at a hefty commission. In order to avoid this exploitation the Indian Railways has complicated the system which makes it nearly impossible for travel agents to exploit the system at the same time it has made life really difficult for the real travelers. Follow these steps as listed below in the exact order (Why?? Don’t ask, it is too complicated to explain).

IRCTC  Book Indian Train Tickets from Cleartrip

Steps required to book Indian Train Tickets:

  1. Create an account with any one of the following site. www.makemytrip.com OR www.yatra.com OR www.cleartrip.com. We prefer Clear Trip website because it is simple to use.
  2. After you have created this account in step 1 and is verified, please create an account with www.irctc.co.in. (the official railway tickets seller for online transactions). This site does not accept non Indian credit cards so you cannot book from here, but it is required that you create an account here (no need to book from here…use sites from step 1). At the time of registration, mention your correct address where you can receive physical mails. In the mobile number field enter your mobile number OR your landline number OR any number of your country. Does not matter. After you submit the details, please send a scanned copy of your passport (First Page) to care@irctc.co.in and tell them your login id and also tell them that you dont have an Indian mobile number. They will check your passport and details and will send you an Authorisation Code that will help you complete registration with www.irctc.co.in. Please mention your name as per passport only. Dont put Matt if your name is Matthew OR dont put Jenny if your name is Jennifer.
  3. Once you receive the Authorisation code, you can complete your registration by entering the authorisation code on the www.irctc.co.in website.
  4. Now the final step. Your account created in step 1 needs to be linked to account created in step 2 (the irctc.co.in). To do this, you again need to write to care@irctc.co.in and tell them your account login ID. You need to tell them that you need to connect your account to Clear Trip account so that you can book train tickets using your non Indian credit cards from that site (from step 1). IRCTC will then send you an authorisation code that you need to enter into Clear Trip site. The linking has to be initiated from Clear Trip site first. Once you receive and enter your Authorisation of IRCTC into the Clear Trip site, you can then start to book Indian train tickets from Clear Trip site using your non Indian credit cards.

Important: The registration process takes about 2-3 days to complete. So please be patient. If you have any questions, please feel to write in the comments sections and I will do my best to answer them. It will not only help you, but will help the general traveling community as well.

Hopefully these steps will help you book Indian Train Tickets, but if you encounter problem, do write to me at our Hostel email address smyleinn@hotmail.com and I will try to help you and give you more information.

15 thoughts on “How to book Indian Train Tickets

  1. Reply Nishant Sep 20,2013 1:04 am

    Irctc is a horrible experience when you want to book tatkal tickets & the irony is that things are not changing even after knowing the problem from years.

    • Reply Harish Sep 23,2013 3:32 pm

      I know that IRCTC is bad…but they are doing this make life difficult for the spammers. Remember the old saying “Wheat ke saath Ghun bhee pistaa hai”

  2. Reply Esti Mar 26,2014 5:49 pm

    This post has been really helpfully to book train tickets in India from Spain. Cleartrip seems to be the only way to pay them with a foreing credit card. The most difficul part is to register in IRCTC, but if you are patient and follow all the steps you will do it!! Thanks for the information!!

  3. Reply Mark Smith May 15,2014 10:12 pm

    If anyone is interested in knowing more about Indian Trains like how to book tickets, the type of seats available, type of trains, what does waitlist and RAC mean and how to check if the seat is confirmed etc. Please head over to my blog http://www.seat61.com/india.htm

  4. Reply Torsten Müller Jun 16,2014 3:23 pm

    I would have neevr imagined that booking a train ticket in India is such a complicated task. But as you explained, it has it’s reason and I am sure that it is for the better. At least you are getting the tickets at a fair price and not with an overprized commission on top.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Torsten

    • Reply Harish Jun 16,2014 9:49 pm

      You are welcome Torsten. With this blog post a lot of blessings and good Karma comes our way. :). It really helps tourists coming to India who are interested in booking train tickets in advance (with 1.2 billion people it is always advisable to book tickets in advance)

  5. Reply Joy Healey Jun 16,2014 7:00 pm

    Hi Harish

    What a helpful post! It looks to me as if you have spent a long time helping people who had problems, and what a good idea to post them on your site!

    Joy

    • Reply Harish Jun 16,2014 9:48 pm

      Hi Joy,
      This blog post is a result of countless questions that come my way in regards to booking train tickets online. Instead of writing answers over and over again, I direct them to this blog post and it helps them (mostly)

  6. Reply Abbas Baba Jun 16,2014 8:28 pm

    This will be very helpful information for anyone planning to travel in India. There’s no way you could work this out yourself. Luckily when my wife and I visited India some years ago, I stayed with a friend who was living there, who arranaged all the trips we wanted to make for us.

    Abbas

    • Reply Harish Jun 16,2014 9:46 pm

      Hey Abbas,
      Glad you could get it sorted for your trip. We have so many travellers who face so much trouble, that’s why I put up this blog post. Nothing fancy, but practical guide.

  7. Reply Jan Kearney Jun 22,2014 2:34 am

    Sounds like a nightmare to book tickets! Thanks for the useful info, I’ve Pinned the instructions.

  8. Reply Jantine Jul 1,2014 9:02 am

    Okay, i’ll give up after two weeks trying, i’m running out of time now. I still don’t have a IRCTC or Cleartrip account. What’s plan B? How do I get a nighttrain ticket from Jhansi to Allabahad in India? Trainstation Delhi? India Tourism? Thanks.

    • Reply Harish Jul 1,2014 9:42 am

      Plan B is that you can also visit the train station when you arrive to book the ticket using the foreign tourist quota. The booking counter for foreigners are available in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Another quota you can try when you come here is TATKAL. This will allow you to book train for the following day. Few seats are there in this quota and it is available on first come first served basis (but only one day prior to journey).

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