Transport evolves quite as frequently as cultures, and within this dynamic nature we must’ve had lost account of the few, which verge on the lines of uncomfortable, slow and absurd right now, but they meant a great deal for their time.
It’s the same logic for the future us too. People with flying cars are bound to laugh at our cars, however expensive and speedy, on a standstill in a Traffic Jam on the Western expressway!
Here are some of the transports of India that have almost extinguished in front of our eyes. Only a pinch of places feature them. So, if you find yourselves in one such place, don’t forget to get on that Buggy!
Patamar/Dhow: A Dhow is a lateen-rigged ship with one or two masts, used chiefly in the Arabian region and the Indian Ocean. A Patamar is a type of an Indian Dhow, Traditionally used in the western coast of the Indian subcontinent as a sabotage vessel between Gujarat and Ceylon, usually for the transport of Rice.
See it now: on the Malabar Coast
Jugaad: It is means of transportation in north India, made of wooden planks and old jeep parts, variously known as kuddukka and pietereda. You must’ve seen one when you were young and in rural part of India. The vehicle often carries more than 20 people at a time in remote locations and poor road conditions. Today, a jugaad is one of the most cost effective transportation solutions for rural Indians.
But, there may not be a chance for you to travel this way, because for safety reasons the government of India has officially banned Jugaad vehicles.
Hand-pulled Rickshaws: It sounds inhuman right now, and it is pretty harsh. But back then; this means was a means to feed oneself and one’s family, quite a significant fact, in my opinion. You can still see a few of these in Kolkata, where the government has tried to stop this practice, but it is still a Work in Progress.
Palanquin: We all have seen in many Bollywood representations of the time of the Maharajas. This was primarily used in the past to carry a deity or idol of a God, and many temples have sculptures of God being carried in a palki. Later on, it was primarily used by European noblemen and ladies from the upper classes of society prior to the advent of the railways in India. Modern use of the palanquin is limited to Indian weddings and Pilgrimage.
Cycle rickshaws: Cycles are environment- friendly and also, pocket-friendly. At their modest pace, you’ll get plenty of time to look about as you move towards your destination.
Cycle rickshaws have been a feature of Delhi streets since Indian independence in 1947, providing the cheapest way around the capital.
Bullock cart: The transport of rural India, also used since ancient times in many parts of the world. If you are a fan of adventures, get on one of these carts and let the fresh farm air soak your senses, while the bumps keep you grounded…
Horse carriage: The arrival of the British saw drastic improvements in the horse carriages which were used for transport since early days. Today, they are used in smaller towns and are referred as Tonga or buggies. Victorias of Mumbai are still used for tourist purposes, but horse carriages are now rarely found in the metro cities of India.
May I suggest actual Horse-riding; it is so much more enthralling and fun. (That is, if you know how to ride)
So what if you weren’t born in that era? You still have plenty of options to re-live the ways of our ancestors, their means of transport, and if you feel like it, don on a costume and pretend you’re one charming prince, call a palanquin and become a princess, there’s no one to stop you!
You get the best of your time to expand your horizon of experiences, for this life is for living and, by travelling in the most unique ways, you can extract the best of the memories that will stay with you forever.