Chapter 3 Travel

Travel can be defined as a journey, or a gradual movement, from one place to another. In old days, people used draught animals, such as donkeys and horses to travel and transport goods. Nowadays, people use motorised vehicles for the same. People may travel for different reasons such as meeting someone, migration, etc. People migrate (emigrate or immigrate) from one place to another due to transfer of job, demolition, displacement, etc. The main means of transport are road, rail, water and air.

Road Transport

Roads that are made using cement, concrete and coaltar are called Pucca roads while those that are made using soil and gravel are called Kutcha roads. Vehicles such as buses, trucks, cars, motorcycles, scooters, etc., ply on roads. Construction of roads is extremely difficult in mountains and hilly areas. Sometimes, bridges need to be built on rivers to aid road transportation. Indian road network is about 33 lakh Km which is the second largest in the world and consists of national highways, expressways, state highways, major district roads, rural and other roads. National highways are mostly one-two lane roads, constituting about 1.7% of Indian roads. Express Highways (commonly known as Expressways) are the highest class of roads which are mostly 6-lanes or above. They are controlled-access highways. Some of the national highways of India are given below:

National Highways Route
NH-1 New Delhi-Ambala-Jalandhar-Amritsar
NH-2 Delhi-Mathura-Agra-Kanpur-Allahabad- Varanasi-Kolkata
NH-3 Agra-Gwalior-Nashik-Mumbai
NH-4 Thane-Chennai (via Pune-Belgam)
NH-5 Kolkata-Chennai
NH-6 Kolkata-Dhule
NH-7 Varanasi-Kanyakumari (Longest Highway)
NH-8 Delhi-Mumbai (Via Jaipur- Baroda-Ahmedabad)
NH-9 Mumbai-Vijayawada
NH-10 Delhi- Fazilka
NH-11 Jaipur- Bikaner
NH-12 Jabalpur- Jaipur
NH-24 Delhi-Lucknow
NH-27 Allahabad-Varanasi
NH-28 Barauni-Lucknow
NH-29 Gorakhpur-Varanasi
NH-47A Kundanoor- Willington Island in Kochi (shortest highway)

Train journey is cheaper and comfortable for long distances. There are sleepers attached to long route trains. Some trains run at very high speed. For example, bullet trains operate at a speed of 300 km/h in Japan, Germany and France. In India, the fastest trains in India are Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express, running at a speed of 120 to 160 km/h. Gatimaan express runs with a top speed of 160 Km/hr at route of H. Nizamuddin – Agra Cantonment. At present, it is India’s fastest train. New Delhi– Habibganj (Bhopal)/Bhopal Shatabdi Express is the second fastest train in India which runs between New Delhi and Habibganj (Bhopal) with a top speed of 155 Km/h. Mumbai Rajdhani Express is the fastest Rajdhani express. India’s first train ran from Mumbai to Thane in 1853. There are 16 major railways zones in Indian railways each of which has its headquarters and sub divisions.

Zones Headquarters
Central Railway Mumbai
Eastern Railway Kolkata
Northern Railway Baroda House, New Delhi
North-Eastern Railway Gorakhpur
North-East Frontier Railway Maligaon, Guwahati
Southern Railway Chennai
South Central Railway Secundrabad
South Eastern Railway Garden reach, Kolkata
Western Railway Mumbai (Church Gate)
East Central Railway Hajipur
East Coast Railway Bhubaneshwar
North Central Railway Allahabad
North Western Railway Jaipur
South-East Central Railway Bilaspur
South-western Railway Hubli
West Central Railway Jabalpur


Water Transport

Water transport is the slowest means of transport. It is used for travel as well as transfer of goods from one place to another. Some important global ocean routes are North Atlantic Route from Europe to North America, North Pacific Route and Atlantic Route, the Panama Canal connecting
Europe, Australia and Asia etc. Major seaports are at Tokyo, Colombo, Sydney, Rio-deJaneiro, San Francisco, New York, Cape Town, Mumbai, Karachi, etc. India has many major seaports and numerous waterways. Some of the key seaports in India are located in Mumbai, Haldia, Chennai, Kolkata, Vishakhapatnam, etc. There are six major waterways in India. These are given in the following table:

Major Waterways Of India

Number Stretches of the Water Way Specifications
NW 1 Allahabad- Haldia (1620 km) Along Ganga river (Longest Canal)
NW 2 Sadiya-Dhubri (891 km) Along Brahmaputra river
NW 3 Kottapuram – Kollam (205 km) Along West Coast Canal, Champakara and UdyogmandaI Canal)
NW 4 Kakinada–Pondicherry, Bhadrachalam to Rajahmundry and Wazirabad to Vijaywada ( 1095 km) Along Godavari and Krishna river (Second Longest Canal)
NW 5 Mangalgarhi to Paradeep and Talcher to Dhamara (620 km) Along Mahanadi and Brahmini river system
NW6 Lakhipur-Bhanga (121 Km) Barak River

Air Transport

Airways is the fastest, most comfortable and expensive mode of transport. Almost all the countries in the world are connected by air transport these days. There are a total of 12 international airports in India. Some of the major ones are the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram International Airport in Kerala, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, etc. A large amount of cargo is also transported between nations via aircrafts. Helicopters are small aircrafts and can carry only a limited number of passengers. They are useful in supplying food and medicines to remote areas and in emergency situations, such as floods, landslides, earthquakes, etc. and in rescuing people trapped in such areas.

Space Travel

Travelling to space has become more efficient and effective with the latest technological advancements. Space has no gravity due to which things keep on floating. There are various objects in the space such as stars, planets, satellites, meteor, meteoroid, etc. The surface of the moon is rough with deep craters and high mountains. There is no water on this satellite. A Meteroid is a small rocky or metallic body which catches fire due to atmospheric friction as it enters the earth’s atmosphere and appear as shooting star (meteor).
In 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the Moon. Sunita Williams (an American astronaut) in April 16, 2007 ran the first marathon by any person in space. She holds the record of maximum time and number of space walks by woman. Kalpana Chawla was an Indo-American astronaut and the first Indian woman to visit space. She died along with her co-astronauts in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster on February 2003, due to explosion in fuel tank of shuttle during its entry into the earth’s atmosphere.

Moving High On Mountains

Moving high on mountains is quite difficult. With the increasing altitude or height, the air column becomes thin (atmospheric pressure decreases). Less oxygen is available at high altitudes for breathing. So, to avoid breathing problems and meet the extra demands for energy of the body, mountaineers carry oxygen cylinders with them. A group leader for mountain trekking should have the responsibility of keeping the group ahead, keep himself/herself at the last. He/she should help in climbing those who cannot climb properly, He/she should find a suitable place to rest for some time. He/she should help others in carrying their bags, look after those who are not well and also arrange food for the group. Mount Everest is the earth’s highest mountain with its peak about 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level. It is located in the Mahalangur Himal section of the Himalaya which belongs to Nepal. It is also known in Nepal as Sagarmāthā and in Tibet as Chomolungma.


Ecotourism is a collection of two words: ‘eco’ and ‘tourism’ where the former implies ecology, the study of home and environment. Ecotourism plays an essential role in maximising environmental and social benefits of tourism, along with helping in the economic growth of the country. A key part of ecotourism involves national parks. They are the green heritage of India and a total of 99 of them are present throughout the country. They provide habitat to various flora and fauna in India. Sariska, Ranthambhore, Pench, Panchmarhi are some of the national parks of the country.


Petroleum and coal are non-renewable fuels and hydrocarbons by their nature. They take thousands of years for their formation under the earth. Petrol, diesel, natural gas, wax, LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) and paraffin are the different products of petroleum obtained through fractional distillation. Petrol and diesel are polluting fuels. They are expensive also. CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) burns effectively and leaves less unburnt carbon particles and also releases less carbon monoxide gas as compared to petrol. Its transport is not so easy, as pipelines need to be laid down. It is a cheap fuel compared to petrol.

Some Famous Modes Of Travel In India

Jugaad is a local motorcycle with wooden planks placed at the back. These are commonly found in places such as Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, etc. Trolleys are used to cross deep rivers in mountainous places such as Ladakh. Bamboo bridges are made in heavy rainy areas such as Assam to pass from one place to another. Ferry is a type of boat or ship used to carry passengers from one place to another. They are found in Kerala. Here is given a table showing special features of some states of India:

Some States Special features/ attractions
Jammu and Kashmir (Ladakh) Pashmina shawl from fine wool of goat, reared at high altitude by Changpas community
Rajasthan Lake Gadsisar in Jaisalmer (9 interconnected lakes surrounded by ghats with steps leading to the water, decorated verandahs, and much more)
Orissa Kalahandi district famous for rice production, and ancient Indian places and temples
Andhra Pradesh Pochampalli district famous for weaving of Pochampalli sarees with traditional geometric patterns of dyeing
Bihar ‘Madhubani’, a very old beautiful form of folk art (paintings), famous from the district Madhubani in Bihar, made out of special colours (flower, trees, haldi, neel colours) mixed in the paste of rice on special occasions

Book on India ‘Tarikh al-Hind’ by Al Biruni. Al Biruni travelled the Indian subcontinent in 1017 and wrote a book, ‘Tarikh al-Hind’ after exploring the Hindu faith practised in past India. He was born in Khwarezm, which is now a part of Uzbekistan.

Countries And Currencies

The following table shows the currencies of various countries around the world:

Country or Territory Currency
Australia Australian dollar
China Chinese Yuan Renminbi
Egypt Egyptian pound
France European euro
Germany European euro
Hong Kong (China) Hong Kong dollar
India Indian rupee
Japan Japanese yen
Malaysia Malaysian ringgit
Myanmar Myanmar kya
Nepal Nepalese rupee
Pakistan Pakistani rupee
Russia Russian ruble
Saudi Arabia Saudi riyal
Sri Lanka Sri Lankan rupee
United Arab Emirates UAE dirham
United Kingdom Pound sterling
United States of America United States dollar
Vatican City (Holy See) European euro

Things That We Make And Do

We are surrounded by different kinds of things, natural things as well as man-made things. Everything is matter, the basic unit of which is atom. All attributes of matter such as colour, shape, density, etc. depend on the kind of atoms they are made from, and how they are joined together.

Properties Of Matter

At ordinary room temperature, some materials/matters are solid (with closely packed atoms), while others are liquids (with loosely packed atoms) and gases (with very loosely packed atoms). These are called phases or states of matter. Each material has a melting point, at which it changes from solid to liquid by a process of melting, and a boiling point, at which it changes from liquid to gas by a process of vapourisation. Materials with high melting points are solid at room temperature. Materials with very low melting and boiling points are liquids and gases at room temperature. The boiling point of water is normally 100 degrees Celsius. It depends on air pressure, and is less high up a mountain, where the air is thin. We need to heat water to its boiling point to change it from a liquid to a gas. Matter can either consist of the same type of atoms (element) or different types of atoms (compound). By nature of atoms, elements can be metal or non-metal.

Metals And Non-Metals

Metals are found in rocks, usually combined with other elements as ores. Metals are shiny and hard. Ancient people quickly learned that they could join metals together to make alloys such as bronze (made mainly of copper and tin), brass (copper and zinc), etc. Alloys are harder than individual metals or other components from which they are made. Much later, stainless steel was made by adding chromium and other materials to iron. Almost all metals (except mercury) are solids at room temperature. Elements that are non-metals, such as carbon or oxygen, tend to have lower melting points. They are soft solids, liquids or gases at room temperature. Materials such as alloys, made by joining and changing substances from the natural world, are called synthetic materials. Glass, rubber, plastic, nylon and other manmade fibres are all synthetic materials.

Malleability And Ductility

Most metals and alloys are malleable; they can be hammered into sheets and other shapes. They are also ductile; they can be stretched into thin wires. These are properties that make them very useful. Sheets of metal are used in industry, and can be moulded to form different things such as bodies of cars. Copper wire is used to carry electricity. Gold, silver and other metals can be worked into beautiful intricate shapes for jewellery.

Electrical Conductors And Insulators

Another very important property of metals is that electricity can flow through them easily. They are very good electrical conductors. That is why we use them for electrical wiring. Most non-metallic substances, such as glass, are poor electrical conductors. They are called electrical insulators, because they almost completely stop electricity from passing through them. Water is a good conductor of electricity. Our body is full of water, which is why if we touch a live wire the electricity can take a short cut through us to the earth, giving us a massive electric shock. That is why electric wiring is surrounded by insulating plastic.

Thermal Conductors And Insulators

Heat energy passes through metals easily. If we heat one end of a metal bar, the heat energy spreads quickly to the other end. They are good thermal conductors. Non-metals are generally poor thermal conductors. They are good thermal insulators. Air is a very good insulator. Insulation is important in cold countries to keep warmth in. Duvets and quilts are warm because there is plenty of air trapped in them. Doubleglazed windows are made up of two separate sheets of glass with space for air in between. Materials such as glass wool, which is made up of lots of glass fibres with plenty of tiny air spaces, are used to insulate the walls and roofs of houses. Thermal insulation can also be used to stop heat from getting into things we want to keep cold, such as the insides of refrigerators.


Magnets have the special property of pulling other things made of iron and steel towards them. Magnets are used in various kinds of ways. Compasses are the most familiar use of magnets. If an electric current is passed through a piece of iron, it becomes an electromagnet. It is only a magnet while the current is on. Electromagnets are much more useful than other magnets, because we can switch their magnetism on and off by switching the current on and off.

Importance Of Chemical Properties

When scientists choose materials for different purposes they also need to remember their chemical properties, the way they react chemically with different substances. Metals have similar chemical properties. But some metals are more reactive (react more quickly and easily) than others. Sodium is a very reactive metal. Gold, on the other hand, is very unreactive. That is why it is used to make jewellery. Iron reacts with the oxygen in moist air. This is called rusting. If iron is changed to stainless steel by adding chromium and other materials, it does not rust. Copper reacts slowly with substances in the air to form a green layer called patina or verdigris. We sometimes see it as a green colouring on statues or the roofs of buildings. Other materials react in more complicated ways. Most of the materials we use in everyday life, such as glass and plastics, do not react with air and water. Otherwise, they would be of little use to us.

Different Materials Have Different Properties

The different properties of materials depend on the kinds of atoms in a material, how strongly they are bonded together and the way they are arranged. This affects their colour, their melting and boiling points, how strong they are and whether they make good electrical and thermal conductors. Metals make good electrical conductors because they have electrons that are free to move easily through them. An electric current is just the movement of electrons. All the familiar properties of the materials we see around us—the smoothness of glass, the warmth of wood, the shininess of aluminium, the squishiness of polystyrene—come from just a small number of different kinds of atoms, joined together and arranged in different patterns.


India has a large population of approximately 1.2 billion. As a result of this large population, there has been a lack of opportunities, increase in poverty, etc. However, there are better job opportunities, educational and healthcare facilities in cities. This has forced the youth from villages to migrate to cities and towns. Villagers also want to improve their lifestyle by coming to cities primarily to avoid criticism, social taboos, superstitions, etc. The tendency to concentrate in towns and cities is known as urbanisation. Super-markets, administrative buildings, universities, etc. can be found in cities and towns. Cities are consistently into trade and economic expansion as well as territorial expansion. However, there are increased social problems and lack of greenery and
open spaces, sanitation and hygiene. The air quality in the cities is also poor because of a large amount of pollution due to industries, automobiles, thermal power plants, etc. Commoners and rural people come to cities and towns in search of jobs, opportunities and better facilities and most of them settle in the periphery of cities. Overcrowding and abundance of concrete structures is a common feature today in most Indian cities.

Air Pollution

Smoke, dust and poisonous gases released from buses, local trains, cars, bikes, truck loads, cargos and high-powered diesel locomotives, factories, the cement industries are the main contributors to air pollution. Many diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, etc. have become very common because of air pollution. Air pollution is also leading to increased green-house effect and global warming. Air pollution can be controlled by using eco-friendly energy sources like solar energy and can be minimized by avoiding frequent short distance travel through personal vehicles run on fossil fuels. There is also an urgent need to promote the Green Laws of conservation.

Water Pollution

Water pollution (undesirable change in quality of water) is caused due to various reasons such as agricultural run-off, introduction of untreated water in the water bodies containing sewage, industrial wastes, etc . Sewage contains degradable material in the form of organic matter. When sewage enters into water bodies, number of decomposers (bacteria and fungus) to degrade the components of sewage also increases. This results in high biochemical oxygen demand for decomposition by decomposers. This causes decrease in dissolved oxygen of water bodies and has a negative effect on aquatic animals. Therefore, water pollution needs to be controlled to save the life on the earth.

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