Workshop on Black Hole Information Paradox

Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad
February 3 – 6, 2014

Travel to Allahabad

Allahabad is located in the north Indian plains. This is where two major rivers Ganga and Yamuna meet. The HRI campus is located on the banks of Ganga a little after the confluence, called Sangam.

The weather in Allahabad, like much of north India, during the first week of February is likely to be pleasantly chilly. At nights the minimum temperature may drop down to about 5 degree Celsius (41 degree Fahrenheit). Do pack a few light woolens.

To Allahabad/Varanasi

Allahabad is well connected by rail to Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta) and Mumbai (Bombay). Unfortunately there is only one flight everyday(except Sundays) to Allahabad. This flight is operated by Air India and connects Allahabad to New Delhi. The other accessible airport is Varanasi, approximately 120 kms away. There are flights operated by SpiceJet, Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways and Air India to Varanasi from Delhi and Mumbai.

However, if you plan to reach Delhi, you may prefer to take a train. There are many trains between Delhi and Allahabad. Be warned that not all these start from New Delhi Station. You can check the website of Indian Railways and follow the link to Train Fare/Accommodation. A particularly convenient choice is the 12418 Prayagraj Express. It leaves New Delhi Station at 9:30 PM and reaches Allahabad at 6:50 AM the next morning. There are comfortable air-conditioned sleeping coaches. Following are some of the early morning trains from New Delhi station:

12816 Puri Exp d New Delhi 06:30 a Allahabad 15:30
15622 North-East Exp d New Delhi 06:45 a Allahabad 15:50

In addition, the 12302/12306 Rajdhani Express to Kolkata (Howrah) leaves New Delhi at 5 PM and reaches Allahabad at midnight.

If you are coming from abroad, your travel agent might be able to make advance train reservations. Otherwise, bookings can be made at the Railway station's reservation counters. You should be warned that there may be hangers on who will tell you that no seat/berth is available, but they can arrange one for you for some extra money. Donot trust any of these guys, and go straight to the counter. (Do be careful and take care of your money, papers and luggage. Delhi, we're afraid, is not a friendly city.) There is also a train reservation desk right at the airport arrival lounge.

Reservations for indian trains are usually to be booked well in advance. However, there is a certain quota for foreigners paying in Euro, Sterling pound or US$. If you do not have an advanced reservation, you should be able to get reservation against this quota. There are a variety of classes. You may want to try air conditioned two or three tier coaches (called Second and Third AC respectively). The round-trip fare between Delhi and Allahabad will roughly be Rs. 3000 and Rs. 2300 respectively for AC two and three tiers. (US$ 1 = Rs 65 approximately.)

If you have to wait a long time for your train, and do not prefer to spend time sightseeing, there is a lounge at the airport where you can rest. To reach the lounge, take the elevator to the departure area once you come out of the arrival area. The visitor's lounge is just across the road from the departure area. This may be a better option than the waiting area at the New Delhi Railway station.

For those who are flying into Mumbai, there is also an option to take the train. The journey, although it takes approximately 24 hours, can be quite a unique experience.

Onto the HRI Campus

The HRI campus is in the village of Chhatnag, Jhusi on the outskirts of Allahabad City.

If you have sent us your travel details, we shall arrange for transport to bring you to the campus from Varanasi airport or Allahabad railway station. At the Varanasi airport, once you come out of the terminal building, look for a car bearing the "HRI" sign in the adjacent car park. The story at the station gets complicated by the fact that there are two exits! One is to the City side, the exit is from Platform number one and the other is to the Civil Lines side for which you will need to take the overbridge. In order to avoid confusion, the HRI vehicle will be parked in the car park adjacent to the City side exit. If for some reason, we make a different arrangement, a volunteer will meet you at the platform.

In case you do not know which train you will be taking, please try to give us a call from Delhi after you have made your reservation. If you are not able to do this, please call us from the Allahabad station. Here are some useful numbers:

HRI Reception: 0532 2569510
  0532 2569511
  0532 2568611
Anirban Basu: 0532 2274352
Rajesh Gopakumar: 0532 2274370
Dileep Jatkar: 0532 2274322
Satchidananda Naik: 0532 2274308
Sudhakar Panda: 0532 2274311
Ashoke Sen: 0532 2274302

Just in case you do not find the HRI car, it is possible to get three-wheelers (locally known as auto-rickshaws) from the station. Ask to be taken to Chhatnag in Jhusi. The ride to the HRI campus should cost approximately Rs. 300. However, you may have to do some hard bargaining!

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