Overcrowded Jeep Rides in Indian villages - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Overcrowded Jeep Rides in Indian villages

A line from Kannada movie goes: ”ಕಾರ್,ಕಾರ್,ಕಾರ್,ಕಾರ್ ಎಲ್ನೋಡಿ ಕಾರ್ ... "ನಮ್ಮೂರಲ್ಲಿ ಹಂಗೇನಿಲ್ಲ ಬಸ್ಸಲ್ ಜಾಗ ಸಾಕಾಗಲ್ಲ ... ಟಾಪಲ್ ಕೂತು ಬೀಡಿ ಸೇದ್ತಾರೆ...!" (lead actress refers to large number of cars in America, hero, originating from a village in Karnataka, says “its not like that in our village-there won’t be enough space in the bus, hence people sit on top and smoke Beedi”

Public transportation is scarce at majority of the villages in India. While a few do have state run or private buses plying, many prefer smaller vehicles like tempos, jeeps, Tata Magics and the likes.

Below are some photos of an overcrowded jeep, spotted near a village on the way to Araku valley in Andhra Pradesh. (Read this post about share auto driver shaking hands with foreign tourist at the same spot)
Being weekly market day, the crowd was larger than usual.  The jeep in picture below, is fully packed with close to 35 people (5-6 in front row, 5-6 in second row+ another 5-6 people on the makeshift wooden plank seat in between first and second row, 6 in rear side of the jeep, about 10 on top, 3-4 on bonnet, with few people still negotiating with the driver.
There’re some unique reasons why people prefer jeeps and vans, even when bus services are available:
  • Buses usually have fixed stops while jeeps stop anywhere
  • Buses have fixed fares while you can always bargain with jeep driver
  • Buses may not be frequent enough
  • Most of the places the roads are too small/ too bad for buses and jeep and tractors are the only drivable vehicles (we often go out in search of places to off road while these people drive on non-existent roads every day)
Strangely the driver seemed to have a swine flu mask around his neck, though he was visibly ignorant about vehicle load and road safety.

Either because of compulsions (of not having a better alternatives) or to save some time/money, many risk their lives and travel in overcrowded vehicles in lakhs of villages all over India. Seat belt, airbags, seating capacity.. what are these things?

Similar posts: Assembled vehicles called Jugads of North India *


  1. Not this bad but I see people hanging out every day of my long commute these days!

  2. This is too crowded. I have never seen on jeep rooftop.

  3. It reminded me the FEVICOL ad... But on a serious note, it is really the thing to be worrid. I've some pictures from scary Himachal roads with people on top of vehicle roof.

  4. Thanks Mridula, Rajesh and Deb for comments

    Deb, help me sell my picture for fevicol ad....

  5. liked your writing style. But your face looks familiar are you related to the Kota hande's. Sridhar Hande, Shivananda Hande, Sadananda Hande,etc?
    You can catch me parwatisingari.blogspot.com

  6. I have seen people travelling on rooftops too, but never thought of clicking a pic! I remember the time when I was at Haridwar, visiting an uncle and got into one of the jeeps... I was stunned when he went on loading the jeep with people, and asked him if he was sure that the people wouldnt fall off! i remember the whole jeepload of people laughing at me then... now i know better than to get into such jeeps, and even if i do, i dont ask such stupid questions anymore :)

  7. The song was aptly written and your photos shows it all.

  8. SRA sir,

    Thanks for sharing the experience... :)

    Yes I am. Thanks


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