Transport in India is extremely cheap although don’t expect it to be comfortable. That said at least there are lots of options to choose from depending on your budget.
One of the best ways to travel around India is to go by train and the rail network covers much of the country. You should expect that train schedules are quite flexible and delays frequent, but you will get to experience amazing views if you choose this method of transport. In addition to this some of the overnight sleeper trains can be good value as you will save money by not spending a night in a hotel, however don’t expect any luxury. You can also buy an Indrail pass although unless you are planning to use the rail network a lot then this can work out more expensive than buying individual tickets.
India is a big country and sometimes it can be easier to travel by plane if there are big distances involved. There are a huge number of domestic airlines in India although these tend to close rather suddenly as competition is fierce. This is not necessarily the cheapest way to get around but it can be the fastest and the simplest if you need to get to the other side of the country.
Many buses access areas that are not covered by the rail network such as areas around the Himalayas. Buses often have more frequent departures than trains although there is a big different between government buses and private companies. If you get a government-run bus then it will be cheaper but you can expect it to be very crowded and pretty uncomfortable. Private buses usually have more facilities such as air conditioning, comfortable seats, and televisions.
One last option is to use taxis, although knowing how much to pay can be problematic especially when you first arrive. All taxis are supposed to use the meter so you can insist on this or agree a fare in advance if you know how much it should cost.
Instead of taxis you will also find auto-rickshaws which are like motorbikes with seats for passengers attached to the back. They are metered or you can agree a fare before you set off, and if you plan to go around town then hiring one of these for the day can be a good idea. If you aren’t in a hurry then you can take a cycle rickshaw which is pulled by a man on foot, although it’s up to you if you feel comfortable with this.