Re: "Central NC is about 6,600 km from London and central India is about 7,700 km"
It's still a longer ship journey around Africa... shorter than the Cape route, but still longer than crossing the Atlantic. A quick measurement put it a 11-12.000km anyway. Then it depended on what liner companies offered as their standard routes - and at what prices.
Also traveling inside India in 1900 could have been more difficult than in North Carolina - depending on the specific place to reach.