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Old 4th May 2016, 11:55   #76
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Short trip to Kolkata

Just completed a trip from Bhilai to Kolkata and back between 21-26 April 2016. In all my previous trips to Kolkata I have been warned about the bad road condition of NH6 and have therefore travelled through NH42 from Sambalpur and then GQ to Kolkata. This time however I had decided to explore the NH6 upto Kolkata and surprisingly the road condition was good and we enjoyed our journey to the fullest. Last time I travelled in this route was in 2000 when I drove my Maruti 800 from Bolani Mines to Bhilai. In those days I never knew about internet and the only thing I knew from the roadmaps was that I have to reach Keonjhar and then follow NH6 and it will eventually take me to Bhilai.

The ride.
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0425.jpg

Sunrise on NH6, Padmapur, Orissa.
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0423.jpg

Border (CG-OR) crossing.
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0419.jpg

To start the TL I would like to state that I was travelling with family in my Linea. We started from Bhilai at 02:30 AM on 21-04-2016 and crossed Raipur within half-an-hour, which normally takes one hour or more on any time of the day. The streach of NH6 in Chhattisgarh is four lane now and this continues upto Sambalpur in Orissa; except for four specific points in CG where the road is still the old one. Those places are Arang, Pithora, Sankra and Saraipalli, where the road could not be widened due to some disputes with the local population. Work is going on to bypass these small towns but at present you have no option but to cross through them and the road is patchy in these places.

Near Bargarh on NH6.
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0430.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0437.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0431.jpg

Beautiful greenery on both sides.
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0444.jpg

We reached Sambalpur near to 07:00AM, filled fuel, had some tea (half hour break) and continued on the NH6 (old)/ NH53 (New). The road passes through some forest areas like the Deogarh forest, Harichandanpur-Telkoi Reserve forest as well as some hilly areas till Keonjhar We stopped at Keonjhar for some time to have another tea break. From Keonjhar till Jashipur the road crosses through an barren patch with scarce vegetation. After Jashipur the road crosses through the Simlipal National Forest (Tiger Reserve) on one side and the Badampahar forest on the other side and we reached Bangriposi. We then crossed the Jharpokaria round-about and reached Jamashola border check post. There is a ghat section before Keonjhar and again near Bangriposi; enjoyed driving through them. An European sedan like the Linea shows it’s class in such zigzag roads.

I stopped at the Jamashola check post and enquired from an local shopkeeper about the road ahead. He said that the road ahead is in better condition than before and I can cross it safely but with some caution as there are still some craters. When I asked about the road to Gopiballabhpur he had a second look at me and simply said “don’t look anywhere else take that road”. The road through Gopiballabhpur is almost a U-turn on the right side. So I crossed through an opening in the divider and through the line of trucks stranded on the check post, with the help of a local person, and took the almost unknown Hati-Gopi road straightway entering WB from Orissa.

The Hati-Gopi road was newly laid and smooth as butter just as the shop keeper at Jamshola had mentioned. We saw a gruesome accident here, which had occurred maybe minutes before we reached the spot, between a truck and a bike carrying two young people. At first sight I thought that both may be dead, more so the way their bodies were strewn across the road blocking it completely. After about ten-fifteen minutes after the local villagers removed the bodies from the road to a shade under a tree and sprinkled water on them, both showed some movement. Going ahead we catched the NH6 again near Sardiha in West Mednipur.

Moving ahead we crossed the (in)famous LodhaSuli jungle, where naxals once freely roamed about and reached Kharagpur. After Kharagpur we joined the GQ and the journey into Kolkata was nondescript.

During the return journey I could not muster the courage to cross through the jungles of Lodhasuli and Simlipal at night, so I decided to take the trusted route through NH6-NH60-NH5-NH42-NH6. We started at 11:30PM from Lansdowne Road and reached Bhilai at 05:30PM on 26-04-2016.

Last edited by Aditya : 5th May 2016 at 17:57. Reason: As per PM. Removing dead attachment links
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Old 4th May 2016, 12:42   #77
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Default Re: The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion

Some other pictures from the trip :-

Return through NH42 Anugul.
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0565.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0568.jpg

NH6 at Saraipalli, Chattisgarh.

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0585.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0587.jpg

A few more pictures from the Lodhasuli Jungle on NH6.

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_20160421_153333.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_20160421_153247.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_20160421_153255.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_20160421_153356.jpg

Last edited by Sommos : 4th May 2016 at 12:51.
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Old 4th May 2016, 15:05   #78
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Default Re: The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion

Streach of NH6/ NH200 between Sambalpur-Deogarh-Barkote.

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0447.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0450.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0453.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0457.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0451.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0454.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0460.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0461.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0465.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0469.jpg
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Old 4th May 2016, 15:14   #79
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Default Re: The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion

These pictures are before and after Keonjhar / Kendujhar.

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0497.jpg

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0501.jpg
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0503.jpg
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0519.jpg
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0521.jpg
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0525.jpg

On the ghat section after Keonjhar.
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0529.jpg

Afew minutes into the Hati-Gopi road, this signboard comes up.
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0537.jpg
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Old 4th May 2016, 15:20   #80
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Another picture on the Hati-Gopi road (SH9 in WB)
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0541.jpg

After crossing Kharagpur.
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0549.jpg
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0551.jpg
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0561.jpg
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_0560.jpg
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Old 5th May 2016, 15:04   #81
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Now the statistics for the journey :-

The return journey through NH42 :
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_20160427_193147.jpgThe "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_20160427_193155.jpg
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_20160427_193206.jpgThe "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_20160427_193217.jpg

Overall journey Bhilai-Kolkata-Bhilai.
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_20160427_193226.jpgThe "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_20160427_193234.jpg
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_20160427_193243.jpgThe "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_20160427_193252.jpg

The toll and the fuel expenses.
The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-toll-details.jpg

As the journey was to be performed in the scorching heat of the summer, I had purchased these magnetic shades with zipper on both the front doors just before the journey from Amazon. They arrived just two days before the journey. I fitted them in the car in the evening and drove locally to see if there was any visibility problem while driving. There was no such issues though I have not fitted the one for the driver side window for some other reason.

I would say that they performed really well in blocking the sun rays. Wife and son are really happy as far as protection from sun rays is concerned.

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_20160429_085221.jpg
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Old 7th May 2016, 11:12   #82
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An update for the White Knight :-

The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion-img_20160507_091900.jpg
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Old 18th August 2016, 14:29   #83
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Default Re: The "White Knight" comes home - BNW Fiat Linea 1.3 MJD Emotion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sommos View Post
An update for the White Knight :-
Dear Sommos,

Read your write up and thank you for the detailed Log. Planning a drive from Bengaluru to the NE but first I have to go to Ranchi to attend a reunion so instead of following the beaten path through AP, Orissa and then onto Ranchi (Done the AP, OR, Bengal route a no. of times om my drive to Bhutan, Darjeeling and Kolkata) so planned to take the Central India route. Please help me with the route from Nagpur to Bilaspur/Raipur onto Ranchi. Any recommended stops/hotels/restaurants en route?

Regards

Col J H Mayne
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Old 20th August 2016, 12:23   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
Dear Sommos,

Read your write up and thank you for the detailed Log. Planning a drive from Bengaluru to the NE but first I have to go to Ranchi to attend a reunion so instead of following the beaten path through AP, Orissa and then onto Ranchi (Done the AP, OR, Bengal route a no. of times om my drive to Bhutan, Darjeeling and Kolkata) so planned to take the Central India route. Please help me with the route from Nagpur to Bilaspur/Raipur onto Ranchi. Any recommended stops/hotels/restaurants en route?

Regards

Col J H Mayne
The Best route would be Nagpur-Sambalpur on NH6, then Jharsugda-Rourkela on SH and Rourkela-Simdega-Khunti/Gumla-Ranchi. The roads are very good upto Rourkela and the rest is two lane highway.

The second route would be Raipur-Bilaspur-Pathalgaon-Jashpur Nagar-Gumla-Ranchi. In this route Raipur to Bilaspur construction is going on and there are lots of diversion. Bilaspur to Pathalgaon there is a SH which may not be in very good condition due to the rains but should not be a big problem. Otherwise, if you want to avoid this section, then you have to go via Ambikapur, which would be lenghthy.

You can reach Pathalgoan by a different route, which is NH6 Raipur-Saraipali, then take left turn and go upto Raigarh, then there is a SH upto Pathalgaon, which is well maintained and has toll.

The above are as per my order of preference and I would request you to contact //M for the portion Rourkela to Ranchi.
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