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Old 16th April 2012, 10:59   #1
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Default Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries

I'm planning a trip to Bhubaneshwar, Odisha sometime in 3rd week of May from Lucknow. Which is the recommended route that is comfortable and safe. I'll be travelling with family that include kids and only daytime driving. I had planned as below:

Lucknow - Kanpur - Varanasi - Chauparan - Barhi (NH2) then
Barhi - Hazaribagh - Ranchi - Jamshedpur - Baleshwar - Bhubaneshwar.

With one night stay at Ranchi (as travelling with kids). Are there any alternative (though longer) but more safer and comfortable (road condition wise) routes. How is Barhi to Baleshwar road condition. Any good eateries along the way ? Highway experts guidance would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 16th April 2012, 12:31   #2
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Default Re: Lucknow to bhubaneshwar ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by entropy View Post

Lucknow - Kanpur - Varanasi - Chauparan - Barhi (NH2) then
Barhi - Hazaribagh - Ranchi - Jamshedpur - Baleshwar - Bhubaneshwar.

With one night stay at Ranchi (as travelling with kids). Are there any alternative (though longer) but more safer and comfortable (road condition wise) routes. How is Barhi to Baleshwar road condition. Any good eateries along the way ? Highway experts guidance would be greatly appreciated.
I am from Jharkhand and can comment only on Bihar/Jharkhand routes. I am taking up this stretch-by-stretch.

1. Varanasi - Chauparan
309 kms. Approx 6 hours. on NH 2. Maa Kali Hotel/Dhaba provides good food/snacks. Avoid any other dhaba if with family. Some drunkards, Eunuchs may be found there.
Overall, good stretch.

2. Chauparan -Barhi
21 kms. Slow moving traffic. 30 mins. approx

3. Barhi - Hazaribagh
40 kms. 50 mins.
4 lane bliss. Put car in 6th gear, pedal to metal. 120 kph avg speed. many dhabas en-route. One just after the toll is awesome.

4. Hazaribagh - Ranchi
100 kms.
1 hr 45 mins
Again 4 lane. Same as above. Thins as we approach ranchi. Look out for rural specialties.

5. Ranchi- jamshedpur

130 kms.
2 to 2.25 hours
Single lane, but awesome road with the right curves at right places. Enough open strethces too. Panchvati dhaba just after Tamar/Bundu is good. Eat there with family. Falls on left side when approaching Jamshedpur from Ranchi.

PS: Where are you intending to stay in Ranchi??
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Old 16th April 2012, 12:32   #3
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Default Re: Lucknow to bhubaneshwar ?

@entropy, Why not go Lucknow - Allahabad and then join NH2 there. I hear Lucknow - Allahabad is a very good road.
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Old 16th April 2012, 13:21   #4
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Default Re: Lucknow to bhubaneshwar ?

Lucknow-Allahabad-Varanasi-Barhi-Hazaribag-Ranchi-Jamshedpur-Balasore-Bhubaneshwar
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Old 16th April 2012, 16:43   #5
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Default re: Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries

Thanks for the very helpful responses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by searchingheaven View Post
1. Varanasi - Chauparan
309 kms. Approx 6 hours. on NH 2. Maa Kali Hotel/Dhaba provides good food/snacks. Avoid any other dhaba if with family. Some drunkards, Eunuchs may be found there.
Overall, good stretch.

3. Barhi - Hazaribagh
40 kms. 50 mins.
4 lane bliss. Put car in 6th gear, pedal to metal. 120 kph avg speed. many dhabas en-route. One just after the toll is awesome.

PS: Where are you intending to stay in Ranchi??
Where exactly is MaaKali Hotel ? Also on Barhi Hazaribagh stretch which toll this would be ? Just to make sure that I make right stops. I'm planning to stay at RadissonBlu Ranchi. Now I'm wondering whether a one day journey from Lucknow to Ranchi is possible or not esp. along with the family. Besides Ranchi however I do not see an overnight stopover point :-( I'll be taking along either my 4.2TDI Q7 or Santa-Fe (as yet undecided).

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
@entropy, Why not go Lucknow - Allahabad and then join NH2 there. I hear Lucknow - Allahabad is a very good road.
Usually I prefer Kanpur route though longer as the travel times are more or less same. Also I find Kanpur route is more comfortable due to GQ roads. LKO - Allbd road is without any dividers and generally has lots of local traffic. May look at it again when actually starting up the journey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Lucknow-Allahabad-Varanasi-Barhi-Hazaribag-Ranchi-Jamshedpur-Balasore-Bhubaneshwar
Any ideas for the Jamshedpur to Baleshwar stretch ? (Travel times, road conditions, things to watch out for ?).
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Old 16th April 2012, 18:07   #6
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Default re: Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by entropy View Post
Any ideas for the Jamshedpur to Baleshwar stretch ? (Travel times, road conditions, things to watch out for ?).
Ranchi-Jamshedpur stretch has improved after repairs I hear. Jamshedpur-Baleshwar route will be through NH33-NH6-NH5. You get on NH6 from NH33 at a place called Baharagora. Be warned that this entire stretch of NH33 till Baharagora is pretty broken. Even though you will be on an SUV you will still face discomfort. You have to take NH6 and enter Odisha to take NH5. Both NH6 and NH5 are good for the route you want to take. From Ranchi to Bhubaneshwar NH75-NH215-NH5 route might be a good alternative but I have no clue about its condition.

A big thing to watch out for in Odisha is corrupt RTO officials demanding INR 1000 for road tax even though you are just visiting or passing through. Make it a point to summarily refuse paying this extortion. Keep some telephone nos. of the Odisha road transport department from the Internet or better still if you have some contacts within Odisha make sure you have their telephone nos. Under no circumstance you should be forced to pay for this extortion in Odisha as it is totally illegal on the part of these corrupt RTO officials.
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Old 16th April 2012, 18:11   #7
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Default re: Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by entropy View Post
Usually I prefer Kanpur route though longer as the travel times are more or less same. Also I find Kanpur route is more comfortable due to GQ roads. LKO - Allbd road is without any dividers and generally has lots of local traffic. May look at it again when actually starting up the journey.
Right now Jajmau to RamaDevi is a nightmare. Even the flyover part at Unnao is a pain. You take your choice.
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Old 16th April 2012, 19:39   #8
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Post re: Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by entropy View Post

Where exactly is MaaKali Hotel ? Also on Barhi Hazaribagh stretch which toll this would be ? Just to make sure that I make right stops. I'm planning to stay at Radisson Blu Ranchi. Now I'm wondering whether a one day journey from Lucknow to Ranchi is possible or not esp. along with the family. Besides Ranchi however I do not see an overnight stopover point :-( I'll be taking along either my 4.2TDI Q7 or Santa-Fe (as yet undecided).
I will ask dad for the exact location of the maa kali hotel. Only one Toll on the stretch. Don't worry. Regarding hotel, I would suggest Golden Tulip or Capitol Hill. Radisson Blu service is not that great, i heard. Anyway not a big issue. Regarding the choice of car, I would suggest the Audi. That way, at least i will get to see it.
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Old 16th April 2012, 21:29   #9
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Default re: Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries

If you don't mind trains disturbing your sleep, why not the BNR?

Long back (~ 30 years back) I drove from Chaibasa to Baripada. Single lane, but OK. Anyone know if those roads still exist? Have those been widened?

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 16th April 2012, 22:23   #10
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Default re: Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
If you don't mind trains disturbing your sleep, why not the BNR?

Long back (~ 30 years back) I drove from Chaibasa to Baripada. Single lane, but OK. Anyone know if those roads still exist? Have those been widened?

Regards
Sutripta
Sutripta da, won't that be a little risky as most of these roads are through dense Maoist areas and if he drives an Audi Q7, there might be a possibility of making some national news . The road to Chaibasa from Jamshedpur might be in a good shape because the Tata officials might be using it as they run welfare schemes in those areas. I am not too sure about Ranchi to Chaibasa using NH75. Somebody who is from Ranchi or might have used it recently. Although this news article is 2 years old Naxalite fear leaves important NH 75 in shambles, I suspect the conditions remain the same. Might be a better idea to suffer NH33 till Baharagora after which it would be smooth sailing till Bhubaneshwar.
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Old 17th April 2012, 11:33   #11
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Default re: Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries

Just thinking aloud why go via Ranchi and Jamshedpur? IMHO you could continue along NH2 right upto Raniganj (WB). Make a night halt there and next morning make a dash for Bhubaneswar via Kharagpur. Check this out
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India to Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India - Google Maps

This ensure a GQ drive most of the time except the stretch between Raniganj to Kharagpur which is NH60. I assume this stretch will better if not worse than the stretch between Jamshedpur to Balasore. Please make additional queries before deciding on this.
  1. I will strongly advice to skip Kanpur. Join NH2 via the excellent Allahabad Bypass. FYI exactly one year ago me and family drove from Jamshedpur to Nainital and took this route. I too was anxious but can confirm that you can maintain speed as high as 90kmph specially once past Raibareilly. IIRC we left Varanasi about 11 am and reached LUK about 4pm.
  2. On the return leg we came via Kanpur and it was a nightmare. A combination of bad roads and extreme traffic ensured a loss of about 2 good hours.
  3. LUK to JSR is doable in a single day. We left Taj Gomtinagar about 5am and arrived JSR about 11pm. NOT ADVISABLE as you cross the accident prone stretch between Ranchi and JSR at its most dangerous period. We could have reached earlier via the Allahabad bypass route. Break your journey at Ranchi if you decide to take this route.
  4. Due to 4 laning activities between Barhi and Ranchi you may face blocks but nothing major. However the stretch between Ramgarh and Ranchi will test your patience due to super dense traffic condition.
  5. Road condition between Ranchi to JSR is about 85% ok. Between JSR and Bahragora (the Jharkhand - W. Bengal - Orissa border) its about 75% ok. Just today’s newspaper mentioned locals laying a load block demanding repair work. You will need upward of 10 hrs between Ranchi to BBSR
  6. Redisson is an excellent property at Ranchi. They have a super Buffet and also an outlet of the Kebab Factory. Should you desire vegetarian fare you can try Kaveri Restaurant within walking distance but be prepared to queue for a while. You might ask Radisson if they can help to reserve a table at Kaveri.
My suggestion:
  1. Start early from Lucknow. Around 5am is good. Just bundle the kids into the car while they are still in pajamas . Saves lot of time.
  2. Pack your breakfast and lunch if possible. If not then the only half decent place is at Unchahar. Keep a lookout at your right side. You cant miss it. For lunch you can try a few dhabas about 50km prior to Varanasi though none look appealing to me. Or you can drive about 30km past Varanasi and stop at the nice and clean BPCL dhaba on your right. This is my personal favourite. Excellent rotis and daal tarka. Clean toilets and fuel. Beyond this and right upto W. Bengal you have practically nothing where you can park your Q7.
  3. Aim for Raniganj (WB) for a night halt. This is a decent mining/industrial town and I am sure got acceptable accommodation. Caveat- I've never driven or been to Raniganj. Please enquire more.
  4. Next morning head for Kharagpur and then join the GQ again towards Bhubaneswar. Take precaution NOT to enter the Kharagpur town. The interchange to GQ at Kharagpur is the most confusing in India.
  5. Alternatively, you can keep driving almost till Kolkata and then turn southward towards Odisha all the while staying at GQ. This is the routing I have seen some folks do when driving from South India to NE India. Search TBHP.
  6. Once you have crossed into Bihar, you are driving on some of the best stretches of GQ. Almost empty and excellent surface deep into Odisha with some minor disturbances thrown in.
  7. During outbound your “Make up with speed” stretches should be the Allahabad Bypass, most of Jharkand and then patch beyond Kharagpur upto some distance within Odisha. Excellent roads and with sparse traffic.
  8. Bring the Santa Fe. A bigger vehicle counts in our parts
When in-bounding from Bhubaneswar to Lucknow, I will recommend you take the route via Jamshedpur and Ranchi. The reasons why the original outbound routing may not work is as below:
  1. Leaving Bhubaneswar very early in the morning your natural night halt should again be Raniganj. However, the stretch between Kharagpur and Raniganj is 100% red territory. You will be crossing this late evening. I don’t know how advisable that is. Personally I wont do that.
  2. Instead, take the Balasore>Jamshedour route and aim to be at Ranchi by 7pm. Next morning make an early start to Lucknow which is perfectly doable. Personally I will do this inbound routing.
Sorry for this somewhat confusing post. Should you require any local support I am just a PM away

And now for some pic;
  1. GQ at Bihar
  2. GQ at Jharkhand
  3. Four laning between Barhi to Hazaribagh
  4. Notice the coal seams
  5. Ghat section between Ramgarh to Ranchi
  6. Typical local crowding
  7. Road between Ranchi to Jamshedpur
  8. Dangerous, fast curves galore in this stretch
  9. Note the maniacal driving practices
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Old 17th April 2012, 12:22   #12
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Default re: Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries

LOL. This pics vanished in the last post. Here we try again
Attached Thumbnails
Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries-1-gq-bihar.jpg  

Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries-2-gq-jharkhand.jpg  

Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries-3-four-laning-between-barhi-hazaribagh.jpg  

Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries-4-notice-coal-seams.jpg  

Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries-5-ghat-section-between-ramgarh-ranchi.jpg  

Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries-6.-typical-local-crowding.jpg  

Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries-7-road-between-ranchi-jamshedpur.jpg  

Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries-8-dangerous-fast-curves-galore-stretch.jpg  

Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries-9-note-maniacal-driving-practices.jpg  

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Old 17th April 2012, 12:36   #13
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Default re: Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive_factor View Post
Just thinking aloud why go via Ranchi and Jamshedpur? IMHO you could continue along NH2 right upto Raniganj (WB). Make a night halt there and next morning make a dash for Bhubaneswar via Kharagpur. Check this out
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India to Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India - Google Maps
If one takes this route, a much better option would be Durgapur instead of Raniganj. Reasons being
  • Durgapur is hardly 25 kms away from Raniganj and has excellent hotel stay options for a night halt.
  • Going to Kharagpur from Durgapur might be easier through Bankura as the road to Bankura from Durgapur is super smooth.
  • NH60 after Bankura till Kharagpur though not good is still probably better than the Jamshedpur-Baharagora stretch.
  • Maoists activities are non-existent at this point in this stretch though strongly advise to do this stretch during the day

Last edited by samarjitdhar : 17th April 2012 at 12:52. Reason: updated bullet
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Old 17th April 2012, 12:46   #14
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Default re: Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries

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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive_factor View Post

I assume this stretch will better if not worse than the stretch between Jamshedpur to Balasore. Please make additional queries before deciding on this.

I have confirmed this from a friend and he says that it is worse than the Jamshedpur-balasore stretch. I will try to get some pics soon.


LUK to JSR is doable in a single day. NOT ADVISABLE as you cross the accident prone stretch between Ranchi and JSR at its most dangerous period. We could have reached earlier via the Allahabad bypass route. Break your journey at Ranchi if you decide to take this route.

Why do you make conflicting statements? One moment, doadble & second moment, not ADVISBALE. He will break his journey at Ranchi & will be staying at a hotel. He has stated that in the above posts. Read carefully. Also, this stretch is being improved & four-laned as we speak. I regularly do the Ranchi-Jamshedpur route once a week. No problem even if he does drive at night. We usually enter Jamshedpur by 12:00 AM.

Due to 4 laning activities between Barhi and Ranchi you may face blocks but nothing major. However the stretch between Ramgarh and Ranchi will test your patience due to super dense traffic condition.

Barhi and Ranchi 4 laning is over & done-with. It is a now a super-fast stretch with normal speeds of 120 kph. If he leaves the hotel in Ranchi by 06:00 Am the next day(after making an overnight stay), he will cruise through the roads.


Road condition between Ranchi to JSR is about 85% ok.
100% okay. Even the Chandil stretch is patched.

Between JSR and Bahragora (the Jharkhand - W. Bengal - Orissa border) its about 75% ok.
The JSR-Bahragora stretch will rearrange your bones, be assured.


Bring the Santa Fe. A bigger vehicle counts in our parts

You have a feeling that the Q7 is smaller than the Santa-Fe ???
Santa-Fe is a car or a tank??

Just 1 line: Avoid WB while you still can. Better to go straight. WB means you will have to deal with a whole new state RTO's. And if you require any local support, i am here also along with close-relatives in Ranchi(Living in Tagore Hill).

Quote:
Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
I am not too sure about Ranchi to Chaibasa using NH75. Somebody who is from Ranchi or might have used it recently. Although this news article is 2 years old Naxalite fear leaves important NH 75 in shambles, I suspect the conditions remain the same. Might be a better idea to suffer NH33 till Baharagora after which it would be smooth sailing till Bhubaneshwar.
Yes sir, you're right about the NH-75 stretch & it is a better idea to suffer NH-33 till Bahragora.

Last edited by GTO : 17th April 2012 at 15:16.
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Old 17th April 2012, 16:04   #15
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Default re: Lucknow to Bhubaneshwar : Route Queries

I would take the GQ route, fastest & best, as follows:

Lucknow-Kanpur-Allahabad-Varanasi-Aurangabad-Barhi-Asansol-Durgapur-Calcutta-Kharagpur-Jaleswar-Baleswar-Bhadrak-Bhubaneswar.

You can comfortably do the drive in 3 days and if you are an aggressive driver, in 2 itself.

There are lots of facilities en route.

The problem areas are:

- Some occasional traffic jams in Varanasi bypass
- Traffic congestion around Durgapur, particularly Darjeeling More & Panagad Bazaar
- Traffic jams at WB-OR border before Jaleswar, which can be easily overcome by driving on the wrong side of the road (as also directed by the cops)

You can refer the entire route in detail in this link, which is a route plan I have prepared for driving the GQ (please refer the sections from Kanpur to Bhubaneswar),
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...0xwVW1BSWlSWHc
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