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Old 7th October 2013, 20:42   #211
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Babuda View Post
Bhagalpur to NH 31 - is this the road that Google Maps refers to as Vikramshila Setu Road and if so how long is this stretch and how much time did it take you to cover this section?
Yes. ~15 Km/ 40 Mins. Traffic snarls with trucks/ 3 wheelers/ (Farm) Tractor- Trailer combinations weaving about trying to avoid the worst stretches. In my case it was raining, so one could not make out the pothole/ crater/ black hole.

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Had travelled last summer (2012) to Darjeeling but don't remember much about this stretch, so I'll be glad if you can refresh my memory
Two lanes. Very congested.

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Old 8th October 2013, 21:24   #212
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Forgot to mention. Around 2 -3 weeks back, there was a traffic accident between a truck and a local pedestrian at Pattabari. Result: - 15 trucks burnt. I saw 6 burnt truck skeletons. (A couple of Km from the Pattabari - Massanjore road T Jnc, towards Rampurhat.

Lesson: The Massanjore - Pattabari road is a drivers delight:- smooth, twisty, light traffic. But it is also narrow. Anyway, drive carefully.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 9th October 2013, 22:54   #213
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

I just came across a news report which states that NH-34 & NH-31 would be blocked for 48hrs after Puja by CITU

Quote:
CITU to block NH-34, 31 after Durga Puja

The Statesman 23 Sep 2013

memorandum to be served to district magistrate on 30 sept

Statesman News Service

Raiganj, 22 September

In protest against the bad condition of National Highway-34 and 31 in North Dinajpur district, the members of North Dinajpur unit of CITU decided to block both NH-34 and NH-31 and the roads in all pocket routes of the district for 48 hours after Durga Puja. They will inform the subject of their movement to the District Magistrate on 30 September through a memorandum.
For complete article please refer the link below.

Source: http://www.thestatesman.net/news/163...ja.html?page=3

Last edited by aah78 : 10th October 2013 at 00:35. Reason: Quotes fixed. Post formatted.
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Old 17th October 2013, 16:26   #214
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Forgot to mention. Around 2 -3 weeks back, there was a traffic accident between a truck and a local pedestrian at Pattabari. Result: - 15 trucks burnt. I saw 6 burnt truck skeletons. (A couple of Km from the Pattabari - Massanjore road T Jnc, towards Rampurhat.

Lesson: The Massanjore - Pattabari road is a drivers delight:- smooth, twisty, light traffic. But it is also narrow. Anyway, drive carefully.

Regards
Sutripta
The day I took this route to Siliguri in March 2013, a doctor and his wife got killed in an accident on the way from Massanjore to Siuri. The doctor (driver) tried to save a motorcycle on the twisty road. The incident happened minutes before I passed the spot.
The route is scenic enough to enjoy a slow and leisurely drive without trying to overtake slower vehicles.
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Old 18th October 2013, 13:26   #215
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

My home town is Cooch Behar and I have driven along the Kolkata - Siliguri route a couple of times in a hatchback(Maruti Swift) and both time I had an extremely biter the experience.So, much so that I have stopped thinking about taking the car anytime in the future.

1 - During the Durga pujo of '11 - I availed the Barasat - Krishnanagar - Behrampur - Malda - Raiganj - Dalkhola - Siliguri - Cooch Behar and it took me 24 hours approximately (over 2 days). It was a tiresome journey and by the time we reached Cooch Behar, both us and the car were fatigued.

2 - The next time, pujo of '12, based on some reports that the route had be repaired for pujo, I took a huge detour: Kolkata - Bardhaman - Darjeeling more - Panagarh/Morgram State highway - Malda - Cooch Behar

It was an even bitter experience and the extra 100 kms cost me an additional 4 hours (28 hrs in 2 days).

With the information that is present in this thread, it is only worthwhile to conclude that NH34 is becoming more pathetic by the day and the preferred route is the route via Dumka/Bhagalpur.

However, from some of the posts, there is an indication that even there are prolonged bad stretches along this route too.

So, it will be great if some body can share, how does hatchbacks fare along this route? Route travel times from Kolkata to Siliguri? A little more of the detailed route condition? Trip diaries, if any.
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Old 18th October 2013, 13:36   #216
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Please inform as to the present condition of the road between Dumka and Mansanjore. From Cuttack, Odisha, where should one halt for proper accomodation on this route-that is Howrah-Siliguri via Dumka? Will Bardhaman be a better option or Bolpur? Destination being Bhutan and Gangtok!

Last edited by Judemayne : 18th October 2013 at 13:37. Reason: spellings
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Old 18th October 2013, 22:15   #217
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by sayakc View Post
It was an even bitter experience and the extra 100 kms cost me an additional 4 hours (28 hrs in 2 days).

With the information that is present in this thread, it is only worthwhile to conclude that NH34 is becoming more pathetic by the day and the preferred route is the route via Dumka/Bhagalpur.

However, from some of the posts, there is an indication that even there are prolonged bad stretches along this route too.
All of us have been sharing their horrifying experiences of NH-34 repeatedly. It is clear that this route is non-motorable to the extent that all private AC buses plying between Kolkata-Siliguri have been suspended since long, the couple of other regular buses which were plying in this route have also decided to discontinue their services until situation improves citing heavy vehicle maintenance costs.

I understand that this issue is also being taken up through a 48hrs protest on NH-34 & NH-31 by CITU in the next couple of days as per news reports (haven't received any further update on this )

I'm also eagerly looking forward to a detailed update on the present scenario between Dumka/Bhagalpur by Babuda who is expected to return back to Kolkata after vacation on 20 Oct 13.
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Old 18th October 2013, 22:33   #218
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
Please inform as to the present condition of the road between Dumka and Mansanjore. From Cuttack, Odisha, where should one halt for proper accomodation on this route-that is Howrah-Siliguri via Dumka? Will Bardhaman be a better option or Bolpur? Destination being Bhutan and Gangtok!
I would consider Bardhaman to be a better option.
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Old 18th October 2013, 23:09   #219
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by sayakc View Post
However, from some of the posts, there is an indication that even there are prolonged bad stretches along this route too.

So, it will be great if some body can share, how does hatchbacks fare along this route? Route travel times from Kolkata to Siliguri? A little more of the detailed route condition? Trip diaries, if any.
Approx 12 hrs in a hatch. The prolonged bad patch is from somewhat before Bhagalpur to Jnc with NH31. And this is nowhere near as bad as NH34.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
Will Bardhaman be a better option or Bolpur? Destination being Bhutan and Gangtok!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redeemer8 View Post
I would consider Bardhaman to be a better option.
My choice would be Bolpur. Greater number/ variety of accomodation.

NH60 (Balasore to Kharagpur) is essentially a single carriageway now. And the flood affected people have taken shelter on the road. Might take a long time to traverse.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 20th October 2013, 00:04   #220
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
My choice would be Bolpur. Greater number/ variety of accomodation. Regards Sutripta
Dada- I thought Bardhaman would be a better choice since its a large district & also the HQ. Could you kindly specify why accommodation option & variety is more in Bolpur? Is it due it's close proximity to Santiniketan?

I'm also looking forward to identifying a suitable place while travelling from Hyderabad-via Dumka to Darjeeling. The constrain is, I need a pet-friendly place as I would be taking along Bruno (My Lab)
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Old 20th October 2013, 19:52   #221
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

^^^
Don't think tourists visit Barddhaman! Shantiniketan on the other hand has pretty heavy (for its population) tourist traffic. Using Bolpur = Shantiniketan.

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Old 20th October 2013, 22:32   #222
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
^^^Don't think tourists visit Barddhaman!
I beg to differ on this. Bardhaman does have substantial tourist inflows considering its historical importance. There are a lot of places of interest too which you can find in this link http://bardhamandarshan.org/.
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Old 21st October 2013, 17:03   #223
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redeemer8 View Post
All of us have been sharing their horrifying experiences of NH-34 repeatedly. It is clear that this route is non-motorable to the extent that all private AC buses plying between Kolkata-Siliguri have been suspended since long, the couple of other regular buses which were plying in this route have also decided to discontinue their services until situation improves citing heavy vehicle maintenance costs.

I'm also eagerly looking forward to a detailed update on the present scenario between Dumka/Bhagalpur by Babuda who is expected to return back to Kolkata after vacation on 20 Oct 13.
Hi guys, got back from Bhutan yesterday i.e. 20/10. Took the Nivedita Setu, NH 2, Gushkara, Bolpur, Purandarpur, Siuri, Tilpara, Massanjore, Dumka, Bhagalpur, Purnea & Dalkhola route to Siliguri. The road conditions are exactly as described below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Hi,
Used this road this week (returning).

Till Siuri, it is the usual. The Bhedia underpass is still a problem for small cars. But then small cars can take the road next to the railway stn.

The roads in Jharkhand are now really good. Even the Pattabadi to Dumka section. Most of the bridges are done, though unfortunately not the approaches! Sometimes the diversion seems more enticing.

Roads in Bihar have deteriorated. Esp. around Bhagalpur. Bhagalpur itself is a mess. Bhagalpur to NH31 is bad.

Islampur section remains what it is.

Toll road section normally good, but with unexpected potholes.

Vaibhab Motel is fully functional now. (Fooding and Lodging).

Regards
Sutripta
Onward journey Day 1:

Kolkata to Bolpur was a breeze. The Bhedia underpass was flooded so we had to take the road next to the railway station and of course you have to be a little careful while negotiating the so called bridge after the Sriniketan Junction. There are intermittent potholes on the road from Bolpur to Siuri. We encountered a huge snarl before the Siuri Level Crossing and were stuck there for around 15 minutes before an elderly local driver at the wheels of an Ambassador guided us through interiors roads on to NH 60. From there the road to Seorakuri More was so so. Once we crossed into Jharkhand, the roads to my surprise were excellent. However, Bihar was a different story. The Dumka - Bhagalpur section had potholes and broken culverts; road conditions deteriorated post Dumka and after entering Bihar I was frankly taken aback at the state of the roads in this part of the state. The road just prior to entering Bhagalpur, the roads inside the town itself and the exit right up to the end of Vikramshila Setu Road just before joining NH 31 is in shambles. Crossing Bhagalpur Town (till the start of Vikramshila Setu) took us around 15 mins. Once on NH 31, the road to Purnea was excellent. We broke journey in Purnea as we had planned to leave for Bagdogra in the morning to pick up my friend and his family from the airport before continuing to Phuntshoeling.

Time taken:

Kolkata - Burdwan: 1 hr 30 mins
Breakfast break at Burdwan: 15 mins
Burdwan - Bolpur: 1 hr 30 mins
Bolpur - Massanjore: 2 hrs (including 15 mins delay at the Siuri Level Crossing)
View Break at Massanjore: 15 mins
Massanjore - Dumka: 40 mins
Dumka - Bhagalpur: 2 hrs 30 mins
Diesel top up at Bhagalpur: 5 mins
Bhagalpur - Purnea (Bus Stand): 2 hrs
Purnea(Bus Stand) - Purnea (Hotel Centre Point): 15 mins
Total: Kolkata to Purnea - 11 hrs door to door

Onward journey Day 2:

The Purnea to Dalkhola section was very good. A large part of the toll section however had the top surface peeling off and we had to keep to the extreme right to maintain speed. Islampur was crowded but not too bad. The approach to and exit from Bagdogra is badly potholed. Bagdogra to Phuntshoeling was via the Sevoke, Oodlabari, Malbazar, Chalsa, Binnaguri, Madarihat, Hasimara, Jaigaon route. Madarihat to Hasimara is still potholed but is manageable. Moreover, there are gaps between the bad stretches, evidence of patch repairs having being carried out in the worst sections.

Time taken:

Purnea - Bagdogra Airport: 2 hrs 15 mins
Bagdogra Airport arrival(waiting): 15 mins
Breakfast break at City Dhaba (a little before reaching Darjeeling More): 45 mins
Darjeeling More - Phuntshoeling: 3 hr 15 mins
Total: Purnea Hotel to Phuntshoeling Hotel(Orchid) via Bagdogra Airport- 6 hrs 30 mins

I'll leave out the Bhutan section in this thread and describe the return journey.

Return journey Day 1:

Phuntshoeling (Hotel Orchid) - Purnea (Hotel Centre Point) exact reverse of the route taken while going: 7 hrs including a leisurely 1 hr lunch break at Dalkhola + heavy traffic and rain.

Return journey Day 2:

Purnea - Dumka again a reverse of the route taken while going: 5 hrs including a 5 min diesel top up stop at Bhagalpur. This time it took us around 30 mins to cross Bhagalpur Town from the end of Vikramshila Setu.

From Dumka we decided to try out a new route as I wanted to visit my cousin in Asansol. We took the Dumka - Jamtara road and turned towards Asansol from Bagdaha More and continued towards our destination via Nala, a distance of approx. 95 kms. The first 60 kms in Jharkhand took us 1 hr 15 mins. The balance 35 km of the road which is in Bengal and ends bang opposite Jubilee Petrol Pump on NH 2 on the Asansol Bypass took us 1 hr 30 mins! My cousin later informed me that I should have continued on the Dumka - Jamtara road, turned off on to the Chittaranjan - Asansol road and then joined NH 2. Even though the route is longer, it would probably have saved us some time.

Total time taken from Purnea (Hotel Centre Point) to Asansol (Gopalpur): 7 hrs 45 mins

Return journey Day 3:

Asansol - Kolkata: I was shocked at the deterioration of the road surface on the stretch between Asansol and Panagarh. Top surface peeled off, frequent potholes, deep furrows created by truck tires and no signs of maintenance whatsoever. Thankfully there was no traffic jam in Panagarh. Post Panagargh the road is as smooth as silk.

Time taken from Asansol (Gopalpur) to Kolkata (Home - Central Kolkata): 4 hrs 15 mins including a 15 min coffee break at CCD at the HP Pump near Singur. The usual time taken from Kolkata - Asansol is around 3 hrs 30 mins. The extra 30 mins can be attributed to the bad road condition between Asansol and Panagarh.

Regards,

Babuda
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Old 21st October 2013, 22:17   #224
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Babuda View Post
Hi guys, got back from Bhutan yesterday i.e. 20/10. Took the Nivedita Setu, NH 2, Gushkara, Bolpur, Purandarpur, Siuri, Tilpara, Massanjore, Dumka, Bhagalpur, Purnea & Dalkhola route to Siliguri. Regards,Babuda
Thanks a lot Babuda for the detailed update. Hope you had a very wonderful holiday. Do share your Bhutan experience with pics in a separate travelogue.

Warm Regards,

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Old 21st October 2013, 22:32   #225
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Generally the thumb rule on this route, especially the Jharkhand/Bihar stretches is that the roads are laid in-around end October, early November. So its mostly best to Avoid a Kolkata - Siliguri run during the Monsoon months till early November. But this year, its still pouring,not sure if the work will start as scheduled.
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