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Old 4th December 2013, 08:50   #271
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Used NH34 on the way back (mostly for the sake of updating here) and boy it was such a pain, in hindsight now, the craters to the approach of Bhagalpur look like some mere obstacles to patiently see through.
How is the condition between Dalkola and Raigunj? Raigunj and Maldah should be supposedly better, isn't it?

Might go to Maldah for a day, hence wanted to know.
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Old 4th December 2013, 10:02   #272
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Used NH34 on the way back (mostly for the sake of updating here)
End of December is still some time away, I would say, just do it, just dont plan on an aggressive or ambitious schedule.

Vaibhav Inn experience was Good.
Good to see you back in circulation! Hope you had a nice rejuvenation in the hills. As you have stated NH34, no way! Ok instead of 13hrs I would take 15hrs, So what? And as you have stated issue is with Bhagalpur entry, exit, Vikramshila and 10km post that. That’s going to roughly around 50-60odd kms. That’s tolerable.

Is the Ghushkora Culvert repaired? Any news/update on Darjeeling More/Illumbabazar/Dubrajpur/Siuri segment road condition?

Sutriptada gave me another option of Ranigunj-Siuri, the roads are supposedly good.

Is this Vaibhav Inn on the road leading to Purnia from Vikramshila Setu?

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Originally Posted by black_panther View Post
Let's see. I purchased train tickets after seeing your last post, as an alternate.
When are you leaving? and where all would you be visiting? I would be leaving on 28th.

Last edited by me_sid : 4th December 2013 at 10:03.
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Old 4th December 2013, 14:08   #273
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
How is the condition between Dalkola and Raigunj? Raigunj and Maldah should be supposedly better, isn't it?

Might go to Maldah for a day, hence wanted to know.

Road from Dalkhola to Raiganj is complete non existent, infact its better if the bits and pieces of tarmac that remains is actually completely removed.

Thankfully, We took the alternate route to taking the Dalkhola crossing, just for the sake of avoiding the crossing, but turned out as one of the better decisions made.

The route we took was Dhantola-Botolbari rather than Dhantola-Karandighi (as suggested elsewhere).

Anyway, to give an idea of how bad the Dalkhola Raiganj section is :- Botolbari more to Raiganj is 15kms, but it took us about an hour to even reach the WB tourist Lodge at Raiganj, 2 kms ahead of Raiganj Crossing (i.e 13kms in 1 hour). Extrapolate that to 45kms between Dalkhola (after the level crossing to Raiganj more) it will indicate a 3.5 hours of drive time through roads (why am I calling it a road even?) that will make you feel guilty towards your vehicle. There are trucks with broken axles every half a km. Then there is the Dalkhola crossing. Trucks are taking upto 6 hours to reach Purnea More at Dalkhola (only 45 kms away).

Anyway here is an indicator to the Dhantola-Botolbari route (which is referred to as Bengal-Bengal route, is officially restricted to trucks, but you will see many of them sharing roadspace with you)

http://goo.gl/maps/f2ipf

The entry point is at Dhantola, exactly 7.5 kms on the left after the 4-lane start from Islampur. If you are coming from Dalkhola, the cut-out on the right side to take this route will be roughly 1.5 kms.

The road is bad in the initial stretches till about the first 10 kms, almost questioning your decision to choose this route, but later it turns out good. After 43 Kms from Dhantola, there will be a T-junction, the road on left will take you to Botolbari, 17 kms away (the road straight ahead goes to Karandighi/Damohona on the NH34 too, but that will mean a 20 additional Kilometers to endure on the NH34. However, this road to Botolbari is very narrow, to let cars or Busses from the other direction pass, both vehicles would have to step offroad, and in case, like it turned out for us, there are two heavy vehicles facing each other, expect delays in crossing (heavy vehicles are officially not allowed on this route - but they end up taking this as an alternative to enduring the pain of NH34)

From Raiganj to Malda, its better, in some stretches (especially the last few kms) its already 4 laned, took my 1hr 20 mins (From Raiganj tourist lodge).

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Originally Posted by me_sid View Post
Good to see you back in circulation! Hope you had a nice rejuvenation in the hills. As you have stated NH34, no way! Ok instead of 13hrs I would take 15hrs, So what? And as you have stated issue is with Bhagalpur entry, exit, Vikramshila and 10km post that. That’s going to roughly around 50-60odd kms. That’s tolerable.

Is the Ghushkora Culvert repaired? Any news/update on Darjeeling More/Illumbabazar/Dubrajpur/Siuri segment road condition?

Sutriptada gave me another option of Ranigunj-Siuri, the roads are supposedly good.

Is this Vaibhav Inn on the road leading to Purnia from Vikramshila Setu?
The culvert prior to Guskhora is not yet operational. Going towards Bolpur, there is a morrum road going on the right, from the point of this culvert. Around 2 kms of dirt driving, you come across a narrow bridge on the left, take it and follow the village road back to the Bolpur highway. Had an interesting experience on this stretch yesterday while coming back at night. Was somehow in a hurry to reach home, overtook a few cars on this dirt road, turned out, it was almighty that was pushing me. Up ahead was a tractor (coming from opposite side) that had broken down with a jammed left wheel, in what was the narrowest part of this morrum road. In the process it had blocked traffic behind it, including an ambulance, and even vehicles from our side. But since I had overtaken a few cars, Marengo was coincidentally the first car from our side. When I first suggested to tow the tractor, most people rubbished it, then I said "4-wheel gari ache, tene debe" (this is a 4-wheel car (local parlance for 4-wheel-drive) it will pull). So out came the rope, a firm knot at both ends to both vehicles, shifted to 4-wheel-low and hit reverse gear. The tractor moved magically forward, dragging its left wheel. Towed it back around 50 meters to a place vehicles can pass beside it. While crossing it, realised that the folks had not even taken the pain to disconnect the trailer behind it.

But the worse part is, after rejoining the road to Bardhaman, found a beacon lighted safari that I had overtaken a few kilo's back around Bolpur, ahead of me. There is no way that Safari could have overtaken us, had it followed the route the others, including a siren blaring ambulance was subjected to. The only possibility was that the cops allowed the Lal-Bati car through the culvert (whereas they could not extend the same "status" to atleast the ambulance).

Last edited by 1100D : 4th December 2013 at 14:17.
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Old 4th December 2013, 15:14   #274
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by me_sid View Post
Sutriptada gave me another option of Ranigunj-Siuri, the roads are supposedly good.
Based on
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post3301353
Please also go through subsequent posts.

Quote:
Is this Vaibhav Inn on the road leading to Purnia from Vikramshila Setu?
A few KM north of the bridge. On the right if you are going towards Purnia.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 4th December 2013, 15:40   #275
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post

A few KM north of the bridge. On the right if you are going towards Purnia.

Regards
Sutripta
Thanks a ton Sutriptada, as I would be leaving bagdogra at around 12'ish while coming back to Kolkata. I think I will stay here for the night. HVK also suggested this, hope their boarding facility has started. And hope the car park is safe.
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Old 4th December 2013, 21:44   #276
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by me_sid View Post
Thanks a ton Sutriptada, as I would be leaving bagdogra at around 12'ish while coming back to Kolkata. I think I will stay here for the night. HVK also suggested this, hope their boarding facility has started. And hope the car park is safe.
Beginning of Oct, had checked out the rooms. Perfectly OK. My only concern would be noise from trucks at night.

The facility is set back from the road, and the 'courtyard' between the road and the building is the car park. It is open to road, and no boundary wall.
But one does not set up a facility like this in that part of the world without being a neta/ dada of that area. And that is your protection.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 4th December 2013, 21:58   #277
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
But one does not set up a facility like this in that part of the world without being a neta/ dada of that area. And that is your protection.

Regards
Sutripta
Neta = Dada

The said man fights for legislative elections from Bhagalpur.

He first erects a pump & then applies for papers, he is that influential.

But petty thieves can try their luck anywhere, so get assurance from staff prior to parking.
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Old 4th December 2013, 23:31   #278
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by me_sid View Post
Thanks a ton Sutriptada, as I would be leaving bagdogra at around 12'ish while coming back to Kolkata. I think I will stay here for the night. HVK also suggested this, hope their boarding facility has started. And hope the car park is safe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Beginning of Oct, had checked out the rooms. Perfectly OK. My only concern would be noise from trucks at night.

The facility is set back from the road, and the 'courtyard' between the road and the building is the car park. It is open to road, and no boundary wall.
But one does not set up a facility like this in that part of the world without being a neta/ dada of that area. And that is your protection.

Regards
Sutripta
If parking and the sound of trucks pose an issue, one can also try the main town, Raj Hans International is an alternative.
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Old 5th December 2013, 08:55   #279
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
From Raiganj to Malda, its better, in some stretches (especially the last few kms) its already 4 laned, took my 1hr 20 mins (From Raiganj tourist lodge).
Thanks a lot for the update on NH-34 between Dalkhola and Malda. Could you please also post about the condition of NH34 from Malda onward (towards Kolkata)? Did you take diversion at Morgram? Planning to drive to Malda from Kolkata; any tip would be really helpful.

Thanks,
Golam
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Old 5th December 2013, 09:41   #280
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Beginning of Oct, had checked out the rooms. Perfectly OK. My only concern would be noise from trucks at night.

The facility is set back from the road, and the 'courtyard' between the road and the building is the car park. It is open to road, and no boundary wall.
But one does not set up a facility like this in that part of the world without being a neta/ dada of that area. And that is your protection.

Regards
Sutripta
Agreed, so this option is "ON". And going by the owners repute I doubt that petty thieves would venture in. There again have to make money talk with the watchman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Neta = Dada

The said man fights for legislative elections from Bhagalpur.

He first erects a pump & then applies for papers, he is that influential.

But petty thieves can try their luck anywhere, so get assurance from staff prior to parking.
Absolutely, however there's a catch, no one would let go of the client by stating something like " No, the Parking is not Safe" and talking about assurance, if anything happens you cannot hold anyone culpable. So total "Bhagwaan Bharosa". Infact this would be my last option. Else I would be putting up in that hotel u suggested someone in Purnia, or Bhagalpur town as Anirban has stated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
If parking and the sound of trucks pose an issue, one can also try the main town, Raj Hans International is an alternative.
Thanks a ton Anirban this hotel is apparently is decent, and moreover they have their chain in Raigarh which I have used. And the best part is its right on the highway en route Dumka ( as per Gmaps).
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Old 5th December 2013, 13:48   #281
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Thanks a lot for the update on NH-34 between Dalkhola and Malda. Could you please also post about the condition of NH34 from Malda onward (towards Kolkata)? Did you take diversion at Morgram? Planning to drive to Malda from Kolkata; any tip would be really helpful.

Thanks,
Golam
Surface wise Malda to Moregram is good. But we had multiple holdups between Malda and Farakka (Kaliachowk to be precise). The 35 kms from Malda entry to the Farakka Barrage took us a bit over 1.5 hrs. First at Sujapur, the locals had blocked traffic, then Kaliachowk. Infact, now, with 4 laning work on, its not always possible to drive on the earthen shoulder as most cars used to do at these places, as there are concrete retainers on the sides of the roads and the drop to the surface below is quite huge.

At Farakka Bus-stop a bus, facing the opposite direction to us, beside our static vehicle (held up due to hand rickshaws and what not), grazed its rear cantilever on the rear section of my vehicle in trying to make a left turn. Thankfully the scratch is a very minor one. But why I mentioned this, is to bring out the unrulyness that is a characteristic of this region.

Farakka to Moregram is a breeze.

We took Moregram-Siuri-Bolpur-Bardhaman route, the first 5 kms after the Moregram roundabout is in shambles, but its a good surface after that to Nalhati. Nalhati onwards, you'll have to maintain progress by avoiding an odd pothole here and there, but still you can probably maintain "a km a minute" going.

So if you're going to Malda, keep some additional buffer time for traversing Kaliachowk to Malda.
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Old 6th December 2013, 22:05   #282
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Surface wise Malda to Moregram is good. But we had multiple holdups between Malda and Farakka (Kaliachowk to be precise).
...
Farakka to Moregram is a breeze.
Thanks a lot for the update. Yeah, I agree. Jam at Kaliachak is quite regular problem.

As a part of NH34 widening of the Farakka-Raiganj sector, two bypasses, one at Malda and second one at Kaliachak are under construction. In fact, the new 4-lane bridge over Mahananda river on the bypass road in Eastern outskirts of Malda Town is almost ready. However, construction of both these bypasses are delayed badly due to the land acquisition related problem.
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Old 18th December 2013, 10:46   #283
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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How is the condition between Dalkola and Raigunj?
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Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Thanks a lot for the update on NH-34 between Dalkhola and Malda.
The Dalkhola-Raiganj stretch figured in the Telegraph today. Read on

http://www.telegraphindia.com/113121...p#.Uqs5mfQW0rQ
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Old 19th December 2013, 07:06   #284
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Yup, I too subscribe to The Telegraph (Siliguri edition) and it was featured. Though this isn't for the first time and I am yet to see an action.

Till, the land occupancy settlement isn't done, nothing can happen.
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Old 19th December 2013, 11:44   #285
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

A friend who had travelled from Kolkata to Krishnanagar last week, reported that the stretch is extremely bad. In fact, so bad that as per news reports, our CM chose to take a helicopter to and from Krishnanagar yesterday instead of driving on this stretch.
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