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Old 19th December 2013, 20:54   #286
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

In today's TT, this news was again covered & that rice from Raigunj isn't being transported due to bad roads. Truckers have abandoned this route & refuse to carry it. Insects were visible as rice was rotting.

Sorry state of affairs.
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Old 20th December 2013, 11:02   #287
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
In today's TT, this news was again covered & that rice from Raigunj isn't being transported due to bad roads. Truckers have abandoned this route & refuse to carry it. Insects were visible as rice was rotting.

Sorry state of affairs.
Sheel is Traffic jam continuing on the Vikramshila Setu? Leaving next wekend.
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Old 21st December 2013, 20:41   #288
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

They are resurfacing the setu. Chances are one side would be stopped and another would be functional. I just hope that cops are present, else it will be a big mess.

Timing is a key [I think] and if you cross Bhagalpur at somewhere between 6 am - 8 am, chances are you won't be delayed much. But you never know.

I will try to find out the current situation & get back.
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Old 22nd December 2013, 18:59   #289
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Hi,
I'll be taking the Siuri - Bhagalpur - Purnia - Dalkhola route on 25th overnight stay at Siliguri to reach Lataguri next day. Any last minute updates on the road conditions will really help me.
Last time from Pattabari to Dumka I literally got lost in a no surface road and lost huge time and energy. Any markers to look for after Pattabari to make sure I'm on Dumka bypass and not some hell I went into last time.
I heard about a culvert near Gukhara being damaged and road is closed. Any updates on that from recent visits? Google is currently saying this road may be blocked. Thus I'm a bit confused!
I see that Vikramsheela set is being re-laiden is the traffic jam still continuing?

Regards,
Arindam
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Old 23rd December 2013, 09:32   #290
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

As per what feedback I have received, resurfacing of the Vikramshila setu currently stands at 60% + in completion. Someone who was there at 7pm last night didn't face much traffic jam.
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Old 31st December 2013, 00:19   #291
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
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.
I just came back from the road-trip to Malda. Along with my better half and our 3 year old daughter, we drove with our small hatchback Maruti Estilo on 17th this month. We had planned to celebrate our daughter's birthday at my inlaws house at Ahmedpur. So for onward journey we took a break for few days at Ahmedpur. Generally, we take NH2B from Burdwan and drive via Bolpur and continue for another 20Km on NH2B to reach Ahmedpur. To reach Malda from there, usually we take NH2B again to drive past Sainthia and merge with NH60 at Mallarpur. Thereafter we continue along NH60 to reach NH34 at Morgram.

However, with the needed detour to bypass the broken culvert near Guskura on NH2B, we decided to explore the alternate route via SH7 (aka Burdwan-Kuli-Morgram Badshahi Road) from Burdwan upto Futishanko and then onto Ahmedpur via SH6. Considering the dirt-road Guskura detour, this 10 km extra distance wasn't much. There was another curiosity for me. Anandabazar Patrika has recently carried out a news article saying that West Bengal HDC is planning to develop SH7 as 4-laned corridor with ADB funding. It could be an alternate route to NH34 upto Morgram from Kolkata. Via Durgapur Expressway upto Burdwan, this route would be almost as short as NH34 from Kolkata upto Morgram.

Anyway, on 22nd we returned to Futishanko for continuing our journey to Malda via SH7. The road surface conditions from Burdwan upto Futishanko was varrying between very good to good with few bad patches. From Futishanko onward SH7 is in excellent shape with proper road marking and 7 meter wide surface upto Nagar. The remaining stretch is also in good condition.

So if anyone is driving to Farakka/Malda/Raiganj from Kolkata may consider this route until the 4-laning of NH34 is complete! This route is around 50 KM shorter than the other commonly used Burdwan-Morgram route via Bolpur-Suri-Nalhati. Couple of cons that we felt on this route are that one needs to enter Burdwan town to get onto SH7 (bit slow town traffic but moves) and locally put frequent speed bumps in the hinterlands. I have taken several photographs of SH7 and I will post some of them later.

Our return journey where we had planned to take entirely NH34 via Berhampur and Krishnanagar, turned out to be another reason why I should to stick to SH7 in near future! I will describe that eventful return journey in a later post.
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Old 31st December 2013, 23:37   #292
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Few photos of SH7 that we took between Burdwan and Morgram during our journey to Malda.
Attached Thumbnails
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-sh71.jpg  

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-sh72.jpg  

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-sh73.jpg  

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-sh74.jpg  

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Old 1st January 2014, 10:30   #293
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

# The Vikramshila setu's resurfacing is done.

# The traffic in Bhagalpur is diverted via Mt. Carmel School.

Just follow the herd. Its easy. There was no jam yesterday and someone actually went to Bhagalpur from Purnia and was back in 6 hours (after some work)
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Old 5th January 2014, 19:54   #294
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Travelled on Annual Vacation from Hyderabad to Darjeeling & back. The route taken both ways were as below:-

Hyderabad-Vijayawada-Rajamundhry-Vizag-Bhubaneshwar-Kolkata-Durgapur expressway(NH-2)-Bardhaman-Bolpur-Siuri-Dumka-Bhagalpur-Kursela-Dalkhola-Bagdogra-Darjeeling

The total distance traveled to & fro (incl of local trips) was 5135 Kms. Route update only from Kolkata to Darjeeling is as below :-
  • Kolkata-Burdhwan - Took Durgapur Expressway (NH-2), I must say this is an excellent Highway (especially onward road, return had a few patch work)
  • Bardhaman-Bolpur - (NH-2B) Good Roads but with few bad stretches & broken roads in some places but manageable). The issue comes up at a point where a bridge has collapsed & route is diverted through villages to reconnect to the main road( these roads are not in good shape)
  • Bolpur -Siuri - Roads are ok but with bad stretches in couple of places, repairs have been carried out in several places.
  • Siuri - Dumka - Roads are ok but with bad stretches in couple of places, repairs have been carried out in several places. The roads in Jharkhand have been extremely well maintained !!
  • Dumka - Bhagalpur via Messanjore - (Bhagalpur -Hansdiha road ) Roads are excellent at Messanjore & in areas falling under Jharkhand. Once we cross over to Bihar the nightmare starts. entry & exit to Bhagalpur is an absolute pain. 25-30 km before Bhagalpur, crossing the entire Bhagapur Town & until 10-15 kms after Vikramshila Setu is an complete mess !!.

    In addition, there is an small additional bridge which passes over the Bhagalpur railway station called Lohia Bridge (absolute nightmare again, due to haphazard traffic, people, rickshaws all cramped up with bumper to bumper traffic)

    As far as Vikramshila Setu is concerned, firstly , cops are unable to manage the unruly drivers / traffic effectively resulting is vehicles overtaking & heading straight to the incoming traffic is several spots. This also results in blockades as several vehicles follow as a convey. I observed very heavy vehicles (21 tons), trailor with over dimensional cargo, tractors, cycles, two wheelers, autos all plying together trying to cross this 4.7km bridge.

    During the onward journey on 17 Dec 13 crossed this bridge at 1600hrs (waiting time was 40 min), one side traffic was allowed to pass first, return was horrible on 29 Dec 13 , reached 0615hrs, crossed bridge at 0845hrs, could cross bhagalpur (due to mess at Lohia bridge ) only by 1000 hrs. In all took 3hrs & 45min during the return journey. I also noticed a strange thing, while waiting on top on Vikramshila bridge, the fully loaded Safari was literally shaking when other vehicles were passing by as if the shock absorbers were getting compressed & released. The intensity was very high unlike experienced in any other place every before. This was also observed with the other vehicles stranded ahead of us. Wife & relatives were scared as they thought the bridge will pave in
  • Bhagalpur -Dalkhola - Roads improve after crossing Bhagalpur, it becomes excellent after Kursela , few bad stretches in couple of places on & off till Dalkhola.
  • Dalkhola - Siliguri - Darjeeling - Inspite of being toll roads, Bad stretches at lot of places in Dalkhola, Kishangunj, entry & exit points are completely broken up with single way while passing through at Islampur, patchwork have been carried out in several places. Roads improve after Bidhan nagar & are in good condition all the way upto Siliguri. Darjeeling More - Sukna roads have been repaired & are excellent, toll road at Rohini to Kurseong has been very well maintained. Kurseong to Darjeeling roads are in very bad shape
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Old 6th January 2014, 16:02   #295
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Ok here goes, returned yesterday.

I took the Home-Darjeeling More-Ilambazar- Dubrajpur bypass- Siuri- Massanjore-Pattabari- Dumka-Bhagalpur-Purnia bypass-Dalkhola-Kishangunj-Islampur-Bagdogra.

Route Status :

Kolkata- Darjeeling More : Superfine road, however chances are to get stuck in traffic jam before Panagarh Flyover. I got stuck for 35 mins. due to an accident.

Darjeeling More- Ilambazar- Siuri : Roads are ok, intermittent bad stretches, extremely bad for 1 km at the approach of Ilambazar and 2 odd km after crossing Ilambazar till the BSF colony en route Dubrajpur. from Siuri level crossing till siuri bypass - Nightmare for sedans and hatches, sweat for SUV's!

Siuri- Massanjore- Dumka : Till Tilpara Barrage, intermittently gutted, barrage itself is in shambles. Seorakhuri More crossing usual devastation, drive cautiously. Till Jharkhand border in general bad roads. Once on Jharkhand side the roads are butter smooth with monumental speed breakers on approach and exit of villages. Massanjore to Pattabari is narrow, but well maintained. Drive cautiously since roads are downhill and heavy truck traffic. OVERTAKE WITH CAUTION. Approach of Dumka have 2 diversions for culverts, navigate with Caution .

Dumka-Valjore-Bhagalpur : Butter Smooth upto Valjore, watch out for speed breakers. Roads in Dumka town are congested and packed with cycles, tractors, bikes, with a little caution, easily negotiable. 4 diversions IIRC till Valjore, for bridge/culvert construction. And yes slow down on culverts, cause you can be airborne for a few seconds if you don’t. Moment you cross over Bihar Side, start chanting the name of whoever you believe in. It’s going to rattle your nerves, trust me on that. Drive with caution else you might jolly well damage your vehicle. Bhagalpur town will challenge you like you have never faced before. Anything and everything from tongas to cycles to autos, to sumos to the cows everything here seems to have a suicidal trait in them and for some god forsaken reason would be choosing your vehicle for fulfillment of their karma. Drive with extreme caution. The Patal Babu Road is having road construction so your average would be 2 km/hr. There’s an expo going on just before the Ghanta Ghar Chowk, so you can expect a million people on the road. Once you navigate out of the mess and hit the Vikramsila Setu, the setu road is under construction and its going to be the time of the day that’s going to decide whether you get a traffic jam or not. I didn’t face any jam while going ( 1:45pm) and while coming (3:05pm). If you are too tired, break at Vaibhav Inn. Nice ambience, decent toilet, bad tea. from there you proceed till you hit the NH31 place called Tetari. Trouble ends. Word of ADVICE : Keep yourself Calm in Bhagalpore!

NH31- Till Bagdogra : Fairly ok. Upto Purnia keep an eye for the tractors who have a mind of their own, once you reach the Purnia bypass and head towards Dalkhola roads are four laned however the problem is that the top surface of the roads are chewed up. As if the skin is being eaten up. Take the extreme right as far as u can take ur vehicle and gun it. Keep an eye for the ambitious and the gymnast cows and few deaf human beings. Islampur town will be pretty crowded, so will be the Kishangunj bypass, the one near the railway crossing. Balance roads are okay, nothing to worry.
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Old 6th January 2014, 18:32   #296
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Hi,
Had similar experiences as detailed by Redemer and Sid.
At Seorakhuri more while taking the left turn leave the first entrance. Take the second one. The first one has horrible giant fissures looks like several meteors fell there and is really difficult to cross especially for small cars. The second one has a big drain like cutout across the middle, but it can be tackled by SUVs and small cars can get around it easily as there is space on the right side of the road towards Messenjore.
I was stuck during my return on Vikramshila setu for around 3 hours and it took me 4 hours to cross Bhagalpur.
While onward I took Panagarh - Illambazar - Dubrajpur - Siuri. But while return I came through Bolpur - Siuri. The later was much shorter and more importantly better in terms of road condition. Just be careful at the culvert the 3km detour is now well updated in Google Maps and Navigation.

Regards,
Arindam.
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Old 7th January 2014, 00:58   #297
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Quote:
Originally Posted by me_sid View Post
Ok here goes, returned yesterday. I took the Home-Darjeeling More-Ilambazar- Dubrajpur bypass- Siuri- Massanjore-Pattabari- Dumka-Bhagalpur-Purnia bypass-Dalkhola-Kishangunj-Islampur-Bagdogra. Route Status : Kolkata- Darjeeling More : Superfine road, however chances are to get stuck in traffic jam before Panagarh Flyover. I got stuck for 35 mins. due to an accident. Darjeeling More- Ilambazar- Siuri.
Why did you take the Darjeeling more? Bardhaman-Bolpur-Siuri would have saved you from the jam and it is a shorter route as well.
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Old 8th January 2014, 12:48   #298
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Why did you take the Darjeeling more? Bardhaman-Bolpur-Siuri would have saved you from the jam and it is a shorter route as well.
Sumitro I know, but since I was travelling before the break of dawn and the fog condition was pretty bad I didnít want to take any chance & after this freak jam due to a equally freak accident, I realized that its naive to try to choose between the devil or the deep blue sea.
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Old 8th January 2014, 13:10   #299
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Hi Arindam,

Would you share the travel duration from Kolkata to Siliguri and return?

I specifically ask you because if I remember correctly, then you had some mixed experience the previous time you availed the Kolkata - Dumka - Bhagalpur - Siliguri toute?

Regards,
Sayak

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindam_xeta View Post
Hi,
I'll be taking the Siuri - Bhagalpur - Purnia - Dalkhola route on 25th overnight stay at Siliguri to reach Lataguri next day. Any last minute updates on the road conditions will really help me.
Last time from Pattabari to Dumka I literally got lost in a no surface road and lost huge time and energy. Any markers to look for after Pattabari to make sure I'm on Dumka bypass and not some hell I went into last time.
I heard about a culvert near Gukhara being damaged and road is closed. Any updates on that from recent visits? Google is currently saying this road may be blocked. Thus I'm a bit confused!
I see that Vikramsheela set is being re-laiden is the traffic jam still continuing?

Regards,
Arindam
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Old 8th January 2014, 17:17   #300
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by sayakc View Post
Hi Arindam,

Would you share the travel duration from Kolkata to Siliguri and return?

I specifically ask you because if I remember correctly, then you had some mixed experience the previous time you availed the Kolkata - Dumka - Bhagalpur - Siliguri toute?

Regards,
Sayak
For me , I left Ruby X'ing at 3:42am. Reached Uttor Bagdogra Airport Summit Hotel at 6:15pm. with traffic jam faced at Panagarh (Severe) and the approach of Ajoy river ( minor). 15 mins at Baba Dhaba for tea, 20 odd mins breakfast break around 13 kms after crossing ghanta ghaar chowk of Dumka 20 odd mins break at Vaibhav Inn for Tea & a 15 odd minute break for lunch/snacks somewhere in between Kishnganj & Islampur. Forgot to add, in between Seorakhuri More & Dumka town you would find at least 7 road blockades in name of chaanda. Do give 10 bucks, take a receipt, or if you find the possibility take the right side and gun it. Don’t argue. I paid only twice once just after seorakhuri X'ing and while coming back somewhere before Islampur ( for samshanbhumi development fund).

Last edited by me_sid : 8th January 2014 at 17:21.
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