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Old 9th January 2014, 00:55   #301
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Let me share the experience of NH-34 from our recent return road trip from Malda on Dec 29, 2013. For onward journey we took NH-2 upto Burdwan then SH-7 upto Morgram and finally NH-34 for the remaining.

However, for return journey we planned to take NH-34 all the way down via Baharampur-Krishnanagar. I was bit to curious to see the progress of 4-laning work. I was aware of the current horrible condition of NH-34 between Barasat and Chakdaha. So I wanted to drive my hatchback in the last 15KM stretch from Chakdaha upto Kalyani More (my destination) in daylight.

Incidentally, there was no traffic jam at Kaliachak during both onward and return journey for us. We crossed Farakka around 8:30am and soon we were on new 4-laned NH-34. To be honest, I have never seen NH-34 in such a good shape in the section between Farakka and Baharampur. The number of diversion has drastically come down compared to year before and it's mostly 4-laned traffic except near the few major bridges and ROBs. The fog was getting denser but we could maintain a decent speed. With one fuel-cum-loo break at Indian Oil pump in Dhulian, by 10am we were at outskirts of Baharampur. In the new alignment, NH-34 would bypass Baharampur town, through a new a bridge in the west-side. So the 4-lane road had ended by then and old NH-34 was at its full glory. A massive traffic snarl was waiting in front of us. Apparently, some truck broke its axle on the bridge over Hoogly river. Google Map was showing we were just 6km outside from center of the town. In next two and half hour, we moved just 1km.

I asked a mini-truck driver who was coming from opposite direction about the situation ahead. He told me that it took him 4 hours to cross the town. That's it! SH-11 crossing was 50 meter ahead of me. So I decided to pull out of NH-34 and took 30km detour through SH-11 upto Kuli to be back on SH-7!

So our plan to drive entirely on NH-34 had to be abandoned at the end! Nevertheless, I must admit 4-laning of Baharampur-Farakka section has progressed significantly in last one year. Here is a video I recorded during our drive between Morgram and Bahrarampur

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Old 11th January 2014, 00:07   #302
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Quote:
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
Hi Sayak,
I took Dumka Bhagalpur route both on my onward and return journeys. We were 2 cars travelling with 4 kids thus a lot of breaks in between but while reaching Siliguri we managed in about 17 hours. While coming back it was close to 20 hours. The duration should not be used as an indication of the road condition since compared to last time the roads are better except Bihar and mostly in Siuri. Our return time shot up due to a huge traffic jam on vikramshila setu. It got so bad that the entire link to Highway was blocked. We lost close to 4 hours!
Once road work around the Vikramshila setu is over, this route will be some what more consistent! Apart from that I had a good drive!
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Old 11th January 2014, 11:48   #303
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Hello,
Keeping in mind the latest road conditions(NH34) as reported, how long would the Kolkata - Siliguri Volvo Bus take to reach Siliguri? If anyone has a recent experience please do share the tentative arrival time and also the scheduled stops the bus makes en-route. We have already booked tickets for 18th January.

Thanks
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Old 14th January 2014, 17:18   #304
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Exclamation Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redeemer8 View Post
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
Uploading few snaps from to Kolkata up to Bhagalpur via - Bolpur-Siuri-Dumka. Had not taken the pics of the road condition during the onward journey (of Bhagalpur, Bhedia) so have uploaded the images of the return journey. Temp store is the place were we had lunch before entering Kolkata from Bhubaneshwar. Had stopped at the same place last year so pulled up a pic from my Archive.
Attached Thumbnails
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-temp-store-about-56-kms-kolkata.jpg  

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-hp-bunk-nh2.jpg  

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-hp-bunk-ccd-nh2.jpg  

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-hp-bunknh2.jpg  

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-nh2.jpg  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Old 15th January 2014, 17:28   #305
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Which section is the last 5-6 pics from?
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Old 15th January 2014, 22:02   #306
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Which section is the last 5-6 pics from?
It's the Dumka-Bhagalpur stretch ( these pics are taken after crossing Bhagalpur town ). I guess about 25-30 kms are pretty bad (on & off).
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Old 3rd February 2014, 23:44   #307
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Which section is the last 5-6 pics from?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redeemer8 View Post
It's the Dumka-Bhagalpur stretch ( these pics are taken after crossing Bhagalpur town ). I guess about 25-30 kms are pretty bad (on & off).
I took this route last weekend. On my onward journey, the potholes were filled with some tar, on the return journey, patch repair was complete (in a span of 3 days) on the section just outside Bhagalpur (25-30kms) towards Dumka. Roads inside Dumka are relaid and widened.

However the road from Seorakuri to Messanjore now has 4-5 diversions due to Culvert work.

Dumka-Bhagalpur diversions no longer there, culverts are operational.

So you win some, you loose some!

Latest route update from trucks a Dalkhola is that the Raiganj Dalkhola stretch is still in state of disrepair.

Snarls are also common on the Botolbari- Islampur Bengal-Bengal route as trucks (which are not supposed to ply on that road are taking it). Many local roadblock incidents are reported.
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Old 18th February 2014, 09:06   #308
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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).
...
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
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.
The Statesman is reporting that planned bypass for Kaliachak is now scrapped "following want of adequate land". Instead, the authority has decided to remove the encroachment of NHAI land along 3-KM stretch through the town. Apparently, NHAI already has enough land for 4-laning along the existing alignment in this stretch. Hope, it works out as stated otherwise Kaliachak will remain a bottleneck in this route!

Further details
http://www.thestatesman.net/news/366...occupants.html
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Old 11th March 2014, 00:54   #309
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Calcutta to Siliguri partial update:

A holiday in the Dooars of North Bengal was on and the most information I required for the entire trip was the condition of NH34/NH31 or the alternatives. After reading through various travelogues and post, decided on the Purnia route which is Calcutta - Panagarh - Ilambazar - Dubrajpur - Siuri - Massanjore - Dumka - Bhagalpur - Purnia - Dalkhola - Kishanganj - Islampur - Bagdogra - Siliguri. I took the Safari Storme.

1. Panagargh - Islampur - Dubrajpur - Siuri: Lots of potholes, wide single lane till Islampur, narrower after that till Siuri, low traffic but I found quite a few stretches of maintained roads where you can do upto 100 kmph. Exit from Siuri was the closest to hell as I ever got. A very narrow road, almost a galli, which is a 2 way road meant for heavy trucks and is also the bus route to Dunmka and Mohammad Bazar. This exist has the biggest crater I have seen in an urban/semi-urban area. It could take in at least 3/4th of an Alto. This left turn is after Tilpapara Barrage.

2. Siuri - Massanjore - Dumka: Its a narrow single lane highway, but in good condition, especially when you are about to reach Massanjore. This is 114A. I really enjoyed the drive, more so due to the scenery it presented. The same continued till Dumka minus the scenic beauty which soon converted to flat plains as we approached Dumka.

3. Dumka - Bhagalpur: NH 17/19 (not sure if they were NH or SH). Potholes returned, slowing down my progress heavily. Missed the bypass to Vikramshila Setu and had to wade through terrible Bhagalpur traffic. Roads in Bhagalpur, at least the main ones are being reconstructed. They are laying concrete slabs. What they have done till the time I reached there was lay down the slabs on one side of a road. This meant that there was a 2 ft difference in height between the 2 way traffic without a median or any bifurcation. And the people in Bhagalpur is not liking the fact that one way has a smoother surface than the other side of the same road. So they started using the lane which is not meant for them. This includes cars who decided to park on that 10 feet wide slab. So basically I was stuck on a 10 ft wide slab with an Indica parked on my left and a rickshaw, going the other way, on my right and vehicles honking from behind because I could not move forward. I am not very sure how I crossed that stretch, to be honest.

4. Bhagalpur - Naugachia - Purnia: Again lots of potholes to watch out for, especially if driving after sun down. Some stretches are however good.

5. Purnia - Dalkhola: Newly built single lane highway with defined markings. Time to make up some lost time. Beyond dalkhola is a 4-lane stretch though it misses a layer of pitch at most places.

Notes on Dalkhola to Siliguri in the next section. I went via Bagdogra and into Siliguri city. I started at 5.30 am and reached Siliguri at 1.00 am. Had to take long stoppages as I was traveling with a 2 year old. Entire stretch has very little options for ladies' toilets, except for petrol pumps where toilets are unkept and usually locked after hours. Dalkhola BP petrol pump seemed to be the most suited after we left NH2 at Panagarh.

Retrun (NH 31/31D/31C/34)

The return leg was coming back from Cooch Behar. So I took Cooch Behar - Mathabhanga - Changrabandha - Maynaguri - Jalpaiguri - Siliguri route.

1. Jalpaiguri to Siliguri stretch: The single lane highway (31D) is wide but littered with potholes and in some cases huge craters. The condition is the same for Jalpaiguri bypass. Note that there is also a lot of traffic on this road at all hours.

2. Siliguri Bypass / Fulbari Ghoshpukur Bypass: AVOID at all costs! I went into it not knowing the condition; looked like a better way to avoid Siliguri city traffic and Bagdogra. It is a part of 31D but looked like it had been avoided by authorities for decades. It had craters that could gulp down my Safari. Very heavy traffic though mostly trucks which brewed up a dust column in that area reducing visibility to a few meters. I was driving after sun down which made it worse. I could not make out if 4-laning of this stretch was in progress. The entire stretch till I hit Rishi Road was like that. After which it was much better. The bypass meets NH 31 at Ghoshpukur. Alternative route (or rather the preferred route) should be 31D to 31C thorugh the Siliguri city and on to Bagdogra - Ghoshpukur - Bidhan Nagar and then on to Islampur.

3. Ghoshpukur - Dalkhola: Mostly 4-laned with small stretches of 2-laned (single lane) highway. However, condition is just about ok. Though potholes are less, the entire stretch seemed to be unevenly missing a layer of tarmac making the ride a lot less comfortable. Again very heavy traffic.

4. Dalkhola - Farakka: Almost immediately after Dalkhola, the single lane highway starts which is characterized mostly by loss of maintenance due to 4-laning project, pot-holes, missing a layer of tarmac, bad traffic and reckless bus driving. That's how I crossed Karandighi, Raiganj, Gazole, English Bazar and Kaliachak to reach Farakka. Had to be very cautious as I realized the authorities have done a very poor job in marking the diversions properly. I had to drive into oncoming trucks at least twice as I had missed that all 4 lanes in a certain stretch was operational. Never had this problem while driving in the GQ where they had all diversions marked with reflectors and sign boards that started at least 500m to 1km away. Got delayed due at Karandighi with no vehicles moving at either direction for about 30 odd mins for no apparent reason. Surprisingly the dreaded Kaliachak did not offer any delays.

5. Farakka - Morgram: The story changes entirely after Farakka. 4-laned roads, fresh tarmac, neatly laid reflectors - all shiny and new. Yet at one point, without a warning the 4-lane ended and you are supposed to turn right into the oncoming lane for a diversion. The stretch between the 2 sections is about 10 meters. This part consists of holes, boulders, dust, old tarmac, etc, a nightmare when you are cruising smoothly at 100-110kmph and suddenly you realize the road has ended and you have to land into Mars terrain and take a right turn into high beams of oncoming trucks! And guess what? Another unmarked diversion. But apart from that small incident, the ride was super smooth.

At Morgram I decided not to pursue NH 34 any more but to take a diversion via Nalhat - Rampurhat - Sainthia - Bolpur - Guskhara - Bardhaman - NH2 into Calcutta. Note the road was excellent. Broad, well maintained and reasonably less traffic at that hour (4 am).

I think this should be the default route for Calcutta-Siliguri for the next few years. Hope the update helps.
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Old 21st March 2014, 23:27   #310
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by redracham View Post
5. Purnia - Dalkhola: Newly built single lane highway with defined markings. Time to make up some lost time. Beyond dalkhola is a 4-lane stretch though it misses a layer of pitch at most places.
Purnia-Dalkhola I believe used to be a divided four lane road! Has one side been closed for repairs?
Quote:
Originally Posted by redracham View Post
At Morgram I decided not to pursue NH 34 any more but to take a diversion via Nalhat - Rampurhat - Sainthia - Bolpur - Guskhara - Bardhaman - NH2 into Calcutta. Note the road was excellent. Broad, well maintained and reasonably less traffic at that hour (4 am).
Last time I went to Bolpur by this road about two months ago, I found that one culvert was broken, causing me to take a long detour through some very ill-maintained village roads. Any idea if the culvert has been repaired?
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Old 23rd March 2014, 09:25   #311
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Purnia-Dalkhola I believe used to be a divided four lane road! Has one side been closed for repairs?
No.
How can it be? And even if one side might be closed for repair at that point of time, the entire stretch can't be closed!! Its a full 40km drive.
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Old 25th March 2014, 21:13   #312
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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No.
How can it be? And even if one side might be closed for repair at that point of time, the entire stretch can't be closed!! Its a full 40km drive.
NH60 Kharagpur to Balasore!

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Old 26th March 2014, 21:42   #313
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Im planning to go to Siliguri from Kolkata next month. After doing a study, here are the 4 route options I found. Which one of them is the best??

Kolkata - Siliguri - 700km (Route 1)

Kolkata - Panagarh - 152km - AH1
Panagarh - Illambazar - 25k - SH14
Illambazar - Dubrajpur - 29km - SH14
Dubrajpur - Siuri - 24km - SH6
Siuri - Dumka - 71km
Dumka - Bhagalpur (Bihar) (Search Khutaha to avoid going to Bhagalpur City) - 117km - SH 17
Bhagalpur - Purnia - 103km - NH31 (Vikramshila Setu Road connects to NH31)
Purnia - Dalkhola - 45km - NH31
Dalkhola - Islampur - 60km - NH 31
Islampur - Siliguri - 75km - NH 31

Kolkata - Siliguri - 642km (Route 2)

Kolkata - Bardhaman - 146km - AH 1, Grand Trunk Road NH 13
Bardhaman - Suri - 93km - NH 28
Suri - Dumka - 71km - NH 114A
Dumka - Bhagalpur (Bihar) (Search Khutaha to avoid going to Bhagalpur City) - 117km - SH 17
Bhagalpur - Purnia - 103km - NH31
Purnia - Dalkhola - 45km - NH31
Dalkhola - Islampur - 60km - NH 31
Islampur - Siliguri - 75km - NH 31


Kolkata - Siliguri - 697km (Route 3)

Kolkata - Panagarh - 152km - AH1
Panagarh - Jamtara - 100km
Jamtara - Bhagalpur (Khutaha) - 176km - SH19
Bhagalpur - Purnia - 103km - NH31
Purnia - Dalkhola - 45km - NH31
Dalkhola - Islampur - 60km - NH 31
Islampur - Siliguri - 75km - NH 31


Kolkata - Siliguri - 583km (Route 4 - Not Advised)

Kolkata - Bardhaman - 146km - AH 1, Grand Trunk Road NH 13
Bardhaman - Moregram - 132km - SH 8, SH7
Moregram - Farakka - 70km - NH 34
Farakka - English Bazzar - 34km - NH34
English Bazzar - Raiganj - 73km - NH34
Raiganj - Dalkhola - 47km - NH34
Dalkhola - Islampur - 60km - NH 31
Islampur - Siliguri - 75km - NH 31

Kolkata - Siliguri - 584km (Route 5 - Not at all advised)

Kolkata - Santipur - 95km - NH34
Santipur - Berhampore - 106km - NH34
Berhampore - Morgram - 40km - NH34
Moregram - Farakka - 70km - NH 34
Farakka - English Bazzar - 34km - NH34
English Bazzar - Raiganj - 73km - NH34
Raiganj - Dalkhola - 47km - NH34
Dalkhola - Islampur - 60km - NH 31
Islampur - Siliguri - 75km - NH 31
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Old 27th March 2014, 00:50   #314
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
Purnia-Dalkhola I believe used to be a divided four lane road! Has one side been closed for repairs?
I may be mistaken here. It is either Purnia Dalkhola or the stretch between Maranga and Gulabagh/Damka (which bypasses Purnia). But what I remember is that I took a right turn from a junction and got this newly laid down single lane highway. I was following Google Maps. Eventually this road led to a 4-lane highway. We stopped at BP Dalkhola for dinner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
Last time I went to Bolpur by this road about two months ago, I found that one culvert was broken, causing me to take a long detour through some very ill-maintained village roads. Any idea if the culvert has been repaired?
The detour is not required anymore. A one lane temporary bridge has been constructed right next to the construction area.


VMB - I went up to Siliguri last month. I took your Route 1 for my onward journey and while coming back I took Route 4. In my opinion, your should take Route 4 for both legs.
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Old 27th March 2014, 01:02   #315
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Take either of these, the second option is better, however you'll have to endure a 4km dirt/rough road detour near Guskhara (What vehicle?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by VMB View Post

Kolkata - Siliguri - 700km (Route 1)

Kolkata - Panagarh - 152km - AH1
Panagarh - Illambazar - 25k - SH14
Illambazar - Dubrajpur - 29km - SH14
Dubrajpur - Siuri - 24km - SH6
Siuri - Dumka - 71km
Dumka - Bhagalpur (Bihar) (Search Khutaha to avoid going to Bhagalpur City) - 117km - SH 17
Bhagalpur - Purnia - 103km - NH31 (Vikramshila Setu Road connects to NH31)
Purnia - Dalkhola - 45km - NH31
Dalkhola - Islampur - 60km - NH 31
Islampur - Siliguri - 75km - NH 31

Kolkata - Siliguri - 642km (Route 2)

Kolkata - Bardhaman - 146km - AH 1, Grand Trunk Road NH 13
Bardhaman - Suri - 93km - NH 28
Suri - Dumka - 71km - NH 114A
Dumka - Bhagalpur (Bihar) (Search Khutaha to avoid going to Bhagalpur City) - 117km - SH 17
Bhagalpur - Purnia - 103km - NH31
Purnia - Dalkhola - 45km - NH31
Dalkhola - Islampur - 60km - NH 31
Islampur - Siliguri - 75km - NH 31
At Bhagalpur, at Tilka Manjhi chowk, instead of taking a right turn into the treacherous road where concretisation is taking place, continue straight till the shamshan/crematorium (Via Mt Carmel School), then ask locals to guide you to Vikramsila setu.

Dont miss the Bhagalpur bypass prior to that. While coming from Dumka into Bhagalpur, watch out for a small mandir on the left side at a particular junction (very non descript), you have to take a right at this point. However if you cross this, you'll soon see a flyover and when you do that, remind yourself that you have just missed the Bhagalpur bypass, you can take a U-turn there as there is a small galli at an obtuse angle on the right, that also connects to the bypass. Ask for directions to Kacheri chowk or tilkhamanjhi chowk at this point if you have confusion (Tilkhamanjhi comes after Kacheri chowk)
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