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Old 23rd August 2014, 15:14   #361
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Bhagalpur (and Dumka also) on the otherhand is relatively much easier if one travelling in the non-business hours.
Have you tried crossing Vikramshila Setu after 8pm to say around 3-4am?
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Old 23rd August 2014, 16:06   #362
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
I guess taking Kolkata-Burdwan-Moregram-Raiganj-Botolbari-Islampur-Siliguri can probably be given a try.
In April 2012, I drove from Moregram to Burdwan on SH 7, while returning from Bhutan and found to be far better than NH 34, which I took for my up journey. The details are here (Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34).
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Old 23rd August 2014, 18:12   #363
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Dalkhola can be Avoided if one takes the Botolbari-Islampur route. Though still one has to negotiate 10kms of suspect surface from Botolbari to Raiganj.

Bhagalpur (and Dumka also) on the otherhand is relatively much easier if one travelling in the non-business hours.

But for day travellers (as in start early morning and drive during the day) both of these towns would be quite congested, and if there are no roadblocks on the NH34 route (past Moregram), I guess taking Kolkata-Burdwan-Moregram-Raiganj-Botolbari-Islampur-Siliguri can probably be given a try. Atleast there are some 4-lane sections where one can push.
Yes, you are right. Given there has been significant progress of NH-34 four-laning work in last one year, I guess, it doesn't harm to have a fresh look at different possibilities. Basically, the difference lies in the route that one takes between Kolkata and Dalkhola as rest are common. Mainly the following 4 routes have been discussed here. I am assuming origin to be the Kolkata NSCB airport.

(1) Kolkata-Burdwan-Bolpur-Suri-Dumka-Bhagalpur-Purnea-Dalkhola:
  • Distance: 515 KM
  • 4-laned sections: 144 KM [ 109 (Kolkata-Burdwan), 35 (Purnea-Dalkhola]
  • Toll: Rs. 192 [ Nivedita Setu: 42, Dankuni: 50, Palsit: 50, Maranga: 50]

(2) Kolkata-Burdwan-Bolpur-Suri-Rampurhat-Morgram-Farakka-Raiganj-Dalkhola:
  • Distance: 500 KM
  • 4-laned sections: 221 KM [ 109 (Kolkata-Burdwan), 50 (out of 65) of Morgram-Faarkka, 62 (out of 103) Farakka-Raiganj ]
  • Toll: Rs. 182 [ Nivedita Setu: 42, Dankuni: 50, Palsit: 50, Chandermore: 40]

(3) Kolkata-Burdwan-Mangalkot-Kuli-Morgram-Farakka-Raiganj-Dalkhola:
  • Distance: 450 KM
  • 4-laned sections: 214 KM [ 102 (Kolkata-Burdwan), 50 (out of 65) of Morgram-Farakka, 62 (out of 103) Farakka-Raiganj ]
  • Toll: Rs. 182 [ Nivedita Setu: 42, Dankuni: 50, Palsit: 50, Chandermore: 40]

(4) Kolkata-Krishnagar-Baharampore-Morgram-Farakka-Raiganj-Dalkhola (full NH34):
  • Distance: 440 KM
  • 4-laned sections: 177 KM [ 37 (out of 78) (Krishnanar-Baharampur), 78 (out of 103) of Baharampur-Farkkaa, 62 (out of 103) Farakka-Raiganj ]
  • Toll: Rs. 75 [Shibpur: 35, Chandermore: 40]

The toll data is from http://nhtis.org. There are few more places in these routes where one needs pay additional tolls for river bridges. The 4-laning status of NH-34 is from monthly report of NHAI for Jun 2014.

So truly, as it seems, one should decide based on which portions of bad roads one would like to endure! Nevertheless, lately the route 3 above has got an edge over others.
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Old 23rd August 2014, 20:45   #364
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Have you tried crossing Vikramshila Setu after 8pm to say around 3-4am?
No, I am yet to cross Bhagalpur or Dumka at Non-Business hours, so do not know if Vikramsila Setu poses a challenge, Does it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
(3) Kolkata-Burdwan-Mangalkot-Kuli-Morgram-Farakka-Raiganj-Dalkhola:
  • Distance: 450 KM
  • 4-laned sections: 214 KM [ 102 (Kolkata-Burdwan), 50 (out of 65) of Morgram-Farakka, 62 (out of 103) Farakka-Raiganj ]
  • Toll: Rs. 182 [ Nivedita Setu: 42, Dankuni: 50, Palsit: 50, Chandermore: 40]
That is more or less the route that I was suggesting with just a little bit of alteration in the Raiganj-Dalkhola-Kishangunj-Islampur section

From Raiganj tourist Lodge, drive approximately 14 kms to a place called "Botolbari More". From there take a right turn to a narrow road, it goes for approximately 60kms (A right turn to be taken after 17kms)

Where this meets the NH31 is almost a little past Gaisal station, approximately 7 kms ahead of the start of Islampur 2-lane (undivided) section.

This route is actually the Bengal-Bengal route taken by the Busses from the state and is thus of some importance in terms of keeping in a usable state.

With this one does not have to tackle the infamous Dalkhola and its horrible crossing.

Here is a link to this route

https://goo.gl/maps/uGbej

And also the Map of it

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-untitled1.jpg

Last edited by 1100D : 23rd August 2014 at 20:46.
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Old 23rd August 2014, 22:39   #365
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
In April 2012, I drove from Moregram to Burdwan on SH 7, while returning from Bhutan and found to be far better than NH 34, which I took for my up journey. The details are here (Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34).
Absolutely agree!
I travelled much sooner (May 2014 to be exact) in that route and jotted some pictures of the SH7 in my travelogue:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ear-malda.html (Trip: The historic ruins of Gaur (near Malda))

Interested folks can take a look.

Thanks,
Soumyajit.
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Old 24th August 2014, 09:11   #366
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post

(1) -Bhagalpur-Purnea-Dalkhola:
  • 35 (Purnea-Dalkhola]
  • Toll: Rs. 192 [ Nivedita Setu: 42, Dankuni: 50, Palsit: 50, Maranga: 50]
Small correction - Distance between Dalkola to Purnia is ~40+kms
And (unfortunately) there are two tolls. One at Moranga, another at Damka/Barsoni. Pay Rs. 20 each.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D
No, I am yet to cross Bhagalpur or Dumka at Non-Business hours, so do not know if Vikramsila Setu poses a challenge, Does it?
Depends. If the truck route (for stone chips) is open at Mirzachowki, then it is a mayhem with stone chips as well as sand laden trucks. Try Vikramshila Setu after 9pm, you will go crazy. I know of folks who have remained stuck at Vikramshila Setu overnight. Few have somehow managed to escape only by 11am.

I think roads which were good once, have deteriorated in Dumka side. Hence, I was asking someone to try other options & update for the benefit of the forum
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Old 24th August 2014, 18:39   #367
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

So which part of this route is difficult to negotiate with a hatch?

How long does it take from Farakka to Raiganj?

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-kolsiliguri.jpg
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Old 24th August 2014, 19:44   #368
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

[quote=shuvc;3513411]So which part of this route is difficult to negotiate with a hatch?

How long does it take from Farakka to Raiganj?


You have to break it up into two parts,

1> Farakka-Malda :- 30kms, safe to keep 1.5 hours and you also have the infamous Kaliachowk to tackle in between.

2> Malda-Raiganj :- Approximately 75kms but a smooth sail on 4-lanes on a part of it. 70 mins should be good enough.

And I guess the entire stretch is doable in a Hatch, apart from the Raiganj-Botolbari and Botolbari-Islampur stretches, of which we probably are not of the present status. Or someone can probably give us the good news that those are fine.

Last edited by 1100D : 24th August 2014 at 19:48.
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Old 24th August 2014, 21:04   #369
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
And I guess the entire stretch is doable in a Hatch, apart from the Raiganj-Botolbari and Botolbari-Islampur stretches, of which we probably are not of the present status. Or someone can probably give us the good news that those are fine.
And I presume Botolbari - Dalkhola is worse than Botolbari-Islampur?
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Old 24th August 2014, 21:13   #370
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by shuvc View Post
And I presume Botolbari - Dalkhola is worse than Botolbari-Islampur?
Not sure in terms of road surface, but definitely regarding the congestion at the last km on either side of Dalkhola crossing.
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Old 24th August 2014, 21:21   #371
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Not sure in terms of road surface, but definitely regarding the congestion at the last km on either side of Dalkhola crossing.
And when would one traverse the Botolbari-Islampur stretch if leaving Kol early morning? After dark? Safe?
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Old 25th August 2014, 00:22   #372
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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And when would one traverse the Botolbari-Islampur stretch if leaving Kol early morning? After dark? Safe?
Suspect! The area is actually perilously close to Bangladesh and the entire Raiganj/Dalkhola area was notorious in the past, the NH34 being NH had better surveilance, not sure of the other areas though.

However, if you start early from Kolkata as in pre-dawn darkness, you will have a good chance of crossing Islampur by daylight.
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Old 6th October 2014, 17:51   #373
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Just returned from a Darjeeling road trip. While going, we took NH 2 up to Asansol and then went the Chittaranjan - Jamtara - Palajori - Dumka way. Roads upto Palajori are bad. While returning we came up to to the Dumka Clock Tower and took a right just before reaching it. This road goes through Masalia and Nala and ends up bang opposite the Jubilee Pump on NH 2. This road is in excellent condition, especially because of the ban on illegal coal mining. You can see hundreds of trucks which used to ferry illegally mined coal lying parked around Gorundi.

Now coming to the Dumka - Bhagalpur stretch: the part which lies within Jharkhand is fine albeit for the broken approaches to the culverts. The Bihar part is in shambles with craters big enough to swallow small cars.

Vikramshila Setu has been re-surfaced and is a smooth ride. The 10 km nightmare from the end of the bridge to Zero Point on NH 31 remains. While returning, the option of taking the detour to avoid this stretch was not available as the entrance was blocked by a huge fair.

The rest of the drive from Naugachhia to Siliguri and back was smooth. Nothing new to update on the Kolkata - Asansol stretch.
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Old 30th October 2014, 02:34   #374
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Kolkata- Siliguri Via Bhagalpur, route update from 19th October 2014.

Kolkata to Shantiniketan through Burdwan (108 shiva temple) & Bhedia is a breeze. Only the the Bhedia culvert is in bad shape. One can bypass it by going through the locality too.

Shantiniketan to Suri is again good roads.

Suri to Dumka Via Massenjore is in good shape too.

Dumka to Bhagalpur stretch is bad. Its good in few places but really horrible in some points. I had to literally think from which side i should take out my car so it wont scrap! But still i couldn't avoid my car scrapping once. 25 kms before Bhagalpur there is a place called Dhaka more. If taken left the road again connects at Bhagalpur city. This road is in excellent condition but is 15 kms extra. Its goes through a place called Amarpur. Out of the 100kms between Dumka to Bhagalpur this road can save 25kms of bad roads.

Now again Bhagalpur town is a mess as-usual! If you are stuck its your bad luck and if you can come out its your good luck! I have seen the best time to cross Bhagalpur is during noon. Between 1pm to 3-30pm the traffic inside is relatively less.

Bhagalpur, Vikramsheela setu to Naugachea road is really bad but doable. This road can be bypassed by a side road, but that will skirt hotel Vivabh Inn, in case one needs a stop over at this hotel.

Naugachea to Dalkhola excellent roads.

Dalkhola to Islampur roads are okay but the upper surface of the road has worn out so its a bit rough ride. Avoid driving in the middle. Either stick to extreme right or extreme left.

Islampur to Siliguri excellent roads.

By this route Dankuni to Siliguri (hotel Mainiak is approximately 620kms and by Nh34 Dankuni to Siliguri (Hotel Mainak is around 585kms). This route is 35 kms extra.

Now before taking this route one must be aware of any bandh/hartal or any festivals like Chatt puja/Ganga snan or any other. In case of any of these one can easily get stuck at Bhagalpur for 4-5 hours.

Avoid Bhagalpur at night. After 10pm trucks are allowed to enter the city and many times Vikramsheela setu to Naugachea road is stuck with truck traffic.

The best place for food or overnight halt is hotel Vaivhav inn at Bhagalpur. Its 4kms after crossing the Vikramsheela setu towards Bhagalpur.

If one is not suck anywhere, in the current condition Kolkata to Siliguri is doable in 14-15 hours by this route. 100kms of bad road and the rest 520kms are good.

Last edited by Samba : 30th October 2014 at 02:44.
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Old 31st October 2014, 14:58   #375
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Long time since any update on the progress of four lane work on NH34.
Anyone who took the old NH34 route to Siliguri from Kolkata recently?
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