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Old 6th January 2015, 23:29   #406
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by megazoid View Post
I passed through Bhaglpur twice during my sikkim trip and took the following route.

https://goo.gl/maps/FKzu7

Was in touch with Sheel as the worry of getting stuck on the sethu was playing on my mind. The sethu was a breeze and though bhagalpur town was congested, it was not too bad. What really got me tired was the dumka - bhagalpur stretch which was in extremely bad shape and takes a lot of time and energy to cross.
Hi meagazoid , we seem to have passed each other ! , I am back from Sikkim as well but drove on the traditional NH 34 from Moregram to Siliguri on both legs.

Route updates:

Do not use NH 7 , the route is closed due to a broken bridge near Rajipur/Palar , further the stretch from Muratipur to Moregram is completely in shambles , with absolutely no surface at all. The road is being widened and the entire surface has been taken off!

I started from Kolkata on 31st Dec at 4:30 am and reached Siliguri at 8:30 pm. Route driven was VIP Road , Belghoria Expressway , Nivedita Setu , NH2 , NH7 , huge detour through rural Bengal near Rajipur/Palar via Kamapara Sahebganj Road and back onto NH7 at Muratipur , Moregram , Farakka, Kaliachak , Malda , Raiganj , Dalkhola , NH 31.

Total 590 Kms , with Rs 302 worth of tolls. Kalichak took 15 mins and Dalkhola about 25 mins to cross , by tailing local cars in the opposite lane . From Moregram close to Farakka is 4 lane tarmac and then parts between Malda and Raiganj. Remaining road condition is same old NH 34 with all its pot holed and dusty glory.

I returned back on 5th via the same route till Moregram. Then via Nalhati , Rampurhat , Sainthia , Ahmadpur , Bolpur , Ilambazar , Panagarh , NH2. Started at 4 am and reached home at 6:30 pm , totaling a route length of 650 kms worth Rs 320 of tolls. Out of the 14:30 hrs . total movement time was 12 hrs ,averaging about 54 Kmph. Just breezed through Dalkhola at 50 Kmph no stoppage whatsoever! I had already crossed Farakka by 9:30 am and Kaliachak was also completely devoid of any congestion. However I did try a slip route to bypass Kaliachak , details of which are given below , but this is not recommended. The Bolpur to Panagarh section is an absolute dream now except for the last 5 kms near Panagarh. I have never driven the Fatehpur to Bolpur section earlier and would not recommend it. Sainthia with its very narrow and congested roads is stressful and almost the entire route till Bolpur is in very bad shape. In hindsight I should have taken the Fatehpur to Suri route instead.

I had been in touch with Sheel and was toying with the idea of taking the Bhagalpur route , but dropped the idea due to the bad condition of the standard Bhagalpur to Dumka route. Thank you Sheel as always for your help and support, missed meeting your Explorer by a whisker. Sheel had warned of a chassis breaker sinkhole just as the four lane stretch ends before Islampur (on the way back from Siliguri) , and boy it was life saver in the pitch darkness !

Wanted to try the alternate Kulti , Deoghar , Banka , Bhagalpur route suggested by Thumping_soul but dropped it at the last minute as the route length would have been more than 700 Kms and I was not confident about the condition of the Deoghar to Kulti section.

Now for the surprise , I had driven to Kaluk in Sikkim and one evening I was amazed to see a white Eon with TBHP stickers parked next to my Duster. A quick inquiry at the reception and I was introduced to gearhead_mait having dinner with his family !

Thanks gearhead_mait for your tip on the Bolpur to Panagarh stretch , the freshly laid asphalt was fantastic. Do check on that grease leakage.

I explored a slip road to bypass Kaliachak , however I will not recommend it since it is at best a narrow lane and if there is oncoming traffic with four wheels , you would be royally struck. The road just goes straight through the intersection with the main road near Kaliachak High School (see the red highlighted portion) , though Google Maps shows a slight detour.

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-kaliachak.jpg
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Old 7th January 2015, 08:00   #407
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post

I explored a slip road to bypass Kaliachak , however I will not recommend it since it is at best a narrow lane and if there is oncoming traffic with four wheels , you would be royally struck. The road just goes straight through the intersection with the main road near Kaliachak High School (see the red highlighted portion) , though Google Maps shows a slight detour.
Let me share couple of tips for crossing Kaliachak (my family home is within 4-km of it. I need to cross Kaliachak even when I am taking train as most express trains do not have stoppage there )

Monday and Friday: Avoid between 10am to 8pm thanks to bi-weekly Kaliachak Haat (Farmers' Market) which is one of the largest in the district. Even the slip road will be busy.

Other days: Avoid between 2pm to 7pm due to the daily market as Kaliachak is mainly a business town.

Nowadays, the part of the slip road that you have mentioned, is taken (from Farakka side) to get out of NH-34 and drive towards Mothabari as this will avoid Kaliachak Chowrangee X-ing and also most of the pathetic section of NH-34 between Kaliachak and Malda. (There is another longer diversion as posted here (Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes))
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-kaliachakslipmothabari.png

I returned from Kaliachak around ten days ago. I was told that widening work of NH-34 within the town will begin shortly after electrical pole shifting is complete (which is ongoing at present.)

The construction work is likely to escalate the traffic chaos within Kaliachak as it will become virtually one-way traffic. However, administration is planning for traffic diversion by repairing the adjacent Bundh (embankment) road which is currently in very bad shape. This route begins at Kaliachak College More (immediately after Pagla river bridge, up to where 4-laning is complete) and then merge to Mothabari Road. I will keep posted if I get an update on this road as it will truely become a sort of Kaliachak bypass.
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-kaliachakcollegebundhroad.png

Last edited by gmhossain : 7th January 2015 at 08:12.
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Old 7th January 2015, 08:55   #408
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Let me share couple of tips for crossing Kaliachak (my family home is within 4-km of it. I need to cross Kaliachak even when I am taking train as most express trains do not have stoppage there )

Monday and Friday: Avoid between 10am to 8pm thanks to bi-weekly Kaliachak Haat (Farmers' Market) which is one of the largest in the district. Even the slip road will be busy.

Other days: Avoid between 2pm to 7pm due to the daily market as Kaliachak is mainly a business town.

Nowadays, the part of the slip road that you have mentioned, is taken (from Farakka side) to get out of NH-34 and drive towards Mothabari as this will avoid Kaliachak Chowrangee X-ing and also most of the pathetic section of NH-34 between Kaliachak and Malda. (There is another longer diversion as posted here (Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes))
[
Attachment 1324948
Hey gmhossain,

That's very informative and helpful for the people travelling through Kaliachak regularly. Good to know that road widening work is already started at Kaliachak.

My experience that a hell of a crossing in NH-34. I always got stuck there minimum for an hour during my every journey between Kolkata and Siliguri. Hopefully, this problem will be resolved soon. I was not aware of the diversions suggested by you, it will definitely help specially during this road widening work at Kaliachak.

Thanks a lot!

Amyth78
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Old 7th January 2015, 09:02   #409
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Thumping Soul View Post
The Bhagalpur Byepass is still on paper only. The entire project is stuck due to land acquisition problems and some financial irregularity which has surfaced. So its not happening anytime soon.
Please see the route mentioned by Megazoid, I had been all along wanted someone to update me on this.

I must also say that the Banka route has better road top. This is what I have been hearing as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by megazoid View Post
I passed through Bhaglpur twice during my sikkim trip and took the following route.

https://goo.gl/maps/FKzu7

Was in touch with Sheel as the worry of getting stuck on the sethu was playing on my mind. The sethu was a breeze and though bhagalpur town was congested, it was not too bad. What really got me tired was the dumka - bhagalpur stretch which was in extremely bad shape and takes a lot of time and energy to cross.
How is the route you took to cross Bhagalpur? How is the surface? Is it a straight road, or you had to ask at places?
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Old 7th January 2015, 10:03   #410
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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 route you took to cross Bhagalpur? How is the surface? Is it a straight road, or you had to ask at places?
The bridge itself is not very smooth but then one does not have another option there. The zero mile left turn at the petrol bunk took me through newly laid nice roads until a point where I had to go through narrow lanes to join the dumka road. The good thing is that trucks don't ply on these narrow roads and even though there is less width, you move along without hiccups. I never had to ask for directions. Just followed maps and came out on the main road. Now whether one should take the dumka route thereafter depends on the how good the alternatives are. But few should be as bad as road 19 on gmaps.

Another interesting thing is that at dumka I took the the massalia route via kundahit to damohani bazar and asansol and those were some of the best roads to drive on. I did not find a single soul on the road and the tarmac was pristine and very well laid.
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Old 7th January 2015, 10:07   #411
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Any issue with hotel accommodation? At any place?
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Old 7th January 2015, 11:43   #412
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Please see the route mentioned by Megazoid, I had been all along wanted someone to update me on this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by megazoid View Post
The zero mile left turn at the petrol bunk took me through newly laid nice roads until a point where I had to go through narrow lanes to join the dumka road.
The reason I didnot suggest this route is because I was trying to connect people to the Banka road and the connecting roads from the route taken by Megazoid are in bad shape. The place where Megazoid would have joined the Baunsi Road (leading to Dumka) is a very densely populated area and hence the choking. True that no heavy vehicle traffic present, since they aren't allowed in town between 6am & 9pm. Otherwise this region sees lot of trucks parked on the main road due to the presence of quite many warehouses.

Last edited by Thumping Soul : 7th January 2015 at 12:09.
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Old 7th January 2015, 12:46   #413
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Hi,

I am planning to drive from Kolkata to Raiganj and planning to take the following route:
Kolkata - Bardman - Moregram - Farakka - Malda - Raiganj

Google maps showing 403 km.

Is there any other preferred route?

Thanks
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Old 7th January 2015, 14:21   #414
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by chitta_moran View Post
Hi,

I am planning to drive from Kolkata to Raiganj and planning to take the following route:
Kolkata - Bardman - Moregram - Farakka - Malda - Raiganj

Google maps showing 403 km.

Is there any other preferred route?

Thanks
You can also do this route through NH 34, i.e., Kolkata - Barasat - Krishnanagar - Palasi - Behrampore - Farakka - Malda - Raiganj. Via Burdhwan, it will be little longer, another 40 to 50 Km.

I had done this route through Krishnanagar - Behrampore, numerous time while driving to Bagdogra through Raiganj. This is the shortest route and on some places between Krishnanagar and Farakka, four lanning work of one side is completed and hence, you will also get some speed.

I never opted for Burdhwan route so cant advise on road condition.

Amyth78
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Old 7th January 2015, 14:51   #415
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by amyth78 View Post
You can also do this route through NH 34, i.e., Kolkata - Barasat - Krishnanagar - Palasi - Behrampore - Farakka - Malda - Raiganj. Via Burdhwan, it will be little longer, another 40 to 50 Km.

.
.

I never opted for Burdhwan route so cant advise on road condition.

Amyth78
Thanks Amyth78, I was going through this discussion and was only worried about the condition of NH34. I will be driving Swift. In NH4, I have driven upto Krishnanager few months back and road conditions were OK. Not sure how it is beyond that.

Thanks.
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Old 7th January 2015, 15:27   #416
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by chitta_moran View Post
Thanks Amyth78, I was going through this discussion and was only worried about the condition of NH34. I will be driving Swift. In NH4, I have driven upto Krishnanager few months back and road conditions were OK. Not sure how it is beyond that.

Thanks.
My last trip in this route was in the month of May 2014 and I drove Zen Estillo. Road condition was good at that time and in most of the places between Krishnanagar to Farakka, one side four lanning work is completed and you can go three digits in some places. In past, road between Kolkata and Krishnanagar was in worst condition, if that is repaired then I feel you need not to worried about road condition after Krishnanagar.

You may get some rough patch between Farakka and Malda for 30 Kms and after Malda, again one side four lanning work is going on and on certain places completed. Your Swift will fly.

Cheers!

Amyth78
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Old 7th January 2015, 15:50   #417
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by amyth78 View Post
My last trip in this route was in the month of May 2014 and I drove Zen Estillo. Road condition was good at that time and in most of the places between Krishnanagar to Farakka, one side four lanning work is completed and you can go three digits in some places. In past, road between Kolkata and Krishnanagar was in worst condition, if that is repaired then I feel you need not to worried about road condition after Krishnanagar.

You may get some rough patch between Farakka and Malda for 30 Kms and after Malda, again one side four lanning work is going on and on certain places completed. Your Swift will fly.

Cheers!

Amyth78

Thanks Amyth78. Will try this route and update once I am back.
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Old 7th January 2015, 17:02   #418
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by chitta_moran View Post
Thanks Amyth78, I was going through this discussion and was only worried about the condition of NH34. I will be driving Swift. In NH4, I have driven upto Krishnanager few months back and road conditions were OK. Not sure how it is beyond that.

Thanks.
I drove to Malda on Dec 22, 2014 through Krishnanagar-Baharampur-Farakka (NH-34) and returned through Farakka-Morgram (NH34) -Futishanko (SH7)- Ahmedpur (SH6) on Dec 27. From there I drove via Bolpur-Gushkara-Burdwan (NH2B) and NH2 on Dec 29.

At present, all options have some sections of bad roads. However, if you are willing to take full NH-34 then you may check this post (Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes) for current route updates.

Up to Krishnanagar, NH-34 is being resurfaced (mostly done barring few small stretches). Between Krishnanagar and Baharampur, there will be around 20 km of bad roads (I mean really bad!) which will take around an hour. The rest are breeze. I would strongly recommend to take Sargachhi bypass road to avoid going through Baharampur town.

Best,
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Old 13th January 2015, 17:16   #419
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

In a recent trip to Lava / Rishyap from Kolkata, I followed NH34 instead of Bardhaman-Dumka-Bhagalpur route and here's the update :

Airport to Krishnanagar : Mostly resurfaced recently except few places like Barajaguli, Santipur rail gate crossing etc. It took 2.5 hrs for me

Krishnanagar to Baharampur : Mostly pathetic, especially between Plassey to Baharampur.
Krishnanagar to Plassey took 1 hr 45 mins and Plassey to Baharampur took similar time. Some of stretches are quite bad and if someone is driving low gc vehicle like I did in my Indica Vista, be very careful not to scratch the bottom.

Baharampur to Farakka : Fantastic. Its a toll road and you can maintain a steady three digits speed here. Road gets choppy sometimes after crossing the second toll booth.
I got stuck in a huge traffic jam on Farakka and lost more than an hour just to cross the bridge.
Farakka to Malda :After you cross Farakka, another nightmare awaits you called Kaliachowk. I intended to follow Kaliachowk - Mathabari route, but that road was also blocked. If you're on NH34, expect bad roads all the way till Malda. While returning I followed that route and its Quite Good ( little narrow )

Malda to Dalkhola : Mix of good and bad roads. Few kms near Gazole was quite bad. It becomes good before Raiganj and continues all the way till Dalkhola. I enquired about Botolbari - Dhantola route and advised NOT to follow it after sun down.
Police also stressed on the safety issue on this route after dark. I was extremely lucky to pass Dalkhola without ANY traffic jam.

Dalkhola to Siliguri : Mostly good.

It took 19 hrs to cover the distance between Konnagar to Siliguri. Last few times I followed Bardhaman-Bhagalpur route and made it within 16 hrs. But as per this thread Crossing 100 kms between Dumka and Bhagalpur is also a major pain these days. So thought of trying my luck with NH34.

Thanks,
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Old 23rd January 2015, 23:46   #420
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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As for cutting through the Bhagalpur town and giving the major traffic areas a miss and also the much talked 'Hansdiah - Baunsi Road - Bhagalpur' section, here is an advice.
1. Step 1 - Option 1: Exit the NH2 at Kulti towards Jamtara - Deoghar and from there on through Banka you can enter Bhagalpur.
2. Step 2 - Option 2: From Dumka, take SH114A through Jarmundi to Deoghar and from there on through Banka to Bhagalpur

The Deoghar - Banka - Bhagalpur road, though a 2 lane, has a superb surface and devoid of any commercial / truck traffic. So its a plane 1hr 15-30mins drive to Bhagalpur.

Now comes the 2nd part, how to bypass Bhagalpur. The normal route through Hansdiah - Bounsi Road you would enter right at the center of the town once you come down the flyover and this place is a pain (understatement).


The only bad patch of road (in terms of surface quality) is from Tatarpur Chowk to the 1st right bend and then from Kotwali Chowk to Nayabazar Chowk. From Nayabazar its a straight road to Vikramsheela Setu, through Tilkamanjhi Chowk.

This entire route allows you to steer away from the bus & trucks parked or travelling on Baunsi road, bad road section before the flyover, the humongues ocean of humanity immediately after the flyover and then beyond it until Tilkamanjhi Chowk.

Here's a link to the google map as well.

https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Du...319707!1m0!3e0
Based on the above suggestion from you, decided to check out atleast one half of the suggested route today, the Banka-Bhagalpur section (The entire route given by you is higher than the usual Dumka-Hansdiha-Bhagalpur by about 56kms, so was not making sense to take)

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-untitled3.jpg

So just to check out, we drove the usual Dumka-Hansdiha and then from Banka Road went to Banka and joined the route suggested by you. Yes the road surface is much better than the present sorry state the Bausi-Bhagalpur section is in. But, it is 17kms longer over around 40-45 odd kms. Besides this, we were royally stuck at three places, all due to narrow width on which heavy vehicles (trucks and buses were stuck while crossing each other at those points)

1> Banka (Quite congested) - Held up for 10 mins static or crawling
2> Amarpur (Road width through Amarpur town, extremely limited) - Held up for 20 mins.
3> Railway crossing before Bhagalpur entry. Besides passing through Bhagalpur town crowd/congestion and its a longer drive within the town itself.

In the end, not only did we traverse the additional kms, but the holdups were quite big. So, will stick to the usual route on the way back.

To end, some goodnews, the Bailey Bridge at Guskhara is operational again. Secondly, the bridge over river Kopai at Bolpur is operational too. Vikramshila setu to Vaibhav Inn surface is repaired (But Vaibhav Inn to NH31 still remains in shambles, but one can just take a small slip road after Vaibhav Inn, to join the Tetri Durga Byepass as I did)

Last edited by 1100D : 23rd January 2015 at 23:50.
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