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Old 15th July 2012, 00:51   #46
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
..Post Bagdogra, all hell breaks loose as pItholes of varying size in length and depth ,,,.
Dear Sir
Do these roads get repaired post-monsoon?
regards
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Old 15th July 2012, 20:03   #47
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
Thanks Sheel. Plan to take this route on Sat 18th Aug. Do you think there might be road restrictions in and around Bhagalpur owing to Id celebrations on 20th ?
If Eid happens to fall on 20th, expect youths to ride Motorcycles all over the place. Nothing to be wary of, just be cautious

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Originally Posted by drive_factor View Post
Dear Sir
Do these roads get repaired post-monsoon?
regards
They do, but the work starts from mid January onwards. (This is what I am seeing from past 3-4 years)

Whereas on NH-34, work starts by mid December.
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Old 17th July 2012, 00:15   #48
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Anyone travelling on this route just be careful to reduce speeds once you reach the Bagdogra airport. The road has been completely messed up after that towards Siliguri for 2 to 3 kms. The potholes were so bad that we nearly had a panicky moment in our sedan after it bottomed out while trying to save a biker on the wrong side of the road. Repair work is shoddy to say the least. Scorpios safaris innovas and t fort seem to be the ideal car for this road. Hatchback and sedans please be careful.

Hope this is helpful. Dad says the roads on Jalpaiguri side have become worse than this.

Regards.
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Old 17th July 2012, 12:47   #49
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by Parthasarathig View Post
Anyone travelling on this route just be careful to reduce speeds once you reach the Bagdogra airport.
Are you from Siliguri Partha?
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Old 17th July 2012, 12:55   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel

Are you from Siliguri Partha?
Yes but i stay in Bangalore for most part of the year. I thought of driving down to Purnea after having read a previous post in the thread saying 3.5 hours drive time via the expressway IIRC But on arrival the condition of roads were a disappointment and with the incident in the honda will probably be visiting the service centre tomorrow :(

Regards.
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Old 20th August 2012, 18:27   #51
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

I'm back from a quick trip to Shantiniketan. Darjeeling more - Dubrajpur road is in pretty bad shape right now. Alternate roads should be considered.
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Old 25th October 2012, 21:25   #52
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Exclamation Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Mod Note : Please do NOT use more than 2 smilies per post. We advise you to read our rules before proceeding any further.

Here is the latest update on the Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka & Bhagalpur , I am just back today from a wonderful road trip to Bhutan.

Route travelled from Kolkata to Siliguri for the Outward leg : VIP Road , Belgharia Expressway , Nivedita Setu , NH 2, Gushkara , Bolpur , Purandarpur , Siuri , Tilpara , Massanjore , Dumka , Bhagalpur , Purnea , Dhalkhola & finally Siliguri. (Inward leg was just the reverse)

Distance clocked on the route : From my home (Kolkata) to Darjeeling More (Siliguri) – 640 kms.

Travel time : Outward – Left home at 4 AM , reached Darjeeling More at 6:30 PM , with stops totaling 1 hr 30 mins plus a 1 hour meetup with Sheel at Purnea.

Inward : left Darjeeling More at 3 AM and reached home at 5 PM with stops totaling 2 hours 30 mins.

Road Conditions :

NH 2 – Excellent

From Bardhaman to Bolpur via Gushkara – Very Good , pot holes are already patch repaired.

The tiny stretch under the railway lines near Bhedia on the main route is not meant for small cars or sedans , please beware and take the diversion through Bhedia proper. There is a caveat though , this by- pass road passes through a very narrow and low under pass through Bhedia station, only small cars can do this route. If you have a tall car or have a roof rack installed , stick to the main road only.

Bolpur to Siuri –Very Good , except for the small stretch adjacent to the bridge near Kopai resort, which is broken. Then on, upto Purandarpur, is excellent.

Siuri to Jharkhand Border via Sheorakhuri More , average with potholes . Sheorakhuri to Jharkhand border – potholes are patch repaired.

From Jharkhand Border upto 7 Kms after leaving Massanjore dam is a dream - fantastic and very scenic.

About 10 kms to Dumka till Dumka town is literally carpet bombed ! , big let down after the previous stretch

After Dumka , road towards Bhagalpur is again good till you are 10 Kms from the Bihar border (at Valjore), this 10 kms is stretch is in a pretty poor shape till you reach Valjore.

Valjore to Bhagalpur is very good, Bhagalpur to NH 31 junction is average with potholes and traffic , lots of bumps on the Vikramshila Setu as well.

NH 31 till Purnea is very good and once the four lane road starts right after Purnea , it is excellent.

Near Bagdogra there are gaping holes for a few kms , but some of these are being patch repaired. Sedans and low GC vehicles have a good chance to scrape the bottom, I managed without incident in my hatch back.

Overall the entire route is in good to excellent condition , except for stretches around Dumka where it is very bad

A very big Thank You to Sheel , I was overwhelmed by his hospitality when we met briefly at the BP Pump near Purnea. Thanks to 1100D , Rahul4640, Sheel & Sutripta for their posts detailing the entire route , my planning was a breeze when armed with the data posted in this thread

Since I had travelled to Bhutan from Siliguri , if you plan this , take the Chalsa route to Phuntshoeling instead of the usual Jalpaiguri route , the roads on this route are excellent. The only deal breaker here is a 14.5 Km stretch near the NRL Pump at Madarihat upto Hashimara , this is common on both routes. Imagine cruising on butter smooth roads , then suddenly all hell breaks loose – literally. From silky smooth tarmac you sail straight into a violent storm , there is no road , only waves of dirt and gravel that goes up and down. It is a continuous crater for 14.5 Km with maniacal humps. Passing vehicles will garnish & top up your experience with a continuous dust bath. This stretch will probably put a Main Battle Tank test track to shame. I took couple of underbelly hits on my Getz both on the way up and down.You are either an expert or very lucky , if you are driving a Sedan / Hatch Back and manage this stretch without that dreaded sound of Metal meeting God Knows what

The Roads in Bhutan – that’s another story , as Lalu once said , the Dream Girl’s cheeks would be put to shame

Last edited by GTO : 31st October 2012 at 11:41. Reason: Please do NOT use more than 2 smilies per post
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Old 26th October 2012, 08:35   #53
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

I just returned from a Kolkata-Darjeeling trip. here is my feedback on the route I took.

My car is a Scorpio VLX 4X4 automatic. Only 2 passengers, myself and wife.

I took the Vidyasagar Setu, Kona Expressway and Durgapur Expressway until just after Bardhaman, turned right, and went through Gushkara and Bolpur until Purandarpur. The only hitch on this road is an absurdly rutted and narrow underpass under the railway line just before Bolpur. Only SUVs can make it - the ruts are too deep for small cars.

From Purandarpur I took a diversion through villages (lovely views - decent road) to Sainthia, and then on to Mollarpur where I joined NH60. The road was great until Rampurhat, and then it was quite bad - max speed 30 KMPH. About 35 KM from Rampurhat I joined NH34 at Moregram, and went on to Farakka.

About 5 KM from farakka there was a horrendous jam at a place called Kaliachowk. People said there is a jam all day every day. beyond that the road continues to Bagdogra and Darjeeling More. The road is moderately bad.

I made the mistake of climbing to Darjeeling on the Hill Cart Road. Very sharp hairpins, just about wide enough for a Scorpio to make it. The big problem is the unending stream of SUVs (taxis) which sweep down with no horns sounded. You have to squeeze through very tight spaces. A small car (my 110) would have been easier to drive here.

Reached Kurseong, and got stuck in a one hour jam. The road to Darjeeling thereafter is quite rough and full of potholes.

Driving in Darjeeling is a non-event - you can't do it. I had to keep my car parked during my 3 day stay.

Coming back from Darjeeling I took the route via Mirik (sharp turn right immediately after Ghoom railway station). This road is much better than the Hill Cart Road. It is wider and hence you do not need to squeeze through narrow gaps. The surface is largely good, though there are a few rough patches.

My car had 750 KM on the clock when I started, and the trip was 1,525 KM door to door.

I got 12 KMPL on the flat land (with A/C all the time) and 7.5 KMPL on the hill stretch.
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Old 27th October 2012, 23:43   #54
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Hi,

A friend of mine drove home from Kolkata to Alipurduar in a Vista on "Panchami".

His experience was similar. We had read this thread a few times to make time & route estimates.

He wanted to avoid NH34, but not NH60. I helped him with roads till Rampurhat. Rampurhat to Malda was on secondary data. He knew roads beyond Malda, and especially beyond Siliguri.

His route: Dumdum-Dankuni-DGR ExpWay-Panagarh-Ilambajar-Siuri-Rampurhat-Moregram-Farakka-Malda-Siliguri-Jailpaiguri-Alipurduar.
Travel time: Dumdum Dep @ 4AM and Alipurduar Arr @ 2AM = 22hrs.

He said he lost a total of 5hrs in traffic jam. First was at Panagarh, then between Rampurhat & Nalhati, next at Kailachowk and the worst one between Siliguri & Jalpaiguri (forgot the name of the place).

Our pre-journey calculations were about 16hrs. He started losing time after Rampurhat. I more or less tracked him through the journey. (Alas, I was stuck in office and could not make it with him)

Rough timings based on my calls to him:
8AM crossed Ilambajar, still 25kms from Siuri. (He crossed Shaktigarh just after 6AM and had stopped for tea & langcha).
11AM still between Rampurhat & Nalhati
4PM crossed Maldah after a 30 min lunch break
8PM was at Siliguri
11PM stuck in jam between Sliguri & Jalpaiguri
Got the news next morning @ 9AM that he had arrived at 2AM

He is yet to make his return journey. That will be in mid-Nov. Let's see what time it takes.

Regards,
Saurav
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Old 28th October 2012, 16:41   #55
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
Here is the latest update on the Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka & Bhagalpur.

Route travelled from Kolkata to Siliguri for the Outward leg : VIP Road , Belgharia Expressway , Nivedita Setu , NH 2, Gushkara , Bolpur , Purandarpur , Siuri , Tilpara , Massanjore , Dumka , Bhagalpur , Purnea , Dhalkhola & finally Siliguri. (Inward leg was just the reverse)
Thanks for the update mate. I have come to believe that this route is a better option to reach Siliguri, in spite of clocking some more extra KMs, as NH 34 is both pothole ridden and is perennially prone to prolonged traffic jams.

Last edited by rahul4640 : 28th October 2012 at 16:44.
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Old 28th October 2012, 20:33   #56
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by benu9714 View Post
I made the mistake of climbing to Darjeeling on the Hill Cart Road. Very sharp hairpins, just about wide enough for a Scorpio to make it. The big problem is the unending stream of SUVs (taxis) which sweep down with no horns sounded. You have to squeeze through very tight spaces. A small car (my 110) would have been easier to drive here.
To me it sounds more like Pankhabari Rd than Hill Cart Rd!

The preferred road is the Rohini Rd. Which unfortunately was closed. However, there was talk of it being opened during the Pujas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sauravdc View Post
He is yet to make his return journey. That will be in mid-Nov. Let's see what time it takes.
Best advice will be from local taxi drivers.
AlipurDuar - Sonapur - Falakata - Dhupguri - Gayerkata - Banarhat - Chalsa - Mal - Siliguri might be a option worth exploring.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 28th October 2012, 22:51   #57
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by black_panther View Post
I'm back from a quick trip to Shantiniketan. Darjeeling more - Dubrajpur road is in pretty bad shape right now. Alternate roads should be considered.
This thread speaks about avoiding the Panagarh area altogether mainly for 2 reasons

1> Panagarh Bajar area stays very congested
2> Bardhaman Bolpur road is considered to be of big importance and its mostly in prime shape. Apart from a little 50 meter section under a railway underpass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
Here is the latest update on the Kolkata -

From Jharkhand Border upto 7 Kms after leaving Massanjore dam is a dream - fantastic and very scenic.
Thanks for updating us on the latest "ground" situation on this route. Especially the section after messanjore dam is a personal favourite when the surface is proper, I have one car which comes to its own on this stretch in these situations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benu9714 View Post
My car is a Scorpio VLX 4X4 automatic. The road was great until Rampurhat, and then it was quite bad - max speed 30 KMPH. About 35 KM from Rampurhat I joined NH34 at Moregram, and went on to Farakka.

About 5 KM from farakka there was a horrendous jam at a place called Kaliachowk.
Wow another 4X4 scorpio in our area. Have to meet up.

Now the intent of this thread is to avoid NH34 altogether for two reasons

1> Surface issues (usually that start from Rampurhat-Nalhati and goes till about 10-15 kms from Moregram)
2> Notorious jams at some of the points you have mentioned Like Kaliachowk. Malda itself is quite busy and congested. Then there is that infamous Dalkhola crossing (you are lucky to have not been caught-up there)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sauravdc View Post
Hi,


He said he lost a total of 5hrs in traffic jam. First was at Panagarh, then between Rampurhat & Nalhati, next at Kailachowk and the worst one between Siliguri & Jalpaiguri (forgot the name of the place).
Panagarh, Kaliachowk, Rampurhat, Nalhati, Malda Dalkhola all are known irritants, which everyone wants to avoid. Even the route that we have been discussing in this thread has Bhagalpur as a small issue and Dumka surface to contend with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
Thanks for the update mate. I have come to believe that this route is a better option to reach Siliguri, in spite of clocking some more extra KMs, as NH 34 is both pothole ridden and is perennially prone to prolonged traffic jams.
+1 to that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
To me it sounds more like Pankhabari Rd than Hill Cart Rd!

The preferred road is the Rohini Rd. Which unfortunately was closed. However, there was talk of it being opened during the Pujas.


Regards
Sutripta
In 2010, we had taken (though not voluntarily) a steep tea garden route from Tindharia to Kurseong. However unknowingly we had taken the hill cart road ignorant about the fact that the road was washed away beyond Tindharia. But what we benefitted from was thin traffic enroute to Kurseong. But it started getting busy beyond that behind diesel fumes of Mahindra savari's.
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Old 28th October 2012, 23:08   #58
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Even the route that we have been discussing in this thread has Bhagalpur as a small issue and Dumka surface to contend with.
For Bhagalpur , it probably depends on the timing. In our outward leg , we crossed it in 30 mins around 12:15 PM (From the outskirts till reaching Vikramshila Setu). It was faster in the return leg , all of 15 mins around 7:45 AM.

Food also seems to be scarce on this route. After Azad Hind on NH2 , the next big place seems to be BP Dalkhola. The Dhaba(s) at Massanjore Dam were our saviour on both legs. I would assume that detours inside Bolpur , Dumka or Bhagalpur might lead to good restaurants. Any leads from the regulars on this route about good eating joints enroute ?
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Old 29th October 2012, 00:29   #59
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
For Bhagalpur , it probably depends on the timing. In our outward leg , we crossed it in 30 mins around 12:15 PM (From the outskirts till reaching Vikramshila Setu). It was faster in the return leg , all of 15 mins around 7:45 AM.

Food also seems to be scarce on this route. After Azad Hind on NH2 , the next big place seems to be BP Dalkhola. The Dhaba(s) at Massanjore Dam were our saviour on both legs. I would assume that detours inside Bolpur , Dumka or Bhagalpur might lead to good restaurants. Any leads from the regulars on this route about good eating joints enroute ?
There is a BP COCO on Purnea Bypass. There are a couple of places inside Bolpur but then that would be a detour, requiring to take the congested Bolpur town. But between Bolpur and Purandharpur there is a Dhaba on the right (going towards Purandharpur) and they seem to serve fast.
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Old 30th October 2012, 22:41   #60
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
The tiny stretch under the railway lines near Bhedia on the main route is not meant for small cars or sedans , please beware and take the diversion through Bhedia proper. There is a caveat though , this by- pass road passes through a very narrow and low under pass through Bhedia station, only small cars can do this route. If you have a tall car or have a roof rack installed , stick to the main road only.
I see in Google map that the main road referred by you is GT Road. It bifurcates on approaching Bhedia. So you mean to take this diversion. There is a second bifurcation after the first one. Left flank goes to Bhedia Rlwy station (Probably you alert about this one being too low to allow small cars only) any idea about the right flank, this appears to be a shorter connect back to GT Road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
Since I had travelled to Bhutan from Siliguri , if you plan this , take the Chalsa route to Phuntshoeling instead of the usual Jalpaiguri route , the roads on this route are excellent. The only deal breaker here is a 14.5 Km stretch near the NRL Pump at Madarihat upto Hashimara , this is common on both routes. Imagine cruising on butter smooth roads , then suddenly all hell breaks loose – literally From silky smooth tarmac you sail straight into a violent storm , there is no road , only waves of dirt and gravel that goes up and down. It is a continuous crater for 14.5 Km with maniacal humps. Passing vehicles will garnish & top up your experience with a continuous dust bath . This stretch will probably put a Main Battle Tank test track to shame. I took couple of underbelly hits on my Getz both on the way up and down.You are either an expert or very lucky , if you are driving a Sedan / Hatch Back and manage this stretch without that dreaded sound of Metal meeting God Knows what

The Roads in Bhutan – that’s another story , as Lalu once said , the Dream Girl’s cheeks would be put to shame
Excellent write up! and hilarious ! Please give me an idea of time taken to reach Phuntshoeling from Siliguri, what are available facilities for staying at Phuntshoeling and some current details about obtaining the permit.
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