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Old 19th October 2015, 05:26   #616
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by deb_majumdar View Post
We are thinking about driving to Darjeeling and back next week, possibly leaving Kolkata on the 19th and coming back on the 26th. I guess you drove the Bolero or the Thar, but I will be driving a Polo. Do you think those 30kms are manageable? I am fine with bad roads, as long as the car the cross that stretch.
There is an alternate route, time taken to do both the routes should be the same. Dumka - Basukinath - Deoghar - Katoria - Amarpur - Bhagalpur.
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Old 19th October 2015, 11:09   #617
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Please consider the following route as well -

Birati --> Belgharia Exp Road --> Dhakhineswar --> Dankuni --> Bardhaman --> Gushkara --> Bolpur-->Siuri-->Massanjore --> Dumka --> Deoghar --> Banka --> Bhagalpur --> Purnea --> Dalkhola --> Islampur --> Siliguri
Would this be the best route to take? I am planning to drive from kishanganj to kolkata in a small car on the 29th of this month. Day 1 would be from guwahati to kishanganj, and I am familiar with that route.
My question is, considering I will be in a hatchback, which route will be the best in terms of road surface? I don't mind driving a few extra kms.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 21st October 2015, 13:42   #618
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by pyrodrive View Post
Would this be the best route to take? I am planning to drive from kishanganj to kolkata in a small car on the 29th of this month. Day 1 would be from guwahati to kishanganj, and I am familiar with that route.
My question is, considering I will be in a hatchback, which route will be the best in terms of road surface? I don't mind driving a few extra kms.
Thanks in advance.
As Sheel has suggested, please take the route -
Kishanganj - Dalkhola - Purnea - Bhagalpur (take the Bhagalpur bypass) - Amarpur - Banka - Katoria - Deoghar - Basukinath - Dumka - Massanjore - Suri - Bolpur - Bardhaman - Kolkata

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-route.png
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Old 22nd October 2015, 11:22   #619
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Originally Posted by subhojitb View Post
First, heartiest greetings for the upcoming Durga Pujo

In the month of August, I asked on the forum for possible route to Murshidabad from Kolkata. At that point of time, I got quite a few options. Unfortunately, the tour did not materialize at that time.
I have replanned the tour once again in the first week of November. Please suggest the best route considering the heavy monsoon we had this year.

1) Nh2 then SH7 from Burdwan and then SH11 near Khargram to reach Berhampore
If I take option (1 ), then should I go straight or need to take a detour
--detour to avoid the bad stretch of SH-7 around Mangalkot area by going through Bhatar-Katwa (SH-14) - Ketugram-Futishanko (SH-6).

2) Another route mentioned last time - Kalyani Expy, followed by SH-6 (Bansberia-Kalna-Nabadwip-Katwa) up to Futishanko (SH-7 crossing). Then
take SH-11 from Kuli Chowrasta to reach NH-34 near Baharampur

3) NH34 throughout

Note: I will be travelling in a self driven Ertiga with my family and kids.

Thanks for your valuable time and thanks in advance for some help
Subhojit
Any help would be really helpful
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Old 23rd October 2015, 19:33   #620
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by subhojitb View Post
First, heartiest greetings for the upcoming Durga Pujo

In the month of August, I asked on the forum for possible route to Murshidabad from Kolkata. At that point of time, I got quite a few options. Unfortunately, the tour did not materialize at that time.
I have replanned the tour once again in the first week of November. Please suggest the best route considering the heavy monsoon we had this year.

1) Nh2 then SH7 from Burdwan and then SH11 near Khargram to reach Berhampore
If I take option (1 ), then should I go straight or need to take a detour
--detour to avoid the bad stretch of SH-7 around Mangalkot area by going through Bhatar-Katwa (SH-14) - Ketugram-Futishanko (SH-6).

2) Another route mentioned last time - Kalyani Expy, followed by SH-6 (Bansberia-Kalna-Nabadwip-Katwa) up to Futishanko (SH-7 crossing). Then
take SH-11 from Kuli Chowrasta to reach NH-34 near Baharampur

3) NH34 throughout

Note: I will be travelling in a self driven Ertiga with my family and kids.

Thanks for your valuable time and thanks in advance for some help
Subhojit

Bijoya greetings!

SH-7 seems to remain in bad shape as reported by Unavowed_X9 here (Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34). On the other hand, AJ-got-BHP did Krishnanagar-Karmipur stretch via SH-11 and found it to be in excellent shape as reported here http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post3767893 (Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34).


So looks like at present the best route, surface-wise, to Baharampur from Kolkata would be:

(1) Kalyani Expy: Kampa Crossing - Bara Jaguli
(2) NH-34: Bara Jaguli - Krishnanagar
(3) SH-11: Krishnanagar - Karimpur - Domkal - Baharampur

There are few rough but doable patches even in above route. Lastly, sorry for the delay in replying to your pm as I was off to Orissa for last few days.

Best,
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Old 24th October 2015, 15:22   #621
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Bijoya greeting.
The info on this thread is very very encouraging. Though I haven't done too many long drives after buying my car, but I am determined that in the coming days, I will do justice to my ever growing passion for long drives.
I have a question. What is the status of NH34? Heard that it is currently going thought a transformation into a four lane super smooth highway.
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Old 25th October 2015, 13:39   #622
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

We returned from our Darjeeling / Kalimpong Trip last night. The outbound route was: Kolkata - Asansol By pass - Nala - Masalia - Dumka - Dhaka More - Banka - Amarpur - Bhagalpur By pass - Vikramshila Setu - Tetri By Pass - Purnea the first day.

Now, the time/road condition break up:

We left Kolkata on Saturday, 17th October at 6:00 AM and reached Jubilee Pump on the Asansol By pass at 10:00 AM. There was heavy but steady truck traffic at Panagarh, no hold ups though. Slow traffic after Durgapur till just prior to Raniganj because of road widening work.

Jubilee Pump to Dumka via Nala and Masalia was 2 hours. Terrific roads for most parts except for the last stretch just before Dumka because of culvert constructions.

Dumka to Hansdiha - fine. Hansdiha to Dhaka More is sheer hell. There are NO roads at all. You negotiate your way through crater after crater with blinding dust everywhere. Our car (Ertiga) scraped its underbody several times despite exercising utmost caution. Those 30 odd kms. took us 2 1/2 hours to cover.

Banka to Amarpur was a good stretch and Amarpur to Bhagalpur was patchy. Bhagalpur By pass is a godsend discovery and we just breezed past Bhagalpur and took the Tetri By Pass after Vikramshila Setu (hardly any traffic on the bridge) ending up on NH 31 at 5:30 PM.

From there to Hotel Center Point, Purnea was 1 hour 15 mins. and we were checking in by 7:00 PM. Excellent road conditions by the way.

Day 1: about 550 clicks which took us around 13 hours with two breaks of 15 mins. each

I won't describe the road conditions onwards to Darjeeling and Kalimpong as much has been written previously about it on this thread and nothing really has changed.

The return journey:

Day 7: Friday, 23rd October - Morgan House, Kalimpong to Hotel Ashoka Grand just before the Railway flyover in Bhagalpur, around 330 kms. took us 7 hours which included a 1 hour stop for a leisurely lunch at Raj Darbar, Dalkhola. The only thing to note is that the Sevoke Road is patchy in parts. We left Kalimpong at 10:30 AM and were at our hotel in Bhagalpur at 5:30 PM. Traffic on the Vikramshila Setu as well as inside Bhagalpur was light, probably on account of Dussehra.

Day 8: Saturday, 24th October - Bhagalpur to Kolkata. It was Muhurram and we were a bit apprehensive about road blockades. Nevertheless, we went ahead leaving at 9:00 AM and decided to try out the Deoghar route, hence traced our way back to Banka via Amarpur. There was heavy police presence throughout Bihar and we had to take a couple of diversions through villages because of processions but we were in Balanand Ashram, Deoghar by 1:30 PM. After spending half an hour at the Ashram, we were back on the road and took the Jamtara route to NH 2. The road conditions between Banka and Deoghar are good but beware of occasional potholes. Deoghar to Jamtara is fair and Jamtara to NH 2 was excellent! We were on the Golden Quadrilateral by 5:00 PM.

From there on to Kolkata was sheer bliss - there was absolutely NIL truck traffic. The police had blocked all trucks which were made to queue up by the side of the highway (except for tankers) and the roads were absolutely free. After a quick Tea and Makha Sandesh break at Shaktigarh, we were back home in Central Kolkata by 8:30 PM Distance: about 425 kms. & Time: 11 1/2 hours including two breaks of 1/2 an hour each. Of course we were lucky to have a truck free NH 2, a factor which makes the Kolkata to Asansol journey so frustrating.

Well, that about sums it up; but sadly it appears that we have to take longer and longer detours in order to reach North Bengal from Kolkata. When I had done my first road trip to Siliguri from Kolkata (Calcutta in those days) in May 1994 in a brand new Gypsy, it had taken 12 hours door to door from my residence in Central Kolkata to Sinclairs, Siliguri by NH 34.

Hope the update is of help.

P.S.

We did not face a single instance of Police checking in Bihar, probably because:
a) elections were already over in most of the parts that we traversed.
b) travel was mostly by the day.
c) there were three ladies + 1 child in our group.

Last edited by Babuda : 25th October 2015 at 13:45.
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Old 26th October 2015, 09:00   #623
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Smile Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Thank you Babuda. Excellent updates. copied and pasted in my special Kolkata Siliguri road trip word file.because i am positive that next time I go through the final route checks, Team-BHP infos are always with me.

Regards,
Avishek
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Old 26th October 2015, 19:43   #624
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Thanks for the update Babuda. That is quite elaborate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babuda View Post
Hansdiha to Dhaka More is sheer hell. There are NO roads at all. You negotiate your way through crater after crater with blinding dust everywhere. Our car (Ertiga) scraped its underbody several times despite exercising utmost caution. Those 30 odd kms. took us 2 1/2 hours to cover.
Imagine us doing this stretch till Bhagalpur. It is sheer hell of course. I had one underbody scraping in my Duster as well. I will be taking the Deoghar route till I get better first hand updates about Hansdiha & Bounsi.

Regards

Pawan
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Old 27th October 2015, 13:51   #625
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Smile Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Bijoya greetings!

SH-7 seems to remain in bad shape as reported by Unavowed_X9 here (Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34). On the other hand, AJ-got-BHP did Krishnanagar-Karmipur stretch via SH-11 and found it to be in excellent shape as reported here http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post3767893 (Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34).


So looks like at present the best route, surface-wise, to Baharampur from Kolkata would be:

(1) Kalyani Expy: Kampa Crossing - Bara Jaguli
(2) NH-34: Bara Jaguli - Krishnanagar
(3) SH-11: Krishnanagar - Karimpur - Domkal - Baharampur

There are few rough but doable patches even in above route. Lastly, sorry for the delay in replying to your pm as I was off to Orissa for last few days.

Best,
Sorry for the late response Golam as was down with viral fever.
Anyways, thanks a ton for all the help . This has helped me a lot in my planning. Will update if and when the tour is made.
Thanks again
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Old 27th October 2015, 15:08   #626
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

I am just back from a trip to Sikkim and took NH34 from Moregram both during onward and return leg (not kidding!).

A) Onward journey:

Route followed :

Kolkata (Behala) - Dankuni - NH2B - Bolpur - Suri - Rampurhat - Nalhati - Moregram - Farakka - Malda - Raiganj - Dalkhola - Islampur (I stayed for the night here) - Siliguri

Road Condition:

1) Kolkata to Moregram : Good to very good roads all the way. Only a 2km stretch before Nalhati was being repaired. Nothing to say really about DGP expy. NH2B till Bolpur is good. Bolpur to Suri is freshly laid tarmac (good again). Suri to Moregram (NH60) is good with few above average stretches.

2) Moregram - Raiganj :
Moregram to Farakka is 4 lane good road except two 2-3 km stretches of two lane which is manageable. I was unlucky as one lane the long Farakka Bridge, which has speed restriction of 20 kmph, was being repaired and thereby closed for traffic. So, only one side of traffic movement was allowed at a time, managed by BSF. And the speed restriction added to the chaos. Long snarl of traffic had accumulated on both sides of Farakka. I lost around 3 hours here . Kaliachowk was relatively free (maybe due to the congestion at Farakka). Kaliachowk to Malda stretch is patched recently, so not that bad now. Malda to Raiganj has mix of 4 lane and
bad roads, specially at the diversions. Also, be careful at night as the diversion markings are not coated with reflective material. I would say that 70% of the road between Malda to Raiganj is good. The same stretch on the return leg had 85% good roads.

3) Raiganj - Islampur - Siliguri : Raiganj to Dalkhola has good two lane road. Spent 15 minutes in Dalkhola crossing. Dalkhola to Siliguri has four lane road, but the upper surface is rough all the way till Kishanganj (scheduled to the repaired by December). Road improves after Islampur.

Total Time taken : Kolkata - Islampur 18 hours (including 3 hours wasted at Farakka, 1 hour spent on breaks and 15 minutes at Dalkhola)

B) Return leg
Basically the road update remains the same, apart from the fact that the stretch between Raiganj to Malda is better than the same stretch during the onward journey.
We decided to not stop at Siliguri while returning from Sikkim and proceed to Malda for the night stay. Took us 6 hours to reach Malda from Siliguri. On Day 2, we started from Malda hotel early at 5 am, found absolutely deserted Kaliachowk, the Farakka bridge already repaired, and reached home at 2 pm. It took us 9 hours flat including 45 minutes break in between. So, it turned out to be a very good decision to stay at Malda.

Thanks,
gearhead

Last edited by gearhead_mait : 27th October 2015 at 15:36.
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Old 27th October 2015, 15:38   #627
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Awesome update gearhead_mait. Really appreciate the detailed road condition update. I guess, the diversions and the Farakka sections should come under control within a few months. BTW, where in Behala do you stay?
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Old 28th October 2015, 01:21   #628
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babuda View Post
We returned from our Darjeeling / Kalimpong Trip last night. The outbound route was: Kolkata - Asansol By pass - Nala - Masalia - Dumka - Dhaka More - Banka - Amarpur - Bhagalpur By pass - Vikramshila Setu - Tetri By Pass - Purnea the first day.
Very useful update Babu da before I travel, thanks a lot! As I had been repeatedly saying the Mihijam - Jamtara - Sarath - Karmatar - Deoghar - Banka - Amarpur - Bhagalpur route is the best of all the possible routes, and although a bit longer by about 80km ex-Kolkata, is a much better option to to go with.

Regarding the NH34 it it once was, I have seen a post on this forum from 2010, where a couple of friends traveled to the Dooars via this NH34 and it was as they had repeatedly mentioned in that post, in a very good condition even then! Check it here (Kolkata to Dooars- A memorable road trip)

Neelanjan.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 28th October 2015 at 08:36. Reason: Quoted post trimmed. Please avoid quoting an entire post = inconveniences our mobile users. Thanks!
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Old 28th October 2015, 10:46   #629
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
I am just back from a trip to Sikkim and took NH34 from Moregram both during onward and return leg (not kidding!).
Great. Hope a travelogue is under construction in the Assembly line.

Quote:
B) Return leg
We decided to not stop at Siliguri while returning from Sikkim and proceed to Malda for the night stay. Took us 6 hours to reach Malda from Siliguri. On Day 2, we started from Malda hotel early at 5 am, found absolutely deserted Kaliachowk, the Farakka bridge already repaired, and reached home at 2 pm. It took us 9 hours flat including 45 minutes break in between. So, it turned out to be a very good decision to stay at Malda.
Where in Sikkim did you start from ? Asking so as to calculate time from Siliguri to Kolkata. Your return timings seems better. What were the really bad patches that you encountered ?

Regards,

Pawan
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Old 28th October 2015, 11:09   #630
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
Great. Hope a travelogue is under construction in the Assembly line. Pawan
Thanks! Will start one soon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
Where in Sikkim did you start from ? Asking so as to calculate time from Siliguri to Kolkata. Your return timings seems better. What were the really bad patches that you encountered ?
Actually, the last 2 days of my trip were spent at Iccheygaon (which is in West Bengal). I started from Iccheygaon at 9 am in the morning. Reached Siliguri around 1:30 (few photo shoot breaks in between), had lunch there, filled up the fuel, checked the tire pressure and started from Siliguri around 2:30 pm. Reached Malda at 9 pm, with a half an hour break in between and another half an hour lost at Dalkhola crossing.

Bad patches - a 2 km stretch between Raiganj and Malda is very bad. And another 1-2 km stretch between Malda and Farakka. Rest manageable. My onward journey also was decent, if one can ignore the Farakka bridge repair blockage (shouldn't be a regular affair) where I lost around 3 hours.
But still from my experience, if one plans to take this route, it is safe to leave aside 2-2.5 hours travel time between Farakka and the other side of Malda and another half an hour at Dalkhola.

One important thing to remember regarding Kaliachowk (as gmhossain pointed out earlier) - Just a 2-3 kms before the Kaliachowk crossing, private vehicles (and some Tata Ace and Boleros as well) are allowed to take the opposite lane (left flank of course) and merge with the correct lane about 500 metres before the crossing. One needs to make sure that he/she takes the opposite lane at the right time, as there is hardly any opening to the other lane if you follow the usual lane and you would be royally stuck between the trucks, and this lane hardly moves.

Last edited by gearhead_mait : 28th October 2015 at 11:20.
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